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September 12 2016

Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

I wouldn’t say there’s been a dearth of good crime films lately; we haven’t had a renaissance, but we have gotten some good ones. It’s not a genre that is considered a genre—crime...
September 10 2015

Fresh Meat: On the Road with Del & Louise by Art Taylor

On the Road with Del & Louise by Art Taylor is a collection of six short stories that tell the tale of two criminal lovers trying to start a new life (available September 15, 2015). It’s...
June 3 2015

Armed Robber Demands Doctor’s Pants

An armed robber took a doctor's briefcase… and his pants, according to The Telegraph. Bibb County, Georgia, deputies say the robber walked into the business and asked the receptionist...
April 15 2015

Robber Arrested with Dollar Sign Money Bag

Now this is just too classic: Police in Washington state arrested a robbery suspect carrying an actual canvas bag with a printed dollar sign on it. The man allegedly robbed an Olympia, Washington...
March 25 2015

Justified 6.10: “Trust”

Raise your hand if you were expecting that ending? Anyone? Anyone? But before we get there, a lot of other things happened in “Trust,”Episode 6.10 of Justified. First of all, we...
January 28 2015

Thieves Do the Right Thing for Boy Scouts

Who says bad guys don't have a heart? It seems a guilty conscience prompted some thieves who stole a cargo trailer and camping gear from a Montana Boy Scout troop to return the stolen equipment...
January 13 2015

9 Year-Old Gets Arrest Warrant For Stealing Gum

Dealing with criminals is always very important in our society, but the news of a recent arrest warrant issued by an Idaho prosecutor has taken many by surprise. Yours truly included! According...
December 22 2014

The Film Noir of Robert Wise

By most measurements, Robert Wise didn’t just succeed as a director—Robert Wise crushed it. He made West Side Story, which, if you adjust for inflation, made about half a billion dollars...
December 3 2014

Thanksgiving Shoplifter Had Cops Going in Circles

After a day of Thanksgiving shoplifting, an Oregon couple had police going in circles. Scratch that, I mean the police were watching them drive in circles. It all started after a few reports...
November 19 2014

Naked Teen Breaks into Two Homes in One Night

Here is another interesting story for you this morning. An 18-year-old Maine man faces charges after police claim he broke into not one, but two homes while completely naked. According to Falmouth...
October 31 2014

Lost Classics of Noir: Criss-Cross by Don Tracy

So this is the next in my line of posts where I’m going to write about an underappreciated vintage noir novel, and in so doing, discuss a movie that was made from its story (sometimes it’s...
September 17 2014

Thief Robs Autistic Man’s Birthday Money

Surveillance video from a Connecticut shopping mall captured a truly disgraceful act — someone robbing an autistic man's birthday money. The despicable robbery happened in broad daylight,...
September 10 2014

Carjacking Victims Hogtie Naked Carjacker

An Australian man who foolishly attempted to carjack not one, but three vehicles was chased down by the angry victims and hogtied until the local authorities arrived. The carjacker allegedly shattered...
July 30 2014

Man Robs Restaurant and Returns for Lunch the Same Day

Here at Criminal Element we are not normally in the business of giving advice to the bad guys, but a man in Costa Mesa, California might want to rethink his love for the popular El Pollo Loco chain....
July 23 2014

Woman Steals Vibrator by Hiding it in Baby’s Stroller

Let’s be honest, it is certainly one thing to get caught with a smoking gun in your hand, but it is quite another to get caught with a buzzing vibrator in your baby’s stroller. That’s...
July 2 2014

Armed Robber Leaves Heist in Tears

A gunman who held up a Days Inn in Georgia ended up leaving the crime in tears, despite walking away with huge stacks of cash, police say. In a surveillance video released by DeKalb County police...
June 11 2014

Burglar Assaults Manager With Sex Toys

An adult store manager was assaulted with sex toys by a male intruder wearing a dress, wig and crotchless pants in Australia over the weekend. The sassy burglar forced his way into the Brisbane...
May 1 2014

Woman Steals Toy Duck From Baby’s Grave

Yes, you read the title of the article correctly. An Ohio woman, seen in surveillance video stealing a toy stuffed animal from a baby's grave site, has turned herself in to police. A large stuffed...
April 17 2014

Burglar Butt-Dials 911 During Heist

A couple of clumsy burglars were arrested after one of them accidentally dialed 911 and didn’t realize it. Maplewood, Minnesota Police Chief Paul Schnell says the 911 dispatcher received...
April 3 2014

Burglar’s Flirting Leads to Own Arrest

One highly flirtatious burglar landed himself in the slammer after the police used a pretty girl to entice him into a date. Keveen Quintanilla was arrested last week after police said he robbed...
March 11 2014

Duck, You Sucker, Or You Will Blow Up

In the opening to Sergio Leone’s 1971 film, Duck, You Sucker (aka A Fistful of Dynamite),there’s what one might consider a nod to Sam Peckinpah. All you see is Rod Steiger’s bare...
January 14 2014

The Five Best Heist Films You’ve Never Seen

You may know the classics of the heist genre—John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle, Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, Jules Dassin’s Rififi, etc.(for an overview of the essentials, check...
June 7 2013

Pickup On South Street at 60

A subway train roars through the night. Sweaty and surly, the crowded passengers inside avoid eye contact. The train lurches to a stop and more people squeeze in. Two men watch a pretty young woman...
May 19 2013

You Talkin’ to Me?: Criminal Language

Criminal enterprises are dangerous, no, really, I heard that somewhere. The risks of the job, though, are part of the deal. Hardly a criminal would balk at the prospect of being arrested or facing a...
May 10 2013

How to Build a Heist Team Step 1: Piranhas

We here at Criminal Element are quite appreciative of a good heist tale. So if you have a crack team of criminals and con men that double as illusionists and magicians, you have our attention....
April 14 2013

Surfs Up: Point Break Remake, Crime Against Film in the (Re)Making?

You either loved or hated it, but either way it’s coming back around. On Thursday it was announced that Ericson Core will direct the remake of the 1991 surfer crime film, Point Break. The original...
March 14 2013

Emma Watson, Home Invader: From Harry Potter to The Bling Ring

I’m a pretty big Harry Potter fan. I grew up reading the books and watching the movies, so when I heard that Emma Watson’s next big role would be a big step away from her image as Harry’s...
March 9 2013

Now You See Me: Magicians Turned Bank Robbers?

Magicians seem to be the thing this movie season what with Steve Carell’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone coming out March 15 and magician-cum-heist movie, Now You See Me, which comes out...
March 8 2013

Fresh Meat: Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen

Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen is the second thriller in the Stevens and Windemere series (available March 21, 2013). When first you meet Carter Tomlin, you assume he’s the protagonist...
August 31 2012

Fresh Meat: The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos

The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos is a thriller featuring three ordinary men who test the limits of their friendship when a robbery goes wrong (available September 4, 2012). Will, Jeffrey,...