<![CDATA[NBC New York - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:25:43 -0400 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:25:43 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cop Car Slams Into Dunkin' Donuts]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:48:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/cop+car+into+dunkin+donuts+berlin.jpg

A South Jersey police vehicle slammed into a doughnut shop Friday morning.

The police SUV crashed into the Dunkin' Donuts shop along White Horse Pike in Berlin, New Jersey just before 11 a.m. Winslow Township Police said the SUV crashed into the building after colliding with another car.

The unidentified Winslow Township Police officer suffered minor injuries, according to investigators. The other driver refused treatment.

No customers or employees inside the store reported any injuries, according to police.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, you could see the Winslow Township Police SUV right through the front window of the coffee shop with the driver's side door open.

Police said the crash caused structural damage to the building. No word yet on when repairs will be made.

Investigators said that the officer wasn't headed to a call at the time of the wreck. The cause of the wreck remained under investigation Friday afternoon.



Photo Credit: Kenny LaFountaine]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Jaguar Found 46 Years Later]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:49:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/jaguar+xke+stolen+ivan+schneider.jpg

A classic British roadster regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made will be returned to its 82-year-old owner nearly five decades after the vehicle was stolen.

The 1967 Jaguar E-type convertible was seized by authorities last month at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. Referred to the XKE in the United States, the car has captured hearts of auto enthusiasts, including Ivan Schneider, since it roared onto the scene in the 1960s with its sporting pedigree, graceful long hood, sleek profile and other timeless design elements. The New York Museum of Modern Art even added an XKE to its permanent design collection in the 1990s.

This particular car's story is not all about looks -- although, most of it is.

The car was stolen 46 years ago in New York City and Schneider, now living in Miami Beach, had no reason to believe he would ever see his beloved sports car again. He was so enamored with it that whenever he bought a new car, Schneider recalled regaling dealers with tales of his lost E-type, which the trial lawyer then in his mid-30s bought for $15,000 after winning a big case. Hagerty's classic car price guide now values the convertible 4.2-liter engine model at more than $112,000.

"I've had a lot of great cars since then, but none of them as pretty," Schneider, a car collector, said Wednesday. "I've had every car you can think of. That was, in looks, my favorite car.

"It's gorgeous. It looks like a bullet almost. It's a car they should make now again."

The theft occurred outside his New York City residence. Schneider walked downstairs on his way to work and realized the car wasn't where he parked.

"I walked up and down Madison Avenue, then up and down 5th Avenue, and it wasn't there," he said. "I was heartbroken."

He filed a police report. Holding out hope that the Jag would be found, he did not buy another car for about four weeks. Eventually, he accepted the possibilty he would never see it again.

Forty-six years later, he found what a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told him during an August phone call even more difficult to accept. The car had been located in a shipping container at the Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles that was bound for Europe.

"When I got the call, I thought they were kidding me," Schneider said.

The break in the decades-old vehicle theft case came when Customs and Border Protection was notified by the National Insurance Crime Bureau of a vehicle reported stolen. CBP typically cross-references documentation provided by exporters with information, including vehicle identification numbers, in the Crime Bureau's active stolen vehicle reports.

"When we located the vehicle, it was in a container bound for the Netherlands," said Javier Larios, of the CBP.

The agency notified the carrier that the container should be returned to the Southern California port complex. When agents opened the container, they found Schneider's Jag, painted white over its original gray color.

"The outside looks great, the inside looks terrible," Schneider said. "This is just a miracle, a miracle."

Schneider plans to have the car restored in New York before it is shipped to his Florida home. He said he is "very excited" to take it for another ride after only putting 6,000 miles on the car before it disappeared.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Turns Up Nearly 3 Years After Disappearance]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:36:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nika+dog+missing+found.jpg More than two years after a New York man's dog disappeared from its home, it mysteriously turned up in Florida. Brynn Gingras reports.]]> <![CDATA[Surge Is Back! Coca-Cola Revives Popular '90s Soft Drink After Fan Campaign]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:56:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/surge+soda.jpg

Children of the '90s, rejoice!

