You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – September 2017

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

LP Worldwide: “Masked” raiders smash and grab an ATM machine with a forklift

Villagers were confronted with “carnage” at their local store after ram raiders destroyed the front of the Earls Colne Co-op and made off with a cash machine.Police are investigating the theft of the ATM machine, which happened at the Earls Colne Co-op village stores, on High Street at around 4.45am. Essex Police said they had received reports that a forklift truck had smashed into the shop before a group of men then stole the cash machine – the only one in the village – and loaded it on to a stolen Mitsubishi Canter flatbed truck. They then drove off at speed in convoy with a black estate car, towards the direction of Halstead. Tracy McGrath, of The Hair Shop opposite the store, said she arrived to find “carnage” this morning.
 She said those living in properties across the road reported seeing “masked” men with a “bulldozer”, who made off after opening the cash machine’s internal safe.She said the machine was last filled with cash on Thursday, but since then it has been temperamental and was failing to dispense cash. “If it was just a system problem, the machine could have been completely full,” she said. “They could have got a lot. There have been loads of these recently, but this one they seem to have done a lot more damage.” An East of England Co-op spokesperson said; “A ram raid incident took place at our Earls Colne Food Store this morning, during which the cash machine was stolen. Despite the damage to the front of the store, we can confirm the building is safe and we plan to reopen it to our members and customers later this afternoon.” Structural engineers are currently working on repairing the damage. [Source: East Anglian Daily News]

Fleeing theft suspect puts toddler inside a passing car; another swallows drugs

Officers were called out about 3 p.m. Monday on reports of a theft at the Fred Meyer store in Oregon. The 9-1-1 caller told police that he saw two stolen leaf blowers in the back of a pickup, and that the suspects were still sitting in the vehicle in the parking lot. One of the suspects, a man, drove off when police arrived. He crashed through some shrubbery on a parking lot divider, took off and jumped out of the pickup while it was still moving.

The pickup crashed into a fence near the NE Halsey Street intersection. Police said a passenger holding a two-year-old child got out, ran from police, and tried to open the doors of passing cars. She eventually opened up a car’s door and “threw the toddler inside,” according to a police report. She then started to hit one of the pursuing officers. Police eventually took both suspects into custody. The man was taken to the hospital because he “swallowed illegal narcotics” before his arrest, police said. The woman was taken to the hospital for a pre-existing condition. The officer who was assaulted by the woman and another officer involved in the chase went to the hospital with minor injuries. The toddler was unhurt in the incident and is now with child protective services. Police will release the names of the suspects and their charges once they’ve been booked into the Multnomah County Jail.   [Source: KATU2 News]

Townsville man bested by cash register in botched robbery attempt [Video]

If you just go by movies made about crime capers and bank robberies, it would be easy to get the impression that a lot of robberies are planned far in advance, with every possible thing that could go wrong thought about and planned for. In actuality, a lot of criminal activity is spontaneous, and incredibly stupid. And sometimes, when it doesn’t go as planned for the crime-doer is very funny, especially when nobody else is involved in the attempt. Take for example this footage released of a robbery attempt in Australia. A man enters a shop with a vague plan. He waits until nobody is behind the counter, runs straight for the cash register and tries to open it. When that fails, he grabs the cash register and tries to run off with it. We don’t want to spoil what happens next, but let’s just say it is a series of misfortunes for him, and a series of laughs for us.  [Source: Pedestrian]

When bank robbers overdraw their luck account

Bank robberies, even the quirky ones, are serious business. People get killed, hurt or emotionally traumatized by these events. And as scary as it is for victims, sometimes the perpetrator’s story is just as sad, even in cases that appear funny at first glance – like this man who robbed a bank in a Captain America T-shirt while his four kids waited in the car outside (he was trying to dodge eviction), or this one who robbed multiple banks on a bicycle but turned out to have an undiagnosed psychiatric condition. Fortunately, some of the weirdest bank robberies are just plain funny at the expense of no one in particular. Go ahead and laugh at these real-life heists gone wrong.

