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 on September 13, 2000.

Controversial rap star Eminem, who's had several well-publicized brushes with the law recently, was part of a violent assault in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- even though he was nowhere near there at the time. Milwaukee police say an 18-year-old man at Willie's Lanes bowling alley grabbed a 12-year-old boy and choked him into unconsciousness after the boy played one of Eminem's songs on the bowling alley's jukebox. The suspect admitted to police he was unhappy about the boy's selection, but said he was just "messing around." The music critic faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

A Thomasville, Georgia man who was being arrested on a drunk driving charge managed to steal the arresting officer's police cruiser and lead the cops on a high-speed chase before giving them the slip. The suspect was arrested at a convenience store about two hours later, after he stopped and made a call to the local 911 emergency number. the man told a dispatcher "I'm not out of control, I'm just scared," adding that he had been having marital problems. He had apparently been having thinking problems too -- police say he had stopped at the convenience store to buy beer. An ice-cold six-pack was found in the front seat of the police cruiser.

A woman walked into a convenience store in Belfry, Kentucky, pulled out a 25 caliber handgun, and demanded all the money from the cash register. AS The terrified clerk begged the robber not to shoot her, the suspect tried to calm the clerk's fears by calling her by name and saying "I wouldn't hurt you -- I graduated with you." She escaped after relieving the clerk of $110. When State police arrived at the store and interviewed the clerk, they sent an officer across the street to the high school that the clerk -- and the thief -- had graduated from. The clerk was able to pick out the suspect's picture from the school's yearbook, and police were able to make a quick arrest.

A night clerk at a convenience store in Kansas City, Missouri put tape over the store's security cameras, removed the money from the cash register, and stashed it in a trash bin behind the store. The clerk then called police to report he had been robbed. The investigating officers didn't take long to figure out the clerk was lying: the tape he had used on the security cameras was transparent masking tape, which meant the whole scam had been recorded on video.

A 29-year old man in Inman, South Carolina was arrested for robbing a branch of CCS Bank recently. The nervous suspect had forgotten ask for a bag to put his loot into, so as the teller handed over the money, he began frantically stuffing it into his pants and socks. As the suspect fled, he was losing so much of the loot that residents along his escape route called police every few minutes to report on his progress. Within 40 minutes of the robbery, Inman police had the suspect in handcuffs.

Clumsy bandits in Maylasia robbed a jewelry store of $110 thousand dollars worth of gold and gems, but managed to lose it all just outside the store. The problem: they, too had failed to bring along a bag to stuff the loot into. The thieves were forced to carry their haul out of the store on a large open metal tray. Outside the store, one of the men dropped the tray in the street, and was immediately swarmed by a crowd of freelance loot-looters. One of the suspects even tried to disperse the crowd by firing a warning shot into the air, but by the time the melee had cleared, every single piece of the jewelry was gone, and police sirens were closing in. The bandits were forced to flee empty-handed.

A group of customers got a little hot under the collar at a Tallahassee, Florida chicken wings restaurant recently. After a dispute with the management turned into a loud argument, several customers jumped on the counter, yelled "get the employees," and began hurling beer bottles and other objects at the staff. One customer reportedly threw an electric fan that hit the restaurant's owner in the shoulder, prompting the owner to pull a revolver from his pants pocket and order the unruly crowd to get out of his store. "I was in total fear for my life," he said later. Talahassee police arrived to help restore order, though no charges were filed, and no one was arrested. the reason for the original argument? The restaurant had run out of celery sticks to go with their chicken wings, and was serving french fries as a substitute side dish.

Actor Brad Renfro -- best known for a co-starring role in the movie version of John Grisham's "The Client" -- will need a lawyer of his own after being arrested in Florida. The actor and a friend allegedly tried to steal a 45-foot yacht from its berth in a Ft. Lauderdale marina. The pair crept aboard the yacht under cover of darkness, got the engine started, and roared away -- realizing too late they had forgotten to untie the boat from the dock. The lines yanked the boat violently back into the dock, awakening several nearby boaters who detained the thrillseekers until police arrived.

A 41-year-old woman is suing the New York Police Department for wrongfully arresting her during a sting operation at Staten Island Mall. Officers say the woman walked away with a planted handbag containing $2 in cash. The woman's defense is that she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, and must go through a carefully-prepared "things to do" list in rigid order every day. She says she simply had a long list of other things on her list that day, and hadn't gotten around to returning the purse yet.

A branch of Centura Bank was robbed in Edenton, North Carolina by three armed gunmen. The trio first secured the scene by forcing the ten people inside the bank into the vault. it Sounded like a good idea at the time. One problem: with all the hostages crowded inside the vault, the thieves couldn't get to the money. No doubt beginning to sweat it out at this point, the thieves had to march the hostages back out of the vault and make them lie down on the bank floor. A customer at the drive-thru window noticed the commotion inside the bank and sped off to alert the cops. Believe it or not, the three men actually made a clean getaway, and are still at large.

The Channel 13 news van was stopped at a redlight on the streets of Bartow, Florida recently, when a group of loud malcontents pulled alongside and started yelling "Hey -- put us on TV!" An officer in an unmarked police cruiser happened to pull up behind the two vehicles, noticed the ruckus, and decided to run the license plate number of the second car. He quickly discovered the tag had been reported stolen. Quicker than you can say "I wanna be a TV star," the loudmouths were completely surrounded by cops. The driver was charged with possession of the stolen tag, and his passengers were arrested on a variety of outstanding warrants. One positive note -- they did get to be on Channel 13 News.

A Hartford, Connecticut man grabbed a $500 air compressor from a local hospital, threw it in his waIting car, and sped away. A short distance later, the crook ran a red light and smashed into another car, suffering lacerations and other minor injuries. The responding ambulance took the injured man back to the same hospital he had just ripped off -- just as police showed up to investigate the theft.


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