Alibi V.16 No.35 • Aug 30-Sept 5, 2007 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: Japan—A man armed with a knife tried unsuccessfully to upgrade his weapon of choice last week, using the blade to steal a gun. The unnamed man, armed with a 6-inch knife, pushed his way to the traffic department counter inside a police station in Kunugiyama, Toyama Prefecture, last Wednesday morning and demanded to be given a pistol, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports. Officers were able to convince the man to put down the knife and then overpowered him. The suspect, who was later found to be a 28-year-old local farmer, was arrested for attempted burglary. Police are investigating his motive.

Dateline: Japan—A biker failed to notice that his leg had been severed below the knee after he smashed into a safety barrier and continued to ride for another mile or so, leaving a friend to pick up the severed limb. The 54-year-old office worker was out on his motorcycle with a group of friends in the city of Hamamatsu, west of Tokyo, when he failed to properly negotiate a curve in the road and bumped into a central barrier, the Mainichi Shimbun reported. He felt excruciating pain, but did not notice that his right leg was missing until he stopped at the next junction, the local police said. The man and his leg were eventually taken to a hospital, but the limb had been crushed and could not be reattached.

Dateline: England—A robber who held up a British betting parlor with his girlfriend’s sex toy was sentenced to five years in prison last Monday. Nicki Jex, 27, concealed his partner’s “Rampant Rabbit” vibrator in a plastic bag and used it to stick up the Ladbrokes shop in Leicester, east central England, on Dec. 27 of last year. The city’s crown court was told that Jex pointed the sex aid at a cashier and forced her to hand over more than 600 pounds ($1,100) in cash. “He had some of his girlfriend’s items and has taken the final step towards self-destruction,” said barrister Phil Gibbs concerning his client, an avowed drug abuser. “One can be thankful that the item he had wasn’t a firearm.” In sentencing Jex, Judge Philip Head noted, “It’s right to record that you did not have a firearm, but you pretended you had and intended that those you confronted believed you did.” Jex pleaded guilty to the robbery, which was captured on the shop’s closed circuit television cameras.

Dateline: Scotland—A performing dwarf in the “Circus of Horrors” brought the show to a standstill by accidentally gluing his penis to a vacuum cleaner. Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf, 42, has been pulling the vacuum cleaner across the stage with his famed member at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a three-week celebration of offbeat art and culture. An attachment came loose before a recent performance, though, and Captain Dan tried to reattach it with superglue. He left it to dry for 20 seconds—far shorter than the suggested 20 minutes. As a result, the item in question became permanently fixed in place when it was tested. “It was the most embarrassing moment of my life,” explained the Demon Dwarf. “When I got wheeled into a packed A&E [accident and emergency department] on a wheelchair with a Hoover attached to my willie.” Staff at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh managed to remove the attachment after an hour.

Dateline: Liberia—Authorities in Liberia thought they had foiled an incipient coup attempt by discovering a large cache of guns and ammunition. Unfortunately, what they found was a pile of scrap metal destined for recycling. The supposed weapons cache was discovered during a raid last Sunday on an unfinished building in a town on the road to Ivory Coast. Initial reports linked the discovery to a scheme to smuggle weapons into the African coastal nation. Liberian police and soldiers from the U.N. peacekeeping force carried out the raid, which police officials initially said had unearthed mostly new AK-47 machinegun ammo. “The fact of the matter is those items were just empty shells,” Liberia’s presidential press secretary Cyrus Badio told Reuters news service. “The person in question is a scrap dealer.” Gbarnga, where the discovery was made, served as the headquarters of the main rebel group during a 14-year civil war in Liberia, which ended in 2003.

Dateline: Michigan—A high-tech thief thought he had come up with the perfect crime, installing his own camera in an ATM to record credit card and debit card numbers. Unfortunately, all the thief captured was his own image. “He’s not a stupid individual to put on this type of scam, but his blunder by keeping the camera on will help us locate him and arrest him,” Sterling Heights police Lt. Michael Reese told the Detroit Free Press last Tuesday. A bank customer spotted the recording device and reported it to authorities. None of the suburban Detroit bank’s customers who used the machine have reported any losses, but police do have a clear picture of the enterprising bandit who installed the camera. He is described as a white male between 47 and 55 with white and gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to