Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Are we nearly there yet?

Dog sad that pet store is closed refuses to leave

While on a late-night walk in New York, five-year-old Samo wants to visit her favourite store despite it not being open.

YouTube link.

Woman unhappy after arriving home to find naked burglars having sex on her couch

A South Memphis woman is in shock after catching two burglars having sexual intercourse in her house and ransacking the place. "It's horrible in there," said victim Jamie Barnes. "It's absolutely horrible in there. It's like they just had a big old nasty party."

Barnes was surprised to see her front door open after being away for a few days, but that shock was quickly topped by what was going on inside the house. "Walk in and they're having sex on my couch," said Barnes. "I pick up my broom, I wanted to hit that man so bad." She said the man yelled, "I don't know nothing" over and over, while the woman tried to cover up.

"She tried to grab one of my dresses and put it on and I snatched it from her, what are you trying to do?" said Barnes. She said the man went running. She tried to follow him but stopped when he reached an alley, while the woman, Tonka Barnes, was arrested for aggravated burglary. Barnes said the couple she saw stripped naked, also stripped her house.

"They ransacked my house and stole all my stuff: jewellery, appliances, clothes," said Barnes. Her neighbour said someone spotted the couple taking bins of clothing out of the house, and even trying to sell some of Barnes' jewellery. "Crazy stuff," said neighbour Christian Jones. "You never think something like that would happen. They're getting too bold." Barnes said she was already planning on moving, but Sunday's crime expedited the process. "I don't feel comfortable at this house, so in my eyes, I'm homeless," she said.

With news video.

Bear cub found on landing strip adopted by airfield crew

A bear cub has been adopted by an airfield crew in Tver, about 200km from Moscow, Russia.

The cub was found on a landing strip at the airfield in April.

Locals have named him Mansur, which in Altai means 'bear'.

YouTube link. Alternative YouTube link.

A husky of one of the employees has also befriended little Mansur, who will grow at least five times her size when he reaches adulthood.

Former policeman appointed as city’s new hermit

The city of Solothurn in Switzerland has appointed a divorced ex-policeman from southern Germany into the unusual job of ‘hermit’. Michael Daum, 55, will start his new job on October 1st after being selected from among 22 candidates.

The divorced father of four will be required to lead a solitary life in the hermitage located in the peaceful Verena gorge just outside Solothurn. In doing so he will continue a tradition dating back to 1442 and follow in the footsteps of St Verena, believed to have lived as a hermit in the area in the third century.

Daum is a former policeman who, since leaving the force, has studied Catholic theology and the meditation practices of monks. Daum will act as caretaker for the hermitage and nearby St Martin’s Chapel, which is used for weddings and blessings. In return he can live in the hermitage rent-free and will collect 2,000 francs a month in salary.

Despite the solitary nature of his job title, Daum will be required to have some social skills. In 2014 a previous occupant of the role resigned after complaining about the number of tourists who visit the hermitage and chapel. Daum’s predecessor, Sister Benedicta, quit in February 2016 after clashing with Solothurn authorities over the nature and role of the hermitage.

Paris agrees plan to open experimental nudist zone

Next summer, nudists or naturists may be able to bare it all in a designated area of the French capital, Paris. City councillors have approved plans for an experimental nudist area, possibly in one of Paris's parks or in wooded areas on its outskirts.

The Green Party, which proposed the plan, said France was a top destination for naturists, and its capital city should have somewhere for them to go. One centrist councillor, however, called the idea "demented". He said the idea of authorising full-scale nudity in the middle of the capital might be seen as a provocation, especially at a time when feelings were still running high over the 'burkini' issue.

But those who support the move say, in a country with numerous clothes-free beaches and holiday camps, Paris should also be a draw for naturists. "We've got two million nudists in France which is doubled during the summer with visitors," said David Belliard, co-chairman of the ecologist group in the city council.

