Crime is never a good life choice…I think we can all agree on that. But there are those criminals who take their bad choices to a WHOLE new level. I’m talking about catastrophically bad – but fortunately for us, hilariously funny — levels. Here are just a few of the criminals in Virginia that will make you think twice about the current state of the human race…or at least give you a good laugh.
(Unless specifically stated, the images shown below are representative of the story only and are in no way connected to the criminals or crime scenes themselves.)
1. Note to self: don’t apply for welfare while driving a stolen luxury car.
After William Anderson applied for welfare at the department of social services in Jonesville, a local sheriff noticed something a little odd – mainly that he was driving an H2 Hummer. The alert sheriff ran the plates, only to find it was stolen. Sorry, Willie, but welfare’s not going to cover those court costs.
2. When pulling off a robbery, it’s important to commit to the idea.
A burglary is really no place for second thoughts. When two Virginia men decided to steal a refrigerator from a new home site, it seemed easy enough. Simply load it into the truck and drive away, right? But when the truck got stuck in the construction site mud, they decided the fridge was too heavy, so they put it back – banging up newly finished walls and floors along the way. It was only upon returning to the truck that they realized the keys were locked inside. And so they did what anybody who thought this whole plan was a good one to begin with would do, they abandoned the truck. Needless to say, license plates are not hard to trace.
3. It pays to have manners
When Dominyk Antonio Alfonseca (shown above) posted his latest bank “transaction” to Instagram in May 2015, he had some sort of logic on his side, just not the kind that holds up in court.
Earlier in the week, Alfonseca walked into a Virginia Beach bank and handed the teller a note reading, “I need 150,000 Bonds Right NOW!! Please Police take 3 to 4 minutes to get here, I would appreciate if you Ring the alarm a minute after I am gone... Make sure the money doesn't BLOW UP ON MY WAY OUT,-)" (news source: Newser.com, photo source: youtube) The teller complied and Alfonseca was soon on his way with $150,000 in hand and a video of the whole event.
He later posted 2 videos of the interaction to Instagram, as well as a photo of his note (both shown above). His argument to the police? He was polite, he used his manners to ask for the money and the teller could have said no at any time. As he reported to a local news station (before asking to give “shout outs” to Michelle Obama, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga), “I videotaped it. If it was a robbery, I don’t think I would videotape it, post the picture of the letter and do that all to come to jail.” (source: Newser.com) Something tells me this is the kind of guy who might just choose to represent himself in court.
4. Hallmark: The Heroin Collection
You would think that, being in jail and all, you might want to share some basic jailhouse rules with your friends and family before they send care packages. One inmate at Virginia’s Western Tidewater Regional Jail had apparently failed to mention that heroin was NOT on the list of acceptable items when police found heroin inside a homemade greeting card addressed sent to the inmate.
5. Working two jobs is never easy, but if robbing a 7-11 is your second job, you might want to take your nametag off from the other job first.
You’ve got to give “Dwayne” from Virginia some credit. When he robbed a 7-11, he took every precaution, including wearing a ski mask and renting a car for his getaway. The only *minor* flaw in his plan was that he failed to change his clothes. Needless to say, his work uniform reading “Cedar Woods Apartments” with his name embroidered across the front was a bit of a giveaway.
6. Pardon me, is that a dye pack in your pants or did you just rob a bank?
Remember our friendly bank robber from above? The one whose polite note read, “Make sure the money doesn't BLOW UP ON MY WAY OUT” followed by a winkie-face emoticon? He was on to something there. Another Virginia Beach bank robber wasn’t so polite. As he was on his way out the door, stolen loot in hand, he decided to stuff it down his pants instead. As he ran, a dye pack exploded and left him in a rather…ummm…”agitated” state. The dye pack had been put in with the money and was exploded with a remote allowing police to later identify the stolen money. According to a police spokesperson, “He was seen hopping and jumping around with an explosion taking place inside his pants.” (source: www.laughbreak.net) You have to wonder… if only he had asked for his money politely and perhaps used a winkie-face emoticon, things might have turned out differently. Remember, kids. Manners count.
