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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – November 2016

Suspect Takes Century-Old Scepter from Cathedral

Police are searching for a suspect they say walked out of a cathedral in Brooklyn with a 4-foot tall gold scepter. Surveillance video shows the suspect walking out of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Sheepshead Bay, New York, last week. It shows him trying to conceal the religious artifact under a knee-length jacket.

WCBS-TV  reports the object is more than a century old. Police say the suspect also stole another artifact and $30 in cash. Police say the items were found at the top of a stairwell by the superintendent of a nearby building, and have been returned. Church leaders say they haven’t had the scepter appraised. [Source: Yakima Herald]

Shoplifting Suspect Leaves Business Card, Posts Stolen Necklace on Facebook

If there was a book about how not to get about with shoplifting, police in Albuquerque, New Mexico say suspect Matthew Crowder should write it. “This guy’s a goofball; I can’t believe it,” Albuquerque Police Department Public Information Officer Simon Drobik says.  “Well, I guess I can believe it. These guys are dumb.”Police say Crowder was caught on surveillance video at a local consignment shop, stealing a necklace.

“We didn’t have to call Columbo in on this one because this guy left his name with his business card after he shoplifted, trying to pick up on the girl he shoplifted from,” Drobik said. “We looked him up on Facebook and sure enough, he had posted the stolen necklace an hour or two later,” said Jasmine Baillio, who owns the consignment shop where Crowder allegedly took the necklace.  [Source: WCNC.com]

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New Frontiers in Law: Mass Theft of Cockroaches

A cockroach may have no inherent value, but what if an employee steals 2 million of them to start a competing business? That’s the claim in a lawsuit in Northern California, which also seeks damages for the value of the roach droppings.

Robert Riesenman raises and sells Blaptica dubia cockroaches to feed his bearded dragon lizards. As any cockroach rancher will tell you, probably, Blaptica dubia “are generally accepted in the reptile raising and breeding industry as better feeders for reptiles than other insects, such as crickets or mealworms.” Reisenman makes the distinction in his lawsuit, filed on Oct. 25 in El Dorado County Court. Customers can by Riesenman’s roaches online from his website dubideli.com. “In the dubia roach industry,” the complaint states, “a customer ordinarily patronizes only one seller, and established business relations between customers and sellers normally continue unless interfered with.

“The lead defendant to Reisenman’s suit is his former longtime friend and employee John Baser. Basers’ wife and her son, as well as another former Dubi Deli employee, are also named as defendants, accused of misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, wrongful detention of personal property and unfair business practices. The trade secrets are Reisenman’s superior colony design and efficient breeding techniques that allow him to fill large orders quickly, plus his high-protein recipe for Roach Chow, which helps the little critters grow.
 “Our customers are hobbyists, reptile breeders, resellers, zoos and pet shops,” Riesenman said in an email forwarded by his attorney. He said the Blaptica dubia originated in South America.  Riesenman claims that John Baser worked for him for eight years, than asked to be gifted a 50 percent ownership interest in the business. When Riesenman refused, he says Baser and his wife were upset enough to start a competing business. In two months, according to the complaint, the Basers, her son and another employee stole more than 2 two million roaches, Dubi Deli’s confidential customer list, the secret “Roach Chow” formula and 2 tons of agriculturally marketable roach droppings. They set up a competing website, announcing a launch date of Jan. 1, 2017, for their new business, Roach King, according to the complaint.[Source: The  Courthouse News]

Shizuoka Cops Investigating Shoplifting Case Find Corpse in Residence of Suspect

Shizuoka Prefectural Police have arrested a 61-year-old woman after a corpse likely belonging to her husband was found in her residence in Hamamatsu City, reports TV Asahi. On Saturday morning, officers investigating Yumiko Igarashi in a shoplifting case noticed an offensive smell in her residence, located in Hamakita Ward. A search of the premises revealed a decayed corpse beneath a cover in the bathtub. According to police, the person has likely been dead for several months. Igarashi, who has been charged with abandoning a corpse, says that the body is that of her husband, aged in his 60s, who also lives in the residence. “Around June, I found that he died and left his body as is,” she is quoted by the Hamakita Police Station, according to Sports Nippon. The day before the discovery of the body, officers arrested Igarashi for stealing from a supermarket. Police are now working to confirm the identity of the body.   [Source: Tokyo Reporter]

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Attorney Drops Lawsuit over Choking on Popeye’s Chicken

A Mississippi attorney has dropped his lawsuit against Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen after he says he choked on a piece of chicken when the fast-food restaurant failed to provide him a knife in the drive-thru.Paul Newton Jr. of Gulfport tells The Sun Herald Thursday that he decided not to pursue the matter further citing “extreme comments” directed at his family. Newton said the only utensil he was given last November at the Gulfport restaurant was a spork. The lawsuit said that because Newton didn’t receive a plastic knife, his only option was to hold the piece of chicken with his hands and tear off pieces with his teeth, causing him to choke.

The lawsuit said Newton underwent emergency surgery to remove the piece of chicken from his throat. “I continue to believe that the facts demonstrate an unsafe condition to the public that could easily be solved by the responsible parties at very little cost,” Newton said in a statement sent to the newspaper. “I am hopeful that my filing of the court proceeding results in such remedial actions. However, due to extreme comments directed to me and my family, I have determined not to pursue this matter further.”

Along with knives for all drive-thru customers’ orders, Newton also sought financial compensation and punitive damages from several defendants. Renee Kopkowski, Popeyes’ vice president of Brand Communications, said in an email that the company doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation. [Source: The Sun Herald]

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