Saturday, July 23, 2016

It's the weekend

Winston the English Bulldog rides his dinosaur

Giddy up.

YouTube link.

Children used CPR dummy in failed burglary attempt

Children used a CPR dummy in a late-night bid to break into an Illinois convenience store on Monday, police report. The attempted 11:30pm burglary of the Jackpot Supermarket failed since the Peoria business’s front door was protected by a series of metal bars.

According to officers, the suspects, three girls and two boys, are all around 10 years old. The CPR dummy, a Peoria Police Department report notes, “was used to break the glass out.” The children fled before police arrived. Officers noted that the glass on the market’s door had been shattered.

The young suspects had left the child-size CPR dummy behind at the scene. Market owner Moe Abdul said that he was familiar with the minor suspects, saying that they had been previously thrown out of the store for stealing merchandise. The businessman, paid $500 to replace the broken glass.

He estimated that the youngest suspect was eight and the oldest was around 15. Abdul said that after the youths failed to break into his store, they proceeded to burgle a neighbouring market that did not have bars on its windows. The CPR dummy was abandoned on the pavement outside the supermarket. The dummy was subsequently collected by a police evidence technician.

Couple accused of stealing pots, pans, steaks, booze and guns

A couple broke into a residence near DeLand, Florida, and stole steaks, liquor, pots, pans and more than $8,000 in guns and ammunition, Volusia sheriff's investigators said. Kimberly Offutt, 42, and her boyfriend , Michael Stites, 29, who both live at a home near DeLand, were arrested on Tuesday. Offutt was charged with grand theft of firearm, dealing in stolen property, armed burglary, grand theft and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony. She is being held in jail on $50,000 bail.

Stites was charged with driving without a licence, armed burglary, dealing in stolen property, grand theft of firearm, grand theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He is being held on $70,000 bail. According to Volusia County sheriff's investigators, the couple broke into the home of a resident who was on vacation the weekend of July 15 to 17. Offutt used to do yard work for the victim, deputies said.

Investigations revealed that the couple forced their way into the home though a back door and took rifles, handguns and shotguns valued at $7,970. The pair also stole about a dozen military ammunition boxes loaded with different types of ammo, a report details. In addition to the weapons and ammunition, Offutt and Stities also stole the homeowner's steaks, liquor and pots and pans. Not satisfied with the meat, liquor and guns, the couple also cleaned out the home of fans, television sets, mechanical tools, tool sets, pool table equipment and even a metal can and ice tea bottle filled with coins, sheriff's investigators said.

All the other stolen items had an estimated value of $2,220. Deputies got their first lead on the pair after they tried to sell some of the stolen merchandise to a friend of the victim's. Deputies were informed that Stites was Offutt's Facebook friend and investigators searched Facebook and found Stites. On Tuesday, a deputy spotted Offutt's van at a gas station in Deltona and detained the woman with her boyfriend. In the van, deputies found the stolen property, including the homeowner's spiced rum. Offutt was found with $400 investigators said she got for selling the guns that were not recovered.

Possible chemical scare that led to apartment complex evacuation caused by cooking urine

Urine forced the evacuation of a dozen units at the Brandywine apartment complex in North Amherst, Massachusetts, on Wednesday night.

Apartment officials called police about an odour coming from one of the 12 units on Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Fire Chief Lindsey Stromgren said.

When firefighters entered the apartment, they saw what appeared to be chemicals being mixed or cooked on the stove. The state Hazardous Materials Response team and bomb squad investigated after clearing the building.

But police said on Thursday morning the "chemical" was actually distilled urine the tenant was using for medical reasons. No charges are being brought, police said. All of the tenants from other apartments were allowed back in at around 9:30pm. The apartment where the incident was reported has been secured and no one will be allowed in until the town's health inspector approves it, Stromgren added.

