Crime News

Crime News

  Swedish poppy-seed crispbread has been banned by the Norwegian prison
system because of concerns the tiny amounts of morphine in the seeds
might affect prisoner's drug tests.


  Bungling theives got off on the wrong foot when they broke into a shop
in northwest Columbia and stole 756 shoes - all for right feet. The heist
of men and women's footwear, of all sizes, makes and colours, was valued 
at $25,000, police said yesterday.  But the robbers will not be able to 
sell a single pair - all the matching left shoes had been safely locked 
away in a storeroom and none had been left on display, police said.
  "That merchandise is now completely useless.  Who is going to buy a
shoe for just one foot?" said Jorge Hincapie, manager of the shoe store
in Medellin.

  A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the
branch and wrote "this iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag."
  While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he
began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call
the police before he reached the teller window. So he left the Bank of
America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo.
  After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells
Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that
he was not the brightest light in the harbour, told him that she could
not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America
deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo 
deposit slip or go back to Bank of America.
  Looking somewhat defeated, the man said "OK" and left. The Wells Fargo
teller then called the police who arrested the man a few minutes later,
as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America.

  A woman was reporting her car as stolen, and mentioned that there
was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone
and told the guy that answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper
and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was

  Drug Possession Defendant Christopher Jansen, on trial in March in
Pontiac, Michigan, said he had been searched without a warrant. The
prosecutor said the officer didn't need a warrant because a "bulge" in
Christopher's jacket could have been a gun. Nonsense, said Christopher,
who happened to be wearing the same jacket that day in court. He handed
it over so the judge could see it. The judge discovered a packet of
cocaine in the pocket and laughed so hard he required a five minute
recess to compose himself.

Oklahoma City: Dennis Newton was on trial for the armed robbery of
a convenience store in a district court when he fired his lawyer.
Assistant district attorney Larry Jones said Newton, 47, was doing a
fair job of defending himself until the store manager testified that
Newton was the robber. Newton jumped up, accused the woman of lying and
then said, "I should of blown your (expletive) head off." The defendant
paused, then quickly added, "if I'd been the one that was there." The
jury took 20 minutes to convict Newton and recommended a 30 year

Detroit: R.C. Gaitlan, 21 walked up to two patrol officers who were
showing their squad car computer equipment to children in a Detroit
neighbourhood. When he asked how the system worked, the officer asked
him for identification. Gaitlan gave them his drivers license, they
entered it into the computer, and moments later they arrested Gaitlan
because information on the screen showed Gaitlan was wanted for a
two-year-old armed robbery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Colorado Springs: A guy walked into a little corner store with a shot
gun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier
put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted
behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the
bag as well, but he refused and said "Because I don't believe you are
over 21." The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give
it to him because he didn't believe him.
  At this point the robber took his driver's license out of his wallet
and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over, and agreed that the
man was in fact over 21 and he put the scotch in the bag. The robber
then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the
police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the
license. They arrested the robber two hours later.

Another from Detroit: A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record
shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!"
When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.

  A man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motorhome parked on 
a Seattle street.  When Police arrived at the scene they found an
ill man curled up next to a motorhome near spilled sewage. A police
spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline 
and plugged his hose into the motorhome`s sewage tank by mistake.
  The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that 
it was the best laugh he's ever had. 


Pick The Right Bank:
  You don't want to make the same mistake as the fellow in Anaheim, CA,
who tried to hold up a bank that was no longer in business and had no 

Study Your History:
  Don't try to stick up the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.
Jesse James tried it 111 years ago, and the townsfolk took just seven 
minutes to kill two and capture three of his gang.
  Nobody tried again until 1984, and the customers chased the guy down. 
They're tight with their dollar, those Minnesotans.

