We have to give it to Ocean's Eleven - while what they did was very illegal, they executed it perfectly. Here, police officers reveal the criminals that actually impressed them with their criminal skills.
1. When I was a rookie I got a call at 3:00 AM one night about a hold up alarm going off at an ATM. I respond and don't really take the call that seriously at first because I'm thinking, "No way a hold up alarm is being triggered at 3 in the morning".
I get there and start checking the bank when I see a guy walking through the drive through. Stupid me strolls over and calmly says, "Hey man, come over here and talk to me for a minute." He bolts and I take off after him only to realize I left my handheld in my car. I run back and call it in and my partner shows up shorty after. Well we can't find the guy and start looking around. The guy spray painted the ATM camera and the drive thru camera, which set off the alarm.
About an hour later I see a vehicle with out of state tags driving slowly through the drive thru and after running the plate, he has fictitious tags. We search the vehicle and can find absolutely nothing but a very long tree branch in the back of the SUV. We write him for fictitious tags and send him on his way per my Sgt.
The next day my investigator gets a call from the FBI because they had this guy's name flagged and saw where we ran him. He had been hitting ATMs in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. We were the first department that actually came in contact with him.
He would spray paint the cameras or use the tree branch to turn high cameras away, after the alarms go off, he would wait nearby for police to leave. He would then come back and saw the hinges off the ATMs and take the money. He stole approximately $150,000 over a six month period. He was caught a few weeks later by a guy I went to the academy with.
2. Although no skill was really involved, I arrested a kid for stealing a car. He confessed and told me that he'd be straight up with me. He was walking through a parking lot and saw a lady drop her car keys and keep walking.
He said that's her fault for not paying attention, grabbed the keys, and took off in her car. He lamented that he knew he'd get stopped eventually, but didn't think we'd stop him so quickly. When I asked if he had a driver's license he smiled and said he was planning to take the car he stole to the DMV so he could take his driving test.
We both had a good laugh at that. He said I ruined his plans.
3. Not a cop, or the criminal in question, but...
An acquaintance's brother was getting pulled over but had several pounds of weed in the car. He managed to stop the car, get out, and run without the cops seeing him. While they were still looking for him, he had time to find a way home and report the car stolen. They had no proof who was in the car or where he was.
4. Saw this one on one of those police chase shows. Police dash cam showed the car in front of him was swerving all over the road in the middle of the night. He followed him for a while, then flipped on the lights to pull him over. Guy pulls over, and before the cop can do anything, he turns off the car, gets out, throws his keys into the woods, cracks open a brand new 5th of vodka, and chugs the whole thing down.
Cut to the interview of the actual criminal with his voice and face obscured. He said he had already had multiple DUIs and had become something of an expert on drunk driving laws. He took advantage of a loophole wherein the cop didn't have time to see if he was actually drunk behind the wheel of the car.
Chugging the vodka right there would immediately have an effect on any sobriety testing. He hadn't opened the vodka in the car, so no open container infraction. And he made sure his keys were most definitely out of reach, so there was no way that he could be "operating a vehicle under the influence." Didn't know whether or not to be impressed or disgusted with his drunken ingenuity.
5. This guy in high school, we'll call him Luis, was a known drug dealer. He didn't make it a secret. Everyone bought weed and harder stuff off of him. The cops constantly pulled him over to search him, and whenever a drug related thing happened at school he was often the first kid they pulled into the principal's office.
But they would never catch him with any drugs.
The principal used to turn all of his possessions inside out on a weekly basis. Apparently schools can do that, but cops can't. They regularly cut locks off his gym locker and his regular locker in hopes of finding his stash, but they never found it.
One time there was a rumor going around that his stash was stored in a locker not assigned to anyone, which prompted the administration to search every single locker in the school. I remember we had to stand in the hallway and unlock it so the principal could have a look inside. They definitely caught people with drugs but not the Luis. Turns out he started that rumor (continued).