"For them Paris is the world's premier tourist destination and there's no public place for them to go. We want to try out a recreational area where nudists can freely strip off." Deputy Mayor of Paris Bruno Julliard said he was in favour of the plan, as was Mayor Anne Hidalgo. He said the likeliest site for the naturist zone is in one of Paris's two main woods, the Bois de Boulogne to the west or Bois de Vincennes to the east, "near a lake, in a regulated setting so that there is no threat to public order".

Man pleads guily to repeatedly scanning carrots instead of apples at supermarket checkout

A man has admitted to stealing apples from Tesco by pretending he was buying carrots, which are less than a third of the price. Aidan Martin Devlin, 53, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, confessed to 12 charges relating to the apples for carrots con when he appeared at Ards Magistrates Court. Devlin committed the thefts from Tesco at Newtownbreda during June and July this year.

His solicitor told Newtownards Magistrates Court on Friday that his client wished to plead guilty to 12 charges. Devlin appeared in the dock walking with the aid of a stick. Many supermarkets offer a facility where shoppers can weigh their own loose fruit and vegetables before taking them to a checkout to make payment. According to the Tesco Direct website, Granny Smith loose apples sell for £2 per kilo, while their loose carrots cost 60p per kilo.

Devlin pleaded guilty to 11 counts of dishonestly making a false representation, namely that he was buying carrots when he was actually buying apples with the intention, by making the representation, to make a gain for himself or to cause a loss to Tesco between June 6 and July 9 this year. He also admitted a charge of dishonestly making false representation, namely that he was buying carrots when he was actually buying fruit on July 18 this year.

A further charge of fraud on 13 occasions at Tesco Newtownbreda between June 6 and July 18 this year was withdrawn. The matter was adjourned for four weeks to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared. Devlin said nothing as District Judge White ordered him to co-operate with the Probation Board. “If you do as you are asked and provide them with the information they require, then it is likely the court will follow their recommendation,” he said.

Farmer has dyed his 800-strong flock of sheep bright orange in bid to stop thieves

A security conscious sheep farmer in Cumbria has resorted to radical measures to deter sheep rustlers after losing hundreds of animals in recent years.

Troutbeck farmer Pip Simpson has sprayed almost 800 of his flock with a luminous orange dye to help them stand out on the hillsides and make them less desirable to thieves. Mr Simpson hopes his glow-in-the-dark Cheviots will be less prone to rustlers and bring an end to thieves stealing his stock.

"Over the last four years we will have had towards 300 sheep go missing or pinched so we've had this constant problem with never being able to stop it," he said. "The only solution we could find was to make them completely different to everybody else's so they've been sprayed luminous orange. It's just a dye, there's no chemicals or anything and it's not going to harm them at all."

But despite having to take the radical step, 50-year-old Mr Simpson believes there is a valid logic behind his method. "We're hoping this will deter thieves because if they did get pinched they're bright orange and somebody is going to wonder where they've come from. It's a massive problem is sheep theft. As sad as it is, it's probably someone local who knows the area that's doing it."

There's a news video here.

Enormous wasps' nest found in attic of house

A wasps' nest the size of a "barrel" with a tunnel attached has been found in the attic of a house. The homeowner near Corby, Northamptonshire, discovered the one-metre wide nest (3.2ft) while renovating the property, which had been empty for two years. Pest controller Gary Wilkinson said "luckily" the wasps had moved out about a year earlier.

Its size and long entry tunnel made it a "spectacular work of art", he added. Mr Wilkinson was treating the house in Pipewell for woodworm, when the owner who wants to remain anonymous, said: "Can you come a have a quick look at this for me?" "We just went, 'Wow', as it was colossal," Mr Wilkinson said. "It's the biggest I've ever seen by quite a margin. It's an impressive wasp nest alright, much bigger than a barrel.

"They can get to the size of a large football but this is something else altogether." The company said the nest was "rare" not only because of its size, but because the wasps had built an "intricate tunnel from the nest to the outside" which was perfectly preserved. The tunnel itself measures about 1.4m (4.5ft). Hundreds of dead wasps were found near the nest. Mr Wilkinson estimates anything from 6,000 to 10,000 wasps could have called the nest their home.