Surge, the popular citrus flavored soft drink, has returned, The Coca-Cola Company announced Monday.

But anyone hoping to take an icy swig of nostalgia will have to wait. Within a day of the announcement, 12-packs of the bright green drink sold out -- twice -- on Amazon.com. The drink is being sold exclusively on the online retailer's site. 

Surge made its original debut in 1996 before disappearing from store shelves in 2001. But a dedicated group of fans started an online campaign, asking the company to bring the drink back.

"They’ve inspired us," said Racquel Mason, associate vice president of sparkling flavors, Coca-Cola North America, in a release. "More than 128,000 people a dozen years after a brand left the market saying, 'Please bring it back!' That’s the best compliment any brand could hope for."

And while fans are thanking Coke, our teeth and waistlines may not be as enthused. According to Amazon.com, a 16-ounce can of Surge contains 230 calories and 56 grams of sugar, one gram more than Mountain Dew, its chief competitor in the '90s.

Nevertheless, fans of the drink have been posting their delight online using the hashtag #SURGEisback.

Coca-Cola says Surge is the first of its discontinued brands to return.

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<![CDATA[Golfer Wins Trip to Space After Hole-in-One]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:13:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/455429326.jpg

An English golfer scored a trip into space by sinking a rare hole-in-one at a tournament on Sunday.

Andy Sullivan made the shot at the 163-yard, 15th hole at the KLM Open in the Netherlands, The Associated Press reported.

XCOR Aerospace, an Amsterdam-based company that sponsored the tournament, offered a 100,000-euro ($129,238) seat aboard a commercial flight into space to the first player to make an ace on the 15th hole, according to Golf.com.

The reward was aimed at promoting the company's space trips, which are set to open to the public beginning in late 2015.

"I'm not sure yet,” Sullivan said when asked if he would take the trip, Golf.com reported. "I'll see what the missus says."

Sullivan finished third at the KLM Open, two shots behind winner Paul Casey.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Panda Gets Dental Work: Raw Video]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:12:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/6PW_VO_PANDA_DENTIST_KNSD4S09_1200x675_327733827567.jpg San Diego Zookeepers put one of their giant panda's under anesthetic to fix a chip in her tooth. The zoo provided this video. ]]> <![CDATA[Giant Panda Chips Tooth, Heads to Dentist]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:00:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PandaDental_001_Web_1.jpg

A dreaded trip to the dentist isn’t limited to the human race, a giant panda discovered Wednesday.

The San Diego Zoo’s Bai Yun has apparently been eating some tough bamboo, for keepers recently noticed a chip in one of her lower canines.

After a dental exam and x-rays, the veterinary team anesthetized the panda to repair the tooth.

They used a big dental composite to fill in the chip and cured it with a light to seal the filling. The vets also performed a restorative procedure to cover the chipped part and prevent further damage.

“The good news is the pulp canal hadn't been compromised, but it's very close to breaking into the pulp canal," said Meg Sutherland-Smith, associate director of the zoo’s veterinary services.

They topped the procedure off with a good, thorough cleaning and imaging.

Zoo officials explain that as pandas chew and break the bamboo with their mouths, their teeth get worn down over time. Many of these giant bears can spend up to 12 hours a day eating the rough plant.

After 23 years of chewing, Bai Yun’s teeth were due for some work.

All the giant pandas – one of the most popular attractions at the San Diego Zoo – are on loan from China. San Diego keepers work with the Chinese Academy of Science to study behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas.



Photo Credit: Ken Bohn]]>
<![CDATA[Sleepy Burglar Busted While Taking Nap in Home]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:37:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/091014+dion+davis+sleeping+burglar.jpg

A sleepy burglar who broke into a Florida home was busted after he was caught napping on a bed inside, authorities said.

Dion Davis, 29, faces a burglary of an unoccupied dwelling charge following his arrest Monday, the Sarasota Sheriff's Office said.

Davis was being held on $10,000 bond Wednesday, jail records showed. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.

