©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.
THIS PHOTO STUDIO AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US
A trip back in time to the gun-totin' days of the Old West turned out to be tragically authentic. While a New Douglas, Illinois family posed in western garb for a family portrait, a prop rifle held by the father went off, fatally wounding his wife.
WEBBED FEET ACROSS THE WATER
A Corona, California woman never noticed the disappearance of a wooden duckling from her front lawn. It wasn't a typical theft. She found the duck in her mailbox sitting atop a photo album. It seems her duck had been to Hawaii, where it was photographed scuba diving, playing pool, having a beer and attending a luau.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
The days receipts at a Moscow McDonald's were turned over to the cash-collecting security company - or so the staff thought. The uniformed guard and the car bearing the security company's insignia were fakes. The manager realized that when the real guard showed up several hours later.
A Kansas City bank robber had no need for speed. The FBI says a man who robbed two banks used a stolen sluggish 30-foot-long delivery truck to make his getaways. One detective says the suspect could have made faster retreats on foot.
HE TOOK MY ROLEX AND LAPTOP AND NIKKON AND GOLD CHAIN AND...
The commander of New York's Central Park precinct says that many of the crooks in his district are turning out to be tourists. Captain James O'Neill says tourists from as far away as Australia and Japan are making false reports about being mugged in Central Park so they can cheat insurance companies. The perps are easy to spot, especially when they claim a mugger says, Stick 'em up! According to Captain O'Neill, nobody says that anymore.
A substitute teacher in Lodi, Ohio was fired after she let some testy students get the best of her. School officials say that spitballs began flying in choir class, and the teacher bellowed, So you wanna throw things? Police say seven students were slightly injured by objects hurled at them by the teacher, including a dictionary and calculator.
STUDENT TAKES FLIGHT AND TAKES FLIGHT
The FAA said it would investigate TWA's security because a 12-year-old had a bad day in school. After being sent to the principal's office, the boy walked out of school and made his way to the Fairfax, Virginia airport. Blending in with a family, he boarded a plane to St. Louis and called his mom. TWA gave the boy a free flight home.
A Plymouth, New Zealand woman thought it was a large fish that had beached itself while chasing her lure. So she waded into the water and beat it to death with a piece of driftwood. It turned out she'd landed a 6-foot blue shark.
COME OUT OUR WE'LL BLAST YOU OUT!
Railway officials in Heerlen, the Netherlands are testing a new method of getting youthful drug addicts out of a railway tunnel. They're blasting classical music into the tunnel. They tested various composers from from Bach to Beethoven, and found that female opera singers work the best at driving out the junkies.
MAYBE THE SNAKES DID IT
A 36-year-old New York man knew how to be careful. He had twelve pet pythons. But he wasn't so careful when he was installing shelves for their cages. Police say Thomas Giacometti was killed when he fell off a ladder and a drill bit penetrated his head.
UNARMED AND DANGEROUS
Milwaukee police say a man who chopped off his own arm told paramedics if anyone reattached it he'd cut it off again and sue them. Police found a guillotine in Thomas Rollo's apartment. Rollo said he built it with plans he got off the internet. He was remanded to a psychiatric unit.
Ali Daffin of Taunton, England has a real cat burglar on her hands. It seems her tabby has been sneaking into neighbors' cat doors and stealing things. Tommy the Cat has come home with objects like shoes, designer clothes, bags of coins, and even an umbrella. Daffin hopes people don't think she's trained him.
WHAT A HAUL
Three teenagers in Des Moines, Iowa ran by a woman while snatching her handbag off the back of her car. The sarcastic punks shouted, Thanks! The woman yelled back, You're Welcome! And they were. The handbag contained what she'd just picked up with a pooper-scooper while walking her dog.
Washington County, Maine deputies had no trouble determining who stole a car in Lubec. The suspect, who'd been out of jail for one week, dropped his prison release documents at the scene of the crime.
HONEY, I'M HOME?
