Double Secret Probation 

Curses, Foiled Again
When 18-year-old man entered a bank in Camden, Ark., and opened a bag containing $88 in nickels that he wanted to change into paper money, the teller spotted a gun in the bag and alerted a supervisor, who called police. Capt. Scott Rosson told the Camden News the man didn’t try to rob the bank but explained he was carrying the gun because he planned to pawn it. Officers who questioned the man decided to search his home anyway and found $16,000 worth of property they believed was stolen. Rosson said many of the 1,760 nickels also were stolen.

In New York City police followed a robbery suspect from the scene to a nearby apartment building but arrested a different man who answered the door. The New York Post reported that when Raymond Gramby, 37, saw officers leading the man away, he yelled out his seventh-floor window, “It was me, you idiots. You have the wrong guy.” Officers released the first man and arrested Gramby.

Double Secret Probation
Some Atlanta residents complained the city shut off their water because of delinquent payments, even though they didn’t know they owed money. WGCL-TV reported that when the Department of Watershed Management hiked water rates 27.5 percent last June, it held off billing for the increase until December, then billed retroactively. Some customers said their water was shut off even though they’ve paid their bills, and they’re being charged a $100 reconnection fee to resume service. Department official Janet Ward insisted the retroactive billing, water shutoffs and reconnection fees are valid.

Thanks for Nothing
Witnesses said Jim Moffett, 58, and another man were helping two elderly women cross a busy Denver street during a snowstorm to get to a bus stop, when a pickup truck headed straight for them. Moffett pushed the other three out of the way, only to be struck and injured. After the Colorado State Patrol cited the driver of the pickup for careless driving, it ticketed Moffett, who was hospitalized in serious but stable condition, for jaywalking.

Believable—Up to a Point
Firefighters responding to a call from a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Manchester, N.H., found three employees outside of the building wearing no clothes. WMUR News reported the employees had received a call from someone claiming to be from corporate headquarters who asked them to test their fire-suppression system. They did but told the caller chemicals from the extinguisher had gotten on their clothes. The caller told them to disrobe. The workers said they finally suspected the call was a hoax when the caller then told them to urinate on each other.

Parenting Skills
Authorities in Evangeline Parish, La., accused Donna Greenwell, 53, of trading two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo. The incident occurred after Greenwell spotted a flier offering to sell the bird for $1,500 and called the owners, Paul and Brandy Lynn Romero. When the Romeros happened to mention that they had tried for years to have a child together, sheriff’s Detective Keith Dupre said Greenwell offered them the 5-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl for $2,000.

When they couldn’t meet that price, Dupre said, “Ms. Greenwell agreed to make an even trade: the bird for the kids.” She asked for an additional $175 in cash to pay for adoption paperwork, even though she had no authority to put the children up for adoption.

The mother and aunt of 4-year-old Deshawna Tyson found at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Bel Air, Md., told authorities they didn’t realize the girl was missing until they saw her picture on a television newscast the next day. Harford County sheriff’s official David Betz told WBAL-TV the aunt and her boyfriend took Deshawna and eight other children to the restaurant in separate cars. When they drove home, each thought the other had the girl. Deshawna’s mother came home later that night and went straight to bed.

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Submit items, citing date and source, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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