Most of us have never committed a serious crime in our lives. However, at times, we may have gotten away with smaller things which are technically illegal. Some people convince themselves that it's necessary for survival, while others simply do it for the thrill of doing something they know they are not supposed to, even if it could ruin their lives.
And sometimes, we may commit crimes without even knowing it. No matter the extent of the deed, ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. The stories below are from people who have done something, big or small, that is technically illegal, yet they still got away with it! Read on for some interesting cases.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Ocean's Escape
My friends and I got stuck in a storage facility. The gate would not open after 9 p.m., and there was no signage indicating such. I called the number on the gate and they said they could come to get us out, but we would have to pay a $60 service fee. I was annoyed, but I didn’t want to spend the night. While sitting there, defeated, I wondered if the gate had a hidden manual lever to open the door in case of power outages.
I opened up the box where the mechanics for the gate were and found a small crank. I put it in and began to crank it. The gate opened at a speed of about 5 inches a minute; it was very slow. Security was coming to fine us in less than 20 minutes. We took turns cranking the gate open while lining up the vehicles according to size.
When the smallest car was freed, they called letting us know that they saw the security truck in their mirror but he had made a wrong turn. We got out and when the last vehicle turned onto the road, he came back, utterly perplexed as to why the gate was open and where the trapped people went. We drove by later that night, going over the sign-in logs and looking up phone numbers, but the storage unit we used was under a friend's name and a different number. It’s probably the closest I've been to being in an Ocean’s Eleven-type situation.
#2 Accessorizing Parents
I brought a couple of exotic fruits back to the US from Chinatown in Toronto. When we cleared the border, I turned to my parents and used my favorite line from Futurama: "Guess what you're accessories to?!" For those who may not be aware, the importation of fresh, dried or canned meats or meat products is generally not allowed from most foreign countries into the United States.
#3 Losing Your Car And Having It Too
I stole my own car from the tow impound lot. The best part was getting the certified letter months later that they were going to auction it if I didn't come and pay for it. I won't lie, though—some days I live in anxiety thinking that they'll one day find out and just show up at my place with some sort of punishments to hand me.
#4 Oblivious Repair Shop
The shop called and told me my truck's repairs were done. I showed up and the customer service was just terrible. After waiting for quite some time, they ended up telling me it actually wasn't ready yet. I then walked outside and there it was, with the repairs done. And the keys were in it, too. So I went inside and just drove it off the lot. They called me two weeks later and asked if I was going to pick up my truck...
#5 Walking After Speeding
One day, I was driving to my in-laws' house by myself. They lived in a small town right off the freeway. I was driving about 80 mph (130 kph), which was standard for most drivers. As soon as I pulled off the freeway, the speed limit immediately dropped to 25 mph (45 kph). So, I pulled onto the main drag and started driving through the town.
I was about a mile down when suddenly I noticed a police car pull up behind me. I look at my odometer and it read 45 mph (70kph). A few things hit all at once: first, I couldn't afford a ticket. I was 20 miles over, so I would have ended up with a $200+ ticket just because I failed to decelerate. Second, I was only three blocks from my in-laws, AND the officer hadn't turned on his lights yet.
I immediately pulled over, turned off the car and started walking. The officer pulled up behind me, not knowing what to do, and still with NO LIGHTS turned on. I just kept walking without turning around. I got to my in-laws and told them what happened. They told me that I had to go back to get my car, so I did. The officer was gone. No consequences, whatsoever—I never received a ticket in the mail, I never heard a thing. I would never, ever do it again.
#6 Flag Of Revenge
I stole a Blue Angels flag from the hanger. When I was in the navy, the Blue Angels visited the airbase I was stationed at. They proceeded to kick all of our planes out of our hanger and I had to fix our birds out in the rain. In a fit of contempt, on the last day they were there, I went into the mezzanine and stole the flag hanging from the overhead beams. I still have the flag and I wear it like a cape from time to time.
I once kept a dead otter in my freezer after finding it on the side of the road. I don't think it was hit by a car or anything, but it was just laying there lifeless and I felt bad for it, so I took it home. In the UK, this can get you a hefty fine and prison time without a license. Once I found out, I released the dead otter into the wild. It was a bit like Free Willy but with less movement.
#8 My Radio Now!
