The Smartest Criminals Ever Encountered According To Police Officers
Though we learn about criminals when they're caught, it doesn't mean they're not brilliant.
It takes a lot of planning and patience to pull off the bigger ideas.
That's why there is such a hefty penalty for pre-meditation.
Maybe that's why we're obsessed with the true crime stories that roll out over time and aren't a quick news blip.
We're fascinated by the genius and the almost near cover-ups.
Redditor ItzTacoTimee wanted cops to tell us about the masterminds they've taken into custody.
So they asked:
"Police officers of Reddit, who’s the smartest criminal you’ve ever encountered?"
Most of these murderers on these Dateline shows are smart.
Which is what is most scary.
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"My favorite was the guy who stole a post office mailbox off the street, repainted it, and then put it next to the night deposit box at a bank. And hung an out-of-order sign on the deposit box. All the businesses came along and dropped off their deposits in the mailbox."
"release to police"
"I worked with this one guy who had a lengthy record. He had a system for getting released if he got caught. After committing a crime, if the police were in pursuit and he knew he was about to be cornered, he would act insane. His girl would play along with it telling the police that he was off his medication."
"The police would arrest him but then send him to a mental ward with papers instructing the ward to release to police once he was cleared. Once he was in the mental ward, he would cause a distraction that would make the person attending the desk with the file cabinet to leave said cabinet. He would then crawl to the file cabinet, look for his 'release to police' papers, and then would literally eat the papers."
"When the psych evaluators decided that he was stable enough to be released, there would be no instructions to send him to the police, and he would be released to the general public. He did this about 10 times until police officers noticed him back on the streets. This stunt forced the state to change their procedure for detaining mentally unstable suspects."
When in Walmart...
"A guy I went to high school had been stealing from Walmart in a pretty clever way. He would grab video games, mp3 players, beer etc. and throw them away in a trashcan in the garden section. The workers never checked the trash contents and he would just wait, sometimes 5 hours until they emptied the trash in the back dumpster and hop in to get his items."
"Once he took a cardboard box from a display inside, filled it with video games, a PS3, and extra controllers. He grabbed some tape and pens and drew all over the box and taped it up to make it look used and tossed it. An hour later he had a whole new PS3 and stack of games."
"I walked in with this"
"I heard about one person that pulled a shoplifting scam on a large, popular and well known U.S. retail store. They walked in with some cheap nylon product to get one of those 'I walked in with this' stickers they used to put on returning merchandise. The sticker easily peeled off the product undamaged. They walked to the electronics department, grabbed an expensive box off the shelf and went to Customer Service."
"They placed the sticker on the big box and asked if they could return the item without a receipt. 'Unfortunately, no. Not without the original receipt.' Dang it, and they walk out. Customer service even gave the door man the thumbs up having just interacted with the customer. This took place before widespread inventory controls and cameras absolutely everywhere."
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"I'm not a cop but I worked crime scene. This guy had attached GPS to the bottom of peoples cars who owned houses, he wanted to rob. He did it to ensure they wouldn't be showing up while he was ransacking the place."
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"There's a golf course/country club in my town that has a PGA tournament scheduled in the next couple years. They have a guy repeatedly breaking in overnight and just lounging around and eating food, all on camera. The club refuses to report it so they don't hurt their chances of the tournament coming."
Drugs & Keggers
"This was in the late 90s-early 00s."
"A guy in my dorm came to school solely to deal drugs. He took out student loans, registered for a bunch of 300-person freshman survey courses where he would never be missed, then literally never went to class. All he did was go to raves and concerts and keggers and sell party drugs."
"After the first semester, he was suspended. He wrote the usual ‘I was young and dumb and in over my head’ sob story, and got put on probation for a semester. So he had a repeat of the fall. At the end of the year, he was kicked out, and didn’t care."
"He made something on the order of $150k, in return for about $8k in student loans to cover a year of housing and tuition."
"So far as I know, he was never caught. It may have been a short-sighted maneuver in the long run, but in the short run it seemed fairly genius to effectively use federal loans to start your drug business."
Into the car...
"Working in a home improvement store when younger. This guy came in, went to the snow blowers, took one and went to the return desk. Said he wanted to return it but had no receipt. They told him you need a receipt so he says ok I’ll be back and wheels it off to car through the front door. He did this a few times apparently. Couple places even helped him load it 'back' into his car."
