The World's Dumbest Fast Food Crimes

There are a lot of dumb mistakes fast food criminals make, but there seem to be a few themes out there. As you can imagine, being hungry and angry (hangry) leads to customers doing a variety of stupid things. There's nothing like customers not getting what they want exactly when they want it to set them on paths that lead to jail. Oddly enough, many fast-food criminals seem to return to the scene of their crimes or stay close by, letting their cravings rule their brains. Cravings seem to be especially strong when fast-food criminals are drunk. And when thieves break into restaurants after hours, they tend to leave with food, which often leads to their demise.

Masterminds these people are not. They don't always plan their entrances or exits well, leave too many clues behind, and simply don't understand the rules of being a criminal. However, their misadventures are quite amusing. So, sit back and let the less-than-brilliant decisions of fast-food criminals give you a good laugh.

Murder suspect calls 911 about cold fries

When you have a warrant out for your arrest because you're a murder suspect, your strategy should be to keep a low profile. However, that's not how Antoine Sims decided to play the game in 2022. Sims had previously been involved in a drug deal that went south with gunfire, and he was accused of setting a car on fire after a woman inside was hit with a stray bullet. One night when Sims was out of jail on bond and had a warrant for a missed court date, he decided to visit a Georgia McDonald's with his fiancée.

Sims got hot under the collar when he missed hearing an employee calling his order number and ended up with cold fries rather than hot ones. An employee offered him a refund. Nevertheless, Sims started yelling obscenities, demanded fresh fries, threw a drink, and called 911 over the incident. The owner also called 911 and asked Sims to leave. A policeman outside asked him to sign a statement agreeing not to return to the restaurant. Rather than signing, he fled on foot.

Police tased Sims once they caught him. A search of his fiancée's car revealed 31 grams of marijuana. So, he ended up with obstruction and drug charges to add to his rap sheet. Perhaps calling 911 for frivolous reasons isn't the way to go if you have a warrant out for your arrest.

Prankster pretends to be In-N-Out Burger CEO

In 2018, YouTube prankster Cody Roeder of Troll Munchies made a prank choice at In-N-Out Burger that would end up costing him more than he could have ever imagined. Roeder walked into a Van Nuys, California, In-N-Out wearing a suit and tie and claiming to be the new CEO for the company — Mr. John Trollston. As the new CEO, he demanded free food to sample. While the employees were ready to serve up free fries and a hamburger to him, the manager wasn't buying the story so easily and ended up calling the police on him before he left.

Undeterred by his pranking ways, Roeder hit up another In-N-Out in Burbank the next day. This time, he went as far as to grab a customer's newly-acquired burger and throw it to the floor, smashing it underfoot and declaring it mostly dog meat and contaminated.

Roeder went on to post the videos on his Troll Munchies YouTube channel, which currently has around 635,000 subscribers. In-N-Out was far from amused and ended up filing a restraining order against Roeder and suing him for over $25,000 in damages.

Subway thief caught eating subs elsewhere

If you're going to do dumb crimes, you shouldn't choose dumb hiding places or let your stomach make decisions for you. In 2015, Fredrick Warren walked into a Subway, threatened the cashier with a knife, and proceeded to pull cash out of the register before leaving. All the smells of baking bread and sub sandwich meats and fixings must have started up a fierce sub sandwich craving for Warren. He was smart enough to realize he couldn't return to Subway to get a sub sandwich after he robbed the place. Luckily, he knew of another sub sandwich shop he could visit nearby. After all, he now had money in his pocket to burn.

A surveillance video from Loyola University shows Warren crossing the street and walking about 120 feet to another sub sandwich shop called Potbelly. Oddly enough, the two sub shops are within view of each other. Warren promptly bought himself a sub, walked to the back of the shop, took off his coat, and started eating. And that's where police found him, along with the knife he'd used for the robbery and $186. We understand cravings, but not getting out of sight of the scene of the crime to satisfy them isn't the brightest thing you can do as a criminal.

Sonic burglar leaves corn dog trail

This dumb fast-food crime sounds like something the crime-solving gang on "Scooby-Doo" would encounter because it's almost too ridiculous to be real. One summer night in 2011 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, police arrived at a Sonic to find that the glass door had been broken. They soon realized a man was still inside and a food burglary was in progress. Heavy-laden with food, the burglar made a run for it.