7. Social media hard at work...
Dyllan Naecker, 29, was hiding out in Bluefield after fleeing Maryland where he was wanted as a registered sex offender, when his girlfriend, Samantha Dillow decided to help out. She “liked” the local Tazewell Police Department on Facebook, thinking that this would be a good way to keep an eye on police activities. The only catch was that the police then had direct access to HER Facebook page, which not only showed pictures of Naecker, but led the police to the couple’s location. Guess she’ll be sticking to phone calls behind glass from now on.
8. Always change your clothes after a police run-in – especially if you’re planning to commit a crime 24-hours later.
In July 2013, two men in Campbell County pulled off the perfect heist – assuming they were aiming for a “Stupid Criminals” award. Early on a Sunday morning, the men came crashing into Burley's Market Convenience store, tripping the alarm before stealing $1,500 in cigarettes and a case of beer-- all the while giving the surveillance cameras a good idea of their identity thanks to half-hearted disguises. One of the men also cut his hand on the beer cooler, leaving behind DNA, in addition to fingerprints since neither of the men was wearing gloves. But the crowning glory of the escapade came when investigators watched the surveillance tape and noticed one of the men wearing a red flannel shirt – the same shirt he had been wearing less than 24 hours earlier when he had been charged with underage drinking. Both men were in custody by the next day and charged with breaking and entering, grand larceny and, my favorite only because someone must have gotten a laugh out of this one -- wearing a mask in public.
9. Always, always double-check your target during an armed robbery
When Dennis Wayne Sullivan of Front Royal planned to steal a cash pick-up from the Bowl America in Prince William County, he had it all figured out. First, he cased the joint. Next, he waited for the armored car in an alley. Finally, when it arrived, he leapt out from behind the building, pointed a sawed-off shotgun at the uniformed driver and, with all the stealth of a ninja, stole…a bag of mop heads. The uniformed driver was from a cleaning supply company and was delivering supplies to the bowling alley. When Sullivan realized what was in the bag, he dropped it and fled the scene. He was later caught and charged with attempted armed robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and a few other things. One can only hope “being incredibly dumb” is a crime in Prince William.
10. Oops…he did it again.
When a man in Virginia Beach was charged with auto theft, he knew that his best hope for leniency was to follow the rules. Like a repentant citizen, he appeared in court, on time, just as he was supposed to. The only catch is that he showed up for court in a stolen car. I guess he must have missed the bus.
11. When dealing drugs, stealth is key…or so I’ve heard.
It’s hard to know what goes on in the mind of a criminal. But when they sit in their car on a Friday afternoon, repeatedly honking the horn while dishing up baggies of crack cocaine, you can assume there’s not a whole lot going on at all. When Brian Morris decided to turn his car into a “Drug Deals on Wheels” operation, he might have chosen a better market than right next to Richmond’s anti-drug Neighborhood Resource Center, which just so happened to be hosting a community event with police officers in attendance. After hearing the repeated honking (why, Brian? WHY?), a cop came out to investigate, only to find Morris chilling in the driver’s seat with crack cocaine in his lap and a digital scale on the seat next to him. Oh but wait! It gets better. Apparently, Morris was going big or going home. Not only was Morris watching a show about drug dealers on a small TV in the car, police also found heroin, measuring and distribution equipment and a stolen handgun.
12. Sometimes you just can’t wait for an upgrade…
The Washington Post reported in July 2013 that Travis Montgomery Snyder broke into a Fairfax County cell phone store, smashed a glass case and stole a number of iPhones. But really, with cell phone plans these days, getting a phone isn’t always easy. It could have been ANY disgruntled user, desperate for an upgrade…except for the part where Snyder left his old Samsung Galaxy behind in the smashed case. I wonder how that conversation went, “Uh, yes, hi. This is the Fairfax Police with a message for Travis Snyder. Could you let him know we’ve found his lost phone?”
13. A “cow” steals milk from Wal-Mart in North Stafford. There's really no better way to say that.
Ok, it wasn’t really a cow, rather a man dressed as a cow...and crawling on all fours. In 2011, an 18-year old North Stafford man crawled into the local Walmart in full cow costume. After putting 26 gallons of milk in his cart and sauntering out of the store, on 2 legs by this time (does that make it LESS weird?), he ditched the costume but was later apprehended from video surveillance. Sigh. Only in Virginia.
And there you have it…some of Virginia’s finest criminal minds at work. Have we left any stories off the list? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments below.