In order to pursue an illustrious career as a convenience-store stickup man, it's always good to master the ability to read.

A dense thief making off with a whopping $60 in Joplin, Mo., repeatedly threw himself against a locked door, even though a sign right in front of him said to use the other door, according to The Joplin Globe.

The dim-witted robber then smashed a window at the Fastrip store and dove through to make his getaway — even though he could have just walked out the door he had entered through.

"A man wearing a mask over his face entered the store through a front door and went to the cash register, pulling it to the floor and removing the cash from it," the police statement said. "The robber then attempted to leave the store through an adjacent front door that was locked."

Cops told The Globe that the door was posted with a sign right in front of the foolish felon that said "Use Other Door" — but the thief reportedly struck the locked door and then kicked it in an attempt to leave.

"The robber then took a magazine rack and hit both front doors with it — the locked door and the unlocked door — but was unsuccessful in breaking the glass," the police statement said. "He then went to the window north of the doors and hit it with the magazine rack, shattering the glass."

Joplin police Cpl. Jim Wallace told The Globe police were using surveillance-camera footage of the goofy getaway to track the suspect.

— Thanks to Out There reader Debbie B.

Babbling Burglar Swept Off With Broom

A befuddled burglar who stormed into a Decatur, Ill., Phillips 66 station on Dec. 1 brandishing a large kitchen knife was eventually chased off with a broom, according to the Herald & Review.

The robber demanded money from a 46-year-old female clerk, Sgt. Steve Chabak of the Decatur Police Department told the paper.

"The woman told us he was speaking with a fake accent," Chabak told the Herald & Review. "He kept repeating 'I need money to get back to my homeland.'"

While the bamboozled burglar babbled on, Chabak said, a 34-year-old Middle Eastern male employee who spoke only very limited English emerged from the back room.

"He didn't understand what was going on," Chabak told the Herald & Review. "So the female clerk had to stop right in the middle of things and explain to him that they were being robbed."

Chabak said the male clerk then asked how much money the robber wanted, and when the man said "$500," the clerk went back to the store office to get the money.

"The robber is starting to get antsy and starts to put the knife away while telling the woman he'll have to get his gun out and shoot her if he doesn't get the money," Chabak told the paper. "About that time, the male clerk comes running out with a broom and a chair and chases the robber off."

— Thanks to Out There reader Leon L.

Construction-Theft Caper Just Gets a Little Too Complicated

Some advice to the South Carolina construction site bandit: Keep it simple, my friend.

The over-complicated criminal allegedly stole a truck to steal a trailer to steal a backhoe to steal scrap metal before Columbia cops nabbed him, according to The State.

Ashley Napoleon Ross, 40, was arrested by Richland County sheriff's deputies on Dec. 1 after they received a tip — and Columbia police charged him with grand larceny, larceny of a motor vehicle and two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle.

Lt. Jake Farrow with the Columbia Police Department told The State cops and construction bosses accuse Ross of a spree of equipment thefts at several sites around the city.

Police said the complex construction bandit stole $150,000 worth of equipment, including around 16 steel plates used to cover roadwork.

Before that Ross allegedly stole a backhoe to steal the plates, then swiped a trailer to store the plates and finally stole a flatbed truck to take the plates to sell at scrap yards around the area.

A construction worker finally foiled the convoluted criminal when he spotted the stolen flatbed truck driving in front of him. The worker followed the truck and flagged down a police officer when he finally saw one.

The man driving the stolen truck jumped out and made a run for it but ended up leading cops right to most of the construction equipment and the stolen trailer.

"We sent one of our guys around checking scrap yards and found one in Cayce and, lo and behold, he had been in Cayce just an hour prior selling scrap," Hugh Wilson, project manager for LJ Inc., the company running the development project, told The State.

— Thanks to Out There reader Parker R.

It's the Big House for You, Banana Boy

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Banana Boy's superpowers weren't enough to help him and the rest of his bunch give police the slip.

The local television character, who goes by the name Chris Phelps when he's not donning his superhero's large yellow banana crime-fighting costume, was arrested Thursday at gunpoint along with two others when police mistook their skit for a real-life knife fight.

It all began in a Main Street parking lot in this Washington County village 45 miles north of Albany, where the 20-year-old Phelps, his brother Jonathan and friend Luke Van Scoy were filming their television show, "The Ravacon," which chronicles the adventures of Banana Boy.

