You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – March 2017

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Driver locks thirsty thief in back of beer truck

A man sneaked into the back of a beer truck behind a liquor store in downtown Minneapolis, intent on stealing some of the inventory, but the driver thwarted the thirsty thief and locked the interloper inside until police arrived, authorities said Thursday. Mark D. Erickson, 47, was arrested and jailed Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.

The trouble started brewing for Erickson late Wednesday morning in the alley behind Haskell’s on S. 9th Street just off Nicollet Mall, said store co-owner Beau Farrell. “The driver was walking up the ramp” on the back of the truck and was startled to see a much bigger man inside, Farrell said. “[The driver] jumped down, locked the door and called the police.  “Liquid courage” is how Farrell described the man’s gumption. “If it were me, I would have sat down and had me a cold one.” Farrell said the man had been a regular customer, but now is “in our book of shame” and no longer welcome at Haskell’s. [Source: Star Tribune]

“Supergran” tackles robbers in jewelry heist

The video shows the dramatic moment a 66-year-old New Zealand grandmother tackled two violent robbers carrying out a ram-raid on a jewelry shop. Sandra Bottomley dragged one of the thugs out of the window  display and into the road by his jacket, where he then ran back into the car. She then did the same to his accomplice. Only after both men were back in their car and starting to drive away, along with their third accomplice, did other bystanders in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, come forward to help.

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Yesterday Bottomley, who works at the pharmacy next door to the shop, said: “I just didn’t think and went straight up to them and dragged them both away. “Some people would have run away, but not me … I was just telling them to get out.” Police praised her for slowing the robbers down — but she didn’t feel like a hero when it happened  “I texted my daughters to tell them that their mum was a numpty. I labelled myself a numpty when I realised what I had done.” But her grandchildren, Thomas, 11, and Katie, nine, prefer to call her “supergran”.

“They keep telling me I am supergran — they are very proud of me.” After the raid, Sandra matter-of-factly began tidying up the mess the robbers had left behind. But as she walked home, the enormity of what she had done suddenly hit her. “I was walking home on my own. It hit me, what I had done. I was crying and in shock.” Asked if she would do the same thing again, she said. “I don’t know. It’s just a reaction.” She added: “I always try to do what’s right.”  William Cochrane, 39, his brother Richard Cochrane, 37, and Scott Lister, 30, were jailed for a total of 21 years and three months for the June 2016 robbery.  [Source: New Zealand Herald]

Girl Scouts victimized by counterfeiters during cookie sale

People passing counterfeit bills as the real thing is nothing new and a local Girl Scout troop learned that lesson the hard way Saturday in Ewa Beach. It’s a problem, we’re told, that’s on the rise. The troop is turning this into a learning experience after a customer used two fake $20 bills to buy cookies Saturday morning. “We can’t believe it actually happened. We don’t always realize that there are people out there who want to take advantage of minors and it unfortunately happened to us,” said parent Claire Hellam. “We’ve been doing this for quite a long time so this is the first time its happened. It was a costly lesson for them, that’s for sure.”

At first glance, the bills look real on the front, but flip them over, and you can see some unusual markings on the back edge of the bill. Two of the teenage Girl Scouts in the troop realized the bills were fake shortly after the transaction, but the suspect had already left. The Retail Merchant Association of Hawaii tells us the use of counterfeit currency is seeing another surge on Oahu, so everyone needs to be vigilant “It’s more organized crime,” said Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchant Association. They’ll hit one store, they’ll hit another store, and they’ll just keep going down the line. As printers are getting better with technology, so are the counterfeiters when they’re copying the bills.” If the person has already left, put it in a plastic bag and call police.  [Source: KHON2]

Man exposes self after trying to shoplift at Target

A 38-year-old man has been charged with indecent exposure after allegedly exposing himself while being detained for shoplifting at the West Seattle Target store.

Lydell Coleman has been charged with a felony because he’s been convicted of indecent exposure in the past. An LP associate told authorities he saw Coleman take merchandise from the store that day and head for the exit without paying, according to court records. The associate detained Coleman and walked him back into the store, intending to take him to the loss-prevention office, Seattle police say. When he asked Coleman his name, Coleman allegedly responded. He then, over the guard’s objections, lifted his shirt over his head and pulled his pants down, exposing his genitalia to several Target employees and customers, according to Seattle police reports. Several other workers and surveillance footage verified the employee’s account of events. Coleman remains jailed on $10,000 bail.  [Source: KOMO News]

City police commissioner gets parking ticket, and pays up

In Philadelphia, no one escapes the scrutiny of the parking authority — not even the city’s police commissioner. Commissioner Richard Ross was attending a speaking engagement at a downtown hotel Tuesday morning when he was ticketed for parking in a zone that is off limits during rush hour.Police say he paid the ticket. The amount was not disclosed.

Anyone who parks in the city knows the Philadelphia Parking Authority means business. It’s a reputation that was reinforced when its ticket-writers and booters were featured on the A&E reality TV series “Parking Wars.” [Source: Yakima-Herald]

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