BUSTED! – Real Stories of Genuine Absurdity January February 2019

Pile of gold bars

James L. McClinton, Ph.D.

Without stupidity, there is no intelligence… When the owner of a hardwood floors business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, arrived at work, he discovered that someone had broken into the store. Surveillance footage showed that around 2:00 a.m. the day before, a burglar had thrown a rock through his store window, apparently tempted by the “gold” bars stacked in the window. The not too bright thief failed to realize that the bars are promotional items made of foam rubber and stamped with the store’s logo. The squeezable bars are meant for stress relief, an employee said, supporting the company’s motto of “stress-free flooring.” (I guess it was “fool’s gold”!)

Whatever happened to the concept of truth in advertising?… Police pulled a 21-year-old driver over after spotting him driving erratically in Lincoln, Nebraska. When the officer took a look inside the car, he spotted something which seemed rather unusual. Peeking out from under the front passenger’s seat was a plastic, 16 oz. sour cream container, with handwritten words on it. The officer could plainly see the words “Not Weed.” The label proved to be incorrect – when he opened the container, he found 11.4 grams of marijuana. (And, the officer then explained, “Don’t worry, this is not the Miranda Warning.”)

Maybe he didn’t want to remember the date… Police were dispatched to a report of a domestic disturbance in Pasco County, Florida, and, when they arrived, they found a husband complaining that his wife had smacked him around. It sounded like it was an open-and-shut case and the wife’s excuse for committing acts of violence was the fact that her husband had forgotten their anniversary…again. Unfortunately, the officers didn’t consider it an adequate defense and charged her with domestic battery. (“Hey, guys, today’s the anniversary of that fight I had with my wife!” “Really? What was that fight about?” “I forgot our anniversary.”)

No offense, my good man, but that is one ugly baby… Police say two Texas men admitted to stealing a shark from an aquarium and hiding it in a baby stroller. The incident, caught on surveillance video from inside the San Antonio Aquarium, shows one of the men standing over an open top aquarium and grabbing the 1.5 foot long horn shark out of the water with his hands. He then appears to nod to the other, who’s holding a bag, and the two leave. The pair put the shark into the bag and then a bucket hidden inside a baby stroller. An employee saw the man take the shark out of the water and alerted management. When the men tried to leave, a manager asked if he could search their vehicle, but the men refused and left. Aquarium employees noted the license plate number and authorities quickly located the suspected shark snatchers. The shark was recovered in good health and the suspects face felony charges for theft. (They’re lucky the stolen goods elected not to take a “bite out of crime.”)

They must’ve been tanked… Ohio police say two men on a motorcycle, with the passenger holding a large fish tank, were arrested after an officer passed them while responding to a pet store’s report of a stolen aquarium. The Niles Police Department says the passenger jumped off, breaking the aquarium, when the officer turned to follow the motorcycle. Another officer found the bike at another location and a “nervous-looking” man pruning a tree with his bare hands behind a home. He was identified as the bike’s operator. (Those two should have known Beta.)

He apparently hadn’t heard the rumor that donuts attract cops… Police have arrested one of three drivers accused of blocking traffic on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge by doing donuts in the roadway. Videos posted to social media show traffic stopped on all five lanes of the upper deck as three vehicles engaged in “sideshow activity” by driving in tight circles across the lanes. “We responded. By the time we got there, most of the vehicles had fled the scene,” said a CHP Officer. But, one was unable to flee the scene because it had been damaged while performing the stunt. The 21-year-old driver was arrested on charges of reckless driving, driving without a license, providing false information, and resisting arrest. (I see a reason to carry spike sticks in my car now.)

“Ma’am, drop your weapon”… Police officers were dispatched to a report of an ongoing bank robbery in Birmingham, Alabama. When they arrived, they found a woman still at the teller’s window. It was the note that she handed the teller which made the crime rather unusual. In her note, she demanded cash and then promised a sexual favor for the bank manager if he delivered the goods. The note went on to warn that, if he did not deliver, she would accuse him of sexually assaulting her. Officers arrived and arrested her where she stood. “Our deputies were on the scene very quickly and saved this employee from something,” said the chief deputy. “I’m not sure exactly what, but we saved him from something.” (Getting rid of guns won’t stop bank robberies…)

I really hope the thieves ripped open that package in the comfort of their own living room… Several residents along a block in Marina, California, were recently hit by mail thieves. But, the criminals probably didn’t know what they had acquired when they stole one woman’s package. The woman, who is an entomologist, had ordered 500 live cockroaches for a study she’s working on. “I feel a little bad for the roaches in case they got smashed or tossed or something like that,” she told a local television reporter. (With any luck, these were the kind which can fly!)