Typically, the point of being a thief is to get in, grab your loot, and get out, without being seen. Avoid wearing flashy clothing. Do not attempt to test out your "sick moves" in the act. Just keep your eyes on the prize.
Well, some wannabe thieves must have put more thought into the prize and not enough into their plan. In turn, their prize ended up being featured the stars of the following stories. Taken from Reddit and edited for clarity, these are some of the funniest robbery methods would-be thieves ever had.
"My eight-person apartment dorm room thing had a Girls Gone Wild DVD. We would hide it in people's stuff when they went home, or when they brought a girl over, it would flop out of their bed. During a house party, this guy saw it and wanted to take it.
So, he knocked it on the ground. Then, a few minutes later, he kicked it a little bit. He then said he had to go and then started nonchalantly kicking this DVD box to the door from the living room. We called out to tell him to just pick it up and that no one cared. He kept kicking it and when he got to the door, he kicked it to the hallway and ran out.
He came back 15 minutes later because the DVD was not in the case."
"A friend of mine who lived around the corner told me some guys broke into their house and tried to steal their television. They got in through the electric gate and. When they got inside, they set off the burglar alarm, which has a setting that shuts the gate if it's open and won't let it move until some code was put in. I think that's a stupid setting but whatever.
Anyway, the guys grabbed the DVD player, TV, and the satellite decoder. When they realized they couldn't get out of the gate, they decided to have one of them jump over the wall and the other would throw the stuff over it.
This was in South Africa, by the way. Our houses generally have 3 meter-tall walls with electric fencing, barbed wire, etc.
You can figure the rest out for yourself. Everyone lost that day."
"I walked into a Forever21 and noticed this one guy looking really shifty right away - popping his head above the clothing racks every now and then, looking around. At one point, I made eye contact with him. I used to work retail so I knew this was textbook behavior of someone stealing something. I made my way to the second floor so I could, maybe, notify an employee without him seeing me do it, and as I ascended on the escalator, I heard something drop.
I turned and watch an ink tag roll all the way to the escalators from the corner of the room. This guy had his own ink tag remover and he dropped an ink tag. Then, I saw him rush out with these large black bags in his hands to grab it. I think I actually bursted out laughing at this.
Also, there was a time when one of my co-workers was fixing one of the shelves, and this person next to her apparently didn't notice that she was an employee and started shoving products into their bags. My friend stood there and watched for a bit until the thief finally turned around noticed her. With her arm resting on the shelf and leaning like that condescending Wonka meme, my friend just says, 'Hi.' The person pretty much had a panicked look and made their way out the door, but not before taking the products out of their bag on the way."
"I was out having a smoke. I live across the street from Safeway and, out of the corner of my ears, I heard the unusually loud and aggressive rattling of a cart. As I turned, I saw this guy sprinting away from the Safeway entrance with an entire cart full of stuff. His pants were falling off so, he was sprinting half bare with this cart trying to pull up his pants looking behind him.
He got to the four-way stop sign intersection and proceeded to run into the street with this cart and made a left turn. He lost his balance as the cart tipped over, his pants barely covering his rear end. The whole thing, him and the cart, just tipped over. He ate it. The contents of the cart were thrown everywhere. I stood there, just casually smoking like a cool guy looking at this clown. He looked at me as he got up, looked at the cart contents, decided it was not worth it, and just booked it.
In the mean time, I saw this heavier set security guy come panting out the door. He saw the guy just sprinting with a cart, audibly said, 'Oh, heck no,' and walked back inside, just in time to miss seeing this thief eat it.
A week later, I saw the same thief come running out of the store, again, pants hanging off. He had a hand basket this time. He kind of ran like he was about to poo himself, also while holding his pants up, barely. Again, I was outside, just casually watching this clown. His shirt got caught on a fence as he was about to make the same turn around the corner. Realizing he lost his sweatshirt, he stashed his loot in a bush and confidently walked back and grabbed his shirt that was caught on the fence. He made direct eye contact with me and walked to go get his basket and go on his day. I now look out for the same guy every time I'm outside just to see what crazy shenanigans he does next."