I stole a police radio from a TABC officer once, when I was intoxicated as heck and totally underage at a club. I was on the dance floor and an elderly lady asked if I wanted to dance. I was like, “Heck yeah!” She then showed me her badge and I was like, “Shoot!” The officer took me to the back office of the club and threatened to take me to jail. When I complied, she decided on just giving me a fine. At some point, she stepped out to make a copy of my ID and she left her radio on the desk. I shoved it into my pants.
#9 Illegal Pudding
I accidentally shoplifted some pudding cups once. I was at Target to buy dog food bags and I had tossed the pudding cups into the basket part of my shopping cart. I forgot they were there when I put all the smaller items on the belt to be rung up. They were hidden from view when the dog food bags were scanned. Oops.
#10 Thievery On Schedule
I’ve never paid for paper towels. I always just steal them because paying $8 for a 2-pack of paper towels is highway robbery and I refuse to do it. My usual routine is I’ll go to the grocery store (Walmart or Target) and then go to self-checkout. As I fill the bags, I’ll put them back in my cart. I just leave the paper towels in the corner of my cart and never touch them. Then I’ll pay and walk right out. It’s the only thing I’ve ever stolen in my life. I don’t really know why I do it, but I’ve been stealing paper towels for a good 15 years now. Always the 2-pack, once a month.
#11 Jet Ski Joyride
I was visiting the beach and while walking home with a friend from a bar at 4 a.m. on a Sunday night, we came across a jet ski that was being bounced around by the waves. My friend convinced me to ride it back with him down the next mile to where we were staying. So we rode it in the ocean in the pitch black while a storm was out in the distance.
When we got to our place, we rode it around until the sun came up. Later on, I found the jet ski registration and the guy who owned it on Facebook. I played the good guy and messaged him saying, "Hey, I found your jet ski on the beach." I figured I wasn't going to take the jet ski home with me anyway. It was a pretty thrilling experience, I must admit.
#12 Forger's Beginning
When I was in high school, my mom and I went to Walgreens to drop out my prescription for Vyvanse (an ADHD stimulant, for those who don't know). The pharmacist, who knew I regularly got 60 pills for a 30-day supply, told my mom that the prescription indicated only 30 pills, not 60. She told my mom that in order to get the right number of pills, she would have to have my psychiatrist rewrite the prescription.
Well, I was out of pills and had school the next day, so my mom was freaking out. She came back to the car with the prescription and explained that there was a line missing on a symbol used by the psychiatrist to indicate the number of pills per daily dose. I took the prescription sheet, observed the ink color and thickness, and asked my mom for a black pen. I carefully drew the extra line and told my mom to drive to the Rite Aid down the street. I got my medication and we went home.
#13 Trading In Thefts
I found out that this one guy stole my phone by checking the previous texts on my account and calling numbers they were in contact with. He wouldn't admit he stole it, so I broke into his house via the balcony, stole his laptop, and left a note telling him to meet me and return my phone to get his laptop back. It totally worked and everyone got their stuff back.
#14 The Summer Of Passes
The summer after I graduated high school, my best friend and I bought season passes to Six Flags. We decided to go every day because it was only an hour away. A week or two into the season, Six Flags introduced their Fast Passes. We immediately bought them, jumped the line at every ride and were hooked. However, the Fast Passes were like $20 each, which adds up if you're going every day.
Luckily for us, the stupid idiots printed them on BUSINESS CARDS and simply punched out a hole whenever we used them. So we just printed our own at home on my friend's dad's super nice printer and rode the heck out of every ride we could. We started making friends with the ride operators, and they'd start telling us what color ink would be used the next week so we could stay ahead of the law.
After two months or so, they started printing them on plastic, but I worked at a plastic factory that used plastic sheeting in the same thickness, and we were still able to print them. We got to ride the rest of the summer in style, but the next year, they introduced the Tamagachi-looking fast passes, and I knew that we'd been beaten.
#15 Beating The Red Ring
When Xbox 360s used to get the red ring of death, I started up my own little side business. I used to buy new ones at Walmart with cash, open them, then take a small razor and swap the bar code from the new 360 to the broken 360. Then, I would take the broken 360 with the new bar code, put it in the box and return it to Walmart saying, "It was a gift but I already had one." All they used to do was scan the bar code to see if it was the same. Boom, new 360. I would charge people $100 and get them the brand new 360 within 48 hours.
