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June 2018


20 June 2018

When you seek publicity, it can bite back. That lesson came to the company trading as Lovedoll UK, who advertised a 'try before you buy' offer involving quality time with sex dolls and condoms in a bedroom on their Gateshead premises. After the media ran news about what the offer, the police felt obliged to take action on complaints that Lovedoll UK were running, in their own words and those of various media, a 'sex doll brothel'. Since the firm did not have a sex establishment licence, owner Graeme Tulip has to cough up just under 10,000 euros in fines, the cost of about five of their high-end dolls.

Not long after Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were sent out to handle a complaint about parents' improper treatment of their 12-year-old child, the complainant rang Halifax dispatchers again - the child wanted to know how long it would be before a police officer could deal with the problem: unacceptable ingredients in a salad. Officers explained proper usage of the emergency number to the child, while provincial RCMP spokesman Corporal Dal Hutchinson reminded the public that this is not an isolated incident and that the issue isn't confined to children: for example, he cited a call about a doner kebab that wasn't considered meaty enough and one about a missing television remote control.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary weighed in with a case of not enough cheese on a pizza, and reasons for ringing 911 in British Columbia have included a child's refusal to use a seatbelt, a noisy ventilation system, and problems with a vending machine.

Kentucky's The Gleaner reports that a police sergeant in Morganfield started receiving phone calls and text messages from people seeking someone named Dunk and deliveries of marijuana. So Sergeant Eric McCallister arranged a rendezvous with one of the callers. This meeting, in a primary school's car park, involved officers arresting the driver of the white van that showed up, 51-year-old Roy E. Hancock, for carrying methamphetamine and for unlawful possession of a weapon on school property. They also apprehended Hancock's juvenile passenger, whose phone rang when officers dialled the number that had contacted McCallister. During interrogation, it emerged that 'Dunk', when advertising dope for sale on Snapchat, had transposed some digits of his new phone number. The cops at least are aware of the real number and, they say, 'are currently working to put him out of business as well'.

UPI reports tell of Florida's Pearl Northrup, who awoke to loud sounds overhead at her family's home in Lehigh Acres. When she rang landlord Sarah Fritchey to ask why she hadn't been warned about an upcoming roofing project, Fritchey didn't know what she was talking about. She later said: 'They just came on our property and began ripping the roof off.' Workers had entered the wrong address in their GPS units. While the director of roofing company NASTAR states that the damage to the house has been repaired, neither Northrup nor Fritchey is satisfied, and efforts to resolve matters continue.

The Miami Herald reports on a Big Coppitt Key, Florida, man who was pulled over for driving with a suspended licence. When the officer stepped from the patrol car, Daryl Royal Riedel drove off, initiating a brief chase. Upon pulling over for the second time, the 48-year-old Riedel reportedly chugged a 12-ounce can of Busch beer in preparation for his arrest. This action did not save him from being arrested for drink-driving, for which he had already racked up three convictions and a court appointment. Riedel explained why he was driving without a valid licence: 'Because I still have to work.'

In the late 1980s, punk group Camera Silens decided to go out in a blaze of glory, committing a large-scale bank robbery in Toulouse, France, and enjoying the rewards until their punk-rock lifestyle caught up with them. After the group bragged to a local newspaper about the successful Brinks heist, all but one were arrested. That man, singer Gilles Bertin, was given a 10-year sentence in absentia and later declared dead, while the others served shorter sentences and most of the money remained unaccounted for.
It turns out that Bertin carried bags of banknotes to Portugal, paying in cash to open a record shop there. After he moved on to Barcelona, hospital staff saved him from complications of hepatitis without demanding identity documents. Humbled and angry with himself, he returned to Toulouse to plead guilty in court, in hopes also of coming clean with his sons. The news that he wouldn't be immediately jailed left him even angrier with himself.
He was recently handed a five-year suspended sentence, six years within the statute of limitations. Looking to the future, he plans to return to Barcelona. As for the past, he notes that his music of 30 years ago was appalling.

In other banknote hijinx, Prakash Sonowal, with India's Tinsukia district police, described a local State Bank of India branch's complaint that one of its cash machines hadn't been dispensing money for about 12 days. When vault-cutting unit was called in, the problem became clear: nearly 3/4 of the money was in shreds. A rat carcass was found among the roughly 15,000 euros' worth of mangled cash. According to the Hindustan Times, the police have ruled out foul play and believe that the rodents may have entered the ATM's guts via a small hole meant for wires.

Elsewhere in India, villagers in Sahebbari, West Bengal, summoned forest officer Sanjay Dutta when they saw a rock python attacking a goat. Dutta freed the goat but then ended up in trouble himself - while he was posing for photos with the 40-kilo python, it began to tighten around his neck. He worked himself free but is now wriggling to escape another sort of trouble: an investigation by the province's forest department. Asked why he didn't place the python in a bag immediately, Dutta stated that he had put it on his shoulders in order to protect it from club-wielding villagers.

For our next story, we turn to Indonesia, where the Jakarta Post tells about an atypical funeral on the island of Sulawesi. While dozens of men were raising a deceased relative's coffin past the stilts of the tower where it was to be placed for funeral rites, the bamboo ladder gave way. The pallbearers lost their grip on the coffin, which fell about three metres. Thus, Samen Kondorura's dead mother hit him in the head. Kondorura, 40, died of the injury on the way to hospital. Julianto Sirait, the North Toraja chief police commissioner, reports that the two bodies now rest side by side.

According to UPI reports, a 28-year-old New Zealand man is accused of stealing two human toes from the Body Worlds Vital exhibition in Aukland in May. The man, a resident of Upper Hutt who has not yet been named by the authorities, faces seven years in prison for the theft and two years for 'interfering with the dead body of an unknown person'. The toes, valued at about 3,300 euros each, have been recovered and returned to the plastination exhibition.

Finally, Kaitlyn Strom had enjoyed a few drinks at Minnesota's Winstock Country Music Festival when, in her words, 'I saw this big exhaust pipe and I was like "Hey, my head could probably fit in that!".' Naturally, the 19-year-old Strom tested her hypothesis. Her head became stuck there, providing 45 minutes in which to shoot videos before a firefighter with a power saw freed her. The owner of the truck thus damaged, Tom Wold, fixed his exhaust pipe at no charge to her. This leaves Strom to pay only for her underage drinking.


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