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 V.20 No.36 | September 8 - 14, 2011 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Italy—A group of Franciscan friars are doing the Christian thing and praying to God that a serial thief gets stuck down by diarrhea. Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reports that a group of monks at the 15th-century church of San Salvatore al Monte in Florence became livid when a rare and expensive bible disappeared from the church’s lectern. Sadly, a replacement bible donated by a worshipper also went missing within a few hours of its installation. In a note, pinned up for all worshippers at the church to see, the fed-up friars said they hope the thief will see the error of his ways. If not, the friars added, “We pray to God that the thief is struck by a strong bout of the shits.” Interviewed by the newspaper, one of the friars admitted, “It’s not exactly clean language. But we couldn’t put up with it any longer. The Lord and the faithful will understand.”

Dateline: England—Two employees at a private security firm in the Greater Manchester area were fired after they attached a tracking bracelet to a criminal’s artificial leg. Christopher Lowcock, 29, was ordered by the court to wear an ankle monitor for driving and drug offenses as well as possession of an offensive weapon. According to the Rochdale Observer, Lowcock wrapped his prosthetic limb in a bandage and tricked a worker at the G4S company into attaching the device to the detachable leg. A second G4S officer who later went to check on the equipment at Lowcock’s house also failed to administer the proper tests. Management at the security firm became suspicious last month and returned to Lowcock’s home for a third time—only to find that the man in question had been arrested for driving while banned and driving without insurance and was already back in jail. Turns out, whenever Lowcock wanted to violate his court-ordered curfew, he simply swapped out the leg with the tracking bracelet for a spare. A G4S spokeswoman told reporters, “G4S tags 70,000 subjects a year on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. Given the critical nature of this service we have very strict procedures in place which all of our staff must follow. In this individual’s case, two employees failed to adhere to the correct procedures when installing the tag. Had they done so, they would have identified his prosthetic leg. Failure to follow procedure is a serious disciplinary offense, and the two employees responsible for the installation of the tag have now been dismissed.”

Dateline: Connecticut—A Shelton man got his wish after repeatedly harassing local police over their inability to enforce parking regulations. According to the Hartford Courant, 29-year-old Michael Andes called 911 on Thursday, Aug. 25, at around 2 a.m. and told the dispatcher that he’d just parked illegally in a handicapped spot because police don’t enforce parking laws. Unsatisfied by that interaction, Andes called police 15 more times over the next several minutes and started yelling at the dispatcher about the lack of enforcement. Police eventually located Andes’ vehicle parked, as he had reported, in a handicapped spot. Police say Andes approached the responding officers and started screaming at them. Officers tried to calm Andes, but he kept yelling and then took what police described as “an aggressive stance toward officers.” So they shot him with a Taser and arrested him. Andes was charged with second-degree breach of peace and interfering with an officer. He was also issued a ticket for parking in a handicapped space without a permit. The no-doubt happy Andes is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 6.

Dateline: Minnesota—Two young stepsisters’ brilliant criminal plan fell apart when they took their stolen goat for a walk. The unidentified girls, ages 6 and 7, were wearing pajamas and walking a goat at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, when they were stopped by a Mankato police officer. The officer had been summoned by a 911 call from a worried resident who spotted the girls wandering the streets, animal in tow. The girls told the officer they were simply taking the goat out for a late-night walk, because their mother had purchased it for them two weeks earlier and their father didn’t know about it yet. The officer almost bought their story, until the prepubescent pet owners claimed the goat lived in their bedroom closet. The officer escorted the girls home, where their parents explained that the family had attended a birthday party at the Sibley Park Zoo earlier that day. It was there that the girls apparently became enamored with the goat in question and decided to bust it out. The parents, who were out on the streets looking for their daughters that evening, had no clue how the girls got the goat. “They basically snuck out of the house and went down to Sibley Park,” a police spokesperson told the Mankato Free Press. “I don’t know how they came up with the idea.” The goat was returned to the zoo. The girls were not charged.

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