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Burglary Suspect Leaves ID at Crime Scene

surveillance security cameraAs we often say at Home Security Store, there are very few burglars who truly qualify as professional. The dastardly criminal masterminds who tiptoe effortlessly through high-security environments and escape undetected with priceless pieces of artwork are far more common in popular heist films than in the actual public landscape. Most everyday burglars are in fact quite sloppy and unskillful, just looking for a quick score. Case in point: Travis Rice.

Not Quite Ocean’s 11

The Sun-Sentinel recently reported about two burglary suspects (and possibly more) who allegedly broke into a car dealership in Plantation, Florida and got away with files, license plates, car keys and 4 cars, worth an estimated $43,984. Not bad for one night’s work, but there’s just one problem: one of the suspects, 21-year-old Travis Rice, left his ID at the scene of the crime.

Excuse Me, Sir…You Forgot Something

According to the Sun-Sentinel Report, Rice unknowingly dropped his state identification card during the invasion, while retrieving a cell phone from his pocket to use as a flashlight. The entire botched job was caught on surveillance video, and the ID was handed over to the local police department. Rice had reportedly acquired the ID only three weeks earlier, at the recommendation of his probation officer.

But Wait…There’s More

A misplaced ID is enough to build a pretty solid case, but Rice didn’t stop there. He also reportedly posted pictures of his bounty on Facebook shortly after the burglary. The Sun-Sentinel notes that in one photo, Rice is seen crouching down and making hand gestures while dangling keys from his mouth. According to Det. Robert Rettig, the images show Rice wearing the same clothes as one of the suspects in the surveillance video.

home surveillance systemSecond Suspect Still on the Loose

Rice was ultimately arrested for his alleged crime and held without bond on charges of grand theft, burglary causing damages over $1,000, and probation violations. Police are still searching for the stolen cars, and Rice’s alleged collaborators are still on the loose, but the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is being urged to call Broward Crimestoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).

What Have We Learned?

As with any major news story, there is quite a bit that we can learn here.

1)      An accomplice may or may not keep his mouth shut in the interrogation room, but a wayward ID card will rat you out every single time.

2)      Facebook is a great tool for law enforcement, because criminals just love to incriminate themselves through social media. Usually, the police have the last LOL.

3)      If you’re going to heed your probation officer’s recommendation to obtain a photo ID, you should probably also heed your probation officer’s recommendation to stop committing crimes.

4)      If you’re going to rob a car dealership while surrounded by $15,000 worth of surveillance cameras, don’t forget to smile.

The Surveillance Connection

Even if Rice hadn’t left his ID at the scene, he would have likely been caught before too long. As previously mentioned, the dealership is monitored by a $15,000 surveillance system, and Rice is prominently seen in the footage. Surveillance cameras are the secret weapon of residential and commercial security, especially in this age of high-def video and DVR technology. If you’re considering a system for your own home or business, check out the selection of high-end security cameras at Home Security Store. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy quality surveillance, and even a basic system can vastly improve your safety and peace of mind. Sadly, most criminals won’t leave their driver’s license on your living room floor, so be proactive about your home security.


Florida Burglar Found Napping on Victim’s Couch

duane-immichAs the nightly news often reminds us, burglars aren’t notable for their exemplary intelligence. Case in point: Duane Immich. This would-be car burglar was found napping on the living room couch of the very home he was trying to rob in Mount Dora, Florida. Apparently, robbing houses is very exhausting work, but fortunately Mr. Immich will have plenty of time to catch up on his shuteye from within his cell at the Lake County Jail.

An Unpleasant Awakening

According to a report from WFTV, Florida homeowner Judith Smolinski awoke one morning to find the 26-year-old snoozer. Not only was he sound asleep on her sofa, but he had even helped himself to a beer from the fridge. “I was in my kitchen going to make coffee and I heard snoring,” Smolinski told reporters. “I walked in the living room and there was a strange man on my couch curled up, covered up with my blanket.” Smolinski also noted that the burglar was holding one of her kitchen knives when she found him.

