West Virginia has its fair share of crime and criminals. If you live a life of crime, though, it helps to be smart. Here are 9 instances that should maybe cause criminals to rethink their life choices.
1. The man who kept a journal of his shoplifting
A man in Sissonville reportedly kept a journal of the things he stole from people’s yards. Christopher Derricks, 39, kept a journal titled, “My black book of shop lifton over the years.” He reportedly stole yard sculptures and lawn ornaments. Police found out when his ex-girlfriend told them.
2. The poachers who were caught after they posted pictures of their illegal kills on Snapchat
According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, in early July, anonymous tipsters sent the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources three pictures of the kills that were posted to the social media. One of them, which showed a woman pointing a gun at the camera, was labeled “poaching.” The pictures were posted to the DNR’s Facebook page, which prompted the people involved to call the DNR and cooperate, asking that their pictures be taken down.
3. The woman in South Charleston who allegedly stole gravestones
....and used them to decorate her yard and fire pit. Penny Snodgrass, 54, was arrested after a neighbor told police she stole the headstones from a cemetery. Police reportedly found the headstones in her burn pit and yard.
4. The burglar who just had to check his Facebook
A burglar allegedly stopped to check his Facebook page while burglarizing a home in Martinsburg. Jonathan Parker was charged with burglary in 2009, according to the The Journal newspaper. The victim noticed her house had been broken into and two diamond rings were missing. She also noticed that the intruder used her computer to check his Facebook status and that his account information was still on her computer.
5. The robber who pepper sprayed himself.
A man in Beaver foiled his own robbery attempt by spraying himself with pepper spray. According to the Register-Herald newspaper, Michael Kevin Meadows, 43, of Shady Spring, allegedly went into a pharmacy wearing a paintball mask and full camo. He started spraying pepper spray in an attempt to take down the staff, but police say he was affected by it too. He staggered out of the building and into a vehicle.
6. A thief found using the "Find my iPhone" app
Last year a news reporter in Charleston came home to find her door kicked in and several items missing from her home, including her iPhone, according to WOWK-TV. She decided to try the “Find my iPhone” app. The next day she called police when she realized her phone was actually moving through Charleston. Police decided it was probably on a bus, so they intercepted the bus and used the app to sound an alarm on her stolen phone, which led them to Simon Fleming. They searched his home and found the rest of her missing items.
7. The naked would-be robber
Drema Setliff, 30, of Charleston, West Virginia, allegedly came into the One Stop in Cross Lanes, grabbed the clerk by the hair and forced her to open the cash register. After someone tripped the panic alarm, police found the woman in the store clutching a white towel and asking to be taken to jail. Police said they expected drugs or alcohol may have been involved.
8. The man who tried to flee the scene of a crime in a wheelchair
A WV man was caught walking the aisles of a closed liquor store, filling up on cash and merchandise. He tried to get away on a motorized wheel chair, which was towed away when he was arrested.
9. The man who shoplifted a baby alligator by putting it under his shirt.
It happened at a pet store in Beckley in 2013. The store owner told police the man came in with another man, who already owns a gator. One man distracted the owner with a question while the other picked up the one-foot-long gator, put it under his shirt and walked out the door with it. The store owner told reporters the man likely got bitten by the small gator, which has very sharp teeth.
Can you think of any other dumb criminal stories from West Virginia? Let me know in the comments.