Thursday, May 19, 2011

Small Bits of News You Didn’t Know You Needed

Burglary suspect calls for ride, cop answers
Police in Whittier, Calif. say a burglary suspect made a bad call when he dialed a friend to ask for a ride and an officer answered.
Police in Whittier had detained four people they thought were trying to break into cars around 4 a.m. Tuesday, when a suspect's cell phone rang.
Sgt. Brent Anderson says an officer answered. The caller told him that he had loot from another burglary and needed to be picked up.
Police obliged.
Altogether, three men, a woman and a 16-year-old male were arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property.
2 accused of setting live chicken on fire
Authorities in Augusta, Ga. say two suspects are accused of setting a live chicken on fire to post on YouTube and Facebook.
The Richmond County grand jury has indicted the suspects on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Authorities said they set the chicken on fire by using a blowtorch and flammable liquid.
Court records show that one of the suspects is a teenager. If convicted, authorities said they could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Smell of french fries catches grease thieves
Police in Lincoln, Nebraska say they've nabbed a pair of suspected grease thieves, thanks in part to the smell of old french fries.
Christy Harris, of Everton, Mo., and Jesse Moore, of Springfield, Mo., is charged with larceny. They're suspected of siphoning used cooking oil from a bin outside a Lincoln restaurant. Police think they may be involved in several other grease thefts.
Some businesses buy used grease for biodiesel fuel.
Harris and Moore were arrested early Wednesday after police stopped a pickup truck hauling a big tank. Officers say the tank smelled like "old, stale french fries." Police say the truck also had no rear license tag.
300 Gold Coins Unearthed
An excavation contractor in Western Australia has confirmed it has handed a large quantity of historic gold coins to the owner of a building they were working on.
Workers say they found about 300 gold sovereigns, dated 1800, buried under concrete in a car park next to a building in Albany on the south coast.
Coin experts estimate their value at more than $500,000.
The Chief Executive of Wauters Enterprises, Brett Joins, says the construction company has given the coins to local businessman Paul Lionetti.
"I can confirm that items of value were found on the site and handed over to the client," he said.
"An exhaustive search was completed of the site and no other items were found."
Urine found in ice cream truck
Suburban Philadelphia police say a DUI stop involving an ice cream truck led to the discovery of water bottles filled with urine, including one in the freezer where treats are kept.
Police say 46-year-old Yassir Hassan was visibly drunk when he was pulled over in Middletown Township, Bucks County. When police searched the Trenton, N.J. man's truck, they say they found boxes of wine along with the bottles of urine.
Middletown Township Lt. John Michniewicz tells WPVI-TV a passing motorist called police after seeing the ice cream truck driving erratically.
Hassan faces a June 1 hearing on misdemeanor drunk-driving charges. A phone listing for him could not immediately be located.
Ohio bank robber lowers hood when told to
The FBI says an Ohio bank robbery suspect left authorities with good surveillance photos because he lowered his hood when an employee told him to.
FBI Special Agent Harry Trombitas says the man in his mid-20s entered a Columbus PNC Bank on Wednesday with his dark hood up, covering most of his face. Trombitas says in a statement that the bank has a "no hats, no hoods" policy, so a bank employee told the man to pull his hood down, and he complied.
The FBI says when the suspect got to the counter, he handed the teller a note saying he had a gun and to give him money or he would shoot. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Columbus police haven't announced an arrest.
Police said they may have destroyed $8,000 in cash
A Pennsylvania police official said his department may have accidentally burned the $8,000 missing from its evidence room.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said the money, which was seized in 2009 from a home where a domestic dispute was reported and officers found the cash along with crack cocaine and marijuana, had been kept in a lock box accessible to only a few people within the department.
However, Chitwood said a court ruled the search was illegal and ordered the money returned, leading officers to discover the cash was not in the box.
"Everything was in the evidence box but the $8,000," he said. "We have searched the entire evidence room twice."
Chitwood said an evidence technician told investigators he recalled being called away for an emergency while counting the money and the envelope of cash may not have ended up in the right lock box. Chitwood said the envelope may have been burned, as the department frequently incinerates unnecessary evidence.
The city wrote an $8,000 check to replace the cash, Chitwood said.
Peat moss behind $2M fire
It was a gardener's nightmare in Calgary, Alberta, when three homes burned down in a fire officials traced to an innocuous flower planter containing peat moss.
Fire officials say in addition to the three houses lost, two others were badly damaged Sunday when high winds helped flames and embers jump from house to house in a subdivision in the city's northwest.
No one was injured and damage was determined to be at least $2 million.
Late Tuesday, fire officials said they had determined the source of the fire to be a flower planter on the back deck of one of the burned-out homes.
There was evidence the planter had been full of peat moss, which like hay, can smolder and self-ignite when mixed with organic material and moisture.

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