Police didn't have difficulty finding 18-year-old Dakota Lasley since he'd left a trail of food trailing behind him for two whole blocks. Each corn dog, hotdog, and chicken breast the officers found brought them ever closer to the hungry teen. They quickly found him in the bedroom of a house, where bloody hands and glass embedded in his shoes were dead giveaways that they'd found the right person. Lasley tried to excuse himself by saying he might have done something idiotic while blacked out and drunk. While doing things you don't remember while blacked out from drinking is a real thing, it didn't prevent police from arresting him for obstruction and burglary. Maybe he'll think twice about becoming that drunk while hungry again.

Build-a-Burger burglars leave macaroni salad trail

Leaving a trail of food behind is apparently not a one-off mistake for fast-food burglars. When three guys burgled a Build-a-Burger in Mt. Morris, New York, in 2015, it was the macaroni salad that led to their arrest. Timothy S. Walker, Jr., Matthew P. Sapetko, and James P. Marullo broke into the restaurant and grabbed the cash register and a 10-pound bowl of macaroni. They thought they were being smart by grabbing the surveillance system, too, but their sloppy eating habits led to their demise.

Once the thieves left the hamburger shop, they traveled along a biking and hiking path called The Greenway Trail to make their getaway. Along the dark path, they seemed to keep losing things, like parts of the surveillance system and cash register. There had only been $29 in the cash register in the first place, but the thieves lost part of it as change fell out of the cash register and onto the trail. However, the trail of macaroni salad they'd all been eating on their journey down the trail led the police straight to the thieves, who received multiple charges related to the break-in. Walker also received drug-related charges, while Marullo had previous felony convictions and, thus, got no bail options. We're going to need the recipe for a macaroni salad good enough to steal by the 10-pound bowl. It was certainly the best thing they got from their night's adventures.

911 call over Burger King lemonade shortage

There are many legitimate reasons to call 911, but being upset that Burger King has run out of lemonade isn't one of them. John Fortune found this out when he visited a Boynton Beach, Florida, Burger King drive-through in 2018. He ordered a lemonade at the drive-through order menu and found out that the restaurant was out of lemonade when he got to the payment and pickup window. The cashier told him he would need to wait 15 minutes to get his order. So, Fortune did the most logical thing he could think of and called 911 to complain.

The 911 dispatcher explains to Fortune that 911 isn't the place to call if you're unhappy with your fast food order. Through some questioning, she learned that Fortune hadn't even paid yet for the food he was so upset about not getting. She tried to convince him to just leave and go somewhere else, but he was adamant about being hungry and wanting to eat there. "Sir, come on," the 911 dispatcher said, "I know you don't seriously think that the police need to make Burger King give you food faster" (per Localworldnews).

That wasn't the last that Fortune heard from 911. He received a summons to court for abusing the 911 emergency system. Calling 911 is for real emergencies, not for tattling on a fast food chain for having to wait for your food longer than you'd like.

Employees set up Taco Bell meth lab

Setting up a meth lab is dangerous enough without putting co-workers and customers at risk from setting it up inside a Taco Bell. In 2015, Taco Bell employees Christopher Adam Mathous and Kent Jerome Duby set up a meth lab at work so they could keep their high without needing to come down from it during working hours. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, police didn't find it until they were called to the restaurant about a suspicious person outside the restaurant before dawn one morning.

Mathous was the suspicious person hanging around outside during the early morning hours, and he had a peeled lithium battery (a meth ingredient) with him. The police investigated the restaurant and found some of Mathous' and Duby's other meth lab ingredients in a utility area: lye, drain cleaner, and a butane and propane camping fuel mix.

The Taco-Bell-turned-meth-lab closed down to ensure that professionals could fully decontaminate the building. And the two men who had put their own and the public's health at risk went to jail on drug-related charges. Nobody wants to worry about a Taco Bell exploding from a chemistry experiment gone wrong.

Drunken Pizza Hut employee breaks in for snacks

When you're out drinking late at night, there aren't a whole lot of places open to satisfy your cravings, especially if those cravings are for wings. So when St. Cloud, Minnesota, Pizza Hut employee Cory Michael Mogen started craving chicken wings on a night in 2011 after a bender, he used his access to let himself into work. Being after 1:00 a.m. and still being tremendously inebriated, Mogen forgot to reset the alarm.

Thus, the alarm summoned the police, and they arrived to find Mogen deep frying boneless chicken wings. The police asked the 21-year-old to blow into a breathalyzer, and a lackluster puff showed his blood alcohol level at 0.22. Such a large amount of alcohol in his system would have left him feeling muddle-headed and spaced out. His altered mental state likely contributed to him throwing marinara on the wall and forgetting the alarm. The police took him to jail for burglary, and we're not sure if he ever got to eat his wings. Hopefully, he'll make better choices if he gets that drunk again.