Man lassoed bear to assist removal of cheese balls jar that was stuck on its head

Heroic action by a resident of the Four Mile area outside Glenwood Springs, Colorado, probably saved a black bear from a death sentence. A two-year-old black bear was spotted for at least the last week in Four Mile with a clear plastic Cheese Balls container stuck over its entire head. “Man, we’ve been getting reports of that bear forever,” said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will. Concerned residents would call in with pleas to help the jugheaded bear but by the time a wildlife officer could get to the area the bear would be gone, Will said. Jim Hawkins, owner of Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, said on Wednesday his wife spotted the troubled bruin five days prior out by a pond on their property. It didn’t appear the bear could drink and he definitely couldn’t eat, Hawkins said.

YouTube link.

“He was just a little bear with a big problem,” Hawkins said. “He was a 2-year-old with a space helmet on.” Hawkins spotted the bear again three days ago. Again it ran off before a wildlife officer could arrive. Hawkins decided he needed to act if he got another chance. He figured he might be able to lasso the bear, but only because it was in a weakened state. “I’m not completely crazy,” he said. He put rope and gloves in a convenient place and kept his eyes peeled. A passer-by on the road stopped at about 9:30am on Wednesday and reported seeing the bear with a jug on his head. Hawkins grabbed his gear and was prepared when the bear came across his backyard. He downplayed his cowboy skills but acknowledged, “I know how to throw a rope.”

He threw a loop around the bear but it slipped down to the bruin’s midsection. After that, Hawkins said, “it was like a rodeo.” Both Hawkins and bear were pulling. Eventually “the bear figured out his problem was at the end of that rope,” Hawkins said. The bear came after him and they had “a couple of good rolls in the grass.” Although the bear couldn’t use its mouth, it had sharp claws. The bear gave up the fight with the larger man and scooted up a tree. Hawkins tied him off so that even if he came down, he couldn’t get away. Carbondale District Wildlife Officer John Groves rushed to the bed and breakfast after getting the call and tranquilised the bear. They used a tin shears to cut the heavy plastic off the animal’s head. Groves applied a reversal drug and the bear snapped out of its slumber in a few minutes.

YouTube link.

He took a drink then ambled off, Groves said. He estimated its chances for survival were high. Hawkins estimated the bear’s weight at 100 pounds, but the bear will likely get bigger and its demeanor nastier as he recounts the story in the future, he said with a laugh. Hawkins’ arms got cut up and one gash required stitches. Nevertheless, he downplayed his actions and said his friends will be ribbing him over it. Groves said Colorado Parks and Wildlife “highly recommends” people not to interact with wildlife themselves and to call wildlife officers instead. “His heart was in the right place,” Groves added. Hawkins said the lesson to be learned is not to leave food containers in a place where bears can access them. It can mean a death sentence for wildlife. “None of us wanted to see him die the bushes someplace,” Hawkins said.

Police hunt teenager who wore a monkey onesie during crime spree

A teenager who broke into six businesses in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, while wearing a monkey onesie is on the run with at least two other accomplices. The teen was captured on CCTV footage running through the Subway restaurant at North Lakes Shopping Centre wearing the distinctive monkey onesie featuring a tail and eyes on Wednesday night.

The teenager’s crime-spree began at the Subway and continued to Palmerston. Strike Force Trident Detective Senior Sergeant Robert Jordan said the monkey onesie could be a vital clue. “We are calling on the public for anyone who may have information, especially in relation to wearing a monkey onesie.

“Somebody out there has got to know who has a monkey onesie,” he said. Sen-Sgt Jordan said the teens stole small amounts of cash and alcohol. “Firstly we had an unlawful entry at the North Lakes Subway where offenders wearing a onesie of all things have broken in and stolen a small amount of money,” he said.

“From there we’ve had another five unlawful entries. One at Dominoes in Millner, one at the DBA basketball courts in Marrara. We’ve also had one at the Repco in Palmerston and the massage centre in Palmerston all within a short period of time.” He said police believe the six break-ins were linked and the suspects used a stolen blue Hyundai X35 during the crime spree.

With CCTV video.

Bungling robber pepper sprayed himself in face while accomplice cut his hand with knife

A search is underway for two men after a botched armed robbery in the Shoalwater suburb of Perth, Australia, during which one of the men pepper sprayed his own face and the other cut himself.

It is alleged one of the men stole several items, including expensive sleep apnoea gear, from a pharmacy early on Thursday night. He was chased by the pharmacist and caught in the car park where he was joined by a second man.

