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Weird National Briefs (01/09/2019)

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Disrobed robbery

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. - Authorities are holding a man they say tried to rob a San Diego County bank, then told frightened customers to call 911, stripped to his underwear and awaited arrest.

Thirty-five-year-old Clint Gray was arrested Thursday at a Wells Fargo branch in Solana Beach. It’s not known if he has an attorney.

Derek Stevenson tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that he was one of three customers inside the bank when the man entered shortly after the branch opened, shouted that it was a robbery and ordered everyone to the ground.

As staff and customers complied, the man told people to call 911, began stripping to his underwear, then sat in a chair near the front door until deputies arrived.

Authorities say the robber had no weapon and no cash was taken.

TME – 1. Threaten robbery and remove pants. 2. ??? 3. Profit!

Happy feet

OKLAHOMA CITY - A large purple penguin statue that was swiped from a hotel in Oklahoma City apparently managed to waddle back home after police released surveillance camera images of a man with the $3,000 piece of art tucked under his arm.

Oklahoma City police on Friday announced that the statue, which disappeared Sunday night from the 21c Museum Hotel, had been “returned home.”

No arrests have been announced.

Hotel staff speculated that it was stolen by someone visiting a guest. Surveillance images show a man carrying the artwork by its head. The penguin is about two-thirds the height of the statue thief.

A spokeswoman for the hotel said she was “thrilled the penguin has been returned to our flock.”

TME – “The Purloined Purple Penguin” is the greatest Nancy Drew book never written.

Fly Eagles Fly

PITTSTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania man accused of breaking into a music store and stealing guitars tells reporters he has one thing to say: “Go Eagles.”

WNEP-TV reports 49-year-old Dale Sourbeck, of Pittston, was charged Thursday with burglary.

Police say Sourbeck used a hammer to break into the Rock Street Music store in Pittston around 3 a.m. Thursday. He was captured on surveillance taking two guitars.

Police say Sourbeck returned to the store and grabbed three more guitars.

TV cameras caught Sourbeck being escorted to a cruiser. When asked by a reporter if there was anything he wanted to say, he paused then replied, “Go Eagles.”

The Philadelphia Eagles have a tough road trying to defend their Super Bowl title, starting with a wild-card game against the Bears on Sunday.

No attorney information is available for Sourbeck.

TME – This feels extremely on-brand for Philly fans.

Urine trouble now!

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. - A man who used a fake penis to dispense phony urine for a drug test has been sentenced to three years on probation.

The 42-year-old man was arrested in April 2017 after his probation officer caught him trying to produce a fake sample for a required drug test in the upstate New York community of Queensbury. The officer accompanied the man to the bathroom and noticed something odd about the delivery process.

The Glens Falls Post-Star reports the man pleaded guilty to felony tampering with evidence last January but was allowed to substitute a misdemeanor plea last week. The drug test was required because he was on probation for marijuana possession.

The Warren County probation director says fake penises and synthetic urine are commonly sold online for evading drug tests.

TME – Basically a game of make-pee-lieve.

Sign of the times

KEENE, N.H. - A New Hampshire restaurant that’s preparing to open has removed a sign advertising its name over concerns that it sounded like profanity.

The name of the Vietnamese restaurant in a public building next to City Hall in Keene is a play on a type of soup, which is spelled P-H-O, but is pronounced “fuh.” The restaurant calls itself by the name of the soup, followed by the words “Keene Great.”

City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said it’s intended to sound like profanity and that owner Isabelle Jolie didn’t get permission to hang any sign.

Jolie said she doesn’t think the name is offensive.

Dragon tells New Hampshire Public Radio the city wants Jolie to be successful, but that it has to strike a balance.

Both sides plan to meet soon.

TME – That is pho Keene lame.

Lubrication transportation

GARY, Ind. - An industrial lubricant spill has shut down a ramp to an interstate in northwestern Indiana.

Wednesday’s spill came from a truck hauling the pig-fat-based material on the southbound ramp from Cline Avenue to eastbound Interstate 80/94 in the Gary area.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports the ramp is closed for cleanup, which could take as long as a week.

The cleanup is being done by National Industrial Maintenance. Company Vice President Mike Mears said the lubricant is nonhazardous, but it’s similar to a petroleum-based liquid. He says workers “have to make sure we get it up so it doesn’t make a sheen, to ensure it doesn’t become a slippery surface.”

Mears says 20 employees were working at the site Wednesday, blasting hot water onto the substance, then vacuuming it up.

TME – We’d make a joke, but it’s a slippery slope.

Go figure

BUTTE, Mont. - A baby Jesus figurine stolen from a nativity scene at a Montana residence on New Year’s Day was returned Thursday with two notes from someone pretending to be God.

Jack McCormick said he was relieved to see the 15-inch figurine in the snow in his yard in Butte, The Montana Standard reported.

“This is God,” one of the notes read. “I took my son back for a trip! I’m returning him now! God Bless!”

A second note asked the family, in part, to: “Please keep further matters off Facebook.”

McCormick had posted a picture Tuesday on Facebook of the missing figurine and the Standard ran a story Wednesday.

Andrea McCormick said her uncle acquired the nativity scene when St. Helena Catholic Church was relocated in the late 1960s.

Jack McCormick did post on Facebook Thursday that the figurine had been returned and he thanked people who shared his post.

“Andrea’s prayers to St. Anthony might have had a little to do with it too!” he posted.

TME – What’s the big deal? He said he would return.

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