Missing McNuggets sauce leads to bomb threat

For some, McNuggets are simply the vehicle for getting dipping sauce into your mouth. At the very least, they don't taste the same without your favorite sauce. So, when Robert Golwitzer, Jr. ordered McNuggets from an Ankeny, Iowa, McDonald's in 2021, he was sure to ask for his favorite dipping sauce. Being supper time, he was ready for sauce-laden nuggets to satisfy his hunger. Unfortunately, when he left the restaurant and started rifling through his bag of food, there was no sauce to be found. Since he had no other sauce available that would do, his anger began to bubble.

Finding the phone number for McDonald's, Golwitzer called to complain, but his anger got the best of him, and his threats escalated. At first, he merely expressed his desire to return to beat up the employee on the other end of the line. But then he started making bomb threats.

Not taking his threats lightly, the employees called the police and gave them Golwitzer's phone number. When the police called him back, Golwitzer had no problem admitting that he had indeed made a bomb threat. He made the same admission to the police in a later interview. The customer's angry tirade over a bit of missing sauce landed him a felony charge. A bomb threat over missing sauce seems extreme, but never underestimate how angry someone can get over not getting their way with food.

Burglar falls out of ceiling with stolen meat

When Jesse James Moore put on his Tyrannosaurus rex t-shirt that day in 2021, he probably wasn't expecting to cause as much mayhem as he did. Moore visited Subway several times that day, making things weird for employees by filling out a job app and then attempting to go to work behind the counter without being hired. While he was behind the counter, he pilfered a whole stack of lunch meat.

Around 6:00 p.m., he went to the city skate park and tried to buy a kid's BMX bike for $480. The kid wasn't interested in parting with his bike, but Moore took it anyway when the kid wasn't looking. By 9:00 p.m., Moore decided he needed to trade up and swapped his stolen BMX bike for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he found in the WinCo Foods parking lot. However, Moore didn't take the motorcycle far, leaving it across the street in a Planet Fitness parking lot.

Police spied Moore across the parking lot, where he was walking into Subway yet again. They followed him in, but he locked himself in the women's restroom and attempted to hide in the ceiling. After the manager busted down the door, they found Moore on the floor where he'd fallen through the ceiling. He'd left his shoes, a knife, and the remains of his stolen sandwich meat in the ceiling. His next stop was jail with felony and misdemeanor charges.

Christmas feast burglar takes a nap

A few months after Stephaun Gallaread left his job at a Lawrenceville, Georgia, Taco Bell, he decided to return just after midnight in the early hours of Christmas in 2019. He was dressed in black from head to toe to blend in with the night and wearing headphones for entertainment. Gallaread easily let himself through the drive-through window. Once inside, he returned to work like it was old times, customizing a Taco Bell feast himself. Once he'd fed himself, he lay on his side on the hard kitchen floor and napped. Awakening nearly three hours later, he grabbed a laptop and tablet as Christmas gifts to himself and skedaddled.

Video footage captured his whole solitary adventure, which led to positive ID for the Christmas feast sleepover bandit. The night's events led to a burglary charge for Gallaread. Perhaps returning to rob a place where people would recognize your face on video wasn't the brightest idea.

Waffle House dine-and-dash fail

The dine-and-dash has probably been around as long as there have been restaurants that don't require payment upfront. However, most dashers don't return to the scene of the crime as quickly as two ladies did in Springfield, Missouri, in 2010.

The three diners walked into Waffle House a little after 6:00 a.m., looking either like they were drunk, on drugs, or both. It had clearly been a long night that wasn't quite over yet. They ordered a goodly amount of food and chowed down. The wait staff brought their $39.31 bill to the table, but the three slipped out of the restaurant without going up to pay. Whether they were too wasted to realize what they were doing or had planned to dine and dash from the start, we don't know. Whatever their plan was, it shouldn't have involved leaving their purses behind at the restaurant. However, two of the three diners did just that.

Realizing they'd left their purses behind, one of the women returned for them. As you can imagine, the manager held onto the purses while waiting for the police to arrive. The diners sped away in their conspicuous gold Mitsubishi getaway car, leaving their purses behind yet again. Of course, with all the identification cards left behind in their purses, the police had all they needed to identify at least two of the three. Silly thieves.

Burger King burglars lose getaway car

Most of us have watched enough movies to know a thing or two about how getaway cars are supposed to work, but Jeremy Lovitt and Gabriel Gonzales must have misunderstood. In 2013, the two young men decided to rob a Burger King in Sacramento, California. They went through the normal motions of demanding money from the cash register at gunpoint, so that part of the robbery worked out well for them. However, they forgot to leave a driver in their running getaway car in the parking lot. Oops.