An Edgewater, Maryland family woke up to find a strange man sleeping on their couch. It seems Casey Adams was so drunk, he went home to the wrong house, warmed up the wrong lasagna in the wrong microwave, and went to sleep in the wrong living room. He was arrested for burglary.
Albany, Oregon officials launched a full-blown rescue mission when a man spotted a nude woman in the river. It turned out that the victim was a life-size blow-up doll. After a hearty laugh, firefighters went to the trouble of pulling it out so they wouldn't get any more false alarms. No one came forward to claim the doll.
Two con men bilked a Hong Kong woman out of 15-thousand-dollars, selling her the supposed remedy for a disease she'd been hearing about - the Y2K bug. They sold her over-the-counter stomach pills.
In a West Palm Beach, Florida court, jilted groom George Zimmerman wanted the 109-thousand dollar ring he gave his fiancee back. Monica Rybaltowaska said it was a gift, and she wasn't obligated to return it. And by the way, she was already engaged again.
Police caught 23 staff members of a Phnom Penh's Farmers Bank stealing office furniture and file cabinets. The staff explained that the Thai-owned bank had not paid them for 18 months. No arrests were made.
New York University got tough with a library user that refused to return a four-year collection of borrowed books. George Szamuely was arrested for grand larceny after police recovered 570 NYU library books from his apartment.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF VICE
Toronto police have arrested a 35-year-old woman who has been using a unique technique to lift men's wallets. Police say Michelle Lawes would approach men over 60 and squeeze their testicles with one hand while helping herself to their wallets with the other. Police say that due to embarrassment, there were probably many more victims than those who reported the mugger.
I SCARE MYSELF
A teenaged would-be bank robber must have been brandishing his weapon like Barney Fife. While holding up the Central Carolina Bank in Durham, he dropped his gun, which fired into the ceiling. The sound of the shot scared him into running off empty-handed.
I SMELL AN AMBULANCE
Abusive, disruptive, hostile, intemperate and intimidating. Sound like the description of a lawyer? The Nebraska State Bar Commission doesn't think so, and won't let Paul Converse take a bar exam because of those attributes. Converse's lawyer says, however, those attributes are no reason to keep someone from being a lawyer.
Prison officials in Madrid were busted for an operation in which inmates were making counterfeit Teletubbies. Convicts were paid a-buck-sixty for every Laa-Laa, Po, Dipsy and Tinky Winky they made. The children of prison officers had been placing orders with the jail staff.
FROM THE O-R TO JAIL
A state-run hospital in central Iran has installed prison cells in its orthopedic unit. Those who can't pay their medical bills get taken directly to jail.
A thirty-year-old man faced charges of impersonating an inmate after guards at a Vinita, Oklahoma jail noticed he wasn't supposed to be there. Russell Mauer allegedly switched places with Ryan Miller, who'd been sentenced to several weekends on a drug conviction. Authorities say Miller wanted to work the weekend as a car salesman to prevent foreclosure on his house.
ART OF ROBBERY
Never steal a jug of donations from a gallery of starving artists. A New Bedford, Massachusetts thief was quickly taken into custody, as police canvassed the neighborhood with a very accurate sketch, quickly drawn by one of the artists that was robbed.
A CLASS OPERATION
An Eagle Pass, Texas teacher, who is member of one of the town's most prominent families, was sentenced to four years in prison for her role in her boyfriend's pot-smuggling ring. Former high school English teacher Rebecca Besa said it was love that made her recruit students as drug couriers.
BALLS WITHOUT CHAINS
Authorties in Tehran knew something was fishy when a man bought his 128th marriage license. A check of records revealed that the suspect was cashing in on grants offered to low-income newlyweds. He was never wed, and his income from the state checks totaled more than 32 thousand dollars.
BUMBLER IN A BUBBLE
Pinellas County, Florida Sheriff's deputies have seen a lot of stupid crooks, but the dumbest had to be the guy who robbed a convenience store wearing a trashbag for a disguise. The bag was made from clear plastic.
