You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – June 2018

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

Dancing FBI agent drops gun during back-flip and shoots man in leg [Viral Video]

An off-duty FBI agent accidentally shot a bystander in the leg when his gun fell from its holster as he cavorted on the dance-floor of a bar in Denver, Colorado, police said. Video widely shared on Twitter shows the agent strutting his stuff and then performing a back-flip. The gun falls to the floor and, as the agent goes to grab it, fires a shot. The fellow customer hit by the bullet was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. It is unclear if the agent, who has not been named, will face charges or disciplinary action.

The video shows that his wild moves on the dance floor had attracted an appreciative crowd at the Mile High Spirits and Distillery bar on Saturday night. But the mood quickly changed when the gun went off. As shocked patrons look on, the agent retrieves his weapon, holds up his hands and leaves the floor. Denver Police Department said the agent “was dancing at a nightclub when his firearm became dislodged from its waistband holster and fell on to the floor. When the agent retrieved his handgun an unintended discharge occurred.” The statement, which did not name the agent, added: “The victim was transported to the hospital with a good prognosis.”

Police are asking witnesses to come forward to help investigators, who are waiting on lab test results to determine “if alcohol was a factor.” Police spokeswoman Marika Putnam said the agent was taken to a police station and later released to an FBI supervisor. The Denver District Attorney’s office said the incident remained under investigation by the Denver Police Homicide Unit. The District Attorney will determine if the agent should be charged with a criminal offense.  [Source: BBC News]

Hoax alert! Starbucks is NOT inviting you to test its shatterproof windows

Need a jolt? Leave the rocks at home, and bring cash instead. These hoaxsters are full of dark caramel whipped cream crappuccino.  Anarchists, you might need a lot of caffeine to stoke your mayhem, but Starbucks is not going to give it to you as a reward for smashing their windows. According to a hoax post that’s been making the rounds on Facebook and anarchist forums such as Nerdica.net, Starbucks is installing new shatterproof windows that scientists have been working on for the past three years. Just try to break the windows with a brick or rock, the hoaxsters are urging people, If you succeed, Starbucks will reward you with a free year of coffee… Or not.

Snopes debunked the beverage fantasy after Starbucks confirmed via email that the meme is pushing fabricated news. The image started circulating last week. As Snopes notes, Starbucks has in the past taken precautions against vandalism at its flagship roastery in Philadelphia, having boarded up its Capitol Hill store and closed multiple stores early in anticipation of annual labor protests. According to the Associated Press, in early May, vandals broke windows and spray-painted walls in nine Starbucks stores in the company’s home city of Seattle. This year marked the anniversary of riotous World Trade Organization protests.  [Source: Naked Security]

Father-Son duo arrested for stealing liquor bottle

A Tallahassee father-son duo was arrested after they were caught on camera stealing a $98 liquor bottle from a local Publix liquor store. David Holmes Sr., 75, was arrested by the Tallahassee Police Department on May 29 and David Holmes Jr., 40, was arrested by TPD on Friday. On April 29, around 3:52 p.m., officers were called to Publix Liquor Store on North Blairstone Road in response to a theft. When officers arrived they made contact with a Publix employee at the liquor store.

While talking with officers, the store manager stated after reviewing the video footage, he could visually identify Holmes Sr. and Jr.  He identified the theft suspect as Holmes Sr. and the theft accomplice as Holmes Jr. He said he is familiar with them as they have committed numerous thefts from Publix stores. While looking at the video footage, officers saw Holmes Jr. walk around the liquor store, take a Patron Silver Tequila bottle, valued at $97.99 and hide it on the back corner of a shelf.

According to the police report, when Holmes Jr. left, his dad entered the store a couple of minutes later with a reusable shopping bag and walked straight to the shelf where his son hid the Patron liquor bottle.  The police report states Holmes Sr. found the liquor bottle and put it into his reusable shopping bag, leaving the store without purchasing the bottle.

Based on the evidence, both are charged with felony petit theft and their bond has been set $2,500. Since June 2005, Holmes Jr. has had eight convictions for theft and is currently on probation as of Sept. 14, 2017.  For Holmes Sr., since August 2016, he has had eight previous convictions for theft and is currently on probation for grand theft as of June 14, 2017. Additionally, both were arrested and charged with dealing in stolen property on Dec. 5, 2017 and that case is still pending.   [Source: WTXL27 News]

Man convicted of million-dollar-fajita theft won’t get new sentencing trial

A former Cameron County employee convicted of stealing $1.2 million over 9 years and was sentenced to 50 years in prison will not get a new sentencing hearing. Attorneys Ed Stapleton and Sara Stapleton-Barrera filed a motion for a new trial based on ineffective assistance and an illegal basis for the sentence on May 11 on behalf of Gilberto Escamilla, 53, who pleaded guilty to theft of more than $250,000 by a public servant and received the five-decade sentence on April 20. Escamilla was arrested last year after a driver from Labatt Food Service in Harlingen called the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center’s kitchen in San Benito to let them know their 800-pound delivery of fajitas arrived. He was in charge of that kitchen, and fajitas are not on the menu at the center. The total value of the fajitas, which were stolen during a nine-year period, was $1,251,578. That figure does not include the brisket, pork chops, sausage and various types of chicken Escamilla also admitted to stealing.

