Two juveniles break into a bank

Juvenile raccoons, that is…

…A pair of young raccoons were spotted inside a branch of the Peninsula Bank when a client saw the mischievous animals while withdrawing money from the ATM outside in the early morning.
At first, the man thought the raccoons were merely a pair of stuffed animals. But he quickly realized that they were actually wild animals rummaging through the bank’s empty office.

Once news of the furry bandits reached bank officials, they called in animal rescuers from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

By the time the rescue team arrived at the bank, the two juvenile raccoons had already caused a mess. Trash cans had been turned over, paper documents were all over the floor, and a computer monitor was even knocked down. The bandits themselves had made their way into the office breakroom where they found their loot: a tin of almond cookies.

Photos were taken from the ATM where a customer making an after-hours deposit noticed the intruders inside the bank.

Dumb crook of the day

Authorities say a burglar who broke into a middle school got stuck on an elevator and was forced to call 911 for help.

Local media outlets report that police say 19-year-old Michael Claude of Laurel broke into the school Monday. Officials say he was riding down the hallways on a buffing machine before he got on the elevator. After he got stuck, police say, Claude called 911 for help, and an elevator maintenance service was able to open the doors.

Police say Claude was found wearing a Laurel letterman jacket that did not belong to him. He was charged with third-degree burglary, criminal mischief and theft. He was released on $3,800 bond.


Burglars return loot to non-profit — including an apology note

The burglars who targeted the office of a California non-profit serving sexual assault victims returned the stolen items hours later with an apology.

Candy Stallings, executive director of San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services, said she received a phone call from her alarm company around 10:30 p.m. Friday and she arrived at the office to find police investigating a break-in, ABC News reported Thursday.

The thieves had taken six computer towers, a laptop, computer speakers, children’s story books and 100 bags of candy. They had also cut the building’s telephone wires.

Stallings said she went home around 2 a.m. and received a call from police about two hours later.

“I got a call from San Bernardino Police directly, who said, ‘Candy, can you please come back down? We have some suspicious activity,'” she said. “And I was thinking to myself, ‘This is too much. We are not going to recover from this.'”

However, she arrived to discover police had found the stolen items in a shopping cart left outside the building. There was a note folded inside the laptop.

We had no idea what we were taking. Here is your stuff back. We hope that you guys can continue to make a difference in people’s lives. God Bless,” the note read…

“I got chills when I saw the note,” she said. “I was teary eyed, and I had so many mixed emotions.”

Police said they are continuing to investigate the burglary and the perpetrators would still face charges if they are caught.

I generally comment that it doesn’t take a whole boatload of brains to be a crook. I’m even more surprised to hear of some burglars having a heart.

I guess the next step might be taking a shot at an honest job. If they can find one, that is.

Five French drunks – or a terrorist plot against Texas?

Rental RV ready to tow away from the courthouse
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

It’s one thing for tipsy teenagers to break into a county courthouse and clown around with a judge’s robe and gavel. If you’re a foreign national suspected of such behavior, you’ll get a whole lot more attention.

Five young men learned that Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas, after the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security joined an investigation that will determine whether the incident was an escapade or part of a terrorism plot.

So far, Bexar County officials said Wednesday afternoon, it appears to be a prank. “I think probably, if their mother found out, she wouldn’t approve,” Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz said.

Ortiz said the five men who had reportedly been traveling in an RV are from France. Luis Antu, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, said the men, in their 20s, claimed to be French Moroccan…

Authorities say two of the men climbed a fire escape and entered through a fourth-floor window shortly before 1:30 a.m. A video image released by authorities shows two people walking or running down a hallway while wearing sombreros.

Alarms sounded. Police quickly had the place surrounded. But they bided their time during the 30-minute incident, authorities said…The pair exited the courthouse and, along with three others outside, including one sitting in an RV, were arrested…

According to the security surveillance tape, the two suspects “were playing with a judge’s gavel and robes,” the spokesman said. “They went into one of the libraries and put on sombreros and were walking around the halls…”

As a precaution, a bomb-sniffing dog was brought to the site and searched the facility.

There’s a distinct possibility they were plastered. Beer cans were found in their rental RV – and in the courtroom. It’s presumed the beer cans were theirs.

11-year-old girl spooks burglars with her mommy’s pink rifle

When three teenage burglars pried open the door of a northwest Albuquerque home they had no idea they would be met by a brave little girl, police said Wednesday.