A Burglar with a Past

As you can probably guess, the terrified home invasion victim called the police. The authorities immediately responded, and Immich was then taken into custody and held without bond. According to investigators, Immich had broken into the house after a long burglary spree, and was in possession of evidence that linked him to three other burglaries and a car break-in. Furthermore, it turns out that Immich has a lengthy arrest record that includes grand theft, drug possession and aggravated assault.

The Takeaway

Sure, the headline is rather amusing, and the story makes for some great late-night talk show fodder, but there is a chilling underlying element. This criminal had entered Ms. Smolinski’s home in the middle of the night and remained there completely undetected. Burglars (well…skilled burglars, anyway) excel at slipping in quietly. You can forget about the dramatic Hollywood depictions of aggressive home invaders who enter with crowbars and ski masks, because real intruders almost never smash glass or break down doors. They just don’t want the confrontation. If a professional makes his way into your home, you probably won’t even know about it until it’s too late.

Protect Yourself

1424795_74178082Once you understand the craftiness of these ne’er-do-wells, the next step is to take action to avoid becoming a victim. If you don’t have a quality home security system, consider investing in one. With so many options available, great security is more affordable than ever, but even if you can’t afford a full-fledged alarm system, you can still improve your home security. For instance, Home Security Store sells dog bark alarms that accurately mimic the growls and howls of real-life watchdogs.

One Final Thought

Even a simple yard sign can prove highly effective for deterring burglars, but if you decide not to secure your home, please remember to leave a warm blanket on the couch and some cold beer in the fridge. After all, you don’t want to be impolite to your late-night guests.


Singing Fish Prevents Burglary in Minnesota

Burglary DeterrentsThe headline pretty much says it all, folks. A Big Mouth Billy Bass has reportedly stopped an attempted burglary in its tracks, at a store in Rochester, Minnesota. According to a report from the local NBC affiliate, shop owner Tom Allen arrived at work one morning to find that the door was open. At first, he thought that perhaps an employee had entered before him, but then he noticed the novelty singing fish on the floor.

Shop Owner Notices Fishy Activity

“When I saw Billy Bass on the floor, I knew something was really up,” Allen told reporters. “And when I tried to close the door and it wouldn’t close at all, I just knew that Billy Bass had done his job, and let somebody know that it wasn’t just empty or something.” Allen believes that Billy’s heavenly vibrato served to frighten the would-be burglars away, and he’s probably right.

The Phenomenon that is Billy                             

For those unaware, Big Mouth Billy Bass is a popular animatronic fish, which pivots its head back and forth and sings fun, classic songs like Don’t Worry Be Happy. Billy is mounted to a plaque like a real game fish, and is activated by buttons as well as motion detection sensors. Unless you’ve been living in a cave since 1998, you have most likely seen Billy in action at one time or another. And while he may be popular as a novelty gift, you probably never realized that he could be used to stop burglaries.

Billy’s Lesson for Us All

Burglary deterrents come in all shapes and sizes, and while we can certain enjoy a few laughs over this unusual tale of a heroic toy fish, there is a more serious underlying takeaway to consider. As stories like this remind us, burglars are easily startled. They don’t like to get caught, and they don’t like to put themselves in situations that can draw attention to their presence. That’s why even the most seemingly innocuous deterrents can go a long way in warding off intruders. Bright lights and loud noises are like kryptonite to a tiptoeing crook.

Don’t Let Your Home Security Flounder

At Home Security Store, we haven’t quite tackled the singing fish market, but we do have a number of extremely effective burglary deterrents, including motion-activated dog bark alarms, fake TV lights, dummy cameras and solar-powered lights. Securing your home or business can be extremely simple and affordable, and the little touches can make a big difference.

Give the Fish His Due

So if you’re ever in Rochester, Minnesota, stop in Hooked on Fishing and thank Billy the Brave Bass for saving the day. Billy probably won’t understand a word you’re saying, but he just might serenade you with a spirited rendition of Blue Suede Shoes.


Police Use GPS to Locate Burglar after Home Invasion

GPSAs it turns out, GPS is good for much more than just getting lost on the freeway. One Arizona man recently learned this the hard way, and will have plenty of time to think about it from behind bars. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 37-year-old James Yunis of Chino Valley was busted after burglarizing a home in Phoenix, which in itself is nothing out of the ordinary. The suspect got away with some undisclosed jewelry and electronics, but the police were able to track him down because one of the stolen goods was fitted with a GPS tracking device.

