Car thieves take pictures of selves with stolen car

Two car thieves in Redlands, Calif., stole a 2001 Mustang and took pictures of each other with a disposable camera they found inside. When they abandoned the car, they left the camera, along with fingerprints and other evidence, for the police to find.

And Redlands police were ever-so-grateful to 28-year-old Albert Engelsman of Redlands and 22-year-old Matthew Montanez of Rialto, who pretty much did all the legwork for investigators who recovered the 2001 Ford Mustang the men are suspected of stealing. . . .

“These are not the brightest people,’ said Carl Baker, public-information officer with the Police Department. “I think, in general, what I find is that crooks, as a class of people, are not the brightest. But every once in a while you run into some that make others look like Einstein.’

The Mustang’s owner had reported the car stolen on Oct. 30. It was found on Kenwood Drive in Redlands on Nov. 2. As detectives searched through the car, they came upon the camera and took it out to be developed, Baker said.

And there, along with a few photos obviously taken by the car’s owner, they found the clear mugs of their suspects, Baker said. Pictures and fingerprints led them right to Engelsman’s doorstep. — San Bernardino Sun

These two definitely qualify for, and share, today’s Stupid Person of the Day award.

Drug dealer files lawsuit against police dog

Wayne Francis Green, 46, of Albany, Ohio, filed a lawsuit in Athens County Court of Common Pleas against Andi, a dog used by the county sheriff’s department.

The suit stems from a 2003 search of Green’s business which turned up 50 pounds of marijuana, and for which Green was convicted last month. He is to be sentenced in January.

County Prosecutor C. David Warren said to his knowledge, it’s the first time the county’s dog has ever been singled out as a defendant. Warren has volunteered to handle Andi’s defense personally. . . .

Green, who is representing himself, alleges that a search of his furniture business in 2003 was illegal. He claims officers also went into an adjoining building that he owned without a warrant, but police deny it.

Green said Wednesday evening that he felt endangered by Andi’s presence.

“They’ve got a mean ol’ dog, you know what I’m saying? I take that pretty serious,’ Green said, adding, “I’m a dog lover, but that’s the limit.’ — Associated Press

Police say they found the marijuana in the furniture business, not the other building. And Green, for clogging up the courts with a completely frivolous lawsuit, is most certainly today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Sodomy suspect tries to bribe victim twice

A 40 year old schoolteacher in South Africa, accused of sodomizing a 15 year old boy and bribing him by providing the answers to exams, lost his bail on Monday, apparently having tried to bribe the victim — this time with money — into dropping the charges.

The teacher, who can’t be named because he hasn’t been asked to plead yet, teaches at a high school near Malamulele.

His bail was revoked in Malamulele magistrate’s court when the teenager’s mother complained to the police about the second alleged bribe. . . .

The alleged sodomy was uncovered only when fellow teachers became suspicious of the boy’s almost-perfect exam marks.

The school suspected cheating, and launched an internal inquiry. When they confronted the boy, he told them he’d been sodomised and given the answers in return. . . .

Limpopo’s education spokesperson Ndou Mangala has previously warned that teachers who get sexually involved with pupils face dismissal and blacklisting. — African Eye News Service

The man, who as yet is unnamed, is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Teacher caught snorting cocaine in class

Terry Kaupilla, 45, of Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested after students in the 7th grade class he was substitute teaching at Lake Shore Middle School saw him snorting cocaine.

According to Principal Iranetta Wright, students became so alarmed, they notified school administrators immediately.

“Allegations were made by the students that a substitute teacher was in class doing drugs. They said he was sniffing something.’

The Principal talked to students, then the substitute teacher, and contacted police. . . .

According to the police report, a bag of cocaine was spotted near Kaupilla while he was being questioned by police; and he later admitted, “he had been doing this for about seven months and realizes he had a problem.’ — First Coast News

Terry Kaupilla faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, and for doing it around teenagers, becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Bank robbery by phone?

A man in Wellington, New Zealand, who previously robbed a bank in person, tried to rob the same bank by telephone on Friday.

“He’s rung (the bank) and said ‘I’m the guy who robbed you the other day and I want the manager to put some money in a bag and go and stand in the street,’ said Detective Sergeant Chris Winder of the Auckland Police.

“(He said) ‘I’ll drive by slowly and take the bag from you and drive off.”

A plain clothes police officer stood outside the bank in the northern city of Auckland on Friday carrying a bag but the man did not appear. Instead, he called again. . . .

Police traced the calls and arrested a man Saturday, charging him with aggravated robbery and demanding money with menaces. — Associated Press

The man, unnamed in news reports, is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Police officer tasers own partner

A police officer in Hamtramck, Mich., was accused of using a Taser on his partner during an argument over whether they should stop for a soft drink while on duty.

Ronald Dupuis, 32, was charged Wednesday with assault and could face up to three months in jail if convicted. The six-year veteran was fired after the Nov. 3 incident.

Dupuis and partner Prema Graham began arguing after Dupuis demanded she stop their car at a store so he could buy a soft drink, according to a police report.