He Thought It Was Funny
Alexander Sperber, a 25-year-old Florida man, decided to kick-start his comedy career by robbing a bank and then running naked down the street throwing the stolen money at bystanders as he passed. He held the tellers at “gunpoint” – and by gunpoint, we mean he made a finger gun with his index finger and thumb and pointed it at bank employees. Sperber made no effort to obscure his identity. A red dye packet planted in the bag of cash handed to him by a teller exploded on his clothing and a clearly visible cast on his arm, making him even more distinct. Police reportedly questioned Sperber’s health, but he was found to be coherent and uninjured, local sources reported. The only thing “crazy” about him was his belief that the stunt would land him on a comedy stage rather than in a prison cell for the next several years.
That’s Not Kosher
Also in Florida, a delivery truck was stolen from a local kosher bakery and deli while its driver was stopped on his delivery route. The van – white, with the word “Bakery” distinctly stamped across the side, was used as a getaway vehicle in a bank robbery later that week. Police found the truck abandoned hours after the incident but did not locate the criminals. [Many More: PYMNTS]

German police seize thousands of “Trump” ecstasy tablets

German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, a haul with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900.) Police in Osnabrueck, in northwestern Germany, say they found the drugs while checking an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway on Saturday. They say the people in the car, a 51-year-old man and his 17-year-old son, told officers they had been in the Netherlands to buy a vehicle but hadn’t succeeded so were returning home. Officers said they found about 5,000 of the orange, Trump-shaped ecstasy tablets along with a large, but unspecified quantity of cash. A judge on Sunday ordered the father and son kept in custody. The car was seized and towed away.   [Source: Dunya News]

Two accused of theft get locked in store, break glass to flee

Police say a Connecticut woman and her 12-year-old daughter were locked inside a convenience store by an employee who suspected them of stealing, and they kicked out the store’s glass doors to escape. The girl is also accused of using a stun gun on the 7-Eleven worker. Police say 41-year-old Bridgeport resident Dorsey Saunders and her daughter were locked in the Fairfield store Sunday night by a clerk who said they stole energy drinks. The Connecticut Post reports they kicked out the glass and ran into the parking lot, where the girl used the stun gun. Saunders and her daughter face several charges, including larceny. The mother was charged with impairing the morals of a minor. Saunders denied stealing and told police she broke the doors because she was scared. [Source: CTpost]

He said he was retrieving stolen watches; then detectives showed him his Snapchat post

There are plenty of dumb criminals in the world, but it takes a special type to post evidence of a crime on social media – and then tell law enforcement he’s secretly working with them when confronted with the photos. Such is the case of Anthony “Peewee” Federico, 21, of Vero Beach, Florida, according to law enforcement. Federico was recently at the home of a woman he knows and asked her to give him some watches she owned, and she declined, according to reports. Federico allegedly posted on Snapchat after that he was “going to break in and steal the watches.”  The victim, thinking that message was odd, saved it, according to Sebastian Daily. She returned home to find her windows smashed and all 16 of her watches gone. They were valued at $3,200.Federico wasn’t done with the social media posts, though. He posted to Snapchat again, this time with a photo of him wearing one of the stolen watches on a chain around his neck, according to the TC Palm. The woman called detectives on her case and sent them the picture. An employee account at the victim’s condo complex and a surveillance video provided more evidence that Federico was the possible thief, so detectives decided to question him, according to the TC Palm. First, Federico claimed he bought the watch that was in his pocket – the same one that he showed around his neck in a Snapchat post, according to his arrest report. When detectives showed him his own Snapchat post, Federico then claimed he was helping law enforcement to retrieve the stolen watches, according to the report. “Upon asking him why he did not call me, the lead agent on the case, since he had one of the watches on his possession … Federico became silent,” the detective said in the report, according to Sebastian Daily. Federico was charged with felony burglary, felony grand theft, misdemeanor criminal mischief, and felony attempted burglary to an occupied dwelling.  [Source: Miami Herald]
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