THE REAL DECOY
Cooke City, Montana has no police force. But speeding tourists don't know that. A local businessman resurrected a car from a junk yard, painted it in police colors, and put star decals on the doors. Even without a mannequin in the car, passersby are now slowing down to the speed limit.
Fresno, California police had no problem making a positive ID on a man who went on a crime spree that included two hit-and-run crashes and an attempted carjacking. He left his bumper and license plate at one of the crash scenes. Police caught up with the suspect as he tried to carjack a vehicle that he had disabled in one of the crashes.
HEARTS OVER BRAINS
A convicted armed robber broke out of a Sao Paulo jail. Then he freed his girlfriend and accomplice from another jail at gunpoint. Police recaptured the lovelorn couple at a hotel called Romance. Had he not come to her rescue, his lover would have been released from jail in a few days.
A suicidal Norwalk, Connecticut man cut off his male member, hoping to bleed to death. Police found a trail of blood leading to his apartment, and paramedics recovered the organ. A judge was summoned to order the local hospital to reattach it despite the man's refusal for treatment.
I REST THROUGH MY CASE
A man who spent 15 years on death row had his conviction thrown out and a retrial ordered by a U.S. appeals court in Houston. The judge took the action because the suspect's lawyer fell asleep during the original trial.
ALLOW ME TO DEMONSTRATE
Two 17-year-old cousins in Plymouth, Wisconsin wondered what it would be like to be shot. So a 34-year-old relative offered to show them. Police say both boys were shot in the calf. Authorties got wind of the experiment when they were tipped off to the gunshot wounds by a local hospital.
An Americus, Georgia man was accused of scalping tickets to former President Jimmy Carter's 75th birthday party. Police arrested Lewis Harrison, Junior ... Carter's nephew.
HORSE'S YOU-KNOW-WHAT TO STAND TRIAL
A New Jersey man was ordered to stand trial for punching a New York City police horse in the nose during a labor rally that turned violent. A judge refused the man's offer to kiss the horse and apologize to it in public.
JUST CALL IT THE WASHINGTON HIGHWAY
Two crooks didn't consider how much two thousand quarters would weigh when they stuck up an Atlanta highway toll plaza. The men got away, but most of their loot spilled all over the highway when the trash bag they used to hold the quarters broke open.
A tourist from Vermont filed suit against a Cape Cod restaurant because a waiter denied tainting his food. The patron claimed that he saw the waiter pop a pimple causing a drop of pus to fly into a salad on a sidetray. The suit says the waiter denied doing it and served the salad to the patron, who was ejected from the restaurant for loudly arguing about the matter.
LET'S GO SEE BETTE DAVIS' LATEST MOVIE
A Ukrainian man who spent nearly six decades in an attic is in good shape, but stunned by all the changes in the world. Stephan Kovalchuk went into hiding in 1942 to avoid the occupying Nazis. He stayed in hiding because he didn't want to be drafted into the Soviet army. He learned the Soviet Union had collapsed only when his sister - who took care of him - died in 1999.
The person who broke into a Euclid, Ohio tavern passed up a CD player, fifty dollars in cash, a rack of cigarettes and all the bar's alcohol. Police say the crook stole thirteen pounds of meat and cheese ... and some mustard and salt and pepper shakers.
It was two in the morning and police were unable get the attention of the driver of an unlit horse and buggy along a road in Middlefield, Ohio. Even a siren didn't get the driver's attention. When the buggy eventually stopped by smashing into a police cruiser, officers found a 17-year-old Amish boy who had passed out from drinking.
HELPFUL HINTS HALTED
Sheriff's deputies called off some law classes being held in San Francisco jails. They claim the civil rights attorney conducting the classes was teaching prisoners how to dodge search warrants and which kinds of stores can be robbed without getting caught.
The First Annual Kristen Clougherty 5K Run in Boston was organized to benefit a woman who, according to police, falsley claimed to have ovarian cancer. The event raised 43 thousand dollars from friends, family and donors. Charging her with grand larceny, prosecutors said Clougherty used the money to buy a car and have cosmetic surgery. After pleading guilty, she was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to make restitution.
