28 January 2010

Man caught trying to break into prison

You sometimes hear about people that have escaped or absconded from jail but you rarely hear about people doing the reverse and trying to break into prison. Despite the absurdity of it, that's what a man in Oregon, America, tried to do.

The 28-year-old was seen by prison officials at 4.10am Monday morning scaling the Jackson County Jail fence. When police got the man down, he said he had been drinking and smoking marijuana before climb. He claims he had wanted to get help from the jail and when nobody answered the front door, he thought he would try the back.

The unfortunate man was booked by police for disorderly conduct and trespassing. I hope he got the help he needed elsewhere; as this story proves, entering or exiting a prison through anything other than the official entrance, doesn't seem to go down well.

26 January 2010

Hiding drugs in pineapples and puppies

Mask of Manuel's rant yesterday about food fights reminded me of a few other stories about the inappropriate use of consumables; namely, creative ways people have been caught trying to smuggle drugs. Now, at the risk of sounding like your granny, I think drugs are dangerous and that is good reason why they’re illegal. But be prepared – the following tales of deception range from the bizarre to the horribly cruel.

Over the past few days it has been revealed that authorities in America caught a truckload of fresh fish coming over the border from Mexico with 708lbs (320kgs) of marijuana stashed under it. Border control could obviously still tell something was fishy with the delivery as they insisted the truck be x-rayed!

Stranger still, a shipment of pineapples from Latin America bound for Holland was found to contain almost 2000lbs (900kgs) of cocaine. Firearms were also in the loot.

It seems like drug smugglers will go to extreme lengths to conceal illegal substances. People, communities and even animals are harmed by the drug trade. Back in 2002 police in America arrested several Colombian nationals who had surgically implanted heroin into purebred puppies. As a dog lover, I can’t understand how anyone could be heartless enough to use them as drug mules.

Luckily, Crimestoppers is always working to tackle drug-related crime. About half of all information the charity receives is about drugs and last year more than £19m of drugs were seized as a result of information passed to Crimestoppers.

So thank you to everyone who passed on information to the charity before; working together is the only way to tackle crime and make our streets safer.

25 January 2010

Man jailed for throwing double-decker taco

First there was the Asda employee jailed after he allegedly licked a chicken, now a man in the USA has been jailed for throwing a Taco at a Taco Bell manager. What is it with food-related crime? When I was growing up, my padre and momia used to tell me not to waste food as some children weren’t lucky enough to have it. Now it seems that slinging a steak at someone when you’re annoyed is becoming the norm.

The man involved in this incident was going through a drive-thru at a Taco Bell in Fairbanks, Alaska, when he threw the double-decker taco at the food-outlet manager. The 31-year-old claims he chucked the taco because he spotted spit in it after he had already gone twice through the drive-thru because the incorrect order was given to him. Taco Bell denies that there was spit in the taco, instead claiming the man was trying to get free food.

As well as being sentenced to a day in jail, the man has been put on a year’s probation. A condition of it is that he can’t go to Taco Bell.

Now I'm not throwing in judgment here, because who knows what really happened. But perhaps this story will serve as a warning to others – if you like a food enough that you want to keep eating it (and what’s there not to like about tacos), then don’t go throwing it at people. I’m certainly going to be keeping my firm favourites (paella, gazpacho, churros, pizza etc…) close to my chest from now on.

21 January 2010

Asda shelf-stacker jailed after allegedly licking a chicken

Mask of Manuel's blog post about the suspected burglar who made himself fried chicken after breaking into a house was pretty bizarre, but I think I can top it. An Asda shelf-stacker has been jailed for causing criminal damage to the Asda supermarket in Fulwood, Preston, after a video was posted on YouTube of him allegedly licking a raw chicken. In all my days... Well there's liking chicken and then there's really liking chicken. At least the chicken in question appears to be corn-fed.

Adeel Ayub is seen in the video (watch it below) throwing eggs, using a blade to cut chairs in the Asda staff room and standing on whole chickens in the store's meat cabinet. Ayub's solicitor said in court that the behaviour was meant "as a prank".

Watch the video below and judge for yourself. Personally I suspect Ayub was following Sainsbury's tagline - "Try something new today."

20 January 2010

Burglar makes himself at home with fried chicken and a shower

Not many things ever manage to come between my dinner and I. Food is one of my main passions (along with fighting crime), possibly due to my Spanish heritage. That said, there are times and places when eating a meal or even helping ones self to a small snack just isn't appropriate.

A burglar from eastern Pennsylvania doesn't seem to share this view - he allegedly broke into a woman's house by throwing a rock through a window pane on her door. According to court records, the intruder then not only rummaged through all of the rooms of the house, but also had a shower, cut his hair and prepared himself a meal before being discovered by the homeowner.

She discovered the man sitting on her sofa watching television. He had some fried chicken cooking in the kitchen and had helped himself to a few cans of beer. The man refused to leave the premises until police attended and charged him with burglary, criminal trespass, theft and criminal mischief.

I hope for his sake the fried chicken was worth it!

19 January 2010

Busted! Police find drugs growing in an old school bus

On I spy a crime we often highlight examples of criminals doing stupid things, like the Dutchman who reported his Ecstasy collection as stolen. Today I've read a story about some crims who seem a little more creative than your average crook.

Three men in North Carolina have been caught growing marijuana plants in, of all places, an underground school bus. The bus was buried eight feet into the ground, underneath a garden shed. Lenoir County Sheriff's Office says they had been looking for the source of the area's marijuana for years and had previously tried spotting the plants using a helicopter. It was only when a police dog fell through a disguised trap door to the bus that the underground loot of 68 plants was discovered.

