Ever wor­ried you might have done some­thing stupid? It’s prob­a­bly noth­ing com­pared to the ef­forts of these in­ept bur­glars, bizarre bosses and blun­der­ing politi­cians. Of course we’re laugh­ing at these guys!

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents -

Whether it’s crim­i­nals, bosses or politi­cians, these are some of the peo­ple who left their think­ing caps at home in very pub­lic ways.

Check Out the Scene First

One wintr y night in the Aus­trian mar­ket town of Steinach am Bren­ner, a 20-year- old broke a shop win­dow to get at a dis­play of cig­a­rettes and made off with sev­eral car­tons. When po­lice ar­rived the thief was gone, but his foot­prints in the snow led the of­fi­cers straight to his apart­ment. One way or another, it turned out to be a bad gig for the crim­i­nal. The cig­a­rette car­tons he stole had been for dis­play only. They were empty.

No­to­ri­ous bur­glar Ray­mond Bet­son, 52, was sen­tenced to 13 years in prison af­ter a botched raid in the English vil­lage of Swan­ley, Kent. Bet­son had led his gang of six in what promised to be a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar heist, us­ing a stolen heavy-duty digger. But he smashed into the wrong wall of a cash de­pot and he and his crew burst into... an empty room.

Two bur­glars broke into a house in Mar­wit z near Ber­lin, Ger­many, and stole jew­ellery, cig­a­rettes and cash, and made a clean get­away in their car – or so they thought. How­ever, they had been spot­ted by a wit­ness, and po­lice were soon in hot pur­suit. When the bur­glars no­ticed that they were be­ing fol­lowed by a po­lice pa­trol, they threw the stolen goods out of the car win­dow. At the same time they floored the ac­cel­er­a­tor, lost con­trol of the car and ended up in the vil­lage pond. They were res­cued by the po­lice. And then ar­rested.

Plan a Good Exit

In the early hours of Novem­ber 20, 2013, Richard Wil­son of How­den, UK, heard moan­ing com­ing from the bath­room. He opened the door and saw a man who’d be­come stuck, head down, while wrig­gling in through the win­dow. His head rested on the toi­let, while his leg re­mained jammed un­der the win­dow sash. Would-be thief Daniel Sev­ern, 27, had tried to phone for help but had dropped his mo­bile phone in the bath. Wil­son took a photo of the hap­less young man and his wife called the po­lice. Sev­ern was sen­tenced to two years and four months in jail.

A20-year-old from Os­trava, Czech Repub­lic, had spent the evening drink­ing with friends in their lo­cal park. When he de­cided to go home,

he didn’t have money for the train ticket, but he did have an idea. He would steal some cash from a fast food restau­rant, now closed for the night, next to the sta­tion. Seek­ing a way in, he climbed onto the roof. All was go­ing well un­til he slipped and got stuck be­tween the ex­te­rior walls of the sta­tion house and restau­rant. And there he stayed un­til 5am when a sta­tion worker heard his des­per­ate knock­ing. The fire de­part­ment freed the young man, and then the po­lice charged him with at­tempted theft.

A48- year- old Dutch­man passed a con­struc­tion site one night in Vleuten near Utrecht and no­ticed a pile of steel plates. He de­cided that he could use some, and started load­ing the plates with his truck’s crane. But with each one-tonne plate he added, his truck sank fur­ther into the muddy ground. He tried for hours to shift it. When con­struc­tion work­ers ar­rived in the morn­ing, he gave up: “You may as well call the po­lice. I’m stuck here.”

If only he’d thought of un­load­ing the plates from his truck.

Don’t Leave Any Trace Be­hind

Po­lice iden­ti­fied an ad­mit­ted jewel thief in Paris, and all be­cause he made the mis­take of plant­ing a kiss on his hostage. The 20-year-old French­man, iden­ti­fied only as “Pierre G”, and an ac­com­plice al­legedly fol­lowed a 56-year-old jew­ellery store em­ployee home, where they tied her to a chair and threat­ened to set fire to her if she didn’t give them the store’s alarm

codes. The woman talked and Pierre’s ac­com­plice went off to steal the jew­els while he stayed with the hostage. He un­tied her four hours later – and gave her a part­ing kiss on the cheek to “ease her trauma”. The woman called the po­lice im­me­di­ately and they swabbed her cheek for DNA. A few months later they got a match and the sus­pect, who by this time was al­ready in jail for another crime, con­fessed.

