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February 2011

8 February 2011

Cody Wilkins noticed that his mobile phone needed to charge, so he plugged it in. The problem, for him, is that he left without it, jumping out of a window when one of the people whose home he'd been burgling returned to the building.
The police found the phone, which easily led to the 25-year-old Wilkins. He has been charged in connection with several burglaries.

In another botched burglary, a man broke into a home in the Japanese city of Kawanishi but bumped into the person who lived there. Mid-scuffle, the burglar asked the man to let him go in exchange for money. Before any such deal could be agreed upon, the intruder found a way to escape. A few minutes later, reports Mainichi Shimbun, the resident saw the intruder on a nearby street and asked: 'Didn't you tell me you would pay me?' The man handed the resident the equivalent of about 800 euros from his wallet and ran off.
The resident supplied the man's description to the police anyway. The police took custody of the money, which will be returned to the resident if the suspect isn't found.

According to the Italian press, Calogero Lo Coco recently visited his former home near Agrigent, Italy, where ex-wife Rosa Nicosia now lived with her boyfriend, and they killed him. The manner of the killing could have come straight out of a murder mystery: the couple apparently suffocated him with butter shoved down his throat, which later melted.
The couple told authorities that he had arrived intoxicated, attacked them, been tied up, and then suddenly died. However, traces of melted butter or margarine were found in the dead man's airways in a post-mortem examination.

In Idaho in 2009, someone began placing substances such as corn syrup and ketchup in the Ada County Community Library's book drop. Recently, after more than 10 such incidents, officers keeping an eye on the scene caught the culprit: 75-year-old Joy Cassidy. Clutching an open jar of mayonnaise, she had little choice but to plead guilty to more than $1,000 of malicious injury to property.
Cassidy, sentenced to a month in jail and told to stay away from local libraries from two years, had been acting in response to arguments she'd had with library patrons and staff.

Two secondary schools in Dignes les Bains, France, hired a man from Northern Ireland to teach German. All seemed to be going well until, about a month later, school officials became suspicious of his ramblimgs - and the fact that, for example, he would sometimes wear gloves in order not to leave fingerprints - and they looked into his past.
Their new hire was found to be Lewis Alexander Mawhinney, an escapee from lifetime commitment to a psychiatric ward. The 26-year-old Mawhinney had been labelled a dangerous schizophrenic after he'd stabbed a call centre colleague in the neck, School officials dismissed him.
The gloves were because Mawhinney, now residing at a hospital in France, believed himself to belong to MI5.

Prosecutors have charged Tihomir Petrov with two counts of urination in a public place. The public place was the office door of a fellow mathematics professor at California State University at Northridge. Investigators say that the urination was motivated by a dispute between the two teachers.
Petrov wouldn't have been caught if he'd committed the offence only once. However, officials at the university had set up a surveillance camera after the first incident.

Responding to an anonymous tip of an illegal cockfight, California police arrived at the scene to find five dead roosters. Also a victim of the cockfight was Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, who had been stabbed in the right calf by a rooster with knives strapped to its limbs. Ochoa, who sought medical attention only after two hours had passed, died in hospital, presumably as a result of blood loss.

A US court of appeal has upheld a ruling that bans the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons from Wisconsin's Waupun Correctional Institution.
The ban came after an anonymous note warned prison officials that inmate Kevin Singer, who had been a fan of the game since childhood, and three other inmates were trying to gain recruits for their 'gang' by showing others their D&D publications. All fantasy games were therefore banned and Singer's handwritten materials were confiscated. Games such as Risk and chess remained unfettered.
After that, Singer filed a civil rights complaint. In view of expert testimony, prison officials conceded that D&D has not led to gang behaviour in the past. However, the court deemed rational the prison officials' belief that the game might do so and/or undermine security. This was judged to be the key issue too in the upholding of the ban.

