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Least Competent Criminals

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Joseph Goetz, 48, was charged with trying to rob the Susquehanna Bank in Springettsbury Township, Pa., in November, even though he had to leave empty-handed. The bank had just opened for the day, and cash had not yet been delivered to tellers' stations. Employees said that Goetz was highly irritated at having wasted his time, and that he threatened to file a "complaint" about the bank's operations.

Benedict Harkins, 46, was charged with attempted petty larceny in Jamestown, N.Y., in December after he had filed an insurance claim against the Farm Fresh Market for having tripped over a rug at the front door. Shortly after the filing, Harkins was informed that the store's front-door surveillance camera had captured a sequence in which he had sat down and adjusted the rug to make it look like he had tripped. Harkins then immediately withdrew the claim but was arrested anyway.

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