Before you panic, let us clarify: animated cartoons aren’t coming to life to terrorize the human world like a twisted Roger Rabbit. Instead, this piece will spotlight ten criminals who thought that disguising themselves as a famous cartoon character would be an essential aspect of their perfect crime. Get ready to laugh your pants off at these goofy crooks and their cartoon character crimes.
Smurfs Assault, 2012
Let’s start our list off with a recent cartoon crime. On December 16th, four Australian men walked into a Melbourne convenience store. It sounds like the setup for a joke, especially because all four men were painted blue and dressed like Smurfs. They approached a 37-year-old man, who offered one of the blue buggers a cigarette. The Smurf accepted, but when the man wouldn’t light the smoke the gang of four savagely beat him down outside until he passed out. The victim woke up in a car with no memory of what happened aside from tell-tale blue smudges on his bloody face. After the attack went public, the four men turned themselves in to the police.
Tigger Fondling, 2004
It’s not surprising that the poor schnooks who have to wear character costumes at the "Happiest Place On Earth" get a little wild now and then, but there’s no excuse for this. In 2004, Michael Chartrand was dressed as bouncy tiger Tigger when he posed for a photograph between a woman and her 13-year-old daughter. Eight days later, the mother claimed that Tigger had inappropriately grabbed the girl’s breast and Chartrand was arrested. He was found not guilty when his lawyer demonstrated how difficult it would be to touch a breast in full costume and Chartrand got his job back. Amazingly enough, he was then later charged with shoving two other people…while dressed as Goofy.
Gumby Robbery, 2011
Claymation is a dying art, but the most famous Claymation character of all time, Art Clokey’s bendy green Gumby, still has his fans. First and foremost - the armed robber who donned a full-body Gumby costume to rob a Rancho Penasquitos, Calif. 7-Eleven convenience store. This is probably one of the worst robberies we’ve ever heard of. The man threatened the counterman with a gun but couldn’t manage to actually pull it out before panicking and fleeing the scene, dropping 27 cents in change. The poor worker didn’t even know who Gumby was and was too flabbergasted to call the police.
SpongeBob Fistfight, 2011
Hollywood Boulevard used to be an impassable hellhole of panhandlers in a wide variety of ridiculous costumes accosting tourists for spare change in trade for photographs. The cops have thankfully cleared most of them out after incidents like this 2011 assault. When a man in a full-body SpongeBob Squarepants costume got too into the personal space of two women, it was only a matter of time before punches started to fly. Both parties landed some pretty serious hits, including the lovable little undersea denizen taking a knee to the nuts, before the cops came and booked all three brawlers.
Snow White Unlawful Assembly, 2008
Most of the crooks on this list donned their costumes so they wouldn’t be recognized, but for the 32 people arrested in Anaheim one August day in 2008, they were counting on it. Employees at a number of Disney-owned hotels dressed up and marched on Disneyland to protest their new contracts, which made it difficult for them to affordably purchase health care and reduced their wages to $2 to $3 less than other area hotels. Workers dressed as Snow White, Peter Pan and others were handcuffed and led away by police to the horror of assembled tourists.
Snoopy Jail Break-In, 2010
If we were going to break into a jail – wait, we’d never break into a jail. That’s the last place we’d ever want to break into. But one British yob tried to crack his way into the Albany Isle of Wight prison site in a full Snoopy costume. Waving a pistol and accompanied by a sidekick (not dressed as Woodstock, unfortunately), Snoopy tried to smash down a staff door leading into the prison. When guards arrived, he fled (because the gun was a water pistol) and started throwing chunks of concrete at the jail walls before being arrested. The kicker? The person he was trying to free wasn’t even at that jail.
Winnie the Pooh Assault, 2008
Let’s head to Japan for the next cartoon criminal. In August 2008, Masayuki Ishikawa, a 20-year-old do-nothing in Tokyo, ran out of clean clothes. So, he decided to go out in a Winnie the Pooh costume he just had lying around his apartment. Wait, it gets weirder. While hanging out on a Tokyo street corner with two of his friends (who were also costumed as animals), Ishikawa naturally drew some attention from passersby. A pair of pedestrians wouldn’t stop staring, so the punk Pooh ran up to them, beat them down to the pavement and stole $160 from their wallets. Ishikawa was quickly arrested and taken to jail.
Captain America Burrito Groping, 2010
Sure, Captain America is primarily a comic book character, but an animated version has shown up in cartoons from the 1950s to present day, so he counts. Especially because this story is so ridiculous. In 2010, Dr. Raymond Adamcik, along with other Florida medical professionals, was out on a costumed pub crawl in the Orlando area. The good doctor was dressed as Captain America, but his behavior certainly wasn’t up to his standards. In fact, witnesses report that the ersatz Cap had a burrito stuffed down the front of his costume that he kept asking women to touch. When one refused, he pulled out the Mexican food and started groping her. Cops were called and took Adamcik to jail, where he tried to flush a joint down the toilet.
SpongeBob Armed Robbery, 2011
Here’s the second appearance on our list of the friendly little fellow who lives in a pineapple under the sea. In July 2011, a man wearing a full-face SpongeBob Squarepants mask walked into an Orlando-area 7-Eleven with a friend and marched up to the cashier. Brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle, SpongeBob and his friend (who was not dressed as Patrick the starfish) demanded that he empty the cash register. He fired two shots into the ceiling to inspire the guy and proceeded to make off with a couple hundred bucks in cash. The man was arrested after a string of other robberies in which he didn’t impersonate SpongeBob. Perhaps that was his downfall.
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Scooby Doo Public Nuisance, 2008
Many of these arrests beg the question, "What exactly was the perpetrator even doing with their cartoon character costume?" When Nicholas Anthony Allen left the stands at Australia’s Ipswich Turf Club and jumped onto the track, he was wearing a Scooby Doo costume. He ran about 300 yards along the track before jumping another fence and sprinting off. After drinking himself blotto at a corporate tent party he decided to be part of the show, and he actually hung around partying for a little bit before heading home. After the costume rental shop tipped off the coppers when he turned the Scooby suit in, he voluntarily came into the station to pay his fine.