One of them produced a knife and threatened the pharmacist; however, pharmacy staff said the man accidentally cut himself. The other man then attempted to spray the pharmacist with pepper spray.

YouTube link.

But the canister was facing the wrong way and he ended up spraying himself in the face. The men fled on foot. They are described as being aged between 18 and 21, fair skinned and of medium build. The men were wearing black pants and black-hooded jumpers with dark grey sleeves.

Man jumped over pub fence before picking fight with car

A man was caught on CCTV outside McGuire's CBD Hotel in Mackay, Queensland, Australia, engaging in a bizarre attack on the pub owner's car on Thursday afternoon.

The apparently unprovoked, random incident happened at about 3.25pm, Paul Baxter said, when the unknown man ran into the pub, exited out the back into the beer garden, leapt a fence and more or less crash tackled the Ford sedan. He proceeded to repeatedly throw himself onto the car's roof and made several attempts to kick in the windows, before dashing off in an apparently dazed state.

Mr Baxter, 65, who's owned the pub for about three years, said he's never seen such frenzied behaviour. "Whether he hurt himself jumping over the fence and took it out on the car or whatever, I'm just not sure," he said. "I just had a look at the CCTV footage and I've never seen him before. But I'm sure someone in town will recognise him.

"He done a fair bit of damage to himself. I thought he would take his own life the way he was going. Hopefully they can catch him. But my car's a write-off I'd say...," he said. Thankfully, no bystanders were injured in the strange incident. But Mr Baxter was concerned someone may be hurt by the man's dangerous behaviour if police don't catch up with him soon. Mackay Police are investigating.

With CCTV video of the incident.

Toad in a hole rescued by the RSPCA

The RSPCA were called to rescue a toad when he misjudged his girth and became stuck head-first in some garden decking. The chubby amphibian had become stuck when trying to squeeze between two decking panels in a garden on Wednesday.

Jason Finch, an inspector for the RSPCA, arrived at the home in Old Lakenham, Norwich. He said: “I was shown to the garden by the homeowners, and it didn’t take me long to spot the little legs sticking out of a gap in the wooden decking, waving around in the air. I knew I had to get the little guy out as soon as possible, he must have been very uncomfortable.”

Due to the toad being wedged tightly between the wooden decking, Mr Finch was unable to remove it with his hands. Just then the toad wriggled free and trapped itself underneath the boards. To free it, the homeowners and Mr Finch agreed he needed to saw through the decking and lever it up to ensure the amphibian was safe.

YouTube link.

Mr Finch said: ““He was the biggest, fattest toad I have ever seen - I can only think he was after a nice fly or a juicy bug when he decided to stick his head down the gap. I released him near the garden pond, I’d like to say a big thank-you to the homeowner for calling us and letting us do what we needed to in order to rescue the toad, it’s really heart-warming that people are prepared to go the extra mile to help our wildlife.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Catch of the day

Baby elephant struggles to reach leaves on tree

So near, yet so far.

YouTube link.

Police seek woman for theft of coffee from up to 50 stores across four states

Police in Chester County and around the Philadelphia area are investigating up to 50 incidents of theft of coffee from Wawa convenience stores that have led to a loss of more than $3,000.

Officials suspect a Caucausian female has been stealing coffee since the beginning of 2016. The thefts have occurred throughout south eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, according to the West Goshen Police Department.

The suspect enters the Wawa, steals numerous bags of coffee, drives to a different nearby Wawa, and returns them for cash, police said. In video surveillance from March and April, the woman is wearing scrubs, and police speculate that she could be a healthcare worker.

Police also said that they have images of her using two different vehicles: a small silver sedan and a maroon sport utility vehicle. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the West Goshen Township Police Department.

Man wearing only underpants rescued from manhole after climbing in because he was thirsty

A man clad only in his underpants was rescued from a manhole in Birmingham, Alabama on Wednesday afternoon.

Birmingham Fire and Rescue was dispatched just after 3pm on a call of a man stuck in a manhole, but they weren't sure where. Though only wearing underpants, the man did have his cell phone and called 911 from underground.