An "average" nest would "typically have up to 3,000 wasps", a company spokesman said. Mr Wilkinson described the structure as "quite beautiful" and made from paper-like material the insects had stripped from fences and tree bark. Fortunately for the homeowner and pest control team, the nest had "gone to its full life-cycle" and there was nothing left alive in it. "We'd certainly not be that close to something that size, even in a bee suit, if we thought it was still being used," Mr Wilkinson said.

Man banned from having bin bags at home due to fantasies about suffocating people with them

A bondage fetishist has been banned from having bin bags in his home because of his obsession with the idea of wrapping people up in polythene and suffocating them, a court heard. Warren Harris, 46, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is also barred from looking at online pictures and texts relating to people being vacuum packed. But when police did a routine check on Harris two months ago to ensure he was complying with a court order made in 2010 they found he had been looking at the kind of images and stories he is banned from seeing, Gloucester Crown Court was told. Harris admitted two offences of breaching a sexual harm prevention order imposed on him at the request of the police six years ago. Prosecutor Caighli Taylor told the court: "Police attended his address on July 18 this year. It was an unannounced visit and he consented to his mobile phone being checked. It showed he had been watching films on You Tube in relation to women being vacuum packed and aspyhxiated. Written stories relating to asphyxiation were also found.

"On August 10 he told the police he knew he had been viewing things which placed him in breach of his sexual harm prevention order. He admitted he had been looking at bondage footage showing the plastic wrapping up of people aged 17-18. He said he had been doing it twice a day for two hours at a time. He said he was sorry, he knew it was wrong but he enjoyed it." Stephen Ritter, for Harris, said: "He presents as a nice chap next door. But the reports on him obviously raise great concern. He is aware of the acute problem he suffers from. He seeks to co-operate. There has been no breach of the 2010 order until now. He is working hard at dealing with it but he feels he needs more support. I think it is extraordinary that this material was on YouTube. I would have thought this kind of character would have had to go underground on the Dark Web to find it." The judge, Recorder Robert Linford, said a suspended jail sentence was recommended in a pre-sentence report on Harris. But he said he was concerned that Harris was 'straying back into the world he inhabited a number of years ago.'

Recorder Linford said: "It has to be stopped. I am surprised that nothing more intensive than a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement is being recommended." Mr Ritter said that Harris is trying to get himself referred by his GP to the Portman Clinic in London, which offers specialist long-term help people with disturbing sexual behaviours, criminality and violence. Det Con Emma Wilson, who works with the management of violent and sexual offenders in Gloucestershire, said: "The issue we have is his entrenched sexual behaviour in relation to plastic to point that we have had to have a contract with him in relation to bin bags. He can only have certain types of bin liners. He cannot have black bin bags in the house because they are a real concern. He needs more help to understand his sexual fetishes and address them. They will never go away so the risk will never go away and his thought processes will never go away. But he needs to be given the tools to manage his own risk. Incarceration is not ideal because he will lose his accommodation and when he comes out he will be a homeless high risk offender."

The Recorder said he did not believe locking Harris up would do any good in the long term and he was more interested in a long community order coupled with specific requirements. He decided to defer sentence on Harris for six months to see if, through his GP, he can get into the Portman Clinic for treatment which will help protect the public in future. "It seems to me everyone will be a lot better off if this defendant received that help," he said. "He wants it, he understands there is a problem and it is enormously to his credit that he confessed what he had been doing." The judge made a new lifetime sexual harm prevention order which includes a ban on using social media and deferred sentence till March 23 next year. He told Harris: "I am extremely troubled that you committed these offences in breach of your order. It was an enormously retrograde step in your life having made a great deal of progress in tackling the issues you have. In the next six months I expect you to strive to get a referral to Portman. That's a condition of deferral. It is a further condition that you do not commit any further offences." The Recorder told Harris that if he failed to meet the terms of the deferral he would get a long jail term. "I will lock you up and throw the key so far away that you will never find it," he warned. "I am giving you a chance. Don't blow it."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Shopping expedition

Your monkey wants broccoli cheese soup

19-year-old Angel the Java Macaque is a big fan.

