Heaven Can Wait 

Curses, Foiled Again
Police in Arnold, Mo., reported that a woman heading for the exit of a grocery store with a shopping cart containing more than $1,200 in stolen “groceries and other items” was thwarted by trying to leave through the wrong automatic door. Store security called police, St. Louis’s KSDK News reported, because the woman attracted so much attention when the door wouldn’t open.

• David Maksimik, 59, successfully robbed a bank in Darien, Conn., but while making his getaway, he rear-ended a car. He abandoned his car and caught a bus, then a taxi and finally a ride from his sister to get home to Stamford, where he found his 53-year-old roommate dead. He called police, who decided the death was a suicide. The Connecticut Post reported that during their investigation, officers became suspicious of Maksimik and discovered a bag on his bed containing the bank’s $3,745. Maksimik confessed to the robbery.

Chutzpah
Following the April 3 massacre of 14 people in Binghamton, N.Y., James Kauchis, an accounting clerk at the Broome County Department of Social Services, filed a grievance to be paid for the lunch hour he missed because the DSS building where he works was locked down for four hours during the incident. Kauchis declined to comment on his complaint, telling the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, “That’s a matter between me, the administration and the union.”

Oops!
Paul Duran Jr., 23, an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, was beaten to death within 15 minutes after prison guards inadvertently put him in a cell with Jessie James Dalton, a convicted killer whom Duran had testified against.

Economic Stimulus
Andrew Krogh, 47, the owner of a glass company in Sacramento, Calif., was arrested after a stakeout at a martial-arts store plagued repeatedly by broken windows identified him as the culprit. “I never thought it would be a window guy drumming up business,” the building’s landlord, Brian Seeley, told the Sacramento News, indicating he paid Krogh, who contacted him after the first incident, at least $12,000 to repair more than a dozen broken windows. Another business owner said she also paid Krogh to replace glass after he showed up at her store the day after one of her front doors was shattered and then hired him twice more after her storefront windows were shot out.

Heaven Can Wait
Some 200 mosques in Mecca point the wrong way, according to the Arab newspaper al-Hayat. Muslims are supposed to pray facing the Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred site, located in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, and rely on niches in mosques to indicate the correct direction. The paper said people looking down from newly built high-rises in Mecca noticed the niches in many older mosques weren’t pointing directly toward the Kaaba. Tawfik al-Sudairy, Islamic affairs ministry deputy secretary in Saudi Arabia, said modern techniques had corrected the problem and assured the newspaper that all previous prayers were valid.

Slightest Provocation
Frederick W. Bertrang, 31, told police in Oak Creek, Wis., that he slashed his mother with a knife and shot her three times with an AK-47 because she refused to give him $2 so he could pay the cover charge at a bar.

Derek C. Hightower, 24, set a fire that destroyed his former home in Bristol, Wis., as well as a garage and three vehicles, according to court documents, because he was upset that someone else was living in the house.

Do Society a Favor
Fat people are each responsible for about one ton more carbon-dioxide emissions a year than thin people, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “When it comes to food consumption, moving about in a heavy body is like driving around in a gas guzzler,” researchers Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote, noting that food production is a major source of greenhouse gases.

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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