If you're smart enough to mastermind a life of illicit activity, you ought to be smart enough to avoid getting caught. The half-witted individuals on this list managed to ruin their incredibly lucky bit of freedom with several horrifyingly stupid moves. From getting a tattoo of cold case clues to plastering his whereabouts all over Facebook and trying to find a hitman on Craigslist, these are the dumbest lawbreakers who were almost in the clear and then gave themselves away.
Who are these individuals who would have gotten away with their unlawful actions were it not for their slip-ups? Take a look for yourselves.
Man Gets Away With Crime...Then Updates Everyone Via Facebook
Maxi Sopo, a then 26-year-old hiding from police in Mexico, was smart enough to commit bank fraud. Yet it somehow slipped his mind to remove a former Justice Department official from his list of Facebook friends. The Cameroon native consistently updated his status from Cancun, detailing the great time he was having evading charges in Seattle. Memorable status updates included "LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!! BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT ... REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE."
Sopo arrived in the US around 2003 and sold roses in Seattle nightclubs until, according to prosecutors, he decided to commit unlawful actions. After initial police efforts to find Sopo on Facebook and Myspace were unsuccessful, Secret Service agent Seth Reeg took a second look, finding Sopo's private profile and scanning his public list of friends.
As it turns out, a former Justice Department employee had met Sopo briefly in the Seattle nightclub scene and was more than happy to help officials. Sopo is doing up to 30 years, but he'll probably keep us updated.
Man Gets Away With Homicide, Then Tattoos Cold Case Clues On His Chest
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Kevin Lloyd was flipping through photographs of tattooed gang members and stumbled upon some very permanent evidence on Anthony Garcia, a Pico Rivera member found responsible for a 2004 unsolved liquor store case. Rivera had key details of the scene tattooed on his chest, including the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store, the direction the victim John Juarez's body fell, and a distinctive street light.
The ink across his chest probably didn't help his case. Garcia was sentenced to 65 years.
James Wombles: The GPS Genius
Don't attempt a B&E while wearing a GPS tracking anklet given to you by police. You won't get away with it. James Wombles, a Riverside, Ohio native, allegedly committed several holdups. Wombles was already under police surveillance due to a previous stolen property charge.
Reportedly, Wombles didn't realize his GPS anklet would prevent him from slipping away unnoticed from another scene of unlawful activity.
Note Written On Pay Stub Leads To Apprehension
An Illinois man, Thomas Infante, entered the Fifth Third Bank in December 2008 with the goal of obtaining unearned cash. He made off with just under $400 before authorities tracked him to his Cary home. The FBI was called in and quickly realized that they were dealing with no mastermind - as they discovered that he had written a note threatening tellers to "Be Quick Be Quit (sic). Give your cash or I'll shoot..." on his pay stub, complete with his name and address.
He was apprehended at his home and confessed to investigators.