He was able to look out, and tell BFRS dispatchers nearby businesses what he could see. Firefighters eventually found him in the manhole. Firefighters said the man told them he was thirsty so he lifted the manhole cover and climbed in.

He was then unable to get back out. He did have a cell phone and wallet with him, and was able to stick his head out of the hole enough for first responders to spot him. Fortunately, they said, they were able to pull him out without heavy-rescue equipment.

Woman allegedly stabbed husband after he returned home without her favourite doughnuts

An woman allegedly stabbed her husband in the chest with a grill fork after he returned home without her favourite doughnuts. According to a police report, Timothy Nelson “went to get doughnuts for his wife” on Friday morning at a store near the couple’s home in New Albany, about six miles from Louisville, Indiana.

But the store “did not have the type she normally gets.” So, officers say, Nelson returned home “without the doughnuts.” This did not sit well with his wife Michelle, 37, who was upset that her spouse “did not know what else she liked after being together for several years.”

When a heated argument over secondary doughnut choices followed, Timothy sought to leave the residence, but “Michelle was blocking the door.” During the ensuing scuffle, “Michelle lunged back at him and she had a grill fork in her hand. The grill fork stuck in Timothy’s chest.” After pulling the fork from his chest, Timothy fled the home, with Michelle “following him and still yelling at him.”

YouTube link.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Timothy sitting against a tree “applying pressure to the puncture wound on his right chest.” His t-shirt and jeans were soaked with blood. He was then transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Michelle Nelson was charged with aggravated battery, a felony, and booked into the Floyd County jail, where she is being held in lieu of $75,000 bond. The New Albany Police Department report does not identify Nelson’s favourite doughnut.

Pastor charged with burglary of rival church

The residents of Canton, Illinois, are reeling after learning a local pastor faces criminal charges, accused of attempting to break into an office safe in another church just down the street. "It's crazy. Everybody's doing crazy things these days and it blows my mind," said Trisha Fisher of Canton.

David Utt, 39, pastor of New Hope Community Church in Canton, was taken to Fulton County Jail after being caught breaking into the First Church of Nazarene. "I feel like it's a little odd, a pastor trying to break into a different church. I feel like that's kind of against the whole religion thing," said Cody Akers of Canton. Canton Police say officers noticed a suspicious car parked behind the church just after 1am on Monday morning and noticed the back door forced open.

Officers then went into the church and that's when police say they allegedly found Utt breaking into a safe in the office. "It was shocking. My wife, she couldn't hardly believe it. I mean he broke into the back of the church?" said Wayne Wheeler, a member of First Church of Nazarene. It's not just those in the community in shock, members of Utt's own congregation are struggling to understand why. "He just seemed like a really nice guy, always happy.

"It didn't show what he was going through, he must have been going through something," said Denisha Evans, a member of New Hope Community Church. Many believe Utt was going through something, possibly a financial hardship that must have pushed him over the edge. "Competition brings out the best and worst of people," said Akers. Utt faces charges of burglary and criminal damage to a place of worship. He was held on $60,000 bail but bonded out Tuesday.

With news video.

Study suggests that keeping a chicken can help protect against malaria

The smell from a live chicken could help protect against malaria, researchers have found. Ethiopian and Swedish scientists discovered that malarial mosquitoes tend to avoid chickens and other birds. The experiments, conducted in western Ethiopia, included suspending a live chicken in a cage near a volunteer sleeping under a bed net.

Last year malaria killed nearly 400,000 people in Africa, the UN says. Infection and death rates are declining but health officials are continuing to look for new ways to prevent the spread of the disease. The malaria parasite, which initially hides in the liver before going into the bloodstream, is carried from person to person by mosquitoes when they drink blood.

The scientists, whose research was published in the Malaria Journal, concluded that as mosquitoes use their sense of smell to locate an animal they can bite there must be something in a chicken's odour that puts the insects off. Addis Ababa University's Habtie Tekie, who worked on the research, said that the compounds from the smell of the chicken can be extracted and could work as a repellent. Field trials for this stage of the research are now "in the pipeline", he said.

