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The 5 Worst Thieves To Be Caught On Camera

While many of us imagine most burglars to be highly intelligent, sophisticated criminals, that’s not always the case. Even organised criminals can have a bad day, and, just like the rest of us, they can sometimes be downright stupid too.

So if you’re recovering from a burglary on your premises, or just looking for some light relief, why not check out our list of entertaining criminal cock-ups?

1. That’s Not How It Works…

Ever written a letter using lemon juice as ‘invisible ink’? Well, presumably that’s what was going through the somewhat empty mind of this criminal.

In 1995, a middle-aged man burgled two banks in Pittsburgh in broad daylight. No mask, no disguise, nothing to hide his identity. He even smiled at the surveillance cameras as he left each of the buildings. Was he especially brave? Well, not exactly.

When the police arrested a shocked McArthur Wheeler, they showed him the surveillance tapes. His response? ‘But I wore the juice!’

That’s right, McArthur Wheeler genuinely believed that rubbing lemon juice on his skin would make him invisible. Stupid is as stupid does, as they say.

2. A Direct Hit

There’s nothing like a dose of instant Karma to make the world seem right.

In 2017, a 19-year-old armed robber in Chicago, USA, was captured on surveillance footage trying to rob a hot dog van at gunpoint. The young man pulled out a gun while demanding money from two of the staff, holding the weapon to the head of a 39-year-old male.

Unfortunately for the robber, later identified as Terrion Pouncy, one of the men had been holding a bucket full of grease. As they handed over the money and their wallets, the bucket of grease spilt, and the money went everywhere.

In his haste, Pouncy grabbed all the cash he could get his hands on, tucking the gun into the waistband of his jeans. When he ran, the gun fired, shooting him straight in the crotch. He then sought medical attention and was arrested at the hospital.

3. Shanghai Burglars

Some jobs are best left to the experts, as two amateur burglars found when attempting to break into a shop in Shanghai, China.

When trying to enter the building, they threw bricks at the glass shop front in an attempt to break through it. Unfortunately for them, the first brick bounced straight off the glass.

Apparently not learning from their mistake, the amateur burglars threw another brick. But this time, the brick bounced off the shop window and hit one of the burglars in the head, knocking him out cold.

As if the humiliation wasn’t bad enough, everything was caught on a CCTV system positioned outside the shop front. When commenting on the case, the local public security bureau stated that: ‘If all burglars were like this, we wouldn’t have to work overtime.’

4. The Melbourne Mess-Up

Embarrassingly dubbed 'Australia's Dumbest Criminal', this 19-year-old man was attempting to rob a bakery when he found himself locked inside a storeroom while attempting to leave the building using a skylight.

He piled up an assortment of objects, including several plastic buckets, to allow him to reach the skylight, and was captured on CCTV falling off it - not once, not twice, but five times in just 30 minutes.

He finally escaped the building with a large wound on his head and received not a penny of financial compensation for his injuries.

Since the attempted crime, the burglar has handed himself into the authorities and been charged with one count of burglary and one count of criminal damage.

5. Don’t Drink And Crime

We’ve all done some stupid things while drunk. But probably not as badly as this guy.

B&M bargains in North Shields, UK, was burgled when the main doors were forced open by a 48-year-old man. The individual, later identified as Steven Matthewson, stole £187 worth of vodka and immediately fled the scene.

Unfortunately for Matthewson, he was caught on CCTV. Not only that, but he also dropped his prison ID, leaving indisputable evidence for the police regarding his identity and location. He was arrested at his home in Chesters Court, Longbenton, a week later, and was sentenced to a curfew order between 7pm and 7am every day for two months.

His own solicitor described the crime as ‘almost having comedic value’. At least he brightened up somebody’s day at work!


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