"A french thief who spent 10 years in prison became a comedian when he got out. One of his stories... Finds a building, goes in, chooses a floor and TRANSFORMS the exit door into an extra apartment. Puts the apartment number, fake lock, welcome rug, etc..."
"Puts an iPhone for sale. The person comes to buy it, he opens the door in a shower robe and says give me one second, im just gonna count the money... and poof!"
"He's gone from the exit stairs."
So Hungryblock out no GIF by Heute-ShowGiphy
"Definitely this guy who ate the bank robbery note right off the hood of the police car when they were emptying his pockets. Although I'm fairly sure he was still convicted."
Even with smarts, crime still doesn't sound like it pays.
Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Don't let people fool you when they say it doesn't.
Yes, it isn't everything.
And yes it can corrupt.
But it can also be immensely helpful.
It's especially helpful in large sums.
A windfall of cash in any amount can be life-changing.
Redditor SheemieRayVaughan wanted to know how we could have some fun with a major windfall, so they asked:
"How would your life be changed by winning $20,000?"
Please someone send me $20,000!
I'll even take $10!!
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"Replenish my emergency fund that was depleted from my cancer bills this past year. My out of pocket max + deductible was 5k and now just paid 1k to get a prosthetic (had salivary gland cancer which left a hole in my soft palate). Hopefully part of that will be reimbursed from either dental or medical insurance."
"As I'm homeless ATM it would mean a whole f#*king lot! I'd buy some fruit first tho! The biggest pineapple I could find! 😂."
"Umm about £2 so like $3, ah you've very kind thank you! But it's ok I don't even have a knife or anything to get into one and I've no Venmo or PayPal or anything like that. Really do appreciate the very kind offer all the same! ❤️🙏."
"If you find a way to receive it I will also Venmo you pineapple money. I’ve not been homeless but I’ve been 'no money for fruit and veg or literally anything to bring light to my life' poor. $20k would still be life changing but I have enough pineapple money to share now."
"I'd literally be out of debt for the first time in my entire adult life 😅."
"Same 40 this year and I've just given up on the idea of owning property. Settled for a council house in the sticks in Scotland. Gonna make this house our home, try to clear the debts and just try be comfortable is the aim."
"Actually doing it on the other hand is near impossible when my outgoings of just rent, food and power take my entire wage. At the moment bankruptcy is looking like my only way of actually ever achieving being comfortable let alone buying property."
"It wouldn't change."
"I’m in the same boat that it wouldn’t change much. 1/10 of my student loans would be kinda nice I guess, but when I’m drowning, I prefer they just drain the whole pool instead of 10%."
"Same. It would just get rolled into a current or future investment."
"I'm with you. Would split it up between Roth and savings. Excitement would last just a moment. I know that sounds spoiled but the question was asked. I answered."
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"$20k would cover rent, bills & food so I could take time to spend with my dying parents."
Time is precious.
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"I'd be able to get the medical treatment and dental work I've been avoiding. I'd probably be a lot happier being able to chew more things."
"I would lose my disability and be more f**ked than helped, honestly."
"If I spent it incredibly under the table, then yeah. But if I did anything noticeable with it, it's still a risk. I borrowed money from a friend once to buy a cheap a** van (to live in, yay, leeching off the government is so profitable /s) and they drilled me about where I got the money to buy it."
"To get them off my back, I even drew up a contract stating that I was never in possession of the money and was on a payment plan to pay it back. It can be hell to get disability, but they'll rip it away in two seconds."
A little here and there...
"I have $54k left on my mortgage. No other debt. Don't need a car. So almost no change."
"Same pretty much. I don't 'need' anything and the one thing you could argue I could use, you can't buy that for $20k. So literally would not change my life at all. Maybe someone else would be a better recipient."
"I mean, it wouldn’t change my life, but I could park it somewhere for my son later on."
"My mom died and had an insurance policy that paid out about this amount. It allowed me to buy my first ever new car. Everything works in it! Especially thrilled to have heat and defrost. Reliable transportation really does make life easier."
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"It would help immensely, I'm living paycheck to paycheck with $12 in savings. I get by, but the fear of an unforseen expense is crippling at times."
Debt be Gone!
"Pay off some consumer debt and the rest of my car loan. It would basically just push the timeline for my wife getting a new car up by a year, granted that would mean that the debt we paid off would be replaced by a new car payment. Aside from her no longer driving something questionably reliable (we've had major issues), nothing would change."
Money isn't everything... but it certainly helps!
What would you do with the money? Let us know in the comments.
