You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – October 2018

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

Police recover almost $25,000 in stolen Patron tequila

An undocumented immigrant allegedly linked to a cargo theft investigation that has yielded almost $25,000 worth of stolen tequila was arrested. Police in Laredo, Texas, received a report September 19. stating that a pallet containing 1,014 bottles of Patrón tequila was stolen from inside a trailer.

The case was assigned to the Laredo Police Department auto theft task force. The task force conducted surveillance after a man began advertising on social media that he had large quantities of Patrón for sale, police said.
 They investigated a sale of tequila and tracked suspects in the case back to a residence, where police initiated a search. Authorities continued their surveillance and conducted a traffic stop on a suspect vehicle, which led them to an apartment.

Authorities said they found several cases of tequila at each residence. They recovered 29 cases of Roca Silver worth $11,310, 17 cases of Gran Patrón worth $8,619 and nine cases of mini Patrón tequila bottles worth $4,860. Police said they also found a .357-caliber revolver inside the residence. After the gun was discovered, Laredo police alerted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Manuel Alejandro Martinez Fernandez, 31, was the owner of the firearm, police said. He was in the country illegally and was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by an undocumented immigrant.
 More charges and arrests are pending.   [Source: KCCI8 News]

WATCH: Puppies stolen; store owner fears for their safety

Two puppies stolen early Friday in a smash-and-grab robbery at a Las Vegas pet store could die if they aren’t fed properly, the owner said. “They’re both just babies,” Petland owner Jeff Faussett said late Friday morning of the stolen 2-month-old Pomeranian and slightly older German shepherd puppy. “Somebody that just takes them doesn’t understand that and puts the life of the dogs at risk.”

Surveillance footage provided to the Las Vegas Review-Journal of the pet store at 8880 W. Charleston Blvd., in the Boca Park shopping mall, shows a man breaking the glass of the front door with a skateboard at 6:39 a.m. He was last seen on the footage a minute later, fleeing out the front door and holding the skateboard and both puppies in his arms.

Faussett said the suspect cut himself on a piece of glass, leaving behind “a pool of blood next to the door.” A dog kennel technician was inside the store at the time of the burglary. The woman ultimately ran and locked herself in a bathroom after the suspect told her to stay out of his way, according to Fausett. She was not injured, according to Las Vegas police.

The missing Pomeranian puppy weighs just 2 pounds and “needs nutrition every two hours,” Faussett said, otherwise the puppy will go into hypoglycemic shock “and will die very quickly.” “We just want them back, or to at least know they’re safe,” he said. The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the theft.   [Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Drunken teen tries to bribe deputy to fix things

A Michigan teenager in Isabella Township was arrested Saturday after returning drunk to a gas station where he’d earlier shoplifted and then trying to bribe a sheriff’s deputy to make it all go away. Deputies were called just before midnight when the 16-year-old returned to a gas station/convenience store in Rosebush after earlier stealing items, said Sheriff Micheal Main.

“The youth admitted to driving the vehicle to the station but would not say anything about the earlier retail fraud,” Main said. While talking to a deputy, the teen offered multiple times to pay him to forget the whole thing.

“During the investigation the young man offered money to the deputy several times to make the matter go away,” Main said. The teen was arrested for drunken driving, retail fraud and bribery and taken to a juvenile detention facility pending further court action.    [Source: Morning Sun]

Man paid court fines using stolen credit card info

An Illinois man accused of using stolen credit card information to pay his court fines and those of several other people has been arrested on a felony identity theft charge, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office said. Brenton Thurman, 28, of the 0 to 100 block of Olesen Drive, made multiple payments to the DuPage County Clerk’s Office in March using stolen credit card and bank information, a state’s attorney’s office news release said. The payments added up to about $6,000, the release said.

Thurman also used the stolen information to pay the fines and fees of other people, keeping the cash they’d given him to pay their court debts, the release said. The clerk’s office discovered the fraud and notified the state’s attorney’s office. DuPage County Judge Joshua Dieden set Thurman’s bond at $100,000, and required that Thurman show that any money used for bail was not illegally obtained, the release said.

“The behavior alleged against Mr. Thurman is outrageous and, if proven guilty, will not go unpunished,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “In addition to allegedly victimizing several individuals, Mr. Thurman allegedly attempted to defraud our system of justice all while lining his pockets at the expense of others.”  Thurman’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 29.   Source: [Chicago Tribune]

Mosquitoes force robbery suspect to surrender

A Wisconsin robbery suspect reportedly surrendered to police after he couldn’t take mosquitoes biting at him anymore. John Wilson allegedly led Campbellsport police officers on a chase Tuesday as he drove another suspect, who has not yet been arrested, away from a store he had just robbed, WDJT-TV reported.

Authorities reportedly followed Wilson as part of a high-speed chase, before Wilson got out of the car and fled on foot. The area was flooded with mosquitoes — so much so that Chief Thomas Dornbrook said when sheriff’s office officials arrived, he immediately asked for bug spray. “That’s the first thing I asked for, if he could give me some spray because it was crazy,” Dornbrook told the news station.

Nearly an hour later, Wilson turned himself in to police because he could no longer endure the mosquitoes nipping at his skin. “When we handcuffed him he asked us to wipe his forehead because he had 15-20 mosquitoes on his forehead at that time,” the police chief said.

“I think if it weren’t for the mosquitoes he would have kept walking and trying to get a ride from someone,” Dornbrook said. “I tease Sergeant Zitlow, he along with a million mosquitoes helped capture the guy.” Wilson was reportedly charged with fleeing officers, retail theft and obstructing an officer. [Source: Fox News]

Los Angeles has its 1st electric scooter DUI prosecution

A Los Angeles man has been fined $550 and ordered to pay restitution for riding an electric scooter while intoxicated and knocking over a 64-year-old pedestrian on a sidewalk. The City Attorney’s Office said the prosecution of 28-year-old Nicholas Kauffroath was the first motorized scooter driving under the influence legal case with a charge in Los Angeles.

The office says in a statement that Kauffroath on Aug. 4 had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the limit while operating a Bird scooter. The pedestrian was knocked down leaving a theater and suffered a knee abrasion while the rider continued on. Kauffroath pleaded no contest to operating a motorized scooter under the influence and hit-and-run. He was placed on 36 months of probation and must complete a DUI program.   [Source: Dunyanews]

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