Didier Jambart is taking pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline to court, charging that its drug for Parkinson's disease has side effects that weren't mentioned with the product when he'd used it: he states that Requip made him addicted to risky behaviours: gambling and gay sex.
The 51-year-old Jambart states that the behaviours stopped when, after about two years, he ceased taking the drug. But by that point, Jambart, a married father of two, had already lost the family's savings to online gambling, been raped as a result of risky sexual behaviours, and been demoted from his defence ministry position.
He is seeking 450,000 euros in damages, from Glaxo and his neurologist.

Portland, Oregon, Fire and Rescue spokesman Paul Corah said that someone rang to report a fire and then hung up on the dispatcher. The fire, which caused $30,000 in damage was put out, and the apparent cause was pinned down: tenants using a hole in the floor as an ashtray. 'That's not careless smoking; that's stupid smoking' was Corah's summary.

By contrast, Connecticut's Robert Michelson wanted to be careful. He rang the emergency services to ask a dispatcher how much trouble he could find himself in if growing just one marijuana plant. The dispatcher told him that he could be arrested for growing the drug. Michelson thanked the dispatcher for the information and hung up.
A short while later, officers paid a visit to the 21-year-old Michelson's home, where they found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

When a UK immigration officer was put forward for a promotion that required higher security clearance, his supervisors noticed that his wife was on a terrorist watch list. Questioned about this, he admitted to having added her to the database himself after she'd left the country to visit family in Pakistan. For the last three years, she has been unable to return to the UK. According to UK media, the Home Office have confirmed that the unnamed officer has been relieved of his job as a result of his gross misconduct.

Police in Missouri came upon Darion O. Page, 18, and two minors sitting in a vehicle stuck in a snowdrift. With them in the vehicle were credit cards and other belongings that had been stolen from motorists who had become stuck in the snow earlier. The teenagers, who face charges of robbery and armed criminal action, pretty much all blame each other for the robberies.

Russian news agency Novy Region reports that a 73-year-old woman died last year in Yekaterinburg and her 69-year-old sister had a hard time facing this. The younger sister, who reportedly has a record of unsound mental health, preserved her sister's body in petrol in her flat and has tried various tricks to revive it. Her latest attempt was worthy of Victor Frankenstein, and perhaps inspired by the same: She connected her sister to the mains with two wires, one attached to the corpse's neck and the other to a hand.
The result was a fire that left the younger woman in hospital with burns and smoke inhalation issues and left the older woman still dead.

Recently uncovered documents describe the case of a Libyan man sent to Italy for training as a 'frogman'. The man, assumed to be a member of the Libyan government, took part in the classroom portion of the underwater explosives detection and demolition course but then balked when it was time to enter the swimming pool for the practical training. A report stated: 'The instructor walked up to the student, put his mask on, shoved the regulator in his mouth and pushed him into the pool. The Libyan student sank like a stone, spit [sic] out his regulator and swallowed a great deal of water.' The man was retrieved, and the water was pumped out of his lungs.
It emerged that the man was the cousin of an official responsible for selecting participants in the course. He had allegedly liked the idea of a holiday in Rome.
A complaint to the Libyan government from Italian interior minister Roberto Maroni about the non-swimmer received the response that the Italian government should ensure that candidates for its training programmes ae properly qualified, and that the Italians should have taught the man how to swim.

Speaking for the fire and rescue service of Lake Dillon, Colorado, Steve Lipsher reports that workers at the Summit County landfill had problems starting their vehicles in the recent cold snap and 'had a unique adaptation for handling it'. They decided to warm the oil pan of a semi-articulated tractor and placed a pan of burning charcoal underneath. They ended up doing more than heat the engine: the tractor caught fire.
No-one was injured, but two tractors were damaged and seven firefighters had an hour's work to do.

Finally, Louisiana's The Courier reports on domestic strife. According to Jerry Voisin, 51, his girlfriend had been drinking when she wanted to cool a mixed drink in the freezer but found no space for it. The girlfriend, 47-year-old Edith Tassin, allegedly created space in the freezer by removing a frozen beefsteak. She is accused of aggravated battery for solving the problem of where to put the steak by throwing it at Voisin, hitting him in the side of the face. He was bleeding when officers arrived.

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© 2011 Anna Shefl