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The Weird Week in Review

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According to GPS Tracker, Cat Traveled with Santa Claus

Suki, a cat in Plymouth, England, wears a G-paws brand GPS tracker on her collar. It records her position every ten seconds, and her owner Melony Gallagher can find her location online. The device worked as it should for weeks -until the night of Christmas Eve. Ganger says the G-paws data logger told a tale of Suki traveling miles across town at a speed of up to 182 mph!

“She appears to have travelled several miles back and forth across Plymouth during the night, at one point travelling several miles in one minute, travelling over rooftops and to the middle of the river.

“You can see the difference in how it was moving by comparing her normal meandering route and the route travelled that night – too fast for a car and not via the streets but over the houses.

“I have not believed in Santa since I was a child but think maybe she hitched a ride in his sleigh.”

The G-paws company said that the device sometimes records glitches when the battery is getting low. Maybe he's covering for the cat who hitched a ride on Santa's sleigh.

Stuck in a Washing Machine

Eleven-year-old Trinity Rhoades of South Jordan, Utah, played a game of hide and seek with her sister and cousins Tuesday. Trinity decided to hide in the washing machine, but once in, she couldn't get out. Her sister and cousins tried remedies they recalled from cartoons. First they used butter to lubricate her legs. Then they tried using peanut butter. Then they resorted to ice, which only left the girl cold, so they then poured warm water over her. The children finally called Trinity's mom, who called emergency services. They found the girl not only stuck in a washing machine, but "wet, cold, and covered with condiments." They eventually had to cut the dryer from the top of the combo laundry unit, and Trinity was freed. She has some bruising on her legs, but is otherwise uninjured.

"Felony Stupid"

Four armed men entered a house in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles last weekend. The resident, who was home alone, saw them on a security feed and called police before he was confronted by the invaders. As police surrounded the house, two of the suspects fled, while the remaining two came up with an ingenious scheme: they asked the resident to tie them up, and identify them to the police as fellow victims. The resident agreed, tied them up, and then went to tell the police what happened. Police found the two perpetrators who fled, and waited to see what the other two would do. They were promptly arrested. Officer Norma Eisenman of the LAPD told the story.

“They came out, still tied up, thinking that we were going to believe they were victims also,” Eisenman said. “That’s what you call felony stupid.”

Breaking Bad Contest Winner Busted on Drug Charges

Better call Saul! Ryan Carroll of San Carlos Park, Florida, became a local celebrity when he won a nationwide contest from Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. Carroll, an avid fan of the TV series, was selected to fly to Hollywood and attend a private party with the show's cast. That was in September. On Wednesday, local police arrested Carroll and two other men on charges of "possession of a synthetic narcotic with intent to sell and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription." Since the investigation is still active, police declined to pinpoint what kind of drugs are involved.

Thief Walks Off with 250-pound Safe

Surveillance footage shows what happened to the safe at Stockholders restaurant in Weymouth, Massachusetts. A man walked into the closed restaurant through a side door, talking on his cell phone. Less than six minutes later, he walked out, carrying the 250-pound safe in his arms. Restaurant owner Kevin Hynes said he's never seen anything like it. He said he didn't know how exactly much money was in the safe, but “It was enough to hurt.” Police are investigating. Meanwhile, Hynes has installed a bigger, heavier safe, bolted to the floor.

Stranded Men Set Car Afire to Keep Warm

Police in Pincher Creek, Alberta, responded to a suspicious fire Saturday morning. The story behind it was gradually pieced together. Two men had been in the Honda the day before, but they became lost and then put the car into a ditch. To keep warm, they first tore the seats out of the car and set them on fire in the road. Then they set the entire car on fire.

"Their car was completely consumed by fire," said Cpl. Jeffrey Feist of the Pincher Creek RCMP. "They lit their car on fire because they thought they were going to freeze to death."

When daybreak came, the two men discovered that they were within easy walking distance of a nearby house, and set off to find help.

Rising smoke from the burned-out hulk attracted the attention of a passerby, who called 911.

Corporal Feist told the Echo that both men were in possession of cellular phones.

