You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – August 2018

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

Boy robbed at lemonade stand; Retailer donates new lawnmower

In North Carolina, deputies are looking for a teenager who they said robbed a 9-year-old’s lemonade stand at gunpoint over the weekend. “I opened the box, he grabbed it, pushed the gun at me and ran away,” victim Mark David said. David, who runs the neighborhood lemonade stand in the traffic circle at the St. Johns community’s front entrance, was robbed on Saturday, police said.

Neighbors said the child has bounced back after the crime though and set up his lemonade stand again on Sunday. His mother always stays on a video chat with him when he’s selling lemonade, and she overheard the robbery. “It’s really terrifying and every parent can relate to that, even if it’s not your own child, your heart hurts and bleeds for that,” Llona said. “I’m often seeing the young man selling organic lemonade,” neighbor Robert Pendleton said.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office told Channel 9 that the stickup happened near a traffic roundabout on Johns Forest Lane in Monroe. “In today’s world, people are very bold,” Union County spokesman Tony Underwood said. “Criminals are very bold. This is a new low.” Deputies said David reported that a male teenager with a camouflage hat and black shirt stuck a black handgun to his stomach, demanded money and then ran away with the boy’s cash box.  Underwood said less than $20 in cash was stolen.

Deputies found a trail of evidence they hope will lead them to the robber. Authorities found a camouflage hat, a black BB handgun and a stolen metal tin in the nearby woods. Deputies believe the suspect left a bicycle in the brush for his getaway. They’re hoping to track him down through surveillance footage and possible DNA and fingerprint tests. “They found the camo hat we believe was worn by the suspect,” Underwood said. “We also found a black-colored handgun we believe was the handgun that was used, turns out it was a BB gun.”

Channel 9 learned the boy was saving his money in order to buy a lawnmower. Mooresville-based Lowe’s heard about the story and donated a new-pony model riding lawnmower to him. “It’s pretty cool what you’re trying to do at such a young age, and tell you what, it’s pretty awesome to be a part of it,” Lowe’s store manager Chris Beatty said.   [Source: WSOC-TV9]

Suspect stole $800 worth of Pop-Tarts, other snacks over last year

A Newport News, Virginia, man has been arrested for allegedly stealing $800 worth of cookies, Pop-Tarts and granola bars.  Antonio Newsome, 31, is charged with embezzlement. Police say he stole the snacks over the last year from the Dan Daniels Distribution Center on Enterprise Drive, off Warwick Boulevard. Police say he was arrested on Monday after a loss prevention associate witnessed him stuffing his pockets with the stolen items.   [Source: ABC8 News]

‘Dumb’ burglary could turn a $24 box of beer into a $2000 problem

The box of beer cost $24 on special – and stealing it could cost an uncle and his nephew at least $2000. Gore farm worker Jason Allan Blondell, 38, and Alexandra farm hand Kelvin Thomas James Blondell, 18, pleaded guilty in the Alexandra District Court on Thursday to burglary charges after they stole a box of beer from the Alexandra Four Square.

The pair committed a “drunk” and “opportunistic” crime, breaking into the store at 1.25am on June 6. Police prosecutor Ian Collin said the pair drove to the store and tried to open the front door. Jason Blondell smashed the door with a piece of metal while Kelvin Blondell kicked the glass out. Once the door was open the younger man entered the chiller while his uncle kept watch outside. They left the building with 24 bottles of beer. The damage and loss of beer cost $2000 – and then there was the cost of the disruption to business, Collin said.

Police executed a search warrant on June 7 and, after initial denials, the pair accepted responsibility, he said. They added they were intoxicated and had no memory of the crime. Counsel for Jason Blondell, Kieran Tohill, said the crime was “hardly a crime-spree”.”It’s an opportunistic, dumb burglary for a box of beer. It is particularly dumb because they didn’t take anything else, simply beer, which in hindsight … they could get on special for $24.”

Judge Thomas Ingram the pair would have to pay back the whole amount, not just the insurance excess sought, he said. “Why should insurance premiums be paying for these clowns? Get your act together boys. This is ridiculous. You better find the money. It is going to cost you heaps.”  The judge convicted the pair and remanded them on bail for a pre-sentence report.    [Source: Stuff.com]

Florida man dumps port-a-potty waste In C-store as revenge

As criminal accusations go, this one is pretty crappy. A Florida man is accused of dumping a bucket containing human feces and urine inside a St. Petersburg 7-Eleven. Damian A. Simms’ alleged act of criminal caca happened early Wednesday, according to The Smoking Gun. He “apparently obtained the waste from a portable toilet,” the site reported. Splattered poop got on a straw hat and a do-rag, with a total estimated value of $28.

The 41-year-old Simms was ID’d by the store manager and recorded on surveillance video, according to the police report. It’s possible the alleged bowel movement bucket dump was an act of revenge: The police report notes that Simms was banned from the store in May. Simms was charged with trespass and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors. As of Friday, he was still in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $300 bond. He has been ordered to stay away from the 7-Eleven and its manager, according to Fox News.     [Source: Huffington Post]

WATCH: Low-speed chase involving motorized shopping cart captured on video

In South Carolina, a slow pursuit outside a Summerville Walmart Wednesday certainly wasn’t your typical police chase. In a video taken of the incident by Daniel Williams and posted on social media, police try to get a man in a motorized cart to stop. The unidentified man, wearing black shorts, a black t-shirt and an aviator cap, appeared to be helping the car along with his feet at one point while officers drive alongside the cart with blue lights flashing. Summerville Police Lt. T.J. Peterson said the man attempted to drive off in the cart but was stopped by police. Peterson says the store’s loss prevention associate told police the store did not want to press charges.   [Source: WTVM9 News] 

Joe Biden’s niece sentenced to 2 years probation for $110K credit card scam

Joe Biden’s niece Caroline Biden has reportedly been sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to running a $110K credit card scam. “I not only acknowledge my conduct and take responsibility but deeply regret the harm caused,” Caroline, 33, told a judge in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday, adding that “nothing like this will ever happen again,” according to Page Six. Caroline’s father is James Biden, the brother of the former vice president.

In June, Caroline pleaded guilty of using a borrowed credit card to open an account at the upscale C.O. Bigelow pharmacy in N.Y.C., according to CBS News. Over the course of one year, Caroline spent $110K without the cardholder’s knowledge. As part of her plea deal, Page Six reported that Caroline’s charge of felony larceny was thrown out, and she was allowed to plead to a lesser charge of petit larceny.

The outlet reported that Caroline had also completed 10 days of community service at a children’s hospital and repaid the stolen money in full, which came out to $110,810.04. “I love the children, and I’m still working with the volunteer service program now and that’s been very fulfilling,” she told the judge. According to the Associated Press, prosecutors said the victim of Caroline’s credit card fraud had given her permission to charge $672 at the drugstore. The Manhattan Supreme Court did not immediately respond to People’s request for comment.    [Source: People]

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