Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

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

A 24-year-old Colombian woman bound for Spain was arrested at Frankfurt airport after allegedly trying to smuggle 1kg (2.2 pounds) of cocaine—inside her breasts. German customs officials said they became suspicious after they found fresh operation scars below the woman’s breasts during a search on Feb. 24. The woman complained of severe pain and admitted to carrying drugs. She was sent to a local hospital where doctors removed two 500-gram lumps of cocaine wrapped in plastic from each of her breasts. “This is the first case in Germany in which drugs have been smuggled in this fashion,” spokesman Hans-Juergen Schmidt told reporters. Officials estimated the street value of the recovered drugs to be about 200,000 euros ($220,000).

Dateline: Alabama

A former security worker at Brink’s armored transport company has been charged with stealing almost $200,000—in quarters. Department of Justice officials announced in a news release earlier this month that 49-year-old Stephen Lancaster Dennis of Harpersville, Ala., is accused of swiping the coins while working as a money processing manager at Brink’s Birmingham branch. “What Mr. Dennis may have thought was a nickel and dime theft was, in the end, the equivalent of a major bank heist,” FBI Special Agent Roger C. Stanton said in the release. Dennis has agreed to plead guilty to the charge of bank theft in the amount of $196,000 and repay Brink’s, which has already reimbursed the coins’ owner, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Dennis’ crime was first exposed back in April of 2014 when a Brink’s audit found four ballistic bags that were supposed to hold $50,000 in coins contained beads and only $1,000 in quarters. The quarters were stacked on top of the beads, so that they would be visible through a plastic window in the neck of each bag. Investigators eventually uncovered $196,000 worth of quarters had been swapped for beads inside Brink’s Federal Reserve Coin Inventory Room. The Department of Justice failed to mention what Dennis did with the 784,000 coins, which would have weighed in at around 9,800 pounds.

Dateline: California

Scooby-Doo, where are you? Police in northern California are searching for the owner of a van painted to look like the “Mystery Machine” from the “Scooby-Doo” cartoons after the vehicle gave them the slip during a high-speed chase. Police in Redding say they are searching for 51-year-old Sharon Kay Turman, who was initially wanted for probation violations. KRCR reports that police spotted Turman’s 1994 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, conspicuously painted blue and green to look like the psychedelic van of cartoon fame. Police say Turman failed to stop for officers, blowing through one red light and showing what police termed “complete disregard for other motorists and their safety.” Police broke off the chase along Interstate 5 after speeds reached in excess of 100 mph. A California Highway patrol helicopter pilot watch Turman abandon the sweet ride in northwestern Tehama County, south of Redding. The vehicle was impounded. Police are still searching for Turman.

Dateline: Virginia

A Franklin County man’s cell phone has been inundated with calls from screaming Wookies after his friends posted his phone number on Craigslist asking for the best Chewbacca impressions. Blake Webb’s friends encouraged people on Craigslist to call the number and impersonate the hairy costar of the
Star Wars films in order to win a $50 prize. The fake contest was set to run through May 4, known internationally as Star Wars Day. Webb spoke to WDBJ-7 about the rash of callers. “Most of the time they would just go, ‘Hey, is this the guy from Craigslist?’ And I was like, ‘What?’” he told the Roanoke station. At that point callers would typically offer their loudest Chewie roar. “They’d be like, ‘Is that good?’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, that was pretty good.’” Webb told the TV station more than 60 people have called him from all over the country. Unfortunately, Webb—who has never actually seen a Star Wars movie—is unable to offer the $50 prize because he recently fathered a child.

Dateline: Michigan

Hell just got cheaper. The unofficial mayor of Hell, Mich., just dropped the price of the five-acre property from $999,666 to a mere $900,000 after it spent a year on the market unsold. “It’s open to any offers,” John Colone told the
Livingston Daily. “We’re willing to work with anyone.” Colone owns several businesses in the unincorporated community in Livingston County, including Hell’s Chapel of Love and Screams Putt-Putt Golf Course. There’s also a gift shop dedicated to selling all kinds of Hell-related merchandise. The community, located 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, has been around since the 1830s.

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

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