Speak To The Right Teller:
  One robber in Upland, CA, presented his note to the teller, and her 
father, who was in the next line, got all bent out of shape about it. 
He wrestled the guy to the ground and sat on him until authorities 

Don't Sign Your Demand Note:
  Demand notes have been written on the back of a subpoena issued in 
the name of a bank robber in Pittsburgh... on an envelope bearing the
name and address of another in Detroit. And in East Hartford, 
Connecticut, on the back of a withdrawal slip giving the robber's 
signature and account number.

Don't Advertise:
  A teenage girl in Los Angeles tried to distract attention from her 
face by wearing a see-through blouse with no bra while holding up banks.

Go Easy On The Disguise:
  One robber, dressed up as a woman with very heavy make-up, ran face 
first into a glass door. He was the first criminal ever to be positively
identified by lip-print.

Take Right Turns Only:
  Avoid the sad fate of the thieves in Florida who took a wrong 
turn into the Homestead Air Force Base, drove up to a military 
police guardhouse and, thinking it was a tollbooth, offered the
security men money.

Be Aware Of The Time:
  Imagine the chagrin of the bank robber in Cheshire, Massachusetts,
who hit the bank at 4:30 PM, then tried to escape through downtown 
North Adams, where he was trapped in rush hour traffic until police

Consider Another Line Of Work:
  Bank robbery is not for everyone. One nervous Newport, RI robber, 
while trying to stuff his ill-gotten gains into his shirt pocket, 
shot himself in the head and died instantly.

Be Strong:
  Then there was the case of the hopeful criminal in Swansea, 
Massachusetts, who, when the teller told him she had no money, fainted.
He was still unconscious when the police arrived. His getaway car parked
nearby had the keys locked inside.

  Seems that a year ago, some Boeing employees on the field decided 
to steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in 
getting it out of the plane and home. When they took it for a float
on the River, they were quite surprised by a Coast Guard helicopter
coming towards them. It turned out that the chopper was homing in on
the emergency locator that is activated when the raft is inflated.  
  They are no longer employed there.

  Ronnie Darnell Bell, 30, was arrested in Dallas in February and 
charged with attempting to rob the Federal Reserve Bank.  (In the
movie "Die Hard with a Vengeance," knocking off the New York FRB 
required a small army of men and truckloads of weapons.) According
to police, Bell was initially confused because there are no tellers,
so he handed a security guard his note, reading, "This is a bank 
robbery of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, of Dallas, Texas, give
me all the money.  Thank you, Ronnie Darnell Bell." 
  The guard pushed a silent alarm while an oblivious Bell chatted
amiably, revealing to the guard that only minutes earlier he had
tried to rob a nearby Postal Service office but that "they threw 
me out." 

  Airport police in Sao Paulo, Brazil, arrested Gerardo Gallo in January
after a search of his suitcase.  They had found packages totaling about 
50 pounds of cheap cheese and had become suspicious when they saw Gallo's
destination was Switzerland.  
  Asked an inspector, "Why would anyone take so much third-rate Bolivian
cheese to a country which is famous for its top quality cheese?"
  Packaged inside the cheese was about 22 pounds of cocaine. 

  Kelvin Floyd received a modest two-month sentence and a fine in Aiken, 
S.C., in March for stealing a car.  Floyd had wisely known to obliterate
the car's vehicle ID number and to replace it with a substitute number.
  However, apparently the best he could come up with was his own Social
Security number, which police immediately recognized was bogus. 

  Jeffrey J. Pyrcioch, 19, and an alleged accomplice were arrested 
in West Lafayette, Ind., in May on theft and fraud charges. Pyrcioch
allegedly cashed checks that he had written with disappearing ink,
apparently believing the checks would be blank by the time they were
presented to the bank for collection. However, traces of ink remained,
and police said Pyrcioch would have a better chance of getting away 
with it if he had not used checks pre-printed with his name and 
account number on them. 


Paul Carthy, 25, pleaded guilty in Exeter, England, in September to 
theft subsequent to his original charge of shoplifting from a liquor
store. In the second theft, he had stolen the magnetic letters off 
the name board that was held up to his face when his mug shot was 

  In September, according to police in Junction City, Kan., David Bell, 
30, just released from jail for car theft, walked out the door and stole
another car to get home.

