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Weird National Briefs (05/10/2017)

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Everybody cut loose, footloose

CHARLESTON, S.C. - After a shoe with a human foot inside turned up on a dock in Charleston, South Carolina, investigators are trying to figure out whose it was and how it got there.

A police report says a woman told Charleston City Marina employees on Monday that the shoe had been sitting on the dock for nearly a week and it appeared to have a bone sticking out of the top.

The foot, wearing a black sock, was inside the teal-colored, size-9 Adidas sneaker.

Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten says her investigators are checking records of boating accidents and missing people, but haven’t linked any records with the foot.

Wooten says she thinks someone tossed the shoe onto the dock and it’s impossible to know how long it was in the water.

Between 2007 and 2008, five athletic shoes containing human feet were found along the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland in Canada. Also in 2008, an athletic shoe containing a human foot was found on a Washington state beach.

TME – So the shoe is on the other foot?

Later, gator

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Little Rock police have arrested three men and accused them of stealing a live alligator from a downtown nature center.

The three were charged early Thursday with commercial burglary, theft of property and criminal mischief. One also faces a charge of fleeing.

Police say that, after the burglary at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, officers found the three-foot alligator beneath a seat in the men’s car. Still missing Thursday afternoon was a replica of a western diamondback rattlesnake. A shotgun taken in the burglary was also recovered.

The center’s exhibit hall was closed Thursday so crews can repair a number of educational exhibits damaged after the break-in.

The nature center is in the city’s River Market District, close to the Bill Clinton presidential library.

TME – They were also planning to steal a crocodile, but not for a while.

Mischief miscalculation

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Call it a statistical error: Police say two University of Kentucky students crawled through an air duct to steal a statistics exam from their professor’s office but were caught because he was working late.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports university police cited Henry Lynch II and Troy Kiphuth, both 21, for third-degree burglary and referred the case to Fayette County Circuit Court.

University spokesman Jay Blanton told the newspaper the instructor left his office about midnight Tuesday to get something to eat. When he returned, two men ran from the office. One of them later returned and confessed.

Police said Lynch told officers he tried stealing the exam earlier in the night but couldn’t find it. He also confessed to stealing an exam from the office earlier in the semester.

TME – The odds were against them from the start.

Stolen sandwich

YORK, S.C. - Deputies in South Carolina have arrested a man who they say broke into his neighbor’s house and made a sandwich.

The Rock Hill Herald reports the York County Sheriff’s Office says 55-year-old Joel Puglia of Rock Hill has been charged with burglary and petit larceny after authorities said he entered the locked house Saturday.

The report lists the stolen goods as a drink of clear moonshine, a Clover Valley kosher whole dill pickle, a scoop of Newk’s pimento cheese and two slices of bread.

The homeowner alerted authorities after home surveillance detected motion. He had installed the cameras after noticing things going missing. Puglia, who is renting property from the homeowner, admitted to entering the home on other occasions.

It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

TME – Dude couldn’t have stolen some deli meat?

Played by possums

LANCASTER, Pa. - A Pennsylvania man trying to scare away opossums by setting a fire has destroyed his home.

LNP reports the row house blaze on Wednesday in Lancaster began when a man used butane to light a pile of leaves in his backyard. The man apparently hoped the smoke would help rid him of the marsupials, which are known for playing dead.

A city fire marshal says the fire got out of control and spread to the home, which was built of wood.

The building was condemned. Three people were displaced as a result of the fire, which did $50,000 in damage. A firefighter required hospital treatment for a shoulder injury.

Officials say the man had problems with bees also.

TME – In lieu of a joke, read the last sentence again - the universe clearly hates this guy.

Escape plan

SANTA FE, N.M. - Sheriff’s deputies had spotted a man walking barefoot down a New Mexico road with his feet full of cactus, so they offered him a ride.

Turns out, the man had escaped from the state penitentiary by walking out the front door. So instead of a homeless shelter, the deputies put him back behind bars.

The deputies found 30-year-old Raymond Lopez to be the runaway inmate pictured in manhunt flyers.

Lopez has been booked at the county jail on charges of escape and concealing identity.

Lopez told deputies after he had been caught that he found civilian clothes in a “shakedown cell.” He put them on and walked out the unlocked front door.

Penitentiary spokesman S.U. Mahesh says a review of procedures will take place and whatever changes necessary for safety will be made.

TME – Say what you will – he’s definitely not spineless.

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