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Weird Crimes

Thieves Leave Behind Food, Self-Portraits…and People

— June 25, 2020

Attention thieves: If leaving macaroni salad at the scene doesn’t get you caught, leaving self-portraits and family members likely will.

Thieves often leave the most obvious clues behind at the scene.  Just when they believe they’ve committed the perfect crime they tend to leave breadcrumbs – sometimes literally – for investigators to track.  Take the 2019 case of Matthew P. Sapetko, James P. Marullo, and Timothy S. Walker Jr. for example.  The three thieves were charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree larceny after robbing a store and leaving a trail of stolen items behind – including macaroni salad.

“Found along the trail were cash register parts, surveillance system parts, rubber gloves, loose change and a steady trail of macaroni salad,” the sheriff’s office said. “It was later discovered that the suspects stole a large bowl of macaroni salad, which they took turns eating, along their escape route.”

The story of the salad thieves is similar to one that occurred in Iowa City a few years ago when Francisco Jacob Munoz, who had just robbed a store, left behind a trail of stolen snack foods which led police to his location.  According to the report, Munoz was blackout drunk and covered in nacho cheese when he was apprehended.  In addition to the cheese, Slim Jims, Mallomars, and chicharróns were found.

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

Late last year, authorities in California were tracking down a con man who managed to leave behind a caricature of himself after allegedly robbing the artist of $500.

“Do you recognize this caricature?  And no, we are not kidding…,” Riverside Police posted on the department’s Facebook page after the crime.

The suspect reportedly had his portrait drawn during the Festival of Lights in downtown Riverside.  When the artist had completed the job, he “grabbed a money bag and ran, leaving behind the clue,” according to officers.

“This caricature is of the suspect, but of course, has exaggerated characteristics and features,” cops said.  Not the brightest idea to rob someone who just got done drawing you.  But, this obviously saved officers time and money sketching the perpetrator.

Of course, food and portraits are one thing, but leaving people behind takes things to a whole new level.  And, yet, that’s exactly what happened this month in Germany.  Bautzen police took an unidentified 29-year-old robbery suspect into custody after he left his 8-year-old son at the scene.

Police said the man stole five euros worth of goods from a store.  While he was in the act, an alarm was triggered and he fled, leaving his son to fend for himself – and, to be a key eyewitness to the crime.

By interviewing the young boy, authorities were able to track down his father.  Not surprisingly, they reported “the culprit was quickly identified.”  Officers added that the man also somehow fell during his escape and landed himself in the hospital.  So, what started as petty theft ended with the man having some big bills to pay.  Now, that’s karma.


German police: Petty thief fled supermarket, forgot his son

Thief robs artist of $500, leaves behind well-drawn caricature of himself

Authorities ‘Hot on the Trails’ of Convicts Easily Make Arrests

Ashland police follow trail of car parts, fluids to suspect

Cops Follow Trail Of Macaroni Salad Straight To Robbery Suspects

How Criminals’ Snack Trails Have Led Them Straight into the Slammer

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