1. The Toilet Trader
When Greenwich-born England and Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson decided he needed a new loo seat, he wasn’t about to pay top dollar like some chump. What did he look like, somebody reportedly being paid £30,000 a week to kick a ball? So instead, in 2007, he headed to B&Q and placed a toilet seat in the box of one that was £2.35 cheaper. So simple, so stupid, so caught red-handed and given a £70 fine. A shitty idea indeed.
2. The Pants Pirate
Mobile phones are filled with all sorts of clever technological gizmos – worth bearing in mind if you plan on nicking a bunch. Londoner Ionut Guita found this out to his detriment when police used the tracking signal from one of the iPhones he had stolen to locate him in a McDonald’s. The cops simply called the phone and followed the sound to Guita’s trousers, which is where he had stuffed it, alongside 19 other stolen mobiles. That’s one kind of cock ring that will do the opposite of getting you off.
3. The Dough Doofuses
A gang of west London thieves, who stole 27 luxury vehicles in Kensington and Chelsea in 2012, decided to dine on their ill gotten gains between two slices of bread. They then posted selfies of themselves eating their money sarnies on Facebook and got caught in the process. An early indicator of how our current obsession with photographing food can go so very wrong.
4. The Nude Duke
Prison is full of scary blokes. Murderers, burglars, arsonists, you name it. So when you’re sat around chatting in the prison cafeteria, you probably don’t want to be the guy who has to answer the ‘What you in for, mate?’ question with ‘Prancing about in the nude on top of a duke’. But that’s what Ukrainian nudist Dan Motrescu had to admit to when he did 12 weeks for climbing a bronze statue of the Duke of Cambridge in Whitehall in the buff in 2011. The barefaced cheek of it!
5. The Tropical Trickster
London’s weather is enough to send anyone into a depression.What we all need is a relaxing swim in tropical waters. Maybe that’s what an unnamed man in Tolworth had in mind when he went for a drunken stroll across a pet shop’s roof this January and fell through it into a fish tank. He was caught wet-trousered a few hours afterwards and given a caution for criminal damage. No doubt this will be how ‘Finding Nemo 2’ starts.
6. The Parasol Pariah
The London riots brought out the best and worst in the city’s population, and also the stupidest. Few were stupider than the angry chap caught on YouTube showing police the full force of his aggression by lobbing a big pub umbrella at them. Yeah, guess which way he threw it. It’s like that bit in ‘Mary Poppins’ when she floats serenely down from the London sky. But stupid.
7. The Selfie Saboteur
Good criminals know how to hide evidence, but dumb ones help create it, often with the help of the dumb criminal’s worst enemy – the mobile phone. When cops arrested London drug dealer Peter Cavanagh, they only had to peruse his phone to find pics of him sniffing huge wedges of cash to figure out he was no stealthy-selfie.
8. The Dome Demons
This 2000 heist had all the ingredients of a brilliant Hollywood crime caper. Bust into a diamond exhibition at the Millennium Dome, nab £350 million worth of jewels and then hop into a speedboat on the Thames. Perfect, right? It would have been, had the Flying Squad not been surveilling the gang and filled the Dome with 200 police officers, catching them red-handed.
9. The Fifa Fantom
There’s not panicking, and then there’s serial shoplifter Paramkesh Ballgobin from Sutton, who, after becoming trapped in a youth centre during a failed burglary attempt, decided to just kick back and play Fifa on the club’s PlayStation. For four hours.
10. The Basmati Bandit
Finally, we get to bring together the idiots of the riots with the idiots who don’t realise that boasting about crime on social media leads to chokey. Or just social mockery. We loved the guy proudly holding up a jumbo bag of Tesco Value basmati rice. If anything sums up the British approach to rioting, it’s looting something you can afford. Our dreams may not be big, but we can achieve them.
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