GPS Works

At Home Security Store, we’re constantly saying how GPS tracking technologies can be used to secure valuables, and that’s why we’re proud to carry popular GPS devices like the Tracking Key Pro Micro GPS Tracking System and the Tracking Key Micro GPS Tracking System. But news stories like the one out of Arizona remind us that such precautions aren’t merely hypothetical. Everyday people are really benefiting from these technologies.

A Burglar Learns a Harsh Lesson

According to the article, the victim of the robbery contacted police after tracking his stolen goods with his GPS system. Officials then paid a visit to the home of the alleged burglar, and found the stolen goods under his bed. The home reportedly belongs to Yunis’s father, who allowed police to enter and search the premises. The suspect was taken into custody, and the victim’s items were returned. If only every home invasion story could have this kind of happy ending.

Using GPS to Your Advantage

There are some important lessons to take away from this story. First, if you’re 37 years old and still living with your parents, a police raid is the least of your worries. Second, GPS is an excellent way to secure your valuables. Today’s GPS devices are remarkably accurate, and they’re small enough to fit just about anywhere. You can discreetly place them inside backpacks, laptop cases, jewelry boxes, and even your car. In fact, even most experienced car thieves won’t even think to look for a miniature GPS device hidden on the vehicle, so in that regard, it can be even more effective than LoJack (which professional thieves immediately disengage).

Give Yourself the GPS Advantage

Just like that savvy homeowner in Arizona, you can give yourself the GPS advantage easily and inexpensively. Home Security Store carries a wide variety of high-tech GPS solutions at affordable prices, and some of these sophisticated systems are even capable of tracking and recording the routes taken – such as in a vehicle. We’re living in the era of James Bond technology, but if you’re still living like Fred Flintstone, it may be time to bring your personal security into the 21st century.


Victims Use Built-In GPS on iPhone to Find Burglar

At 23 years old, you should have a firm understanding on today’s technology. iPhones aren’t anything new. GPS went main-stream more than 6 years ago and there is no place in the world that you can hide from Siri or the On-Star lady, unless you turn your ‘Location Services’ setting off and even then- somebody somewhere (*cough* US Government *cough*)is always tracking a smart phone’s whereabouts.

I’m not an expert on iPhones or Droids, but even I could tell you these simple facts. Either oblivious, delirious or plain stupid, 23 year old Timothy Patrick from Arcadian Park, South Carolina somehow managed to let this very common, very public knowledge slip his mind the night of Friday, September 21st in Charleston, SC (according to WTOC-TV 11, Southeastern Georgia).

Charleston PD Information Officer Charles Francis said Patrick had broken in to a downtown apartment and stolen several items, including 2 iPhones. The victims woke up about 7am the next morning and tracked the phones to two downtown cross streets. There they found Patrick carrying one of their book bags that was also stolen during the burglary. They notified the police and Patrick was taken in to custody and charged with first-degree burglary as well as possession of marijuana and another controlled substance.

Without a doubt- he is our dumb criminal of the week. I don’t know the Charleston area well, but let’s put some pieces of this story together to try to understand the nature of this criminal and how we prevent similar morons in the future from intruding on our lives.

First unintelligent choice: Patrick didn’t power down the iPhones. It’s the only way to get an iPhone off the grid. It’s almost as if he was waiting for a call…

Second unintelligent choice: Downtown areas are always populated. First he steals from a downtown apartment, and then he takes a Saturday morning stroll around… downtown? I guess we’re passed the era of getaway cars and hide-outs?

Third unintelligent choice: Wearing around a stolen book bag. I mean- come on man. Why don’t you just paint a target on yourself? And while you’re at it, use one of the stolen iPhones, post a picture of you and your righteous new bag on Facebook, ‘check-in’ with your cross streets and make sure the Charleston Police Department is ‘following’ you. Heck, you might even get a ‘Like’ on your pic, bro.