According to the sheriff's office, a cleaning woman called deputies after she found Davis sleeping inside a home in Nokomis Monday morning.

When deputies arrived, Davis was still passed out on the bed, a bag full of stolen jewelry sitting next to him.

The deputies took a photo of Davis before waking him up and taking him into custody.



Photo Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Man Catches Massive Shrimp]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:07:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/giantmantisshrimp.jpg

There’s nothing small about what fisherman Steve Bargeron caught when he was fishing from a deck in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Bargeron caught a shrimp that was far from its name. The giant shrimp was around 18 inches long and Bargeron said he had to grab it from its tail like a lobster.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, scientists said the giant catch could have been a form of mantis shrimp. However, a mantis shrimp isn’t actually related to shrimp; it’s actually a type of crustacean called a stomatopod.

Scientists haven’t been able to identify the exact species yet.



Photo Credit: FWC]]>
<![CDATA[36 Pound Cat Loses Weight]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 21:09:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/file-little-dude-obese-cat-wags.jpg

A morbidly obese rescue cat named Little Dude is eating healthy and working on his fitness in preparation of being put up for adoption, said shelter officials in Orange County.

Handlers said the 10-year-old short-haired feline arrived to WAGS Pet Adoption in Westminster in August weighing a hulking 36 pounds - roughly three times what his normal weight should be.

"He is the equivalent of the news stories that you see of humans that are being forklifted outside of their houses," said Cortney Dorney, the shelter manager. "I can tell you that in my 20 years of doing this I've never seen a cat this size."

Little Dude's owner turned him over to WAGS because he said he couldn't pay an added charge at his apartment complex for renters who owned pets.

When the cat arrived, the shelter staff said he needed immediate medical attention - Little Dude's weight problem likely stemmed from eating too many treats and human food, and not enough physical activity, officials said.

"His sheer size was detrimental to his health," Dorney said.

Little Dude, who has put on a strict diet, was down to 33 pounds at his last weigh-in, but he's shedding pounds too quickly due to stress, so he's being fed with a tube to stabilize his weight loss, Dorney said.

It could be weeks before he's ready to be put up for adoption.

"He's fabulous," Dorney said. "He's very laid back and easy going - because of his size he doesn't have a choice. He's a lap cat. He just wants to hang out and be brushed."

Anyone interested in adopting Little Dude can begin the process by filling out an application at the WAGS website at wagspetadoption.org or by calling the shelter at 714-887-6156.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of WAGS Pet Adoption via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:33:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/biscuit-taco-bell.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world.

Photo Credit: Taco Bell]]>
<![CDATA[Weird News Photos: "Aggressive” Lizard in SoCal]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:45:37 -0400 Read more here.]]> Read more here.]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/140915-huntington-park-lizard.jpg Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: Huntington Park Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[27 Large Marijuana Plants Found Near Walmart ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:02:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/marijuana+plants.jpg

Police in St. Albans, Vermont, found 27 large, mature marijuana plants in a field just south of the Walmart store on Swanton Road.

The find came after authorities received a call on Aug. 28 about strange plants on the private property.

The plants appeared well cared for and some were held up by stakes, police said. Fertilizer had been placed around the base of the plants.

Officials decided to eradicate and destroy the plants, after more people in the community became aware of them.

Police are working to identify those responsible for planting and caring for the unlawful marijuana.

Anyone with information has been asked to call: (802) 524-2166.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York



Photo Credit: St. Albans Police]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Rubber Duck Forced to Deflate]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:10:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/deflated+rubber+duck.PNG

The giant rubber duck that had been on display in Southern California since last week was deflated Thursday because of damaging winds.

Thousands have flocked to the Port of Los Angeles to view and photograph the 11-ton rubber duck, an art project by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman that has traveled worldwide and made stops in Japan, Brazil, Hong Kong and New Zealand, among other places.

The “World’s Largest Rubber Duck” made it’s Port of Los Angeles debut on Aug. 20 as part of the Tall Ships Festival. It was supposed to be on display only until Aug. 24, but because of its popularity, plans were made to keep the rubber duck on display until Sept. 6 as part of the Duck Days of Summer.

