Published: 06:00, 22 November 2020
| Updated: 09:46, 22 November 2020
Earlier this week we reported on a pair of hapless thieves who tried to steal a tree from outside a house - all while wearing hugely-conspicuous high-vis jackets.
Inspired by their antics, reporter Rhys Griffiths delves into the archives for more tales of Kent's bungling crooks and the mishaps that led them to hit the headlines.
Earlier this year "a trail of indisputable evidence" helped put away burglar Terry Williams, who played right into the hands of the police by leaving paperwork and prescription medication with his name on it nearby the properties he raided and later returning to the crime scene.
It was Williams, and he was also carrying a bag containing a laptop and other items which linked him to another victim in the same road.
He was later jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to three burglaries on Pembury Road.
In 2013 four bragging robbers from Chatham who set up a Blackberry Messenger group called 'Armed Robbers' and filmed selfies posing with a handgun were jailed for a total of more than 40 years.
One even donned pyjama bottoms with cartoon sheep on during a raid, and kept a picture of himself on his phone wearing the same trousers.
However, an attempted robbery at a champion dog breeder's home in Lincolnshire was foiled when the breeders' daughter refused to give in to what were described by the judge as their "cowardly demands".
On more than one occasion she batted a pistol away when it was pointed close to her head, and she was recognised for her bravery and awarded £250.
Jailing the four robbers, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said they had carried out their raids with a "somewhat cavalier attitude" and in an "amateurish fashion".
In particular, he said the attempted robbery in Lincolnshire would have been "comical" if it had not been so serious an offence.
A life of crime can be thirsty work, and in 2015 a persistent offender was arrested for a burglary at an Otham cricket club after stopping for a drink of squash at the scene of the crime.
Hapless John Stevens stole three cricket balls, a bag and a screw driver from Rumwood Cricket Club but later claimed to have simply stumbled upon the ransacked pavilion while on a late night stroll.
Police attended the scene of the burglary and took swabs from the rim of the glass he had used, and when the DNA matched Stevens' it was quickly established he had no links to the club.
Officers then searched his home and recovered all of the stolen items. The father-of-one later admitted burglary and was fined.
Earlier this year British Transport Police released hilarious CCTV footage of the moment a bungling burglar on the hunt for booze crashes to the floor while trying to break into a café at Margate railway station.
Watch: Margate railway station café burglar falling to floor
Red-faced Ricky Hodgkins is seen falling on his face before swiftly dusting himself off to continue the raid in March, before police officers arrived to find the 40-year-old on the station grounds with an armful of beer.
Despite bleeding from his wrists and left knee, the hapless crook claimed he had bought the booze from Tesco and had been injured in a fight earlier in the day.
But he slipped up when he asked officers to get his carrier bag from inside the café. It was found behind a refrigerator below the broken window. He later admitted burglary while he was in hospital being treated for his injuries.
In 2016 a dozy burglar broke into a restaurant in Maidstone and liked it so much he decided to stay the night.
After ransacking and choosing items to steal from Christi’s Bar and Restaurant in St Faith’s Street, homeless Soufyan Yahyaoui tucked himself up in bed in the owner’s accommodation.
But he was in for a rude awakening after the boss, Alex Buckwell arrived with two staff members and found him fast asleep.
The 36-year-old intruder grabbed a screwdriver he had used for the break-in and struck out at one of them, but ended up injuring himself when detained.
Yahyaoui, of Parsonage Close, Tunbridge Wells, was later jailed for two years after admitting two burglaries and assault.
In 2018 a prolific thief caught with tights on his head following a raid on a shop told police he was wearing them to keep warm.
Charles Traverso, of no fixed address, admitted stealing money, alcohol and cigarettes after forcing a lock to break into the convenience store on Union Street in Maidstone.
'If they'd used their brains, they could have come the day before...'
He was arrested in the garden of a neighbouring property, wearing gloves, tights on his head, a hat and a hood.
Traverso was under a supervision order for a previous burglary at the time of the offence.
And finally, sometimes even the boys in blue can be left red-faced when things don't quite go to plan.
Earlier this year Kent Police was forced to apologise to the owner of an antiques shop in Ashford after bungling cops stormed the store by mistake during a series of drug raids.
Furious owner David Bracewell was left hopping mad after 12 officers came crashing into the shop on the hunt for cannabis on the back of dodgy intelligence.
Mr Bracewell, who wasn't in when they battered down his door, said: "If they'd used their brains, they could have come the day before, as I was working 10am until 4pm, and seen there was no cannabis farm here."