Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Canada– A Red Deer man has been jailed after an outraged burglar stumbled across massive amounts of child pornography on his computer and called police. William Mitchell recently pleaded guilty in Red Deer provincial court to charges of possessing child porn. Mitchell was charged in October 2005 after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, acting on an anonymous tip, searched his home. An agreed statement says someone had broken into Mitchell’s residence and taken a video camera. The burglar later contacted police, telling them the camera contained images of child pornography and would be left on the steps of a local church. Police retrieved the camera and soon realized the burglar had videotaped a computer monitor displaying the illegal images. Following the address printed on the burglar’s note, police seized computer equipment containing 13,315 pornographic images. Mitchell will remain in jail until his sentencing. Cpl. Greg Brown of Red Deer RCMP told the Canadian Press that the burglary remains unsolved.

Dateline: Arkansas– Is that a guitar in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Clifton Lovell, owner of the Guitars and Cadillacs music store in De Queen, was tipped off to a shoplifting last week when he noticed a customer limping out of the store with a rather large, guitar-shaped bulge in his pants. “I saw him walking out to his pickup truck and the bulges in his leather jacket,” Lovell told the Texarcana Gazette . “I said, ‘Hey, what have you got there?’” Morgan Conatser, 29, replied “Nothing.” Lovell pointed to the unnatural shapes in Conatser’s jacket and pants and said, “You’ve got something.” Conatser then removed a solid body electric guitar from his pants leg and underneath his jacket. “The neck of the guitar was almost down to his knee and the back of the guitar was almost up to his neck. It wasn’t hard to spot. There was no way he could sit down or get into the pickup,” Lovell said. With his merchandise back, Lovell let the man go and didn’t intend to call the sheriff’s office. Once back inside his store, however, he discovered a wireless sound system was also missing. Deputy Jeff Wahls traced the pickup truck to Conatser’s house, where Conatser went into his bedroom and retrieved the sound system. Conatser was arrested on a charge of theft of property under $500. Since the guitar had already been returned, Conatser was only charged with the theft of the $200 sound system. He was issued a misdemeanor citation and released.

Dateline: California– Investigators from the Rural Crime Task force say they may have cracked a series of nut-nabbings that have cost Sacramento Valley growers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last year and a half. A total of 123,675 pounds of almonds and 13,080 pounds of walnuts worth a total of $403,071 were recovered at a warehouse in Sacramento and a storage facility in West Sacramento. Police believe the nuts were stolen from growers in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties. A man with ties to the nut industry told police he became suspicious of the Sacramento warehouse when he saw a rental truck filled with empty boxes with different company labels backed into the facility. Police have arrested two people: Amrik Singh, 27, and Sukhwinder Grewal, 41. One of the men is the owner of Sona Spice Imports. Investigators said the man sells goods imported from India to stores throughout California. They think he was repackaging the stolen nuts and selling them to the stores as well as exporting them to Canada, India, China and Europe. Investigators said growers in the valley have reported losing more than 640,000 pounds of nuts to theft in the last 18 months alone. More arrests are expected.

Dateline: Colorado– Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men? Not in southwestern Colorado. The Loma Linda homeowner’s association in Pagosa Springs had threatened to fine resident Lisa Jensen every day until she removed a Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace sign. The association in the 200-home subdivision 270 miles southwest of Denver sent a letter to Jensen saying residents were offended by the sign and the board “will not allow signs, flags, etc. that can be considered divisive.” Bob Kearns, president of the homeowners association, said three or four residents complained to him, believing the peace sign to be either an anti-Iraq War protest or a symbol of Satan. Jensen, a past association president, calculated the fines would cost her about $1,000, but refused to remove the wreath until after Christmas. Kearns recently ordered the community’s architectural control committee to require Jensen to remove her wreath. Instead of complying, the three-member committee resigned in protest. The homeowners association has since dropped the fines.

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

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