The rubber duck was transported to Banning’s Landing off the Wilmington coast Thursday, where it was supposed to be on display Thursday and Friday. Because of windy conditions, the duck was deflated and towed back to San Pedro. A 10-foot "baby" duck will still be on display in Wilmington Friday.

According to the Port of Los Angeles website, the duck will not be on display over Labor Day Weekend because it is “on holiday.” The duck is expected to be inflated again Tuesday and put back on display at the Downtown Harbor through Saturday.

Upcoming daily events centered around the giant duck include “Dress Like a Duck Day” and “Duck Dance Day.”

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<![CDATA[Human Skull Donated to Thrift Store]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:34:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/013012+human+skull+generic.jpg

Police asked for the public's help to locate whoever donated a human skull to an Austin, Texas, thrift store.

Homicide Detective Derek Israel said Wednesday that foul play was not suspected in the person's death. He said he just wants to know how the skull came to be in an unspecified container left at the store.

Goodwill staff discovered the skull while sifting through donations July 16. A spokeswoman said it could have been gifted up to a week prior to its discovery.

Israel said the skull is from an adult. No other details about it have been released.

This is at least the fourth skull to be donated to the international nonprofit this summer. Three were donated in July to a Goodwill store in Bellevue, Wash.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Puppy Helps Cheetah Recover]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 00:18:59 -0400 Read more here.]]> Read more here.]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cheetah+surgery+puppy.JPG Check out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]>
<![CDATA[Shell Shocker: Rare Blue Lobster Found]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:57:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/rareblue-lobster.jpg A rare blue lobster has found a permanent home at the Maine State Aquarium. 14 year-old Meghan Laplante was out pulling traps with her dad on Saturday when they pulled up the rare blue lobster.]]> <![CDATA[Wiggly Lines Fixed After Confusing Commute]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:20:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/219*120/restriping+wiggly+lines.jpg

Crews worked overnight to correct a striping project on I-66 eastbound in Centreville, Virginia, after wiggly lines left many drivers confused Monday morning.

Temporary tape striping was laid down just over a week ago, but peeled from the roadway during the morning rush, Virginia Department of Transportation officials say.

Drivers who experienced the wiggly lines described the traffic as "horrific" and said they took alternate roads to avoid accidents Monday. 

"I had to bail off 66 and take the back roads to be able to get to work on time," one driver said.

Crews began fixing the lines Monday around 7 p.m. and work into the early morning hours to complete the job.

The tape was installed as a part of a temporary lane shift while crews rehabilitate the I-66 bridges over Route 29. The lane shift will be in place for three more weeks, VDOT says.

VDOT is working to determine what caused the striping to peel.

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<![CDATA[Cops: Couple Had Fake Babies]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:48:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fake-baby-th.jpg

Police in the San Joaquin Valley, California, arrested a woman on trespassing charges after they say she was trying to access a hospital maternity ward.

Merced police said 41-year-old Tonya Whitney and her husband carried dolls that looked like fake babies into Mercy Medical Center on two occasions in the past week. Whitney wore a nurses outfit, carried an old visitor’s pass and a fake baby in a carrier, authorities said. She is facing misdemeanor trespassing charges.

Whitney was turned away before she could get into the maternity ward, according to police, who said they found many life-like dolls inside the woman’s Merced apartment. Whitney said the whole thing is a misunderstanding. She said she sells the dolls and was only at the hospital to make a sales pitch.

Police said Whitney and her husband tried accessing the maternity ward at Mercy Medical twice, the first time on Saturday after visiting the emergency department. "They then returned Monday and they once again attempted,” Merced Police Capt. Tom Trinidad said. “Of course this prompted an immediate response from the hospital because they wanted to secure the safety of the children."

"If you look at it, could be suspicious,” Capt. Trinidad said. “Of course, the assumption could be made that she was there for the purpose of switching out a fake life-like baby with a real baby."

Authorities said hospital security staff noticed the couple's odd behavior, treating the dolls as if they were real, cuddling them and changing diapers.

