You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – April 2017

A collection of odd and whacky news stories that caught the Loss Prevention Media staff's attention

Toronto store not pressing charges after shoplifter breaks arms and legs while fleeing

Police say a man who shoplifted from a convenience store in the downtown core broke his arms and legs after he fell 30 feet while attempting to flee from store staff. According to investigators, shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday, a man stole lottery tickets from the Rabba store near Blue Jays Way and Front Street. When the store employees noticed the theft, police say they gave chase. While attempting to flee, the suspect tried to jump over the railing of a pedestrian bridge near the Rogers Centre but misjudged the height of the bridge and fell 30 feet. The man, who is believed to be in his late 20s, was taken to hospital with broken arms and legs but is expected to survive. When employees learned about the suspect’s injuries, they decided not to press charges, police added. The staff recovered the stolen property.  [Source: CP24 Toronto]

Shoplifter trapped in store after closing calls 911

Ohio police say a suspected shoplifter called 911 for help after she hid in a fitting room at closing time and got locked inside a department store. Brimfield Township police say surveillance video from the incident at a Kohl’s store late last month shows her taking clothing items, then realizing she’s trapped in the store near Kent, roughly 35 miles southeast of Cleveland. Police say officers already were heading to the store when she called 911 because she set off alarms. WJW-TV reports 35-year-old Joanne Havens told police she heard the store-closing announcements and simply didn’t leave in time. But officers say they found stolen items in her purse.  [Source: Napa Valley Register]

GA man arrested for stealing thousands of tons of dirt

A Fayetteville, Georgia, man was arrested for stealing and selling more than 3,000 tons of dirt from a woman’s property in Senoia. Dennis Smith, 65, was arrested after Senoia police said more than 183 dump truck loads of dirt were excavated and stolen from the property without the owner’s knowledge.

Investigators describe Smith as a dirt broker, someone who finds dirt for contractors working in the area. Police said Smith told a contractor he had permission from the landowner to remove dirt from the property. Police said not only was that a lie, but the property owner he identified as giving him permission had been dead since 2015. The owner’s widow now owned the property, a woman in her 80s who knew of no dirt deal. A truckload of dirt holds about 18 tons; multiply that by 183 and that’s enough dirt to cover an entire football field, a foot and a half deep. Police said the contractor who removed the dirt is also an innocent victim in the case. They said he repaired the property to make it look better. Smith was charged with theft by deception and forgery in the first degree. He has since bonded out of the Coweta County Jail. No word on Smith’s next court date.  [Source: Fox5 Atlanta News]

Fraud suspect leaves ID at Verizon store in Michigan, arrested upon return

Deputies responded to the Verizon Store located at 2531 S. Lapeer Road in Orion Township for a fraud complaint.  A subject had been trying to purchase an I-Phone with a fraudulent credit card.  The subject had left the store when the clerk became suspicious and began questioning him about the credit card.  The subject left behind his State of Michigan Personal Identification Card.  When he returned to the store to retrieve his identification card, Deputies were waiting and he was taken into custody.  The subject was found to have two fraudulent credit cards in his possession.  A second subject, who was the driver of the vehicle that was waiting in the parking lot, fled the scene but was stopped by Deputies a short distance away.  A brand new I-Phone was recovered from inside the vehicle.

The two subjects were transported to the substation to speak with Detectives.  The fraudulent credit cards had the suspects name embossed on the front of the card, along with a stolen credit card number.  The investigation revealed that the suspects had purchased the I-Phone recovered from their vehicle at another Verizon Store location using one of the fraudulent credit cards.  Both suspects were lodged at the Oakland County Jail pending charges. The incident remains under investigation.  [Source: Oakland County Times]

Shoplifting suspect stuffed $600 Hennessy bottle down pants

Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying two suspects in connection to shoplifting of an expensive bottle of cognac from a Putnam, Connecticut, liquor store. At 3 p.m. on March 5, a man and woman came into Putnam Spirits at 249 Kennedy Drive, and the man was seen taking a bottle of Hennessy, valued at more than $600, “placing it in his pants and walking out of the store,” police said. He is described as a white male with a darker complexion, who is balding with black hair with a beard and standing 5 foot 10 inches in height. Police say he was wearing pink or red pants and a purple or plum colored jacket. The other suspect is described as a white female with dark hair worn in a bun and glasses, standing 5 feet 6 inches in height. Police say she was wearing a tan winter jacket, green pants and carrying a large tan purse. Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Bernier at the Putnam Police Department at (860) 928-6565.  [Source: The Bulletin]

MA man posts his own bail with a counterfeit bill

When Paul Henry was picked up on a warrant and his bail was set at $40 and arrangements were made to pay it with the $100 bill he had in his wallet when he was arrested. Now he is facing counterfeiting and larceny charges after officials discovered the C-note was apparently fake.

 Henry, 39, of Pittsfield, was pulled over by police Sunday night after allegedly being spotted texting behind the wheel and now also faces charges including a third offense of operating under the influence and drug possession. During booking, Henry was found to have a $100 bill in his wallet, which was documented and put into a property envelope.

Southern Berkshire District Court Clerk Thomas Bartini was the on-call clerk that evening and was contacted to determine Henry’s bail. Bartini said Henry could be released on recognizance after paying $40 bail.

When Henry was released, he asked if someone had come to pay his bail and was reminded of the $100 bill in his property and told arrangements were being made to pay the bail with that. He was given $60 change and released.

The bill was revealed to be counterfeit when an attempt was made to deposit it the next day. Bartini told police, in hindsight, Henry appeared reluctant to use the $100 bill to pay his bail and thought he may have only done so to avoid having to admit it was counterfeit.

Henry was scheduled to be arraigned on those charges of uttering a counterfeit note and larceny under $250, but he was arraigned Monday alongside charges in his new case.

In that incident, officers on patrol pulled over Henry’s vehicle on Wahconah Street before 11 p.m. Sunday night after officers allegedly saw him texting while driving. A check of Henry’s license showed it was suspended and he was taken into custody.
  [Source: The Berkshire Eagle]

Armed robbery suspect forgets to put on mask until after entering store

Police are searching for an armed robbery suspect who failed to put on his mask to cover his face until after he entered a convenience store in Northeast D.C. Police say the suspect entered the 7-Eleven store in the 3700 block of 12th Street at around 7:43 p.m. on March 21 with a gun and demanded the cashier to open the cash register. In the surveillance video from inside the store, the suspect realizes the mask on the top of head is not fully on and he finally pulls it down to cover his face. After the cashier opens the register, the suspect is seen taking the cash before leaving the store and running away from the scene. Anyone with information about the suspect or the robbery is asked to call D.C. police at 202-727-9099 or by text message to 50411.  [Source: Fox5 Atlanta News]

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