Between our parents' words of wisdom and the annoying cliches we hear daily, life lies to us a lot.
The advice we get from our family and life seems like a good thing; at the very least, it's well-intentioned.
However, it's not always true.
My parents told me I could be anything I wanted. What they didn't mention was that not everyone has an affinity for science, and there's every possibility I won't be a physicist. That one was not fun to learn.
Redditors know all too well the reality of the world proving to us that life has many lies, and were eager to share what those lies are.
It all started when Redditor GandalfGreen95 asked:
"What do you consider life's greatest lie?"
Mother Knows Best?
"That I'm the most handsome boy in the whole wide world. Wrong again mom"
"Human nature makes it so we always see our children this way, otherwise we might drown you in a tub. :P"
"No YOUR wrong mother always knows best"
We're All Messes
"That other adults have it all together."
"No, just no. Everyone has some part of their life that is a sh*t show."
– Deleted User
"Lol looking back I got so much advise and looked up to so many adults from work in my late teens early twenties that were barely functioning adults. I just followed along cause I assumed they knew better and I was just a young kid."
"Married 17 years, 2 kids, a house, cars, dog, job with retirement plan but I DO NOT feel like I have my sh*t together. Everyday is a stress filled gut-punch of doubt and remorse."
"I am a 40something married mom. We own our home and car. And yet, every single day, I feel like I am role-playing. I feel like I am a child playing house. The older I get, the stronger this feeling becomes. Maybe it is because my personal life as far as friendships, social outings, etc. has become very small. I spend 90% of my time in my home, on my phone spaced out playing games or surfing reddit. I barely leave my home, especially in the winter, and when I do, it is because I have errands or yet another doctor appointment or antibody infusion for breast cancer. I barely talk to anyone even online. I know there are days where the only time I speak out loud is to either discuss something with my husband, usually about the kids, or talk to the kids about what they have been up to."
"I chose all of this. I love being home and being with my husband and kids. I find it difficult to connect with other women and form friendships. All the friends I do have live minimum an hour away and I no longer drive because I don't trust myself (thanks to chemo and other medications I severely lack the focus required to drive. Last time I tried I backed into my mother in law's new car. I simply didn't see it even though it was easily seen). I have a good life as far as comforts and care and sharing my life with my husband and children. But I severely lack socializing, and all that brings."
"The isolation plays a huge part in how I feel like I am a child role-playing. I can totally understand how and why some think we are living in a simulation. Somedays feel exactly like that."
"That there is one person in the world that is perfect for you."
"Well statistically there probably are a lot of people that would be perfect for you. It's just that we will probably never meet them."
"Right? You married your soulmate huh? And she just happen to grow up and live in the same town as you? How lucky!"
Dirty Politics (Which Is Just Politics)
"Politicians are there to represent their constituents..."
"The lie there is that the constituents are the voters. Their real constituents are the people/companies that pay them"
We All Need To Pay Rent
""The money didn't matter.""
"Is not a lie at itself, but it needs to be clarified. The money is not all in the world, but it really matters. It can be more comfortable a bad moment or difficulty, or save you from a big problem. And if you don't have any mayor problem or so, is always good and healthy have some for any surprise the life have for you."
"I hate when I'm worried or mad because the money is barely enough (and always stuck with credit to complete), and say me "money didn't matter", "money came and go". I know money is not all what I must worries and must put time and attention in other important things, but I can't keep that important things (like my wife or my cat) if I have not money for the basics of the house or some emergency."
Life Isn't Fair...
"The belief that life is fair is a lie, and it's a particularly toxic lie, because people who believe life is fair tend to believe that everything which appears like injustice must actually be secretly fair somehow, and so they rationalize injustice."
"People who believe life is fair also tend to be the ones benefitting from the unfairness."
Hard Work Doesn't Mean Much
"Hard work = good life."
"If that sh*t was true every woman in sub-Saharan Africa would be a millionaire"
"Hard work=more years a company screws you and robs you out of your pension until you retire at 70 or 80 with only memories of working your life away as you slowly die."
Who Really Cares?
"That the people in charge care about you. They in fact, dont care if you or your loved ones die."
"I care about my guys. Corporate doesn't."
"They care that they'll have to hire and train a new worker if you die. They don't care about your loved ones one bit."
The Company > The People
"The HR Department is there to protect the employee's interests."