YouTube link.

Man photographed by security cameras he stole arrested

A Florida man is in custody just a short time after stealing a business' surveillance system and being caught on camera in the process.

Forty-eight-year-old Guadalupe Ruiz, from Fort Myers, was arrested on Saturday for burglary, grand theft, and criminal mischief.

Ruiz stole six surveillance cameras from El Dorado Pawn Shop that captured crystal clear images of him before they were disabled.

This is Ruiz’s seventh booking in the Lee County Jail, and for his charges, he is being held without bond.

Woman jumped onto purse snatcher's car in desperate attempt to stop him

A woman decided she wasn’t going to make it easy for her attacker during a robbery at a gas station in Dania Beach, Florida. Surveillance video from the Mobil gas station shows the crook pull up to a pump in a light-coloured Cadillac.

Casually, the man opened the driver’s side door of the car next to him and grabbed a purse from the front seat. It belonged to Janelle Della-Libera, 32, who was pumping gas and immediately chased after him, climbing onto his car in a desperate attempt to stop him.

Spread out on the hood of the man’s car, Janelle was able to reach inside and appears to hit the thief with her wallet. He began to speed up and, seconds later, she tumbled off his car and onto the ground, leaving her with a fractured foot. Janelle’s husband is grateful his wife’s injury wasn’t worse.

YouTube link.

“We’re very proud that she didn’t just back down and be a victim and we’re also very happy she’s doing well,” said Giovani Libera. “This could have been much worse.” But, he says, there’s a lesson here. When you’re at the gas station, lock your doors while you pump and keep your eyes open. “This is happening all over south Florida,” said Libera.

Police hunt man who made his escape wearing just underpants and one sock

The Waynesboro Police Department in Virginia is requesting information on locating a wanted Waynesboro man who fled in nothing but his underpants and a single sock earlier this week when he was found with drugs.

On Tuesday, a deputy with the City of Waynesboro Sheriff’s Office went to a residence to evict the renters when he found Aaron Hernando Holder, 37 years old, and 30 year old female trespassing inside the residence. The deputy ordered them out of the residence. Holder was clothed only in his undergarments.

After further examination of the residence, the deputy located suspected drugs in the room where he found Holder and the female. Even though he was scantily clad, Holder fled on foot along with the female. A search of the area by other officers and deputies was unsuccessful.

Members of the Skyline Drug Task Force responded to the residence and executed a search warrant. Drug charges are also pending on Holder and the female suspect. Holder should be considered dangerous. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Waynesboro Police Department.

Woman says she lost $75,000 to smooth-talking witchdoctor

It started with a $10 palm reading, but within a few weeks, she lost $75,000 to a smooth-talking hustler, a woman from Wellington, New Zealand, says. "They are so determined. They brainwash you completely. You are in their hands," the woman, who does not want to be named, has warned. The woman said she went to the witchdoctor and his wife for a palm reading after being handed a pamphlet at a street market. She said the male witchdoctor was of South Indian origin, with a moustache and medium-length hair.

He dressed inconspicuously when outside but wore yellow robes during ceremonies. "They do wear priest's clothes in their house so you think they're good people." They used incense, coconuts and flowers during ceremonies, and chanted "aum Kali, aum Kali," to the deity of the same name. The couple forged a relationship with the woman, persuading her only they could rid her of evil spirits. She said she was told one of her own children was in danger.

Soon the couple visited her house in suburban Wellington. The man noticed a dead bird outside, and said this was proof her house had a malevolent spirit. Soon, the woman was too scared to be home alone, so the witchdoctor's wife came to stay with her. "I was scared. I could not come into my house. They said 'there's a spirit in your house'." The witchdoctors made increasingly dramatic predictions, spoke of sacrifices, then told her she had only a week to live. Tormented and scared, she succumbed to demands, went to the bank, and handed over $25,000 cash.