#16 Just Keep Rolling
My girlfriend's car got a flat tire. The company I worked for had a tire changer and wheel balancer and I knew the guys who operated them. We just needed a tire so we went to Walmart, but the tire shop was closing early. I was pretty upset until I saw tires with cardboard cutouts in them on top of the shelves in the automotive department. I grabbed the one we needed, knocked out the cardboard and just walked out with it.
#17 Apple Karma
I bought some fancy apples but put them both through as Mcintosh at the self-checkout. It saved me $0.70 but I didn’t like the apples. I went back to get regular Mcintosh apples. Karma is swift.
#18 Skipped A Step
I went to the license office to renew my permit. They gave me a drivers license instead. I don’t know what they have in my record as my driving test score, but I hope I did well. So I guess I’ve been driving illegally for 20 years.
#19 Pocketing Gas Money
As a teenager, I worked in a filling station that also sold gas canisters up to about 15 kg for £10 each. It was normal for all of us to just pocket the tenner. In a busy summer, you could easily walk away with £100 a week each, which was pretty much what we were paid. God knows how they stayed in business for so long.
#20 Sticking It To The Walmart Man
My high school friends, for whatever reason, really loved sticking it to Walmart. We were the stereotypical "nerd" group in our school. At the time, Walmart was still in the middle phases of popping up in every small town across the country. Our group had several discussions about what we could do to really hurt Walmart without hurting the employees.
These were discussions that were held at school-sanctioned magnet meetings so the whole program was essentially aware of it. For whatever reason, we thought shoplifting was a completely victimless crime, assuming that the store had to pay for everything that was filed under loss prevention and that insurance would jack their rates if it kept happening.
So from about '97 to '00, we stole every single supply that we used in our school workgroups. We stole reams and reams of paper to give to the faculty, as well as ink for printers. It got so bad that we started having little challenges to see the most ridiculous thing we could steal. The current record is a full-size trampoline, for those wondering.
#21 Car In Disguise
I was going 75 mph in a 35 mph zone with a Dominos pizza topper lit up on my roof late at night on an empty country road. A cop went by in the other direction, lit up his light bar, and started turning around to follow me. I unplugged the topper, pulled into the next neighborhood, cut my lights and pulled into a driveway. The cop drove by without noticing me.
#22 Rescue Thievery
When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I stole somebody’s cat and dog. I know it sounds bad, but hear me out. I was at my friend's house when he told me that the neighbors behind his house kept a cat and dog in their crates for like, three to four weeks. The crates were in their backyard and he said he never saw the owners let the cat and dog out. So we hatched a plan for me to jump the fence and save them.
First, I jumped over and retrieved the cat which was in a crate. We let her out of the crate in my friend's garage and fed her. Now it was time for me to get the dog. I was a bit nervous because the dog was big and I basically had to risk the dog being aggressive if I was gonna let it out. I mustered my courage and went anyway.
I slowly walked to the cage, but I could tell that he was just scared and wouldn’t harm me. I opened the door to the crate, put him on a leash, and started walking him back around the block to my friend's house. I know this dog was neglected and abused because in the walk around the corner, the dog went #2 about 10 times and when we fed him, he went absolutely crazy with joy and ate so much food.
#23 The Hard Part Was Already Done
Seventeen years ago, my buddy and I came upon a parking meter downtown that had obviously been hit by a car; it was bent at a 45-degree angle. As a goof, I went to lift it up, and to my surprise, I was able to pull it out of the ground. My buddy stopped me and said, "NO. Wait until dark." So later that night, we threw the parking meter in his car, drove to a nearby river, smashed it open with a sledgehammer, and got about $20 worth of change.
#24 Flares Of Frustration
During a weekend when a major university football rivalry match was going on, I stole a box of flares from a police checkpoint and proceeded to lay them at different places around town. It messed up traffic for hours.
#25 A Good Boy
When I was six years old, I was in a grocery store with my mom. She told me to hold onto the gallon of apple juice because there was no more room in the cart for it... and I freaking loved apple juice. So being an absolute compliant little kid, I held onto the juice as she went through the checkout line. I kept holding it as we proceeded to our car, as well as on the entire way home.
