©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.
Hickory, North Carolina police uncovered a bogus check-cashing ring after a grocery store clerk noticed that a check contained blantant spelling errors. The heading on the professionally-forged check, supposedly from Broyhill Furniture, read: "Boryhill Furmiture."
After a TV documentary showed police officers taking bribes at a station house in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, authorities discovered that it wasn't a real police station. The fake precinct house, which included a staff of impostors dressed as officers, charged exhorbitant fees to those seeking police services - and was set up just blocks from a real station.
The sheriff's department in Maricopa County, Arizona uncovered a methamphetamine lab in an unlikely place - a home within a 6-thousand-resident retirement community. A 71-year-old woman and her 44-year-old live-in boyfriend were arrested.
An agitated man who was exposing himself to female shoppers in an Elizabethtown, Kentucky department store made the mistake of picking an off-duty policewoman for a victim. Officer Kelly Slone called for a backup officer, with whom she wrestled the 22-year-old suspect to the ground.
HOLE IN THE HEAD
A Dusseldorf, Germany man who tried to kill an acquaintance by shooting him point blank was arrested after his victim managed to take a cab to the hospital. The fully-alert man calmly approached the E.R. counter and declared he'd been shot in the head. Surgeons successfully removed the slug.
STUCK WITH YOU
A Taipei, Taiwan man who suffered from a severe dry cough for several years was cured after his doctor found the source of the problem - a large sewing needle embedded in his back. Although the patient didn't remember being stuck by a needle, his wife recalled losing the needle in bed several years ago. After investigating the doctor's report, police were convinced there was no foul play involved.
NO CALLS, PLEASE
Police in Rouen, France made a scary discovery when they raided a suspected drug gang's headquarters: fake mobile phones that were actually .22-caliber handguns. Each cellphone held 4 bullets in its chamber which could be shot through a fake-antenna barrel by touching certain buttons on the keypad.
Debra Sweeny of Highlands Ranch, Colorado was being proposed to at the top of a Rocky Mountain ski resort - when the 65-hundred-dollar engagement ring fell into a foot of fresh powder. Debra and fiance Derek Monnig told authorities they planned to return to look for the ring after the ski season. Sweeny - who refused to say whether she or her boyfriend dropped the ring - told The Rocky Mountain News, "It's much better to lose the ring than the guy."
WHERE CAN I FIND THE EXHIBITIONIST EXHIBITION?
Police in Bakersfield, California said a man who'd broken into and damaged the Kern County Museum was found inside wearing nothing but a top hat and cape. As the clothes were museum theater props, it appeared the suspect was totally nude when he broke in.
MY CEILING, YOUR FLOOR
A 32-year-old Plainville, Connecticut man was arrested after allegedly stealing his upstairs neighbor's purse - by sawing a hole in his ceiling. Police said his victim called 911 when she woke up to find her purse being dragged down a hole in her bedroom floor.
BANG BANG BANGER
A police helicopter and ten cruisers were called in to track down a car in southern Germany - after a man reported seeing its occupants handling a large gun. When the vehicle was located, police learned the men had been passing around a large sausage.
I AM NOT YOUR FATHER
Three New York City teenagers were charged with removing the remains of silent film actor Elmer Grandit from a sealed crypt. Detectives alleged the trio dressed the skeleton up in a Darth Vader costume and took it to a party.
THAT'S MY BOY
Police who stopped an erratically-moving car near Hartford, Connecticut discovered that the driver was a 7-year-old boy. The boy's father, who told police he'd given his son permission to drive home from soccer practice, was charged with endangering a minor.
A high school in Canton, Michigan was locked down after a parent saw a man entering the building carrying a rifle. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun which a science teacher had used for over two decades to demonstrate velocity. The teacher was put on paid leave during the investigation.
YOU MUST BE LION
Villagers in Blantyre, Malawi believed witchcraft was responsible for the sudden appearance of a pride of lions which ate at least nine people. But wildlife officials say villagers had stolen copper wire from the fence that kept the lions contained in a national park.
NO JAIL FOR BALES
Chicago police dropped felony drug charges against two men who were suspected of hauling 220 pounds of pot in a pickup truck. The stash turned out to be hay from a local church's nativity scene.
