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January 2016

5 Jan. 2016

Brandishing a gun, Louisiana's Leroy Hebert stole a Lafayette man's iPhone 6. The victim contacted the police. Via his home computer, he detected activity from the phone, and he had soon forwarded a selfie of the 27-year-old Hebert to officers. Soon after this, Hebert was contacted by a compatible-seeming female via a dating application and arranged to meet her at a local hotel. Making the date, less than two hours after the theft, he was arrested with the iPhone on his person.

[IMG: The dead condom machine]

Three men in Schöppingen, Germany, decided to give themselves a present, the spoils from blowing open a condom machine on Christmas with a homemade bomb. However, the men didn't take shelter in their vehicle swiftly enough, and one of them was hit in the head by a piece of metal from the machine. His accomplices drove the 29-year-old victim to hospital, leaving the condom- and money-strewn crime scene untouched.
The man died of his injuries. As for the other two miscreants, hospital officials didn't find their tale about a fall down some stairs credible, and one of them later confessed to the police.

Indiana's Mary Lambright decided to drive a lorry full of bottled water to a nearby Walmart. This involved a 20,000-kilo load and, after she missed an exit, crossing a bridge signposted 'no semis, weight limit six tons'. Before the bridge collapsed, the top of the trailer began to rip apart because it extended above the top of the bridge.
Lambright, 23, later explained to the Orange County police that she was unaware that the vehicle's weight in pounds was greater than the bridge's limit, expressed in tons. She faces charges of reckless operation of a tractor-trailer, disregarding a traffic-control device, and driving overweight on a posted bridge.

Tim Peake dialled the wrong number when trying to ring his family from the International Space Station on Christmas Eve. The British astronaut began his call with a jocular 'Hello, is this the planet Earth?', to which the woman on the other end of the line, 79-year-old Betty Barker, replied 'No'. She then hung up. Barker later said that she'd assumed he was a drunken prankster.
Peake explained that the phone number was in a spreadsheet and Microsoft Excel had rounded it up.

In the suburbs of Chicago, 53-year-old Kenneth Holeman, who had been convicted of bank robbery in 2009, recently decided to have another go. He walked into a bank and demanded all the money, while holding papers in front of his face. Holeman made off with $1,820 but left behind the papers, which included a forfeiture notice bearing his name and address.
When a security guard outside the bank fired a warning shot into the air, a startled Holeman dropped his mobile phone before getting into his car and driving off. Holeman was later arrested without incident.

Josseleen Elida Lopez took a cruise through a Florida Walmart in a motorised shopping trolley. Employees caught her eating food that she'd taken from the shelves, and she was later found to have drunk two bottles of stolen wine and gobbled up sushi, a rotisserie chicken, cinnamon rolls, and mini muffins. When police officers found two used syringes in her possession, the 25-year-old Lopez admitted to having injected crystal meth earlier in the day. She stated that she nonetheless knew that what she was doing was wrong. She explained that she's just been hungry.

France's Dauphiné Libéré describes a case in which thieves stole a shipment of Louis Vuitton products from a delivery centre in Saint-Quentin-Fallavie. They also inadvertently stole six other packages, which they decided to return to the intended recipient. Prosecutor Matthiew Bourrette reported that the packages, containing police armbands, were left outside the local police station overnight, with a note taped to them: 'An unexpected windfall, luxury clothing targeted without weapons or violence. Happy holidays to all.' The other loot and the thieves have not yet been found.

Pravda quotes news agency Primorje 24's report on the 'miraculous resurrection' of a man in Russia's Khasanky region who had apparently died after consuming too much vodka. After am ambulance conveyed him from his drinking buddies' presence, he awoke on the floor of the filled-to-capacity morgue refrigerator. According to police spokesman Alexei Stoyev, the man 'reached out, felt someone's completely cold limbs, and in fear rushed to the door - but it was locked'. Soon, an attendant alerted medics to a spooky pounding from inside. They were sceptical but nonetheless summoned the police, who opened the door, questioned the man, and told him to go home.
Instead, he reportedly returned to his buddies, who were now drinking in honour of the 'deceased'.

Charles Morris was communications training officer and a 911 dispatcher for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, in Florida. He has now been removed from those duties because of the hand-held video games he played at work. On one occasion, he'd kept a caller in a hit-and-run incident on hold for 40 minutes for the sake of a game. Another occasion featured a nine-minute delay in reporting a shooting. Morris, 52, an 11-year employee of the sheriff's office, had previously been reprimanded for abuse of their sick-leave policy.

A three-year-old boy in Bellingham, Washington, received a gift that didn't behave as expected. When testing out the sound effects of his new WolVol Bump & Go Action Electric F16 Military Fighter Jet Aircraft Airplane Toy with Lights and Sounds, ordered from Amazon, the boy and his family heard chanting instead of aeroplane noises. Nadeem Israr, president of the county's Islamic society, confirmed that the toy was playing a Muslim prayer that is recited on the pilgrimage to Mecca. WolVol have responded to say that the manufacturer had sent them a bad batch.

Someone pointed officers in Franklin County, Ohio, to a video on Facebook in which a man was driving erratically while pointing a mobile-phone camera at himself. The filmographer in question, 28-year-old Dustin Rittgers, soon posted this follow-up to a friend's comment on the video: 'I am a good driver, don't worry. I've got one finger on the steering wheel Facebooking while it's raining. Smh, i am good. I am a pro.'
The police too were pros, swiftly figuring out his location from the video and pulling him over. Rittgers was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, following too closely, marked lane violation, and having an open alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle.