And in October, William B.  Singleton, 24, just released from jail in 
Belton, Mo., on a larceny charge, allegedly broke into a vending machine
in the lobby of the police station and stole a 60-cent Strawberry 
Twisteroo while he waited for his ride to arrive.

Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running
a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of
pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper 
off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the 
chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached 
to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the

Indiana: A man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and demanded
all the money in the register. When the cashier handed him the loot,
he fled--leaving his wallet on the counter.


  A man walked in to a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Shop, and asked for all the 
money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied
up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until 
police showed up and grabbed him.

  In Medford, Oregon, a 27-year-old jobless man with an MBA blamed his
college degree for his murder of three people. "There are too many 
business grads out there," he said. "If I had chosen another field, all
this may not have happened..."

  Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just 
couldn't control himself during a lineup.When detectives asked each 
man in the lineup to repeat the words, "Give me all your money or I'll
shoot," the man shouted, "That's not what I said!

  A bank robber in Virginia Beach got a nasty surprise when a dye pack
designed to mark stolen money exploded in his Fruit-of-the-Looms.  The
robber apparently stuffed the loot down the front of his pants as he 
was running out the door.
  "He was seen hopping and jumping around," said police spokesman Mike
Carey, "with an explosion taking place inside his pants." Police have 
the man's charred trousers in custody.

  In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold 
up a Bank of America branch without a  weapon. King used a thumb and 
a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his 
hand in his pocket.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish man accused of theft has a novel theory 
about an escape attempt that left him with a broken foot and injured 
back: It's the police's fault. Jimmy Haakansson claims that if two 
police officers assigned to guard him had done their job, he wouldn't
have been able to leap through a courthouse window and hurt himself. 
Now Haakansson, 39, is suing for $2,450. Police allegedly left 
Haakansson alone with his attorney in a third-floor office to discuss
his arrest on charges of receiving stolen property. When police were 
out of the room, Haakansson jumped out the unsecured window and fell 
to the ground. He wants damages from the state for the injuries he 
suffered. It was not clear when the government would rule on his claim.

HERMISTON, Ore. - After Lucas Winters got himself locked in his car's 
trunk, he called out for help. When help arrived, he was arrested. 
Winters inadvertently locked himself inside the trunk of his getaway 
car after allegedly robbing a U.S. Bank branch.
  "We think he wanted to do a quick change, get out of the trunk and 
walk off in a new disguise, but he got accidentally locked inside," 
Lt. Jerry Roberts said.
  Bank officials said a man wearing a red shirt and a white hat 
approached a teller and delivered a note demanding money. Before the 
teller could react, the unarmed suspect grabbed some cash and fled. 
About 40 minutes later, Officer Darryl Johnson was walking through 
a parking lot two blocks from the bank when he heard pounding from 
inside a car trunk and someone pleading for help.
  "He was probably hoping that it was someone other than a police 
officer," Roberts said. 

  A Toronto gas station attendant had no trouble identifying a robber 
for police, even though the man had worn a pair of women's panties 
over his head as a disguise. The thief, who later admitted that his 
mind was clouded by intoxicants, had stuck his face through one of 
the leg-holes so he could see...

  Police in La Crosse, Wisconsin, arrested a suspect who accosted a 
woman near an automatic teller machine and menaced her with a knife.
 The man told police that he wasn't trying to rob her-- he only wanted
to sell her the knife....

  In Crown Point, Indiana, police have re-opened the case of a man 
who died from 32 hammer blows to his head. The cause of death had 
been ruled a suicide, in spite of the County coroner's opinion that
a man simply could not remain conscious long enough to hit himself 
in the head 32 times...

South Carolina: A man walked into a local police station, dropped 
a bag of cocaine on the counter, informed the desk sergeant that 
it was substandard cut, and asked that the person who sold it to 
him be arrested immediately.

Indiana: A man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and 
demanded all the money in the register. When the cashier handed 
him the loot, he fled--leaving his wallet on the counter.

