Crooks don’t come much dumber that 61-year-old Paul Neaverson.
He went into a branch of NatWest in Kent, waved a knife and demanded the cashier to put £500 into his bank account.
”That’s right. Neaverson. Shall I spell it for you?”
As robberies go, this was about as daft as you get. He had already unsuccessfully tried to extract the same amount of money from a nearby HSBC branch earlier.
When arrested, he told police he wanted the money to fly to Corfu for an interview as a golf coach. He was jailed for two years.
It’s amazing that criminals can be so stupid but very few are Moriarty masterminds of fiction. Most are pretty thick.
Like the chap in Cambridge who broke into a house, packed his loot in a pillow case, and decided to have a bottle of wine and a nap on the sofa. He was still asleep when the owner got home and called the police.
”After trying to rouse him we charged him with attempted burglary,” they said.
A bloke in Scarborough planned to keep his identity secret when he robbed a store by wearing a motorcycle helmet. He forgot, however, that his name was written across the front.
A Dutch burglar fell down a chimney and had to be rescued whilst escaping across a roof, and a German burglar drank a bottle of champagne after breaking into a house.
He stopped his car down the road to sleep it off, where police found him unconscious and with the swag on him. They also did him from drink driving.
Dumbness appears more endemic in America or maybe the percentage of stupidity is the same but they have more crimes.
One chap plugged his mobile phone into the mains to charge in a house he was robbing in Washington DC and left it behind when he fled.
Two men with guns held up a store in Michigan. One shouted: “No one move!” When his accomplice did, he shot him.
A man who hid stolen hunting knives down his trousers stabbed himself when he fell over whilst being pursued. And a San Francisco hairdresser accused of stealing a car was arrested a second time when he turned up for trial driving another stolen car.
There was a bank robber in Detroit who wrote his cash demand on the back of an envelope on which were his name and address; the robber who attempted to hold up a gun store with a baseball bat only for the owner to pull a gun on him until the cops arrived; and the hopeful and very silly young man who attempted to buy a vacuum cleaner, microwave and other items with a million dollar note. Instead of receiving $999,524 in change, he went to jail.
A classic case of being daft involves our own heavy metal hero Ozzy Osbourne, the Clown Prince of Darkness, who gained a new army of fans when he and his family featured in the reality TV programme The Osbournes.
Before he became a superstar, the lad from Birmingham went on a housebreaking spree. “My mate told me to wear gloves,” he later explained. “I didn’t understand, so I took fingerless ones like milkmen use.”
Needless to say he was caught and spent six weeks in detention.
Thank goodness for rock and roll.