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Weird National Briefs (06/26/2019)

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Grin and bear it

MISSOULA, Mont. — Authorities say a black bear somehow locked itself inside a Montana home and then nestled onto a closet shelf that wasn’t too hard, wasn’t too soft, but just right for a nap.

Missoula County sheriff’s officials say the bear just yawned when deputies knocked on the window and unlocked the door in an attempt to coax it to leave Friday morning.

They had to call Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department officials, who tranquilized the bear so it could be re-located.

Sheriff’s officials say in a Facebook post that deputies responded at 5:45 a.m. to a call that a bear opened the door to the Butler Creek’s mudroom and somehow locked the deadbolt once inside.

They say the bear “began ripping the room apart” before climbing up the closet for a nap.

TME – And that’s why you don’t keep picnic baskets in your closet.

Pacified pooch

BOSTON — A Boston veterinary hospital got quite a surprise recently when a family brought in their bulldog after he stopped eating.

The Angell Animal Medical Center found 19 baby pacifiers in the dog’s stomach.

It started in April when the Wellesley family noticed that their 3-year-old dog, Mortimer, started getting nauseous before meals. His owner, Emily Shanahan, brought Mortimer to the vet, who prescribed medicine to take care of the issue.

But it didn’t help and Mortimer eventually stopped eating entirely.

Shanahan went to Angell, where they took an X-ray and discovered the pacifiers.

Vets think Mortimer had been taking the pacifiers from Shanahan’s two children over the course of months.

The pacifiers were removed using a medical scope that did not require surgery. Mortimer recovered and is back at home.

TME – Doesn’t change the fact that Mortimer is a good boy.

Grease is the word

RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal agents say they’ve mopped up a theft ring involving 21 co-conspirators, responsible for stealing a precious commodity: $3.9 million worth of used cooking oil known as “yellow grease.”

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday says the thieves targeted eateries in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for five years, pumping used oil from restaurant storage tanks into trucks for shipment around the country.

This oil is greasy gold for biodiesel companies. U.S. Agriculture Department data show a 100-pound load of “yellow grease” is worth $25.

A statement from U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon Jr. says the oil rendering industry loses between $45 million and $75 million to oil theft each year.

The suspects face conspiracy and money laundering charges that carry prison sentences of up to 25 years.

TME – One simple misunderstanding regarding the oil business and here we are.

An ear-ie find

HOLMES BEACH, Fla. — Police in Florida trying to find the rightful owner of a prosthetic ear that washed up on their beach got a happy phone call from South Carolina on Thursday.

Holmes Beach Police Sgt. Brian Hall said a woman called saying the rubber ear they posted on Facebook belongs to her husband.

Hall said the Beaufort couple was vacationing in the Tampa Bay area when the man went swimming. She said he was trying to put the ear in his pocket for safekeeping when “a wave knocked it off his hand.”

The police department posted a photo of the left ear, saying a local resident found it in the sand on Saturday after the “World’s Strongest Man” contest on Anna Maria Island.

Prosthetic ears can cost thousands of dollars. Hall said the department will mail it to South Carolina.

“We will put it in box. I hope nobody sees it and freaks out,” he said.

TME – We would have just assumed Marc Antony had it.

Fowl play

NEW YORK — Federal authorities say a 39-year-old Connecticut man has been caught trying to smuggle nearly three dozen live finches through John F. Kennedy Airport in order to sell them for singing competitions.

Francis Gurahoo was arrested Sunday after arriving on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana. Prosecutors say customs officials found the 34 live birds in his carry-on luggage hidden inside individual plastic hair curlers.

Gurahoo was arraigned Monday on a charge of unlawful wildlife smuggling. Information on his lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

Officials say the finches from Guyana are prized. They are used in singing contests in Brooklyn and Queens where wages are placed on the birds with the best voice. Prosecutors say Gurahoo said he planned to sell them for about $3,000 each, for a total haul of over $100,000.

Last December, customs officials at JFK Airport found 70 live finches hidden inside hair rollers in a duffel bag from a passenger arriving from Guyana.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says bird smuggling could threaten agriculture through the possible spread of diseases such as bird flu.

TME – Finches get … stinches?

Candid camera

HAUGHTON, La. — Louisiana authorities say a burglar effectively caught himself red-handed, unwittingly livestreaming his theft of a neighbor’s new surveillance camera.

The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office says the neighbor watched the crime unfold in real time, and recognized the culprit as 43-year-old Franklin Welzbacher Jr.

A sheriff’s statement says the stolen camera also showed things inside Welzbacher’s house.

Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Davis said Tuesday that Welzbacher told deputies he had permission to borrow a paint brush, but had nothing to say when asked about the camera.

His bond was set at $10,000 on a simple burglary charge. Davis said he doesn’t know whether Welzbacher has an attorney who could speak for him.

TME – Does he get credit for cutting out the middleman?

Heart attack ransack

MALDEN, Mass. — Police say a man faked a heart attack in a Massachusetts convenience store while his accomplice hopped over the counter to steal money from the register.

Malden police on Facebook say they responded to the store Sunday afternoon on reports of a theft.

Officers were told two white men entered together. Witnesses told police one “faked a heart attack” while the other grabbed the cash.

Both suspects then fled. Police are looking for them.

Police say that in addition to holding both men accountable for the robbery, they also want to make sure the suspect’s “‘heart problems’ have been taken care of by a medical professional.”

Police posted surveillance video and images of the men, hoping the public will help identify them.

TME – If the dude shouted “I’m comin’ Elizabeth!”, then all is forgiven.

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