Have you ever pocket-dialled someone and been left red-faced to know they overheard what was supposed to be a private conversation? Most of us are guilty of doing that, but it wouldn’t land us in jail. Or could it?
In a case of extreme bad luck, two burglars were arrested after one of them inadvertently sat on his phone and dialled UK emergency number during the break-in, thereby calling the cops on themselves.
The incident took place in the Middleport area of Stoke-on-Trent, a city in UK’s Staffordshire country, on Wednesday evening.
Staffordshire Police said the arrest of the duo, aged 49 and 42, took place minutes after they received the call, allowing them to listen in to the burglars’ conversation up to the point when their uniformed colleagues arrived at the crime scene. Both were in custody until the next day.
In a report carried in The Guardian, John Owen, a cop, referred to the duo as “the world’s unluckiest burglars”.
Buttressing the fact that it was a case of bad luck, Owen posted about the fluke arrest on Twitter along with an image of Marv, the doomed burglar from the Home Alone movie series.
I think we have just arrested the world's unluckiest burglars:Whilst committing a burglary one of the bungling burglars has accidentally sat on his phone & dialled 999. We recieve a call detailing all of their antics up to the point of hearing our patrols arrive to arrest them pic.twitter.com/0BZGSQdf0C
— CI John Owen (@CIJohnOwen) January 6, 2021
These two burglars, however, are not the only ill-fated ones to have ended up in handcuffs after accidentally dialling the police.
Store heist went wrong
In an earlier instance in the US, two burglars were arrested after accidentally dialling 911 while fleeing the scene of the crime at Best Buy, an electronics store, in April 2019. After receiving the call, authorities pinged the caller’s mobile phone but couldn’t hear anything except background noise from a car travelling towards Houston.
The suspects led police on a high-speed chase and abandoned their vehicle mid-way. However, two of the three alleged robbers were eventually apprehended. Police found stolen laptops and other electronics goods from Best Buy in their possession.
Targeting the wrong McDonald’s
In 2016, a pair of robbers entered the McDonald’s in Besancon, a city in eastern France, with about 40-odd people enjoying fast food there. But they had no idea that among those customers was a group of 11 off-duty members of an elite paramilitary force who specialise in hostage situations.
The robbers fired a warning shot before allegedly ransacking the cash counter. But while making their way out of the door, the special forces pounced on them. In the confrontation that ensued, one robber was shot in the stomach after he refused to surrender his weapon and was later admitted to hospital.
Car thieves caught discussing plans
Two car thieves, who went by the names Nathan Teklemariam and Carson Rinehart, were arrested in 2013, while trying to break into a car in Fresno, California. They, too, had called police on themselves, and were held after the call handler track them down even as they spent a good 30 minutes discussing their plans.