It is well documented that criminals can be creative when fleeing the fuzz, for example by trying to evade capture on a riding lawnmower. But a car thief in Britain may have set the bar unattainably high for future fugitives. He tried to hide from the police in a five-foot-tall teddy bear. But he was soon discovered, and now it’s your turn, villains. Read on to find out how this failed master of disguise was caught and what happened to him next.
Joshua Dobson, 18, has been wanted by police in Manchester, England, since May. He was accused of stealing a car and gasoline for it, reports the BBC. Dobson managed to evade police until last month, when police searched a house in Rochdale (about 10 miles north of Manchester) and found “a big bear was breathing”.
Dobson was promptly arrested and charged with the crimes. Greater Manchester Police published a photo of the teddy bear and its bottom, which had been cut open, apparently providing Dobson with temporary shelter. (It’s unclear whether this was premeditated or spontaneous inspiration.)
Last week, Dobson was found guilty and sentenced to eight months for a number of crimes, according to the Manchester Evening News. They include theft of the car, driving without a license, driving without insurance, and leaving a gas station without paying for fuel. According to court documents, he was also charged with car theft that happened in March, and another set of the aforementioned charges, except that this time he apparently paid for gasoline. He was also charged with theft of a toolbox and two tablets and criminal damages.
Dobson has also been given a 27-month driving ban, the news channel reported.
Greater Manchester Police Department announced Dobson’s sentence on Facebook, and now they have to put a bunch of dollars in the Pun Jar. “He is now behind bars after being convicted last week of theft of a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified and running from a gas station without payment,” officials said. “Hopefully he has a tolerable time inside.”
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Of course, it’s not the first time a suspected criminal has tried to renovate a hideout and failed spectacularly. In March, an alleged Michigan bank robber was arrested after trying to hide in a… Port-a-Potty, and last month a Florida man tried to hide from police under a dock and lost his shorts in the process. Apparently shyness motivated him to give up the chase.