Dateline: England—Villagers in Moelfre on the island of Anglesey in Wales labored for 12 hours to rescue a cat stuck in a charity donation bin—only to find a battery-operated toy. A passerby heard mewing coming from inside the recycled clothing bin and thought a missing pregnant cat named Puss Puss was stuck inside. Locals tried to open the container but were unable to do so because the lock had been tampered with. Firefighters and the RSPCA were called in, but they were unsuccessful in their attempts to open the metal container. In a last-ditch effort, the container was transported 18 miles to an engineering company. Workers there sliced through the container with steel-cutting equipment. “Once we got into the bin, we heard the meow again,” Kelvin Owen, owner of the K Owen engineering company told the U.K.’s Metro. “It sounded just like a cat, and we all started to carefully search the bags. Then I found a bag of toys and picked out a toy cat. I said, ‘It couldn’t be this, could it?’ It wasn’t making any noise and I asked if I could cut it open to investigate. As I held it, it went off: ‘Meow, meow.’ Mystery solved.” Villager Jasmine Hazelhurst, who helped with the “rescue,” admitted to the paper, “I did feel embarrassed when they pulled out the stuffed cat. But I am so proud at the way everyone rallied round to try to save the cat.” Puss Puss, meanwhile, remains at large.
Dateline: Florida—A suspected burglar was busted after inadvertently trying to sell some purloined jewelry to the person he’d just robbed. Olga Vargas was working as the store manager of Garrido Jewelry in Immokalee when 33-year-old Nathaniel Coleman came in with a handful of rings, necklaces and bracelets, which he wanted to pawn. “I waited until he took everything out and that’s when I realized they were my jewelry,” the manager told WINK-11 news. Vargas lives less than 10 minutes from the store and said everything was in order at her house when she left it earlier that morning. After identifying the valuables, Vargas said, “I told him I wasn’t going to give him any money because the jewels were mine.” Vargas locked the store’s front door with a remote switch and telephoned police. According to Vargas, Coleman “started crying and screaming, ‘Don’t call them.’ ” Police later went to Vargas’ house with her husband and found the back door had been broken and “everything in the closet was all over the house.” Coleman is charged with defrauding a pawn broker, dealing in stolen property and grand theft.
Dateline: Pennsylvania—A New York couple has been charged in connection with an epic, three-state, 91-store shoplifting spree. Theresa Lynn Warner and her fiancé, Christopher Frances Dimaio, are charged with theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy after their arrest in Western Pennsylvania. Warner and Dimaio were caught outside a Kmart store in Ross Township where they allegedly stole toys, baseball cards and Christmas items. In the parking lot, police found a van the couple had rented stuffed to the ceiling with more than $35,000 worth of toys. The couple from Little Falls, N.Y., along with Warner’s juvenile son, are believed to have spent a week shoplifting from Wal-Mart, Kmart and Toys“R”Us stores throughout New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The alleged shoplifters even kept track of their merchandise on a nine-page list of stores and addresses. Like Santa Claus, the thieving duo checked their list twice, making double marks on the stores that they hit more than once. Ross Township Sgt. Benjamin Dripps told the Associated Press, “The occasions to have documented evidence presented to us by the actors are few and far between, but we certainly are appreciative of it.” Police say the stolen toys were going to be resold at flea markets. Warner and Dimaio are in jail on a $15,000 bail. Warner’s son, whose age was not released, is being held in a juvenile detention center pending charges.
Dateline: Kansas—A convicted kidnapper is suing his victims for ratting him out to police. Jessie Dimmick of Aurora, Colo., was on the run from police in connection to the September 2009 slaying of a 25-year-old Denver man when he broke into the Kansas home of Jared and Lindsay Rowley. The couple escaped after Dimmick fell asleep on their couch. Dimmick was convicted in May of 2010 of that home invasion and sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison. The Rowleys, who were newlyweds at the time of the kidnapping, sued Dimmick for $75,000 based on the resulting emotional stress. According to a report in Topeka’s Capital-Journal, Dimmick is now countersuing the couple, claiming that they reneged on an “oral contract” to hide him from police. In his handwritten document filed last month, Dimmick said, “As a result of the plaintiffs breech [sic] of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me. The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay.” A Shawnee County judge is considering the Rowleys' motion to dismiss the lawsuit.