Odds & Ends
Police in Tokyo are on the lookout for a thief or thieves who have stolen more than 400 hand straps from public commuter trains in the last few months. Some 200 of the hanging straps went missing from the Odakyu train line in November alone. No passengers have reported witnessing the thefts, but police say the straps were removed along with their belts which indicates the use of some kind of tool to loosen the screws. The most recent theft occurred on the Seibu Ikebukuro line. On the night of Saturday, Jan. 30, the train operator reported the disappearance of 16 straps across two cars. “I have no idea what this person is going to use them for, but it causes trouble for our customers, so I hope this person will stop doing this,” a spokesperson for the Seibu Railway Company—which runs operation in northwest Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture—told The Japan Times. Police speculate the thief may be attempting to sell the handles online. But railway journalist and author Jun Umehara believes it is simply an act of vandalism, writing, “The straps aren’t anything you could gain a huge profit by reselling them, so I believe it is either a prank or this person just wanted to make some noise.”
The UK’s Mirror newspaper reports that a family in Toton, Nottingham, finally located their missing cat who has been gone for 14 months—but the animal is now twice his original size after hiding out in a pet food factory for more than a year. Two-year-old Norwegian Forest cat Clive disappeared from his home in December 2014. Owners Tanya and Jonathan Irons put up posters around their neighborhood and launched an appeal on Facebook, but the pet failed to return. Meanwhile, workers at the Kennelgate Pet Superstore in Stapleford, located two miles from the Irons’ family home, found evidence of a stray cat on the premises. “I’ve been trying to catch him for weeks when I found out we had a cat living in the warehouse,” production supervisor Diane Gaskill told the Mirror. “The warehouse is 20 thousand square foot of pet food,” retail director for the company, Colin Lewis, added. “I think there’s been a few holes in some of the boxes.” Workers finally set a trap for the animal, who was caught earlier this month. He was taken to a local veterinarian, who scanned his microchip and identified him as belonging to the Irons family. “Clive was a bit smelly when they caught him, but he seems fine now,” said Mrs. Irons. “He definitely recognizes us. He’s just fatter now.” The elated owners say they will not be putting Clive on a diet. According to Mrs. Irons, “He’s a bit rounder, but he’s happy.”
Sheriff’s deputies in Allegheny County say 35-year-old Christopher Durkin was arrested after he allegedly tried to sell drugs to a man inside a Pittsburgh traffic court. On Monday, Feb. 1, Durkin appeared in front of District Magistrate James Hanley to face one count of driving under suspension. After his hearing authorities say Durking spoke with an unidentified person in the courtroom’s seating area. According to WPXI-TV a sheriff’s deputy who was inside the room instructed Durkin to leave. After he did, the unidentified man approached the deputy and said Durkin had just offered to sell him Suboxone pills. The man said he did not know Durkin and was uninterested in the merchandise. The sheriff’s deputy followed Durkin into the hallway and promptly arrested him on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
A man known as Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop is in trouble again, accused of first degree assault against police officers—a crime that would go unnoticed if the man who allegedly committed it weren’t named Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop. According to the Tri-City Herald, the 34-year-old Mr. Zopittybop-bop-bop legally changed his name from Jeffrey Drew Wilschke in 2011. Since then, he has had several run-ins with the law—including marijuana and weapons charges—all of which have made headlines. This time he allegedly fought with police after they were called in to investigate a report of someone tearing down fliers from a library entrance. When police confronted Zopittybop-bop-bop he reportedly tried to grab an officer’s gun, bit him on the hand, tried to stab the officer with a pen and swing a handcuff case at his head. According to the police report, he was shot by three different officers with Tasers but twice managed to rip off the electrical wires and keep running. Officers said that punching or striking him with a metal baton appeared to have little effect. He was eventually handcuffed and charged with first-degree assault, malicious mischief and malicious harassment.