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Least Competent Criminals

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Didn't Think Ahead: Two men tied up employees at a recycling company in Chicago in December, intending to take away the ATM on the premises, which is normally used to pay people who bring in scrap metal. However, the two men fled empty-handed after realizing that they were not strong enough to carry the 250-pound machine out to their truck.

Lloyd Norris, 57, was arrested in Gwinnett County, Ga., in February and charged with mortgage fraud, after he tried to buy a house with "cash" consisting of a nonsensical $225,000 "U.S. Treasury" promissory note, supposedly "certified" by Secretary Timothy Geithner. Norris had prepared $1 billion worth of the documents on his computer and apparently assumed that banks would not look too closely at them.

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