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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – November 2018

Pizza orders lead police to 122 counts of various frauds

A Bethlehem, PA, man’s pizza orders using stolen credit cards led investigators to an insurance scam that netted him money for rent, a BMW and expensive electronics, according to city police. Hector Medina Rivera, 30, was arraigned Thursday night on 122 counts each of identify theft and filing fraudulent insurance claims, as well as theft, credit card fraud, possession of an instrument of a crime and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.

The investigation began in August, when the Pizza Hut at 1314 Easton Ave. reported delivery orders were being made over the phone using stolen credit card numbers, and the orders were delivered to an address in the 700 block of Jackson Street.  The total for the ill-gotten pies was $117.10.

On September 7, officers raided Rivera’s home on Jackson Street, and seized several items including a laptop and a small amount of marijuana. Detectives said they found a trove of files, including insurance claims through phone insurance company Asurion and a text file of JP Morgan Chase credit card numbers, addresses and cardholder information.

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The 122 Asurion claims were fake, according to police. The damage claims had nearly identical wording, and cellphones were shipped to addresses other than the listed address of the account holder, police said. Email address were also created using the victims’ name to avoid detection, detectives said. Asurion said the lost revenue totaled $56,323. JP Morgan Chase said the five credit card numbers in the text file found on the were used for fraudulent purchases totaling $2,495. Police said Rivera used money from the crimes to pay his rent, and buy a newer model BMW x3 and various expensive electronics.   [Source: LehighValleyLive]

Stolen gigantic, inflatable colon found

A giant inflatable colon that was stolen from the University of Kansas Cancer Center nearly two weeks ago has been found, police said. The “giant, inflatable, pilfered intestine” was recovered from a house in Kansas City, MO, after investigators followed up on a tip. The “stolen colon” — weighing 150 pounds and costing more than $4,000 — was poached from the bed of a parked pickup truck in a Kansas City neighborhood on Oct. 18, according to the Colon Cancer Coalition. It was supposed to be displayed at a breast cancer 5K on Oct. 20. On Saturday, the American Society of Gastroenterology offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who came forward with information regarding the missing colon.   [Source: Fox News]

Alleged robber nabbed when he used Uber Eats on cellphone he stole

A man was denied bail Saturday after he allegedly robbed someone at gunpoint and then used the stolen phone to deliver food to himself—thereby alerting authorities to his location. Anthony Sorrells, 18, of the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood, was charged with two counts of armed robbery at a bail hearing Saturday in the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on the Southwest Side, according to Cook County prosecutors.

At 4 p.m., Sorrells allegedly approached a 16-year-old boy from behind in the 6000 block of South Rhodes, placed a silver-colored Beretta pistol to the back of the boy’s head and demanded his belongings, Chicago police said. Sorrells took the boy’s phone and belt and then left, prosecutors said. About two hours later, officers tracked Sorrells to his grandmother’s home nearby. Police had determined his location by tracking credit card information uploaded from the Uber Eats application on the victim’s phone.
 Police found Sorrels with the stolen phone and wearing the stolen belt, prosecutors said. The robbery victim then identified Sorrells and the belt. He is due again in court on November 16.   [Source: NBC5 Chicago]

Stolen lizard returned to pet store

The owner of a Lawrence, Kansas, pet store says an allegedly stolen lizard was anonymously returned a day after the store posted security footage of the theft on social media. Pet World owner Sherry Emerson tells the Lawrence Journal-World that a bearded dragon named Clearwater was abducted, but she declined to say when the theft occurred.

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Emerson on Saturday posted security footage that shows a woman placing the lizard into her purse before walking out of the store with two accomplices. Emerson says the lizard was left at the store’s door in the middle of the night Sunday. She says the lizard was rehabilitating at Pet World and not for sale. The Lawrence Police Department says a report hasn’t yet been filed for the theft.   Source: [WIBW13 News]

Shoplifter imbibes stolen wine in Taco Bell bathroom

A man police say was under the influence of alcohol is accused of shoplifting more alcohol from a South Carolina grocery store and taking it to the bathroom of a nearby restaurant to consume, according to an incident report. Spartanburg police were called around 7 p.m. Sunday to the Food Lion on Garner Road, where employees said a man stole wine from the store, according to a Spartanburg Police Department incident report.

Employees told officers the man appeared intoxicated when he left the store with some wine and walked toward the back of the building. Officers found the suspect, identified as Justin Prosser, in the bathroom of a Taco Bell behind the Food Lion, the report states. He had three cans of wine with him that he was drinking, had a strong odor of alcohol coming from him and could barely stand or walk on his own. Police charged Prosser with public drunkenness, according to the report. Prosser also faces a shoplifting charge, according to Spartanburg County online court records.   [Source: The State]

Duo arrested in pumpkin demolition crime spree

Police in the southern Oregon town of Grants Pass have arrested two men suspected in a pumpkin-powered crime spree, ending weeks of incidents of smashed gourds and broken car windows. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Jacob Solomon and Adrian Ochoa, both 19, face multiple counts of criminal mischief in connection with at least 50 vehicles vandalized and damaged between Oct. 7 and 23, authorities said. Police say Solomon and Ochoa drove around town at night snatching pumpkins from outdoor supermarket displays which they would hurl through car windows.

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Lt. Misty English says damages reported by victims are at about $30,000 and continue to climb. Police say they were helped in finding the suspects because they carried out the alleged vandalism in an easily-recognizable gold Buick with a large dent in one side.It wasn’t immediately known if the men had lawyers.   [Source: YakimaHerald]

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