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News » News Quirks

Too Big to Prosecute



Curses, Foiled Again
FBI investigators said Lois J. Harvey, 40, handed a hold-up note to a bank teller in Columbus, Ohio, who informed Harvey she couldn’t read it. While trying to explain the note, Harvey noticed an off-duty police officer in full uniform waiting in line behind her. She grabbed the note and hastily left. Informed by the teller what had happened, the officer went after Harvey, who, when caught, tried to eat the note. When the officer arrested her, she coughed it up. (The Columbus Dispatch)

• Authorities identified Joshua Tell Warner, 23, as the man who robbed three Oregon banks after receiving calls pointing out that the suspect was a deckhand on a crab boat who appeared on the television reality show Deadliest Catch. Following his arrest at a traffic stop in East Peoria, Ill., Warner pleaded guilty. (Eugene’s The Register-Guard)

Too Big to Prosecute
After investigators with Canada’s Bank of Montreal assembled more than 35,000 documents pertaining to what could be the biggest mortgage fraud in Canadian history, government authorities told the bank they weren’t interested in pursuing a criminal investigation against more than 300 Albertans, including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, lawyers and at least one member of parliament, whom the bank accused of generating $70 million worth of phony mortgages in one year.

“There just aren’t enough police officers to investigate these crimes,” said Chris Mathers, a corporate crime consultant and former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. “If you double the number of investigators, you will just have double the number of crimes being investigated and still have a whole bunch stacked in a pile and waiting to go.” (Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News)

Little Things Mean a Lot
Authorities arrested Rolando Negrin, 44, a federal security screener at Miami International Airport, who they said beat up a co-worker with an expandable police baton. According to the arrest report, Negrin explained that he endured repeated mocking about the size of his genitals after his Transportation Security Administration colleagues observed his private parts on one of the airport’s full-body imaging machines until “he could not take the jokes any more and lost his mind.” (The Miami Herald)

Tobacco Road
When researchers denounced R.J. Reynolds Tobacco for marketing Camel Orbs, mint- or cinnamon-flavored dissolvable tobacco pellets that they said too closely resemble Tic Tac breath mints and will appeal to children because they can be eaten like candy, Reynolds official David Howard noted, “Virtually every household has products that could be hazardous to children, like cleaning supplies, medicines, health and beauty products, and you compare that to 20 to 25 percent of households that use tobacco products.”

The difference, insisted Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium, “is that kids potentially will be watching grown-ups ingesting these products. The last time I checked, we don’t have adults drinking toilet bowl cleanser in front of their kids.” (The New York Times)

Above and Beyond
Two Japanese police officers spent six evenings in a row hiding in a closet before finally nabbing a 16-year-old boy suspected of stealing 862 yen ($9.72) in Wakayama Prefecture. (Japan Today)

Joseph M. Veladro, 28, spared the world another lawyer by telling police in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that he stole more than $300 in merchandise so he’d be charged with a felony that would keep him from going to law school. (West Palm Beach’s WPTV News)

Irony of the Week
After Wisconsin state troopers needed tire spikes to stop a tractor-trailer whose driver refused to pull over, authorities said the 44-year-old driver appeared to be sleep deprived. His cargo: energy drinks. (Minneapolis’s KMSP-TV News)

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