I had intended to make "stupid criminal tales" a regular installment, but then I got sidetracked with other things. So here is stupid criminal tale number two.
If you missed my last stupid criminal tale, go here and enjoy!
Here is another actual true account of a criminal case I once worked on:
A Circle K convenience store was robbed one morning in Phoenix. The robber was enjoying an "old west" fantasy, as he wore a red bandanna over his nose and mouth, and a cowboy hat, and brandished a .45 while demanding money. The store clerk apparently had not been "dropping" his money into the safe as often as he should have, because he gave the robber hundreds of dollars from the cash register. This was, of course, captured on the store's video camera.
A few days later, the police arrested a suspect. They searched his home and vehicle.
During the search, the police did not find a hat or bandanna or any cash. They did, however, find a photo from one of those cheesy photo shops where you can have an old-timey looking photo taken while you are dressed up like a hooker or a cowboy or a circus performer or whatever. It was a picture of the fellow they were arresting dressed in Western garb, posing with his girlfriend. He wore a cowboy hat that looked remarkably like the one described by the Circle K clerk and captured on the Circle K security video, and a red bandanna draped around his neck, which also matched the one on the Circle K video and as described by the Circle K clerk. In addition, he wore the photo store's costume chaps, vest, and cowboy style shirt. In the photo, he was holding a .45 and flashing a fanned-out handful of cash at the camera, and grinning from ear to ear. The girl in the photo was dressed up like a hooker from an old Western movie.
The police thanked him politely for providing them with such great evidence, and hauled him off to jail. The subsequent investigation revealed that the photo had been taken in the afternoon, on the day of the robbery. The cheesy photo was Exhibit 1 at trial, and pretty much destroyed his "SODDI" ("Some Other Dude Did It") defense.
Here is some practical (not legal) advice, in case you ever decide to break the law: Generally, if you want to avoid being convicted of your special crime, it would be a better idea to destroy the evidence, rather than to take (and keep!) a photo of it.