"BS......it's there to protect the company from lawsuits"
College Isn't The Be All End All
"Going to college = success. The fact that so many people go to college, get their degree, and then get a job that has nothing to do with their degree "
– Deleted User
"That you need to go to college and get a degree to be successful. You really don’t, you can still find success without a degree, IT IS NOT REQUIRED."
Found Family Is Better
"Family is everything.This lie has imprisoned so many in abusive situations"
"Yuuuup. "Blood is thicker than water" is another shiny gem."
Life Isn't About A Formula
"You must go to college, get a job, find a partner, buy a house, retire and die."
"That formula and the expectations that it puts on us is the basis for so much loss. All that matters is the time we have left and how often we get to spend with those that love us."
"Specifically if you work hard in school, get good grades, go to uni, you will get a good job and be able to achieve all this easily."
"Yeah it doesn't work like that. I switched career in my 30s and make more money now a couple years later than I did with 10 years under my belt working in the industry I graduated into (construction management) and am infinitely happier."
"Find something you enjoy doing for work, don't immediately go to university because your parents and teachers say you have to, try a few different things until something sticks, then work out if you need a degree from there."
"The one where your parents are infallible. You don't realize it until you get older or become a parent. They were holding it all together by the skin of their teeth just like I am."
"This one hits me hard. I grew up in a very authoritarian family and was basically indoctrinated that my parents had it all together and knew it all. Early adulthood was hard because I was living on my own and was afraid to make decisions without checking with them first."
"Many years later and now I can see all the faulty logic for what it is. Wish I had figured that out in my 20's."
"Remember when you were young and you thought your dad was Superman... Only to grow up and realize he was just a drunk guy who liked to wear capes."
Yeah, I remember learning that one myself!
People are fickle.
Changing our minds about attraction is part of our DNA.
But sometimes following the fickle feeling is the way to go.
And that is ok.
You can be in total lust and love but if the person you're fond of kicks a puppy... kick them and run.
Some behavior is unacceptable.
Redditor JackHasSmellySocks wanted to hear about the times we've had a change or heart or lust, so they asked:
"What did your crush do that completely ruined your infatuation for them?"
I'm easily turned off, so my list could be long.
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"Not listening whenever I would share a hobby of mine but insisting me into listening to theirs."
"Currently dealing with this with my partner."
"We had been going out for a few weeks and on the way home from a party, we went to get McDonalds and he paid for me. I have an allergy and they got my order wrong. I asked and it wasn't a problem, they made me a new burger and told me to keep the incorrect one as they couldn't resell it."
"I offered it to him, he didn't want it so I said I would just bring it home to give to my housemate so it wouldn't go to waste. He was completely fine with this. Then a homeless guy came in and started asking at the tables for change. I offered him the burger and he took it."
"My date went crazy at me for giving away the burger that he had paid for (even though he was okay with me giving it to my housemate?) and followed the homeless man, shouting at him to give it back. Then got the guy kicked out of the restaurant."
"It was terrifying. He went from easy-going and charming to furious in a split second. Then when he sat down again, he acted like everything was normal and asked me if I wanted to go home with him! It was a side of him I hadn't seen before. I'm glad he showed his true colors early."
"This girl I had a crush on early on in high school told me that she recently broke up with her last BF because his dad passed away suddenly, and, as she put it, 'wouldn’t stop being depressed and a f**king crybaby about it.' I didn’t talk to her much again after she said that."
"Participated in the murder of a homeless man. He and a group of his feckless friends cornered a homeless man and bludgeoned him to death, apparently for no reason at all. And they were caught almost immediately, because there were a couple of witnesses out of sight and a camera."
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"Tried to pour vodka into my drink when I wasn't looking."
"Same thing happened to me! Too bad the guy was an idiot and didn't get very far after that."
Well that is a Dateline episode waiting to happen.
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"Told me that the reason she hung around me was to get close to my very tall best friend. They dated for three weeks before he dumped her."
On top of that...
"Ohhh. This post made me remember a really hurtful one. When I was 17 at my first year at uni I made friends with a girl in my year, it wasn't like instant crush but she was funny and I grew to like her. One day we were going home after classes together (turns out we lived pretty close to each other) chatting and joking."
"And at one moment she says: 'I really like talking to you just about anything, I would have jumped you right now if you weren't so ugly.' I was a really awkward teenager: severely underweight, skin problems and some other complexes. On top of that very introverted - so it outright killed my remained self-esteem."
"Thing is that she actually didn't realized effect of her words, it was like a passing comment to her and wasn't said with malicious intent. That fact actually made these words even more hurtful."
