It’s been said that the pop-culture image of the “criminal genius” is a myth. Because, if they really were geniuses, they’d make money legitimately. In fact, that very idea became a running gag in the Austin Powers movies, with henchman Number 2 trying to explain to Dr. Evil that Virtucon, their legitimate front company, makes over nine billion dollars a year.
If nothing else should dispel the myth of the criminal genius, it’s the fact that criminals are so often so obviously dumb.
A pair of melon heads — yes, actual people with watermelons on their heads — caused quite a stir after they used watermelons as face masks to allegedly steal from a convenience store in a small Virginia town.
The duo pulled up in a lifted 2006 black Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and entered a Sheetz store on May 5 while wearing carved out watermelons with holes cut out for their eyes, according to the Louisa Police Department.
One of the two suspects was arrested on Friday, Police Chief Tom Leary confirmed to CNN. Police are still looking for the second suspect[…]
Candice Wendt, a Sheetz customer, told CNN affiliate WRIC she thought using melons as face masks is “ridiculous.”
“The amount of work that you have to do to actually hollow-out a watermelon to stick it on your head, I think, is kind of crazy,” she said. “Why? Why would they do that? It’s so stupid.”
The news is rife with idiotic criminals coming unstuck in various hilarious ways, whether it be the fleeing robber who took refuge, fully clothed, in a nudist colony. Or the would-be bank robbers who phoned ahead to let their target bank know that they were about to be robbed, so the bank employees could conveniently have the money ready for them. Instead of, you know, calling the cops. Or the man who, on having a heart attack, tried to enter the hereafter with a clean slate by confessing to a decades-old murder…and then recovered – to face a life sentence.
But, very rarely, a crime comes along that really does seem like a work of genius.
In 2008, Anthony Curcio, a failing businessman with a heavy drug habit and a lot of debts, decided to rob a Brink’s armoured car delivering cash to a Bank of America. After observing and plannning for three months, Curcio launched his plot.
Days before the robbery, Curcio placed a Craigslist ad for a fictitious construction project. The ad specified that applicants wear jeans, blue shirt, work shoes and yellow safety vest and carry goggles and painter’s mask. The address was given as the parking lot next to the Bank of America.
On schedule, Curcio robbed the armoured car…wearing jeans, blue shirt, yellow vest and goggles and mask.
When police arrived, the scene was milling with men matching the robber’s description. Meanwhile, having ditched his outer clothes (attached by velcro), Curcio made his getaway.
Unfortunately for Curcio, a homeless man had noticed him making a dummy run a few days before the actual robbery, and noted his license plate.
Anthony Curcio spent some five years in Federal prison. He completed rehab and turned to writing, especially children’s books. Since his release, he has turned to public speaking, working with youth and giving presentations regarding drug abuse prevention and the importance of making positive choices.
“I can never change my past and the crimes I committed, but the worst crime of all would be if I remained the same person I was.”
Let’s see if our two melon-heads similarly reform their fruit-abusing, store-robbing ways.
Or will they be back, with new, seasonal disguises, come halloween?
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