10 Terribly Bungled Crimes

Diagram of how the infamous Brinks job of 1950 went down.
Diagram of how the infamous Brinks job of 1950 went down.
Carl Iwasaki/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The annals of true crime are filled with some truly amazing heists that were carefully planned and brilliantly orchestrated. The Lufthansa heist in New York in 1978 is a great example. At $5.8 million [source: AP], it surpassed even the famous Brinks job in Boston, Mass., in 1950, which netted the bandits more than $2.75 million in cash and checks [source: Boston Public Library].

Both of these heists were sensational. They captured headlines from the crime to the police investigation, through the trials and beyond. But both are peanuts compared to a couple more recent heists.

In August 2005, a group of Brazilian robbers tunneled beneath two city blocks in Fortaleza, and dug their way into the bank vault from beneath. The robbers snagged $70 million [source: AP]. The Brazilian heist was by far the largest take ever, until February 2006, when a securities storage warehouse was relieved of its cash holdings. At least five blue-collar men -- including a roofer and a postman -- made off with $92 million [source: CNN].

It's pretty easy to see why the public imagination is so easily captured by stories like these. But what about criminals who suffer from a reversal of fortune? Like the Indiana man who, during the commission of an armed robbery in January 2008, shot himself in the groin with his own gun, effectively ending the crime [source: AP].

Police blotters are full of stories of criminals who clearly didn't have a grasp on the intricacies of crime. We humbly submit just 10 stories of bungled crimes in no particular order. Let's begin.