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 V.22 No.25 | June 20 - 26, 2013 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Turkey

Apparently the international community needs to be on alert for cute terrorists. The parents of 9-year-old Emily Harris of South Wales were shocked to find out their daughter had breezed through security at Turkey’s Antalya airport by flashing a toy passport for stuffed animals. Emily’s “passport” features a photo of a stuffed unicorn and came with the animal when it was purchased at a Design-a-Bear Factory store in the U.K. On the personal information page, the bearer is described as a purple unicorn named “Lily.” Turkish security clearly missed those details and gave it their country’s official stamp of approval. “We saw the funny side, and laughed at the fact that the officers had even stamped the passport,” Emily’s mother, Nicky, told Caters News Agency. “But at the same time, it’s a worry to any parent how easy it would be to smuggle a child through customs and into another country.” The Harris family didn’t notice the fake passport was stamped until later. “I didn’t realize until I was putting the passports away,” said Mrs. Harris. “There was a moment of panic when I thought someone would come after us, but nothing.” Harris was surprised security accepted the document, because it “doesn’t even look real—it’s got gold teddy bears on the front.” Worst of all Lily the unicorn didn’t even make the trip to Turkey.

Dateline: England

Police in West Midlands sent a letter of warning to a man about “wasting police time” after he called emergency services to report the prostitute he had hired wasn’t attractive enough. The man telephoned England’s 999 emergency number to complain that his hooker was not as advertised. He insisted the woman was breaching the country’s Sale of Goods Act, established to ensure consumers that goods were of “satisfactory quality” and “match the seller’s descriptions.” The unnamed caller told the emergency operator that the woman “misdescribed herself and misrepresented herself totally. ... Basically she was ugly.” Solihull Police even posted about the call on their Twitter page, saying “Unbelievable ... man just reported a ‘lady of the night’ for breaching Sale of Goods Act with her looks. Sergeant reshaping the man’s attitude.” Sgt. Jerome Moran called the man back and reminded him that soliciting prostitution is illegal. “It was unbelievable,” the sergeant told BBC News. “He genuinely believed he had done nothing wrong and that the woman should have been investigated by police for misrepresentation.”

Dateline: Poland

Police in Strzyszow say a woman has been hospitalized after an anti-aircraft missile from World War II exploded in her kitchen. Investigators initially thought a natural gas cylinder exploded in the home, but it was soon determined that the 56-year-old homeowner had been felled by a 70-year-old bomb. Polskie Radio reported the woman’s husband brought the object home years ago and stored it in a kitchen cupboard. Police say the woman accidentally knocked it over while sweeping the floor, setting it off.

Dateline: Iowa

Iowa City resident Steven Crittenden picked a particularly poor time to play a prank with a firecracker. Crittenden allegedly tossed a lit “silver bomb cracker” into the street at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9. The Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad was just a few blocks away, investigating a potential bomb threat at the US Bank building. After the incident, the 32-year-old Crittenden went back into the Deadwood Tavern, refused to answer police questions and refused a blood alcohol test. He was arrested and charged with a serious misdemeanor charge of reckless use of explosives. “I think it goes without saying that his decision was pretty foolhardy,” Iowa City Police Sgt. Vicki Lalla told the Des Moines Register.

Dateline Louisiana

A woman described by police as “possibly pregnant” was captured on video stealing alcoholic beverages at gunpoint from a Bourbon Street bar. The woman was spotted reaching behind the bar at Rico’s Drunken Burrito and helping herself to a strawberry daiquiri. When confronted by an employee, the woman pulled a silver gun from her handbag and threatened to shoot. She and several people with her were allowed to leave. Police have released the bar’s security camera footage in the hopes that someone can identify the woman, believed to be in her mid-to-late 20s.

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