Anyone who's ever listened to a true crime podcast can tell you, secondhand, that criminals aren't as smart as we might think.
what are your 'holy sh-t, this criminal is smart' moments?
You don't get into crime to make friends.
You also don't get into crime to learn things. Mostly, you're just hoping that whatever you're about to try next to escape the system works out and no one happens to be looking your direction.
Thanks, Weather! We Appreciate It!
"A bank in my hometown was robbed by a group of individuals during a historic snowstorm. we got ~12ft in two days, and early in the storm the bank was still open. Couple people just walked in masked with guns, robbed the place and escaped on foot. Police response time was about 45 mins at best, and by the time they arrived on scene the tracks were gone. Longshot, but pure genius."
Cashing In A Different Kind Of Monetary System
"I was an assistant manager at a little deli/corner store for a few years and one of the employees bragged that he was getting a bag of weed a week from the store for free... Not to me but to other employees."
"I couldn't figure out how... the numbers always matched up. He was also really sucessful with one of our couponing programs.... It took me a while to figure out that our POS system would take the coupon without the upc being scanned... In otherwords... the coupons were esentially cash. He was cashing out ~$80 a week in coupons. The kid was pretty smart... I only found out when I was doing rhe inventory and the books the same week... I saw that we sold a ton of icecream... and thought geeze I am gonna have to restock the crap outta that... then realized that it was fully stocked and put 2 and 2 together."
Doing crime is really creating an infraction against the system we've built as a society. These "laws" are imaginary rules we assign value, and give credence, to so much so that when someone does something to break them we lose our minds.
Even when it's not that big of a deal.
Just Opening The Door Wrong
"A very clever criminal was stealing electricity for his nightclub in Liverpool, the power company knew something was happening because as soon as this guy took over their usage was about a quarter of the previous owner."
"They finally sent an old guy out to check the meter for problems. He discovered that they'd fitted a pressure switch on the door so that when it was opened the meter turned as normal, but as soon as you closes it the meter would stop turning."
"Two years they'd been investigating before he was caught out."
And You Almost Got Away With It
"Ex-Security Guard here. One of the many town drunks goes into a supermarket in Tonbridge, Kent (UK). Fills basket with 8 bottles of wine. Goes to toilets. Drinks all 8 bottles. Staggers out. He still gets arrested for theft but we had to admire his ingenuity!"
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I Wasn't There. See?
"I'm a Police Officer. The smartest thing I see people who've been alleged to have committed a crime do is to have recorded what they were doing so they can prove their innocence."
And then there's these guys, who might actually be literal geniuses when the day is done.
Cutting Off The World's Connection
"Guy found out that when a gas station lost it's satellite connection, it automatically accepted all credit cards, and would presumably process them later. So, he climbed on the roof and covered the dish with foil to force it to lose connection then made charges on a card that was cancelled."
Crime! 30,000 Feet In The Air!
"In the 2000's you could order a new credit card, not activate it, and then when you were on a long haul flight you could upgrade via the card machine to first class once onboard and then pay for the premium service and when the flight landed and got internet connection none of the purchases would be successful and you would already be out of the airport."
"I never understood how they couldn't find you afterwards with your passport and credit card details but it was a big fraudulent scam that hit the newspapers multiple times. Maybe because apart from witness testimonies there wasn't a sufficient paper trail to say that you were upgraded or had any of the expensive champagne or duty free."
A Little Electric Play
"My dad is an attorney and had two clients: one who had an old huge Chevy Nova with a very well hidden switch under the dash. He would flip the switch and the brake lights off, then go in front of someone and hit the brakes."
"Won several claims from insurance companies."
"The second one was flying into small international airports carrying normal checked bags. Flew in from Canada every time, small puddle jumpers."
"Turns out what he was actually doing was smuggling immense amounts of cocaine. He refused to say a word to cops or in his own trial. Just pled out, and went to jail. My dad gets a single check to pay for his service of sitting and doing the plea deal. About half of his normal yearly earnings."
"Turns out the guy was s
nmuggling for Pablo Escobar, and would have been killed if he talked."
Truly Abhorrent Behavior
"A few years back my elderly neighbors home robbed. Her husband had just passed away and the obituary was in the paper with showing times and time the burial ceremony was to start. These low life's looked up her husband's address in the phone book and knew exactly what time their house would be un occupied. They took absolutely everything of value from this lady on the day she was putting her husband in the ground. And they never caught them."
Crime doesn't pay.
Until it does.
When you have the cleverness, and ingenuity, as some of these people? Then maybe crime might pay a bit.
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