There you have it. A passerby could call emergency services, so there was cellular service. The two men apparently never thought of just calling for help. They were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor burns and frostbite. One of them was later arrested on outstanding warrants. Corporal Feist said that the RCMP recommends keeping emergency supplies in a car when traveling in winter -such as a cell phone- but they do not recommend burning your vehicle.

5 Strange News Stories From This Week

Welcome to The Weird Week in Review, where we bring you odd news stories from all over.

1. MAN PAYS FINE WITH FIVE WHEELBARROWS OF PENNIES

On January 11, Nick Stafford of Cedar Bluff, Virginia, carted 1600 pounds of pennies into the Lebanon Department of Motor Vehicles to pay taxes on two of his vehicles. It was the end of a saga that began in September, when Stafford tried to find out which of his homes (which are located in two counties) he should use to register his son's new car. When he tried to call his local DMV, he was routed to a larger call center—and so, to get the local number he wanted, he submitted a successful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Then he went one step further, filing three lawsuits to get the direct numbers for nine other local DMVs. “If they were going to inconvenience me then I was going to inconvenience them,” Stafford told The Herald Courier.

A judge ultimately dismissed the lawsuits when the state's Attorney General physically handed Stafford the phone numbers in the courtroom. But Stafford still had to pay sales tax on his vehicles, and he got in one last dig at the DMV while doing so: First, he bought five new wheelbarrows. Then, he bought a bunch of rolls of pennies. He hired 11 people to help him unroll the pennies—300,000 in total—and drove them to the DMV, where he put them in the wheelbarrows and, with the help of people he had hired, rolled them in. (“I’m not used to lifting,” Stafford said. “These are heavy.”) The lawsuits, wheelbarrow, and hired help cost Stafford more than $1000 above the amount of the vehicle tax.

2. MOTORIST JAILED OVER KITTY LITTER

When he was pulled over in early December 2016, Ross Lebeau thought it was a routine traffic stop—but Houston sheriff's deputies arrested him on drug charges. In his car, the officers had found a substance in a sock, which, when field tested, was positive for meth. A press release stated that Lebeau had been found with a half pound of meth in his vehicle; the release contained both Lebeau's mugshot and a picture of the substance seized.

Lebeau spent three days in jail, but he was released when lab tests revealed that the substance was not meth after all—it was kitty litter! As WMC Action News 5 reported on January 7:

Lebeau said the substance was cat litter inside a sock.

His father left one in his car and gave the other to his sister for her car. It's supposed to keep the windows from fogging up.

The problem was that two field tests done by deputies came back positive for meth.

The county's forensic lab tested the substance as well, and no drugs were found. The case was then dismissed, but the damage was already done to Lebeau's reputation. "People have been calling me a kingpin or drug lord," Lebeau said, adding that he's lost out on work because of the accusation. “I was wrongly accused, and I'm going to do everything in my power to clear my name."

3. SWISS TOWN DENIES PASSPORT TO "ANNOYING" DUTCH VEGAN

Nancy Holten was born in the Netherlands, but she's lived in Switzerland since she was a child. The outspoken vegan and animal rights activist has campaigned against the cowbells that local livestock wear, saying the tradition is animal abuse, and has complained about loud church bells, hunting, and pig races. Holten, who is seeking Swiss citizenship, as been denied twice. Local residents can approve or deny villagers' requests, and they have deemed Holten too annoying. As Yahoo News UK reported on January 11:

"Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People’s Party, claimed Ms Holten has a 'big mouth' and that residents did not want to grant her citizenship 'if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.'"

Holten's citizenship case has been transferred to the Cantonal (regional) government body, which can overturn the local decision.

4. MAN FOUND STUCK IN KITCHEN VENT

Gjyste (Julie) Margilaj heard a crashing sound in her first-floor Manhattan apartment kitchen just after midnight on January 10. “I freaked ... out for a couple of minutes, and then I went over to the kitchen and I heard someone panting and breathing like they were in obvious pain. They were freaking out," she told the New York Daily News. “I opened the kitchen vent so he could breathe.” The man, a new resident of the seven-story building, had been on the roof hanging with some friends when, according to the FDNY, he removed the cover of an exhaust fan and slid down into the ductwork. "The shaft was so small that his body took up the entire vent," FDNY Chief Patrick Tansey told Pix 11 News. "So, using power tools was out of the question. We had to expose him by hand." The man—who was wearing just his underwear—only had minor injuries after the ordeal. "He had told the occupant who called us something about a pool in the basement," Tansey said, "but I don't know."