The two then struggled over the steering wheel, and Dupuis hit her leg with his department-issued Taser, the report said. She was not seriously hurt. — Associated Press

Bad cop, no donut. Ronald Dupuis is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Woman tries to hire hitman for cheese

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, of Memphis, Tenn., saw a block of queso fresco cheese at the house of four acquaintances when she got the bright idea to have them killed.

In an unusual case of mistaken identity, a woman who thought a block of white cheese was cocaine is charged with trying to hire a hit man to rob and kill four men. The woman also was mistaken about the hit man. He turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, was arrested over the weekend and remains in jail with bond set at $1 million on four charges of attempted murder and four counts of soliciting a murder.

According to police, Booth was in the Memphis home of the four intended victims last week when she mistook a block of queso fresco cheese for cocaine — inspiring the idea to hire someone to break into the home, take the drugs, and kill the men. . . .

A search of the home with the permission of the occupants revealed no drugs — only the white, crumbly cheese common in Mexican cuisine.

“Four men were going to lose their lives over some cheese,’ said Lt. Jeff Clark, who heads Project Safe Neighborhoods. — Associated Press

If you’re going to hatch a scheme like this, beware that most hitmen are actually undercover police officers. You aren’t likely to be able to afford a real hitman. And Jessica Sandy Booth, for mistaking cheese for cocaine, becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Drunken Playboy Playmates arrested after flight

Two Playboy Playmates were arrested Sunday in San Antonio, Texas, when they got drunk on a flight from Denver to San Antonio and started fighting with each other, and then with other passengers. They were taken into custody, and offered to sleep with the arresting officers.

Danielle Gamba, 23, and Carrie Minter, 22, were allegedly so drunk on the plane that they were deemed a danger to themselves and others. . . .

San Antonio authorities say the episode became even more bizarre when Gamba made sexual advances toward two police officers in an attempt to avoid arrest. — Rocky Mountain News

“One of the women started saying she was a celebrity and that’s why the passenger who complained ‘shouldn’t mess with her,’ and that sort of thing,’ David Hebert, a spokesman for the San Antonio airport, told CBS.

Danielle Gamba and Carrie Minter are tied for today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Foster parents who put children in cages try to regain custody

It’s rare that a Stupid Person featured here actually returns to the news, but it’s happened. In September, we reported on Sharen and Mike Gravelle, who were adoptive or foster parents for 11 children, whom they were caught keeping in cages. Now they’re in court, trying to regain custody of the children.

One boy said he had to live in the bathroom for about three months, sleeping in the bathtub, as punishment for going to the bathroom in his cage, Huron County sheriff’s Lt. Randy Sommers said during a custody hearing.

Sommers said two children told him about punishments of being shoved or being held under water. In another incident he said a child told of “having his face shoved against a bathroom wall until his nose bled.’

The testimony came in an effort by the parents, Michael and Sharen Gravelle, to regain custody of the children, ages 1 to 14. The youngsters have health and behavioral problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome and pica, a disorder in which children eat dirt.

Child-welfare workers had heard rumors that the couple kept some of the children in cages two years before the youngsters were removed from the home, said Jo Ellen Johnson, an investigator for the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services, in testimony Tuesday.

Officials tried to follow up on the rumors in 2003, but the Gravelles would not cooperate and a full investigation was never conducted. The children were finally taken from the Gravelles in September after Johnson visited the home and examined the chicken-wire cages.

“They were piled one on top of another. It looked like a kennel,’ Johnson said.

The Gravelles have not been charged. They say they built enclosures with alarms where the children could sleep for their own protection.

Judge Timothy Cardwell will determine whether the children were abused or neglected. If the allegations are not proved, the Gravelles, who live near rural Wakeman, could regain custody. — Associated Press

Absolutely amazing.

Man goes off medication, tells air marshals he has a bomb

Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, of Maitland, Fla., had just boarded a flight from Miami to Orlando when he suddenly jumped up and claimed he had a bomb in his backpack. Federal air marshals pursued him when he tried to run off the airplane.

According to a witness, the man frantically ran down the aisle of the Boeing 757, flailing his arms, while his wife tried to explain that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication.

The passenger indicated there was a bomb in his bag and was confronted by air marshals but ran off the aircraft, Doyle said. The marshals went after him and ordered him to get down on the ground, but he did not comply and was shot when he apparently reached into the bag, Doyle said.

The plane, Flight 924, had arrived in Miami from Medellin, Colombia, just after noon, and the shooting occurred shortly after 2 p.m. as the plane was about to take off for Orlando with the man and 119 other passengers and crew, American spokesman Tim Wagner said. . . .

Gardner said she heard the woman say her husband was bipolar — a mental illness also known as manic-depression — and had not had his medication. — Associated Press

Thanks to our friends at The Jawa Report for the tip. This story is also being covered at Homeland Stupidity.

If you tell federal air marshals you have a bomb in your backpack, and then reach into it, they’re going to shoot you. That should be fairly obvious, and what’s why Rigoberto Alpizar is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.