Frankenfossil in Custody Battle
In a complicated court case, Eric Prokopi imported the bones of a Tyrannosaurus bataar to the U.S. and told customs officials it was worth $19,000. He later sold the reconstructed skeleton at auction for over a million dollars. Then officials from Mongolia claimed that Prokopi took the fossils from the country illegally. The U.S. government seized the fossils on behalf of Mongolia. Prokopi says that the bones were not only brought over in several different batches (explaining the "value"), but that the bones in the reconstructed display are from several different dinosaurs instead of a single specimen. The next hearing in the case will be in December.
Theft Leads to Potato Spill
A thief hijacked a truck carrying 13 tons of potatoes at a farm in Essleben, Germany. However, he neglected to make sure the back door was closed securely before he took off.
"He was pretty easy to follow because he left this huge trail of potatoes behind him," explained one farm hand.
The hapless crook eventually fled empty handed when the trailer overturned, bursting one of the tractor's rear tyres causing it to crash into an electricity pylon.
Emu Underpass Canceled Due to Stupidity
When highways are built in Australia, bridges and underpasses are often designed to help koalas, reptiles, and possums cross safely. Such a plan was hatched to help emus use their territory when a new highway is built in New South Wales. Environmentalists objected to the road, which would cut through a coastal emu habitat and possibly wipe out the local population of the big birds. When highway officials offered to build underground tunnels for the emus to use, environmentalists nixed the idea, because unlike other Australian species, emus lack the intelligence to learn how to use the crossings. An environmental assessment of the planned road is expected later this year.
How to Tell the Quads Apart
Tan Chaoyun is the mother of identical quadruplet boys. The six-year-olds are starting school, and teachers at the local primary school in China are concerned over how to tell the four boys apart. So, Tan ordered them all different haircuts. The barber shaved their heads, leaving a small patch on each boy's head in the shape of the numbers one, two, three, and four! The numbers will help at home, too, because even the quads' father has a hard time telling which son is which.
Bank Robber Trapped in Bank
An unnamed man found that crime doesn't pay when he was trapped after an attempted bank robbery. An employee flipped a switch as the 27-year-old suspect tried to leave the bank in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. The remote lock trapped him in the bank's double-door entry. He pounded on the glass until he left blood stains. But he had been warned.
Had the robber taken a closer look as he went inside, he would have seen a notice in green letters on the front door: "Enter one adult at a time. This ACU door is a protection against robberies."
Another sign higher up on the front glass says, "WARNING This property is protected against robberies by an access control unit."
After the police arrived, the man was taken to the hospital, then to the local jail.
Shooting Deaths Highlight Family Ties
A second victim has died in a shooting in Bandon, Oregon. Timothy Henson is accused in the deaths of Milton Leach and George Micheaux. The three had all lived together with two women in Myrtle Creek. Here's how they are related:
Ruth Micheaux, born 1965, was married to victim George Micheaux, born in 1993. The other victim, Leach, born in 1942, was Ruth Micheaux’s ex-husband. Ruth Micheaux is the mother of Vallena Tuell, born in 1981. Tuell is married to the suspect, Henson, born in 1969.
Besides murder, Henson faces kidnapping and assault charges for wounding Tuell.