'Everyone does it'
"We went somewhere and she and her friends pulled into all three handicapped parking spaces. There were plenty of other spots, but these were the closest. None of them were handicapped in any way. 'Everyone does it,' she said. No, no they do not."
"If 'everyone does it,' then those spaces wouldn't have been open in the first place."
"Growing up with two disabled parents, I unfortunately can confirm there are a lot more people like her than you would think. There isn't always a disabled person needing that parking spot, but when you're disabled, there's always an a**hole who beat you to it."
It worked out OK
"She mentioned her last name. I recognized it. Haha. It's probably a good thing. Found out her grandmother was my grandfather's older sister. It worked out ok. We were on a double date sorta deal with her friend and my friend. We found that out pretty early in the night. We literally laughed our a**es off for 15 minutes, making jokes and traded dates. I ended up dating her friend for about 4 years."
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"He littered. Just opened his car door and dropped out a McDonalds bag on the ground. That killed it right there."
"Turns out she had absolutely no filter. She took pride in 'saying what was on her mind,' which was kind of cute at first, until I realized that she literally meant it, every thought in her head spewed out of her mouth no matter who could hear it. Not a day went by where she didn't get into an argument with someone over some insensitive or insulting comment that she made. She was the female embodiment of Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm."
These are all valid reasons to drop someone if we're being honest.
Has this ever happened to you over something small? Let us know in the comments below.
We'd be lying if we said we haven't all made a poor decision in our lives. Whether it's letting a questionable ex back into our lives or pairing that shirt with those jeans, we all have a cringey memory to look back on.
But most of us don't have memories of inventing something terrible, let alone one of the worst inventions ever.
Redditor NPT1506 asked:
"What is the worst human invention ever made?"
"That little 'Press to Open' tab on Kraft Mac 'n' cheese boxes. That has been an effective way of opening those boxes exactly zero times."
"K Cups. The pollution of all that single-use plastic."
Teeny Tiny Bits of Plastic
"Glitter. It N E V E R goes away."
"My printer one day just up and stopped working claiming I needed to replace a part. As it turned out, that part is meant to stop working when the printer reaches 5000 pages."
"I took the part out. There’s no damage or wear on it. So I ordered a 'reset chip' that reset the page count for that part to zero. Cost me $20 vs $110 for a replacement part."
"Later on, I found a way to enable tech mode on my printer to reset the page count for any part I want. Then again, the printer is old, and the WiFi stopped working a few weeks ago, requiring me to use direct WiFi, which sucks."
It's Getting Personal
"Serious answer: chemical toxins that have caused severe health problems."
"Personal answer: HP printers. F**king pieces of s**t."
Unholy Packing Solutions, Batman
"Styrofoam is pretty abominable in my book, especially for things like takeout food that’s destined for the trash within minutes of use."
"Child beauty pageant events."
Profit for Who
"Which leads to state prosecutors who are beholden to them. This increases the probability of being charged with a crime you didn't commit, under the plan that you're too poor to defend yourself and will plead out."
"They can't make a profit without prosecutors feeding them an ever-increasing supply of prisoners (plus parolees and probationers in "offender-funded" programs). It's a recipe for the corruption of our justice system."
"Private prisons are arguably foreign enemy assets."
Addictive Pay-to-Win Games
"Pay to Win Games, especially mobile games."
"Cigarettes. They never should have been made."
"Possibly leaded gasoline. It poisoned billions and left multiple generations more violent and less intelligent."
Reminders of War
"Landmines. They don't just disappear once a war is over. They'll stay around to kill some kids playing. Awful things."
"I’ll say Nerve Toxins/Chemical Weapons. I find few things worse than a weapon that literally gives you the slowest and most agonizing death possible."
"While nukes are horrible beyond imagination, humanity learned to avoid them as a way to ensure their own survival, it's wise, but egoistical nonetheless."
"Chemical weapons on the other hand traumatized the f**k out of the survivors and the ones who called the attacks and got to see the aftermath. They were so horrible that many soldiers deserted after using them and many went mad."
"Throughout the last century, we successfully banned almost all of those: the 1925 geneva protocol, the 1980 chemical weapons convention, among others, but I'm afraid when the next generations start to forget the horrors of chemical warfare, it will resurface in the likes of what's happening with fascism."
From modern inconveniences to climate changing inventions to the literal stuff of war, there are serious contenders here for the worst invention in human history. It would be hard to choose just one.