5. GOLFER RUN OVER BY TOILET

This week, Brian Berg filed a lawsuit over an incident that occurred last summer at Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The golfer was enjoying a day on the green when he was run over by a portable toilet. An employee of the course was using a forklift to move the toilet but couldn't see where he was going because the toilet obscured his vision. According to CBS Chicago,

"After he was knocked to the ground by the porta-potty’s “initial blow,” it did not stop, hitting him in the face and knocking him unconscious, the suit says. It injured his shoulder, cut his chin, cracked a rib, bruised a bicep and caused 'a large, deep bruise to his leg.'"

Berg is asking $50,000 in damages from the Elk Grove Park District, which runs the golf course, and the forklift driver.

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5 Strange News Stories From This Week
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iStock

Welcome to The Weird Week in Review, where we bring you odd news stories from all over.

1. CALF GETS LASSOED FROM THE HOOD OF A POLICE CAR

When authorities got a call about a calf that was loose on Tennessee's Highway 79N, David Bevill of Paris, Tennessee, volunteered to help local police capture it. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew drove down the highway with Bevill on the hood, ready to rope in the calf. According to a Facebook post,

Belew said the calf became loose when a man was driving through town and his cattle trailer door broke. “There were actually two that got loose, but Dr. Lyons at Mineral Wells Animal Clinic and his crew were able to get the other one,” Belew said.

“So everybody is happy—we roped one calf, Dr. Lyons got the other one and the guy who was hauling them through town is happy, too,” Belew said.

It's always handy to know a cowboy when you've got a job to do.

2. CAT STUCK IN SUPPORTS OF DOUBLE-DECKER HIGHWAY FOR NINE DAYS

Erin McCutcheon's cat Juno escaped a zippered cat carrier and jumped out of a moving car on the upper deck of I-93 in Boston on Christmas Day. McCutcheon couldn't find her cat, and so distributed posters and put out a call for help on Facebook. On Tuesday, a Local 103 crew of electricians doing maintenance work spotted Juno high above the lower deck, perched on the support girders under the upper deck. Juno had been stuck 80 feet above the highway for nine days! The crew couldn't catch the frightened feline, but eventually lured her out with cans of cat food. Juno, hungry and thirsty, went home with electrician Jay Frazier, and was later reunited with the McCutcheons.

3. MAN CARRIES SCISSORS IN BODY FOR 18 YEARS

Ma Van Nhat underwent surgery at Bac Kan Hospital in Vietnam in 1998 after suffering injuries in a traffic accident. Recently, he complained of pain in his abdomen, which doctors dismissed as a stomachache. But on December 27, during a routine checkup, a doctor determined there was a foreign object there. Last Saturday, surgeons removed a pair of surgical scissors, which had apparently been inside Nhat for 18 years. The scissors had broken and adhered to Nhat's abdominal organs. According to The Huffington Post,

The hospital’s director, Trinh Thi Luong, is now taking great pains to find out who may have left the scissors inside Nhat.

“Even if they are already retired, we will still inform them,” Luong said, according to Reuters. “This is a lesson to all doctors.”

4. MAN OPENS DOOR TO BRICK WALL

An unnamed man in Mainhausen, Germany, woke up Monday morning and got ready for work as usual—but when he opened his front door, he couldn't leave: Someone had built a brick wall over the door opening. The perpetrators had built the wall quickly and quietly during the night. He had to tear out the bricks to leave his house. Police don't know whether the wall was a prank or an act of revenge.

5. NEW SHERIFF GETS ARRESTED

The citizens of Roane County, West Virginia, elected a new sheriff in November. Bo Williams began his new job last Sunday, but on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News, he was was arrested on charges of grand larceny for stealing meth from an evidence locker at his previous job with the Spencer, West Virginia, police department. Bags of meth with evidence numbers were found in his desk and in his car. Williams had resigned from that job after admitting to drug addiction in December. The Roane County commission removed Williams from office that same day, and asked a former sheriff to step in to run the department. Williams is out of jail on bond and may face up to 10 years in prison.

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