April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

If You Can’t Beat the System…

Dumb criminals get a bad rap. They make one mistake in their lives—except for the crimes, obviously—and everyone makes fun of them.

If you’re a dumb criminal and you somehow read The Jewish Link, you’re probably wondering how you can be smarter from here on out. Maybe there’s some way to beat the system!

On the other hand, there are plenty of stories of criminals who tried to beat the system and only ended up failing harder. Sometimes it’s not even worth trying.

Our first story comes from Texas, where police are on the lookout for a man responsible for several armed robberies, and they shouldn’t have a hard time finding him, because he has a pretty unique tattoo across his forehead.

“How unique is this guy’s tattoo?” you ask.

His tattoo is his social security number. Yes, he was trying to beat the system. He figured that no employer would refuse to hire him because he had his social tattooed on his face. In fact, it would help. The employer would say, “Ok, we have to fill out this form. What’s your social?”

“It’s on my forehead.”

“Wow! Here’s your first paycheck!”

So that was his most distinguishing feature. His second most distinguishing feature was the area code tattooed on the front of his neck.

My guess is this is a guy who keeps getting lost, and at some point he said, “I’d better write my social so people could figure out where I’m supposed to be. Also part of my phone number.”

Nevertheless, police are looking for him so they can send him to prison, where everyone will immediately steal his identity.

I personally think that the cops should just steal his identity and wait until he calls to report it. They can—according to the five minutes of research I just did:

1. Apply for a loan or credit card in his name

2. Get medical treatment

3. Get his tax refunds

4. Steal his unemployment benefits

5. Commit crimes in his name

How do you commit crimes in someone’s name using their social? Do you rob someone and say, “And if anyone asks who robbed you, tell them it was 463-15-6781!”

It happens to be that it’s hard to hide from the cops once they have your scent. Especially if they have your scent. A couple of years ago, police in Oregon found a suspect, Charles Agosto, hiding in a bush by following the smell of his cologne.

When we picture how criminals probably smell, we imagine they smell pretty bad, what with all the running. But this guy tried to break the offensive stereotype and put on some cologne in the morning. And cologne nozzles have two settings: None and Way Too Much. This guy was wearing Way Too Much.

Police said they could have found him without the dogs.

Either way, Charles later told the cops that he, quote, “regretted putting on cologne before he left the house.” No word on whether he also regretted committing his crimes.

You can’t hide evidence either. Last month, for example, a man in Maine whom cops found in his car in a ditch beat himself up over a drunk-driving citation they wanted to give him. Literally. The cops were about to give him a sobriety test, but he didn’t want to take it, so he took the next best option: He punched himself in the face. Three times! Thus proving conclusively that he was drunk.

He’d already been driving drunk, so it’s not like he was making great decisions that day.

“That wasn’t even one of the options we gave him,” the arresting sergeant said later. He did have the option of simply refusing to take the test without punching himself, as the whole point of the test was to prove that he wasn’t drunk, but he must have missed that during all the punching. All he heard was that they wanted to check his blood alcohol level, so he was like, “You can’t do that if I don’t have any blood!”

That’s how you beat the system.

Or maybe he figured that if he was injured, he wouldn’t have to take the test. My students figure that all the time.

“Can I get out of this test? I have to go to the nurse.”

We don’t have a nurse. We have a medical cabinet that is 90% Band-aids and splints and 10% Tylenol that is mostly used by the teachers. The nurse shows up once or twice a year to check everyone for scoliosis during whatever period they’re supposed to be in my class.

I always ask, “Did you injure yourself on purpose to get out of this test?” This guy did.

His idea was that they’d be caught up in treating his injuries and maybe forget to give him the test until the alcohol was out of his system. But if he were smart (and/or sober), he would have just said that he had injuries from falling into the ditch, and they not only would have prioritized treating him, but, being unable to find the injuries themselves, they would have called an ambulance to deal with it. Then again, if he were smart and/or sober, he wouldn’t have ended up in this situation in the first place. So it’s a no-win scenario.

So let this be a lesson, by the way, especially with Purim coming up: Don’t drink and drive. You might end up in a ditch somewhere, punching yourself in the face.


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He also has seven books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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