Authorities are on the hunt for the Cookie Monster, who is believed to have stolen an antique golden cookie from a famed baking company and is holding it for ransom. German food company Bahlsen said the oversized metal “Leibniz biscuit” was snatched from a statue in front of the company’s headquarters in Hannover, where it has hung since 1913. After the iconic cookie’s disappearance on Jan. 21, company Chairman Werner Bahlsen offered a reward for the cookie’s return, totaling just over $1,300. Two days later, the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper received a letter purporting to be from the thief. Included with the letter was a picture of a person dressed as the “Sesame Street” character Cookie Monster, pretending to take a bite out of the 44-pound Leibniz cookie. The ransom note, made from cutout newspaper clippings, demanded that the company “give biscuits to all the children in Bult Hospital. But those with milk chocolate, not those with dark chocolate and not those without chocolate.” The letter also demanded that the $1,353.90 reward money be donated to a local animal shelter. “This is serious!” warned the ransom note. If Bahlsen fails to deliver on the demands, Cookie Monster warns the golden cookie “will end up with Oscar the Grouch in the trash can.” Investigators are not yet sure if the metal cookie in the photo is the actual metal cookie from Bahlsen. “The ransom note and the photo have been forwarded to criminologists for investigation,” a police spokesperson in Hannover said. As for the Cookie Monster’s demands? “We refuse to be blackmailed,” Chairman Bahlsen said at a news conference.
Authorities in Lincoln shockingly discovered a marijuana-growing operation after a group of teenagers called police to report their marijuana pipes had been stolen. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, officers were called to a house around 4:30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 26. Residents said two strangers, one of them armed with a handgun, broke into the house and took two hookah pipes worth $35. Officers interviewing the residents said they quickly became “evasive and uncooperative.” The officers spotted marijuana, smoking paraphernalia and several bottles of fertilizer lying around the house. They also saw a light shining from under a padlocked door and a power cord snaking into the room. After obtaining a search warrant, police found three marijuana plants, grow lights and other equipment. Police arrested 19-year-old Danar Kawa Hassan on suspicion of manufacturing marijuana and ticketed his roommates for having marijuana paraphernalia. The hookahs have not been recovered.
A man’s flight to freedom was cut short after he decided to celebrate his successful jailbreak by stopping off at a local watering hole to have a beer. Police in Washington County were processing Smith Township resident Timothy Bonner on assault charges when the 40-year-old allegedly knocked the holding cell door off its hinges and escaped from the building. He borrowed a pair of shoes at a nearby residence and made a beeline to Richy’s Bar for refreshments. “He asked me to buy him a beer, so I bought him a beer,” customer Robert Smith told WPXI-11. “He didn’t even get to take a drink of it before they slammed him on the bar.” Before he was re-arrested, Bonner did manage to brag that he had just broken out of jail. “He was only there a few minutes before police showed up,” Smith told the television station. Bonner is now facing additional charges and remains in Washington County Jail on $10,000 bond.
The digital age has claimed another victim. San Francisco’s animal control agency is having trouble offering puppies a place to pee thanks to the downturn in newspaper printing. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the agency relies on newsprint to line its cages, but has seen a shortage lately. Agency supervisor Eric Zuercher told the local newspaper, animal control used to rely on public contributions and donations from the Chronicle. A turn toward online digital media, however, has resulted in a shortage of cage liner. The city’s public library has stepped in to fill the gap by donating its used newspapers twice a month.