You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – April 2018

Toothy sketch of burglary suspect draws guffaws

Warwickshire, UK, authorities released a distinctive sketch Tuesday of a burglary suspect, called an EFIT (short for Electronic Facial Identification Technique), created with the help of a computer program. The suspects allegedly tricked their way into a Stratford woman’s home on Feb. 5, posing as housing officials, Warwickshire police said. One of the men distracted the woman while the other one searched the property. Once the woman realized what the men were up to, she ordered them out of her apartment, but they left with the woman’s cash. The tweet of the suspect’s sketch has garnered more than 18,000 retweets. One person compared the perp with a shark from “Finding Nemo.” Another person said the case was closed. Spongebob Squarepants was obviously behind the burglary. A commenter blamed a third character for the crime, the Cheshire cat. A tweet from Warwickshire Police reads simply, “We can confirm that this is real and that we anticipated the attention! But jokes aside, it was created from a description provided and it’s serious as a woman was victim of a horrible crime. Hopefully the attention will mean we identify the offender/bring him to justice quicker.”  [Source: Tucson News Now]

Italian man cleared of eggplant theft after nine-year legal battle

Italy’s highest appeal court acquits man originally jailed for five months after legal wrangle that cost at least €7,000 ($8,600). An Italian man has finally been acquitted of stealing an aubergine (eggplant) nine years after first being charged, ending a legal wrangle that cost taxpayers thousands. The man, then aged 49, had the aubergine in his bucket when police caught him trying to escape through a privately owned field near Lecce, in the southern region of Puglia, in 2009. While being taken away, he pleaded with the police that he had tried to steal it because he was unemployed and desperate to feed his child. However, the courts initially showed no mercy, sentencing him to five months in prison and ordering him to pay a €500 ($615) fine. That punishment was reduced on appeal to two months’ jail and €120 ($148).

The man’s legal counsel was still not satisfied and took the case to the Court of Cassation in Rome, Italy’s highest appeals court, where the defendant was acquitted nearly a decade after he was first arrested. The court criticized the lower courts in Lecce for not taking into account the extreme weakness of the prosecution’s case given the man’s financial situation. La Repubblica quoted the ruling as saying that the man “was definitely acting to satisfy the hunger of his family … there are grounds for justification”. The court also lamented the amount of public money spent on the case, with €7,000-€8,000 ($8,600 – $9,890) going towards legal fees as the man was too poor to pay for his own defense, La Repubblica reported.  [Source: The Guardian]

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Men charged with theft of $12,565 worth of corned beef and canned mackerel

The warehouse manager for 7-Day Supermarket was charged in local court Thursday, accused of stealing $12,565 worth of corned beef and mackerel and giving it to a former employee who was also charged. Edwin Guiao Ocampo, 31, was charged with theft of property held in trust as a second-degree felony, according to a magistrate’s complaint filed in the Superior Court of Guam. Iacinto Namio, 34, was charged with theft of property by receiving as a third-degree felony. According to documents, Guam Police Department officers responded to a complaint from 7-Day Supermarket in Harmon after the owner said one of her warehouse employees told her Ocampo had been stealing from the company. The owner was informed by the employee that he saw Ocampo give 12 cases of corned beef and two cases of canned mackerel to former employee Namio.

The value of the 12 cases of Ox and Palm corned beef is $1,056 and Sunflower brand canned mackerel is $280, the complaint states. The owner decided to install cameras at the rear of the warehouse to monitor the warehouse, and on March 29 saw Namio and Ocampo talking in the warehouse, documents state. The owner conducted an inventory check and determined that 150 cases of Ox and Palm corned beef was missing from the warehouse, the complaint states. Ocampo was later interviewed by police and admitted to giving Namio 10 cases of corned beef and two cases of canned mackerel because Namio had asked him for money, but he didn’t have any to give him. During the interview, Ocampo denied stealing anything more than what he’d given to Namio in March and attempted to explain the missing corned beef was transferred to another store and was unaccounted for, the complaint states. Ocampo wasn’t told what items were allegedly missing, and when asked how he knew what items were missing, he stated several cases of corned beef went missing a couple of months earlier and he was accused of being responsible for the theft, the complaint states. [Source: Pacific Daily News]

Puppy stolen from pet store, stuffed in bag [Viral Video]

