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March 21, 2013

Crime Doesn’t Pay #1: Thief Returns Money From 1980s

Hastings, MI (AP) A burglar expressing guilt about stealing $800 from a western Michigan store three decades ago has repaid the money, plus some interest.

The anonymous thief sent a note and $1,200 in $100 bills to the Barry County sheriff’s department in Hastings, and they arrived Monday, WOOD-TV reported.

The writer admitted breaking into the Middle Mart on Michigan 37 in Thornapple Township north of Middleville about 30 years ago.

In a letter packed with emotion and spelling errors, the writer asks for “help in locating a man” to whom the writer owes the money.

“Anyways, I did a very bad thing that I am shamed of and have lived with this guilt,” the writer said.

“I can’t begin to say how sorry iam but have lived with this guilt too long,” the letter went on to say. “If you do find him, please tell him that I was afoolish stupid man when I did that and iam sorrie.”

The letter was unsigned and had no return address.

The $1,200, while it includes some interest, falls short of making up for the loss in the dollar’s purchasing power over the intervening years.

The stolen $800 would be worth about $1,800 today, based on changes in the consumer price index.

WOOD-TV said the former owner of the store, now called Greg’s Get-N-Go, confirmed it was broken into in the 1980s. The store was sold in 1988.

Undersheriff Bob Baker said the letter and cash came as quite a surprise.

“This doesn’t happen every day,” Baker said.

He said the department isn’t interested in reopening the case because of the time that has passed.

Crime Doesn’t Pay #2: Burglar Tracked By Pickax Bar Code

Metairie, LA (AP) Authorities in Louisiana say they tracked a man accused of stealing drugs from a pharmacy because he left behind a pickax he used to break in, and forgot to remove the price tag.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Col. John Fortunato says the sticker included a bar code indicating when and where the pickax was bought. The store had video of the purchase.

Fortunato tells The Times-Picayune that a store near the pharmacy had surveillance video from the night of the burglary, showing the same man and a vehicle license plate.

Fortunato says drugs from the pharmacy were found during a search of 43-year-old Scott Rodrigue’s home.

Rodrigue was booked with pharmacy burglary and drug possession and freed on $70,000 bond. He does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached.

Crime Doesn’t Pay #3: Kid-Toting Robbers Caught

Tooele, UT (AP) Police in Utah say they’ve arrested a husband and wife bank robbery team that took their two children along for the illegal excursion.

An arrest report from Tooele (too-WIHL’-uh) police says the man and woman, both 27, were caught Monday soon after a Wells Fargo branch was robbed. A 5-year-old and a 2-year-old were in the back seat.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the couple told police they robbed the bank because they faced eviction and growing medical bills.

Employees told police the woman entered the bank and showed the teller a note demanding money. The woman reportedly ran from the bank to the car, which was driven by the man. Police say they searched the vehicle and found the demand note, along with hundreds of dollars in cash.

Prison Guard Shoots Finger Trying To Remove Ring

Pittsburgh (AP) A federal prison guard has been charged with shooting his own finger in a drunken attempt to remove his wedding ring during an argument with his wife at their northwestern Pennsylvania home, police said.

A criminal complaint said Bradford police were called just before 9 p.m. March 2 and were met by Alfredo Malespini III, 31, who told officers he was “trying to get rid of his wedding ring” and decided to “shoot it off.” The Bradford Era first reported the shooting on Friday.

The gunshot badly mangled Malespini’s finger, but didn’t remove the ring, police said.

At the time of the shooting in Bradford, which is near the New York border about 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, Malespini was employed as a lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Institution-McKean, a medium security prison a few miles away.

Bradford police Lt. Steve Caskey told The Associated Press that he wasn’t sure of Malespini’s employment status, but “as far as we know, he is still seeking treatment in Erie.”

Malespini was taken to UPMC Hamot hospital where he was treated for the gunshot wound and also for mental or emotional issues, Caskey said.

Police have been called to the Malespini residence a “couple times” previously for domestic disputes, but Caskey said he doesn’t believe Malespini had ever been charged with a crime before.

On the day of the shooting, Malespini “had been drinking quite heavily throughout the day and he and his wife had been arguing throughout the day about an affair he had had several months ago,” Caskey said.

Malespini has been charged with disorderly conduct and was cited for firing a weapon within city limits but also is charged with reckless endangerment, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. That’s because the bullet Malespini fired could have endangered someone else, Caskey said.

Vets Save NYC Dog Who Swallowed 111 Pennies

New York (AP) A New York City dog has undergone emergency surgery to remove more than 100 pennies from his stomach.

The New York Daily News reports that a Jack Russell terrier named Jack swallowed 111 pennies last week and quickly became ill.

The 13-year-old pooch’s owner rushed him to a Manhattan veterinarian for emergency surgery.

That’s when dog doctors put Jack under anesthesia and methodically removed all 111 coins. The zinc from the coins could be lethal.

The dog’s owner told the newspaper his best friend is back to his normal self, driving him crazy.

Speeding Iowa Dad Ignores Police With Baby Coming

Iowa City, Iowa (AP) An Iowa man who was pulled over for speeding as he rushed his pregnant wife to the hospital said he was determined to keep going despite the police lights flashing behind him.

Tyler Rathjen planned to keep going as his wife, Ashley, began giving birth to their son in the passenger seat. But a red light with heavy traffic finally forced him to stop.

“I should not stop, I’m not going to, I’m going to get to the hospital,” Tyler Rathjen recalled thinking in an interview with Cedar Rapids TV station KCRG.

The baby’s head and arms were already out by the time Iowa City Officer Kevin Wolfe reached the passenger door.

“We were all having a different experience,” Wolfe said.

Ashley Rathjen gave birth to her third son, Owen, just blocks from Mercy Iowa City hospital on March 10.

“I kept saying: there’s no break (in contractions) there’s no break,” she said. “He was coming at that time.”

Wolfe helped with the final steps of delivery and then escorted the Williamsburg family to the hospital. His dashboard camera captured the episode.

Owen is now home with his parents and two brothers.

Ashley Rathjen said her newborn son will probably retell the story for years to come.

“I’m sure it will be a life story to tell everybody (about) how he made his grand entrance,” she said.

 


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