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Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

Aug. 16, 2012
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But, Mom!

Alleged drug dealer Jesus "Pepe" Fuentes, 37, was arrested in Chicago in May after his mother reportedly botched a heroin pickup for him. Fuentes, eager to catch a concert by the rapper Scarface, sent his mother to gather a 10-kilo drop instead of doing it himself. According to reports, she collected the drugs, but the entire shipment was lost when she failed to use a turn signal and was stopped by police.

The Continuing Crisis

Typically, deer stands are jerry-built platforms that hunters climb onto to spot deer in the distance. County officials in Duluth, Minn., however, complained in July that the woods are becoming cluttered with elaborate tree houses that are located on public land. One official was alarmed by tree "mansions"—deer stands, he told the Duluth News Tribune, with "stairways, decks, shingled roofs, commercial windows, insulation, propane heaters, carpeting, lounge chairs, tables and even the occasional generator."

Bright Ideas

Rhesus monkeys have long posed delicate problems in India, where they are both revered (by Hindu law) and despised (for damaging property, roaming the streets and begging for food). In Delhi, where the rhesus population has grown dramatically with the aid of Hindus who feed them, streets and private property are becoming increasingly befouled. However, Amar Singh's business is good. He owns 65 langurs (monkeys that are larger than rhesus monkeys, and thus intimidating to them) and, for the equivalent of about $200 per month, periodically brings one or two by a client's house to urinate in the yard so that the rhesus monkeys will steer clear.

Family Values

Catherine Venusto, 45, was arrested in July and charged with breaking into the computer system of the Northwestern Lehigh School District in Pennsylvania (where she formerly worked) and changing the records of her two children (and while at it, reportedly reading private emails of 10 school officials). Venusto allegedly switched a daughter's F grade to M (for medically excused) and one grade of her high-achieving son from 98 to 99.

Movie Scenes Come to Life

Should Be an Olympic Sport: Romanian gang members have apparently been apprehended after a series of robberies during March, April and May that resembled a scene from a recent Fast and Furious movie. The gang's vehicle approaches the rear of tractor-trailers traveling at highway speed, and gangsters climb onto the hood, grab the 18-wheeler's rear door, open it using specialized tools and steal inventory, apparently without the truck driver realizing what is taking place. In one video released by police in Bucharest, the gang members, after peering inside the trailer, decided to take nothing and climbed back out.

The Aristocrat!

Jacksonville, Fla., sheriff's officers were investigating in July a suspect (not identified) who they believe is responsible for several incidents in which boxes of ready-to-use saline enemas were purchased at a CVS drugstore, opened, used, put back in the boxes, resealed and returned for a refund (and which in some cases wound up back on the store's shelves). The sheriff's office noted that the man they suspect is in custody, having been arrested on unrelated charges in June.

Readers' Choice

"Meth Lab Explodes in Man's Pants" was the headline on one newspaper's version of an April Associated Press dispatch from Okmulgee County, Okla. Police have warned that "one-pot" labs, "cooking" in a soda bottle, can be ready to go in about 40 minutes, but that the contents are many times more highly pressurized than, say, a fizzing soda bottle.

© 2012 Chuck Shepherd


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