In the news business, a tried and true way to get a smile or a shake of the head is to break out the "dumb criminal file." During my time in the Ozarks, I ran across some doozies ... all in Arkansas.


In Boone County, Arkansas, a man was arrested for stealing an outdoor video surveillance camera from a business. He was caught because of surveillance video ... from a camera on an adjoining building.

In Harrison, Arkansas, emergency personnel were called to a pawn shop regarding a man stuck in the store's chimney. He tried to tell the police he was taking a short cut home late the night before, and decided to walk across the roofs of adjacent buildings. You might have seen his picture looking up at a camera from that chimney ... it made the news on the Today show.

In nearby Marion County, Arkansas, a woman had served her time in the county jail and was released. A short time later, she called the jail and told them she had left something in her jumpsuit and was coming back to claim it. Deputies found a small container in the jumpsuit, tested the contents and found that it was meth. The woman came in, she was asked if the container was hers. When she said yes, she was arrested.

When I went to work in that area, my wife warned me that I needed to stop telling Arkansas jokes. When I got there, I found that Arkansans were telling Arkansas jokes, too.

You can see why.