Clueless credit card crims leave crucial clue

Unfortunately for them, your real-life, common criminals aren't quite as slick, clever or good-looking as your Hollywood bad guys.

Fortunately for the rest of us, this makes them easier to catch and can also make for the occasional entertaining news story. Like this one…

In what's become known as the case of the 'dumb teenagers and credit card fraud', the county police in a US town were very quick to identify a group of teens after they stole a woman's credit card.

In cases of major, organised credit card fraud, the thief or thieves are careful not to leave a trail of clues, meticulously planning each step along the way and requiring at least some effort on the part of the police to catch them.

With this gang of teens from Crofton, Maryland however, it doesn't seem like any of the four offenders were thinking too hard about keeping their crime a secret.

Immediately after stealing the credit card, they used it to buy themselves tickets to the movies at a local movie theatre and followed up their outing with a trip to the photo booth, where they again used the card to pay for a series of photos as a souvenir of the excursion. They were also snapped on security cameras when buying the movie tickets.

The story was broken by the Arundel county police on their Facebook page and picked up by local media who spared no time in sharing the photos with the public. It wasn't long before information on the group started pouring in and all four criminal masterminds were quickly identified.

Most credit cards come with excellent security levels, so even if the criminals hadn't been so careless, it's likely the law would have quickly caught up with them regardless before they could do any real damage. 

Photographic evidence isn't always quite so conclusive, but when the offenders are so eager to offer evidence to the authorities on a silver platter, then who are they to turn down a case that's so picture perfect?