Sometimes, you almost feel sorry for the wannabe thieves of the world. They probably grew up watching bank robbery movies imagining they could one day be that smooth. Imagine the heartbreak they must endure when they discover that they became an embarrassment to the world of thievery.
To be clear, we are not condoning stealing of any kind. But, we do love to laugh at stories about criminals who did not quite think their robbery plans through and ended up taking something that turned out to not be what they expected. As told to Reddit by victims of dumb criminals, these are stories of some very ridiculous stolen items.
"I had a paper notebook given to me by our Dell storage sales rep. It was meant to look like Dell Latitude laptop. I left it in the back seat of my car while working late with a client one night. Whoever was walking by saw it and must have thought it was an actual laptop. They busted my window and took it. I sure hope they were disappointed."
"Someone broke into my mom's car and took my backpack and the driver's manual. They did not take the money in the car or the stereo.
Later, as I was walking my dog down the street, I saw a pile of my books next to my backpack. All my books were there except for my assignment notebook. I didn't think anything of it until I got to school the next day and found that my homework had been ripped out of my science book. I then realized why they kept my assignment book. They used it to steal my homework.
My skeptical science teacher yelled at me for lying when I told him what had happened."
"My shed was broken into and a few valuable items were stolen, but what really surprised me was that the thief took the time to root through my deep freezer on the patio. He stole a box of giant freezies, ditched the box, and left a few freezies behind. The next day, I filed a police report and upped my security, adding extra locks and motion lights. I didn't think he would be stupid enough to come back but, lo and behold, at 3 am, I heard the rustling of plastic outside.
Then, the motion light on the shed turned on. By the time I could find my glasses and run to the front door, I saw him jumping over our gate. I couldn't chase him because I was in my underwear and the gate was locked. My instinct was to yell, so I scared him away.
Get this: he stole ANOTHER box of freezies, nothing else. I guess he really needed to beat the heat. The officer I spoke with said that if he saw him, he would make sure to yell 'Freeze!'"
"When doing river trips in a pristine area, such as the Grand Canyon, you aren't allowed to leave anything behind, including your own feces. The old school way was to set a toilet seat on a huge ammunition can and do your business. Everyone did. By the end of a month-long trip, you'd pack out multiple ammunition cans filled with dookie. Some of the river companies would store the crap ammo cans out the back of the warehouse until a waste company came and picked them up.
One morning, one of the river guides showed up to find that all of the FULL crap ammo cans had been stolen. I figure the thieves had no sense of smell. I can't imagine the look on their faces when they got them home."
"A friend was house sitting in downtown Chicago when the owner's dog died. She called the owners to ask what to do. They told her to take the dog to their veterinarian so they could put it on ice until they got back home. She didn't have a car, so she had to put it in a duffel bag and take the train to the vet. While riding the train, she was mugged, but the only thing the guy took was the duffel bag."
"I used to work at the door of a club and people would give me stuff to let them into shows for free. I did not do this all the time and it was always people I knew. My friend gave me two VERY professional looking mushroom chocolates, with the whisper, 'Careful, there's about an eighth in each.' They were wrapped like Reese's cups, but a little taller.
At he end of the night, I threw them in the middle console of the car and drive home. The next morning, I got to my car and the thing was ransacked. There was stuff everywhere. On the ground outside of it, on the floors, EVERYWHERE (my car is full of random stuff). I started to clean up, when I saw some pink and blue foil on the driver's seat. The wrappers. They were empty. I searched around a little more. There was no sign of the chocolates.
The thief ate a quarter of mushrooms without knowing it. That had to be one VERY messed up evening. I almost felt bad for the guy. Almost. Honestly, I have wondered if the thief turned out OK. What a horrible thing to go through. I've tripped without knowing why once and it was a nightmare."
"A guy was going through the mailboxes of people in our neighborhood in broad daylight and was stealing mail he thought had important items in it. Police got him after the second mail box. The unopened envelope he stole, and thought had cash or something, had a packet of Blockbuster coupons.
He claimed that the police officer who had arrested him (who was called out because someone was walking from mailbox to mailbox taking mail) planted the envelope and coupons on him. Police are nefarious when it comes to postal crimes."
"There was a friend of a friend who was renowned in our social circle for having horrible taste in music. His car was broken into and the thieves took everything. They took his stereo and his CD collection. They took his wrench set and his garage door opener. They took his spare sunglasses. They even took the pennies out of his change tray.
But, they left his Batman Forever soundtrack sitting right there on the driver's seat."
"My dangerously broken bicycle was stolen. You had to know how it worked, otherwise you would quickly hurt yourself. Also, the breaking distance was not to be underestimated. I could easily see the thief getting terrible blue balls or driving straight into traffic."
"To make a long story short, one night my porch collapsed. While EMTs and cops were still milling around, some idiot 14-year-old-looking kid darted up the stairs and got in and out of the apartment before anyone could catch him. All he made off with was half a handle of imitation Jack Daniel's and he left his Razor scooter behind. Idiot. My actual plan was to eBay it along with the story but, so far, it's still sitting under the couch.
