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Fashion crimes: The 10 worst-dressed suspects of 2015

Tip: If you're committing a crime, don't advertise the fact on a T-shirt.

By Ben Hooper

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Conventional wisdom holds that one should "dress for the job you want, not the job you have," but perhaps the author of those sage words should have offered some more specific advice for those whose chosen jobs are likely to land them in prison jumpsuits.

With that in mind, UPI is proud -- well, maybe "proud" is the wrong word -- to present Fashion Crimes: The 10 Worst Dressed Suspects of 2015!

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1. Meth marks the spot

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida (where else?) said a deputy at a Kmart store in Hudson spotted a 50-year-old man handing off a clear plastic baggie that was found to contain marijuana and methamphetamine in January.

The kicker? The drug-slinger was wearing a T-shirt reading: "Who needs drugs? No, seriously, I have drugs."

The man was arrested and charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams.

#BUSTED OHH THE IRONY! 50 year old John Balmer was arrested and charged with possession of meth at the Kmart in Hudson. Pay close attention to the t-shirt.

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Posted by Pasco County Arrests & Mugshots on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2. Can you see me now?

The Madera, Calif., Police Department said a 23-year-old suspect tried a different tactic -- instead of hiding in plain sight, he tried to blend in with his surroundings.

The man was seen fleeing in March from a car that had been reported stolen and officers who tracked him down later in the evening discovered he had used black spray paint on his face "in an effort to camouflage himself."

"The camouflage was ineffective," police said.

Last night Jose Espinoza fled from a stolen car. Officers arrested Jose later in the evening after he fled a second...

Posted by City of Madera Police Department on Sunday, March 15, 2015
3-4. The Force is not so strong with these two

The third entry on our list is a TIE (get it? Star Wars!) -- two different men, two different states, two different robberies with one thing in common: Darth Vader.

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The Dark Lord of the Sith committed his first offense in March, when a man in a Vader costume used a shotgun to hold up the State Employees Credit Union in Pineville, N.C..

The suspect fled with thousands of dollars in cash, but a 27-year-old man was pulled over by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police about three and a half hours later. Police said he was in possession of the shotgun used in the robbery as well as a Darth Vader costume T-shirt and two knit caps.

The Dark Side struck a second time in November, when a second pretender to Darth Vader's legacy brandished a handgun at the 8 Til Late convenience store in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

The robbery came to a premature end when the store clerk defeated Vader by hitting him in the face not with a lightsaber, but a jar of blue cheese salad dressing.

A 32-year-old suspect, who police said gave security cameras a glimpse of his face when he removed his helmet to drive, was arrested at a residence where he was found to be bleeding from the bridge of his nose -- an injury consistent with the salad dressing defense. He was charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.

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5. An aww-ful crime

Two men looking ready for bed came into the McColl's convenience store in Lincolnshire, England in November and forced a female employee to empty the register at gunpoint.

Police said the men's adorable attire could be the key to cracking the case.

"We are keen to trace these items of clothing," Sally Hewitt of Louth Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team said. "Please can we ask that local residents check their bins and areas surrounding their property to see if any items of clothing which could have possibly been worn by the offenders have been discarded."

6. Let the Wookiee win

A man dressed in a Chewbacca costume found himself under arrest in Ukraine for a different sort of crime -- violating campaign laws in support of fellow Star Wars character Darth Vader.

A witness recorded video in Odessa in October when a man dressed as Chewie was arrested after arriving at a polling place. Police said the man was violating laws against campaigning on election day by supporting a mayoral candidate campaigning as Darth Vader.

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The Wookiee was later released and fined about $8.

7. Window dressing

The suspect making No. 7 on our list decided to aim bigger than merely disguising himself -- he disguised an entire pot-growing operation as a furniture store.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Marijuana Eradication Team and Gilroy police said the 39-year-old owner of Gilroy Furniture & More stocked the front of his store with furniture that was never actually for sale, as the store never seemed to be open.

A months-long investigation into the store discovered the back room was filled with more than 1,000 marijuana plants and 50 pounds of processed marijuana.

"We don't see a lot of storefront operations with a large-scale illegal enterprise going on in the back," Sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said. "I think in the movies and on TV they like to think it happens all the time, but in reality, we just don't see that level of sophistication."

Photo courtesy Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office

The owner, whose storefront was stocked with ugly furniture and decorations for a grand opening that was never meant to happen, was charged with theft of utilities and illegal cultivation of marijuana for sales.

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Photo courtesy Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
8. Slip 'n' slide slapstick

A group of jewel thieves who smashed their way into the Gem Jewelers store near Coventry, England, in January learned an important fashion lesson: Wear boots with better grip.

Surveillance footage from the crime shows the masked men crashing a Mercedes into the store and getting out to grab the loot, but the thieves found themselves slipping and sliding across the store's freshly-polished floor.

The Benny Hill-worthy footage shows the thieves sliding and falling around the floor while almost definitely cursing themselves for not choosing more appropriate footwear for the ice-like slippery floor.

"The raiders were masked when they committed the crime, but having stolen hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of Indian gold jewelry, their new-found wealth combined with their unique floor moves will undoubtedly give them away," Detective Constable Lee Buckler said.

9. Justice in a flash

A self-described "escort" who uses the pseudonym Kayla Kupcakes forwent any sort of disguise during her appearance before Judge John Hurley -- in fact, for a moment, she forewent any sort of covering at all on her top half.

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The 54-year-old hairdresser-slash-escort appeared via video in Hurley's Broward County, Fla., courtroom on a disorderly intoxication charge and she claimed to have been treated roughly by arresting officers.

"I've been beaten up by police. And also this too," Ms. Kupcakes said, lifting her shirt to expose her breasts to the judge.

"Oh, my Lord," Hurley said.

Hurley allowed the woman to be released on $100 bail and ordered her to undergo a medical examination.

10. Airport rage au naturel

A traveler at North Carolina's Charlotte Douglas International Airport went a step further than Ms. Kupcakes when he shed every stitch of his clothing to protest being booted from an overbooked flight.

Witnesses to the May scene at the airport said the man became angry when workers told him the US Airways flight to Jamaica was overbooked.

"He had his clothes on, at that point, and then he started standing there with his arms crossed and hollering at the lady at the desk," a witness who snapped pictures said. "He stood there for a moment and then started talking off his clothes. I ain't never seen nothing [like that] in my life."

The witness captured photos of the man being led away by police while wearing nothing but a pair of handcuffs.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the man was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Honorable Mention: Spider-Man, The Best-Dressed Hero

Your parents might have told you that superheroes only stop evil in comic books and films, but they were wrong!

A man performing as Spider-Man in New York's Times Square was caught on camera taking the "dress for the job you want" adage quite literally by taking down a real-life villain -- or at least, a pretty rude person.

Geoff Goldberg who captured video of the super hero take-down, said Spidey saved the day when he stood up to a man who had been harassing other costumed performers.

"The guy was harassing a number of performers, other costumed folks," Goldberg said. "They've notoriously had issues with him in the past."

Lets hope the crooks of 2016 take a lesson in fashion from their fore-bearers and usher in a new age of sharply-dressed suspects!

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