DO ASHHH I SHHHAY, NOT ASHHH I DO ASHHH I SHAHHHAY...
New Jersey's Alcoholic Beverage Control Division lost their director when he resign following a traffic offense. John Holl - who made 97 thousand a year enforcing the state's alcohol laws - was popped for drunken drving.
YOU'LL BE LATE IF YOU WAIT TO LEARN YOUR FATE FROM THE STATE
Two 11-year-olds in Dansville, New York learned a lesson in government red tape. The girls offered to clean up some graffiti along an underpass because it contained swear words and stuff. After hearing nothing back for a year, a state senator helped them finally get an answer: five gallons of paint with rollers and trays would be made available. A maintenance supervisor said it took so long because good-deed requests are such a rarity.
HE WANTED WHITER WHITES AND BRIGHTER BRIGHTS
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin police charged a man with endangering safety after he pushed his washing machine down the stairs ... and shot it with a .25-caliber pistol.
How do you handcuff a suspect with no hands? Pawtucket, Rhode Island police ran into that dilemna while breaking up a large bar fight. A quick-thinking officer slipped the handcuff through the handless man's nose ring and attached him to a phone booth door handle while officers finished breaking up the fight.
THEY CAN'T HEAR WELL, BUT THEY SURE ARE TIDY
Two inmates who escaped from the Orange County Jail in Orlando told detectives they couldn't believe that no one checked on them while they were breaking out. They said they made noises like gunshots when they cut through high-stress steel window bars. On top of that, the guards cleaned up the mess before investigators arrived, virtually wiping out all the evidence. The escapees were caught after an anonymous telephone tip as to their whereabouts.
LET'S NOT THINK ABOUT THE HONEYMOON
If you're a fugitive from justice, you shouldn't get married on the courthouse steps. Winston Swaggerty of Newport, Tennessee had just kissed his bride, when a sheriff's deputy recognized him and took him away in handcuffs.
A Wausau, Wisconsin man's conviction for growing pot was upheld by a court, despite claims by the defendant that the police had peeked over his fence. The appeals court judge pointed out that some of Dru Weasler's plants were eight feet tall - and his fence was only six.
CAN YOU FORWARD THAT?
A man walked into a Dresden, Germany bank wearing a mask and brandishing a gun. Workers politely told the bandit that the bank had moved out two days earlier. The shocked robber fled.
Police in Duluth, Minnesota pulled over an 8-year-old boy who was driving his mother home from nearby Superior, Wisconsin. The kid - whose head barely cleared the dashboard - said his mom ordered him to drive because she was drunk.
Frank Barilone thought he was performing a public service by cleaning up a beach in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire - raking the sand, hauling away a ton of trash, and building a picnic table. For all his efforts, he got a 150-dollar fine from the U.S. Forest Service for maintaining a national forest without a permit.
MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR
Police in Cleveland nabbed a suspected cocaine dealer because of his stupidity when he put his money in a bank. Flags went up when the suspect deposited 300-grand in two paper bags at a local bank - and listed his occupation on the account application as unemployed.
WHO ARE THE BRAIN POLICE?
A judge upheld the New London, Connecticut police department's rejection of a candidate because IQ tests showed he was too smart for the job. San Francisco's police chief invited Robert Jordan to apply there - but Jordan was too smart for them, too. According to Jordan's math, a police officer's salary is ineffective against the Bay Area's cost of living.
A man visiting Washington state fell off a Jet Ski and lost his wallet containing 28-hundred bucks. The money was earmarked for the expenses of delivering his girlfriend's baby, but a week-long search turned up nothing. Once back home with his girlfriend and their newborn baby, the man got a call explaining that a dog had found the wallet in thick brush by the shore. The dog got a 500-dollar reward.
A man who broke into a Raleigh, North Carolina judge's chambers and stole his wallet should have thought of the consequences of being caught. Sympathetic to the sanctity of a colleague's chambers, another judge gave him the maximum sentence - 11 years and 8 months.