England: A German "tourist," supposedly on a golf holiday, shows 
up at customs with his golf bag. While making idle chatter about 
golf, the customs official realizes that the tourist does not know 
what a "handicap" is. The customs official asks the tourist to 
demonstrate his swing, which he does--backward! A substantial 
amount of narcotics was found in the golf bag.

Arizona: A company called "Guns For Hire" stages gunfights for 
Western movies, etc. One day, they received a call from a 47
year old woman, who wanted to have her husband killed. She got 
4-1/2 years in jail.

Texas: A man convicted of robbery worked out a deal to pay $9600 
in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he 
provided the court a check--a *forged* check. He got 10 years.

(Location Unknown): A man went into a drug store, pulled a gun,
announced a robbery, and pulled a Hefty-bag face mask over his 
head--and realized that he'd forgotten to cut eyeholes in the 

(Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a bank after hours 
and stole--are you ready for this?--the bank's video camera. While 
it was recording. Remotely. (That is, the videotape recorder was 
located elsewhere in the bank, so he didn't get the videotape of 
himself stealing the camera.)

(Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a bank's basement
through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty badly in the
process. He then realized that (1) he could not get to the money from
where he was,(2) he could not climb back out the window through which 
he had entered, and (3) he was bleeding pretty badly. So he located a 
phone and dialed "911" for help ...

Virginia: Two men in a pickup truck went to a new-home site to steal a
refrigerator. Banging up walls, floors, etc., they snatched a
refrigerator from one of the houses, and loaded it onto the pickup. The
truck promptly got stuck in the mud, so these brain surgeons decided
that the refrigerator was too heavy. Banging up *more* walls, floors,
etc., they put the refrigerator BACK into the house, and returned to the
pickup truck, only to realize that they locked the keys in the truck--so
they abandoned it.

(Location Unknown): A man walked into a Circle-K (a convenience store
similar to a 7-11), put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change.
When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked
for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The
man took the cash from the clerk and fled-- leaving the $20 bill on the
counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen

Chicago: A man was wanted for throwing bricks through jewelry store
windows and making off with the loot. He was arrested last night after
throwing a brick into a plexiglass window...the brick bounced back, hit
him in the head and knocked him cold until the police got there.

 San Antonio, Texas: 45 year-old Amy Brasher was arrested after a
mechanic reported to police that 18 packages of marijuana were packed in
the engine compartment of the car which she had brought to the mechanic
for an oil change. According to police, Brasher later said that she
didn't realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood to change
the oil.

Portsmouth, RI: Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string of
vending machine robberies in January when he: 1. fled from police
inexplicably when they spotted him loitering around a vending machine
and 2. later tried to post his $400 bail in coins.

Lake City, Florida: Karen Lee Joachimi, 20, was arrested for robbery of
a Howard Johnson's motel. She was armed with only an electric chainsaw,
which was not plugged in.

Ann Arbor News (crime column): A man walked into Burger King in
Ypsilanti, Michigan at 7:50 am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The
clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register
without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said
they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.

  Dayton, Tenn - Police didn't have to look far to find the suspect 
after he was indicted by a grand jury on drug charges.  When the name
Gene Robinson was presented to the grand jury as that of a drug dealer,
one of the jurors raised his hand and said, "That's me." according to
  Robinson, 24, was abruptly excused from the panel, then arrested.

  TORONTO - When a man questioned by police produced a driver's license
to identify himself, Constable Andy Hickerson knew it was time to make 
an arrest.  The driver's license belonged to the Duham region police 
  It had disappeared along with his credit cards and other 
identification while he was on duty in Oshawa. Later, Hickerson and his
partner answered a call after a report of two men creating a disturbance.
  The officers asked for some identification and one man pulled out the 
driver's license. A search also turned up one of Hickerson's credit cards.

SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela - Five armed convicts who staged a prison
mutiny in Venezuela surrendered Monday after piling into a get-away
vehicle and discovering none of them knew how to drive.
  They released hostages and gave up after troops threatened to storm
the prison and authorities refused to provide a bus and driver.
  The convicts were identified as three army deserters, a national
guardsman and a suspected guerrilla.

Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport
hotel after he tried to pass two (counterfeit) $16 bills.

 A bus carrying five passengers was hit by a car in St. Louis, but by
the time police arrived on the scene, fourteen pedestrians had boarded
the bus and had begun to complain of whiplash injuries and back pain.

 A convict broke out of jail in Washington D.C., then a few days later
accompanied his girlfriend to her trial for robbery.  At lunch, he went
out for a sandwich.  She needed to see him, and thus had him paged. 
Police officers recognized his name and arrested him as he returned to
the courthouse in a car he had stolen over the lunch hour.

 Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a
metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy
machine.  The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and police
pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't
telling the truth.  Believing the "lie detector" was working, the
suspect confessed.

 A Los Angeles man who later said he was "tired of walking," stole a
steamroller and led police on a 5 mph chase until an officer stepped
aboard and brought the vehicle to a stop.

  In August 1975 three men were on their way in to rob the Royal 
Bank of Scotland at Rothesay, when they got stuck in the revolving 
doors.  They had to be helped free by the staff and after thanking 
everyone, sheepishly left the building.
  A few minutes later they returned and anounced their intention 
of robbing the bank, but none of the staff believed them.  When, 
at first, they demanded 5000 pounds, the head cashier laughed at 
them, convinced it was a practical joke. Considerably dishearntened 
by this, the gang leader reduced his demand first to 500 pounds, 
then to 50 pounds and ultimately to 50 pence. By this stage the 
cashier could barely control himself for laughter. Then one of 
the men jumped over the counter and fell awkwardly on the floor, 
clutching his ankle.  The other two made their getaway, but got 
trapped in the revolving doors for a second time, desperately 
pushing the wrong way.

 At an October re-trial in Leeds, England, jurors took about an
hour to acquit police officer Andrew Whitfield, 30, of stealing a
calculator worth about $4.  The cost of the trial, plus the original
mistrial, plus keeping Whitfield on paid suspension for 14 months
as required by law, was about $158,000. 

 Rodney L. Turner, 55, called his office on October 2 in Kansas
City, Kan., and said he wouldn't make it to work that day, as a
result of his 2 a.m. arrest for DUI that resulted in his detention 
until 5 a.m.  Turner, a lawyer, is a part-time municipal judge and
on October 2 had been scheduled to hear a full day's docket of DUI

 In September, Roy T. Moore was convicted of exposing himself
while seated in his car at a gas station in Goderich, Ontario, 
despite his explanation that what a witness saw was actually only a
half-eaten cookie from a bag he was holding in his lap.  The judge
refused to admit the cookie as evidence but did allow Moore's
lawyer to wield a tape measure to illustrate to the jury the size of
the alleged cookie. 

APPLETON, Wisconsin (AP) -- A woman is suing her former psychiatrist
for malpractice, claiming he convinced her she had 120 personalities
-- then charged her insurance company for group therapy."
  "Nadean Cool testified Monday that the $300,000 treatment by Dr.
Kenneth Olson left her suicidal and haunted by false memories. Her 
supposed personalities included a duck, Satan, and angels who talked
to God."
  "Before I knew it, I was hypnotized," Cool, a former nurse's aide,
testified Monday. "And when I came out of it, he said, I knew it, I 
knew it. I knew you were a great candidate."
  "Olson's lawyer, David Patton, says the psychiatrist correctly
diagnosed multiple personality disorder; and that no malpractice
occurred because it was Cool who suggested she was possessed by
the devil."
  "Cool and her insurance company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield United
of Wisconsin, are suing Olson, St. Elizabeth Hospital and Legion
Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania. Blue Cross, which paid about $113,000
to Olson and $114,000 to St. Elizabeth , said Olson  billed for group
sessions, claiming he was counselling more than one person because of
her alleged split personalities."
  "Cool claims the hospital allowed Olson to perform an exorcism on
her and didn't monitor drugs prescribed for her."