A 42-year-old Kenosha, Wisconsin man was charged with stalking after police found a satellite tracking device under the hood of his former girlfriend's car. The victim told police Paul Seidler - who was also charged with burglary and reckless endangerment - would show up wherever she went.
SO, UH, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?
Westlake, Ohio's police captain received a phone call in the middle of the night from a man who wanted to talk dirty. The captain listened patiently while the call was traced and the caller eventually fell asleep. After John Mullen, Jr. was arrested, his roommate said Mullen thought he'd dialed a woman friend. But Westlake's police captain was a guy - Captain Guy Turner.
HELLO, MY NAME IS...
A man who'd just held up a Berlin bank dropped part of his loot - and his wallet - when a customer tried to stop him as he fled. Police used his ID to track him down.
A bank robber in Port Royal, Virginia didn't make a lucky getaway. First, he dropped a portion of the loot while trying to stuff it in his pockets. Then he discovered he'd locked his keys in the getaway car. When he tried to hoof it, he was tackled by two citizens. In the ensuing struggle, he managed to shoot himself in the leg.
COLOR ME BAD
A Portezuelo, Chile kindergarten was broken into, vandalized and robbed. Police said the suspects spent hours painting all the walls and furniture before stealing a hundred pounds of crayons, pens and paint sets. The suspects turned out to be two girls aged 7 and 10 - who were ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
DRUG-RUNNING ON EMPTY
A van which ran out of gas on the short trip from Fabens, Texas to New Mexico had good reason for getting poor gas milage. A sheriff's deputy who assisted the two women and five children in the van discovered that most of the gas tank had been converted to a secret compartment - which contained over 70 pounds of marijuana.
FOLLOWING THE PEPPERONI TRAIL
Three men who kidnapped a Connecticut multimillionaire had their identities and location given up - by a pizza. Officials said the trio used their victim's credit card to phone in the order - making it simple for police to track them to the hotel where the victim was being held for ransom.
COME ON INSIDE...
A man was busted in Cologne, Germany, after pulling into a parking space to snort cocaine. He'd pulled into a space reserved for official cars outside a police station.
BANDITS IN BRIEFS
An American native and his British wife were tied up and robbed by three men during a home invasion in Singapore. The victims told police the thieves were Chinese - and wearing nothing but undershirts and jockey shorts.
A WEE BIT WEIRD
Bradford, England police couldn't refrain from laughing when a woman described a man who had cased her house a day before it was robbed. The suspect was described as a one-armed, hunchbacked, 4½-foot-tall man with an Irish accent.
A Bluffton, South Carolina man was arrested on charges of impersonating a police officer after flashing a badge at a Starbucks to get free 4-dollar Caramel Macchiatos. The badge belonged to his brother - who was suspended without pay from the local force.
A businessman and his hired hitman were convicted by a London court after the hitman shot the wrong victim. The gunman - hired to kill a business competitor in exchange for 250 dollars and a used car - got the address wrong and shot the intended victim's neighbor. The man who was shot survived and testified against the hitman.
SYMPATHY FOR A DEVIL
A 29-year-old Fortuna, California man was arrested after at least one underage girl e-mailed him a nude photo of herself out of sympathy. Police said David Huffman solicited pictures of naked young girls by posing in internet chat rooms as a 14-year-old terminal cancer victim.
DOUBLE THE DUM-DUM
A thief in Marked Tree, Arkansas broke into a bank after hours when all the cash was locked up tight - so he stole a clock radio and a fistful of Dum-Dums lollipops. Police were able to find the suspect by tracking the candy wrappers to his home in a nearby trailer park. Police said the man was also wanted for breaking through a jewelry store window - and stealing a case of worthless imitation display rings.
A teenager in Vilnius, Lithuania thought he'd gotten away with running over a pedestrian - until the victim's body was found lodged under his car at home. Authorities said the 18-year-old suspect wasn't licensed because he'd failed the driver's test four times.
