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July 2016

13 July 2016

Outside a Walmart store in Oregon, rancher Robert Borba heard a woman shouting: 'Stop him! He stole my bike!', so he decided to help. He let his horse out of its trailer and rode over to the thief, who appeared to be finding the bicycle gears problematic. The thief gave up on the bike at this point and took off on foot. Borba had only to lasso the man around the legs and return to the scene of the crime. He explains that he 'just rode off like I would if I'd roped a cow or something by myself' and then waited for the police to arrive.

A woman in Queensland, Australia, ran over a frog with a lawnmower. When Min Tims realised that she'd just just sliced into the head of a green treefrog, an endangered species, she asked Rex Airways to fly the frog to a specialist veterinary clinic run by Frog Safe Inc. The airline agreed and airlifted the animal 1,000 km to be treated for the wound and for the internal parasites that had caused it to be outside in daylight in the first place. Deborah Pergolotti, the president of Frog Safe, said that the frog is making a full recovery.

But not everyone is lauded for attempted good deeds:
Waiting at a stop sign outside a shopping centre in Saskatchewan, Florida's Dane Rusk felt sorry for 'this homeless guy holding a sign', so he undid his seat belt, dropped $3 on the kerb, buckled back up, and drove away. Further down the road, Rusk was apprehended for having been behind the wheel with his seat belt unfastened. Of the plain-clothes officer watching for traffic violations at the junction, Regina police inspector Evan Bray later said: 'I wouldn't say he was posing as a homeless person [...]. The sign read: "I'm not broke, I'm not hungry, have a great day."'
Rusk responded that he still intends to fight the ticket, complaining that 'I'm out $178 all because I was trying to help out a homeless guy'.

Elsewhere in Canada, an unusually well-preserved 73-year-old woman showed up to take a driving test in Smiths Falls, Ontario. She bore some resemblance to her driver's licence photo, but the examiner was still suspicious and contacted the police. It soon emerged that the person who's arrived to take the test was the 39-year-old daughter of the woman in the photo. She'd arrived in a wig and glasses in hopes of passing as her mother. She has been charged with 'adult impersonation with intent'.

Also in Ontario, a family began to argue while camping at Brockville's St. Lawrence Park. A woman vehemently disagreed with her boyfriend's father about whether Earth is flat or instead round. The argument escalated until the 56-year-old man, in the 'it's round' camp, began throwing things into the campfire. This included a propane cylinder. While others summoned firefighters to deal with the resulting blaze, he left the scene. He will face a charge of causing mischief.

According to Russia's /Komsomolskaya Pravda/, law-firm owner Nikolai Zyablikov sued his ex-girlfriend for 'illegal enrichment'. The 38-year-old man explained that Nina Zgurskaya, 29, had taken advantage of his feelings for her by causing him to spend the equivalent of 500 euros to keep her happy. This included a trip for two to Crimea. He claimed that she ended their brief relationship there, as soon as he'd paid for everything, while she claimed that she dumped him because she'd expected the trip, and the four-year relationship, to culminate in a proposal of marriage.
Zyablikov has lost the case.

A 58-year-old Finnish man's conviction for forcing a sex act on another man has been overturned on grounds that intent can't be proved: he may have performed the act in his sleep. Appearing on the witness stand, the unidentified man's wife testified that one of their sons began sleepwalking as a child, which points to a possible inherited tendency to 'sexsomnia'. The Eastern Finland Court of Appeals has ordered that the man be compensated for lost earnings for the jail time he has served.

After filming several employees of the town of Boscotrecase, Italy, leaving work after clocking in and/or swiping absent workmates' time cards, police have arrested 23 city workers. One video shows a man, after attempting to disable the security camera, placing a cardboard box over his head and then swiping two cards. A third of the town hall staff are under investigation, including the head of the traffic police and the chief accountant.
Mayor Pietro Carotenuto says that he has had to shut down most city offices in the wake of the arrests. The effect of this on the amount of work actually done is unclear.

A Swiss border guard at a railway-station platform saw a hand reach out of a suitcase. As the bag's occupant struggled with the zip, eventually an arm and head emerged. The guard unzipped the bag the rest of the way, freeing a tall Eritrean man who had packed his own bag on the Italian side of the border. The man, 21, chose not to request asylum and was sent back to Italy. Border official Mirco Ricci said that there have been many attempts at smuggling people over from Italy but 'this is the first time [...] we've found someone in a bag'.

Our final story is from Aspen, Colorado, where the police are looking for a shopper who did not remove his or her bag from a self-checkout scanner. The next shopper in the queue had noticed that someone left behind a small bag so turned it in to the grocery-store staff. Of the bag and its owner, the police stated: 'With the cost of white powdery substances these days, probably somebody got home and spent the next 15 minutes going through their pockets, over and over.' Officers said that they will leave it up to the shopper to collect his or her cocaine at the police station.

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© 2016 Anna Shefl