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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.22 No.16 | April 18 - 24, 2013

Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O’Leary

Dateline: Germany

A gang of thieves in central Germany landed a sweet score earlier this month, making off with 5 metric tons of Nutella. The treasure trove of chocolate-hazelnut spread was inside a parked trailer at the spa resort town of Bad Hersfeld. Sources estimate upwards of 13,750 jars of Nutella—worth more than $20,000—went missing in the vehicular burglary. Police say several food-based heists have occurred in the area in recent months. The Nutella bandits are suspected of participating in a major energy drink theft several weeks ago.

Dateline: United Arab Emirates

How rich is the UAE? Police in Dubai announced on their Twitter feed that they have added a $400,000 Lamborghini Aventador to their fleet. The vehicle is reportedly capable of speeds up to 349 km/h (216 mph). Despite the increasing number of police chases involving luxury sports cars on the streets of Dubai, deputy police director General Khamis Matter al-Muzaina told Al Jazeera the green-and-white Lamborghini would most likely be dispatched to tourist areas to show, “how classy Dubai is.”

Dateline: Mississippi

Drive-by shootings aren’t uncommon in today’s urban environments, but Tupelo, Miss. now has the distinction of hosting what could be the world’s first drive-by elephant shooting. Police say an unidentified person or persons drove past the BancorpSouth Arena parking lot and fired a gun into the area where animals were being kept for an upcoming circus performance. The incident took place at around 2 a.m. on the morning of April 9. A 39-year-old Asian elephant named Carol traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was struck by a single bullet. Todd Hunt, executive director of the arena where the circus was scheduled to perform April 11 through 14, talked to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and told circus personnel that the city is not typically dangerous for circus elephants. “We want to assure them that Tupelo is safe and that this isn’t normal or tolerated.” A Ringling spokesperson said the elephant is under veterinary care and is expected to make a full recovery. No other animals were injured in the incident.

Dateline: Washington

The only thing a couple in East Wenatchee lost during a home break-in was the world’s worst watchdog. According to a police department spokesperson, 38-year-old Jason L. McDaniel is suspected of breaking into the couple’s home through a basement window on the night of Saturday, April 6. The suspect was still there when the couple got home. “He was standing there with the refrigerator door open and feeding their dog some pudding,” assistant police chief Dan Reierson told The Wenatchee World. McDaniel allegedly told the homeowners he was looking for a person he wanted to kill, but was informed that his intended victim lived someplace else. After spending some time sitting in the couple’s rocking chair, the man decided to make his exit. Before heading out the door, however, he called for the dog—who promptly ditched his owners and left with the burglar. McDaniel was later arrested, but the poorly named dog “Buddy” was not found at McDaniel’s home. Police are asking the public’s help in locating the missing black, lab/pitbull mix.

Dateline: Washington

A Japanese fish, trapped by the 2011 tsunami, survived a two-year, 5,000-mile journey to the Washington coast. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials spotted the striped beakfish in the water-filled bait box of an 18-foot skiff that had washed up near Long Beach, Wash. The officials were collecting samples of marine organisms from the beached vessel, but did not expect to find a full-sized tropical fish living inside. “People are pretty fascinated about seeing this fish and the fact that it came all the way over from Japan in the debris, so it has been a pretty cool event,” Keith Chandler of the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon told Britain’s ITN news. The 4-inch “Tsunami Fish,” which is now housed at the Seaside Aquarium, is believed to have survived by feeding on other organisms in the boat. Four other striped beakfish were found inside the beached skiff, but were “euthanized for study.”

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to devin@alibi.com.