Pics 'n Such
Dumb Crook News
As heard on the John Boy & Billy Big Show: real, true stories of real dumb crooks, gleaned from newspapers, wire services, and web pages around the world.

This edition first broadcast June 6, 2001

An arrest has been made in a trio of Chattanooga, Tennessee bank robberies after the suspect left his holdup note in the pocket of a shirt he sent to the dry cleaners. While working on an order of clothing, employees of Champion Cleaners found a shirt similar to one worn by the man who robbed a branch of SunTrust Bank on May 4. In the pocket of the shirt was a holdup note, written in black ink on yellow paper. When police searched the home of the man who'd dropped off the shirt, they found over $5000 in cash, a dry cleaner's bag, and a list written on paper similar to the holdup note. the suspect confessed to all three recent robberies.

A convicted murderer managed a successful escape from a Pennsylvania prison, only to violate Fugitive rule #1: "When you're on the lam, keep a low profile." Seems this particular escapee just couldn't stop calling attention to himself. He frequently told people he met that he was a founding member of the 1950's tribute band Sha-Na-Na. Investigators say the man often sported a brightly-colored Sha-Na-Na satin jacket, was a regular in local karaoke bars, and even had a set of personalized license plates made for his car. He was finally nabbed after someone recognized his picture when he posted it on his newly-launched personal website.

Two men in Toronto, Canada hatched a scheme to defraud a Canadian bank by using counterfeit US goverment bonds. the plan was to use the 25 billion dollars in fake bonds to obtain a line of credit. The bonds, which were supposedly issued in 1930, looked pretty authentic. They featured a picture of President Grover Cleveland, along with the address of the Federal reserve Bank in Washington, DC, complete with zip code. Problem? Addresses in the 1930s didn't have a zip code, which wasn't introduced in America until 1963. The counterfeiters were quickly arrested.

The airport in a small Illinois town called Lake In The Hills has been troubled recently by wild deer who wander out onto the runway, causing at least a dozen takeoffs and landings to be aborted. In march, a pilot actually hit one of the deer, causing $27,000 in damage to his plane. Sirens, pistols, and even loud cannons failed to keep the deer out of the way. Finally, the airport consulted state wildlife officials, who came up with a workable solution: peanut butter. Airport staffers are placing cups of peanut butter along the south side of the runway to occupy the deer until a solar-powered electric fence can be installed.

A 47-year-old Warner-Robbins, Georgia woman woke from a drug-induced sleep to discover that her pet poodle had chewed off her bottom lip. Investigators say the missing lip wasn't anywhere in the house, but that the dog had traces of blood on its mouth. The woman told police that several weeks earlier, the dog had taken her false teeth out of her mouth and chewed them up while she slept. A police investigator told a local newspaper that the victim will have to have reconstructive surgery to rebuild her lip, using skin grafted from her buttocks area. The dog was not charged in the case.

A group of firefighters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana were interrupted during dinner one evening by an emergency call. The team responded quickly, and had been hosing down an abandoned home for about an hour when several nearby businesses reported a second fire -- at the fire station. The firefighters returned to find their station house had been set ablaze by the fish dinner one of them had left frying on the stove. A service truck managed to drag the team's cars away from the burning building just before the roof collapsed.

Two state prison inmates could face federal charges after allegedly mailing a bomb threat to a high school in Wrightsville, Georgia. The prisoners claimed to have planted pipe bombs at the school, and demanded $50,000 each to stop the bombing. The school was evacuated and searched, but no bombs were found. The cops didn't have much trouble tracking down the source of the threat -- The prisoners had both signed their letter and listed their state prison ID numbers, and the return address of the prison was stamped on the envelope. Said one investigator: "It wasn't a real whodunit."

A convicted felon attempted a daring late-night escape from the Elmwood Correctional facility in Milpitas, California by scaling the prison wall. We say "attempted" because once he'd climbed over the wall, the con found himself in the exercise yard of the women's prison next door. Several female inmates helped nab the escapee and quickly return him to the men's lockup.

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