"This was a classmate of mine in high school. He lasted a month of college. He quit, went home, and worked at a local grocery store. He got fired or quit from that after a few months. About a month after that, he tried to rob that store. He knew where the safe was and stuff. He was an easily recognizable dude, even with a mask on.
The funny part is that they stopped him by rolling soup cans at him and tripped him up. We know this because another classmate's mom worked at the store and was rolling soup at the idiot. So, I guess its more of the 'funniest way I know someone stealing has been stopped.'"
"At my old boarding school, we had a laundry ninja for a few months. He would literally dress himself like a ninja with bare feet and just his eyes uncovered and steal every single shirt on the clothes lines.
This was between 20 and 100 shirts at the same time. We could all see him (or them) from the classes, but it happened so fast that he was never caught. In a school full of 1000 kids all dressed the same, he was never identified.
Half the school started tying their clothes in a knot instead of using pegs so they wouldn't be stolen easily."
"My parents knew a guy who once hired a sketchy painter to work on his daughter's bedroom. While the painter was left alone for a few minutes, he emptied out a large vase of coins (mostly pennies) and filled his pockets until they were absolutely bulging. He then heard the father coming back inside. Unable to empty his pockets quickly enough, he rushed out the back door and, for some unknown reason, hopped on the daughter's bright pink bicycle. He began peddling down the street, his pockets still bulging, but quickly realized that he was much too large to ride the bike and get away.
At the end of the street, there happened to be a cop car with two officers questioning someone. The officers saw the dad following the painter down the street, and approached him to see what was happening. The painter, in case you can't tell by now, was not very bright. He decided to jump into a canal and... Well, I don't really know. The guy sank down, though the water was quite shallow. He was pulled out, handcuffed, and arrested.
Stay off crystal, kids."
"So, I live in Northern Australia. We have a big issue with indigenous people substance abuse. We have many homeless indigenous people getting wasted in the streets and that, combined with old school conservative prejudices, means indigenous people, both inebriated and sober, are treated harshly by some shop keepers and security.
So, I was at the bottle shop, and I was at a fridge that had the six-packs and single cans. This old indigenous guy came next to me and put this huge bottle of Jack Daniels down his pants. It created a huge bulge and I thought here was no way he could get out of the store with that. He saw me looking at him and just gave me a wink. He grabbed a single can and he started acting incredibly wasted as he walked to the register.
The security guard came over, grabbed him by the collar and yelled, 'PUT THE CAN DOWN! COME ON, YOU IMBECILE, GET OUT OF HERE' and escorted him out, not even noticing the huge bottle down his pants. I couldn't help but smile.
I walked out to the car parking lot and the old mate was there with his drinking buddies with his bottle of Jacks. He saw me and puts the bottle up as kind of a cheers to me and I just laughed and gave him the thumbs up."
"I was once in my backyard sitting by a bonfire by myself, enjoying a nice summer night. In the town I was living in at the time, it was only legal to have a bonfire for 'cooking purposes.' So, I'd always have some food substance out there with me to be 'legal,' technically.
That evening I had a loaf of bread and some hot dogs out there with me. It was a quiet, dark night and I was just sitting there relaxing when I just happened to look over and see a raccoon, both hands grasping my bag of bread, looking me straight in the eye. He just froze like that when he saw that I noticed him.
I was incredibly impressed that he managed to sneak out of the woods, up to being about 2 feet from me, without making a single sound. That raccoon was a ninja.
I was so impressed that I said aloud, 'You earned that stuff man. It's all yours,' and just watched him as he slowly backed away with the whole bag of bread, eyes on me the entire time.
Another time, when I was living in Tasmania, I caught a wallaby trying to steal my hat. It was a knit hat with long, dangly bits on the side. I had it resting on the side of my tent. It was very dark out but, suddenly, I caught my hat moving out of the corner of my eye. I looked over to see a wallaby reaching up with one hand (paw?) grasping one of the tendrils and pulling it off the tent. As soon as he saw that I noticed him, he freaked out and bolted. I have no idea why that wallaby wanted my hat."