A pet store is offering a $500 reward to get a stolen puppy back after it was taken from its playpen and stuffed into a bag. On Wednesday, a couple can be seen on camera allegedly stealing a 12-week-old Yorkie from Perfect Pets in Centennial. “It’s not a TV. It’s not a car even. It’s something that has a little life in it. To take that, it’s so wrong,” says Rose Larsen, whose family owns the store. This is the seventh time a dog has been stolen from the store. The previous six have been returned. The store believes it happens because of a lenient policy they have that allows customers to pick up puppies and play with them at will. “It’s just sad that one person has to ruin the policy for everybody,” adds Larsen. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call investigators at (303) 795-4711. [Source: CBS4 Denver]

Serial shoplifter quickly back in jail for thefts

It didn’t take long – just under 29 hours – for a 46-year-old Columbus, Ohio, woman to find her way back to the county lockup after getting in her latest scrape with local law enforcement authorities. Kimberly Knight was released from the Platte County Detention Facility at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and booked back into jail at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday after being arrested for two counts of felony shoplifting and one count of resisting arrest in connection with thefts at Sapp Bros. Truck Stop and Menards. On Thursday, Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa set Knight’s bond at $250,000, 10 percent allowed for release, during a brief hearing. The judge scheduled the defendant for a felony first appearance hearing on April 11.

The city woman has not yet been formally charged by the county attorney’s office. Knight, who has three open felony cases pending in district court, has had a problem steering clear of trouble with the law during the last year. In Wednesday’s brush with authorities, a Columbus Police investigation was triggered by a report from a Sapp Bros. that Knight and a male friend, 70-year-old Alan Janssen, left the truck stop with some stolen merchandise in the city woman’s purse while driving Janssen’s 1999 Buick Century. According to court documents, officers then located the car in the Menards parking lot, with an officer going inside and locating the suspects near the store’s cashier area. Both were arrested for shoplifting at Sapp Bros., with Knight wearing a pair of black slippers (with the price tag inside) that were stolen from the truck stop. [Source: The Columbus Telegraph]

Woman arrested after stealing from store four times within a week

A woman was arrested after stealing from the same Walmart on four different occasions within the same week. Martha Holmes, 75, was arrested in Florida by the Tallahassee Police Department. On April 1 around 2:50 a.m., officers were called to Walmart on West Tennessee Street in response to Holmes shoplifting. When officers arrived they talked with a loss prevention associate of the store. While the employee was working, he saw Holmes behind the counter where they sell tobacco products. The LP associate was familiar with Holmes from prior incidents of her shoplifting. The associate went to review the security footage, where he saw Holmes putting multiple cartons of cigarettes into her purse. The associate said he immediately contacted law enforcement to report the incident. After looking at the surveillance footage, he saw that Holmes left the store, with the cigarettes still in her purse.  When officers looked at the surveillance footage, it supported everything the LP associate previously told them.  On April 2 around 9:09 p.m., officers were called to Walmart on West Tennessee Str Officers talked with another associate from the store who stated he was on the sales floor when he saw Holmes come into the store. The LP associate said he is familiar with Holmes due to numerous thefts from this location and other Walmart stores, and said he watched Holmes from a distance as she put items from the health and beauty department into her purse.

On April 4 around 4:19 a.m., officers were called back to the same Walmart in regards to another theft by Holmes. The employee told officers that Holmes and her husband had been previously trespassed from the store as well.  When officers arrived, Holmes already left the store and attempts by officers to locate her car were unsuccessful. The associate said he was on the sales floor when he was made aware by other LP associates that Holmes had entered the store. He said he watched Holmes from a distance as she put cigarettes, baby formula, and clothing in her purse. Holmes left the store without paying for the items and got into a car driven by an older male. On April 5 around 3:32 a.m., officers were called back to Walmart in response to Holmes being back on the property. When officers arrived this time, they made contact with her and put her into handcuffs. The LP associate said he saw Holmes take a Mountain Dew from the cooler. The associate stated he called officers as soon as he saw her enter the store. Holmes had the Mountain Dew in her hands when officers stopped her outside of the store. While interviewing with officers, Holmes stated she was at Walmart on April 4 and had “taken” eight bottles of body wash without paying. Holmes denied taking any cigarettes or any other items. As a result of the evidence, Holmes was arrested and charged with three counts of petit theft, one count of grand theft, and violation of probation. She was transported to the Leon County Jail. Her bond has been set at $1,000.   [Source: WTXL26 News]

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