-- The Futile (and Dangerous) Getaway
If the cops are coming, you look for the most efficient escape route. But being intense about avoiding arrest on a relatively minor charge (here, possession of a stolen credit card) put Christopher Bobby, 25, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, in even more peril. He estimated that his best escape route at 1:30 a.m. was the Red River. He leaped from the squad car, tore his clothes off and jumped in. The water was quite cold (October), and he was somewhat inebriated to begin with, and after a few minutes, reached the admirable conclusion that his safest bet was to swim back to the cops waiting on the shore.
[National Post-CP, 10-18- 99]
-- Taking Your Wallet with You
It could be the cardinal notion of robbery: You won't have occasion for your wallet while you're robbing the bank or the convenience store, so why take it? (What -- you think you'll need to buy something during the heist?) But hardly a month goes by without one such report. Abdullah Yuzon, 29, was arrested in New Britain, Pa., in August after leaving his wallet (with photo ID, no less) in the Wawa store he had just robbed.
[McDonald County (Mo.) Press-AP, 8-25-99]
-- When "Breaking and Entering" Becomes "Breaking and Staying There"
In 2000, many burglars will go to some trouble to get into buildings they don't belong in by coming through an outside vent, certain that it will be easy enough to traverse the length of the vent and plop down inside. Almost as many will get stuck in the vent and still be there when the cops arrive. Just one of the many recent ones was the guy who was discovered in an overhead vent at Ruby's Pizzeria in Deerfield Beach, Fla., in September. Furthermore, when the cops arrived, he thought he'd beat the rap by just refusing to come down, but cops went to the roof and poured grease down the vent until he slid down enough that they could pull him out.
[National Post, 9-9-99]
-- The Bank Robber With Bad Handwriting
In the movie "Take the Money and Run," Woody Allen got great mileage out of the robber embroiled in a dispute with the teller over whether his note read "I have a gun" or "I have a gub." Life imitates art. A robber walked into a National Bank of Canada in Pickering, Ontario, in September and presented his note, and a teller responded by giving him a single $50 bill, whereupon our guy said that wasn't what the note demanded, so he walked out. He did the same thing two more times that day and as far as we know, his bank-robbery income is still zero. We still don't know what the note actually said.
[Toronto Sun, 9-15-99]
-- The Lost Art of Checking Out Your Target
Two teen-age boys, ages 17 and 18, were arrested in Farmington Hills, Mich., in October after trying to open a nondescript car parked along Nine Mile-Haggerty Road, allegedly looking for easy ones to break into. They failed to notice there was a man inside. (How could they miss that? He happened to be an undercover officer so he wasn't in uniform, but they didn't even see the guy at all.) I imagine cops fantasize about just sitting around and having criminals walk right up to them, all fresh and ready to arrest.
[Detroit News, 10-21-99]
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or Weird@compuserve.com, or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com/.)