If you are planning to rob a bank or do a bit of breaking and entering or even if you see a spot of murder in your future, well then it makes sense to wear some kind of disguise. A mask? Certainly. Something that hides your hair color? Good idea. Wear long sleeves so they don’t let them get a look at that distinctive tattoo, either. But some criminals carry it a little bit further. Like let’s go into the bank dressed as Batman and Robin. Or Darth Vader. Now, there are disguises and there are dumb disguises. Batman and Robin or Darth Vader are the head to toe look that work, and a pretty good disguise, assuming your cape doesn’t get caught in the bank’s revolving door. There are some costumes or disguises that aren’t so smart, as we will see.
Here are 15 mostly stupid trick or treat costumed criminals, most of whom got caught and traded those costumes for orange prison gear. Smiling for the mugshot is optional.
15. Rick James And Super Fly’s Youngblood Priest
Rick James was a R&B and soul legend of the 60s and 70s, a major influence on soul giants such as Marvin Gaye. Only thing is, James died in 2004. And in 1972’s blaxploitation film Super Fly, Youngblood Priest was a bad a** cocaine dealer. He was so bad, he was good. So what the heck were a dead musician and an iconic fictional bad guy doing in Indianapolis? They were in Indiana robbing a Credit Union, that’s what. Their costumes were spot on and the handguns were real. And when they demanded cash, the teller took one look at them and decided not to mess with either them or the guns. These guys got away. If you see them, call the cops. Once you stop laughing. Their orange gear will seem dull after this.
14. A Bald Black Guy – Or Is He?
Don’t panic. The one of the left is a mask that costs hundreds of dollars. It was worn by Floridian Conrad Zdzierak (on the right) when he robbed four banks and a CVS pharmacy. All over a three hour span. This crook was smart, even wearing sunglasses so people wouldn’t spot his blue eyes. In between robberies, Zdzierak would take off the mask and drive by police as they hunted the black suspect. He might have gotten away with it but a security dye pack from one of the bank jobs exploded in his car, which cops found parked outside of a hotel. And in his room? The mask in all its eyeless glory. We think Conrad has a lot of orange in his future.
13. Big Booty Model Becomes A Nun With A Gun
In South America, a group of women dressed as nuns were really into smuggling cocaine. Seems they were a lot nervous and were spotted and nabbed. And what do you do if you are Navahcia Edwards and you have embezzled funds from the Chicago bank you used to work for? Get your boyfriend involved, buy a couple of nun costumes, complete with masks, and get the money to pay it back by robbing another bank disguised as nuns. The costumes were virtually identical to the ones worn by bank robbers in the Ben Affleck film The Town. We should point out that the twenty-something worked as a big booty model, because she is photogenic and had a pert big booty. The boyfriend testified against her and she tried to claim that it was not her but some white girl behind that mask. The end of the story? Big booty model modelling orange in a Federal prison.
12. Darth Vader Zero, Cops Two
Okay. Rule number one of disguises and costumes: Put them on BEFORE you go into the place you intend to rob. And rule number two? Don’t brag about a crime on social media. Jamie Hernandez, a Michigan man planned to rob a convenience store at knife-point using a Darth Vader mask. Okay, sounds like a plan, Jamie. Only thing was he went into the store with the mask in his hand and put it on after the security cameras and store clerk had seen him. Over in Pineville, North Carolina, Thomas Gilbert, dressed head to toe as Darth Vader and carrying a shotgun, robbed a Pineville Credit Union. He had bragged about what he was going to do on Facebook. It goes without saying that orange is the new black for those two.
11. He Was Dressed As What?
Did you know you can buy a breathalyzer costume for Halloween? They are around $40 on eBay. Think it sounds hilarious? Not for some. But the headlines were funny: “Halloween Reveler Dressed as Breathalyzer Busted For Drunk Driving.” The jokes were very predictable after 19-year-old Matthew Nieveen was nabbed by cops for DUI. He was decked out as a breathalyzer, with his blow tube protruding from his nether regions. The Nebraskan was more than twice over the legal limit. Okay, no prizes for guessing the running joke: Did he blow himself? Or did somebody offer to blow him? Let’s move on. He did jail time, had his license revoked for three years, and had to cough up some $1,300 in fines.
10. The Hedgehog Bomber Of Baltimore
Twenty-something Alex Brizzi went to the Baltimore, Maryland Fox station, demanding they air some information about an imminent apocalypse. God told him to do it. He appeared to have a bomb strapped to his chest and he threatened to blow up the station if they didn’t comply. Oh yeah. He was in a Hedgehog onesie and the bomb made from candy bars wrapped in aluminum foil was a fake. People inside and outside of the station were freaking out because they thought the bomb was real. When he walked out of the station, cops followed him, demanding he put his hands up. When he didn’t, they shot him and took him into custody. He’s okay and pleaded guilty to five felony counts. Instead of orange, he’s probably in a white mental hospital gown, because he’s getting treatment for a variety of mental conditions.
9. Captain America With A Burrito In His Tights
Raymond Adamcik, a family physician, was on a superhero-themed costumed pub crawl with other doctor chums in Florida. He chose Captain America. And, as it was a pub crawl, he ended up drunk. It must have seemed like a great idea, thesmokinggun.com reported, to stuff a stuffed burrito down his skin tight tights and invite a lady to touch it. Soliciting, we think they call it. Then, he does a bit of groping himself and the cops are called. So, quick as the wink of an eye, he tries to stash the burrito in his boots and flush some weed down the toilet. There were so many Captain Americas at the pub that they had to be hauled outside for an impromptu lineup. Nabbed, doc. Some reports say the burrito had its own mugshot. If so, it’s just got to look better than the doc’s sad shot.
