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Weird National Briefs (10/28/2020)

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Twice-in-a-lifetime

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — In what most people would consider a lucrative mistake, a Detroit-area man who accidentally bought an extra lottery ticket has won two $1 million jackpots.

Samir Mazahem, 56, of Dearborn Heights said he was saving numbers on a lottery app after buying a $2 ticket for the June 9 Mega Millions game. He then realized that he had purchased a second ticket with the same numbers.

“I was a little bummed but didn’t think much about it,” Mazahem said.

Until he recently logged onto the app and found he had two $1 million winners.

“I couldn’t believe it was real,” Mazahem said. “It took several days for the reality to set in that my mistake had paid off to the tune of $2 million!”

He recently claimed his prize and plans to buy a new house and save the rest.

TME – Sometimes, you just have to double down.

Lucky penny

EMBDEN, Maine (AP) — A man with a metal detector has found a long-hidden, 222-year-old coin under a few inches of soil outside a church in Maine.

Shane Houston, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was on a metal-detecting trip with a friend from New Hampshire when he found the coin earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The copper penny, dated 1798, comes from the first decade of American-minted money in North America.

He said it was found on the grounds of a church in Embden where he had permission to use his metal detector.

The penny is not in pristine condition. Houston said it might fetch $200 but he has no intentions of selling it.

On the same trip, he also found an 1818 penny, a full wagon wheel and a musket ball. The ammunition was measured at 0.75 caliber, making it British in origin.

TME – Is this what they mean by “old money”?

Lizard larceny

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — Police in California announced two arrests and the return of a pair of unique lizards that were stolen from a reptile shop last year.

The Long Beach Police Department said Friday that the two Australian lace monitor lizards were stolen from JTK Reptiles in Long Beach in November, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The lizards, which can grow to be more than 6 feet (1.83 meters) long, were valued together at $75,000.

Three people entered the store, broke into the cages holding the lizards and escaped to a waiting car, authorities said.

Police tracked the lizards to a Panorama City house Sept. 23. Jose Luis Macias Jr., 30, and Kassandra Marie Duenas, 27, who were in the house at the time, were arrested and charged with second-degree robbery.

Both men were released on $50,000 bail, police said.

Animal control handlers were called to recover the lizards before being returned to their owner, Long Beach Police Department spokesman Brandon Fahey said.

The suspects “seem to be knowledgeable about lizards and lizard value and lizard selling,” Fahey said.

Fahey declined to say how detectives found the animals.

“As far as I know, the lizards were A-OK,” Fahey said. “We lucked out there.”

The store owner declined to comment Monday.

TME – These are some cold-blooded criminals

Grand theft cruiser

BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) - A man who stole a police cruiser from an accident scene in northern New Jersey eventually led authorities on a pursuit into New York City that ended when the driver crashed into a parked car, officials said.

Frank Suarez, 31, of Bayonne, was charged Sunday with reckless endangerment, possession of stolen property and grand larceny. It wasn't known if he's retained an attorney.

The incident began shortly before midnight Saturday in Bayonne, when police responded to an accident. One officer parked his cruiser near an intersection to divert traffic from the crash scene, then later discovered it had been stolen.

Officers soon tried to stop the vehicle at the Goethals Bridge, but authorities said Suarez refused to stop. Port Authority police later reported they were pursuing the cruiser in Staten Island, and Suarez eventually crashed in Brooklyn. Suarez was arrested there without incident, and no serious injuries were reported in the crash.

Authorities have not said what spurred Suarez to take the cruiser.

TME – Very curious as to what the endgame was.

Signs of struggle

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi woman has rented billboards to brag that her husband has repaid money he was convicted of stealing in public corruption cases.

Trinity Walker paid for the message on three billboards along a busy stretch of U.S. Highway 90 in Ocean Springs, the Sun Herald reported.

Each billboard shows a large photo of her smiling husband, Scott Walker, next to the message: “Over $325,000 in restitution paid in FULL in only 3 years!''

Scott Walker and his father, Bill Walker, served prison time after they were convicted of stealing federal money that Bill Walker controlled while he was executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. A nonprofit organization received the money from the state agency to buy some land that Scott Walker owned.

Scott Walker _ who previously ran for mayor of Ocean Springs _ was convicted in a separate case of defrauding the city of D'Iberville.

He owed $390,000 in restitution.

Trinity Walker told WLOX-TV that she and her husband sold three homes and paid his restitution “in an extremely quick timeframe.''

“You'll never read this in any newspaper article so I felt this was an effective way to have the truth told,'' she said. “We are so happy this chapter in our life is behind us.''

The billboards appeared in Ocean Springs days after U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett chastised Scott Walker for spending his parents' money on “extravagant” expenses even as Bill Walker has fallen behind on restitution payments. Bill Walker's attorney said his client, now 75, has memory problems.

Starrett ruled that Bill Walker will spend 30 days in jail unless he pays $16,500 in restitution by Jan. 1.

TME – “We repaid the money we stole very fast” isn’t the flex you think it is.

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 October 2020 07:50

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