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UK police in Altrincham, Cheshire, are using helium-filled balloons in their fight against burglary.
They are putting balloons through open doors and windows in a bid to shock residents into making sure their homes are secure.
Attached to the balloons is a card which saying ‘why am I here?’, making the point that it could be a thief coming in through the window.
Hotter weather often leads to an increase in burglaries as residents leave doors and windows open.
Inspector Clark Bowers, from the Altrincham neighbourhood policing team, said: “We know that around one in three burglaries happen because of an insecurity – a window left open, a door left unlocked and thieves will hunt for this.
“This initiative is about warning decent people of the threat, and encouraging them to lock it or lose it.”
Any homes that have balloons put through the window or door will then have a follow-up visit from police community support officers, who will carry out a security assessment and offer crime prevention advice.
Italy’s highest court has ruled on a subject of utmost importance: whether it’s a crime to say a man has “no balls.”
Yep, the dig is a crime punishable by a fine, because the insult makes a man feel less manly.
The decision came about after years of legal battling between two cousins, one of whom (a justice of the peace) used the insult against the other (a lawyer) during a courtroom exchange, AFP reports.
“Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality,” said the male judge in his ruling.
“It refers not only to the target’s lack of virility but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence, and coherence—virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender.”
Beyond insulting his manhood, the court found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging his reputation.
The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes.
A Florida airboat captain who lost his hand to an alligator last month was arrested on Friday.
Wallace Weatherholt, 63, of Everglades City is facing a misdemeanor charge of unlawful feeding of an alligator. He has since bonded out and has a court appearance set for Aug. 22.
Weatherholt was leading an Indiana family on a tour of the Everglades on June 12 when he encountered a 9-foot alligator, which bit his hand off at the wrist.
After the attack, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers began an investigation into whether the captain had fed or provoked the alligator, leading to the attack.
FWC spokeswoman Carli Segelson said that there had been allegations of that happening.
Passengers on the airboat stated Weatherholt hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water’s surface when the alligator attacked.
Feeding alligators is illegal. Those who feed an alligator face a second-degree misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time.
David Weathers, a nuisance-alligator trapper and owner of several alligators, said the reason it’s illegal to feed alligators is because once the reptiles are fed by humans, they lose their fear.
If the alligator in this incident had been fed in the past — either by Weatherholt or someone else — just the sight of the airboat could bring the alligator right up next to it, he said.
“Alligators have a natural fear of humans,” said Weathers, who often swims in the Everglades’ alligator-infested waters.
“If they see us, they take off. They see us as these giants hovering over them. They’re not going to attack unless they’ve been fed.”
Following the June 12 attack, wildlife officials tracked and killed the alligator. They retrieved Weatherholt’s hand from its stomach, but doctors were unable to reattach it.
A serial robbery suspect led Texaspolice on an overnight chase through Dallas, before finally being arrested.
Eric Keng, 20, targeted several victims in North Dallas late Tuesday night, trying to rob a business and steal cars.
A worker at the Gas Pipe Smoke Shop said the man who robbed the store is a customer.
Witnesses said he came in armed with a gun and a golf club.
Police believe it’s one of several crimes Keng committed along Marsh Lane Tuesday night.
Officers said stopping Keng wasn’t easy.
His face was red and his eyes were swollen after police said they had to use pepper spray to arrest him.
During a chase officers used a spike strip to blow out a tire. Keng crashed into a guardrail and then tried to run away.
It took several officers to take him down to the ground. One officer broke his arm in the struggle.
“It’s scary, too,” said Hyunju Kim, who worries about protecting her own business.
She works at Lee’s donut shop three doors down from the Gas Pipe smoke shop that was robbed.
A worker at Gas Pipe said just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, Keng walked in demanding “one of everything” in the store and started grabbing merchandise of the shelf.
The employee knocked the gun out of his hands and recognized Keng as a frequent customer.
Witnesses told police he appeared to be confused and began crawling around the store before running out the back door.
A short time later, police said Keng carjacked a Jeep at a nearby gas station. The driver told police he went into the convenience store to ask the clerk to turn on the air pump.
The driver said he returned to the Jeep and found Keng was inside of the SUV. The owner struggled with Keng and tried to stop him.
The driver told police Keng threatened him with a gun, so he let him drive away.
Officers spotted him in the stolen SUV near LBJ and Northwest Highway. Keng refused to stop and a chase began.
Minutes before the Gas Pipe robbery, two other drivers report to police that Keng tried to steal their cars.
