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Weird National Briefs (08/02/2017)

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Rude nude dude

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Authorities in Florida say they arrested a man who robbed a bank, stripped naked and ran down the street throwing stolen money - a spectacle that he somehow thought would jump-start his career as a comedian.

Instead, the FBI says 25-year-old Alexander Sperber is charged with bank robbery.

A federal complaint says the man told authorities he parked his car at the bank, made a gun motion with his hand and demanded money from the teller, who gave him about $4,700 in a bag. Officials say a red dye pack exploded, staining his clothes and a cast on his left wrist.

The Sun Sentinel reports Sperber was taken to a hospital and found to be coherent and uninjured. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

TME – Ah, Florida Man – don’t ever change.

One Hour Moto

LONDON - A British driver has survived a major crash in his Ferrari, an hour after he bought it. Local police called it a “miracle escape,” but the car was not so lucky.

South Yorkshire Police posted Twitter photos of the smoking, wrecked car, saying it “went airborne (and) burst into flames” beside a highway in northern England.

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia, worth about 200,000 pounds ($260,000) new, ended up a burning heap in a field.

The police said in a Facebook statement that the driver “only had minor cuts and bruises” after Thursday’s smash, but they also detected “a sense of damaged pride.”

The force said the driver told officers: “I’ve only just got it, picked it up an hour ago.”

Police urged local drivers to take care on the roads.

TME – We look forward to Nic Cage in “Gone in 60 Minutes.”

Mail to the King (Cobras)

LOS ANGELES - A man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday after customs officers intercepted a shipment with three live king cobras hidden inside potato chip canisters that were being mailed to his California home, U.S. prosecutors said.

Rodrigo Franco, 34, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles on a charge of illegally importing merchandise. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

The three king cobra snakes - each about two feet long - were found in March when Customs and Border Protection officers inspected a package that was mailed from Hong Kong, prosecutors said. There were also three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles in the package, authorities said.

Federal agents removed the cobras but delivered the turtles to Franco’s home in Monterey Park.

The agents later served a search warrant there and found tanks with a live baby Morelet’s crocodile, alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins. Prosecutors say all of the reptiles are protected under U.S. law.

Franco admitted to an agent from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that he had previously received 20 king cobras in two other shipments, but he said they all died in transit, according to court documents.

If convicted, Franco faces up to 20 years in prison.

TME – Once you pop, you can’t stop shrieking in terror.

Riding that train

HARTFORD, Conn. - Police say two men have been arrested after they tried to buy drugs from an officer at a Connecticut police station.

Hartford Police say an officer had finished his shift and was walking to his vehicle Sunday when two men approached and asked if he would sell them cocaine.

The two men said they needed to find an ATM to get cash, so the officer directed them to a machine inside the lobby of the police department.

Police said that while the men went inside to get $60 for drugs, the officer called for help and the men were arrested.

Hartford Police did not release their names. The $60 was taken as evidence.

A department spokesman posted the police report to Twitter on Monday, saying, “and this happened.”

TME – They’ll be fine – it’ll blow over soon.

Shell game

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. - The owners of a 77-pound tortoise found on the side of a Long Island road in New York have claimed their wayward, slow-moving pet.

Newsday reports police in Nassau County brought the African spurred tortoise to Dr. Ned Horowitz and his staff at the Massapequa Pet Vet on Wednesday after finding it wandering along a town road. Horowitz says the owner contacted him shortly after news stories about the lost tortoise were posted on social media.

The family who owns the tortoise named Tito were able to claim him on Thursday afternoon after showing proof of ownership. They say Tito got loose after someone left their backyard gate open.

TME – That kind of behavior is just shell-fish.

Shell game – part II

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A 115-year-old desert tortoise that disappeared from its garden at a New Mexico senior living community was returned.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the tortoise, Diablo, was returned Friday to Manzano del Sol Village. He had ventured to the backyard of a nearby home after a family bought the shell-wearing wanderer from kids at a local park.

Millie Tjeltweed, who owns Diablo, says she doesn’t know the circumstances of the tortoise’s disappearance.

Tjeltweed says the family that purchased Diablo called the senior living community after seeing a news report on the tortoise’s disappearance. Tjeltweed and some administrators from the facility went over to the home, and Tjeltweed was able to verify that it was her pet of 35 years.

TME – WHAT ARE THESE TORTOISES RUNNING FROM?

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