"My friend once successfully stole one of those footlong hoagies from a shop by stuffing it into his boxers and sneaked out. He got some funny looks as he crossed the street with a huge Freddie Mercury bulge in his trousers. He ate the whole thing later. The mayo had gone weird and yellow from the warmth. The chicken had kind of, just, disappeared inside the bread and the bacon was stringy and gross. He even offered me a piece, which I didn't accept."
"I was at a friend's place (his name is Scott) playing a game when some cops knocked on the front door and told Scott there was a bunch of stolen cartons of smokes in his backyard. They explained that three teenagers had robbed a corner shop nearby - a shop that is, I'm not even kidding, less than 300 feet away from a police station. The cops were on the scene immediately and chased the kids down an alleyway behind some residential back yards. The robbers, realizing they wouldn't get away while carrying armfuls of stolen loot, threw it all over a fence, presumably with the intention of later retrieving it... and got away.
The cops had seen them throw the goods over Scott's fence, so they asked him if he could turn the backlight on so they could get some photos and then take the stolen goods back to the shop. He set up a floodlight, so they could see clearly and then one of our group decided to go home. So, we went out the front of the house near the road and we were saying goodbye when these two teenagers wandered past and attempted to nonchalantly look down the side of the house into the back yard. This was about 40 minutes after the crime was committed.
The two teenagers returned and the first thing they asked - and again I'm not kidding - was, 'Hey man, do you like cops?'
Scott said he freakin' hated cops and the two kids relaxed visibly before casually explaining to the group that they just robbed a store nearby and dumped the stolen goods in the backyard. He asked if Scott minded if they went to collect it? He told them to go ahead.
The two kids walked down the driveway toward the back of the house and we followed, ready to pounce when they inevitably spotted the floodlit yard and tried to run. Instead, when they reached the side of the house and could see the backyard was lit up like Christmas, they turned to Scott and said, 'How come the light is on? It wasn't on before.' He told them he turned it on because he heard something in the yard, but they didn't need to worry about it.
Then, as luck would have it, we entered the backyard and the cops weren't there! It turned out they had gone to pull the car around, and while there was one cop just outside the back gate, standing in the alley, he couldn't see into the yard. The teenagers asked, 'Why is there a cop there?!' and Scott said, 'They were asking questions but they're done now. If you stay real quiet you can get the stuff from the yard and go back out the front without them knowing.'
I was standing there in utter disbelief that they would go through with this ridiculous plan after seeing the spotlight and the freaking police, but to my unending surprise they tried to sneak into the freaking yard to grab the stolen cartons. As soon as they were in the light, Scott just leaped at the nearest kid and knocked him to the ground. The other kid spun around with a look of complete shock on his face, but he soon realized the rest of us were blocking his escape and he just sat down.
The cop heard us making noise and came back into the yard and said, 'Who the heck is this?' We told him it was the kids who robbed the store, and he just looked confused. He said, 'What... are they doing here?"' and we told him they just came back. He literally started laughing as he handcuffed them.
The other cops returned when they had pulled the car around and they also laughed, out loud, at these two idiots who had not only returned to a crime scene, but had done it while the cops were still there and had also openly admitted their crime to like five people. It was just... it was astonishing."
"At the grocery store a few months ago, I was in the express lane behind a lady in her 50’s. The woman was acting weird and kind of fidgeting. She got agitated at the cashier and demanded to see a manager. The manager came over, handled the issue, and then, before turning to walk away, said, 'Will you be paying for the five extra blocks of cheese in your cart that you didn’t ring up?'
Then, I saw her purse was stuffed and partially open.
'Oh and how about the big honey glazed ham in the purse here?' the manager said.
The woman proceeded to play dumb and pay for everything while muttering, 'Oh god, I really can’t afford all of this.'"
"I was waiting in line at the pharmacy at Target one time when I caught sight of a man walking very purposefully from the back of the store. There was something off about his gait. It was halfway to the stereotypical hustler walk, but not quite there.