Only when we were putting groceries away did she realize that we never paid for it. She started yelling at me but I said to her, "You told me to hold onto it!" She just looked at me dumbfounded, then told me not to mention it to anyone else. "It was an accident and we are keeping it," she told me in a very serious voice.
#26 Stealing Knowledge
When I was in college, I would make PDFs of the textbooks I was required to buy for classes. Often times these were written by my professors who would require students to buy their book. New editions came out each year with the same information but in scrambled order, so used books would become useless to resell. They were charging students upward of $200 to $300 per book.
The way I saw it, they were bigger criminals than I was. With all the books I copied, I likely cost my university book store and their accomplice's tens of thousands of dollars in what they figured would be easy, high-profit sales on the back of student loans. I actually did have a professor mention in class that they knew there was a PDF going around but nothing ever came of it.
#27 They Look So innocent
It's really easy to get away with stuff when you're a teenage girl. My best friend and I used to commit all sorts of minor offenses (mostly just a ton of trespassing) and the police were never called on us because we were girls.
#28 Sneaking Into A Seat
I snuck into the Super Bowl this year. Once I was in, I checked on StubHub to find an open seat. The most expensive one was $35,000, in the first row by the endzone. So I got myself down there and waited for someone to kick me out. Nobody ever came.
#29 Charging Crackers
Shoplifting from Walmart turned into a habit because it was just too easy not to do. One time, a friend and I were buying phone chargers at self-checkout but it scanned as $0.99 crackers instead. Something happened with the transaction and the worker (who saw us bagging phone chargers) had to come to fix stuff on the screen. It clearly said crackers but I guess he didn’t realize because we just paid the $3 and left!
#30 Crime Of Justice?
When I was a teenager, my Labrador got out of the yard. I eventually found him at the pound with a bullet in his shoulder. I had to put him down. I inadvertently found out who did it, and I spray painted his Corvette in a bout of revenge. After he got it repainted, I did it again.
#31 Drowning The Car
Some friends and I put a car in a lake to help our friend commit insurance fraud. As soon as we finished dumping the car, she reported it stolen. Everything went off without a hitch.
#32 The Meaning Of The Phrase
When I was about nine years old, there was some grassy wasteland about a half a mile from my house. I'd regularly go up there, usually on my own, just to mess around. It was the mid-'90s, so that kind of wandering behavior was more common than it is now. Slowly over time, the wasteland was being cleared, and new houses were being built on it.
So at the time of this incident, there were a couple of almost fully-built houses, surrounded by a long grassy land. One day, I sneaked some matches out with me with the absolute intention of setting fire to some stuff. I was not and am not a firebug at all; I just felt like starting a fire that day. I'd never had the urge prior to that, and it's never recurred.
You can guess where this is going. I went up to the wasteland and gratuitously set fire to some grass. However, it was an uncharacteristically very hot and very dry summer in my region. I learned that day the true meaning of the phrase "spread like wildfire." The place was absolutely engulfed in no time. I was never even remotely suspected. Nothing ever came of it.
#33 Flying With Ammo
I unknowingly brought ammo from WWI through TSA security. It was in a little wooden chest I had as a child. I was cleaning out my mom's house when I saw the chest and put it in my backpack. I never looked inside. When I got home, I opened the chest and had a real "holy cow" moment.
#34 Tickets To Ride
Bus tickets in the UK, especially weekly tickets, used to be standard tickets printed on a reel sandwiched inside a sticky sleeve. I got lucky and one bus driver just gave me the two parts separately one week. I stuck the sleeve together with clear plastic inside so I could sandwich photoshopped, printed tickets inside the sleeve that I just replaced every week. The tickets inside the sleeve looked so cheap anyway that they looked legit. I did that for about two years until they changed the design and everything went digital. Saved hundreds.
#35 Paying For College
When I was in college, I had a work-study job at the school museum and we had guests from the public come in. There was no tracking system or any way for anyone but myself to know who came in or how much they paid. I would mess with the system and mark people as students or alumni, or just not mark them up at all and pocket the cash. I ended up making over a thousand dollars in a few months.
#36 Grand Theft Deodorant
I went into CVS for three things: deodorant, the specific pencils I like to use, and a notebook. I grabbed the deodorant, then perused the office supply aisle. When I saw they didn't have the pencils I wanted, I decided it wasn't worth it to get the notebook either. Feeling like my trip was a failure, I left. I walked out of CVS with the deodorant in my hand. No alarm went off, and no employee stopped me. For a split second, I thought to do the right thing and go back to return the deodorant. But getting away with it just felt so good...