She also handed over cash and jewellery worth another $50,000 later in 2013. The witchdoctors left the country, but kept calling her. On Monday, a man who answered one of the phone numbers said he had been to New Zealand, but only in 2008. He said he did the shami pooja ritual, astrology and horoscope reading but not other practices of the kind advertised. "There are some good people ... there are some bad people," he said when allegations of wrongdoing were put to him. His service didn't offer refunds, but he urged the complainant to come to Bangalore. The woman said she no longer believed in black magic but was angry at herself for losing so much money and wanted others to avoid the same fate.

Police say that having a hangover is no excuse for stealing a roast chicken

A man has been fined after he allegedly stole a chicken from a supermarket in Dongara, Western Australia, because he was “hungry and hungover”.

Sergeant Grant Rosman said the 43-year-old Three Springs man is alleged to have eaten the chicken in the back of an aisle at the town's IGA.

He then left the remains behind some items on a shelf. The theft was captured on CCTV and the staff alerted police.

Police from Three Springs arrested the 43-year-old on Friday and issued him with a $500 stealing infringement notice.

Customs officials surprised to find woman travelling with husband's entrails in her luggage

Bemused customs officials in Austria have stopped a Moroccan woman, who travelled to Graz airport with a bag containing her husband's entrails.

The man's intestines had been wrapped carefully in two containers. The woman, who has not been named, explained that she suspected her deceased husband had been poisoned.

She wanted a toxicology test carried out on her husband's tissue. He died during an operation in Morocco. When the woman arrived in Graz, a doctor was called to examine the intestines.

He said a proper investigation could not be carried out without the whole body. Police said the woman had not broken any laws. The entrails have been stored temporarily ahead of further forensic investigation.

Brick collector nominated for top heritage award

Mark Cranston is an avid collector of bricks who has amassed more than 2,000 of them. And now the 53-year-old policeman, from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, has been shortlisted for a major award in recognition of his dedication to Scotland’s industrial past. He’s in line for a gong at the 2016 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards in the Investigating and Recording category.

Mark, who runs the Scottish Brick History website, was inspired to start his collection by his dad who worked as a contractor. Over the last four years, he has spent his spare time and holidays rummaging around long abandoned brickworks and derelict industrial sites to recover bricks to add to his collection. He has travelled all over the country in his pursuit of building a national database of all the bricks ever manufactured in Scotland. Mark now knows more about the industry and its manufacturers than just about anyone.

But he says his passion is important, as Scotland was once world renowned for the quality and diversity of its bricks. He said: “I’m delighted and humbled that the much under-appreciated brick is at last finding a little piece of limelight. I believe that all the products manufactured at Scottish brickworks were an integral part of Scotland’s industrial, agricultural and social heritage.” He added: “Brickmaking is a much forgotten part of Scotland’s industrial and social history and all efforts should be made to preserve what we can of what is left.

“Scottish bricks turn up all over the world. Scotland helped build the industrial revolution across the globe. But there is only one brickworks left in the country – there used to be hundreds. I’ve been contacted by six different underwater archaeologists who have found Scottish bricks on shipwrecks off the coast of Australia, Russia and South America. I’ll try to put an age on the date of the bricks, which, in turn, will help identify the shipwrecks.” The awards will be held at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, next month.

Police stopped zombie actors after motorway panic call

Motorway police received a shock after responding to a report of a woman being assaulted on the M62. Officers pulled a vehicle over on Sunday evening to investigate the incident but found two zombies on their way to an acting job.

A concerned passer-by called 999 after seeing a 'man biting a lady and assaulting her'. When patrols pulled the vehicle over near junction 11 at Birchwood/Warrington, officers were left amused by the couple.

The couple were actors and were wearing zombie make-up for extras they were playing. North West Motorway Police tweeted: "report of female being assaulted on M62, vehicle stopped pair of extras making it to a job - posing as Zombies - takes all sorts."

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: “We got a call to reports of a man biting a woman on the M62 at junction 11 and was being assaulted. Officers were sent out to search for the vehicle as it is a serious incident. But when they found the car in question, the saw they were covered in fake blood. Thankfully the man and woman were extras on their way to a job and it was a funny ending really.”