My annual roundup of some absurd and bizarre criminals from the past year.
Welcome to the fifth annual 11 Points rundown of the most ridiculous criminals of the year. (Here are 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 parts one and two.) Usually I publish in December but I’m coming in super late and hitting it in January. And I’m glad I waited, because two of the absolute best criminals of the year didn’t show up until last week.
But we’ll get to them on Wednesday. For the second year in a row, I couldn’t cut myself off at 11 — I had to go to 22 and split the list into two parts.
Here are the 11 (of the 22) most ridiculous criminals of 2015…
1 | A guy is busted for seemingly driving solo in the carpool lane, but did have two other people in the car — whom he’d kidnapped
(1/25) 26-year-old Luis Moreno Jr. of Elizabeth, New Jersey was pulled over in January for driving in the carpool lane by himself. Only he wasn’t — there were two people huddled in the backseat. Whom he’d kidnapped. He’d picked them up by the Mexican border in Texas and agreed to drive them to Maryland — but kept going when they said they couldn’t pay him.
Luis was arrested for kidnapping and criminal restraint. On the bright side, he didn’t get a fine for illegally driving in the carpool lane, because technically kidnapping victims DO count as passengers. (Source)
2 | A guy’s plan to smuggle his wanted dwarf friend out of the country in a suitcase is thwarted by Facebook
(3/12) A 30-year-old, 38-inch tall Romanian dwarf only known as “The Midget” was living in the U.K. last year — and was wanted by the cops for some burglaries. An expat friend of his, 36-year-old Doru Apetrei, made a plan to smuggle The Midget out of England by jamming him into a suitcase. Of course.
But before they could execute their Little Rascals-style plan, Doru posted the details on a Facebook group for Romanians living in the U.K. He asked if he could get in trouble if he was caught — and it turned out he could, since the cops tracked him down for questioning. As far as we know, he and The Midget never made it out of the country. (Source)
3 | A woman who pooped in a box at a Kmart is arrested wearing a shirt featuring a dump truck and the phrase “Dropping A Load.”
(3/31) 49-year-old Melissa Jacobson went into a Kmart in Racine, Wisconsin in late March, grabbed a box filled with security tags — and pooped in it. She left, but the store was able to use security footage to catch her. And she certainly has a scatalogical ethos — because the police busted her while she was wearing a shirt featuring a picture of a dump truck and the phrase “Dropping A Load.” (Source)
4 | A guy knocks over 30 tombstones to make it easier for the dead to be resurrected
(3/31) 36-year-old Spencer Robinson of Payson, Utah was busted for rampaging through a cemetery in March, knocking over and damaging more than 30 tombstones. His rationale? Easter was coming, and he wanted to make it easier for the dead people to be resurrected. He was hit with several charges and, to the best of my knowledge, his plan didn’t work; none of the dead people under those tombstones came back to life. (Source)
5 | A robber is arrested carrying a bag with a dollar sign on it
(4/10) Perhaps the Beagle Boys from DuckTales aren’t the ideal criminals to emulate. 20-year-old David Lingafelter robbed a Subway in Olympia, Washington in April — and used a white canvas bag with a dollar sign drawn on it to hold the whopping $100 he made out with. The cops caught him almost immediately, hiding behind a dumpster. (Source)
6 | A guy robs a Subway to pay for a better sandwich across the street
(5/5) And speaking of Subway, 43-year-old Frederick Warren robbed one in Chicago back in May — so he’d have enough money to buy a much better sandwich at a Potbelly Sandwich Shop across the street. (Ever had Potbelly? It’s really good.) The cops found him sitting at the Potbelly, eating his sandwich — with $186 in cash and a knife. (Source)
7 | A 24-year-old punches a 78-year-old over free Nutella samples at a Costco
(9/22) Frankly, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen every single weekend at every single Costco in the country. A Costco in Burbank, California was passing out free samples of Nutella on waffles in September — and that’s SUCH a good free food item that it made people nuts. Hazel nuts. Ahem. Anyway, 24-year-old Derrick Gharabighi took a whole handful of samples, so a 78-year-old man confronted him and told him he wanted one. Derrick responded by punching him in the face. He was arrested for felony elder abuse. (Source)
8 | A woman shaves dead skin off her feet, puts it in milk and serves it to her family
(5/12) This is certainly the most disgusting crime of the year — not disgusting in a moral outrage sense, rather in a “you will gag when you read it” sense. 56-year-old Sarah Schrock of Mechanicsville, Maryland was arrested in May after she shaved the dead skin off her feet, put it in milk and served it to her family. They figured out something was wrong with the milk when they saw weird solids floating in their glasses. She wound up pleading guilty to two counts of assault. (Source)
9 | A man shoplifts steaks by hiding them in his colostomy bag
(8/12) And now the runner up for the most disgusting crime of the year. In August, a 55-year-old man in Spartanburg, South Carolina was caught shoplifting $75 worth of ribeye steaks from a grocery store — by hiding them in his colostomy bag. The police report didn’t say if the bag was empty or not at the time — or if that little layer of plastic wrap on the steak packages can really keep them protected in a sack o’ feces. (Source)
10 | A woman accidentally crashes through the wall of an apartment building — and scares off a burglar who randomly happened to be inside
(8/19) There’s no crime fighting like accidental crime fighting! In August, a woman accidentally crashed her SUV through the wall of a friend’s apartment building. She had no idea that there was a burglar in the unit at the time — and her barrelling through the wall scared him off empty handed. (Source)
11 | A cop takes a picture of his bent arm so it looks like a vagina, then uses the photo to catch a predator
(2/23) At some point, every teenage boy finds out if he bends his arm at the elbow, it kind of looks like a vagina. Monty Lovelace of the Nebraska State Police might be the only one who parlayed that discovery into crime fighting. He was trying to bust online predators by posing as an underage girl online, and got into a conversation with Casey Godfrey of Rapid City, South Dakota — a custodian at an elementary school.
Godfrey wanted to swap nude photos, so Lovelace made the arm-vagina, took a close-up photo, and sent it. It fooled Godfrey, who sent a photo of his exposed genitalia — and he was arrested for attempted enticement of a minor using the Internet. (Source)
The other 11 great criminals of 2015 will be posted on Wednesday.