Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: England

A serial burglar was arrested for breaking into a house—while wearing a satellite tag that tracked his every movement. Police in the town of Maidstone were able to place 23-year-old Jason Farmer at the scene of the crime thanks to the GPS bracelet he was wearing. Farmer has a long history of burglaries, and even volunteered to wear the tracking bracelet after being let out of jail in August. But in the early morning hours of Dec. 23, Farmer broke into a house in Maidstone—located 23 miles southeast of London—and stole two laptops worth about $1,500. Prosecutor Bridget Todd said in Maidstone Crown Court that Farmer’s tracker shows he left his home at 2:38am on the night in question and entered the garden of the burgled home at 3:09am. When police arrested him, less than four hours after the crime, Farmer still had the two laptops. According to the UK’s
Mirror newspaper, Farmer has numerous convictions, including eight for home burglary. Farmer’s laywer, Philip Sinclair, said he had no explanation for his client’s dumb move. “He made himself available for satellite tracking with a Buddy Tag,” said Sinclair. “He knew if he re-offended he would be caught. He went out in the middle of the night and committed the offense. He has committed a burglary knowing he would be caught. He is not giving me any clue as to why he keeps re-offending.” Farmer pled guilty in court in January and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years.

Dateline: Brazil

Police in Sao Paulo raided a warehouse looking for stolen cars and cargo, and ended up finding two full-sized tanks. The unusual discovery took place in Sacoma, a low-income neighborhood in Sao Paulo. “It is unusual, to say the least, that police officers searching for stolen goods and cars, instead find two tanks,” Police Lt. Andrei do Carno told the Globo TV network. Inside the warehouse officers recovered 500 television sets, car parts, a recently stolen semitrailer truck—and the tanks. The Brazilian army said in a statement that the two tanks had been auctioned off “without weapons or engines because they no longer had any use.” The tanks were evidently manufactured by Brazilian armored vehicle manufacturer Engesa. Police said they are investigating who placed the winning bid in the auction. The warehouse’s caretaker was taken into custody.

Dateline: Washington

Cable provider Comcast seems to be doing everything in its power to cement its reputation as the worst company in America. Lisa Brown of Spokane recently tried to have her cable services terminated and ended up having her husband’s name changed from Ricardo to “Asshole” on company billing. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliot wrote on his Elliot.org website that Mrs. Brown called the company to cancel the cable portion of her family’s bill to save money. After talking to the customer service representative for some time, Brown was transferred to a “retention specialist,” who refused to let Brown go and even tried to talk her into signing a new contract. “I was never rude,” Brown told Elliot. “It could have been that person was upset because I didn’t take the offer.” When the next bill came, Ricardo Brown’s name had been changed to “Asshole Brown.” Follow-up calls to Comcast and even a visit to a local Comcast office couldn’t get the name changed back. Of course things changed once the national press got hold of the story. “We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change,” a Comcast spokesperson said via email to
The Huffington Post. “We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened.” Comcast has since said it will give the Brown family a full refund for their two years of service and add another two years of service for free. So … still not canceled. Sneaky bastards.

Dateline: Houston

Two alleged burglars were arrested after stealing an iPad and then accidentally uploading a string of selfies to the owner’s iCloud account. Police in Houston have arrested Dorian Walker-Gaines and Dillan Thompson after pictures of them grinning and holding $100 bills showed up on 38-year-old Randy Schaefer’s iCloud photo account. Schaefer, who had an iPad, other electronics and several thousand dollars in cash stolen from a truck parked in his driveway on Jan. 8, spotted the photos and posted them to social media. The alleged thieves also filmed a video bragging about the theft and identifying themselves as “Dorian” and “Dylan.” Some of the victim’s stolen items were found dumped behind a Starbucks. Schaefer believes his iPad connected to the Starbucks Wi-Fi and automatically synced the criminal selfies to his iCloud account. Shortly after the images were posted online, police were able to identify the suspects. Walker-Gaines and Thompson were arrested on theft charges on Jan. 21.

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

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