Thief tries to flee with 42 inch TV on bike

Halpless criminals foiled by their getaway

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Shadow of a person riding a bike

Stewart James Wright, a 37-year-old from Haddington Street in Middlesbrough, has been jailed for three years after his plan to rob a student house fell short at the getaway. He wandered in through an open door, picked up a 42-inch TV, and then walked out with it. It was only then that he realised the flaw in his decision to travel to the crime scene by bike. He was stopped by police cycling along a nearby road trying to balance the TV on his bike.

He's not the only crook to have been foiled by his own getaway.

The Mirror reported that Wright had already committed 192 offences, had appeared in court 80 times, and was on bail at the time awaiting sentencing for stealing a bike. He had been out of prison for a year when he returned. The Gazette reported that on sentencing him, the judge said: "The public deserves a rest from your activities."

He's not the only hapless criminal whose plan was thwarted by a faulty getaway. Here are five of our favourites:

In February last year a man in the Washington suburb of Laurel was arrested after failing to leave the scene of a bank robbery. Perhaps his biggest mistake was not to bring a bag with him. First he took the cash in his hands but dropped it on the floor, then he decided to put the cash into an open umbrella. By the time he got to his car the police had deflated the tyres, so he tried to flee on foot - at which point he slipped on a patch of ice and cracked his head. His mug shot features impressive bandaging.

Last July a teenager from Londonderry was caught after his plan to escape by bus was foiled. He grabbed £2,500 in cash from a bank customer and then tried to escape on a bus by bribing the driver. The driver had to explain that the bus had actually broken down and wasn't going anywhere. He ran off, but left his jumper, and was traced by DNA from it. Police used this evidence to raid his flat - where they found he had written down his plan, his escape route and a prepared alibi.

Back in August 2012 in Anchorage, two men stole a car from the owner's driveway. Unfortunately in their haste to get away they crashed into the owner's other car on the drive. This woke the owner, who called police. The thieves then crashed into the police car, the airbags were deployed, and both men were arrested.

In December 2011 a woman from Manchester hit on a plan to steal hundreds of pounds of alcohol from an Asda in Oldham. She loaded up a trolley and walked out of the shop without paying. She managed to pack it into her car before staff caught up with her. However, unfortunately for her, she'd forgotten to fill the car up, so it ran out of petrol in the car park. She was trying to push it into the petrol station when she was apprehended.

But one of the most ridiculous tales must be from October last year, when a Perth man tried to commit armed robbery at a corner shop. He took the till and tried to run off with it, but was foiled because his trousers were too loose, and kept falling down. He was forced to drop the till so he could hang onto his trousers and run away. He dropped his knife and a pair of gloves in the process, and a police dog used them to track him down. He was jailed for three and a half years.

Top ten UK car crime hotspots

Top ten UK car crime hotspots