October 1, 2009

UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Man admits putting razors in bushes

SARASOTA, Fla., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A Florida man has admitted placing razor blades in his bushes because people had been tampering with the plants, police said.

Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies said Gary Mitchell, 47, admitted placing the blades in the branches of the bushes he planted along the front sidewalk of his rental home in Sarasota, WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg, Fla., reported Thursday.

I did it because they were stripping my shrubs. I wanted to hear a squeal or something from who was doing it, Mitchell said.

Mitchell faces a culpable negligence charge.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said the case has been sent to the state attorney's office.

Motorist skipped $917 parking bill

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said they are seeking a motorist who drove out of an airport parking lot without paying a $917 bill for nearly two months of parking.

Authorities said the 2008 black Chevrolet Suburban was parked in the $17-per-day Orlando International Airport lot operated by Ampco System Parking from Aug. 6 until Tuesday evening, when it sped out of the lot without the driver paying the parking fees, the Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday.

As the vehicle in front of the Suburban paid its parking fee, the toll arm was raised to allow the vehicle to exit the toll plaza, an Orlando police report states. The suburban continued to tailgate the vehicle out of the toll plaza without rendering proper payment.

Police said the vehicle's license plate number was taken down and they are seeking a 45-year-old suspect on theft of services charges.

Woman drives off burglars with pool balls

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A Texas woman said she drove off a pair of would-be burglars by climbing onto her roof and pelting them with billiard balls.

Paula Ollie, 27, a mother of three, said she was alone at her North Richland Hills home just after 2 p.m. Tuesday when she heard two men talking quietly outside of the house, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Thursday.

Ollie said she filled her son's bike helmet with billiard balls and climbed a backyard tree to the roof, where she saw the men dressed in all black, including their hats.

I went to the front of the house and yelled 'Death from above' and started throwing the pool balls, Ollie said.

I nailed him in the back, Ollie said of a man approaching her bedroom window. I then started throwing at the one at the front door and got him, but I don't know where I hit him. I did miss once because there's a dent in the front door.

Police said the suspects fled the scene before they arrived.

We recommend that people call 911 if they see strangers at their home, North Richland Hills police spokesman Keith Bauman said.

Police: 'Dumbest' crook stole from chief

ELMWOOD, Ohio, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Police in Elmwood, Ohio, said they arrested America's dumbest criminal for breaking into the chief's office inside of a police station.

The Elmwood Place Police Department said John Prentis, an informant who has worked with police, was caught on surveillance video kicking chief William Peskin's office door open at about 4 p.m. Monday and taking $1,000 from an evidence room inside the office, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, reported Thursday.

The video then shows Prentis shutting the door and wiping his fingerprints from the knob, police said.

Everything together just points to how dumb he was. America's dumbest criminals ... He would make the number one on the Top Ten countdown, Peskin said.

He said Prentis entered the building through an open door.

Actually that was a human error on our part. We did leave one back door unsecured. The one place that I would never go to steal from is the police department, the chief said.

Prentis was arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned on charges including breaking and entering Thursday.