The 1999 Criminal Darwin Awards
M. V. Boyd
A true story out of San Francisco: A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the branch and wrote “this iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag.” While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he was not the brightest light in the harbour, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. Looking somewhat defeated, the man said “OK” and left. The Wells Fargo teller then called the police who arrested the man a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America.
A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40. Several days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another picture… of handcuffs. The motorist promptly sent the money for the fine.
A woman was reporting her car as stolen, and mentioned that there was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone and told the guy that answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.
Drug Possession Defendant Christopher Jansen, on trial in March in Pontiac, Michigan, said he had been searched without a warrant. The prosecutor said the officer didn’t need a warrant because a “bulge” in Christopher’s jacket could have been a gun. Nonsense, said Christopher, who happened to be wearing the same jacket that day in court. He handed it over so the judge could see it. The judge discovered a packet of cocaine in the pocket and laughed so hard he required a five minute recess to compose himself.
Oklahoma City: Dennis Newton was on trial for the armed robbery of a convenience store in a district court when he fired his lawyer. Assistant district attorney Larry Jones said Newton,47, was doing a fair job of defending himself until the store manager testified that Newton was the robber. Newton jumped up, accused the woman of lying and then said, “I should of blown your (expletive) head off.”
The defendant paused, then quickly added, “if I’d been the one that was there.” The jury took 20 minutes to convict Newton and recommended a 30 year sentence.
Detroit: R.C. Gaitlan, 21 walked up to two patrol officers who were showing their squad car computer equipment to children in a Detroit neighborhood. When he asked how the system worked, the officer asked him for identification. Gaitlan gave them his drivers license, they entered it into the computer, and moments later they arrested Gaitlan because information on the screen showed Gaitlan was wanted for a two-year-old armed robbery in St. Louis, Missouri.
Colorado Springs: A guy walked into a little corner store with a shot gun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but he refused and said “Because I don’t believe you are over 21.” The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didn’t believe him. At this point the robber took his driver’s license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over, and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and he put the scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the license. They arrested the robber two hours later.
Another from Detroit: A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, “Nobody move!” When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.
Cigars and Insurance: A Charlotte, NC, man having purchased a case of very rare, very expensive cigars insured them against fire among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars and without having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated the cigars were lost “in a series of small fires.” The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The man sued…. and won. In delivering the ruling, the judge agreeing that the claim was frivolous, stated nevertheless that the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without defining what it considered to be “unacceptable fire”, and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in “the fires.” After the man cashed the check, however, the company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.
This article “The 1999 Criminal Darwin Awards” by M. V. Boyd was excerpted from: www.sermonillustrator.com website. April 1999. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”