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 V.16 No.31 | August 2 - 8, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—A prize-winning poodle from North Wales has become the latest victim of online identity theft. Owner Lynne Day posted information about her two-year-old poodle, Afonwen Welch Fusilier, on the Internet. According to the North Wales Post, that information was pilfered by an unknown identity thief. The thief claimed Afonwen Welch Fusilier, known as “Blue” for short, had given birth to puppies. Blue, who won the Midlands Counties Canine Society Show and the North West Poodle Club, is actually male. The mystery seller, who called himself Henry Daf, offered Blue’s nonexistent offspring to potential buyers for 1,000 pounds ($2,000) each. The address Daf gave turned out to be a graveyard in Glasgow. North Wales Police are investigating the scam.

Dateline: Germany—Armed police in the city of Wuppertal surrounded a vehicle after reports of a masked criminal hiding inside. They found, instead, a giant stuffed beaver. The woman who alerted police was apparently returning to her car in an indoor parking garage late at night when she spotted what she thought was a criminal peering through the window of a parked van. England’s Sky News reported that armed officers arrived in three cars and surrounded the van. What they found was a large toy beaver, strapped into the passenger seat. A police spokesperson said he struggled to see how the fuzzy toy, which sported two oversized front teeth, could have been mistaken for a human.

Dateline: Georgia—Three would-be thieves thought it was a good idea to burglarize a K-9 training facility in Gainesville. Turns out it wasn’t. Police dog handlers arrived last Wednesday at the abandoned nursing home where they hold training sessions to discover two men and a woman dismantling the building’s copper pipes and wiring. When the officers arrived, the three dropped their tools and ran. That was also not a good idea. “For anyone to try to run from a whole unit of canines, it’s just a no-win situation,” said Hall County Sgt. Kiley Sargent. Pamela Puckett, 37, Marc Black, 18, and Paul Perry, 39, were quickly apprehended. Perry suffered a superficial dog bite just below the buttocks. Signs outside the northern Georgia facility warn, “Caution!!! Gainesville Police Department K-9 Training Facility—Keep Out.” “It’s not like it was a secret,” Sgt. Sargent told reporters. “I guess someone who is that determined to steal something might not pay attention.”

Dateline: Florida—A 21-year-old Pensacola man was arrested last week, accused of making nearly 300 false 911 calls since July 1. Escambia County deputies arrested Cheveon Alonzo Ford on Tuesday after a 911 call was made about 10 a.m. from a cell phone. Global positioning coordinates were used to track the phone. After he was arrested, Ford told deputies he made the calls because he didn’t have any minutes on his phone and “911 is a free call.” Ford was being held on $50,000 bond at the Escambia County Jail.

Dateline: Oklahoma—Four inmates are accused of exploiting U.S. copyright law in an attempt to escape from prison. The men allegedly copyrighted their own names and then demanded millions of dollars from jail officials for using them without permission. Russell Dean Landers, Clayton Heath Albers, Carl Ervin Batts and Barry Dean Bischof sent demand notices for payment to the warden of the El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma City. According to prosecutors, the men then filed liens against his property and finally hired someone to seize his vehicles, freeze his bank accounts and change the locks on his home. Believing the warden’s property to be impounded, the inmates allegedly said they would not negotiate its return unless they were released from prison. Unfortunately, the person hired by the four inmates turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. An eight-count indictment was unsealed last Tuesday, charging the inmates with conspiring to impede the duties of federal prison officials and mailing threatening communications with the intent to extort.

Dateline: New Mexico—Last Monday, Roswell Honda sent out ads bearing a scratch-off spot to upwards of 50,000 local residents. According to the fine print, one lucky winner would claim a $1,000 grand prize. At around 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, that lucky person showed up to claim the grand prize. A few minutes later, another person arrived at the car dealership with a scratched off ticket proclaiming them the big winner. By the time the third winner showed up, General Manager Jeff Kohn called up the marketing company in charge of the direct mail advertisement in a panic. Turns out a typographical error by Atlanta, Ga.-based Force Events Direct marketing made all 50,000 scratch-off tickets winners of the grand prize. The car dealership was able to stop an estimated 20,000 of the 50,000 mailers from being sent out, leaving something in the neighborhood of 30,000 winners. Representatives from Force Events were expected to arrive in Roswell to sort out the mess. In the meantime, Roswell Honda is taking down the names and addresses of all the winners. “At this point, I don’t know what exactly the company’s solution is going to be,” Kohn told the Roswell Daily Record.

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

 

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