BEHIND THE GLASS
Two women were charged with breaking into cars at a suburban Tampa shopping mall - after entering an unmarked police car occupied by a sheriff's deputy. Officials in Hillsborough County said the 18- and 20-year-old suspects didn't notice the deputy through the car's tinted windows.
CATCH OF THE DAY
A man who grabbed a bag from the back of a hatchback in Sydney, Australia probably got more than he expected. The bag belonged to a professional snake catcher - and contained a large, venomous red-bellied black snake.
CACHE OF THE DAY
A 59-year-old Largo, Florida man was arrested on child porn charges after a dumpster-diver found CD-ROMs in his trash that contained images of underage girls. Police said Edward Mitskevich's name was on the case containing the discs.
A rapist in Limanche, Chile asked his victim for her phone number so he could call her for a date. The woman gave him her cell number - and while she was filling out a report at the police station, the rapist called. The woman arranged to meet the man - and police officers took it from there.
Florida's St. Petersburg Times carried a report about the first baby of the new year in Hernando County - and a police detective recognized the father's name. David Jose Orama was arrested on parole violation and other outstanding charges - at the hospital.
I'LL SHOW YA
A man who was refused drinks at a pub in Oxfordshire, England was accused by police of repeatedly ramming an earth-mover into the building, nearly destroying it. Police said the suspect was the pub's owner.
I'M OUTTA HERE!
Sandnes, Norway police said a woman in a motorized wheelchair who was accused of shoplifting sped past security officers and crashed through a plate glass door. The woman made a clean getaway ... but turned herself in after word of the escape spread through town.
Two armed robbers at a gas station in South Yorkshire, England ordered the staff out of the building - and the manager locked them inside and called the authorities. The trapped suspects gave themselves up after a four-hour standoff with police.
A Sao Paulo, Brazil man who escaped a police chase following an alleged robbery thought he'd cover his bases by reporting his car stolen. Unfortunately, an officer at the police station fingered him as the driver of the getaway car - and threw him in jail.
A man was sentenced to 57 days after he was convicted of smuggling exotic plants and animals into Los Angeles from Thailand. 45-year-old Robert Cusack was caught with 50 protected orchids and four endangered birds of paradise in his luggage. They also found a pair of pigmy monkeys - in his pants.
A London man whose ailing car was stolen had his vehicle recovered by police one month later - and it was in perfect condition. The thieves had poured hundreds of dollars into fixing the engine, stereo, thermostat and radiator on Jonathan Newman's dilapidated compact car.
A 17-year-old who allegedly stole a pickup truck made a run for it when he was pulled over by police in Overland Park, Kansas. But he left the truck in drive when he jumped out - and it ran over him.
A man who attempted to rob a lottery agent in Stutgardt, Germany was attacked by the shopkeeper - who sprayed him with Christmas glitter. The sparkly perp was so shocked, he fled the shop, leaving his wallet on the counter. Police arrested him when he reported his wallet missing.
BEYOND THE DUST BUNNIES
A 30-year-old Vermont woman was charged with attempted murder after shooting her husband with his own shotgun. Police alleged that Lori Pratt became enraged when she found a porn video under their bed.
Massachusetts child welfare investigators were called in when a four-year-old Springfield girl gave her Head Start teacher a gift - a bag of pot. The child's mother told inspectors she had no idea where the cannibis had come from.
A psychiatric patient at a hospital in Winnipeg, Canada was charged with sneaking off-grounds and committing armed robberies. Police said the suspect told orderlies he was stepping outside for a smoke the four times he'd held up restaurants in the area.
HELLO, IT'S ME
A man who broke into an Aderço Teixeira, Brazil bank stole the security camera to thwart police from identifying him - not realizing his robbery was already captured on the security recorder. Police said the suspect was very recognizable in the closeup shots in which he was dismantling the camera.
ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL
Police in Scranton, Pennsylvania said a man didn't have the 685 dollars to enroll in a theft rehab program that would have cleared his name - so he stole a computer from the courthouse. A pawn shop refused to accept the laptop without a power cord - so the perp was busted when he returned to the courthouse to get it.