Alyssa Gutierrez, 11, took matters into her own hands Tuesday when police said when Miguel Marquez, Eduardo Zubiate and Jesus Quintana broke into her home. Gutierrez armed herself with a loaded rifle.

“I was planning, if they came right next to me, I would shoot them,” Gutierrez said.

But Gutierrez, who will start sixth grade next week, never got the chance because she’d spooked the burglars…

I ran back into my mom’s room and grabbed her little pink rifle, and there was two bullets in there,” she said.

With the loaded rifle, Gutierrez said she checked the bathroom and then the living room ready to defend herself. She said she ran to her mother’s closet and called 911.

But while Gutierrez protected her home, she had no idea the suspects had jumped the fence and that an off-duty APD officer driving passed her home had spotted them.

Police arrested the three teens and their alleged getaway driver, Abraham Bustillos, minutes after the break-in.

Gutierrez said she feels lucky because just a few days ago she had learned how to shoot a rifle.

“I felt proud of myself,” Gutierrez said.

Good for you, kid!

Paris art theft looks like a one-man job

A lone thief broke into a Paris museum last night and stole five paintings possibly worth hundreds of millions of euros, including masterpieces by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, French police said today.

A police spokesman said works by Picasso, Matisse, Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Léger were reported missing early this morning from the Paris Museum of Modern Art. The total value of the paintings was initially put at €500m by the Paris prosecutor’s office, but Christophe Girard, the deputy culture secretary at Paris City Hall later said it was “just under €100m”.

The pictures are: Le Pigeon aux Petits Pois (Pigeon with Peas) an ochre and brown Cubist oil painting by Picasso; La Pastorale (Pastoral), an oil painting of nudes on a hillside by Matisse; L’Olivier Près de l’Estaque (Olive Tree near Estaque) by Braque; La Femme a l’Eventail (Woman with a Fan) by Modigliani; and Nature Morte aux Chandeliers (Still Life with Chandeliers) by Léger.

The burglary was discovered just before 7am. A single masked intruder was caught on a CCTV camera taking the paintings away, according to the prosecutor’s office. A window had been broken and the padlock of a grille giving access to the museum was smashed. The paintings appeared to have been carefully removed from their frames, rather than sliced out.

At least he was bright enough to ignore destructive methods shown in most movies.

Today, visitors climbing the steps to the ornate bronze doors of the museum were informed by written notices that for “technical reasons” they would have to come back another time, while the world’s media swarmed around the five police officers on guard outside. By early afternoon, the entrance had been cordoned off and security barriers erected.

“There are three [security] people in the museum at all times but those three people saw nothing,” Delanoë said…

Le Monde reported that the paintings were so well-known that it would be difficult to sell them on the open market. Previous thefts have involved paintings being stolen to order on behalf of private collectors.

I have no idea what security measures were in place at the museum.

As an area of previous expertise, it surely sounds to me as if [a] someone cheaped out or [b] there was assistance from someone on the inside.

Burglars break into prison to rob inmates – away on leave

It would make a good gag for a comedy if it weren’t actually true: thieves have broken into a Dutch prison to steal the inmates’ televisions.

Twice in the last six weeks, burglars broke into a minimum-security prison and stole TVs from cells while prisoners were on weekend furloughs, a spokesman for the justice ministry said on Wednesday…

The facility is what the Dutch government calls a “very modestly protected environment,” where prisoners transition back into society. They are typically allowed weekend leave, which is when the burglars decided to take advantage.

The thefts happened on two separate weekends about a month apart in March and April. The ministry spokesman said it has still not been able to confirm how the burglars gained access.

Har! Authorities have to figure out how to protect their criminals – from criminals.

Dumb online Post of the week

A posting on the social networking Web site MySpace led teenagers to an empty home in North Canton, Ohio, that they used as a hangout spot, police allege.

North Canton Police Department Chief Michael Grimes said eight teenagers, whose identities were not released, are now facing both felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly breaking into an area home while its owners were away, WEWS-TV, Cleveland, reported Tuesday.

“They knew the family would be gone and so they broke into the house and things went downhill from there,” Grimes alleged. “They ate the food that was there, used some of the alcohol that was there, borrowed the family car that was left there.”

Grimes said the teenagers allegedly learned the house would be empty for a week after reading a MySpace posting by one of the children in the family.

Turning on your computer apparently switches off your brain at the same time.