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News » News Quirks

Reasonable Explanation



Curses, Foiled Again
After Dustin Matthew Marshall, 20, tried on a pair of jeans at a Wal-Mart store in Gallatin, Tenn., and walked out without paying, police identified him because he left his old jeans behind, along with his wallet. (Nashville’s WTVF-TV)

• Police spotted a thief leaving a Wal-Mart store in Alliance, Ohio, and gave chase but lost him. Less than an hour later, dispatchers received a call from a man reporting that a friend called to say he’d been hiding in a dumpster behind a Wal-Mart when a trash truck emptied the dumpster and began compacting him. “He had been compacted several times,” an officer said after police located and rescued suspect James Michael Brienzo, 37. “He was just begging us to empty the truck.” (Cleveland’s WKYC-TV)

Be Seeing You
A British venture is enlisting citizens with laptop computers to monitor closed-circuit surveillance cameras in businesses. Monitors who spot suspicious behavior press notify businesses and send a photo image of the potential crime. Monitors who catch offenders in the act can win up to 1,000 pounds ($1,600) in cash from Internet Eyes, which distributes the streaming footage. The monitors pay a fee to subscribe, must be over 18 and aren’t able to choose which footage they see or view premises in their local area. (Reuters)

Second-Amendment Follies
Sanford Rothman, 63, told police in Boulder, Colo., he woke up to a “bang” and found he’d been shot in the left knee. Noting that Rothman keeps a 9mm handgun near his bed, Sgt. Paul Reichenbach said investigators concluded the wound was accidental and probably occurred while Rothman was sleepwalking. (Boulder Daily Camera)

When Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies responded to a liquor store robbery, the store manager met them and began pointing behind the deputies to indicate the direction the robbers fled. One of the deputies, a trainee, mistook the manager’s index finger for a gun aimed at them and fired eight rounds at the manager. All the shots missed. (Los Angeles Times)

Eighth-Amendment Follies
Jail officials in Bradley County, Tenn., admitted issuing new inmates used underwear. Sheriff’s Department official Bob Gault said the jail’s policy is to issue everything incoming prisoners wear, take it back when they’re released and re-use it. Gault insisted the used underwear is thoroughly washed. (Associated Press)

Revenue Reflections
Owen Sound, Ontario, will receive $12,000 from an agency that is replacing eight mirrors with television screens in some restrooms at a city community center with television screens. The screens display digital ads but use motion detectors to change to mirrors when a person approaches them. “It sounds really weird,” Mayor Ruth Lovell Stanners said after the city council signed the five-year contract with KB Media Inc. (Owen Sound’s The Sun Times)

Sitting Pretty
German scientist Risto Koiva invented the “Intelli Chair,” which warns sitters who’re sitting wrong or have sat for too long. “Four touch-sensitive sensors in the seat of the chair and another four in the back of the chair detect how the user is sitting,” Koiva explained. “The data they collect is sent to a computer via a Bluetooth module.” The chair then alerts the sitter to change position. (Reuters)

Reasonable Explanation
After working as a taxi driver for 17 years, British ex-con John Searl, 74, returned to crime to combat rumors that he was a convicted pedophile. Defending attorney Karen Moxonsmith told Sheffield Magistrates Court that her client deliberately smashed two windows at a residence in Hillsborough so he would be charged and his criminal record read in open court to verify that he had no conviction for sex offenses. “He was so upset by the allegations,” Moxonsmith told district judge Tony Brown, “he thought this was the best way to clear his name.” (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.