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The Weird Week in Review

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Suspect Identified in Evidence Vandalism

Police in Wichita, Kansas, held a press conference to release a sketch of the suspect in a case of evidence tampering at their property and evidence department building. They have determined that mice chewed into packages of marijuana. Lt. Doug Nolte said police followed protocol and photographed, weighed, and resealed the evidence. Exterminators have been called in to assist police in the case.

"We do have a sketch artist that came and did a rendering of who we believe is responsible for the marijuana heist, and so, we are currently looking for something that resembles a mouse like this," said Nolte.

The perpetrators have yet to be caught.

Chicken Wing Theft

Either they were taking advantage of the high price of chicken wings, or they planned a really big Super Bowl party. Dewayne Patterson and Renaldo Jackson were arrested after being seen loading a rental truck with ten pallets of frozen chicken wings, worth about $65,000. The theft took place the Nordic Distribution Center outside Atlanta, where both men worked. Patterson and Jackson now face felony theft charges. 

Student Project Helps Disabled Kitten

A nine-month-old cat named Flipper was born with a twisted spine. She's not paralyzed, but her back end doesn't walk on the same plane as her front end. Vets at the Aspen Park Vet Hospital in Conifer, Colorado, considered putting her down, but then decided to seek the help of the Blitz Robotic Club at Conifer High School. The club went to work and students designed a set of wheels that are powered by Flipper's sideways-turned back legs. The kitten learned quickly to use the contraption, and vets are hopeful that the support and exercise she gets from the device will allow her spine to straighten out on its own. 

Zimbabwe Has Only $217 Left in the Bank

The government of Zimbabwe paid civil servants' salaries last week, and discovered the balance of funds to be only $217, according to Finance Minister Tendai Biti. The nation has no money to hold elections and will have to appeal to other countries for the estimated $104 million needed for the elections and a constitutional referendum. No mention was made of paying workers' salaries in the future. Zimbabwe's financial structure has been in ruins for a decade, and hyperinflation has devalued its currency to ridiculous levels.

Woman Arrested for Falling Through Ceiling

A woman fell through the ceiling of the police station in Kihei, Hawaii, on Monday. Sheryl Vazquez was arrested on the spot for criminal trespass, criminal property damage, and disorderly conduct. It is believed that Vazquez gained entry to the crawl space above the ceiling from outside the building, but no motive for the stunt was suggested. Damage to the ceiling was evident in several rooms at the station. Vazquez was not injured in the incident, and was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Fresh Air in a Can

The legendary air pollution in China has been in the news because Beijing's air is worse than ever, causing sore throats and diverted airline flights. Multimillionaire businessman Chen Guangbiao saw an opportunity in the situation. On Wednesday, he handed out free cans of fresh air, supposedly from faraway areas of China with more pristine air quality. The cans normally sell for 5 yaun, or 80 cents, with proceeds going to charity. Chen considers the stunt "a way to awaken people to the importance of environmental protection."

Dreadlock Thieves Cut and Run

Hair stylists in South Africa are reporting an increase in incidents of dreadlock theft. Victims report that thieves cut the dreadlocks off to be resold. Natural dreadlocks sell for as much as 2500 rand ($279), and are rare enough that buyers often don't care where they came from. Police in Johannesburg say they have not received reports of theft, possibly because the victims are embarrassed. Durban police say they only had one reported theft.  

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Weird
Declared Dead, Spanish Prisoner Wakes Up in Morgue Just Before His Autopsy 
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A prisoner in northern Spain survived his "death" and lived to tell the tale when he woke up in a hospital mortuary after being officially certified as deceased. He was scheduled for an autopsy, and remains under hospital observation in Oviedo, Spain, according to the BBC.

Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, 29, was discovered unconscious in his cell on Sunday, January 7, Spanish news outlets report. It's now thought that he might have suffered from catalepsy, a condition in which people become immobile and cease responding to external stimuli. With waxy, flexible limbs and slowed vital signs, patients with catalepsy can appear dead—which might be why not one but three physicians concluded that Jiménez had crossed over to the other side. 

Jiménez was moved to the Institute of Legal Medicine in Oviedo after doctors ordered an autopsy on the inmate's body, IFL Science reports. Family members—who had been informed that Jiménez was dead—said the prisoner’s body was already marked up for dissecting when he began showing signs of life. A forensic team noticed and moved Jiménez to an intensive care unit, where the patient ultimately regained both his memory and speech.

Catalepsy is associated with epilepsy, schizophrenia, nervous system drug toxicity, and other conditions, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Jiménez reportedly has epilepsy, and it's unclear whether prison doctors knew that when they first declared him dead. 

[h/t BBC News]

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Weather Watch
It Just Snowed In the Sahara Desert
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The Sahara isn’t always scorching. This week, a cold spell hit the town of Aïn Séfra in northern Algeria, and the world’s largest hot desert was blanketed in up to 16 inches of the white stuff in some places, The Independent reports.

The rare snowfall began early on Sunday, January 7, with the resulting precipitation melting by late afternoon. The phenomenon marked the region’s third snowfall in nearly 40 years, with other surprise wintry events occurring in February 1979 and December 2016.

Aïn Séfra is located in the Saharan Atlas Mountains in the northern Sahara Desert. Thanks to the region’s altitude, it's “not surprising that the area would see some snow if the conditions were right” a spokesperson for the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, told The Independent. "With the setup over Europe at the moment, which has given us cold weather over the weekend, a push southwards of cold air into that region and some sort of moisture would bring that snow."

Kids enjoyed the freak snowfall, making snowmen and sledding down sand dunes, while adults had to deal with their vehicles getting stranded on icy roads, according to Forbes. By the day's end, temperatures climbed to 42°F and sand dunes returned to their ordinary brown—just long enough for residents of Aïn Séfra to experience both the highs and lows of an ordinary snow day.

[h/t The Independent]

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