Police said Whitney has at least one child. Her husband was not arrested.

Attempts to reach Mercy Medical staff for comment were not immediately successful.

NBC's Fresno affiliate KSEE-TV contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Calif. Bill: Dogs Can Eat Out]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:18:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/051213+Cupcake+dog.jpg

Sit. Stay. Dine.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday allowing dogs to dine with owners if seated in an outdoor section of a restaurant.

"It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner," Mariko Yamada, the assembly member who championed the bill, said in a statement. "I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’."

But those who aren’t as dog-friendly don’t have to worry – the law doesn’t force restaurant owners to allow dogs in establishments.

Owners have discretion on whether a dog is allowed to dine alfresco, according to the bill.

"Amidst all the horrific and depressing news around us, I hope this bill helps make people a little happier, and businesses who wish to accommodate diners with dogs safe from being unnecessarily cited," Yamada wrote on her Facebook page.

The restaurant also must have an outdoor entrance that doesn’t require the pet to walk through the restaurant to get to the outdoor area.

Dogs will have to be on a leash and well behaved, and they can’t sit on chairs or benches.

The bill also says that wait staff cannot have direct contact with a dog or pet them, and if they do, they must sanitize their hands.

Pets cannot be in the same area where food is being prepared.

Though the bill applies to restaurants statewide, cities can still pass local regulations that ban pooches from restaurant patios.

"We can't wait to legally come to dinner with our human friends," a Facebook group supporting AB 1965 wrote.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Sutter Brown, the first dog of California and Gov. Brown’s pooch, was not available for comment.

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<![CDATA[Man Shows Up for Jail in T-Shirt With Picture of His Mug Shot]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:32:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/1200x675-Burt1.jpg

A Maine man showed up to serve a 48-hour jail sentence this month wearing an orange T-shirt with a picture of his mug shot from his arrest on it.

Robert Edward Burt of Pittsfield was arrested in Hartland in June for operating under the influence. He was booked but released after posting bail.

He was later sentenced to serve 48 hours behind bars and reported to serve them Aug. 8.

Burt was released on Aug. 10. It was not immediately clear whether Burt has an attorney. A phone number listed under his name was disconnected.



Photo Credit: Booking Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Sailboat Put on Auction Block for $25]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:57:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/navy+sailboat+auction.JPG

Got $25? You could just buy yourself a sailboat, thanks to the U.S. Navy.

As part of a government liquidation, the U.S. Department of Defense is auctioning off a 50-foot sailboat to the highest bidder.

But this vessel isn’t what you’d expect from a former Navy craft.

The three-hulled, high-performance Contour 50 boat, which is now in Harbor Island, was used for “experimental training and recreational purposes,” according to Liquidity Services, Inc.

Built in the mid 2000s, the craft has undergone some modifications but still has its wing sail, rigging and mast assembly, as well as an inboard 40-horsepower engine.

If that’s the kind of recreational services sailors are privy to, it’s safe to say the Navy has some decent perks. Now, the craft is going to a private owner who’s ready to hit the open ocean.

Bidding for the sailboat starts at $25 on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. PT and closes Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. The auction will be held online on the Defense Department’s auction site, www.GovLiquidation.com.



Photo Credit: Government Liquidation]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gets Shot in Head, Walks to Hospital]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 07:17:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Hospital+generic+722.jpg

A man in a New York suburb with a gunshot wound to the head was apparently able to walk himself to the hospital, authorities in Westchester County said Saturday.

The 24-year-old was shot in the head at around 10 p.m. Friday evening, according to police in Mount Vernon. The man then crashed his car into a house on 10th Avenue, before apparently walking himself to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, police said. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Authorities were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The victim has a criminal history and has served time in prison, police said.

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<![CDATA[Pot Plants Worth $5M Removed From SoCal Public Park]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 07:44:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/pot+bust+oc+august+15+copy.jpg

Thousands of marijuana plants worth about $5 million were removed, in what authorities called an all day-long operation, from rough terrain at a Southern California public park Friday. 

