crime: August 2011 Archives

275x250.jpgA team of bungling thieves who thought they'd successfully stolen £240,000 of rhino horns from a museum actually made off with worthless replicas.

The gang had smashed their way into the Natural History Museum in Hertfordshire before using hammers to remove horns from two stuffed animals, an Indian rhino and a white rhino.

They probably thought they'd swiped valuable ivory horns in the break-in -- during which nothing else was taken -- but police have now revealed all they got away with were fakes.

Faux rhino horns made out of resin and with no commercial value had been fitted to the stuffed animals after a series of rhino horn raids on auction rooms, galleries and private collections.

Real rhino horns, sought after because of a belief it can cure cancer, are worth more than diamonds, gold and cocaine… fake ones, not so much.

false legSecurity bosses have been left red-faced after it was revealed they'd put a electronic tag on an offender's false leg.

This meant 29-year-old Christopher Lowcock was able to break a court-imposed curfew simply by leaving his leg at home.

It's understood the gaffe happened when Lowcock - who had the curfew imposed for offences involving drugs - wrapped his faux leg in a bandage.

Staff from security firm G4S then attached the electronic tag to the prosthetic limb and set up the curfew system at his Rochdale home.

The error was only discovered after Lowcock was returned to custody accused of another driving-related offence… presumably a driving-with-one-leg-related offence.

275x250.jpg Police are on the hunt for a woman who was caught on CCTV attacking a cash machine in Wiltshire with her stiletto shoe.

The woman is said to have struck the Barclays machine almost fifty times during her bizarre ATM assault in Chippenham.

Part way through her attack - which left both the key pad and the screen out of order - she even paused and tried to use the machine.

When she couldn't get it to do whatever she wanted, she started whacking it again… luckily she hadn't given this CCTV camera a shoeing first.

275x250.jpgA kinky kangaroo has been caught red-handed by police in Prague who say he was stealing sexy underwear off washing lines.

Officers say the two year-old marsupial called Benji escaped from his owner and then proceeded to hop from yard to yard on a lingerie grabbing spree.

Soon after receiving a call from the distressed owner reporting their missing marsupial, calls started coming in about underwear being nabbed from washing lines.

But it was only when a woman looked out of her window and saw Benji rummaging through her knickers that they realised the incidents were related.

It's claimed that in each case the kinky kangaroo only the sexiest items off clotheslines before being apprehended and returned to his owner… who was keen to stress Benji didn't pick up the habit from him.

275x250.jpg Robbers have employed some dubious disguises in the past, but this one is up there with the most bizarre - he wore a dress and donned a pair of white underpants on his head.

Police in Dallas - where the idiot targeted a convenience store - say the man entered the store at 5.30am and demanded cash from out of the till and off customers.

Officers say he was able to get away with the money and are warning that he could have been armed - but hope his unusual attire could lead to an arrest.

Wearing the Y-fronts on his head to hide his face from CCTV cameras, it's not known why he chose to pair them with the black and white floral dress… talk about VPL.

Police in Detroit have released dash-cam footage of a driver using his feet as brakes - à la Fred Flintstone - after his pickup truck suffered faulty brakes.

Officers had started following the 24-year-old driver after receiving reports of his odd behaviour from other motorists who said he was reaching speeds of 70kmh.

After trying unsuccessfully to pull him over, the pickup truck eventually came to a standstill after smashing into several other cars at a junction.

The idiot danger driver is said to have then told police he was aware his brakes weren't working and he was trying to get home to fix them. Looks like he's as bright as Fred Flintstone too.

275x250.jpgParamedics called out to deal with a five-year-old in cardiac arrest were shocked when they arrived to discover their proposed patient was actually a cat.

The staff from the East of Emergency Ambulance Service are reported to have been dispatched after a 999 call was received from a desperate couple.

Fearing a young child was fighting for their life, a fast response car and ambulance were quickly sent out to the address in Crane Mead, Herts.

But when they got there, paramedics were "gobsmacked" by what they found… a tearful couple with a five-year-old feline who was feared to have had a heart attack.

Ambulance bosses are now asking people to think twice before calling 999… which isn't surprising after this snowman, this string-playing cat, this rabbit and this rapper.

An Australian man has been banned from driving for ten months after he was caught drink driving on a motorised beer cooler full of booze.

23-year-old Chris Petrie was pulled over by officers when they saw him driving along on the odd contraption and presumably looking a little bit worse for wear.

Sure enough Petrie, who'd been doing 20km per hour, tested over the limit - he'd drunk a few while building the £400 Esky device which he'd bought online - and was arrested.

The drink driver said he did not realise the motorised beer cooler could be classified as a motor vehicle and therefore didn't think he could be arrested. He was wrong.

275x250.jpgA world record sword-swallower has been arrested while performing in New York… for "brandishing a sword in public".

Australian Chayne Hultgren (who performs under then name The Space Cowboy) says that he was busking in New York when he was approached by cops.

They told him it was illegal to have a sword in public (even if you are swallowing it) and as soon as his audience was dispersed, they arrested the 33-year-old.

After his props were confiscated the acclaimed performer was taken to cell where he spent 24 hours in the company of junkies and sexual offenders.

