Dateline: Massachusetts—Police in the Town of Barnstable placed 28-year-old James Hinkley in protective custody last Monday night for public drunkenness. After sobering up in the police station, Hinkley was released on his own recognizance at about 1:30 a.m. that Tuesday morning. He was arrested shortly after leaving, however, because police say he left on a bicycle he stole out of the police station lobby. According to Barnstable police Sgt. Sean Sweeney, some late Christmas donations for the Toys for Tots program were being stored in the station’s lobby. Cape Cod Times reports that police officer Matthew Blondin saw Hinkley help himself to one of the kids’ bikes and ride off. Blondin alerted other officers in the area. Hinkley was soon located and placed back under arrest for larceny.
Dateline: Connecticut—Shortly after breaking into and burglarizing several automotive businesses in Branford around 4 a.m. last Tuesday morning, a pair of thieves became hopelessly lost while making their getaway. No doubt remembering good advice from their mothers, the two pulled over and asked for help—from a uniformed police officer. State trooper Dominic Eula gladly supplied them with directions to nearby Interstate 91, and the pair took off again. Unfortunately, the trooper became suspicious when the car pulled away and he noticed that the license plate was covered by a paper towel. He pulled them over and found flashlight headbands, battery-operated metal cutting saws and eight freshly stolen catalytic converters. Travis McKeaveney, 24, and Ryan Densmore, 23, were arrested and charged with second-degree larceny and possession of burglary tools. “I knew that we had a group of thieves taking these items. I just figured that they may have been a little better organized and more intelligent. Some criminals never cease to amaze me,” Chief John DeCarlo told the New Haven Register.
Dateline: North Carolina—When the counter help at a Cary hot dog stand informed David Kelbaugh that the $1 he had wasn’t enough to buy a hot dog and a soda, Kelbaugh did the only logical thing—he climbed into his car and rammed the hot dog stand. Twice. According to ENCToday.com, the hot dog vendor—whose name was withheld—was treated at a hospital for back injuries. Kelbaugh, 23, was charged last Wednesday with assault with a deadly weapon, property damage, hit and run, and driving while intoxicated. He has since been released on $6,000 bond.
Dateline: Florida—A 92-year-old motorist plowed his vehicle into the front of the Biscuits “N” Gravy and More restaurant in Port Orange early last Wednesday morning. And since he was already there, he sat down and ordered breakfast while police arrived. Investigators think Charles Pierce stepped on the gas instead of the brake while trying to park. Instead of panicking, however, the elderly motorist calmly got out of his sedan, sat down at a table and placed an order. Although damage to the restaurant was estimated at $25,000, city building officials found no structural problems with the restaurant, so it will be allowed to remain open. After breakfast, Pierce was cited for careless driving. No one was injured in the crash.
Dateline: Florida—Undercover detectives in the Florida Keys located and uprooted six large marijuana plants growing in a vacant wooded lot thanks to a citizen’s tip. With no way to trace the ownership of the illegal plants, police in Marathon Key “half-jokingly” left behind a ransom note. “Thanks for the grow! You want them back? Call for the price ... We’ll talk.” Ten minutes after police left the scene, the grower phoned police. “He’s got to win one of America’s dumbest criminal awards,” Col. Rick Ramsay of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told the Miami Herald. Sheriff’s detectives negotiated a $200 “ransom” with 48-year-old Steven Locascio for the return of the six-foot-tall plants. “The plants were worth about $1,000 each,” said Col. Ramsay. “So he probably thought it was a good deal to get them back for only $200.” Detectives loaded the plants into a pickup truck and met with Locascio. After he handed over the $200, they arrested him. In Locascio’s nearby apartment, detectives located another 20 smaller marijuana plants, four pounds of freshly harvested weed and several 80-milligram Oxycontin pills. “If he didn’t show up, there would have been no way to prove who grew the plants,” Ramsay told reporters. “The detectives left the note as a last-ditch effort, thinking he would never call. But sometimes people do stupid things.”