Dumb criminals making it easy for cops

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Christmastime has passed, but lately some criminally-minded citizens are determined to gift-wrap themselves for the cops.

In the last few weeks, police have seen a couple cases of blatant and stupid crimes occurring right under their noses.

Last weekend, a Windsor, Ont. man was arrested for vandalism, committed across the street from a police station.

An officer in police headquarters spotted a man across the street “acting suspiciously.” The man then pulled out a marker and started writing on a mailbox.

In one of the easier arrests he’ll ever make, the officer walked across the street and nabbed the vandal, who was charged with mischief.

That’s a small-time crime. Another recent case exhibited higher stakes, greater boldness, and diminished intelligence.

One frigid night in January, a man approached police in Barrie, Ont. and asked to hitch a ride. However, the man matched the description of a man who’d allegedly been dealing drugs in the neighbourhood a day earlier.

The cops questioned him and, on learning his real name, discovered he was wanted on several outstanding charges. On top of that, he was carrying $10,000 worth of cocaine.

He was arrested and faces multiple charges, including trafficking.

There’s no shortage of these stories of silly crimes committed a bit too close to a cop shop, but perhaps the most remarkable case of cop-criminal close encounters was back in 1960 when two men robbed a Medicine Hat, Alta. police station.

Oh wait, not just two men — two police officers — robbed a police station.

It’s a complicated caper, but basically it involved two cops who conspired to steal a tackle box containing about $44,000 in cash and cheques that had been left at the station for safekeeping.

Both officers were arrested and got several years in jail. The scorn and embarrassment presumably lasted much longer.

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