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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – September 2018

Man accused of rubbing produce on his butt in grocery store

A Northern Virginia man was arrested at a grocery store after he was seen pulling down his pants and rubbing produce items on his buttocks, police say. The suspect then put the items back on the shelves, a loss prevention associate at the store told authorities, according to Manassas City Police. Officers responded to the Giant grocery store at 10100 Dumfries Road in Manassas shortly after 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers arrested Manassas resident Michael Dwayne Johnson, 27, at the store.

Johnson is facing charges of indecent exposure and destruction of property. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney. The store had to destroy several pallets of produce after the incident, police said. A police spokesperson did not have information on what type of produce Johnson allegedly  defiled, although she said a police report mentioned it was fruit. A Giant store manager said he was unable to speak about the incident.   [Source: NBC4 Washington]

Couple caught shoplifting clothes for court appearance

A Massachusetts couple who were arrested for shoplifting Tuesday night told officers they needed the clothing for a court appearance, Wareham Police say. Heather Murphy, 25, and Jason Willoughby, 33, were leaving Walmart around 10 p.m. when police responded to a shoplifting in progress. According to police, Willoughby had shoes stuffed into his pants and had other stolen items in his car.

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After being confronted, Murphy began to hand back the clothing hidden in her handbag  and that’s when she told them about their upcoming court appearance. Both of them are expected to appear in Wareham District Court Wednesday. Willoughby is charged with shoplifting, third offense and Murphy is charged with shoplifting.   [Source: WBZ4 CBS Boston]

Shoplifting suspect eats fake $20 bill

A shoplifting suspect faces even more charges after he allegedly ate evidence. Milford police responded to Connecticut Post Mall where they say Mizraim Diaz-Rivera was being held for stealing merchandise at Sears. Officers say the suspect also had a counterfeit $20 bill on him, but when they pointed it out, he ate it. Diaz-Rivera faces a list of charges, including tampering with evidence, larceny, and drug charges.   [Source: News12 Connecticut]

Alleged shoplifting of male enhancement pills leads to Ecstasy arrest

A Natchitoches, Louisiana, man shoplifting a box of male enhancement pills from a local store was arrested on theft and felony narcotics charges early Friday morning according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. John Braxton, 28, was taken into custody by NPSO Deputy Silas Axsom and Lt. Brian Powell, after an investigation and search that uncovered illegal drugs. NPSO deputies working a security detail at a local store were notified by the manager of a person allegedly shoplifting in the business.

As the suspect, identified as Braxton, was leaving the store deputies reached out to him. While talking with the suspect, he voluntary emptied the contents of his pockets which included a cellular phone, currency and a pill bottle containing several pills. When deputies asked Braxton what type of pills were in the bottle, he replied that they were allergy medications.

It is unclear just what kind of allergy Braxton thought he had, but the drugs – 45 pills – were identified as Esctasy, a drug classified as CDS Schedule 1. Esctasy is commonly used as a phsychoactive drug; however, recent crime lab analysis have shown methamphetamine presence in the drug in recent seizures in Natchitoches Parish.

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Making Braxton’s unfortunate situation even worse, deputies reported while they were interviewing Braxton he attempted to flush the 15 ExtenZe male enhancement gel caps down the toilet. Braxton was placed under arrest, transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of CDS Schedule I “Ecstasy” and Theft of Goods.

The value of the stolen merchandise was approximately $27 dollars while the street value of the seized narcotics was approximately $450-$500 dollars. The seized narcotics will be submitted to the crime lab for narcotics analysis and identification. Braxton remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond.     [Source: ArkLaTex News]

Woman arrested in turkey costume poised to escape prosecution in shoplifting case

A woman from the Villages, Florida was accused of stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise while dressed in a turkey costume is poised to escape prosecution in the case. Irene Leonhard, of the Village of Country Club Hills, on the afternoon of Nov. 10 entered the Belk store at La Plaza Grande, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. She was carrying a blue mesh bag and small brown purse when she entered the store. She selected a Michael Kors purse, removed the paper from inside the purse and put it into her bag. She then selected several other items, put them into her bag and left the store.

Leonhard had taken a total of 11 items worth a total of $1,497.99, the report indicated. She was arrested on a charge of grand theft and booked at the Lake County Jail on $5,000 bond. Earlier this month in Lake County Court, she entered a plea of no contest in the case and agreed to enter into a pre-trial intervention contract. If she lives up to terms of the contract, which include not owning a firearm and checking in with a mental health professional, the case will be dismissed.   [Source: Villages-News] 

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California busts recycling fraud ring

Thousands of pounds of empty beverage containers were intercepted this summer while being smuggled into California from Arizona and Nevada to defraud the state’s recycling program, authorities said.  The state Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery said agents confiscated 56,000 pounds of material worth an estimated $82,853 in potential California Redemption Value. Eight people were arrested in the law enforcement actions at Winterhaven and Needles on the California-Arizona state line and in Barstow, in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

California encourages recycling by requiring consumers to pay deposits of 5 cents to 10 cents on certain beverage containers that can be redeemed at certified recycling centers. Out-of-state containers are not eligible for the refunds, commonly known as CRV. The anti-fraud crackdown also involved the state Department of Justice and the Department of Food and Agriculture. “CalRecycle works alongside its law enforcement partners in an effort to protect every nickel and dime Californians pay at the cash register when purchasing CRV beverages,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said in a statement.

The most recent seizure occurred Aug. 15 in the Imperial County community of Winterhaven, where a Yuma, Arizona, resident who owns a recycling center was arrested while bringing 907 pounds of aluminum empty beverage containers into California, officials said. CalRecycle said that operation is suspected of having smuggled 468,000 pounds of aluminum over three years. The other seizures occurred earlier in San Bernardino County.

In mid-July, a two-day operation at state line checkpoints in and near Needles netted five vehicles carrying 33,639 pounds of aluminum and 13,623 pounds of plastic containers from Nevada, the agency said. Six people were arrested. In June, a semi-truck allegedly carrying beverage containers from Las Vegas was stopped in Barstow. The driver was arrested and agents seized 1,480 pounds of aluminum and 6,260 pounds of plastic containers.   [Source: The Virginian-Pilot]

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