I also had my car broken into in high school, but it had already been broken into so many times, there wasn't any good stuff left to steal. I found a piece of toast I had left on the dashboard in a pile of glass on the ground with two perfect cartoon-shaped bites taken out of it."
"My friend's Mitsubishi Eclipse broke down. Nothing of value was in it besides some change, two one dollar bills, and a rubber. Before we left, we joked about someone breaking the window to get those items. We came back and, sure enough, our joke was reality."
"I lost my wallet. I wasn't sure if I had misplaced it or if it had been stolen. I spent an entire day looking for it, calling stores about it, ect. Nowhere. The next day, I found out that a charge of $5.87 had been made on my card at a grocery store. I immediately cancelled everything and started the process of replacing everything. I got the charge removed by the credit card company and, aside from the fact that I was down a wallet, everything was fine.
A few days later, my wallet turned up in my workplace. Everything was still inside, but the cash had definitely been reorganized. I keep my bills in order and I have a 'lucky' dollar I keep in the back. It wasn't in this order. So, someone stole my wallet, bought $5.87 worth of groceries, reorganized my cash, and returned my wallet. It was bizarre."
"My family had just gone out and bought a whole entertainment setup for my grandparents. Their stuff was falling apart, but my grandpa is a bit of a miser. We planned on going out to dinner and then, once we got back, setting up the new system and teaching them how to use it. When we got back from dinner, the front door was kicked open.
The only thing that was missing was the broken TV, their crappy stereo that was dying, and their VHS player. In the next room was all of the stuff we had bought: the new flatscreen TV, surround sound speakers, combo VHS / DVD player, combo tape, 25-disc CD player, and a couple other things all still in their sealed boxes.
As for another story, my mom was out with some friends from college. When she went back to her car, it was gone. We filed a police report and everything. About two weeks later, we were told they had found the car... four blocks down the street. It was covered in snow and had five tickets on it. They didn't even take my mom's bag in the passenger seat that had a $20 bill visibly sticking out a bit and more money and credit cards inside."
"A burglar rifled through my CD collection and selectively took only the 10 or 15 CDs that, apparently, interested him. However, I am one of those horribly lazy people that puts a CD into whatever empty case is at hand, i.e., usually that of the next one that I'm loading. So, I had a disorganized, random set of CDs (as usual), but so did he."
"Years ago, I had a hurricane. The next morning, I got up to go to work and the car would not start. So, I took a cab to work. When I got home, I found out why.
During the hurricane, some dude went into my car and stole the battery, a few burnt CDs, a bottle containing three expired antibiotics, a bunch of pennies from the console, and a hat that I had gotten for free from work that was too hideous to wear. The kicker is that the keys to the car were in the middle console next to the pennies. He could have driven the whole beast away if he wanted."
"One summer, I was fixing up a 1962 Seeburg Jukebox. I had been searching for months to find a specific mechanism that grabs the record and pulls it in or out. The one on my jukebox was on its last legs. One day, my dad and I were driving down the streets of an old neighborhood when I saw a diner with a sign on it saying, 'GOING OUT OF BUSINESS, ALL FIXTURES MUST GO.' We were bored, so we pulled in to go inside. There was not much left but a few tables and chairs.
I was chatting with the owner when one of the employees came through a back door. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the end of a jukebox in the back hallway. I asked the owner if I could see it. Sure enough, it was a 1962 Seeburg. I asked what they were going to do with it. He explained that it was in severe disrepair, and they would probably end up dumping it. I asked him if I could buy the mechanism I was looking for off him. He wanted to give it to me, but I insisted on 50 bucks. He was a really nice guy.
I extracted the part and put it in a shoebox in the back of my dad's car. We then went to a movie and dinner. We returned about three hours later and the back window was gone. I looked in and, sure enough, the shoebox was gone. The saddest part was that the thief probably had no idea what the mechanism was and, most likely, threw it away."
"I was working as a food delivery driver one summer. As I returned to the building to bring in the awesome sign from my car and turn in all the money from the night, two young teenagers (obviously being initiated into a gang) ran up to me with a .38 and demanded all my money.
I calmly asked them to not point the weapon at my face. Then I lied, saying I had already turned in my money to my boss. The money, as well as my wallet, were in my pockets. They saw the heat box from my deliveries and demanded I open it. Inside were the sodas that we kept in the car to deliver with food if requested. They stole a six pack of soda (three orange Crushes and three IBCs), ran across the road, hopped in a car, and, I guess, enjoyed their sodas."
"My very first apartment was broken into four months into my lease. Being my first troll den, I owned very little and lived in relatively comfortable squalor. Being a poor man, but a man of priorities, I managed to buy a PlayStation2 upon release. I worked in the electronics department of Walmart and reserved one for myself like a boss. My biggest mistake was taking the empty box into my shady neighborhood in the first place and openly carrying it into my house.