8. Gregory “Moss Man” Liascos
Why on earth did Gregory Liascos disguise himself in moss sniper camouflage head to toe? Was he communing with, becoming one, with nature. In a word: No. He was in Oregon blending into the rugged Pacific Northwest woods, hiding in plain sight, waiting for his chance to break into a geological museum to steel hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold nuggets. He cut a hole in a museum wall which was spotted by a security guard. Call in the K9 unit the cops said, and soon the thirty-something hiding in the woods was well and truly under arrest. It seems like a bizarre way to go about a burglary. Dumb even. Well, when he didn’t show up for his trial, a felony warrant was issued and Moss Man was arrested in Michigan. For Gregory, orange is the new green.
7. Gumby And The Stick Up
Eddie Murphy did his Gumby thing for skits on Saturday Night Live. And San Diego resident Jacob Kiss, recognized the potential of the weird, green suit. But, it just didn’t work out. It started to go downhill as soon as he entered a convenience store just after midnight with a spot of armed robbery in mind. The security footage shows Gumby waving and having a great time. Only thing was when he tried to pull “a gun” from his pocket, he only came up with loose change that he dropped on the floor before he got the heck out of there. A robber who leaves money? He later turned himself in. It goes without saying he no longer has that Gumby suit.
6. The Dumbest Identity Thief Ever?
Joshua Pinney stole a guy’s I.D. and planned to do a bit of identity thieving. So, the thirty-something looked at the picture on the driver’s license of an old guy with facial hair and came up with this costume, which he thought would fool bank personal and score him a new debit card. Oh, he said to the bank staff, I’ve been in an accident, hence the bandages. They almost laughed in his face. The cops had plenty of chuckles. When one cop asked him if he actually thought his child’s play costume would work, he just hung his head. This has got to be one of the most pathetic attempts at disguise we have ever seen. Joshua said it was his girlfriend’s idea. She probably won’t be on his visitor’s list.
5. See, I’ll Put This Over My Head
Jamie Neil and his mate were planning to rob an English petrol (gas) station. His friend wrapped his head in a scarf, disguising his features. Jamie took a more minimalist approach, putting a totally clear plastic bag over his head. He was spotted and identified, without his bag, two days later. Police couldn’t believe their dumb luck or, indeed, how dumb Neil was. One cop called his so-called disguise “ridiculous”. It didn’t take the courts long to imprison the guy. The only guy that maybe is dumber is the English dude who robbed a store with underpants on his head. Only thing was, his face was clearly visible through a leg hole and it was clearly caught on security camera footage. But the all time favorite? Has to be the German guy who robbed a bank with a sack over his head. No eye holes and so he had to take it off to see what he was doing.
4. Duct Tape Man
No prizes for guessing this brilliant (not) disguise. Meet Kasey Kazee (rhymes with crazy?), the Kentucky thief who wrapped his head in duct tape so nobody would recognize him when he robbed a liquor store. He’s a bloody mess because the manager caught him stealing rolls of coins and chased him with a wooden club wrapped in good old duct tape. He was wrestled to the ground and held until the police showed up to take him away. One thing he didn’t think about beforehand was how much fun the cops would have ripping the tape from his face and hair. Oh dear. Does that hurt? Prison is a piece of cake compared to that one.
3. All The Presidents’ Masks
Think about it. The thief with the presidential seal of approval. Take Obama. His masks are popular with robbers all over the world. There’s a guy in Austria who was arrested for seven bank robberies, all while wearing a smiley Obama mask. Then there’s this guy who smiled all the way through his stick up at gunpoint of a Dunkin Donuts store. He walks out with the money. Almost as popular with thieves is the Donald Trump mask. A guy wearing it and carrying a baseball bat robbed a Maine store in July of 2016. And let’s be fair to Hillary Clinton: A bank robber used her mask to stick up a bank in 2015. She asked whether she should be flattered or not. We’re not certain that’s the right question.
2. The Complete Face Makeover
The Hatton Garden robbery has gone down in the annals of British crime. Two enterprising English thieves were part of a gang that staged Great Britain’s largest jewelry heist. They paid a makeup artist around $700 to change their hair color, skin tone and looks, by using rubber masks. And it took four hours. Was the makeup artist suspicious? Well maybe, but they told the guy that it was for a music video. One thief joked to the other that not even his own mother would recognize him. And, at the end of the day, they got away with around $65 million in jewelry. Oops. But they left a mobile phone in the getaway car they abandoned. For a time, the frightened makeup artist, who could obviously identify the two, was kept under police protection.
1. Rain City Superhero Movement
The world needs more superheroes. It’s not just bad guys who use costumes. Over in England, some unknown guy is dressing up as Batman and patrolling the streets. He’s even turned in a bad guy or two. And in Seattle, Washington, there was the Rain City Superhero Group. Ten guys started it in 2011. They dressed up as superheroes and did what superheroes have always done: Fight for truth, justice and the American way. Until they were disbanded in 2014 (police weren’t crazy about the idea), they stopped robberies and carjackings and all sorts of crimes. They were folk heroes to some and vigilantes to others. Many had marital arts training and it was the brave bad guy who took them one.