What can we learn from Patrick, who- might I add- was already on probation for another burglary? I can assure you that not all criminals are this dumb. Some are- and for these slow thinking prowlers, a simple door-window sensor or trip wire system near the front and back doors of your home or business will probably be enough to at least scare them away.

For the burglars who find weak points on your property- we always recommend a camera system. With a home surveillance system, you now have visual proof of what your criminal looks like. If they escape their attempted burglary unscathed, their picture will now be on public display because of your cameras- and for the innocence they steal from you, they’ll lose their own in public. Just in case they put a little more tact into their iPhone-napping than Good Ole’ Tim.

Ralph Winn

 

 

See the article on wtoc.com here.


Aaron Hernandez and GPS Devices

American football player Aaron Hernandez was recently arrested on suspicion of murder. Since his arrest, details of this crime have been public news. Without rehashing the entire story here, I do want to explore one aspect, which caught my eye and even stirred a bit of public debate over tracking technology and its place in our daily lives.

Tracking Technology Provides Evidence Against Aaron Hernandez Of the NFL

Hernandez is accused of murdering an acquaintance by the name of Odin Lloyd who was a semi-professional football player for a Boston team. Through records recovered since his death, it’s been discovered that Odin actually sent a text message to his sister to verify that she was aware that he’d left a location with Hernandez who picked him up in a car just after 2:30a. The message, itself, seemed to suggest that the victim sensed danger on the horizon with Hernandez.

In addition to the text message, GPS tracking on Hernandez’s phone places him in the vicinity of where the victim’s body was discovered at the same time that investigators believe he was killed. GPS data from the phone does not make this an open and shut case, but officials did believe the evidence to be enough to add to the suspicion of Hernandez’s involvement in the victim’s death. Since the suspected timeline of events, more information has been released to the public and a number of conversations on social media sites have revolved around the possibilities of GPS technology present in most late generation mobile devices.

What Is GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Originally developed by the U.S. Military for tracking operations, GPS has been available for consumer use for just over a decade. With 28 space satellites currently in orbit, the system can pinpoint the exact location of a person or an object in possession of a receiver that communicates with these strategically placed satellites.

Why Would Anyone Need a Separate GPS Device?

In addition to GPS receivers being installed in cars or purchased as peripheral devices to assist drivers with navigation, this technology is also common in mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. This leads some to question why they would need to purchase an additional device to be used for tracking and personal security. Well, the answer to that is simple, GPS devices created specifically for security can be more effective primarily because of how they are used.

For example, someone using a SecuraTrac SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device for personal security is likely to place the receiver somewhere where it will not be easily detected by a criminal or lost. Doing so, of course, takes into consideration the possibility of abduction or being involved in an event where a cellphone might be lost, stolen or damaged. A SecuraTrac SecuraPAL device is much smaller and may be safely concealed in a pocket or backpack…or even worn on the wrist, and may go undetected by a criminal long enough for a victim to be located. And don’t let the word ‘child’ fool you; this tracking device provides protection to adults and pets, too.

Personal GPS devices also have other safety features, such as:

  • The ability to pinpoint a location on demand
  • A faster response time in terms of communicating a location via text message or email (no need to go through a mobile carrier in order to have access to such highly time-sensitive and important data)
  • Devices like SecuraTrac can even offer directions to a location, which is particularly helpful if someone wearing the receiver is in an unfamiliar area or country
  • A panic button to can be depressed at any time a person wearing the device senses that they are in danger (a message detailing their location is then immediately sent by text and by email)

So, while cars and cellphones may be equipped with GPS technology, devices created specifically for personal security are best recommended for those interested in such. More information and a variety of GPS tracking devices can be found on our main page under Child Safety as well as under GPS & Tracking.

Aren’t These Devices Too Intrusive?

A common concern about GPS tracking often relates to privacy concerns. When information about GPS and its use in the Hernandez arrest first broke, several members of Twitter shared that they prefer to keep the GPS on their phones turned off in order to prevent their movements from being traced on a daily basis. Journalist Roland S. Martin, however, offered a different take. Not only does he purposely leave his GPS devices on at all times, but he shared on his Twitter feed that he even goes a step further by using plastic to pay for his purchases at all times just to provide another trail of evidence should his steps ever need to be retraced. According to him, in his line of work, one can never be too cautious.