  In a classic case of one thing leading to another, seven men aged 
eighteen to twenty-nine received jail sentences of three to four
years in Kingston-on-Thames, England, in 1979 after a fight that
started when one of the men threw a french fry at another while 
they stood waiting for a train.

Law firm closed after billing mother of dead partner

London) A British law firm that billed a dead man's mother $350 an 
hour for finding his body after he commited suicide, has been closed 
by regulators.
  The firm's two senior partners, including John Westall, who presented
the final bill totalling more than $28,000, have had their licences 
suspended and have been summoned before a disciplinary tribunal, which 
has the power to fine, suspend or disbar them.
  Mr. Westall, 53, and David Waterhouse, 47, were partners in James 
  The incident occurred last November when Christopher Bryant, 54, a 
property lawyer at Beauchamp's offices, was found hanged at his home.
  A coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.
  Beauchamp sent a bill to Irene Brierley, the dead man's 80-year-old 
mother, demanding payment for professional services. The itemized bill
included sums for "attending Mr. Bryant's home when he failed to attend

  So you want to rob a bank. Here's how not to do it: Don't walk 
barefaced into the bank.  Don't rob a bank at the same U.S. Army 
post where you work. And above all, don't go back to the same bank,
talk to the same teller and try to deposit the same bills into your
own account.
   Daniel Christian Bowden, a 20-year-old military policeman at Fort
Belvoir, stands accused of ignoring all those rules.
   He was arrested at the Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union on Monday
afternoon after a teller there thought she recognized him as the man 
who had stolen $4,759 at her window May 21, according to an FBI 
affidavit filed yesterday in federal court in Alexandria. The teller 
who had been robbed motioned Bowden over to her window, according to 
the affidavit and credit union officials. "She felt if she could hear
him speak and look into his eyes, she could identify him," said Patty
Kimmel, credit union chief executive officer.
  Bowden said he wanted to wire $2,900 to his home state of Texas, and
he pushed a pile of money over the counter for deposit in his account,
the affidavit said. The teller then took the money into the back room 
and began comparing the serial numbers with those of bills taken 12 
days earlier. 
  The first two $5 bills matched, and the credit union called the 
military police, the affidavit said. When the Fort Belvoir MPs arrived,
they were in for a shock. Bowden, a private, is one of their own and 
has had FBI training on handling bank robberies, law enforcement 
officials said.
  There have been 56 bank robberies this year in Northern Virginia, 
the FBI said.
  Yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan ordered that Bowden
be held without bond pending a probable cause hearing tomorrow. Bowden 
does not yet have a lawyer, officials said.
  According to the affidavit, Bowden is also a suspect in the May 12 
robbery of a NationsBank on Route 1. A man matching his description 
robbed that bank while wearing a two-tone Nike baseball cap similar to 
one that Bowden has admitted taking from a fellow MP, the affidavit said.

  A suspected bank robber got his free lunch Tuesday, but he may spend
a long time paying for it.  A teller at Resource One Federal Credit 
Union at Northwest Freeway said that about 11:30 a.m. a man handed her 
a note demanding money.  
  After giving him an undisclosed amount of cash, the teller told him 
she needed to check something and he gave the money back to her.  The 
teller kept some of the cash and returned the remainder. 
  "She said he didn't look like a rocket scientist," said HPD spokesman
Robert Hurst.  "She could tell he wasn't a professional at this." 
  The teller then watched the man walk across the street to Ryan's Steak
House.  She told police the robber was there and described his attire - 
blue shirt, a yellow tie and khaki pants.  
  Officers found the man at a table eating his lunch. Charges were 