Escamilla, shackled and dressed in an orange county-issued jumpsuit, testified that he believe his attorneys misrepresented him by recommending that he go before visiting state District Judge J. Manuel Bañales rather than a jury. After hours of testimony, Bañales ruled that Escamilla did knowingly agree to plead guilty and that none of his rights were violated when he was given the 50 year sentence.   [Source: The Brownsville Herald]

Fourteen show dogs found safe after being stolen

Police say yesterday dog handler Tony Carter and his assistant stopped at a Redding In ‘N Out Burger to get a bite. He left the engine running to power the air conditioner and left the doors unlocked while they went inside. When they came out the vehicle was gone.

Carter made an emotional plea to get the dogs back. He said: “I don’ t care about the van, I just need help with these animals. These are my client’s dogs. They’re dogs owned by other people.”

Meantime, the theft was the talk of the event at the Woofstock Dog Show in Vallejo. Dog handler Larry Fenner of Sacramento told us, “You’re disappointed that in our day and age people will steal anything.”

 Eva Berg, Secretary of the Contra Costa Kennel Club added: “My guess is the person that stole the van didn’t even realize there were show dogs in there.”

 She may be right. Late this morning, the van was discovered abandoned in a wooded area near Redding. The dogs are said to be okay. When officials at the dog show announced over the public address system that the animals had been discovered there were cheers and even a few tears in the close-knit dog community. Police do have surveillance photos of a possible suspect.   [Source: ABC7 News]

Booze theft: Police look for couple who stole $9,000 worth of alcohol

Police in Nevada are looking for a man who hit the same Sparks grocery store twice this month, stealing nearly $10,000 worth of alcohol. The first theft happened, when the man, wearing a blue collared shirt and tie, rolled a grocery cart full of alcohol out of the Safeway on Vista Boulevard. On Thursday, police said the man returned to the store with a woman and stole another $4,000 worth of booze. A day earlier, police said the same couple stole several items from the Walgreens on Vista Boulevard, before fleeing in an older model light blue sedan, possibly with California plates. Police said the blue sedan fled south on Vista Boulevard, forcing other drivers off the roadway. It was last seen driving west on Interstate 80. Anyone with information is asked to call Spark police at 775.353.2231 or Secret Witness at 775.322.4900.  [Source: Reno Gazette Journal] 

Thief sues after being shot while robbing store

A bumbling Long Island liquor-store thief who got caught stuffing bottles of hooch in his pants, only to be shot by the store’s owner as he tried to get away, wants $2.7 million for his injuries. But Shawn Harris can’t even get the name of the store or the shooter right. In the handwritten lawsuit he filed himself, Harris describes in detail how he and a pal ripped off the store on Newbridge Road in North Bellmore, LI, in August 2016, starting in the “Hennesey [sic] and Patron section.”

Harris “removed 4 bottles of liquor and I put 2 bottles in my pants and walked to pay for the other 2 bottles and [the store owner] asked for I.D. and I told him I need to go to the car and get my I.D. and I went outside and Dropped the 2 Bottles,” he wrote. Harris, who was with two pals, was trying for another two bottles when the store owner — who he names as “Lan Dong Dong” of Grapes & Grains, in Baldwin, LI — followed the three men outside. “We was followed outside and the store owner pulled out a handgun and stated give me the bottles back,” Harris writes in the Brooklyn federal-court lawsuit he filed from his cellphone in the Nassau County Correctional Center.

The owner struggled with the men, trying to grab the keys from their car’s ignition before opening fire. “During this the store owner shoots my friend and he confronted me outside the car and shot me also and I ran off,” Harris writes. “I was shot by Lan Dong Dong in my right shoulder and I did not receive medical treatment because I was scared of Getting Arrested . . . so I did my own medical treatment.” But the theft actually occurred at a store called Newbridge Wine & Liquors, in North Bellmore — not Grapes & Grains, and Lan Dong Dong isn’t the owner who shot Harris, according to reports.“I want to be compusated [sic] 2.7 million dollars for my injuries,” Harris wrote. Dong, who owns Grapes & Grains, had heard of the Newbridge robbery but said his store hadn’t been robbed. “I don’t know how he got my name and store name,” Dong told The Post. One man was arrested at the time of the 2016 incident, while Harris was caught later and pleaded guilty in November to petty larceny. He was sentenced in January to six months in jail.   [Source: New York Post]

 

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