Every year, CQ Press and others will publish a study ranking the states according to how smart they are, citing a number of factors in drawing their conclusions. Indiana ranks right in the middle: Ranked 24th in the most recent study, up two spots from its 26th-place ranking in the previous one. Indianapolis, though, can certainly claim to be home to some of the dumbest criminals ever to pose for a mug shot.
Follow the Money
In 2006, a budding criminal genius held up a tavern on the city’s west side. He shoved all of his cash register loot into a plastic bag, which he failed to notice had a hole in it. All the police had to do, literally, was follow the money trail all the way to the perp’s car. He was probably in awe of the intellect displayed by two Indianapolis men who robbed a fast-food drive-thru (in nearby Lawrence) by firing a gun in the air and then waiting for the food. They also happened to be waiting for the police.
‘Opposite’ of Smart
Being criminally stupid is no passing fancy, but an enduring legacy in Indianapolis. Just a couple of months ago, one Leonard Fodera was arrested for walking around in public wearing not so much as a leopard fedora. When confronted by the naked truth about local indecency laws, Fodera’s excuse for his immodesty was simple: It was ‘Opposite Day’, which he figured meant that if you normally wear clothes, you didn’t have to.
Naturally, greed is often the corrupting factor which ignites bouts of idiocy among the public at large. In 2009, a fellow named Dwayne Roberts was working as an assistant manager at a Fifth Third Bank branch on Georgetown Road in Indianapolis. He devised a brilliant scheme. After sending his employees home, Roberts removed cash from the bank vault, then set fire to piles of money in the vault to cover up his thievery. He would’ve made a clean getaway if it weren’t for those darn security cameras… Not to mention the fact that he’s locked his car keys in the vault along with the burning money.