To make matters worse, as officers left him in the cell, they apparently said loudly through the bars 'don't tell these guys you swallow'.

275x250.jpg Bosses at a UK safari park say they didn't know what to get for a silverback gorilla turning 50… but that flowers weren't their best idea.

Staff at Longleat Safari had wanted to do something special for Nico, Europe’s oldest silverback, when he celebrated his 50th birthday.

As such they gave the 200kgs beast an array of gifts including a bunch of flowers and a banana-shaped birthday cake for him to enjoy.

But as these photos show, the flowers didn't go down too well and got petulantly thrown on the ground… at least the banana cake was more appreciated and got devoured in seconds.

275x250.jpg A bank robber has been dubbed the 'Bad hair bandit' by the FBI after carrying out a series of more than 18 raids while wearing dodgy wigs.

It's said she's donned everything from a badly fitting bob to blonde dreadlocks in a bid to hide her identity during her crime spree.

During each of her raids, she slips the bank cashiers a note saying that she has a gun, and orders them to hand over bags of cash.

While it's not known if she actually has a weapon, officers advise against approaching her… or saying how bad her hair looks.

275x250.jpgA man has reportedly been arrested by police after allegedly planning a mass water fight using the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.

It's said the 20-year-old man was trying to organise the even by circulating messages on the service which was used heavily during the recent UK riots.

But while recent years have seen a number of mass water fights organised through social media, it turns out doing it so close to the riots was not a good idea.

As such the Colchester man has been charged with "encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence" under the 2007 Serious Crime Act. Over a water fight.

He's now due to appear before magistrates next month and we'd like to suggest he doesn't take a water pistol with him.

275x250.jpgA Russian aviation-enthusiast is said to have accidentally killed his wife with a homemade missile as she watched him launch the makeshift rocket from a field.

Shortly after the DIY missile blasted off, it's reported to have veered off-course and straight towards her head.

Police in Vologda, northwest Russia say that while she was taken to hospital, she died shortly after the accident, which happened earlier this month.

The 42-year-old husband - who works for an aviation firm - could now face charges of manslaughter and up to two years in prison if found guilty.

And that's why we don't think it's a good idea to take an interest in your partner's hobby, even shopping can be deadly.

In today's deserved comeuppance of the day we give you the looter who came out of court… and walked straight into a lamppost.

Primary school worker Alexis Bailey was holding a newspaper over his face as he walked out of Highbury Magistrates Court, in a bid to hide his identity.

But TV news footage of the fool - who had pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal from a Richer Sounds store in Croydon - was far better than a clear shot of his face.

That's because as he scarpered down the street with his dodgy newspaper disguise he walked straight into a lamppost. Needless to say the clip has become a hit in more ways than one.

275x250.jpg An uncontacted tribe of Amazon Indians, who were discovered and filmed for the first time earlier this year, have gone missing after suspected drug-traffickers raided their village.

Brazil's National Indian Foundation says the tribe was recently over-run by heavily-armed men who are believed to be Peruvian drug traffickers and chased them away.

The remote outpost is reported to have been ransacked and while one of the traffickers’ rucksacks was found to have a broken arrow inside - a package containing 20kg of cocaine was also discovered nearby.

Carlos Travassos, the head of the Brazilian government’s isolated Indians department, said: "Arrows are like the identity card of uncontacted Indians. We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee. Now we have good proof."

275x250.jpgWe've seen enough cases of people shooting themselves to know that even when it's not fatal, it's still rather embarrassing.

But Joshua Seto has taken this to a new level. Not only did he shoot himself with his girlfriend's pink handgun… he accidentally fired at his penis.

The 27-year-old is said to have had the weapon tucked into the waistband of his trousers when he walked into an Arizona grocery store.

Unfortunately, he somehow managed to accidentally fire the gun and the bullet promptly struck his penis before traveling through his left thigh.

Police say the incident it being treated as an accident but the man could face weapon charges… if he's still got enough of a weapon left.

275x250.jpgPolice have told a US man to stop wearing a bunny suit in public as he's beginning to scare children.  

That's because William Falkingham is said to have been spotted peeking at kids from behind a tree and then pointing his finger at them like a gun.

According to a police report, the 34-year-old from Idaho Falls has left a number of local residents "greatly disturbed" by his activities.

However, other neighbours insist that he's eccentric but otherwise harmless and just enjoys wearing the suit.

Falkingham is said to also have a cowboy outfit and a ballerina dress which he wears, though police have made no attempt to stop him wearing these. Really.

275x250.jpg A hero police officer didn't let a little thing like being run over by a speeding car stop him from doing his job - he jumped back up chased the driver before shooting him with a taser.

PC Dan Pascoe from Surrey Police had been part of a road block set up on a slip road of the M25 to stop a criminal driving a stolen BMW car.

But the crook wasn't going to stop and ploughed into the police car which sent the officer flying violently to the ground. But PC Pascoe was determined to get his man, as this footage shows.

The brave officer quickly jumped back up and ran after the stolen car and he was able to use his Taser stun gun on the crook who tried to get away on foot. We didn't know Surrey Police was testing a Robocop.

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