Thief Billy Joe Don­nelly, 22, was peck­ish as he set out to bur­gle a house in the English vil­lage of Preston, so he raided a green­house down a coun­try lane and took a bite out of a cu­cum­ber, leav­ing the re­mains. He then ran­sacked the house nearby, steal­ing trea­sured pos­ses­sions and then es­caped in the own­ers’ car. Un­for­tu­nately for the hun­gry Don­nelly, the par­tial­lyeaten cu­cum­ber was dis­cov­ered – with his DNA on it. He was jailed for two and a half years.

Al­ways on the Look­out

Po­lice in the Nor­we­gian vil­lage of Mjøn­dalen near Oslo were served two of­fend­ers on a sil­ver plat­ter last spring. A cou­ple who were high on drugs de­cided to have a nap and parked their car next to a build­ing with a huge sign read­ing “Po­lice”. They were rudely awo­ken when the long arm of the law knocked on the win­dow. The dopey pair was ar­rested for pos­ses­sion and use of drugs and for dr iv­ing un­der the inf lu­ence. For­tu­nately they didn’t have to walk far to the in­ter­ro­ga­tion room.

Two men in the Rus­sian city of Dim­itro­v­grad de­cided to steal com­put­ers and other equip­ment from an of­fice. The masked crim­i­nals tied up the night guard and be­gan pack­ing the com­put­ers. One of them de­cided it was too dark and turned a light on… ex­cept it wasn’t a light switch he pressed, but the alarm but­ton. Three min­utes later the po­lice ar­rived and caught the rob­bers red-handed.

Christchurch po­lice posted a mug shot of Sam Lake, 23, to their Face­book page, ask­ing for the pub­lic’s help track­ing him down. The brazen New Zealan­der was wanted for breach­ing his home de­ten­tion.

“I need to get a new mug shot,” Lake posted back. His wisecrack was liked more than 3000 times.

“Come see us and will ar­range at no cost,” the cops fired back. This re­ply was liked nearly 6000 times.

“If only they were as good at find­ing me as they were with come­backs,” Lake quipped in re­turn.

The po­lice had the last laugh. They caught up with Lake and he was re­sen­tenced to six months in prison.

Two young men and a woman from Radom, Poland, de­cided to get rich by mak­ing coun­ter­feit

50-zloty ban­knotes on their home prin­ter. They soon re­alised, how­ever, that their fakes were use­less and they had to get rid of them. They went to a nearby for­est to burn them, but did not take into ac­count that smoke from a fire in a for­est on a rainy day might just draw some­one’s at­ten­tion – in this case, po­lice who were cruis­ing in the area. When the po­lice ar­rived the damp wads were burn­ing with dif­fi­culty and the woman still had 50 sheets of coun­ter­feits stuffed down her blouse. The three young peo­ple had not only failed to get rich, but were also very em­bar­rassed. In fact, au­thor­i­ties found their at­tempt at forgery so fool­ish that the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor with­drew charges against them.

Thirty-nine-year-old Paweł C. from Lodz, Poland, spe­cialised in steal­ing bikes and tools from lock-ups in the city’s older dis­tricts. His needs were small, but he did al­low him­self a mo­bile phone. Last year he was steal­ing from a cel­lar when his wal­let fell out of his pocket. Dis­cov­er­ing the next day that it was miss­ing, he be­came wor­ried; he had no idea where he had lost it. No doc­u­ments meant trou­ble if, for in­stance, the po­lice de­cided to stop him. So he called them, re­ported his loss and gave his phone num­ber.

In fact the po­lice had al­ready found the wal­let at the crime scene. They called his mo­bile and in­vited him to pick up the doc­u­ments. He was soon at the sta­tion – in trou­ble again.

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