5 crimes dumber than grand theft lettering

13-06-23 5 Crimes Dumber Than Grand Theft Lettering
Andrew Kuo/Staff

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We’ve all had some experience with grand theft in our lifetimes. Oh, you haven’t? What about that time you were a small schemer plotting to steal that last piece of cake from the fridge as soon as everyone else had gone to sleep? Or when you moved on to stealing cars and shoving random strangers (in “Grand Theft Auto”)?

Some budding criminals have apparently managed to go in both directions. The crime? Stealing the letters that spell out “University of California” on a sign on the west side of Boalt Hall. It’s an amateur prank — or so it seems. The crime report? Grand theft lettering. Shit just got real. Though ’twas a silly offense — an accurate assessment if indeed it was committed by a Stanford student — we at the Clog know it’s our duty to forewarn you of the even dumber criminals out there. And yes, there are some that are a lot dumber.

Public masturbation. Late last year, a man was riding BART (as any self-respecting Bay Area citizen does) and, for reasons unknown, attempted to hand a cellphone to a woman sitting near him. According to the woman’s testimony, upon rejecting the phone, she observed the man pulling out his sweaty genitalia and beginning activity that understandably caused him to giggle uncontrollably. Of course, the lack of security cameras on BART made it difficult to prove in court — we’ll skip the obligatory joke on how he eventually got off easy.

Extra casino chips. Las Vegas is a solid eight hours away from Berkeley. Yet many people make the trek to catch a show, spin some slots or take their chances at the tables. It’s likely that a good number of Berkeley-ites know the strategy behind counting cards, which is a less than surefire way of beating the house. Quinton Carter, a pro on the Denver Broncos who makes more than $500,000 per year, had a foolproof method. He snuck chips onto the table with utter disregard for the security cameras staring him down — a move that rivals getting hit by 300-pound men on a weekly basis. The big guy went small, opting to only sneak an extra $15 in chips, which we can only assume will pay for his upcoming lessons in common sense.

Dancing. Well, it’s only a crime when it’s done badly — or when you first take a sufficient amount of drugs and break into an unsuspecting Monrovia homeowner’s backyard … and start dancing there. This throws a little cold water on the new-age mantra of “Just Dance,” but it does certainly make for a good story to tell at parties — until, of course, you tell them that it resulted in a stain on your previously groovy record.

Crashing a news van. It might have only been a traffic ticket, and your insurance might have been jacked up a bit. But that was assuming you didn’t previously steal an iPad from a backpack at a nearby Peet’s Coffee, hop into a getaway car like in a well-written Ben Affleck movie and then crash into a news van stationed at a community safety meeting. Naturally, the reporters didn’t have to go far to have exclusive coverage on the stupidity of the story.

Cocaine. This is a bit self-explanatory, but this crook had a revolutionary way of transporting it. Matching the apparent hipster culture of the Bay Area, he avoided the traditional snorting or butt-chugging practices, instead opting to swallow more than two pounds of the snowy powder pellets. In his continuing infinite wisdom, he boarded a plane to Japan from the student-frequented SFO and was stopped. You may have realized that it is somewhat difficult to walk after stuffing 100 pills in your mouth. Even more difficult would be to poop out the pills on the airplane, as the man intended, and potentially reswallow them if he had to.

According to police, the crime of grand theft lettering was committed in the rather large interval between May 1 and June 14 — a testament to the lack of law students who actually attend class. Maybe. But at least the criminals are smarter than these ones!

Do you know of any crazy crimes? Let us know in the comments!

Contact Uday at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @mehtakid.