In 2007, a thief drove a $280,000 Porsche through the glass window of a Malaysian luxury car showroom. The car was abandoned nearby, its fuel tank empty. The thief kept the keys and returned with a can of gas to the police station where the car was impounded, successfully stealing the vehicle a second time.
2. In 1995, the Chinese government kidnapped a 6-year old Tibetan boy called the Panchen Lama and replaced him with a Han Chinese "fake Panchen". The Panchen Lama is in charge of choosing the next Dalai Lama, and the real Panchen Lama has never been heard from since.
3. In 1937, dancer Patricia Douglas was brutally assaulted at an MGM party. Instead of bartering her silence for a studio contract or cash, Douglas went public with her story and filed a landmark lawsuit. The studio covered up the crime and destroyed her life.
4. Glenn K. Tripp was a D.B Cooper copycat, who hijacked a plane for a $600,000 ransom. He had his drink spiked with Valium by a flight attendant. After a 10-hour standoff, he lowered his ransom to 3 cheeseburgers and a head start on a getaway.
5. More than 5,000 babies across the United States were abducted by a supposedly charitable organization between 1924 and 1950. The group targeted poor Southern families and developed a black market for white babies.
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When Dr. John Schneeberger was accused of sexual assault, he managed to beat three DNA tests by implanting a plastic tube filled with another man's blood in his arm. A more comprehensive test using hair and saliva samples resulted in a match. He was eventually convicted, jailed, and deported.
7. A hacker named Raphael Gray posted stolen data of over 6,500 credit cards online, claiming that the law enforcement was too incompetent to stop him. Gray's arrogance annoyed ex-hacker Chris Davis so much that he found Gray's information and informed the FBI about the crime, leading to Gray's arrest.
8. In 1926, popular pianist Fats Waller (then 21) was kidnapped by Al Capone's gang to play piano for his birthday. He basically went missing for 3 days and was returned unharmed but drunk.
9. A serial arsonist named John Leonard Orr worked as an arson investigator and fire captain in California. He would sometimes commit arson on his way to and from arson investigator conferences. Before his arrest, he even wrote a novel about a firefighter who was a serial arsonist.
10. In the town of F*cking in Austria, the most reported crime always was theft of the ‘F*cking’ road signs. In 2005 they were replaced with antitheft ones and CCTV cameras to deter tourists from filming sex there. The Police chief once even said, “We won't stand for F*cking signs being removed. It may be amusing…but F*cking is simply F*cking to us.”
The kidnapping of 4-year-old American named Charley Ross in 1874 for ransom (first in US history) became a nationwide sensation. Charley, who was never found, was lured by two men offering candy and fireworks. This incident gave rise to the warning “never take candy from strangers.”
12. In 2002, a 7-year-old Philadelphia girl named Erica Pratt was abducted and locked in a basement. She managed to escape from her kidnappers in less than 24 hours by gnawing through the duct tape binding her hands and feet, kicking out a panel on the basement door, punching out a window, and then screaming for help.
13. In 1931, a man named William McBoyle stole an airplane but was acquitted on all charges because airplanes were not considered "vehicles" and there was no law against aircraft theft at that time.
14. Kim Jong Il once kidnapped the biggest South Korean director and movie star (who were also ex-husband and wife) and brought them to North Korea to make movies for him. They escaped by convincing him to let them go abroad to promote the North Korean film industry.
15. In 1998, a burglar stole a priceless diamond ornament (Sisi Sterne) originally belonging to empress Elisabeth of Austria, replacing it with a gift shop replica. Newspapers covered up the theft by claiming it had been speedily recovered and the fake remained on display for 10 years.
In 2002, three geriatric Catholic nuns broke into a US nuclear missile launch facility, vandalized the facility with hammers, and drew crosses on the silo with their own blood.
17. In 2007, Serbian vandals drove a stake into former president Slobodan Milosevic's grave to prevent him from coming back as a vampire.
18. In 2018, a major UK supermarket chain fond that shoplifters were using self-service checkouts to scan expensive fruit and vegetables as carrots. They were only discovered when the supermarket noticed they had sold more carrots than they’d ever had in stock.
19. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis, was burned down by an arsonist who wished to be famous for his crime. Following his execution, the Ancient Greeks made it an offense subject to the death penalty to even mention his name.
20. A popular Japanese cat burglar was unmasked to be a 74-year-old pensioner named Mitsuaki Tanigawa, after 9 years’ worth of heists. He stole more than 29 million yen (£194,000) during his spree. When captured, he said: “I am defeated.”
The Stopwatch Gang were three Canadian bank robbers who were known for their brilliant planning of heists, politeness to victims, and non-violent methods all while robbing banks within 90 seconds.
22. Someone in Voronezh, Russia vandalized a Soviet-era monument not by destroying it, but by painting it to look like Patrick Star from Spongebob Squarepants.
23. The then-fugitive millionaire Robert Durst was arrested in 2001 for shoplifting a $5 sandwich, even though he had $500 of cash in his pockets.
24. Black Bart was an outlaw who successfully robbed 28 stagecoaches and left this poem in one of them: “I've labored long and hard for bread / For honor, and for riches / But on my corns too long you've tread / You fine-haired sons of b*tches.”
25. Peter Scott who was nicknamed “master idiot” was a burglar whose victims include Sophia Loren and the Shah of Iran. Once when he was disturbed during a heist by a woman, he shouted “Everything’s all right, madam” and she went off to bed thinking he was the butler. On other occasions, he would reassuringly shout “It’s only me!”