HE MUST HAVE A VERY SCARY LAWYER
A Stockholm man is suing police for a broken foot and injured back. But it wasn't brutality that led to his injuries. Jimmy Haakansson says he wouldn't have been able to leap from a courthouse window and hurt himself in an escape attempt if the guards had been doing their job.
STOP OR I'LL SPRAY YOU WITH WINDEX!
Over a hundred prisoners had no problem breaking out of a jail after easily overpowering the only people guarding the building - two unarmed janitors. Embarrassed police officials admit that the two police officers assigned to the jail were out having dinner.
TREE FALLS NOT FAR FROM APPLES A 35-year-old Essex, England woman who hadn't seen her father since she was 3 decided to ban together with her siblings to find him. After a suprisingly short investigation, it turned out he'd been living on the next street for 32 years.
MAN AND MACHINE
A couple in Madrid who were ready for romance had their night ruined when the man got his hand caught in a condom vending machine. Passersby hurled humiliating comments for three hours as his girlfriend tried to pry his hand loose. Eventually firefighters came by and removed the device from a wall and took the man to the fire station to disassemble the machine.
DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
Three motorcycle cops were suspended in Wales after they were clocked doing 110 in a 70-mile-per-hour zone ... during Motorcycle Safety Week.
BODY SLAM FROM A GRAND JURY
Mr. Death might consider changing his name to Mr. Deadbeat. The WWF wrestler - who's real name is Steven Williams - was indicted in Sacramento for failure to pay 64-grand in child support payments.
A court in Rio de Jeneiro has ordered a clothing store to repay a customer for a bikini she bought - plus pay her 267 dollars in moral charges. On a snorkling trip with friends, she discovered the red bikini turned transparent under water.
TURN ON YOUR HOT LIGHT
Police in a Madrid suburb arrested a woman for attempted murder by lamp. The woman allegedly sold her neighbor a lamp which was filled with gunpowder. It exploded the moment he switched it on. Neighbors say the woman and the victim often argued.
THE BUCK-BUCK STOPS HERE
When the president of the United States makes a trip to a foreign country, there are hundreds of top secret plans and codes put in place to assure his security. But Secret Service staffers had one number wrong in a 13-digit fax number. Just before an official trip to New Zealand, all the security plans were faxed to a chicken meat processing plant in Auckland.
YOUR VEHICLE SMELLS LIKE GRASS, SIR
Carl Simonds lost his license in a drunk driving conviction. But that didn't stop him from driving to the liquor store. A highway cop in Conway, New Hampshire nabbed Simonds driving home from a vodka run at 15 miles per hour ... on his riding lawnmower. Police arrested him and impounded his mower.
Police in Stockholm have recommended that a new clothing store provide hairdressing services ... for free. At its grand opening, the clothes store gave out free shampoo - not knowing it contained red toner. All its blonde customers found themselves with clean - but red - hair.
A drug smuggling operation using a carrier pigeon didn't turn out as planned near Norway. The pigeon landed on an offshore oil rig to rest its wings. Workers found a package of hashish taped to its legs and turned it over to authorities.
YOU'LL BE MOVING TO SOMEPLACE SMALLER
County employee Cheryl Burnham got 30 days in jail for ringing up 120-thousand-dollars in toll calls on L.A. County telephones. One of her phone pals should have told her it was coming ... she was calling a psychic hotline.
YOU'VE GOT MALE PROBLEMS
A West Valley, California woman who was threatened by her ex-husband was able to type a plea for help into an internet chat room. A man in Phoenix relayed the message to California, and the perp was arrested on aggravated assault charges in less than a half hour.
A man in Hagerstown, Maryland shot out the tail lights and back window of a pickup truck before he realized the driver wasn't his intended victim. So he left his business card with Andrew Ebner, saying he'd pay for the damages, then sped off up the road. Ebner furnished deputies with the shooter's business card. The suspect was arrested for driving while intoxicated and attempted murder.