Usually cannabis factories are easier to spot than this. These days police regularly use heat sensoring technology to detect them from the air, but they still need to be pointed in the right direction by the public. Watch the video below about the tell-tale signs so you can keep your eyes peeled.

18 January 2010

Protect yourself from doorstep deception

Crimestoppers has launched a new campaign today targeting distraction burglary (you might also know it as doorstep crime or bogus callers). The typical age of a victim is 81... Oh the cheek of it. The targeting of older people in their own homes is disgusting and so cowardly!

As part of today's campaign launch, a list of the top 10 Most Wanted distraction burglars has been released. Police are looking to locate and speak to all 10 of the Most Wanted about recent distraction burglaries. They come from all around - Derby to Northern Ireland to Avon and Somerset. Check out their photos on the
Crimestoppers Most Wanted website, one of them just might live near you.

Distraction burglary involves someone using a trick or a lie to gain access to a house, before stealing cash and belongings. One of the wanted men went to an elderly lady's house in Hampshire claiming to be from a near-by building site checking people's pipes after a water leak. He and two other men stole £600 from the woman, which she had been saving to buy a new headstone for her parent's grave. These men should be ashamed of themselves. What a horrendous thing to do!

As an older lady, I'm always cautious about who I let into my house. It can be challenging to tell who is legitimate and who isn't. My rule is simple but effective: If I don't know them, I don't let them in. Better safe than sorry I say. You can read distraction burglary crime prevention advice on the
Crimestoppers website to learn more about protecting yourself at home.

If you have any information about distraction burglary, call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Calls are not traced or recorded so no one will ever know you called. You can also pass information to the charity online.

Stay safe and secure

14 January 2010

Ricky's got two fights on his hands

The Caped Crimestopper does a good job of keeping his pointy ear to the ground - yesterday he was one of the first to break the news the Ricky Hatton is working with Crimestoppers on a campaign - Bravo!

Today, I've got an added snippet of information for you loyal readers - Ricky has also announced he's making a comeback to boxing this year.

Check out the video below, Ricky discusses both fighting crime with Crimestoppers and his upcoming fight in the ring.

13 January 2010

Join Ricky Hatton in the fight against crime

As a superhero, being fit and quick on my feet is more of a necessity than in other professions. I keep in shape by competing challenge events for Crimestoppers and by helping the less mobile carry their shopping. That said there are a few people I wouldn’t want to face in a fight, even if I was wearing my cape.

One of those is national hero, Ricky Hatton. He’s a lad known for packing a mean punch in the ring and sticking by his local Manchester roots out of it. I’ve got some insider news for you – Ricky Hatton’s got a new fight coming up – one against crime. Crimestoppers is working on a new campaign with Ricky called Fight Crime.

As part of it, Ricky is calling on Greater Manchester residents to help him make communities safer by passing on information about crime to Crimestoppers anonymously.

As Ricky said: "Throughout my career I have received great support from people throughout the North West and now I would like them to support me again as we seek to make our communities safer and better places to bring up our kids. By supporting Crimestoppers we are taking the fight to the criminals.”

Sounds like a good deal to me.

11 January 2010

The attack of the bum-sniffing shopper

What is it about bizarre crimes in supermarkets thesedays? First comes a salami and parmesan fight in Germany, and now a ‘bum-sniffing’ shopper in our very own Plymouth.

Police have released CCTV footage of a man caught sneaking up on a supermarket employee and apparently sniffing his behind. They are treating the incident as a sexual assault and are appealing for help to track the man down.

I’d say that the moral of the story is that we shouldn’t let our guards down, my dears. Stay alert and you are much less likely to be a victim of an opportunist crime. Personally, I’m a fan of online shopping, perhaps even more so than ever now…

7 January 2010

German shoppers hospitalised after cheese and salami fight

I must admit that I’ve suffered a flash of supermarket rage in the past. But, true to my nature, I've always dealt with it in a cool, calm and collected manner. All it takes is to swish your cape and walk away when you notice a fellow trolley-pusher getting feisty. Take my advice, fellow crime-fighters - don’t rise to it.

In fact, there are a handful of German shoppers who need to follow that very advice.

A fracas started when a 74-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman fought over a shopping trolley outside a supermarket in Aachen. The winner of the trolley was decided when the woman’s brother punched the man and knocked him over.

Unwilling to give in so easily, however, the 74-year-old followed them into the shop, grabbed a salami and confronted the woman’s brother who had punched him. While attacking the man with the salami, the mother of the man and woman stepped in with a chunk of parmesan. Police eventually intervened and had to send two of them to hospital for injuries incurred during the fight.

Violence helps no-one, crime-fighters. And surely a salami and cheese sandwich is far more appealing than fighting with the ingredients?

5 January 2010

The stolen gear of an ecstasy collector

I’m a little confused by a Dutchman who reported his collection of ecstasy pills as stolen to the police. On reporting the theft, he was allegedly under no illusions about getting his 2,400 pills, collected over twenty years, back. Instead he claimed that forty of the pills were poisonous and he was worried about what would happen if anyone swallowed them.

I wonder if the good-citizen-act will hold up in court? After he meticulously stored the illegal drugs in coin collecting folders over two decades, all because he liked the colours, shapes and logos printed on them.

It sounds like a ludicrous hobby to me. What’s more, officials across the water in the Netherlands are wondering whether they can even charge the man – since the pills have disappeared, they can’t nab him with a possession charge.

Drug crime is a nasty business – have a look at Crimestoppers’ website if you need information about drugs. And if you want to pass on information about a drug dealer anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or fill out the secure online form on their website.

Drugs are illegal – whether you are a buyer, seller, or in this case, a collector. My advice to this young Dutchman? Stick to stamps.