Join the Conversation

How do you feel about GPS tracking, in general? Has this technology ever been useful to you? Do you have concerns about tracking devices, in general?


Property Lines and Neighbor Disputes – One Creative Solution

4 million years ago, there were no property lines. There was no distinction of where this Caveman’s territory began and where others’ ended. Sure we used lake banks and tree lines as indicators, but if any neighboring facial-haired savages dared step foot anywhere this side of Lake Halomalopalo (named after my wife), we would spar- and I didn’t lose a sparring match. Ever.

Not much has changed in humans over the last 4 million years. We’ve become cleaner and a little more sophisticated, but we still fight for land, for law, for love. One thing that has done a complete 180 is property line disputes.

A few months ago, I had a property line dispute with my neighbor. He wanted to pour concrete between his side yard and house for a walk way, but needed a certain amount of distance from his house to meet city code. Because we were part of the curve of our cul-de-sac, our homes sit in an odd position and I made it clear I didn’t want part of his new side walk way taking up my lawn space. Ignoring my wishes, he chose to pour on my property line anyway. Was it the end of the world? No. But I must say- it’s pretty slimy to go against your neighbor’s wishes and he made sure the concrete truck showed up while I was at work.

I could’ve lost my cool. I could’ve called the cops. I could’ve done a lot of things to get in his face and make my point. Instead, I got creative. Because of the strange caddy-corner positioning of our house, I always figured the property line was skewed and our fences were built despite it. After doing some research, my theory was proved true. The fence in his backyard stuck in to my backyard 7 more feet than it should have. 7 feet! And wouldn’t you like to know what I did with this in my back pocket.

One of the top selling perimeter protectors in the home security industry is the BBA-2500 Dakota Alert Solar Powered Wireless Break Beam System. Basically, you set the two transmitters up evenly on posts up to 300 feet apart from each other. Then, they shoot out an invisible and infrared beam of light. When the beam is broken, a signal is sent to the receiver inside your home and the receiver begins to chime. Guess what I did with mine.

I went in to my neighbor’s backyard one day while he was at work and installed the transmitters right on my property line. When dark begins to fall, the BBA-2500 is near impossible to see. At dusk every day, my neighbor would come in to his backyard and water his garden, which, unfortunately for him- was actually on my property according to the city planning schematics. Then, I rigged up a huge speaker and microphone next to the BBA-2500’s receiver- cranking up the speaker volume and pointing it directly at his home.

The first night he triggered it was HILARIOUS. He takes his hose towards his garden, begins to water his roses and “WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” The alarm goes off. This dude was scared brainless. He fell on his back, yelped like a Chihauhau and judging by his very slow bodily movement afterwards- he might’ve had a mild heart attack. Then there was the puppy dog experimentation phase. He’d cross the beam line, get startled, do it again- over and over. He just could not figure it out.

After being in fear of watering his own garden for 2 days, he finally knocks on my door. I open it and get an ear full of this: “I know you’re setting off some kind of alarm when I go to garden and it needs to stop!”

I’m not setting off some kind of alarm” I reply in a sly tone. He goes to speak again and I hand him the manual for the BBA-2500. He reads through it quickly and looks back at me. “YOU INSTALLED SECURITY IN MY BACKYAR—“ I hand him a copy of the property line schematics. His face drops. It’s perfect.

I’m not the rub-it-in-your-face type, so I kindly explain that I’ll take down the BBA-2500 and use it for more meaningful perimeter protection in my backyard and that I’m not angry about the concrete, but now Chihauhau Man knows that he needs to obey my wishes next time. Cause next time, I won’t use a Wireless Break Beam System. Next time, we’ll spar. And this Caveman doesn’t lose in a sparring match.


Dumb Criminals Vs Smart Homeowners

Let’s face it, dumb criminals abound. They always have and they probably always will. Fortunately, DIY home security users are able to avoid run-ins with these losers pretty easily. This is good news since, even though they usually don’t make off with much, an encounter with a dumb criminal can be costly in terms of causing damage to your property, as well as costing you time and aggravation.