Between 2,500 and 4,000 plants were found in the Muddy Canyon area of the Laguna Wilderness Park, south of the 73 Freeway toll road, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The “eradication” operation required authorities to hike up the rugged area and manually tear out the plants. A sheriff’s airship “Duke” was being used to take the plants to a nearby area to be packaged for evidence, officials said.

"There is a complex irrigation here with this grow," said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "As far as where exactly it's coming from, and the source, that's still part of the investigation."

Authorities were looking into the possibility of the grow's irrigation system being connected to the one in the park.

The plants were discovered by a nature conseveration group who were flying above the parks searching for non-native habitats -- otherwise known as weeds.

Investigators said the operation began around 7 a.m. and was expected to take between five and six hours.

An investigation into the plants was underway but authorities had no suspect information and it was unclear how long the plants had been growing.

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<![CDATA[Uncanny: "Canstruction" Sculptures Made From Thousands of Cans ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:31:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Canstruction_39%5B1%5D.jpg Sculptures made of cans are on display at Merchandise Mart in Chicago as part of the 8th annual Canstruction competition, during which teams create the large sculptures made of thousands of canned goods.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Walk-Morris]]>
<![CDATA["Ima Thief" Busted for Stealing: PD]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:07:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/imathiefbondcourt.jpg

A South Florida man who told police his name was Ima Thief was met by a judge's laughter when he appeared in bond court Thursday on charges he tried to steal two televisions from a store.

Police in Sunrise say Thief tried to walk out of the store with more than a thousand dollars worth of merchandise.

“You’re Ima Thief, sir,” Broward Judge John Fry asked the man while laughing.

“Yes, sir,” Thief responded.

“And you’re charged with grand theft,” Judge Fry said while shaking his head. “I’m going to call you Mr. Ima, okay? Alright.”

After exchanging good mornings, Judge Fry said, “I do sincerely wish you the best of luck. I just wasn’t really anticipating seeing this name.”

Police say the man tried to leave a store on the 3300 block of North University Drive in Sunrise with two television sets and three other items in his shopping cart. He was met by security at the door.

When he was told to go back in the store with the items, he refused, and when officers arrived and gave the same order, he tried to get past them and out of the area, police said.

The man refused to identify himself, other than to say his name was Ima Thief. He told police he was 34 years old.

In the arrest affidavit, Officer Andrew Hydes wrote, “the name and date of birth are fictitious and only provided in order for the subject to be processed at the Broward Sheriff’s Office jail.”

The man who identified himself as Thief faces charges of grand theft and resisting an officer. He’s also being held on a no-bond probation violation warrant related to a burglary.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Brooklyn Residents Set Up Dog Walker "Wall of Shame"]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:23:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Dog-Poop-Shaming.jpg

Dog walkers who don’t clean up after their pets on one Brooklyn street could find themselves in for a surprise nastier than the messes their pooches leave behind, thanks to a group of fed-up residents.

The South Oxford Street Block Association said on its Facebook page that it is setting up an online “wall of shame” of photos and videos of dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets on walks.

The group's president, Abby Weissman, already posted surveillance footage of a woman walking off after her dog stopped to do its business by a tree box on a sidewalk.

Weissman encouraged other members of the group to be on the lookout for more scofflaw dog walkers and to send in similar photos and videos.

“There is no excuse for this behavior,” Weissman said in a Facebook post. “If you can’t clean up after your dog you shouldn’t have one.”

Some residents in the neighborhood said they supported the idea.

“I am with y’all all the way (about) catching dog-walkers leaving their poop on the ground,” one longtime Fort Greene resident said in a post to the group’s Facebook page. “Oh does that drive me nuts.”

Under city law, dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets could face a $250 fine.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York

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<![CDATA[Number Goof Leads to Years of Alcatraz Misdials]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:36:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/edtAP7106130276.jpg

Thomas Renault can’t escape from Alcatraz.

At least once a day, the phone rings in his San Francisco office with someone hoping to book a hard-to-get tour of the infamous prison. It’s another wrong number.

