Odd News Roundup
August 15, 2013 12:40 PM | 543 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
1 stolen bonsai returned to Hawaii nursery

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii man who had 16 rare trees worth more than $100,000 stolen from his nursery more than two weeks ago has recovered one of the trees.

KHON-TV reports a bonsai tree valued at $1,200 was returned to Walter Liew on Tuesday.

Honolulu police say they received a call Tuesday morning from someone in Waianae who found the tree by a back door of their home.

Liew says he wept when he discovered the theft at the nursery he owns in Waimanalo, east of Honolulu. He is hopeful that the other bonsais might resurface.

In all, Liew reported 16 trees were taken. He says they're worth more than $100,000, and some have been in his family for 55 years.

There are no suspects so far.

Liew is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the remaining trees.

Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Prowling Pennsylvania ninja says he was trying to help cops

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Everybody agrees that a 19-year-old Pennsylvania man dressed up as a ninja and lurked near homes, but they disagree whether that's a good idea — or legal.

Todd Kapcsos, of Johnstown, was in court Wednesday to waive his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of loitering, prowling at night and disorderly conduct.

Police said Kapcsos frightened some elderly residents who saw him sneaking around while carrying a black baseball bat and wearing a hooded sweatshirt, another long shirt, a mask and a pair of gloves — all of them black.

He contends he was just trying to help police catch bad guys.

"I dressed up in all black, snuck around, went through bushes," Kapcsos told WJAC-TV (http://bit.ly/1daaYto). He claimed to be practicing "ninja moves" including rolling into a ball so he'd appear to be a rock hidden in the shadows.

"There's not enough police officers," he said. "The community should do something rather than sit back.

But one neighbor, Chris Trevino, told the TV station, "It looked more like he was trying to break into homes, not like he was gonna be a ninja and save the world."

That night, July 15, Trevino saw Kapcsos "running like a ninja, not like a normal person jogging. He was going back and forth creeping."

So she called the police.

"The ninja ran across the alley and right into the arms of a police officer," Trevino said.

Kapcsos was lurking in the Moxham section of Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. Several high-profile crimes have occurred in the neighborhood in recent months, including three of the city's five homicides. The last one occurred Aug. 6 — a stabbing at a car wash — about three weeks after Kapcsos was arrested.

Information from: WJAC-TV, http://www.wjactv.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Cocaine found inside okra plants in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Authorities in Guyana say smugglers have found yet another way to smuggle cocaine out of the country.

The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit says a man was caught trying to ship 16 kilograms of the drug to the U.S. in hollowed out okra pods. Unit director James Singh said Thursday it was the first time he's head of someone trying this with okra, which is known as ochro in Guyana. Singh says on a one-to-ten scale he would give the smuggler a "four for innovation."

Smugglers in Guyana have attempted to use many products, including skin lotion, frozen fish and hot pepper sauce.

In this case, there was swift justice. Hadrick Cummings was caught at the airport Monday and pleaded guilty Wednesday. The 25-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Cops, owner seek boa that slithered from Pennsylvania home

By Keith Collins, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Swarthmore police Chief Brian Craig says residents have been alerted out of "an abundance of caution" after a seven-foot boa constrictor slithered away from the home of the eastern Pennsylvania veterinarian who owns it.

Craig says the recent python attack in Canada, in which the snake killed two young boys as they slept, may affect how people in Swarthmore react to the boa on the loose. But Craig stresses that the boa constrictor is a completely different snake that is smaller and of a different temperament than a python.

Police and the snake's owner, David Spiegel, say the snake likely doesn't pose a risk to humans or even most pets — though it may well attack small rodents.

Spiegel says the snake slipped away once before and was returned.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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