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Stranger than fiction



Curses, foiled again

Three women ran from a Waffle House restaurant in Springfield, Mo., without paying their $39 check, but they didn't get far before one of them returned, asking for the three purses the women had left behind. She fled when the manager told her she'd have to wait, but the purses contained the women's identification. (Springfield News-Leader)

San Francisco police needed only nine minutes to track the man they said snatched an Apple iPhone from a woman's hand and fled on a bicycle. The phone was being used to test a new, real-time GPS tracking application, which led officers to Horatio Toure, 31, whom the victim identified as the thief. (San Francisco Chronicle)

After Lori Shannon Turner, 39, complained loudly at a McDonald's restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C., that she hadn't received a sandwich she ordered and demanded another one, a sheriff's deputy who arrived on the scene noticed Turner had a large grease stain on her pants. When a female officer was called to the scene for a search, Turner removed the missing sandwich from her pants. (The Herald Journal)

Missing mummy

Japanese authorities admitted losing track of Tokyo's reigning oldest woman just days after police who searched the home of the city's oldest man found his mummified body. Fusa Furuya, reportedly 113 years old, had been registered as living with her daughter, but when officials went to the address, her daughter told them she hadn't seen or heard from her mother since moving into the apartment in 1986. When police found the body of Sogen Kato, officially listed as Tokyo's oldest man, the week before, they concluded he had been dead for more than 30 years. (BBC News)

Slight provocation

Dennis Zeglin, 67, admitted shooting his family's 20-year-old African gray parrot to death with a pellet gun in Randolph, N.J. Zeglin's lawyer explained that the bird's squawks distracted his client from a NASCAR race on television. (Asbury Park Press)

Authorities accused Jerome Keller, 72, of hitting his wife while she was fixing dinner in Pasco County, Fla. Deputy Gary Stritt reported that Keller told him he didn't think Peggy Keller, 73, was cooking correctly. "He told me all she wants to do is fight with him and accuse him of stupid things," Stritt said. (St. Petersburg Times)

Police in Pontiac, Mich., said Torrie Lynn Emery, 23, repeatedly rammed a car driven by Alesha Abernathy, 21, causing her to lose control and hit a dump truck. The crash killed Abernathy and sent passenger Danielle Booth, 20, to the hospital in critical condition. Detective Paul McDougal, who witnessed the incident, said Emery attacked the vehicle after she spotted Booth, with whom she had been feuding on the social networking site Facebook. (The Detroit News)

For love of Lindsay

When Eugene Todie, 29, tried to return home to Buffalo, N.Y., from Canada, border agents observed that he was wearing an ankle monitor. Todie, who's on probation for criminal contempt and not supposed to leave the country, explained that he was wearing the monitor as a show of support for actress Lindsay Lohan, who earlier this year had to wear an alcohol ankle monitor. (Associated Press)

Mensa rejects

An 11-year-old boy from Laval, Quebec, was hospitalized in critical condition after being pierced in the head by a metal pole thrown by a 17-year-old boy, according to police Sgt. Francois Dumais, who noted the pole was the type used to mark property lines for snow removal. "Both of them were playing a type of baseball," Dumais explained. "They were throwing the metal pole, and the other one was trying to hit the pole with a stick." (CTV Montreal)

Prison blues

After eight Los Angeles County inmates hanged themselves last year, sheriff's officials cited so-called suicide-proof blankets and mattress covers, which inmates have been able to tear into strips for nooses. "They come up with some very clever ways," Cmdr. Stephen Johnson said. "Ways we would not consider." The suicide-safe blankets, used on 125 inmates' beds, cost the county less than $55 each, whereas the thicker, sturdier, effective blankets sheriff's officials had requested cost more than $135 each. (The Los Angeles Times)

After two inmates managed to escape over the wall of a prison in Argentina's Neuquen province, workers told a local newspaper that only two out of the 15 guard towers were staffed. A third featured a dummy made from a soccer ball wearing a prison officer's cap "so that the prisoners see its shadow and think they are being watched," a source told Diario Rio Negro. "We named him Wilson, like in the film 'Cast Away.'" Daniel Verges, director of the penitentiary service, confirmed the use of "a type of mannequin" for guard duty, blaming budget cuts. (Britain's The Guardian)

Make mine crispy

After an unidentified man was shot during a dispute in a parked car in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., he started to drive himself to the hospital but wound up at a Kentucky Fried Chicken store. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said the victim was airlifted from the KFC to a hospital in Pensacola in serious condition. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

The dating game

A 30-year-old woman told police in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., that she arranged a date with Jason Anthony Brown, 28, but when she met him at the parking lot of an Olive Garden restaurant, he got into her vehicle, brandished a gun and demanded money. The woman said she gave Brown about $90, and he fled on foot. Officers said that when they located Brown coming out of a nearby condominium, he admitted he had "obtained" $50 from the woman, then spent it on food at the Olive Garden. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

Not-so-great escape

When Cincinnati police tried to pull over a 26-year-old woman driving 78 mph in a 55-mph zone, she exited the highway to drive home. With officers in pursuit, the woman drove the speed limit and stopped at red lights, but refused to pull over until officers finally stopped her just yards from her home by using strips that punctured her tires. (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

National mullet ban

Iran's Islamic regime has banned the mullet haircut for men, as well as Steven Seagal-style ponytails and the 1980s' Prince-style pompadour. Gel-slathered, combed back haircuts are acceptable, however, as are short front and sides, according to the government's new grooming guidelines. (CNN)

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