There may be no such thing as the perfect crime, but here are some highlights of Southwest Florida's offbeat crimes of 2011.
A pretty smile, a dead giveaway
There's not usually a downside to good dental hygiene — unless, of course, you're a 33-year-old East Naples mother, whose pearly whites turned out to be the smoking gun that led to her arrest in May.
The doting mom got sloshed on whiskey, hard liquor and beer at a birthday bash she hosted for her son. After she and a neighbor got into an argument, Collier County sheriff's deputies warned them to stay apart.
Later that day, however, the mother entered her neighbor's apartment and threw a piece of birthday cake in her face when asked to leave. She then attacked her, pinned her to a wall, grabbed her hair and bit her arm.
Deputies found cake on the neighbor's wall and face. But it was the teeth marks that did her in. It was a perfect match, conclusive, deputies said, because others there "had no teeth at all or only a few."
She was sentenced to a year of probation and anger management classes for battery and trespassing. Now that bites.
Better response is "sweet!"
One Naples News blogger said he would have thanked a woman for making his day, while another surmised she was part of the "new North Fort Myers beautification plan."
Yet another chimed in: "I want to see the evidence."
The motorcyclist told deputies he wanted to prosecute the 44-year-old woman for indecent exposure because she'd violated his restraining order against her by flashing him.
He reported the violation to domestic violence court, where a judge reviewed his affidavit and ruled she was in contempt.
Still, she wasn't charged with a crime. Maybe the motorcyclist wasn't a believable witness after seven arrests and four other restraining orders he'd obtained. Or possibly deputies agreed with bloggers?
The strippers did it
A 30-year-old Hollywood man found yet another good reason to hang out with strippers: an alibi.
Lee County deputies stopped the man on Interstate 75 in November because his window tint was too dark and he was following a vehicle too closely. Although they repeatedly told him he'd only get a warning, reports say he was excessively nervous, sweating and refused to look a deputy in the eyes.
When they asked if they could search his vehicle, reports say he was so nervous he tried to talk, but no sounds came out.
He had plenty to say after a drug dog alerted deputies to drugs in his car and deputies pulled out a bag of Ecstasy. He pointed out it was a rental car, he'd been driving strippers around for weeks, they'd probably left it, so he couldn't be held responsible.
Despite the convincing story, he was arrested and is fighting his drug possession charges. Maybe he's searching for witnesses, the drug-dropping strippers?
Laundry incident nets man clean jail jumpsuit
It's a modern-day version of Goldilocks and the three bears.
This time it was "Who's using my electricity, water, washer and dryer?"
Deputies found it was a 23-year-old neighbor who claimed he'd left his laundry there and was just picking it up. He was homeless and looking for a job.
Instead of wearing his newly cleaned clothes, he ended up with a red jail jumpsuit after being charged with burglary.
The charge was dropped. He may be able to use his clean clothes, though. He's heading to trial Jan. 31 on another burglary charge.
Sorry baby, how 'bout a buzz cut?
Some guys give girlfriends flowers after an argument. Some give candy.
After arguing with her one night in late August, he left her home and returned at 7 a.m.
When she awoke, she found her boyfriend above her, shaving her head with electric clippers. Buzzing mad, she kicked him off and called the cops.
He was arrested at home the next day and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, anger management classes and probation in October.
Don't like them apples?
It might have been their curvy figures that caught a Lothario's eye. Or maybe it was their flowing locks or luscious lips.
Whatever it was, a 28-year-old Immokalee man certainly didn't like their Adam's apples.
He was having a fine night at a local watering hole in February, flirting with pretty ladies and buying them drinks. It must have seemed too good to be true — and it was. Turns out all the ladies were men wearing dresses.
When he realized, he threw a fit, breaking bottles and fighting with customers. When Collier deputies arrived, he smelled of alcohol and could barely stand.
He spent a month in jail and was sentenced to time served for disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.
And that's why they call them beer goggles.
Oops! Wrong shop
One rule of committing the perfect crime is to carefully select the target. And when you sell the loot, it's always smart to find a pawnshop miles away.
A 33-year-old Immokalee man failed those basic tenets.
He arrived at Marilyn's Boutique in Immokalee with $5,000 to $10,000 worth of jewelry last month.
After telling the man she wasn't interested in buying because the jewelry was hers, her husband arrived and confronted him as deputies swarmed the shop.
He was arraigned this week on felony charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and defrauding a pawnbroker.
Practice makes perfect, but it's clear from the alleged thief's long rap sheet, which dates to 1996, that he hasn't learned from his crimes.
Gate crasher fails Designated Driving 101
There are wedding crashers — and then there's the 25-year-old Naples man who entered Fiddler's Creek in late January after a bachelor party.
When security guards stopped him, he said he was bringing a friend, the groom, to his fiancée's home after his bachelor party and he was talking on the phone with her when he crashed through — and "was not (expletive) drunk." He suggested the groom had been driving.
"(He) had way too much to drink," the man explained to a Collier deputy, who found the groom slumped in the passenger seat, vomit in his lap.
He spent 15 days in jail, missed the wedding and was sentenced to a year of probation for DUI and leaving a crash. He was ordered to undergo urine tests, stay away from alcohol, wear an alcohol monitor and had to blow into an ignition interlock device to drive.
The bright side is that he's now prepared to be a designated driver.
He went thataway
It was a good ruse, but the 31-year-old North Naples man forgot about his distinctive Southern drawl.
He was stopped by a Collier deputy who saw him speeding on J&C Boulevard in April.
The man, who said he was coming from South Street, claimed he'd left his North Carolina driver's license at home. The deputy returned to his patrol car and checked his license, but found no valid license. After hearing a call about a shooting with "one subject on the ground" at nearby South Street Bar & Grill, he let the driver go and rushed there.
But there had been no shooting.
Suspicious about the 911 call, he learned it came from a North Carolina number. He dialed and recognized the driver's voice on the voicemail.
He went to his home, searched his car and found the cellphone, with no battery. He inserted it and a dispatcher called.
The phone rang.
After 20 days in jail, he was sentenced to time served and six months' probation for misusing the 911 emergency system and driving on a suspended North Carolina license.
Next time, ditch the accent and buy a non-traceable Tracfone.