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December 2009

22 December 2009

Kota Shibuya, a 25-year-old Tokyo man, got in trouble for filling in a change-of-address form. He supplied his correct address but registered it as the home of several members of pop band AKB48. He was caught after a band member reported to the police that her mail wasn't arriving. Of the roughly 200 mail items involved, Shibuya said: 'I just wanted some of their stuff. I didn't care what.'

In South Africa, a jewellery retail employee decided to take some gold home with him - smuggled inside a cooked chicken. He was caught by a metal detector at a security point. Beeld newspaper reported that the Johannesburg man has been charged with attempted theft and possession of allegedly stolen goods.

Florida's Dalia Dippolito wanted her wealthy husband to die a few months after the wedding. When the antifreeze she put in his coffee didn't do the trick, she turned to the professionals. The 26-year-old woman ended up hiring two hit men - really undercover cops - to take care of him. The ensuing charges of conspiracy to commit murder did not deter her: she again hired a hitman. He too was an undercover cop. Her husband has filed for divorce.

Reuters reports that a Vietnamese man, Le Van, missed his wife, who had died in early 2003. After about 20 months of sleeping on her grave, the 55-year-old man from Quang Nam province became worried about the elements. So he dug up the body, clothed it and used clay to re-create the shape of a woman, and slept beside it for the next five years. quoted him as saying: 'I'm a person that does things differently. I'm not like normal people.'

Sometimes you should quit while you're ahead, a lesson recently learned by a shoplifter from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 51-year-old woman allegedly took items worth $2,200 from a drugstore, returning to the shop for more after depositing bags of stolen merchandise in her car. She has been charged with felony grand theft.

Ohio too has thieves who make things easy for the police. Middletown police officer Mark Hoffman explains that Derek Kidd, 32, and his girlfriend were asking passers-by for a moment on a mobile phone, so he invited the pair into the police station to make their call. While the woman was on the phone, Kidd was chased out of a police break room and an officer, missing his police cap, spotted it under Kidd's hat. Kidd also was found to be in illegal possession of two police chocolate bars as well as two used syringes from a collection box.

Police in Waukesha, Wisconsin, report that a ski-mask-wearing man with a gun passed through the outer set of entrance doors at a local credit union. The inner doors were locked, as it was six minutes past closing time. The man left. Police are reviewing the security tapes in an attempt to identify him.

Anderson County, Tennessee, Sheriff's Deputy Mark Hobbs reports that he arrested a 39-year-old man for allegedly shooting at someone during a Thanksgiving celebration. The man's mother followed the police car from her Andersonville home to the jail, in the town of Clinton, in order to demand her son's release. Hobbs said she then punched him. She faces a variety of charges.

An elderly woman asked a bailiff working in the lobby of a New Hampshire courthouse to help her out by selling some Christmas wreathes she had made. After seven courthouse employees paid $10 each for a wreath, someone noticed a flower shop's price tags on the wreaths. Three dozen wreaths had been stolen from that flower shop a few days earlier.

A 46-year-old man in Amsterdam reported his Ecstasy pills stolen. The man, who said that he'd tried the drug and didn't like it, had collected Ecstasy pills of various colours and designs for 20 years. Police spokeswoman Esther Naber said that the man 'knows he's not going to get his collection back' and that the main reason he reported the theft is that about 40 of the 2,400 pills are poisonous.
Police are still debating whether to charge him with a crime, Naber said.

Reuters reports on the murder trial of neo-Nazi gang member John Ditullio in Florida. Granting a request from Ditullio's defence attorney, the judge ordered the state to pay for a makeup artist to attend to him before court each day, covering some of his tattoos. The concern was that jurors might be prejudiced by the images, which include an obscene word and a swastika. Tattoos Ditullio received before his arrest are not to be covered.

New Zealand's Cherelle May Dudfield, 18, has pleaded guilty of disorderly behaviour for flashing her breasts at motorists and has been fined $198. A further consequence of her alcohol-inspired chest-baring escapades is a hospital stay: a distracted driver ran into her.

Boston police report on Francis Viliar, who had heard about a way to become untraceable. He paid someone $400 to slice the pads off the tips of his fingers. Later pulled over for speeding, the 36-year-old Viliar was identified by characteristics of his fingerprints anyway and arrested on 13 outstanding charges related to drug trafficking.

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© 2009 Anna Shefl