Stupid Crime - True Stories About Dumb Criminals
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September 2000 


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Cairns: Police sergeant Joe Pennini, who lost his license earlier this year after being convicted of drink-driving, was charged this month with driving while disqualified after he allegedly drove to the Kowanyama airport in far north Queensland to pick up Chief Magistrate Di Fingleton. Unbeknownst to Sgt. Pennini, Ms. Fingleton was accompanied on the trip by another magistrate, David Glasgow - the same magistrate who'd convicted Pennini of drink driving and had banned him from driving for eight months only a few months earlier.
(Source: The Courier-Mail)

Brisbane: Impulse Airlines' inaugural Brisbane to Sydney flight was delayed this month when members of the Newcastle rock band The Screaming Jets broke into a spirited rendition of Puff The Magic Dragon moments before take-off. The new Boeing 717-200 jet had taxied to the runway for the early morning flight before it was forced to return to the terminal so band members could be escorted from the plane by security staff. "We thought of everything to get into the press and this was it," unrepentant lead singer Dave Gleeson said. "Yes, we'd been drinking. But no, we weren't drunk. And say what you like, but we think Puff the Magic Dragon is a great song."
(Source: The Australian)

Iowa: A 76-year-old ex-convict, homesick for prison, walked into a bank in Council Bluffs this month and handed a teller a note demanding two $50 bills. As the man left the bank, he told staff that he'd be sitting outside in his car smoking a cigarette while he waited for police to come take him back to prison, in case anyone didn't know where to find him.
(Source: CNN Fringemail)

Yorkshire: Understaffed Yorkshire police in the town of Bridlington believe they may have found an inexpensive solution to their manning problems: life-size cardboard cut-outs, which will be placed in known crime hotspots to frighten off would-be criminals with extremely low IQs.
(Source: The Sunday Times)

Feed The Man Meat

Port Moresby: Soldiers celebrating Papua New Guinea's 25th anniversary of independence got drunk and burned down the headquarters of 2 Pacific Islands Regiment at Wewak in the north-west of the country this month in a fit of pique after being denied dinner. According to reports, drunken vandalism erupted amongst the soldiers at about 7:30pm when they returned to the barracks after taking part in a flag lowering ceremony in nearby Wewak. Reporters suggested that the soldiers became angry when they found their mess had closed and targeted the nearby officers' mess where the province's Independence Anniversary Ball was getting underway. East Sepik Governor Arthur Somare was playing host to an Indonesian military delegation from Jayapura in neighbouring Irian Jaya at the club when the soldiers gatecrashed the ball. The Indonesians, the Governor and other guests were safely escorted out of the barracks before soldiers set the entire compound alight, burning it to ashes. There are now high-level calls for a full inquiry into the incident. In the meantime, the soldiers are sleeping out of doors.
(Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)

Bangkok: The Thai Government was forced to investigate a Bhuddist monk this month to determine whether his collection of 60 Mercedes-Benz cars violated his religion's anti-materialist precepts. Phra Khru Viboon Pattanakit, the abbot of the Sisakrabua temple in Bangkok, claimed that he wanted to set up a museum featuring the cars and said that he received the cars as donations from his followers, or bought them with cash given by devotees. He also said that he'd been letting monks and novices at the temple repair and maintain the vehicles as a way of learning the skills for becoming motor mechanics once they left the monkhood. However, the Thai Education Ministry - which oversees religious affairs - said it was unacceptable for monks to collect luxury cars, and ordered the abbot to get rid of them.
(Source: The Age)

Cairns: In an incident described by local police as a "ship of fools", four young men and two women allegedly attempted to steal a luxury yacht from the local marina this month and embark on a round-the-world cruise. According to police, one of the group dreamed up the idea after borrowing a book called "Navigating By The Stars" from the local library a few weeks earlier. The six then loaded up a $300,000 yacht with 60 cans of baked beans, 1000 condoms and the book and set sail. Unfortunately for the hapless thieves, the boat ran out of wind less than 20 minutes after they left the dock. It then drifted for about 400 metres before crashing into a partially-built pier, after which all six had to be rescued. The six are expected to face court shortly.
(Source: The Sunday Times)

Las Vegas: Don Astorga was convicted of violating the Endangered Species Act this month after he was caught smuggling lizards into the country by carrying them in his underwear. According to authorities, he was arrested at Las Vegas airport in June when police noticed unusual moving bulges around his groin. The bulges turned out to be created by lizards stuffed into tube socks.
(Source: News of the Weird)

Handy Tips For Sydney Olympic Tourists!

  • When you'red in the water at Bondi, always be sure to wave enthusiastically to the lifeguard so he'll know exactly where you are.

  • The tolls on the harbour bridge are voluntary. You should only contribute if the toll officer sings for you or plays an instrument.

  • It's traditional to bargain with Sydney taxi drivers over the fare.
    On no account pay what's on the meter - this will be sure to cause offence.

  • Always remove your shoes before attempting the traditional climb of the Opera House sails

  • Money lost at the Star City Casino is refundable at the end of the night. Ask any of the security guards about it.

  • You'll find Kerry Packer's luxury yacht Arctic P moored in the harbour. Just clamber aboard - Kerry loves surprises!

  • The Olympic "Clearway" lanes are kept completely clear of traffic to provide cheap parking.

  • The monorail is no longer in service. The metal track, though, is now available to American visitors for rollerblading or sunbaking

(Contributor: Phillip Hill)


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