In one case a driver said Keng hit his car with a golf club.
He got out of the car to confront Keng and Keng said, “Give me your car!”
The man said as he drove away, Keng shattered his windshield with the club.
Keng is now in jail facing aggravated robbery charges.
It is a good time to be a criminal in nutty Britain, where even if you are responsible for half the crime in a town, you can escape a prison sentence.
A petty thief is responsible for half of all the recorded crimes in his hometown – but was still spared jail following his latest offence.
Thomas Cato, 23, was caught pilfering a meat pie and a pair of rubber gloves – while on a suspended custodial sentence for burglary.
A court heard Cato was responsible for 50 per cent of all recorded crime in his hometown of Dolgellau, North Wales, with a population of 3,000 people.
Cato pleaded guilty to stealing the pie and pair of Marigolds, valued at just £2.29p, from his local Co-Op store.
But his solicitor Nicola Jones told the court yesterday it would be ‘disproportionate’ to receive a jail sentence for shoplifting.
She said Cato had mental health problems which had only recently been diagnosed.
Miss Jones said: ‘It will be to the town’s benefit if my client stops offending.
‘Six months ago I spoke to the police who told me that my client was responsible for half of the recorded crimes in Dolgellau.’
Magistrates gave him 20 hours unpaid work for the breach and 20 hours unpaid work for the shoplifting charge.
No court costs were imposed after it was heard he still owed £3,000 in unpaid fines and compensation dating back to 2009.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Tory MP Philip Davies criticised the court’s decision.
‘These magistrates are fools to themselves and are making a fool of the British justice system.
‘What on earth is the point of giving someone a suspended sentence if it’s not invoked when they go on to commit another crime? It makes a mockery of the system.’
Brelon Small, a 34-year-old Davenport man is wanted by police after he allegedly failed to register as a sex offender.
He has several aliases, and as a transvestite, is known to appear as a woman.
Small is a Registered Sex Offender due to a 2006 conviction for Lewd and Lascivious Acts Upon a Child. He is also currently out on bond from a previous arrest in November 2011 for failure to register as a sex offender.
He has an extensive criminal history, including prior arrests for prostitution, robbery, sale of cocaine, resisting arrest, and theft.
Small tends to change his appearance regularly, and has the following aliases: Bieosha Small; Lashay Small; Bonnie O’Neal; Andrew Washington; Andrea Washington.
He is described as a black male or female, 5’8″, 175
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Brelon Small, you are urged to contact Detective Doug Tanner at 863.298.6200 ext. 1266.
Local police say they’d never seen a crime spree like this in Tennessee.
24-year-old William Todd is accused of committing 10 felonies in just nine hours while going on a “terror” through Nashville.
“He was just on a terror. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Sgt. Tony Blackburn.
Police say that Todd arrived in Nashville on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky before beginning his unprecedented crime spree.
Upon arriving in Nashville, he allegedly broke into a local business called The Slaughterhouse, where he stole a Taser, revolver and shotgun. He then proceeded to steal a T-shirt from the Slaughterhouse before burning the business to the ground.
Todd then moved on to a local bar, where he held four patrons at gunpoint. He robbed all four individuals but not before using the Taser on one and pistol-whipping another.
Just five minutes later, Todd moved onto his next alleged felony, carjacking a taxi driver at gunpoint. After leaving the cab, he used the credit cards he had stolen from the bar patrons to buy food.
“He was able to find the Walmart on Nolensville. He goes there and purchased $199 worth of items,” Sgt. Blackburn said.
And that was only the beginning.
In the early hours of the following morning, Todd then broke into a local hotel’s law office. He not only vandalized the offices but also then defecated on a desk and smeared his feces on some of the framed law degrees.
Leaving the offices, Todd then reportedly robbed several of the hotel guests. He knocked on their door pretending to be a female housekeeper, then robbed them at gunpoint. He was also reportedly crying while doing so.
He then briefly paused for a change in personal appearance.
“We have him on video leaving the hotel with a shaved head,” Sgt. Blackburn said.
After crashing his stolen cab into a local parking garage, Todd then quickly held another taxi driver at gunpoint.
When police finally apprehended Todd, he was hiding atop Opryland, partially submerged in a water-cooling vat. The Metro Fire Department was brought in to assist in Todd’s removal from the vat, using a bucket and ladder truck.
His bond has reportedly been set at $180,000.
“He rode the Greyhound bus and had a layover, then left in blue lights,” Sgt. Blackburn said. “There definitely could be more charges. We hope that there are no more victims.”