WIND ON THE TYNE
A police pilot in Newcastle, England found a unique way to use a helicopter to rescue two men who were drowning in the icy River Tyne. The pilot used the downdraft from the helicopter blade to blow the men ashore.
A Saronno, Italy man was arrested for shoplifting after doing a strange little dance in a supermarket checkout line. Security officers said the perp had stuffed a frozen drumstick down his pants, but was suffering from severe frostbite to the genitals by the time he'd reached the cash register.
Police in Showhegan, Maine had no trouble identifying a suspect who stole 27 Christmas trees from the Central Maine Wreath Company. A license plate from the truck allegedly used to haul the booty was found in a snow bank.
EAST LONDON CALLING
Police in East London, South Africa had no trouble finding the cell phone stolen by a man being questioned in an interrogation room. They dialed the victim's number - and the phone began ringing in the suspect's underpants.
19-year-old Judith Ann Garland of Baltimore was charged with attempting to sell her two-year-old son to raise bail for detention on a drug charge. Police said Garland offered her son to the wife of another inmate for 250 dollars, through a makeshift contract she had mailed from jail.
...TAKE ON TREEEEEEE...
When Magne Furuholmen of the Norwegian pop group A-Ha was given 700 dollars to decorate a public Christmas tree in Oslo, he decided to decorate it with the money. He dubbed it "Commercial Christmas," but a thief saw it as a money tree - and stripped it bare of the cash a few nights later.
MOON DOWN UNDER
A Coolangatta, Australia man claimed his constitutional rights were violated after he was charged with mooning police officers. James Togo's lawyer notified the country's attorneys general that he would argue that Togo could legally bare his bottom to police as an expression of free communication.
MAN & MACHINE
A man who was having trouble with a malfunctioning grocery store ATM became so frustrated, he pulled out a gun and demanded the clerk give him 20 dollars. Chicago police said the suspect was easy to find - he'd left his bank card in the machine.
A northern Italy signalman was charged with interrupting a public service after causing major communter train delays. Authorities said the man was 33 minutes late in sounding an official departure whistle because he had a bout of diarrhea.
STEEL BEATS CERAMIC
A man who attempted to rob a fast food restaurant in Perth, Australia was armed with a broken ceramic tile. He was easily overpowered by an employee wielding a steel rotisserie rod. Police said the perp didn't see the rod attack coming - he was wearing a bucket over his head.
WRONG PLATE AT THE WRONG TIME
A man in Arlington, Virginia who attempted to steal a license plate from a parked car was instantly apprehended. The plate was on an unmarked police car - and an officer was inside it.
Two postal workers tried to sell office telephone equipment to a used electronics dealer in Nuremberg, Germany - but the dealer recognized the package as one he'd brought to the post office that morning. Police said a search of the workers' apartment turned up thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment that had been stolen from the mail.
Police said four men in Rotterdam convinced 38 students between the ages of 8 and 16 that they were going to a "special party" - then broke into a primary school and instructed them to walk off with computers and toys. Only the adults were charged.
GIMME ALL YOUR HOT CROSS BUNS!
The perp who robbed a Metarie, Louisiana donut shop at gunpoint was described as tall, with a pageboy haircut, black stilleto high-heel shoes ... and male.
Paper deliveryman Balbir Dhaliwal saw a small fire at a gas station in Surry, B.C. and doused it with the hose from the air and water station. Police later informed Dhaliwal that he'd thwarted an attempt by an employee to fake his own death by blowing up the station's underground tanks.
Police in Hereford, England were engaged in a foot chase with a man suspected of stealing a toy from the local Woolworth's - but lost him under a bridge. The talking Buzz Lightyear action figure he'd stolen gave him up, however, when it exclaimed, "Buzz Lightyear! Permission to engage!"
A Pecos Valley, New Mexico man who was fixing his car's handbrake discovered nearly ten pounds of cocaine hidden behind his dashboard. He'd bought the car at a police auction - it'd been seized in a drug case.
A Yacolt, Washington man was showing off a rattlesnake he'd caught on a trip to Arizona by kissing it. But the snake returned the sentiment by biting him firmly on the lip. A friend killed the snake and Matt George was airlifted to a hospital in Portland, Oregon, where he received anti-venom ... just in time.