While Lovitt and Gonzales were busy demanding money inside, one of the employees slipped outside unnoticed and sneakily drove the thieves' still-running car around the corner from the restaurant to hide it. After a short "Dude, where's my car?" moment, the foolish thieves made a run for it across a nearby field of tall grass. With a slower start to their getaway than planned, the police had no trouble catching up and taking them to jail.

Popeyes rammed over biscuit anger

Okay, we admit that Popeyes' buttermilk biscuits are abnormally good, but there's a limit to what the average person would do when a Popeyes biscuit craving hits. In 2023, Popeyes' biscuit lover Belinda Miller was distraught when she realized her drive-through order didn't have the biscuits she'd ordered. Her conversation at the drive-through window grew loud enough for customers inside to hear as she demanded them to get her biscuits to her fast and threatened to come inside. After Miller got her missing biscuits, she peeled out of the parking lot, still fuming.

It wasn't long before she called Popeyes, threatening to drive her Toyota RAV4 SUV into the building. Making good on her threat, Miller returned and drove her SUV right through the door and bricks of the building. She kept driving until she couldn't anymore, slimly missing an employee inside. Then, she backed out and drove home. It wasn't difficult for deputies to identify which house belonged to her to make an arrest since the front end of her SUV was a mess. We're not sure why she thought wrecking her SUV and a restaurant would make her feel better, but we hope those biscuits were worth it.

Arby's ventilation shaft entry fail

People are always escaping through ventilation shafts in the movies, and they make it look fairly easy. Unfortunately, the reality was very different for a burglar who tried using Arby's ventilation system as part of his robbery. The plan seemed simple enough. Laquain Deshawn Guy climbed onto the roof of a Mullins, South Carolina, Arby's one night after the restaurant had closed in 2014. He had the brilliant idea to use the roof to access the restaurant's ventilation shafts. That way, he could bypass needing to pick locks or worry about alarm systems. But, alas, his plan came to an abrupt halt once he got stuck. It turned out that the air passageways weren't made for a grown person to crawl through after all.

The Mullins Arby's doesn't open up for business until 10:00 a.m., so he had to wait 10 hours for employees to come in the next morning to start prepping for the day. Luckily, it wasn't summer, but he still ended up dehydrated and with a broken arm. Desperate, in pain, and with no other option, Guy yelled for the employees to help him after they arrived.

So, instead of leaving the restaurant with a nice amount of loot, he ended up traveling from the hospital to jail on burglary charges. Sometimes, things just don't work out with your Mission-Impossible-level plans without having full knowledge of what you're jumping into — literally.

A strange Arby's art heist

Most art thieves decide to go for something nice by a famous artist like Asher B. Durand or Maxfield Parrish. However, if you have your sights set on art thievery, we understand that getting through a museum security system might not be as easy as stealing art from Arby's.

When the Johnson City, Tennessee, Arby's remodeled its building, the decorators chose some nice pear art for the dining area. While we've never seen any pear art that left us in awe, Connie Sumlin and Gail Johnson fell in love with Arby's pear art and decided to make it their own in 2011.

The plan was simple: one of the ladies would distract employees with an order while the other took the art off the wall and marched it out the door and into the car. Without thinking, they paid for their food with a card rather than cash. So, it wasn't difficult to connect the time stamp on the video footage to the time stamp on the food receipt to know exactly who had made off with the new $1,200 fruit art. Caught through their own carelessness, the pair ended up in jail for theft. Perhaps stealing art from a fast food chain wasn't the brightest idea they'd ever had.

Burglar returns to scene of the crime

If there's anything criminals should learn in Thievery 101, it's that they shouldn't go back to the scene of the crime. So, it's a good idea to avoid stealing from a fast food restaurant where you like to eat. Another lesson that criminals should take to heart is to avoid cops. But we've noticed that many dumb fast-food thieves tend to have slept through that lesson, too.

Back in 2011, Shawn Dustin Page tried to rob a Jack in the Box restaurant in San Diego, California. When the cashier told him they didn't have the key to the cash register, he left. And not being the brightest of thieves, he returned to the Jack in the Box dining room the next day to order food. Having apparently not disguised himself either time, an employee pointed him out to the cops who were at the restaurant investigating another incident. Neither visits to Jack in the Box were fruitful for Page that week since he left empty-handed in the back of a police car headed straight for jail.

The Jack in the Box incident may not have been the first time Page had returned to the crime scene within a few days in recent days. He also looked like the thief who had robbed the same Wells Fargo Bank twice in a week only a few days earlier, which brought the FBI into the picture.