The Charge: Criminally Stupid

J.R. AbsherWe’ve searched long and hard this week for some of stupidest ways to get arrested, and yes, we have some winners!

Example 1: Selling Stolen Gun on TV Reality Show

Here’s one from this week’s headlines.

A Colorado man is being held on charges he stole a highly collectible mid-1800s Colt Dragoon black powder pistol from a private museum in New Mexico in 2011 and then tried to sell it on the Discovery Channel’s reality show, “American Guns,” in December.

Acting on a tip from a viewer, undercover detectives with the Wheat Ridge Police Department met with Wylie Newton on May10 and offered to purchase the gun, leading to his arrest.

Newton, 64, is currently being held at the Jefferson County (Colo.) Detention Center on a warrant from New Mexico.

In the TV episode filmed at Gunsmoke Guns in Wheat Ridge, Colo., Newton is seen trying to sell two guns, including the vintage Colt revolver. He tells the store’s owner and show’s star, Rich Wyatt, that he has fired the rare gun, estimated to be worth in excess of $20,000.

“What’s the point in having a gun if you can’t shoot it,” he says as the camera rolls.

Something tells us Newton’s days of owning and shooting firearms are O-V-E-R!

Example 2: Double Poaching

Here’s one you couldn’t make up: A man caught on tape stealing an Alaskan Dall sheep mount from a wildlife agency’s anti-poaching display trailer parked at a hunting expo was the same person who illegally killed the animal several years earlier!

Wade Hanks, 37, agreed to pay $6,000 in fines in a plea that will be held in abeyance for a year.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Hanks, from Mapleton, Utah, was fined $2,000 and had his hunting privileges revoked for two years for shooting the ram and a grizzly illegally in Alaska in 1999. The confiscated grizzly hide was returned to Alaska, while the Dall mount became part of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources traveling “Wall of Shame” display featuring poached wildlife trophies.

Hanks and an accomplice, who also pleaded guilty to theft and burglary charges, swiped the mount after a wildlife division worker stepped away from his booth for a moment during a hunting expo at the Salt Lake City Convention Center. A well-placed security camera recorded the theft, referred to by the deputy district attorney in the case as a “spur-of-the-moment lapse in judgment.”

Hanks’ partner in stupidity, Tyrell Gray, 31, called the duo’s act “embarrassing and humiliating.”

Example 3: Leaving as Gun Safe Trail

A pair of Southwest Florida ne’er-do-wells didn’t exactly give police specific directions to one of their homes after allegedly committing a home burglary—but they might as well have.

Responding to a report of a home burglary and theft, police in Ft. Myers, Fla. were told that among the items taken were a dirt bike, flat screen TV, computer, Ford SUV and a gun safe containing numerous firearms.

With minimal detective work, the cops easily identified scrape marks in the yard of the burglarized residence indicating that the gun safe had been dragged behind the stolen SUV. From that starting point, authorities followed about 800 yards of continuous drag marks in the ground and gouges in the pavement, leading from the residence, across the street, and through several vacant lots.

Straight to the home of Jarvis B. Bowens, 23.

A subsequent search of Bowens’ residence revealed many of the missing items. The stolen SUV was found in a nearby wooded area.

The Ft. Myers News-Press reports that Bowens and Wayne Blanks, 19, were jailed and charged with 36 felonies for theft and burglary.

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