Police officers routinely put their lives on the line to put bad people behind bars. Of course, it's the dumbest criminals who get caught the quickest. Especially when they are actually, unbelievably, undeniably dumb and did really, really dumb stuff. Those are the heroes, the ones who make the tough job of being a cop just that much easier. Here's 16 stories from police officers on Reddit, of the dumbest perps they ever caught.


1. When dealing with police, such as notenoughream, don't offer up any information, such as, say, admission of previous crimes.

Kid gets arrested for shoplifting and the first thing he says to the cop is "I didn't steal that fucking car this morning." The cops originally had zero reason to suspect this kid stole and crashed a car, until he said that. Went from misdemeanor to felony in about 2 minutes.

2. Chimaera1075 says the signs are everywhere, if you'd just look up and notice.

A call comes into dispatch one day from a chain store reporting that a shoplifting just occurred. They described the suspect as a white male wearing a red beanie and bright yellow puffy jacket. And the suspect was last seen escaping from store security and running down the street.

I'm sitting inside the station talking to our front desk person. She looks out and sees a guy hiding behind our large sign that says Whoville Police on it to indicate that it's a police station for the city.

And yes, it was the guy that did the shoplifting. I haven't heard the call come out yet, so the from desk person and I just watch him scratching our heads.

Then I hear the call and realize what happened. I go outside and arrested the guy. I asked why he was so dumb to commit a crime and then hide behind our sign. He looks at the sign and then his jaw dropped. Didn't say a word after that and just hung his head in silence until we booked him onto jail.


3. BeachCop will find you, criminal!

Have had an inordinate number of people try to hide behind chain link fences.


4. This was the easiest case Viking042900 ever solved, snow kidding.

We've had several over the years who have broken into a house or car and then left on foot following a snow storm. No need for a K9 to track them down.


5. Patnet says to leave your ID at home when you're doing the crimes.

Group of friends mug a couple of tourists. One of the muggers is for some reason carrying his own passport, which he drops as they run off.

6. Patnet also says to not return to the scene of the crime to commit the same crime.

Guy goes into a small supermarket and steals a bottle of wine. Because he looked dodgy, their security guard is watching him the whole time on CCTV but his view is blocked at the moment the bottle is concealed so he decides not to risk intervening just in case he is mistaken (shop policy).

30 mins later the same guy comes back to the same shop, visibly drunk. He heads straight back to the wine shelf and takes another bottle, clumsily concealing it in full view of the security guard (who has recognised him and is watching him like a hawk). He then runs out of the shop, pursued by the security guard.


7. Caballistics says that the police know where you live, particularly if you commit the crime at your own house.

Guy hires a tradesman to cone do some work on his house. Tradesman arrives, goes inside starts work. Guy comes out of the house a short time later, steals tradesman's van off his own drive. leaving a very irate builder inside is house, with his pregnant girlfriend.

Needless to say this one was not a difficult collar.


8. Officer meh_ok says that police know how to get a hold of you, particularly if you leave your phone behind.

I had a guy go into a cell phone store to buy a new phone. When the clerk got out the new one he wanted to buy, the guy grabbed it and took off running.

...leaving his old phone the store where he already had an account.

He's a well-known dumbass.

9. A cold case from Earnur123.

Guy tried to steal a frozen chicken by putting it under his hat, cooled his head too much and he had a blackout before he could leave the store.


10. SouthShwa has noticed that criminals often follow a pattern.

I arrested a guy driving a stolen car. He was heading to court for his trial for stealing a car.

11. Come on, Durbydog, it was only a beer!

I had a guy pull over to me in Uniform and ask for directions with an open beer between his legs. I arrested 1 man for drunk driving. After processing him his ride home showed up and was even drunker then him. It's nice when they come right to you.


12. Advice to criminals from Ride_To_Die, who recommends having a getaway car that actually gets away.

We responded to a bank robbery in progress. Caller surprisingly gives us a good description of both the suspect and the vehicle he got in. Luckily I was only a couple blocks away. I pull on scene and holy shit, matching car is still right out front. I pull in draw down on the suspect, back up gets there and we get him into custody no issues. After speaking with the suspect, he was still sitting there because his car wouldn't start and he was sitting there cranking the key trying to get it to start.


13. It's in the experience of TheGreyWatcher that nothing will trip up a criminal quite like his own pants.

Heard on the radio one day that this guy shoplifted from the open air market we have downtown. Bike immediately responds and starts chasing this guy down. As he's going, he's narrating what's happening as he pedals along. This shoplifter decided it'd be a great idea to lose the cops by stripping off his own clothes as he runs. Eventually he was wearing only his underwear and then started grabbing other shirts and such to put on as he runs. He eventually ate shit when he tried to put on more pants while he ran and was then arrested.


14. So many dumb actions in this story from Requirement6 that the criminal should be locked up for his own safety.

Took a vehicle burglary report one afternoon. Suspect left his wallet, including his driver's license, in the front seat if the vehicle he just burglarized.

Not a huge deal - if he thinks ahead he can claim that his wallet was stolen and that suspect must have left it behind in the victim's vehicle.

Fast forward two hours and I get a call at a local business that their video cameras were stolen. So I check the footage (because brainiac doesn't realize that it isn't stored in the camera) and I find the perfect picture of the guy's face taking the camera. It was a perfect match to the drivers license I just recovered from the vehicle burglary...


15. For paperplateface, the tattoos hold the clues.

Got called to a shoplifter who had been detained by security.

I go In and talk to the security and they tell me suspect had given his name as 'dave' I walk in and see the suspect, who I recognise as 'alfie' because I've arrested him numerous times

I say hi alfie. He replies "I'm Steve" I pull up his jumper sleeve and ask why he has alfie tattooed on his arm then..... Oh yeah....alright officer...

I don't actually know why he had his own name tattooed on his arm but it helped me.


16. The criminal in this story from thetapiryourodeinon showed true loyalty, to both his favorite casino and his own dumbassery.

We were investigating someone who was using super-high quality counterfeit $100 bills from North Korea. The bills are so good they can actually fool a slot machine. This guy would go into a casino, put in a couple of hundreds, play maybe $10-worth, cash out, and then move to another machine. After twenty minutes, he'd have hit 10 machines and have maybe $2000 in tickets, which he could exchange at the cage for (clean, non-counterfeit) cash. The funny thing was, in each machine, he used his own frequent gambler number--registered to his real name and address. We just looked at all the frequent gambler numbers in all the machines that had fake bills in them, and narrowed down to the one number that was common to all those machines, and went to his house and caught him. Solved a big crime in about 3 hours. But fuck, at least he probably got a free steak or two with all those frequent gambler points, to go with his 15 years in prison. SUCKA