During the skit, Banana Boy was attacked by Van Scoy with a prop knife just as Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Lovelace was driving down the street.

"He's stabbing him," bystanders yelled as Lovelace got out of his patrol car.

Unaware the melee was staged, Lovelace drew his handgun and ordered Banana Boy and his colleagues to the ground. They complied — quickly.

"I saw they were fighting ... and saw one of them had a knife," Lovelace told The Post-Star of Glens Falls.

Police said Banana Boy and the others, all of whom are from nearby South Glens Falls, were charged with disorderly conduct for snarling traffic and not informing police they were going to be filming. Hudson Falls Police Sgt. Todd Lemery said Van Scoy's knife turned out to be a spring-loaded switchblade replica.

"I said, 'Oh, my God, don't shoot the banana,'" said Steven Wilson, who was watching the skit being filmed when Lovelace came upon the scene with his gun drawn. "It was the funniest thing I've ever seen."

"The Ravacon" is broadcast Saturdays on Glen Falls television station WNCE at 11 p.m. Station co-owner Jesse Jackson said he would discuss the matter with Banana Boy and his crew, whom he called very talented.

"I've been in TV for a lot of years and I've never seen anything like them," Jackson told the newspaper.

Banana Boy, who was still in costume when he was picked up by his father at the police station Thursday, said he believes the entire incident with police was caught on tape by his brother, adding the show will be aired Saturday. Meanwhile, the trio is expected back in Hudson Falls Village Court on Dec. 15.

"We do a lot of our stuff in South Glens Falls," Van Scoy said. "The police know us there."

— Thanks to Out There readers Margie G., Derek H. and Stephanie S.

Bank Robber Tries to Phone It In

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A man who robbed a New Zealand bank was so disappointed with his haul he tried again — this time by phone, police said Saturday.

"He's rung [the bank] and said, 'I'm the guy who robbed you the other day and I want the manager to put some money in a bag and go and stand in the street," said Detective Sgt. Chris Winder of the Auckland Police.

"[He said] 'I'll drive by slowly and take the bag from you and drive off.'"

A plainclothes police officer stood outside the bank in the northern city of Auckland on Friday carrying a bag but the man did not appear. Instead, he called again.

"A phone call was made by the offender saying, 'I've been watching and I don't like what I see,'" Winder said. "He said 'can you meet me down [the road] instead.'"

A plainclothes officer waited for the man at the second rendezvous but he again failed to appear.

Police traced the calls and arrested a man Saturday, charging him with aggravated robbery and demanding money with menaces.

— Thanks to Out There readers Tammy G. and Beth M.

Man, This New Prison Just Stinks

SANDY HOOK, Ky. (AP) — A new state prison that was at the heart of a political stink in Kentucky's Capitol earlier this year is now creating its own smelly situation.

Waste from the Little Sandy Correctional Complex has been causing problems with the sewer system in the northeastern Kentucky town, generating foul odors that even local residents who fought to recruit the prison are complaining about.

"It's awful," said Kathryn Neece, who lives next door to the Sandy Hook United Methodist Church. "It even gets in our church on some Sundays."

Residents of Sandy Hook, a town of 1,100 with chronically high unemployment, welcomed the $92 million prison because of the 224 jobs it created. But no one expected the stench.

"It's a design problem," said Maleva Chamberlain, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Division of Water. "The sewer lines were designed too big. They were designed for the prison at full capacity, plus for additional development in the area. So what happens, because there is not enough flow, the sewage sits there and goes septic."

Local political leaders battled in Frankfort to get the prison and later to prevent a private company from operating it. In March, Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced it would be operated by the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.

Next Time, Bring a Gun, Dude

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A man who tried to rob a grocery store might have gotten away with it had it not been for those meddling employees and customers.

The 40-year-old suspect left Russ' Market after stealing a cash drawer Saturday. But several customers and three managers followed him out the door and surrounded his pickup.

The man never brandished a weapon, Lincoln police Capt. Brian Jackson said.

"They were telling him, 'Put the cash drawer down. We've got your license number. You're not going anywhere,'" Jackson said.

The suspect got out of the vehicle and fled to a bank parking lot, where he tried unsuccessfully to steal a car.

The suspect fled again, but Russ' employees continued to follow him from a few yards behind. The man tried to hide behind a house, but employees told police his whereabouts when they arrived.

The man was arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.

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