Shortly there after, I noshed on a bologna sandwich and some hickory Lays potato chips, watched Ninja Scroll on VHS, and took my happy self to work. As an important side note: I sealed the chip bag with a common fork, because I was a bachelor. Much to the would-be thieves' chagrin, I carried my PS2 with me like a parasitic twin wherever I went.
My friend was a local cop and I received a disturbing call that my abode had been broken into. I rushed home immediately to find my door kicked in like the siege of Gondor had just taken place at my kingdom. The cops were milling around and asked me to take a look myself to see if anything was stolen. My apartment was a freaking mess. I blamed the would-be robbers for my piggery.
We found that only two things had been stolen: my treasured copy of Ninja Scroll was missing and I found my fork laying ever so lonely on the ground. They freaking stole a quarter eaten bag of chips. Even considering the law of air to chip ratio in common bags, I found myself perplexed at its absence. The worst part was explaining to the cop what Ninja Scroll was.
'Ninja Squirrel?' he replied. 'What the heck kind of crap do you watch?'"
"I had only been going to this new high school for a couple months and had been working at some used media/systems store for almost as long. I had saved up a fair amount of money from my horrid wages and bought a refurbished iPod from the store I worked at because I got a good discount and was able to make sure it was in working order first. I think it was four days afterward when it was picked from me in the chaos between my locker and friend's car after high school ended.
I never felt so furious at whoever stole it, or myself for not protecting my newish iPod. I showed up at work with all this emotion bottled up and this guy I work with just stopped me before I could even start ranting about what happened. He reached under the counter and pulled out my iPod.
'You owe me one,' he said as he handed it to me.
Apparently, the thief had just been in 15 minutes before me trying to sell my co-worker an iPod he had just watched me buy for myself days before. He gave the guy some story about how the tech expert wasn't in for another hour and how he should just leave the iPod along with some scans of his information and some stuff that he signed to prove it was his until the tech expert could evaluate it. It was basic pawn shop stuff, which our store never did because we aren't actually a pawn shop, so the thief bought it.
I personally called the guy back and told him an outrageously nice price we would pay him for the iPod and he said he would be back in 15 minutes. I called the friends that had been with me while I frantically searched for my iPod, told them what happened, and most of them came right to the shop to wait for this guy. I had no idea who the guy was but, apparently, he was some kind of imbecile all of my friends hated, but he was real popular, so we felt it would be better if we didn't beat his rear end. Instead, we settled for mentally torturing him in the parking lot and making him beg for forgiveness, really work for it, and promise him he would never get in trouble for it as long as he didn't try to retaliate or anything."
"I was at my gym a few years back. After working out, I end up spending time with my friend, who was working the graveyard shift at the juice bar. I got into a really in-depth conversation and ended up there until about 4:30 am. My friend's shift ended at 5, so I stayed until then to give him a ride home. Approaching my car, I noticed all the windows had the early morning's dew on them, except the driver's side window. It only hit me when I saw all the broken glass at the foot of my dad's 1995 Passat GLX. Man, I got mad.
I looked inside and quickly didn't notice anything, so I called up my dad to ask him if he had anything of value in the car. He said, 'No,' and pretty much hung up. It was early, anyway. He called me back just after the police got there to tell me that his wallet was in the glove compartment. I checked and it was gone. Nothing else was missing, or so we thought. His credit card was used 20 minutes after 5 am and it shut itself off, since it had never been used to get a cash advance. He called all of his credit card companies, so nothing was lost.
The next day, when he was going to work (he owns a video store), he realized his entire bunch of keys was missing. His wallet had the security codes in it, so he had to drill out all the locks and replace them (about $2,000). It went from an annoyance to actual expenses being lost. That was all fine and dandy. The thing is, when the thief smashed out windows and rooted through the car, he missed the boxes (filling up the entire back seat and hard to miss) with about $25,000 of Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation games. All those boxes were next to my dad's power tools. Thank God he didn't pop the trunk open and find amongst the other power tools the black bank bag filled with that week's deposits (between $8,000-14,000 in cash).
Honestly, I got pretty angry at my dad since I always tell him to take valuables out of the car. Had that stuff actually been stolen, I would have felt like crap for a really long time. He still continued leaving the deposits in his car overnight until my mom took over administering the store.
A year later, I got a call from a detective. It's always scary getting that kind of call (What do you have on me!?), but he asked me if I could identify a certain name. I didn't recognize it. Then, he told me that the cops had entered his house in a raid and found my dad's wallet in there. The guy kept my dad's wallet for a freaking year in his apartment."
"A group of gypsies in Firenze tried the old 'drop something to distract people' trick on me at a Chinese restaurant, but I was on to them and they didn't get a thing from me. Then my friend came back from the bathroom and asked where the shopping bag was that she had put on her seat. Not knowing it was there, I hadn't defended it.
They took receipts and cancelled boarding passes, plus a Bic pen. They saved us the trouble of throwing it away."