Dumb Criminals Caught on Tape

ByABC News via logo
April 5, 2007, 7:09 AM

April 5, 2007 — -- Most criminals try to stay out of the spotlight, but now some are posting their bad deeds on the Internet for everyone to see -- including the police.

In Florida, a 15-year-old girl is being charged with a vicious beating of another girl. Police found her when she posted the video of the beating on Myspace.

Kentucky police arrested 18-year-old Charles Jeremy Brown this week for a violent rampage in which he allegedly busted church windows and harassed people at a drive-through window.

He posted it on YouTube.

It turns out that all criminals aren't necessarily masterminds.

According to Leland Gregory, author of "The Stupid Crook Book," criminals' downfall may actually be their own pride.

"I have actually done something, and I am extremely proud of it even though it is extremely stupid. I want to show as many people as I can," Gregory said of what they might be thinking.

Michael Darnell allegedly broke into a camera surveillance store, where there was, of course, surveillance.

One Las Vegas armed robber was smart enough to bring a gun, but not smart enough to hold onto it. When he put it down on the counter, it was used to chase him from the store.

An Ohio man stole a car stereo then returned it hours later. Police recognized the car; it belonged to their precinct's newspaper delivery man.

"Usually they are people who get drunk and steal a TV set and go back later and steal the remote control while the cops are there," Gregory said.

Now with YouTube and MySpace, for criminals, it is a dumb new world.

"I think finally technology has caught up to stupidity," Gregory said. "People can do stupid things, and now we can see them all over the world instantaneously."

And police are using YouTube as well. In Aventura, Fla., police post their own videos of crimes to help catch criminals.

"It's there for them to view over and over again on their own free will in the comfort of their own home," Aventura police Sgt. Michael Bentolila said. "So we've kind of unleashed this and it's become -- it's gained a life of its own actually."

What's next in the world of stupid criminal tricks? One expert said he thought with streaming video, criminals would start broadcasting their capers live on the Internet, which means they might be caught even faster.