Houston's Five Funniest Crimes of 2013

People do a lot of stupid things, but as the year draws to a close, we decided to stop and remember that some of the exceptionally stupid criminal things people have done in the year of 2013 were also funny. As the saying goes, some things change, but you can count on people to try and get away with some particularly brainless things. (That may be a saying we just made up, but the point is it's charming how people think pulling some pretty dumb stuff won't end with them in the back of cop car. Charming.)

5. The annoying cell phone guy takes it up a notch and robs a bank.

Everyone hates annoying cell phone guy unless you actually are being annoying cell phone guy. "Yeah. Uh huh. Yeah. I know he can get the job, but can he do the job? I know he can do the job but can he get the job?" We all loathe this person blathering into their phone, forcing us to be an unwilling witness to a conversation we will never understand. That crap gets even more rude when annoying cell phone guy pulls a gun like this guy did back in September. Once you get past the absolute horror of cell phone people having a way to get even worse than they already are, it gets pretty funny. Cell phone people CAN be worse! Who knew?

4. The ex-cop who left his cop pager at the burglary.

Ernesto Yañez, an ex-cop stole some tools in Rio Hondo and was arrested for it in Houston. That all seems pretty straight forward, but the reason the guy was caught? He left his police issue pager at the scene of the crime. Yes, the pager given to him by law enforcement. Then, realizing what he had done, and hopefully smacking himself on the forehead good and hard for it, he called the people he stole from and left a message saying he'd seen "someone suspicious" trying to break into the house. He was patrolling you see, because that's what former cops do, and he tried to stop the burglar. You'd think it would have been an easy thing to do since he was allegedly trying to stop himself. As if that weren't enough to convince the world he was the worst criminal ever, the tools he was trying to steal, well they belong to Gene Diaz, a retired U.S. Marshal who was doing work for the family where the break in occurred. Worst criminal ever. But also funny. He gets points for the funny.

3. The Teddy Bear Bandit.

There used to be a rather disturbing cartoon called "The Teddy Bear Picnic." Well, if they ever want to make a slightly more grown up version of creepy, we recommend taking a look at the Teddy Bear Bandit, as he was dubbed by the FBI. This guy, who we're assuming must be a furries fan, took the whole fetish to a whole new level when he wore a teddy bear costume to rob the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank located at 4165 FM 1960 West back in June. It makes a certain kind of sense, really. You're already robbing a bank, why not rob it in a bear suit?

2. No fire here, officers, but there IS $4 million of weed.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded to a house fire call, complete with possible shots fired and everything, and found exactly nothing. Not a trace of smoke. Not a gunshot heard. Well, there were more than 1,000 marijuana plants in the house (they went in to check for possible victims.) We have to say that if the precious time of law enforcement must be wasted on responding to stupid non-call calls about fake fires, may they always find a whole bunch of marijuana. Or maybe clowns, but that would probably be more creepy than hilarious.

1. Drugs, shoplifting, really stupid decisions, all brought to you by HISD employees.

HISD employees win all the ponies for the sheer amount of illegal things they've ended up in cop cars arrested for this year. There are a few basic things you learn if you go into education. First, when a student is even possibly-maybe being abused, you report it. You are liable for having information and not speaking up so you damn well report it, as the trio of administrators at Sharpstown High School have learned. Then there was the whole alleged shoplifting incident that left a principal banned from a mall for life. And speaking of basic educator common sense, let's say you're an administrator at one of the largest school districts in the country. If you are, you don't do drugs. You just don't, because it's illegal and more importantly it is both incredibly embarrassing (it makes that whole bit where you danced on stage at the D.A.R.E. program look both ridiculous and hypocritical) and career ending. So it's best just not to do them, but if you choose to go against all reason, don't go over to Alabama with a bunch of cocaine and marijuana in your car, like Dana Bost, then-HISD chief of high schools, and her fiance, Ronald Rodriguez, then-principal of Wheatley High School, back in October. The pair were arrested and charged with felony drug possession for having marijuana and cocaine in their rental car. They are now without their jobs.

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