I was thinking about how we like to make fun of dumb crooks. They deserve it, of course, and obviously not all of them are dumb ones.
But it seems there are a lot of reasons that many crimes don’t go down in history as “successful crimes.” Most of them involve poor planning.
Poor planning can be categorized in many sub-categories, including poor choices in masks — such as the guy who put a paper bag over his head but the holes he cut out were too small and he couldn’t see — or the guy who robbed the store manager who recognized the man’s voice as the same guy he fired the day before.
Planning the master crime should involve logistics. Logistics can include many things, among them the escape route. The route should be an important part of the sit-down planning session, but — quite frankly — many crooks today don’t do the sit-down.
Watching films such as “Oceans Eleven-through-Fifteen,” one would think planning is huge as far as “advance” work.
In some cases, planning is overlooked.
Two guys rob another guy. They get the goods, get in the car and drive off. They assume (assuming is a bad thing to do) they got away. They don’t think the victim will follow. The victim gets in his car and drives after them. “Plan A” is now out the window.
They drive onto the highway, only going as far as the next exit, which isn’t a normal exit but a bus station exit that feeds only back onto the highway — and back in the opposite direction. They loop and then travel back to the same exit they entered on, frantically turning and then wrecking into another car. They end up almost where they started.
It’s like chasing a drunk guy. Drunks who run from the cops will always run in the direction of where they were leaning when they decided to run. Veteran cops just wait until they run a circle and return or until they hit a pine tree.
The initial poor planning is bad enough. But when you don’t have a “Plan B,” or have only a weak “Plan B,” things can compound themselves in a bad way.
When bad guys flee, they seek the woods. If woods are near, they flee to the woods like moths to the flame or CNN to a Michael Jackson tribute.
Most police departments have dogs or access to dogs in a short time. Dogs are great negotiators and they don’t discriminate. They have a great sense of smell and — unlike my dogs, who try to pee on every tree in their path — K-9 dogs find the scent and off they go. They’re excited because they might get to bite someone.
Plan “B” didn’t include trudging through the woods, on a hot July afternoon, not a clue where to go or which way is not covered by a hundred cops since three police jurisdictions come together very close to where said trudging is being done. It was a day of poor planning.
But, another saying comes into play. It’s better to be lucky than — whatever the rest of that saying is.
The third guy got away. Oddly enough, he was the heavy-set of the three. He was lucky and probably lost 10 pounds in the process. His luck was that he didn’t leave in the getaway car. He didn’t make it to the car so he headed out on his own.
As much as one would have to lose in a crime such as a bank robbery, bad guys still write notes on the back of papers or documents that can be traced back to him or her.
Even when they get the money, they still run into problems with dye packs.
Dumb crooks are alive and well — and we’re happy about that.