Ladies and Gentlemen, This Guy Might Be the Dumbest Dumb Criminal of Them All

Crime
A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
Aug. 1 2013 12:41 PM

Ladies and Gentlemen, This Guy Might Be the Dumbest Dumb Criminal of Them All

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker

Crime is Slate’s crime blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @slatecrime.

Alleged crimes: First-degree robbery, first-degree theft, unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree criminal mischief

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Fatal mistake: Taking a baseball bat to a gun fight

The circumstances: In recent months every “Dumb Criminal of the Week” column has been accompanied by a drawing of a confused thief who cannot find the eye holes in his ski mask—a quintessential “dumb criminal” mistake. Well, going forward, I will lobby to replace that drawing with a mugshot of Derrick Mosley, an Oregon man who may well be the dumbest of all the dumb criminals I’ve profiled thus far. (Thanks to the alert reader who sent this grade-A story my way.)

KATU.com reports that, last week, Mosley allegedly grabbed his trusty baseball bat and decided to go out and rob a store. Unfortunately, the store he allegedly decided to rob was a gun shop. “The guns they sell aren’t loaded,” he might have been thinking, which, while true, fails to account for the likelihood that those who work in gun stores might be gun enthusiasts who like to take their guns to work. And, indeed, when Mosley allegedly barged into Discount Gun Sales and smashed a display counter with his baseball bat, “the store manager simply pulled out his own personal firearm and pointed it straight at the would-be-robber.”

As everyone who’s ever played rock-gun-baseball bat knows, gun always beats baseball bat. When the cops came, Mosley was on the floor, being held at gunpoint, presumably covered in glass fragments and shame.

How he could have been a lot smarter: It’s generally not a good idea to try to rob a gun shop, unless you are in a tank, or are yourself some sort of bulletproof robot. Mosley could’ve made things easier on himself by picking an easier target, like a Jo-Ann Fabrics, or the Good Ship Lollipop.

How he could have been a little smarter: If you’re hell-bent on robbing a gun shop, then you’d better bring a gun. Preferably 10 guns.

How he could have been a little dumber: He could have brought a whiffle ball bat.

How he could have been a lot dumber: “All right, you, gimme all your money and guns, or else I swear to God I’ll take this bat, and this bag of baseballs, and hit fungoes until my arms get tired!”

Ultimate Dumbness Ranking (UDR): The record doesn’t indicate what Mosley was thinking at the moment when his tremendously stupid plan went awry, but I like to imagine it was “Aw, man, I’m probably going to make Slate’s ‘Dumb Criminal of the Week’ column.” Did he ever. Given that Mosley is the dumbest criminal I’ve written about since this feature began, he deserves the highest UDR score ever recorded: 10 out of 10. Congratulations, sir—you are the Nadia Comaneci of dumb criminals.

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at justintrevett@fastmail.fm.

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