The criminal mind is a complex cognitive enigma. Often, super villains can spend months, even years, meticulously working out every last detail of a carefully laid and beautifully intricate master plan. Sometimes, these strategies are so dastardly that they foil baffled police and seduce legions of public admirers, to the outrage of thwarted law enforcement.
More often than not, however, the Machiavellian ambition of the common criminal is not matched by their ability. Most people interested in breaking the law are less like the joker and more like Krusty the Clown. A recent case in Florida has once more highlighted just how daft many criminals can be.
Two hapless thieves have been caught red handed after allegedly attempting to use a jar of marinara pasta sauce to burn a victim’s house to the ground. According to local reports, Derrick Irving, 36, and partner John Silva, 28, tried unsuccessfully to use the ragu to cover their tracks in the aftermath of a botched burglary.
According to police, Silva and Irving, who committed the caper dressed in a mock bull onesie, scouted out the property before breaking in and making off with an assortment of miscellaneous items. The missing items included a flat screen TV, window air conditioning unit, a vacuum cleaner, a heater and a marijuana grinder. While most of the list makes a modicum of sense, quite why the pair needed both an air conditioning unit and a heater at the same time remains a mystery.
Not content with their haul, the pair thought they would take their plan one step further from larceny. Emptying a jar of ragu into a small saucepan, Silva and Irving allegedly draped a hand towel over the side of the pot and into the naked flame of the stove - attempting to cover their criminal tracks. Much like the rest of the crime, the small fire soon went out with a whimper.
Unbeknownst to Silva and Irving, the Floridian homeowner - who happened to be Irving’s former lover - actually had a highly complex security system installed in his home, presumably after correctly assuming that his old partner was less than trustworthy. As the pair broke in, the victim received an automatic notification as the technology detected movement. Checking his phone, he noticed that his security cameras had been covered and, understandably alarmed, he contacted the Volusia County Police.
The gloating, onesie-clad pair were apprehended whilst driving a bright red SUV soon after leaving the scene. Despite protestations of innocence - claiming that they were just picking up some clothes from the house - police soon discovered the missing items, alongside a suspicious, newly emptied jar of pasta sauce.
Consequently, the pair have been charged with unarmed burglary, grand theft and arson.
It seems there are several key takeaways from this botched Italian job. Firstly, as most of us already knew, there are far better fuels for fire starting than obviously flame-retardant marinara sauce. Secondly, if you’re going to burgle an ex, make sure you’ve asked them about any and all security measures that they may have installed pre-breakup. Thirdly, definitely wear something more subtle than a bull onesie. Only then can you hope to join the ranks of master criminals, rather than incarcerated idiots.