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Departments : It's a Jungle Out There

Stoopid Crooks

Simple minds flub even the simplest crimes.

December 01, 2001  |  by Commander Gilmore

Hey! We're the Bad Guys! Over Here!

Five mental midgets who knocked over a McDonald's in Detroit might have made a clean getaway if they hadn't committed a terrible mistake common to idiots: they tried to be smart, while suffering from an insufficiency of "smarts."

The gang pulled their heist while wearing distinctive bandanas, scrammed outta the scene, and leaped into a crookmobile unseen by witnesses. Now, ditching those identifiable headrags was a good idea. But to make it effective you gotta make sure what you're ditchin' really gets ditched, and ain't like, stickin' to your shoe. In this case, one of the Crime Kings tossed his bandana out the car window, failing to notice that it snagged on the antenna. Flyin' their "We're The Crooks" pennant, they could only watch in wonder while one black-and-white after another spotted 'em, hung squealing U-turns, and came smokin' up on their back bumper.

Cops five, crooks zero. Next time they should consider just hoisting the Jolly Roger.

She Couldn't Find A Big Enough Mask

And it woulda taken a feed sack, maybe, or a small parachute. Elizabeth McDonald, 24, got popped for robbing her ex-employers at a VFW hall in Medina, Ohio, even though she was wearing a mask and most of the victims had their eyes on her pistol. Even with that kinda distraction though, they couldn't help but notice that the chick robbing them had waist-length bright red hair, just like, ummm... their former pal Lizzie. It turned out there weren't too many flaming redheads with waist-length locks in Medina, and only one who knew the cash routine at the VFW hall ... who used to work there, no less. Tough case, guys. Probably spent a lot of time on the computer on this one.

We're Just Weepin' In Our Beer Over This One

You know, 'cause we're so socially sensitive. We get all upset an' teary-eyed when some predatory scumbag gets popped by his "helpless prey." So let's hear some big boo-hoo-hoos for poor Anthony Peralez, and scorn for that big bully, 72-year-old grandmother Jean Zamirripa of Colorado Springs.

Jean, that ruffian, went and got herself a solid double-action .38 Special revolver after two older women were brutally raped in her neighborhood. Her pal Carl Duncan had advised her to get that piece and a crash course in kitchen-distance shooting. She did, and she's glad, the big bully.

Jean was snoozin' when she heard somebody prying at her back door, and she rashly presumed it might mean trouble. What a cynic. She jumped up barefoot in her nightgown, scooped up her trusty roscoe, moved to a "final defensive point" position in her kitchen, steadied one shaky elbow on the countertop in a modified Granny-Isosceles stance, and waited. All was ready on the firing line ...

She didn't have long to wait. Her uninvited guest got tired of prying and charged the door, busting it off the hinges and falling into the room. At this point, for some reason, Jean thought Anthony might have mischief on his mind. When Peralez stood up, she sorta passed on appealing to his conscience or begging for mercy, and instead just commenced poppin' caps. About three seconds and four rounds later, Anthony had two ventilating wounds in an arm,and a slug dead-square in his belly. While he was wondering what happened to the sweet old granny-lady he came to rape, Jean was reloading and dialin' 911.

Apparently, these little dings an' owies kinda dampened his ardor for the crime, and he opted to limp away and crawl into his car. Anthony got a couple blocks, sideswiping two cars along the way, before he decided to stop and just concentrate on bleedin' for a while. That's where officers found him, messin' up his upholstery.

"It's time people knew they can defend themselves from this kind of thing," Jean told reporters. "It doesn't matter where you live or how old you are. This is how the world is." And Anthony? All that blood was useful. DNA tied him to those two other rapes plus a third. He's facing 51 criminal charges and 200-plus years in prison before his first parole hearing. Another victim of "granny justice." Boo, hoo, hoo.

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