Odds & Ends
Dateline: Japan—A 30-year-old factory worker has pleaded guilty to burning down his family’s home after his mother threw out some of his action figures. Yoshifumi Takabe testified in Kobe District Court in western Japan that he became suicidal after losing several of his toy robots. Yoshifumi described the toys as partners with which he wanted to spend his life, ABC News Australia reports. In retaliation for his mother’s housecleaning, Yoshifumi poured kerosene inside the home and torched it, saying he wanted to die in the fire with his other “precious” robots. According to reports, the bulk of Yoshifumi’s action figure collection consisted of toys from the popular Gundam animated series. The fanboy’s 55-year-old mother told the court she frequently complained to her son that the toys were cluttering the house. She said there were enough to fill 300 boxes. The fire, which was set on Aug. 9 of last year, completely destroyed the family’s two-story wooden house. No one was injured. Presumably, all of Yoshifumi’s Gundam figures were lost in the blaze.
Dateline: Ohio—A drunk and disorderly woman who was in the process of being arrested by Eaton police used her cell phone to call 911 and ask for help—because she was being arrested. WHIO-TV in Dayton reports that Andrea Elliot, 44, called the 911 emergency number while officers were trying to put handcuffs on her. Needless to say, 911 operators didn’t send any police to Elliot’s rescue, as they were already there. Elliot was charged with aggravated disorderly conduct and making a false 911 call.
Dateline: Wisconsin—A family visiting the State Capitol in Madison got lucky after their luggage was stolen—because they accidentally took a picture of the thief. A photograph of John and Catherine Myers and their two children, Charlie and Matilda, posing about 30 feet in front of the State Street entrance to the Capitol building just happened to capture the thief stealing their bag in the background. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Myers family was visiting from Bloomfield, N.J., attending a friend’s wedding at the historic Capitol building. The Myers stopped to pose for a picture in front of the Capitol after leaving the building. Mr. Myers set his Canon PowerShot’s timer, placed the camera on a wall and smiled along with the rest of his family. When he turned around, though, his large shoulder bag was gone. After searching around for the thief, Myers said, “I thought that maybe I caught the person in my shot, and when I checked, there he was.” The family portrait clearly showed a photobombing burglar in dark blue denim shorts and a dark T-shirt going though the family’s bag. Myers went back inside and showed his digital photo to Capitol Police. Surprisingly, they recognized the man in the photo as an area homeless person. “They were amazing,” Myers said. “They located the guy. He was still carrying the bag.” The man, identified as 59-year-old Glenn R. Lambright, was arrested on charges of misdemeanor theft.
Dateline: Washington—A pair of suspects in a rural Washington break-in proved easy to identify. The two left behind a video of themselves having sex inside the home. The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor who came to collect the mail while the homeowner was away surprised a man and a woman having sex on the living room floor. The naked couple fled, abandoning a video camera they were using to film their illicit lovemaking. Chief Deputy Dave Pimentel told KXRO-AM that the video camera had been stolen elsewhere. Deputies who watched the video recognized the couple from previous contacts. The 39-year-old female was promptly arrested for investigation of burglary. An arrest warrant has been issued for the 31-year-old male.
Dateline: Oregon—Two shoplifters picked the wrong day to commit a crime. They’re accused of stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of items from a Fred Meyer superstore in Portland during the annual “Shop With a Cop” back-to-school event. More than 60 uniformed officers—from assistant chiefs and commanders to patrol officers and traffic cops—were inside the store at the time, helping about 160 children pick out clothing and school supplies for the upcoming school year. Apparently, Shane Alexander, 20, of Hillsboro, and Jason Vantress, 30, of Southeast Portland, thought this would be the perfect time to do some shopping of their own. “Two guys came in and were picking through goods, cutting tags off and loading up their backpacks with blenders, shoes, clothes and tools,” police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told The Oregonian newspaper. Two Portland officers helped arrest the conspicuous duo, who were carted away in handcuffs. “Common sense didn’t play into their decision-making today,” Simpson added. “As is so often the occasion with crooks, they think they’re smarter than the average bear, and they’re not.”