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September 2009

11 September 2009

A woman in Severn, Maryland, noticed that neighbour David Anthony Perticone was holding a jumble sale. She needed some new kitchen appliances, television sets, and other household goods, since her home had been burgled two days earlier. She was fortunate to discover that Perticone had an exact match for her stolen chest of drawers on offer, and for her Oriental rug as well, among other items. He was also wearing what looked very much like a t-shirt of hers.
Perticone has been charged with breaking and entering, stealing about $25,000 worth of his neighbour's belongings, and trying to sell them.

Michael Restaino, Jr, was in a taxicab when he noted that he needed some money. He asked the driver to stop at a bank so that he could make a withdrawal. He returned with the money. A few blocks later, a police officer stopped the taxi, explaining to the driver that Restaino had just robbed the bank. The hold-up note and roughly $2400 in his pockets are unlikely to help his case.

Some first dates are a bit of a let-down. A Michigan woman learned this after her date, 'Chris', skipped out on the restaurant bill. He claimed he had left his wallet in her car, which also netted him the keys to her car. When the woman reported the incident to the police, they were able to identify the man, 23-year-old Terrance Dejuan McCoy, from a photo he had sent to the woman's mobile phone.

By contrast, Ohio's Diana Martinez avoided a potentially disastrous date. In a car park, three men stole her handbag and her friend's wallet at gunpoint, then fled. Less than an hour later, Martinez saw one of the men, later identified as 20-year-old Stephfon Bennett, looking out over the car park. She reported that 'he asked if I had a boyfriend' and then asked her out. While Martinez kept the man talking, her friend rang the police. Bennett has been charged with aggravated robbery.

Krista Arceneaux, of Oakhurst, California, ran up to a six-year-old boy who was crossing a car park with his family and complimented him, for being sexy. Allegedly, she then kissed him passionately and headed into a nearby bar. Accordingly, the authorities were able to find the 37-year-old Arceneaux fairly easily. Adding to the charges against her was her repeated spitting on the police officer who later conveyed her to the station.

True courtroom drama is rare, but we can thank James Orr - on trial in Ohio for aggravated robbery and kidnapping - for providing some last Wednesday. During the court proceedings, he told his lawyer that he was hungry. When not permitted anything to eat in response, Orr emptied his colostomy bag onto the courtroom table and snacked on the contents. Judge Ethna Cooper ordered a wash-down of the table to address the 'biohazard', and the trial proceeded to its conclusion without further delay, thanks to a restraint chair.

There was a parade in Allenstown, New Hampshire. Paul Boucher, 77, whose home was along one of the streets that had been blocked off for the festivities, didn't want to wait 10 minutes for that parade to pass. He therefore drove through the barricade. When police officer Michael Debisz stopped him, Boucher swerved his car and hit Debisz - but not hard enough to prevent the officer from being able to reach into the car and grab the keys. Boucher will be waiting more than 10 minute for a court date, to face charges of felonious reckless conduct and second-degree assault.

Fire officials in California report that two boys, ages 12 and 13, were playing in a tree house when a balloon they had filled with lighter fluid burst. The 13-year-old was soaked. When he left to change his clothes, the 12-year-old couldn't resist the urge to set him on fire. The older boy patted out the flames. Allegedly, the 12-year-old then lit him again, causing serious burns. Sacramento Fire Captain Jim Doucette says it isn't clear whether there was ill intent or the younger boy was 'just being playful'. Either way, he is due to face arson charges.

A couple of weeks ago, Florida's Sylvester Jiles was sentenced to eight years of probation for fatally shooting someone. A few days after his sentencing, he asked to be sent back to jail because people were threatening his life. His request was denied, so he took matters into his own hands, climbing the barbed-wire fence of the Brevard County Jail and then trying to climb through razor wire to get inside. It didn't work. He fell through three layers of razor wire, sustaining serious injuries. He is unlikely to have fared much better without the aid of intoxicants.

Surveillance camera footage from a Louisiana grocery store shows a woman grabbing a 24-can case of beer, placing it between her thighs, pulling her dress down over it, and doing a peculiar shuffle-walk out of the store. Now, more than a month after the theft, police have learned the identity of the woman, 42-year-old Lisa Newsome. She faces theft charges and public ridicule.

In Pensacola, Florida, a burglar stole Steve Fluegge's wallet, watch, and video game system from his house in Florida; however, the miscreant was unsuccessful in his attempt to make off with Fluegge's 45-kilo plasma-screen television set, so he left it in the home's back garden. A few hours later, an investigator at the home witnessed the burglar's return - this time, he succeeded in stealing the television set, which officers had left outside to be dusted for fingerprints. The police have offered to pay to replace the television set.

Who says violence never solves anythng? The BBC reports that a man and woman, both 30, were having an argument in the street in London's West End when the man decided the matter could be resolved via violence. According to witnesses, he threw the woman against the window of a Banana Republic shop as many as three times. When he hurled her against the window one final time, both he and the woman fell through. He was impaled on a sharp piece of broken glass and died at the scene, while she was unharmed.

Steve Valdez reports that he entered a Bank of America branch in Tampa, Florida, to cash a cheque drawn on his wife's account. Valdez later said: 'They looked at my prosthetic hands and the teller said: "Well, obviously you can't give us a thumb print"' - so the transaction was denied. Valdez produced two forms of photo identification but was informed that, in the absence of a thumb print, he would simply have to bring his wife with him or open an account with the branch. Even after a Bank of America spokesperson responded to media reports by stating that the bank should have made an accommodation, Valdez does not plan to rethink his decision not to open an account there.

Reuters reports that nine women in Turkey responded to an advertisement seeking contestants for a 'reality show' similar to Big Brother. Once accepted for the house in which cameras would film them 24 hours a day, they were unable to leave: those who asked to leave early were told they would have to pay a fine, and those who opted to pay the fine were subjected to other threats. The women soon realised that there was no reality show - the real business model involved online sales of the women's naked images.
According to Turkish media, the women's parents contacted the authorities after losing contact with them. Two months after the women first entered the Istanbul villa, military police were sent to investigate. They heard the women screaming and carried out a raid. Three men have been detained so far, and the investigation continues.

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© 2009 Anna Shefl