The following are real-life tales involving a few of the dumbest criminals to make recent headlines, as well as our suggestions for avoiding similar criminals in the future:

A Pizza Craving For the Record Books

A thief was recently captured in Washington State while trying to buy pizza with the rare coins he stole from an employer’s garage. Dakoda Gerren and his girlfriend were hired to work around a woman’s house before finding her rare coin collection in the garage and making off with a little spare, and very valuable, change. Authorities also discovered that the pair had used the coins to pay for a movie at a local theater, as well.

As dumb as this guy was, the entire theft could have been avoided. First, the homeowner should never have stored something so valuable in a garage where others could easily find it. Items like this should be stored in a safe or at a secure off-site location. Further, she should not have allowed workers to wander around her home unsupervised.

A Litigious Lowdown Loser

In Alabama a man walked into a police department to report damage to his vehicle. Not an unusual thing to do, right? Well, the problem is that his car was damaged as he’d used it in a burglary gone wrong.

Jerry Washington tried to rob the home of Joey Buchanan, but his plan went terribly awry when Mr. Buchanan’s dad noticed Washington’s car parked outside. Instructing his son to note the vehicle’s identification number, the older man found Washington hiding in the bushes. Realizing he was busted, Washington made a run for his car, threw it in reverse and pinned the younger Mr. Buchanan between his car and another.

Later, when trying to file a report about the damage that his car sustained, he was arrested on the spot. Now, instead of facing mere robbery charges, he is also facing an attempted murder charge. Genius, right?

Luckily, Mr. Buchanan only suffered a few fractures and will be okay, but this situation could have been avoided altogether. Mind you, we’re not blaming the victim here. Rather we are suggesting a few precautions that can be taken to make sure that no one else is victimized by a dumb criminal.

For starters, never search for or go after a thief yourself. In this case, Mr. Buchanan was struck by a car, but he could have just as easily been struck by a bullet, a knife or a blunt object to the skull. Whether dealing with a dumb criminal or a genius mastermind, it is best to let police locate a thief. We advocate do-it-yourself security, not do-it-yourself pursuits.

Also, yard signs, window decals and video surveillance cameras may have served good purpose here. Washington may have bypassed Buchanan’s home had he felt it was too secure for him to enter. Clearly, he’s a bit dim-witted and probably wouldn’t have wanted to spend time trying to disable an alarm system. Even fake yard signs may have helped to deter him. Video surveillance cameras would have sent a strong signal to this would-be thief, too. Even if he had been bold enough to attempt a burglary in the sight of a camera, surveillance video would have helped identify where he was hiding, and may have captured a description of him and the make and model of his vehicle. Certainly the latter would have been better than trying to get a close up view of this info, which led to Mr. Buchanan being in a position where Washington could run him over.

The Sleepy Slimeball

In Oregon, a burglar fell asleep on the job. Literally. After entering a home via an unlocked door, rumbling through the house while searching for items to steal (and leaving a mess for the homeowner to clean up), Cristian Villarreal-Castillo decided he’d worked hard enough and that it was time for a nap. After being discovered by the home’s owner, the police politely nudged him awake and now he’ll get all of the rest he needs on the state-sponsored vacation he just earned.

This could have been avoided, of course, if Villarreal-Castillo had learned the importance of a good night’s sleep or if the homeowner had simply locked all of the doors and windows. Police also discovered items that they believe Villarreal-Castillo had stolen elsewhere, which also could have been avoided by homeowners installing an alarm system, as well as surveillance cameras.

Smart Homeowners

The best way to beat a dumb criminal is by endeavoring to become a smart homeowner. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on our homes and all of the things that we fill them with, so why don’t we spend a few hundred dollars protecting our homes and the people who live in them?

Your Stories

Have any dumb criminal stories to share? We love a good laugh as much as we look forward to learn a thing or two about how to avoid these guys. Please do us all a favor and leave your best dumb criminal stories in the comments section below.