 Tickle Me Elmo doll involved in beating
Somerset, Mass.)  A domestic argument left a man dazed last week after 
his estranged wife used a Tickle Me Elmo doll to club him on the head 
and knock him down, police said.
  Heidi J. Souza, 34, of 1473 County Street, hit Thomas K. Souza, 34, 
of 206 Lepes Rd., so hard with the red furry doll that when a police 
officer arrived, a stunned Thomas Souza was bleeding from his left 
cheek. Souza, who is separated from her husband, was charged with 
violating a restraining order and assault and battery with a dangerous

  There was a rape case at a Northern Crown Court in the late 1970s at
which, according to a local crime reporter who covered the case, a juror
fell fast asleep.  Then the victim was asked to repeat what her attacker
had said prior to the incident.  Overcome with embarrassment, the girl 
was allowed to write it down on paper.
  This was then folded and passed along the jury.  Each member in turn
read and registered surprise on seeing words to the general effect that
'nothing in the whole history of sexual congress equals the comprehensive
going-over which I intend vis a vis your good self.'
  Sitting next to the dozing juror was an attractive blonde. After 
reading the note, she refolded it and nudged her neighbour who awoke 
with a start.
  He read the note and looked at the blonde in wonderment.  To the 
delight of the entire court, he then read it again, winked at her and 
put the note in his pocket.
  When the judge asked him for the piece of paper, the recently dormant
juror refused to hand it over, saying that it was 'a personal matter.'


  When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to 
hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call
the police. They still refused, so the robber called the police and was

  A New York state teenager needed to collect on a $100 loan, so he 
grabbed something he knew his debtor would want back: his artificial leg.

  French garden gnomes are disappearing mysteriously from their peaceful
homes to start a new life in the forests. Masked commandos of the Garden
Gnomes Liberation Front (FLNJ) have been kidnapping the small statues 
and "freeing" them in the woods.

  A Harrisburg, Pa., man was joking when he put on a ski mask at his 
bank's drive-through window, pointed a comb at the teller, a good 
friend, and demanded money.  Police descended on him and charged 
him with disorderly conduct.

Mafia moans shut pasta-ban prison
  THEY like to think of themselves as the most ruthless gangsters on 
earth. Yet Italy's mafia godfathers cannot cope without cannelloni. 
That is why they are rejoicing at a decision to close an island jail 
whose most hated regulation is a ban on prisoners cooking their own 
pasta, writes John Phillips.
  To the dismay of the country's judges and the jubilation of the dons,
Pianosa prison - a high-security island home to 150 top mafiosi 32 miles
off the Tuscan coast - is to be shut after constant complaints from 
prisoners about the "poor conditions". Their biggest gripe is the 
absence of cookers in their cells.
  "What does having a cooker in your cell have to do with security?" 
said Antonino Imerti, a diminutive Calabrian gangland killer, adding 
that pasta was a "basic human right".
  The gangsters were airlifted to the prison as part of a crackdown on
organised crime but now, citing "financial constraints", the government
has decided to turn the island into a nature reserve. The last prisoners
will be flown by October to "more comfortable" mainland jails where the 
cells will have cookers.
  Pierpaolo Dandria, the governor, cannot understand why the gangsters 
want to leave. "We never mistreat our prisoners," he said as the sound 
of surf crashed on the beach not far from his office. "It's a little 
paradise here. But the press claims that Auschwitz is nothing compared
 to Pianosa: that we beat people and pull out their teeth. We would be
rubbed out if we did."

  Henry Smith, arrested moments after returning home with a stolen 
stereo. His error was having tatooed on his forehead in large capital
letters the words "Henry Smith".
  His lawyer told the court:"My client is not a very bright young man".

  Michael Robinson, who rang police to deliver a bomb hoax, but became
so agitated about the mounting cost of the call that he began screaming,
"Call me back," and left his phone number.

  Paul Monkton, who used as his getaway vehicle a van with his 
name and phone number painted in foot-high letters on the side.

  A masked gunman who tried to hold up an Amsterdam snack bar had to
flee empty-handed after a foreign employee didn't understand his demand
for money.

An "escaped Georgia inmate eager to surrender because of bitter 
cold had to go door-to-door asking to use a telephone before 
somebody finally called police.

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