#37 An Itchy Revenge
I snuck into my family's business after it was seized from us, wiped every computer clean, then laced every surface imaginable with poison ivy oil. Yes, even every roll of toilet paper.
#38 Easiest Way To Clean Muddy Shoes
I bought a cheap pair of shoes from a Walmart and then got them covered in mud that same night at a bonfire. The next day, I went back to Walmart, found a new pair in my size and put them on, put the muddy shoes in the shoebox, put them on the shelf, and just walked out.
#39 Egg Smuggler
I travel a bit from the UK and Germany to the USA where my family is. I bring Kinder Surprise Eggs with me every time for my family as goofy little gifts for everyone. About once a year, I'm smuggling in illegal contraband into the USA.
#40 Have To Steal Them All
My family went to Disneyland almost every year. In 2000, Disneyland started selling these collectible pins and I was right in the middle of my collecting phase. I loved the pins and wanted them all but I could not afford to pay $10 a pop when my allowance was only $5 a week. So I asked one of the register people for a plastic bag and went throughout the parks just taking any pin that I liked. I figured since I was a kid I would not get in any real trouble if caught. When I came back to the hotel room, I threw all of the pins on the bed and looked up the prices for the color code on the back of each one. Turns out, I stole around $1,500 worth of pins in two days.
#41 Maybe Work Pens, Maybe Not
I might have a few pens from work in my drawer at home. This is not an admission of wrong-doing, nor can I attest to how they got there.
#42 Forging The Disappeared
After moving out of our apartment, my roommate disappeared. Her phone was disconnected, her Facebook was deleted, and she did not reply to any of my emails. She was completely gone. When I went to pick up our security deposit check, it was addressed to both of us.
They refused to write a new check to me unless I could get a signed, handwritten letter from her saying it was okay to give the money to me. I realized that the only information the landlord could cross-reference was her signature, and I had a copy of the signed lease. So I had my sister write the letter and I traced the signature. The landlord didn't notice a thing. I essentially faked a handwritten letter and forged a signature to steal $2,000.
#43 Key To Annoyance
When I was in college, I found the custodians keys in the hallway one day. I took the master key from the ring. My roommates and I never stole anything but we did use it to travel to floors we weren’t allowed on. We would also break into people’s rooms to rearrange furniture or leave random funny items. Our floor tried to find out who was putting rocks under people’s pillows for five months.
#44 Pyrrhic Theft
When I was a teenager, I got caught stealing three Blink 182 CDs at a Meijer grocery store while my mom was buying food. I was caught and hauled into the loss prevention booth with my mom. The guys told me to take the CDs out of my cargo shorts pockets, so I did. The value was under $50, so they didn’t call the cops and instead just “banned” me from the store. When we got in the car, I was super excited because I had a stick of my favorite deodorant in my other cargo pocket that I did get away with. They never asked about it, so I kept quiet. I considered it a pyrrhic victory.
#45 "Store" Needs An Emergency Stock
I was home from college visiting friends. I woke up the next morning on my friend's couch as he was calling me. When I answered, he said, "Hey, I need a favor, go in my room and put on one of my work shirts and a pair of my khakis. Then drive up here ASAP." He worked at a Walgreens. "Sure thing," I said. I figured something fun and unusual was afoot.
I feel it's imperative to also explain that this particular friend and I were deeply consumed in the Fight Club lifestyle in the early-mid 2000s, so no questions asked. Anyway, I parked at the store and called him.
"So I'm here, what now?"
"Just drive your truck around back where the loading dock is and if anyone asks, you're from the Fayetteville store."
So I went around back and he was there waiting to let me inside. From there, he was just like, "I got the list you sent us already. We will load the truck if you want to check off the items as we go."
"Yeah, sure; sounds good, thanks!" I stood there scrutinizing and checking off items on a list while several 30 packs, champagne, charcoal, meats, etc. got loaded into my truck. After my truck was loaded, he gave me a professional handshake. "Yeah, we really appreciate the help! Take care!" Then I went straight back to his apartment where I got his roommate to help unload all of the stuff.