Some criminals literally get away with murder. Some steal billions from charities and children. Some burn houses of worship to the ground.
But all that's depressing, isn't it? It's stupidity that makes us smile. In the spirit of the season, here is a list of the folks who didn't get away with it this year: the Top Ten Dumbest Criminals of 2008.
10: Officer, Are You All Out of Crack?
It's tough to keep your phone numbers straight, but when you're trying to call your crack dealer, it's best not to call the cops instead.
And yet, when police called Jill Foreman, a Louisiana woman whose car they thought had been stolen, she allegedly called them back and asked for $150 worth of crack. They said no, but did agree to charge her and her fiance, Larry Rieck, with drug crimes, thanks for asking.
Cop meets cow. Cop likes cow. Cop loves cow. Cop charged with four counts of animal cruelty and is removed from the force, held on $510,000 bail.
Robert Melia Jr., the alleged livestock lothario, was already facing charges of criminal sexual conduct with three girls at his New Jersey home when he was further accused of performing multiple sex acts with a bevy of bovines in April. A mooooving experience, indeed.
8: I'll Take the Fall
Louisiana sheriffs responding to a report of a robbery and beating at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Denham Springs say they instead found a store clerk who had fallen and hurt himself after drinking five pints of vodka.
The sheriff's office says James Vine had a cut above his eye and gave responding deputies a suspect's description. But the department says a review of the store's video surveillance system showed no robbery had occurred and that Vine had instead fallen and hurt himself.
7: The Beer, Not the Baby
You've got to have your priorities straight on Super Sunday. Just ask the Florida woman who was arrested on drunk-driving charges a few hours before the Super Bowl in February. Tina Williams allegedly buckled up her case of beer in the front seat -- and left a 1-year-old girl in the back seat without a seatbelt, according to police.
Charged with driving under the influence, child endangerment and driving without a valid license, Williams told police she didn't know why the baby wasn't buckled up.
6: Caught Orange-Handed
The clues: A smashed-in vending machine, a glass-covered floor, a stray chair used for smashing and a trail of Cheetos the cops found compelling, orange and ultimately satisfying.
St. Paul police followed that dusty trail out of a Minnesota rec center around the side of a building and to a nearby home, where they eventually nabbed three teenagers suspected of the snack attack.
5: Man Shoots Self; Self Angry at Man
A man allegedly tried to rob a Village Pantry convenience store in Indiana, demanding cash and cigarettes, police said — but he got more than he bargained for.
Surveillance video showed the man shooting himself as he placed his gun in the waistband of his pants, police said. A short time later, cops found 25-year-old Derrick Kosch at a home with a gunshot wound to his right testicle and lower left leg.
4: Mr. Ed Meets His Match
A Tampa woman did the unthinkable — or maybe just the plain odd — when she punched a police horse outside a Florida nightclub, a misdemeanor assault that had police bristling.
Three cops on horseback were clearing a crowd outside Club Prana in Tampa when Angelica Rene Ayala grabbed the reins of one of the horses and punched it in the neck, police said. "Buddy" the horse was uninjured; the woman found herself behind bars -- possibly watching reruns of "Blazing Saddles."
3: Pay Me — Twice
He couldn't spell, but that didn't impede the FBI's investigation one bit when a Chicago man walked into a bank and handed a teller a robber's note — on his own pay stub.
The note read, "Be Quick Be Quit. Give your cash or I'll shoot," but also had the accused robber's name and address on it. He walked out with $400. If convicted, he'll get 20 years in jail.
2: Try Caller ID Next Time
Minnesota police went to arrest Grayson Clevenger on a burglary charge in July, only to see someone matching his description drive away in a stolen Dodge Durango. The detectives tried calling their suspect, who answered his cell phone saying, "Dude, I can't talk, I'm being chased by the police," and then hung up.
And, by the way, police don't like being called dude.
1: What's a Few Billion Between Friends?
Everything's bigger in Texas, and maybe that's what 21-year-old Charles Ray Fuller was thinking when he allegedly tried to cash a $360 billion personal check from his girlfriend's mother. She was not amused.
That number — double the GDP of Peru — caught the eye of workers in a Fort Worth Bank, who reported Fuller to police. They weren't amused, either, and charged the North Texan with forgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.