'It looks like it was a dispute between the dad and the son's girlfriend, probably over using the washing machine,' said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lieutenant John Corina. He was talking about the events leading up to some shootings on New Year's Eve. The dad, a 54-year-old man, shot his wife, along with the above-mentioned girlfriend and also a visitor to the home. The son, 33-year-old Christopher Morey, finally wrestled the gun out of his grasp and killed him. Morey is being held on suspicion of murder.
The shooter was described by police as a heavy drinker with a large gun collection and the cause of dozens of previous trips to the home.

Finally, two groups of activists held a demonstration against violence on the steps of City Hall in Newark, New Jersey. However, they did not demonstrate non-violence: an argument over support for the mayor's policies to curb violence escalated into a scuffle that lasted several minutes. It included one of the demonstrators putting his hands around another's neck and pushing him to the ground. Mayor Ras Baraka called the scuffle 'disheartening'.

30 January 2016

[IMG: The kicked-in door]According to the Netherlands Times, residents of Amsterdam's Zuid-Buitenveldert district contacted the police to report 'terrifying screams' emanating from a home. Arriving on the scene, officers confirmed the reports and knocked on the relevant door. No-one answered, and the noises continued. So they kicked the door down. What they found inside was an opera singer practising while wearing headphones.

A 25-year-old man in Kristiansand, Norway, was roused from his slumber by the sound of his car starting. He ran outside and grabbed a door handle. The car sped off anyway, so the owner - clad only in his boxer shorts - climbed onto the roof and held onto the bars. In the ensuing chase, speeds reached 90 km/h and temperatures reached -17 degrees.
After several kilometres, the owner smashed through the back window with his knee. As he wrestled for control of the car, it hit a bridge's safety barrier. The thief was taken into police custody. Police chief Jan Nesland described the incident as like something from a Hollywood action movie but hastened to add that he wouldn't recommend the course of action chosen by the car-owner.

[IMG: The new and improved drawing]Park authorities in Gothenburg, Sweden, had a tricky task on their hands: in response to complaints, removing the outline of a penis drawn in the snow on the thin ice of an area lake. The cleaning company who rose to the challenge used a very-long-handled brush to obscure the shape.
When more than 3,000 people campaigned for the return of the phallic outline, the cleaning company's Emilian Sava wrote online: 'I want to say that I am sincerely sorry to see that this many people miss the snow penis [...]. I am trying to figure out the best way to re-create a big and lovely snow penis in the memory of the old one.' He and his colleagues completed their new mission with industrial snow-blowers.

Scotland's Jamie Abernathy, 46, and Brian Darroch, 35, stole credit-card information from a gym and decided to celebrate this coup with a big meal, a night in a hotel, some drinking, and then a few purchases. After they sobered up, they were surprised to discover that they'd ended up buying 500 kilos of seafood and three stoves. They did remember the plan for the jet they'd hired: they wanted to visit Elstree. Both men have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud.

A 100-year-old woman woke at 2am to the surprise of an unusual animal sitting on her chest. This non-pet-owner responded by calling veterinarian Carlos Aguaras, her son-in-law. When he arrived, the animal had retreated to the attic. He and his mother-in-law coaxed it out with food. A specialist in exotic animals, Dr Don Harris, later identified it as a kinkajou, a 'racoon monkey' native to Central and South America. Harris said that it clearly had belonged to someone, explaining that 'no undomesticated wild animal like this would curl up on a woman's chest to go to sleep'. The species is known for often hanging by its tail and being able to turn its feet around in order to run up and down trees more easily.

Donald Pugh, 45, is an Ohio man who was wanted by the police for drink-driving and in connection with crimes such as arson and vandalism. He didn't like his 'wanted!' photo so sent the police a better one, in which he was wearing a broad smile. It was because of the new photo that someone was able to alert the cops to Pugh's whereabouts. He has been arrested in Florida.

One of the latest youth crazes at the moment is the 'Duct Tape Challenge', which involves rapidly freeing oneself, on video, after others have liberally applied duct tape. Skylar Fish, 14, enjoyed this game so much that he decided to have another go. His friends wrapped him in tape while he was standing, and he became disoriented. He lost his balance and fell into a window frame. This left him with an aneurysm and damage to an eye socket. Medics gave him 48 staples to treat the injuries.

In Cuba, customs officer Hermogenes Yonsiver noticed that a man planning to fly to the US had several unusual bulges in his trousers and was walking particularly slowly. Pulled aside for inspection, he explained that he simply was concealing a pigeon that he planned to give to his grandson as a surprise gift. Officers asked him to remove his trousers anyway and found 'frightened little finches and hummingbirds' within. There were 66 rare birds sewn into the man's trousers in all.

Staff at a hardware store in Pulheim, Germany, tipped off police about a 'Middle-Eastern-looking' man who had bought chemicals that can be used to make explosives. When the police published CCTV images and initiated a manhunt, the 44-year-old suspect turned himself in. His explanations for the purchases were met with scepticism until he conceded that he had planned not to make a bomb but to manufacture 'narcotic substances'. The police found this story plausible and released the man, who is not of Arab origin.

According to UPI reports, an Italian man pulled over on suspicion of drink-driving didn't like the idea of having to pay a fine for this offence. So he offered the attending police officer a 100-euro note. The cop declined to accept this amount, and the motorist was charged with both corruption and drink-driving. Italy's highest court has ruled that the amount was too small to count as corruption. Under Italian law, a bribery attempt constitutes corruption only when made 'with appropriate seriousness' and 'able to psychologically unsettle the public official'.

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