About 20 feet from me, individual packages of SD cards started cascading from the bottom of his pants. He left a trail of them through the pharmacy area and toward the door, which he strode through equally as purposefully (and presumably without any of the loot having survived to exit the store with him)."
"A friend in college tried to steal a bunch of silverware from a dining hall by hastily and sloppily rolling them in a cloth napkin. She tried to tuck the very suspiciously large cloth under her armpit and walk out of the place, but it didn’t work out.
Firstly, it bunched out and was drawing the attention of people she walked by. A well known rule was that students didn’t leave with anything from the hall (not even food).
She had already turned a few heads by the time the first knife slipped from under her arm and made a very loud clang on the tile floor that caught EVERYONE’S attention. Every head in the dining hall was now turned toward my friend who casually kept walking as if every single person wasn’t now completely aware she was walking away with a quarter of the dining hall’s forks and knives.
She only got a few steps further when all of the silverware slipped out of the cloth napkin which was still pinched by one corner in her armpit. The resounding clatter of 2 drawers worth of silverware on tile was one of the loudest things I’ve ever heard and the rest of the hall was completely quiet, staring at my friend who flipped her hair and looked like she was in deep thought about some mystery, trying to pretend she was too lost in thought to notice that a bunch of silverware had mysteriously fallen from the cloth napkin that was now flapping like an armpit cape. She didn’t break stride and left the dining hall and didn’t return for months."
"One year at the local beauty pageant, a mom tried to steal the crown by shoving it up her shirt. She was morbidly obese, so the tiara was nestled under her fupa before she tried to get away on her scooty puff. She was quickly apprehended, but had to be tackled and dragged into the cop car so they could fish out the tiara at the station. It was so warped out of shape, the pageant committee just gave the winner the backup crown and called it a day. The mom got community service."
"I had a client once rob a hardware store. We nicknamed him 'The Peekaboo Robber.' He had a mask on and had a six shooter in one hand and a piece of cardboard in the other. He used the cardboard to hide the shooter and moved it out of the way to show the cashier the shooter, then moved it back.
I’m not sure what his objective was with this. He would have gotten away with it too, but HE LEFT THE CARDBOARD. They, fingerprinted it and it had his prints."
"I was at a very large and popular outdoor concert. It was hot, like in the 90s, and the air was humid enough to swim in. We were all standing by the stage waiting for the next act to start when I saw this guy just reach his hands into one of the Bud Light carts and start grabbing cans since the vendor was looking the other way. When the vendor looked back, he said, 'Oh, I'm just grabbing some ice. It's way too hot out.'
The vendor freaking believed him! I bet he snatched 11 Bud Light tall boys before the next band came on."
"I, a short girl, age 21 at the time, was in Berlin at some street festival in the summer, with my friend. Heaps of people were around a square, with stone steps leading up to another area. I saw a girl sitting by herself on the stairs, looking visibly unwell. She threw up at some point and I kept looking over to her to see if she was OK. She decided to lie down, using her backpack as a pillow.
Just when I thought about going over, I saw a guy going over to her to help. At first I was like, Aw, that's nice. He talked to her for a bit, then took her backpack away from under her head so she could lie flat, which she did. Then, I suddenly saw him get up, take the backpack, and walk away. I was like, For Pete's sake, he's stealing her bag! and just started following him through the crowd, leaving my friend behind. It wasn't that easy to follow him because I had not been very close and there were lots of people, but I found him and eventually caught up with him.
I tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'Hey, wanna give the bag back?' Not the coolest line, but I honestly didn't know what else to do. He was so stunned that he handed the bag over instantly and I walked away with it. Then, I suddenly started getting weak knees because I realized that it could have ended differently.
I got back to the girl who, by that time, was sitting on the stairs crying while being comforted by my friend. I handed her the bag, and she was honestly so happy. She said it was her birthday, but none of her friends had shown up, so she got wasted because she already was having a crappy day, and having her bag stolen was the last thing she needed. It kind of made her day, and I was glad I helped make it better... and didn't get punched by the dude!"