D&D General Could a thief get away with a 1-man crime wave by making it so obvious that she's the 1 responsible that the police assume she's being framed

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Cobalt Meridian

I think the solution that most law enforcement would be to throw them into prison.
If the crimes continue then they were framed and the law enforcement body can seek the real criminal.
If they stop then "justice" has been served (even if they're not sure that they have the right person, if incarcerating this one person stops a crime wave then that'll be good enough for most people).

Note that this assumes that we're talking about this in a typical D&D world, without a codified bill of rights. Of course, where "Zone of Truth" exists getting to the bottom of this problem shouldn't be difficult.


The best route would be if the locals cannot find the thief, they hire the PC to find them. Then the PC needs to continue the investigation looking for herself while commiting more crimes. Would make for a great 1 PC game or better if the one player could play another night with the DM and then with the group looking for themselves without letting the other players know.


I think, in general, the police/guard will not take the chance of ignoring the obvious and will throw him in jail. Figuring if it stops, thats all the proof they need.
To get around that, get an accomplice. The accomplice only needs to do two jobs. One during the 'spree' giving the thief an air tight alibi, and one after the thief is thrown in jail anyway. Giving more proof of innocence. They can be on the easier side of heists.


Many, if not most, criminals are not particularly bright. So committing a large number of crimes leaving obvious clues as to who committed them is just called "typical".

Do whatever you want, this wouldn't work for me.
That's the whole point that the thieves a lot more intelligent then the average thief(my thinking is A Int of 12 as opposed to the average Thieves Int of 8 or 9) that the because of the amount of obvious clues that its her the authorities automatically assume that a thief as smart as she is wouldn't leave so many obvious clues and assume that someone's trying to frame her


I presume there is no alibi, otherwise it wouldn’t be a very good frame.

I think you’re missing the point though… a better question would be: What evidence could she plant to make it appear that she is being framed?

Evidence of being framed… each crime would need to also match the goals of an alternative party,
Rumours spread in the community that she would make a good target.
Some way of gaining an alibi.

To make the crime wave really work the thief would need a way to continue committing crimes even when encarcerated… see Law Abiding Citizen.


I can’t imagine any law enforcement/justice system refraining from arresting someone because there was too much evidence. And it would never get to the point where there was a large amount of crimes with that much evidence. As soon as the first crime or two with sufficient evidence happened, they’d be arrested. The idea they’d just sit around letting crime after crime happen while accumulating obvious evidence, so much so that they reach the point of saying “nah, this is too easy”, is unrealistic.

And besides, Int 12 isn’t all that much smarter than Int 9…


Unless the thief can present a rock solid alibi (however they manage that..), I’d say the police does what it is prone to do, happily arrest the obvious suspect and thank their lucky stars there was one, so they did not have to manufacture one…

That the arrest ends the crime wave is further proof that they did an outstanding job

If you have been framed for the third time, presenting the rock solid alibi, the police starts ignoring your alibi / poking holes into it, and arrest you anyway.

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