A 25-year-old man in Giessen, Germany was sentenced to four years in prison for attempted bank robbery because he was unable to see through his holdup mask. Officials showed security camera footage in court that showed the defendant pulling a stocking mask over his head - but he'd failed to cut eye holes in it and pulled it off, revealing his face to the camera.
TEACHER HAS NO CLASS
Investigators arrested two Beaufort, South Carolina women on embezzlement charges after they allegedly created a fictious teacher so they could draw an extra salary from the school district. Officials said one of the women worked in the district's human resources department.
A COLD ONE ON THE RUN
A Taunton, Massachusetts man was charged with bank robbery after witnesses claimed he ran from the bank to a nearby American Legion post. Police were told the suspect stopped in for a quick beer and left. Officials said they later found part of the stolen money at the suspect's home.
Customs officials in Poland noticed that a German man leaving the country had a middle that was much larger than the rest of his body. A search turned up a live python wrapped around his stomach. The suspect was charged with smuggling - and the python was taken to the Danzig Zoo.
A woman who was expecting snapshots of her kids from a photo lab was given someone else's order - showing two 19-year-olds vandalizing a New Paltz, New York police cruiser. She turned the photos over to authorities, who traced them to two Ulster County Community College students. the duo was charged with causing 5 thousand dollars worth of damages to the cruiser - and then pooping in it.
LEARNING THE HARD WAY
Some people in Germany love hard, black bread rolls - but not a man who tried to hold up a Munich bakery. The baker said that when the suspect drew a knife and demanded money, she pelted him with the rolls until he fled empty-handed.
COME OUT WITH YOUR PAWS UP #1
A SWAT team spent five hours surrounding a Seattle house after a neighbor reported hearing shots inside - only to discover that they'd spent all that time trying to negotiate with a dog. During the incident, SWAT team members had seen blinds moving in the windows.
COME OUT WITH YOUR PAWS UP #2
A homeless man in Dornbirn, Austria confessed to committing dozens of burglaries while accompanied by his dog. 42-year-old Karl Scultz was arrested after detectives matched a paw print at one of the break-in scenes to that of his black lab mix, King.
BIG YELLOW NIGHTMARE
A 34-year-old Hamilton, New Jersey school bus driver was taken off driving duty after he let a 14-year-old boy take a turn behind the wheel. Another student was injured when the boy braked too quickly.
A 35-year-old firefighter from Saxmundham, England admitted that he made three hoax calls so he could feel the exhilaration of going out with the crew. Officials said sub-officer Michael Ford disguised his voice when he made the calls, but didn't realize that they could be traced back to him with today's record-keeping equipment.
A man in Sydney, Australia used a mobile crane in his attempt to remove an ATM machine from an office building - but when he rammed the building, it collapsed. Authorities said only the ATM was left standing.
RIPOFF MAN RIPPED OFF
An unarmed man who snatched money out of the hands of customers at a Tehran, Iran bank was quickly subdued by bystanders and guards. The suspect complained to authorities that he had paid a scam artist over 600 dollars to make him invisible.
A man in Diez, Germany discovered his car had been broken into, but nothing was stolen. The perp left a note which, loosely translated, read: "Your radio is crap - not worth stealing!"
HITCHIN' A RIDE
A man who escaped from a Mato Grasso, Brazil state prison flagged down a car and asked for a ride. The driver and a passenger were undercover police officers - who arrested him.
RIGHT THISH WAY
A drunk-driving suspect in Green Bay, Wisconsin led police on a slow-speed chase - straight to jail. Officials said the 22-year-old man drove into the county jail parking lot and surrendered.
Police in Springfield, Illinois charged a man with aggravated animal cruelty after he allegedly microwaved his girlfriend's dog. Authorities said 41-year-old Everett Howze was jealous of the attention she paid to her pet.
WANTED: DRAC QUEEN
The Utah State Court Of Appeals threw out a prisoner's suit claiming that jail officials were keeping him from practicing his religion - vampirism. Robert Paul Rice was demanding the court allow conjugal visits with a "vampress" so they could drink each other's blood.