A furniture store owner has likened this CCTV footage from a recent bungled robbery to a Benny Hill sketch. And but for the absence of a baffled little bald man and a gaggle of bikini-clad women, we'd have to agree.

The attempted crime took place last Saturday when a pair of would-be thieves - part of a three-man gang - bundled a couple of £400 settees into the back of a van outside Sofa King in Northampton.

The only problem? They neglected to close the van doors - so manager Justin Hallett simply ran up and retrieved the sofas before they drove away.

Store owner Mark Kypta told the Daily Mail: "Our prices aren't exactly high, so they must have been pretty desperate. Luckily, Justin - not even thinking of his own safety - ran out and jumped into the back of the van and got the sofas back."

He then added: "I think he's in line for a Christmas bonus now. He was pretty brave. The whole footage looks like it should have a Benny Hill soundtrack to it."

Of course, the Sofa King dumb thieves (say it quickly!) are just the latest in the world's rich and varied history of daft criminals...

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  • Markedly Bad Disguise

    What these two Tennessee <a href="http://www.tennesseecriminallawyerblog.com/2009/11/men_use_permanent_marker_to_create_burglary_disguise.html" target="_hplink">would-be robbers</a> taught us by trying to "disguise" themselves by covering their face in black magic marker is that there is never, ever a good reason to apply black anything to a white face.

  • See Left

    <a href="http://www.irishcentral.com/news/news_from_ireland/Woman-in-sumo-wrestler-suit-assaults-ex-girlfriend-after-waving-at-man-dressed-as-Snickers-bar-97262439.html" target="_hplink">This headline. That's all</a>.

  • Amish Buggy Chase

    In a scene that sounds like more like a Monty Python sketch than an actual news item, an Amish teen led a <a href="http://www.aolnews.com/2010/07/21/amish-teen-leads-police-on-horse-and-buggy-chase/" target="_hplink">low-speed police chase on his horse and buggy</a>.

  • Police Help

    Bad news: A Florida man was pulled over and arrested after the police searched his car and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Good news: In the process, the police found a bong that the man had been looking <i>everywhere</i> for -- <a href="http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/20/arrested-man-thanks-police-for-finding-long-lost-bong/" target="_hplink">and thanked the cops for their help.</a>

  • Double Vision

    If you're anything like a woman in Sweden arrested for drunk driving, you may think you can get out of the case by <a href="http://www.thelocal.se/15320/20081030/" target="_hplink">covering up one eye to avoid double vision</a>, as she claimed in court. Unfortunately, it won't work (neither the method nor the excuse).

  • Take Your Child To Jail Day

    There's a reason that billboards don't say, "Drink. Drive. Go To Jail. Next time, get <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/buy-dad-brain" target="_hplink">your 10-year-old son to drive instead</a>." But one Tennessee man found out the hard way that it might not be a great idea after the car crashed (everyone is fine).

  • Ballsy Check

    You gotta hand it to a Dallas man who tried to cash a f<a href="http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/050108dnmetbillion.b623795f.html" target="_hplink">ake check for $360 billion</a>. Why not?

  • Drug Deal Cold Calls

    When a 14-year-old Tampa Bay boy dialed the wrong number, he quickly apologized, then offered to sell the person on the other end of the line some drugs. Unfortunately for him, <a href="http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=56634" target="_hplink">that other person was a cop</a>. As Maeby Bluth might say, "That was a freebie."

  • Now That's Commitment To Porn

    A Colorado man went to a video store and claimed that as a part of the <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/phony-porn-inspector-popped" target="_hplink">"age verification unit" of the local police department</a>, it was his duty to confiscate DVDs of pornography to ensure that all the actresses (and actors, presumably) were over 18. As foolproof as this plan was, he was arrested by the cops deployed from the Creepster Verification Unit. Apparently he had never even heard of the Internet.

  • But It Was Too Late

    Since when was it a crime to try to resuscitate a long-dead armadillo on the road? Who knows, but a <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8591303.stm" target="_hplink">drunk Pittsburgh man who tried</a> was arrested anyway.

  • Worst Vacation Plans Ever

    Here's a great way to get arrested: 1. Commit bank fraud; receive over $200,000 in credit. 2. Flee the country. 3. <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8306032.stm" target="_hplink">Brag about your new lifestyle on Facebook.</a> 5. Accept friend request from DOJ official. 6. If you've made it this far, you don't need our help.