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This could be the title of a multi-million dollar government study (it probably has been done already), but it is not.  It is the alternative title to of this blog entry.  The other title is Dumb Criminals Gone Wild.MarcoPolo

You’ve probably read these stories before.  Crook breaks into a house.  Robs house.  Stops to check his Facebook status on the homeowner’s computer.  Doesn’t log-off.  Police track down the stupid thief.

Or the crook who wore the boots he stole to his own trial.   This link also includes the crook that shot himself at the scene of the crime and left a trail of blood for cops to follow to his home.  Or the man who took a check in lieu of cash and had the victim write it out to himself.  Or the crooks that tried to open a safe with welding equipment and accidentally sealed it tight instead of opening it.

The list goes on and on, but the places are Minnesota, Baltimore, Wichita, Kansas, Chichester, Sussex, and Petropolis, Brazil.

You never expect to find such stupidity in your own back yard.  Well, the stupid criminal mind proves that there is stupidity lurking everywhere.

Just down the road from me, in Loretto PA (home of the St. Francis Red Flash!) comes this police report gem:

According to state police at Ebensburg, the pair, believed to be two white men in their 60s, parked at the bank about 1 p.m. and got out of a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser . . .

Police said the bank workers saw the men were wearing “Halloween-style rubber masks” and gloves and locked the door before the two could enter the building.

Police said the men tried to enter the bank and failed, so they got back into the car and headed toward Cresson.

Police issued an alert for law enforcement to help identify the vehicle, and when a Saint Francis University police officer recognized the car, he followed it. When he was told to stop the vehicle and identify the driver and passenger, the officer turned on his lights and siren.

Police said the vehicle slowed down as if to pull over before taking off along Columbia Street toward Chest Springs, eluding police and throwing evidence out of the vehicle near Dutch Road.

Police said the team determined the items included a homemade pipe bomb, although it did not have an explosive charge.

Police said other evidence links the pair to a Sept. 18 bank robbery that occurred in Salisbury, Md.

In their 60’s????  What the . . .

When did bank robbing become an AARP member crime?  Aren’t bank robbers supposed to be young and energetic ne’er-do-wells?  Middle-aged entrepreneurs at least?  Don’t you think of Bonnie and Clyde?  Or at least Clyde?  Maybe a dashing Tom Cruise in his heyday.  I wonder if they soiled their depends when the cops chased them?

The bank employee locked the door.  Didn’t they wonder about that?  Couldn’t they look in the window and see all the staff?  Or did everyone hit the ground and pretend not to be at home?

BankClosed

“Hey, Moe!  The door’s locked!”

“What?  It’s only one.  They should still be open.  Try it again, Larry.”

“I’m telling you it’s locked.  Is it a holiday?”

“Um, no.  Halloween?”

“They don’t close on Halloween!  Maybe they went to lunch?”

“Do you hear someone laughing in there?”

“Let’s just get out of here and go to the Gallitzin branch like the sign says.”

I suppose they couldn’t just break into the bank, since their plan was obviously to have a teller hand them the money.  They probably didn’t have their safe cracking welding equipment with them to weld the bank vault shut!

And then with police chasing them–watching what they are doing–they throw evidence out of their car that links them to another bank robbery????

I guess they must not be too stupid, though, as I believe they did escape and are still at large, plotting to take over the world or knock off a convenience store near you.

The evidence of other crimes notwithstanding, it begs the issue:  Is it illegal to enter a bank with a Halloween mask on?  Even if it’s not Halloween?  I mean, if you don’t actually threaten with a gun or try to make an illegal withdrawal, is it against the law?  I know some women whose make-up is heavy enough to qualify as a mask?  Can they not enter?  Would I be arrested for wearing my Joe Paterno mask to collect my Penn State Bank Button???

Yahoo answers isn’t terribly helpful, with answers ranging from “only if you are a Muslim woman” to “it is illegal” to “it’s not illegal” but frowned upon in these establishments, to “charged with disorderly conduct” at the least.

So what have we learned from this?

It’s probably not wise to try and enter a bank wearing your Halloween costume.

There are stupid criminals everywhere.

And, if you see a PT Cruiser pull up at your house with geriatric trick-or-treaters inside, lock your doors and pretend you’re not at home!

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My day got off to a bad start when I checked my email this morning.  My credit card company had sent me a notification that a large purchase had been applied to my account.  Fortunately, I had instructed them to do so for purchases over $300.

Unfortunately, I did not recognize the company.  I called my wife, and likewise she had no idea what the charge could be.  But there it was:  $541.44.

So I went to the website that was associated with the charge.  They sold toys.  I have children, but my youngest is now 12.  I didn’t see anything on the site that would interest them.

So I called the 800-number and questioned the purchase.  Apparently, I wanted over $500 worth of . . . wait for it . . . legos and I had moved from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.  This little treasure trove of plastic building blocks had been ordered on-line and an email address with my name in it had been used.  It was not my email.  They had my home address, but the items were to be shipped to some place in Tennessee.

The lady on the phone was very nice and I think I caught the issue before the order was actually shipped, as she said they would stop the order.  I still had to call my credit card company and naturally they are going to close the account and issue me new cards. 

There was also a charge on the same day for Itunes for $1.00 and for Yahoo Mail for $19.00.  I do not use Yahooo mail, but my wife has a free yahoo address.  I did just make a couple of purchases from Itunes, and I thought it interesting that they requested my credit card number again–and didn’t download the song I requested.  I clicked to download it again, and the second time it worked without requesting my card number.  I’m pretty sure that is when the security breach occurred.  But how they infiltrated iTunes I do not know?

I am sure of it  now that I googled “iTunes credit card fraud.”  Among the top links was a messageboard with posters lamenting security issues with their iTunes account.  Another story described the $1.00 “test” charge like the one applied to my account. I actually purchased more than $1.00 worth of tunes and that purchase hasn’t been applied to my account yet.  Now it won’t thanks to this theft and the company closing that account number.

But there is a much more significant issue here.  What is wrong with criminals these days?  $541 worth of . . . LEGOS????  Seriously?  Did they buy the Death Star?  You go to all that trouble to steal someone’s credit info and you buy . . . plastic bricks?  I’m offended.  Isn’t my card good enough for an HDTV?  Or a 3-D TV?  Have I been scammed by a six year old???  Good God, if you’re going to risk going to jail, why not buy some jewelry.  Apparently our edumacational sistem has faled these yuths.

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