IN A PIG'S EYE
A janitor in Brasilia, Brazil called police when he found plastic bags containing twenty pairs of eyeballs. Police thought they'd found evidence of illegal organ trafficking until the lab determined the eyes belonged to pigs. They'd been used to demonstrate surgical procedures at an opthalmology convention.
WHO ARE YOU?
The Customs Service said it may have been the easiest bust of the year. A Mexican arrived at Oakland International Airport with faked U.S. documents. Unfortunately, the stolen identity belonged to a fugitive wanted on felony burglary and weapons charges.
A Utrecht, Netherlands burglar had some time to think about his life of crime. The 25-year-old crook set off alarms when he broke into an elementary school. He was hiding in a crawl space beneath the floor when police showed up and locked every door ... including the trap door leading to the crawl space. 48 hours passed before a security guard heard the crook's muffled pleas for help.
Cruz Escobar - who barely makes ends meet as a passenger jet janitor - found 20-thousand-dollars worth of jewelry in a bag left on a plane at Dulles International Airport. Without thinking twice, she turned the bag into airline officials. The relieved passenger rewarded Escobar with 300 dollars ... and the airline chipped in another 100.
I TOLD YOU!
Roger Russell of Capetown, South Africa set off on a 24-hundred mile walk to raise awareness of a crime wave sweeping his country. He made his point. 12 miles into his journey, he was held up at gunpoint, losing all his money and possessions except for the clothes he was wearing.
DON'T GIVE HIM A HAND
Police in London were looking for a man who literally enjoys a tasteful manicure. Detectives said the man praised women on the appearance of their hands, and then tried to bite off their fingernails.
Opera buffs got an impromptu performance from two members of the audience. When one patron suggested that another's candy wrapper noises were distracting, a fight broke out. The two opera lovers vowed to take each other to court - they were both lawyers.
THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY
A Roseville, Michigan man is suing Diana Folbigg for receiving a broken jaw, two broken arms and other injuries on her property. Cassidy Van Horn admits he suffered the injuries because he broke into Folbigg's house.
NOT FROM PASADENA
Don't mess with Grandma. An Elmwood Park, New Jersey senior wasn't about to have her car jacked, so she hit the gas with the perp's legs dangling from the passenger-side window. Witnesses wrestled the man from the car and held him for police.
Over 10-thousand-dollars worth of items were stolen from a church in Neillsville, Wisconsin, and the thieves were the last people the police would suspect. After being overwhelmed with guilt, the priest and church organist turned themselves in.
AS SEEN ON FRIENDS
Patricia Laphew was probably looking for closure by burning her ex-husband's belongings. Unfortunately, she got fourth-degree arson charges instead. Longmont, Colorado police say Laphew overloaded the fireplace, with the resulting fire causing 30-thousand dollars worth of damage to her building.
Fairfax, Virginia police may have snagged the world's laziest crook. The perp called women on the phone and told them to gather their valuables together because he was robbing them. None of his intended victims fell for the scam, but called police instead.
DETECTIVE HAS A GUT FEELING
A King County, Washington sheriff's detective heard about a nearby bank robbery on his unmarked cruiser's radio and thought he'd check it out. He spotted a man with a huge beer belly walking quickly through a Key Bank parking lot. He paced the man until he pulled a paper bag full of cash out from under his shirt, then busted him.
A would-be burglar made it easy for police in Toledo, Ohio when he got stuck in the air vent on the roof of the store he was trying to enter. Officers said the toughest thing about the case trying to stop laughing long enough to read the crook his rights.
A Panama City, Florida pet store clerk found it hard not to laugh at a shoplifter who insisted he wasn't stealing snakes. Regina Creamer said the man was making all kinds of silly moves as the snakes wriggled around under his clothing. By the time police responded to her 911 call, a boa constrictor had peeked out from under his shirt and a milk snake climbed out of his pants pocket.
LIKE MY HOT WHEELS COLLECTION?
A Middletown, Connecticut teenager was charged with stealing 16 cars over two months, so he could visit his girlfriend. Police tracked the suspect through cellphone records. He'd been calling his girlfriend from the stolen cars to tell her he was on the way.
©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.