Some Of The Dumbest Getaways In History

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Thieves are not usually renowned for their massive intellects, save for an elite few who will be the subject of a future post on my blog. Statistically about one third of bank robberies in the United States fail, with 15 percent of the robbers being arrested at the scene. Approximately fifty percent, or half, are solved within 30 days. 

But the perception remains in the minds of the would-be robbers that they’ll never be caught.  Had they any sense at all they would figure out that getting away from the scene of their crime is every bit as important, if not more so, that getting to it in the first place. After all, if they get caught what was the point of the whole thing anyway?

Sometimes getaways can go just as planned. Sometimes, as illustrated by that excellent Steve McQueen movie “The Getaway”, they require a little bit of flexibility and adjustment. And sometimes, when little thought and planning has been done they turn into disasters.

Today’s selection is about six would-be robbers whose plans were, let’s just say, not as well thought out as they could have been had anyone with a brain been involved.

Enjoy.

 

1. Unarmed Robbery

A severely intellectually challenged gang that masterminded a £175,000 robbery in England made one huge blunder.

They used a getaway driver with no arms.

After they raided a jeweler’s shop in Essex, the four gang members jumped in John Smith’s waiting car and took off as police gave chase.

Unfortunately things got complicated as eighteen year old Smith, who cannot dress himself and lives with his mother, had no arms below his elbows and, being Britain the land of the stick shift (why?), his gang members had to help change gears.

Remarkably they drove for 30 miles before crashing.

Smith was given a 12-month youth custody sentence, suspended for two years.

The unarmed getaway driver!
The unarmed getaway driver!

 

 

2. The Drug Mule

There are drug mules… and then there are drug mules.

A Romanian smuggler, Janos Jakab, took the term a bit too literally with this getaway vehicle.

He was caught while trying to outrun border police with a $500,000 load of cigarettes and tobacco on his horse and cart.

After police challenged him as he crossed Romania’s northern border with the Ukraine there was what was described as ‘a short chase’, as police easily overtook Jakab, arrested him and confiscated his cart.

A spokesman for the local border police said: ‘In general smugglers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their methods of getting contraband across borders.

‘But this case proved the exception to the rule.

‘We have a fleet of high-powered vehicles that can chase down the fastest cars,’ he added.

‘Outrunning our officers was never a possibility – even if he had a thoroughbred racehorse strapped to his cart.’

The drug mule - and cart
The drug mules – and cart

 

 

3. Panic In Houston

A Houston woman, identified only as Blanca, was cashing a check at the Chase bank in Uvalde, Texas, when armed bank robbers stormed in.

She was so frightened she ran out to the first car she saw and drove away.

She said the car was on, so she floored it, desperate to escape. She drove a few miles from the bank, pulled into a parking lot, fell out of the car and ran into a store, screaming for help.

But what she didn’t know was, she’d just stolen the robbers’ getaway car – which, police said, they had stolen from someone else.

“Then, they arrested me, and they said, ‘You’re the one that stole a stolen car.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it was their car,’” Blanca said.

The FBI cleared Blanca of car theft charges.

As for the robbers? They simply carjacked another vehicle and are still at large.

 

 

4. An Equal Opportunity Robbery

According to police in Palo Alto, CA, a bearded, grey-haired man in his sixties held up a branch of the Wachovia Bank with a handgun while in a wheelchair.

The man had bandages on his legs, and his right leg was held out straight during the robbery.

Having completed his heist, the man trundled off down the street.

Authorities are looking for a white Ford van that they suspect he may have been lifted into. Police also note that they’re not sure if the man was genuinely disabled, or if the wheelchair was part of a cunning disguise.

wheelchair man
wheelchair man

 

 

5. Naked Stupidity

A man in Osceola County, Florida, tried to rob a Lowe’s outlet.

Making his escape with his ill gotten gains he first, he tried to run across Pleasant Hill Road, but a white pickup truck was blocking his way. So he walked up to the driver and punched him in the face.

Deputies said Hodges then stole a golf cart from a nudist community near the Lowes store.

By that time, deputies were already at the scene to make the arrest.

 

 

6. Never Forget The First Law Of Bank Robbery

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia two stupid armed raiders could have escaped with more than $1million after hijacking a security van full of cash, if they hadn’t forgotten the first law of bank robbery, that is.

One of the dumb duo drove the hijacked van away while the other followed in a small car.

However when the time came to ditch the van and transfer the loot to their getaway car they discovered that they had to leave half the money behind – because their car was too small.

The van was later recovered with the remaining half of the money still inside.

“The bags are quite big. I consider them quite stupid. Their planning was very shortsighted,” Police Chief Shakaruddin Che Mood said.

getaway car - a bit too small
getaway car – a bit too small

 

7. Failure Down Under

In Brisbane, Australia, a robber wearing a skull mask and carrying a gun entered a bak in the Grand Plaza Shopping Center at Browns Plains.

Unfortunately rather than holding up the staff at the bank, the unfortunate robber was held up himself when he ran smack bang into a set of glass doors.

The sound of his collision with the automatic sliding doors alerted bank staff to his presence and they sounded the alarms.

The robber fled empty handed.

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And finally a short video courtesy of Monty Python

 

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13 thoughts on “Some Of The Dumbest Getaways In History

  1. Several years ago I read about a bank robber who scribbled a note on the back of a deposit slip that said this was a hold up. The problem; it was his deposit slip.
    Dang it! I hate when that happens.

  2. I love number 4 – what a great disguise! And I really do NOT want to know how the British guy steered without arms.
    All I can say about number two is, I finally understand why they refer to failed non-smokers as “falling off the wagon”… 😉

      • Now, if the dude hauling tobacco had been hauling heroin instead, it would have beautifully explained where the nickname “horse” comes from. 😉
        And talk about “reining” in smuggling! 😯

      • Or he could have made the horse push rather than pull, thus suggesting the police not bother with him because he had the cart before the horse.
        And did you know they had gas masks for horses in World War 1, but not for camels, even though the British cavalry used both in the Mid-East? That’s because Camels are always unfiltered…… (rimshot).

      • The really sad part is, the British really DID have horse gas masks. And dog ones, too. I think they tried them for carrier pigeons as well, but couldn’t afford the bill. (Sorry, I just HAD to throw that last one in. 😀 )

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