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences were also involved in the project. Compounds extracted from chicken feathers were also used in the experiments, as well as live chickens. Researchers discovered that the use of the chicken and the compounds "significantly reduced" the number of mosquitoes that were found in the trap nearby. The scientists say that with reports that some mosquitoes are developing resistance to insecticide "novel control methods" need to be embraced.

Motorcycle rear-ended by horse

A horse “rear-ended” a motorcycle on a road in east China’s Zhejiang Province last Thursday. The owner of the horse said he was walking the horse while a motorist opened the throttle while passing them.

The noise of the motorcycle frightened the horse, making him chase after it. The three-year-old horse quickly caught up with the motorbike, causing the two people onboard to crash. The owner of the horse was seen running after his animal.

According to the police, the motorcyclist was driving under the influence of alcohol, an offence leading to a fine of 1,800 yuan (£205, $270) and a six-month licence suspension. The two victims were sent to the hospital, and claimed the owner of the horse should pay for their medical fees.

YouTube link.

Traffic police determined the case was not a traffic accident but a physical injury case, which is under further investigation. China has the second largest horse population in the world, the US has the largest, and horses are far cheaper in China. While it isn’t common to see people riding horses in major Chinese cities nowadays, one horse riding advocate recently said that he thinks it is cheaper to ride a horse than drive a car.

Donald Duck cleared of extremism charges by Russian court

The highest court in the Russian Far Eastern region of Kamchatka has ordered the cancellation of an earlier ruling recognising a 1942 Disney cartoon depicting Donald Duck’s adventures in Nazi Germany as ‘extremist material’. The ruling in question was passed by the city court of Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky in 2010. Back then the judge gave a six-month suspended sentence to a local resident for distributing extremist materials over the internet.

The propaganda included the Oscar-winning animation ‘Der Fuehrer's Face’ that the accused called ‘Donald Duck and Fascism’ in Russian and because of this the film has been included in the Russian federal list of banned extremist materials. When prosecutors discovered this fact they filed a cassation with the regional court explaining that the video is a classic Walt Disney cartoon made within the framework of an anti-Nazi propaganda campaign.

They also wrote that the film contains no calls to extremism - on the contrary, it depicts Nazi ideology in satirical and mocking forms. The court agreed with this statement and also ruled that the film’s characters are not promoting violence against anyone. ‘Der Fuehrer's Face’, also known under the title ‘Donald Duck in Nutzi Land’, was created in the US in 1943 and in the same year its director, Jack Kinney, received the Academy Award for best animated short.

Current Russian law bans any public calls for extremism or attempts to humiliate people and provides that such actions should be punished with up to five years in prison. This applies to internet posts as well as mass media publications. Decisions on the subject are made by regional courts, but once something is recognized as extremism anywhere in the country, this material is included in the federal list of banned information.

Man went for a stroll leaving his clothes, a Bible and nail clippers along the route

Police in Limerick, Ireland, say that they received numerous reports from the public about a man walking naked on the outskirts of the city. In another unusual twist, passers-by reported that the man, who is black, left behind his clothing and a Bible along the route. The man, whose age and identity is not known, was observed by many motorists and walkers on the Ennis Road.

Gardai in the city confirmed that they received numerous reports regarding this incident this on Wednesday morning. "I was driving along when I noticed a number of cars were stopping, and then I saw this black man walking along the road completely naked. A lot of people were staring and naturally very curious about how and why he had arrived there in a state of undress," one person said.

Nicky Larkin, an artist living at the Ennis Road, reported that he was walking past the bus stop outside the Jetland shopping centre on the Ennis Road, where he found a number of items including a pile of clothes, a pair of shoes, nail clippers, reading glasses and a leather-bound book on the bus-stop bench. "It looked like someone had been kidnapped, but forced to strip first," he said.

"I didn't know what to do, so had a closer look to see what the book was – The Bible." He added: "Apparently he walked all the way out to the next roundabout towards Ennis, and he tried to go into a shop but was kicked out." An ambulance was dispatched to the scene. Their crew was observed wrapping him in a blanket at the roadside. It is not believed that any criminal charges will be forthcoming at this time, pending further enquiries.