Catching Dumb Criminals

Those who spend their lives –or at least, part of them– planning and perpetrating crimes are often thought of as being particularly skilled and crafty. Indeed, many career criminals have invested a great deal of time and thought into their work, and are likely to present a major challenge even when strong security measures are put into place. Yet this doesn’t mean that all criminals are necessarily smart; in fact, a large number of so-called dumb criminals are apprehended each year by law enforcement officials and everyday citizens alike. While assuming that criminals are dumb may be a dangerous and ultimately expensive practice, giving criminals a bit of rope with which to hang themselves can’t hurt. By taking a look at some of the cases involving dumb criminals that have made their way into legend, it’s possible to gain a good sense of how the dumb criminal mind works –and how it can easily and safely be thwarted. Though some of these stories may seem too silly to be true, they’ve been very real for the people who successfully outsmarted the thieves, as well as for the thieves themselves.

Sometimes, acting as though an ongoing crime doesn’t make circumstances special can go a long way towards reigning in a dumb criminal. Throughout daily life, there are many typical processes and steps people take to identify themselves, and while a criminal may not wish to do so for obvious reasons, they may be led to give themselves up anyway if those involved treat the criminal like they would any other person. Case in point: when a shop owner in Colorado was confronted by a thief demanding various items, he began picking up the products and gathering them near his register, as he would for any other client. When the robber added a quantity of alcohol to his list, the shop owner said that he’d need to see the man’s driver’s license, seeing as he didn’t look like he was of drinking age. While the robber protested that he was indeed over the age of twenty one, the shop owner persisted, and eventually the robber produced his license, displaying his full name and address. The shop owner continued to behave exactly as he would in normal circumstances, handing over the alcohol to the robber. Though the man left with his stolen goods, police were easily able to track down and arrest the man with the information they received from the shop owner.

Dumb criminals can often be tricked by those who are willing to act as though nothing out of the ordinary is occurring, and sometimes this tactic can be taken a step up by creating a sort of ideal world for the criminal, leading them to play into the hands of law enforcement. While stealing a car may have a number of immediate benefits for a criminal, the incentive to keep a stolen vehicle can quickly wear off, and thieves may be eager to sell off their stolen prize quickly in order to cash in without getting caught. Keeping this in mind, police officers attempted to create an ideal fantasy for a car thief when a woman reported her vehicle as stolen and noted that a car phone was inside. The police called the car phone pose as a party that had seen “the car for sale ad” in the recent classifieds, entirely making up the idea that the car had already been placed on the market and that people were interested in purchasing it. The thief, seemingly overjoyed at the prospect, agreed to meet the officers to sell the car –and was apprehended on the spot.

Though surveillance is so common today that many people take it for granted that they’ll be on camera when around sensitive equipment such as ATM machines or in potentially dangerous environments such as bank lobbies, dumb criminals aren’t always so aware of the fact that they’re being recorded. Criminals sometimes perpetrate crimes without any attempt to disguise themselves, allowing cameras to fully record their appearance as well as the criminal act itself. In fact, sometimes less than clever criminals entirely fail to understand how surveillance systems work, which was evident when a man robbed a store and attempted to steal the store’s video surveillance camera at the same time, taking it with him as he left the store and returned to his hideout. The camera, which operated wirelessly, was monitored remotely by a security team, which was able to easily track the thief down and recover all of the stolen goods.

Though these ideas may not be successful in every situation, they may be adapted and tried as a basic layer of defense when criminals show that they might be a bit slow.


Dumb California Criminal Breaks into Home Minutes after Leaving Jail

He didn’t stay free for long!  In Northern California, a 30-year-old Yuba County man was released from jail minutes before breaking into a home, reports the Ukiah Daily Journal.

According to local police, witnesses working near the home reported seeing a man crawl into the home through a window.

Seeing the suspect running behind nearby county buildings and believing he may have just been released from jail, the witnesses said they followed the suspect and saw him enter the home.

When officers arrived, they reportedly found Enrique Velazquez inside.  Velazquez had ransacked the inside of the home and pushed large items such as a dresser and refrigerator in front of the building’s doors in an attempt to barricade himself inside, reports the Associated Press.

After further investigation, police learned that Velazquez had been released from county jail just ten minutes before the break-in.  He was initially brought in on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance after telling an officer he was “high on crystal meth”.


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