Renault doesn't lose his cool despite years of misdials. He even got a call to his business early Monday morning, on the 80th anniversary of opening day at Alcatraz Island.

"The number is off by one," he said by phone. "A long time ago, the fonts for 7's and 1's looked the same, and I think my number got reprinted on all the Alcatraz literature."

That misprint was about five years ago. At its peak, every third call to his business would be about an Alcatraz tour. Renault called the National Park Service, which runs the Alcatraz tours of the former prison, to correct the mistake. He wanted to let them know that his was not the place to book tours for the now-shuttered prison that once housed Al Capone and other notorious inmates.

Renault runs his own organizational development company and doesn't know the first thing about steering a cruise ship to the island, he said. 

"They were really good about it," Renault said of the park service correcting the error.

Alcatraz Cruises, LLC, the official Alcatraz ticket source for the National Park Service, has not returned calls for comment on Renault’s experience.

The misdials keep coming, mainly because dialers sometimes transpose 7 with 1.

Renault isn't bitter about the early morning, mid-day and late-night calls that sometimes come from across the globe. He has warm feelings for the folks who work at Alcatraz.

Last year, a group of business associates from Canada who visited him wanted to see Alcatraz. Renault told them, "Let's see what I can do."

He called up the cruise lines and told them he was the "wrong number guy." They comped him and his out-of-town guests free tickets and tours to the island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

It was Renault's first and only trip there. He said he really enjoyed it. But more than the old prison cells, or the history of the occupation of American Indians on Alcatraz, Renault said he especially loved the gardens.

"They were really so old and beautiful," he said.

To call about reserving a tour on Alcatraz Island, the correct line is 415-981-7625. Tickets are sold out, however, until Aug. 27.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Woman Caught With Cash in Girdle at Airport]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:39:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cash-generic-722x406.jpg

A 78-year-old Florida woman tried to fly on an international trip from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with almost $41,000 in cash hidden inside her girdle, bra and carry-on bag, federal authorities said.

A complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit said the Clearwater woman was trying to board a flight April 2 to the Philippines with her daughter. She initially said she had $200 in cash but submitted a form declaring she had $1,200, prompting questions.

During a search, Customs and Border Protection officers found $8,000 in wallets in her carry-on bag, $4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and nearly $1,000 in envelopes, according to the complaint. She then told them she had $3,000 in her blouse and $2,000 sewn into the strap of her bra.

Officers continued to search and said they found about $21,000 in her girdle. The woman told authorities that she had recently sold her home for $120,000, wired some money to the Philippines and had planned to carry a portion of the money with her.

"She stated that she did not wire the proceeds to the Philippines this time because she thought it was safer to carry the money," according to the complaint.

Federal law requires travelers to declare if they are carrying more than $10,000. The woman hasn't been charged, but the government in the forfeiture complaint said it wants to keep the money. The Detroit News reported details of the request Friday.

Federal court records don't list a lawyer for the woman. The Associated Press left a message Saturday seeking comment from her at a telephone listing in Florida.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Shoplifters Swipe Lobsters, Rogaine, Whitening Strips: Cops]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:29:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Suffolk-County-Shoplifters.jpg

Police are looking for a pair of shoplifters who swiped some unusual items in unrelated thefts at Long Island stores recently.

A man stole $2,500 worth of Rogaine, toothpaste, teeth whitening strips and allergy medicine from a Target in Central Islip on August 5, police say.

He allegedly loaded up a cart with the merchandise and walked out of the store, where he was picked up by someone in a getaway car.

Police say that a week before that theft, a woman snuck out of a Hauppauge grocery store with a canvas bag filled with $65 worth of live lobsters.

Anyone with information about either of the suspects is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.



Photo Credit: SCPD]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Bear Caught Walking on Hind Legs in New Jersey]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:42:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Bear-Generic.jpg

People in one New Jersey town were surprised when they saw a black bear taking a stroll down the street on its hind legs earlier this week.

A resident in Jefferson Township posted a video to YouTube showing the bear lumbering upright to the end of a cul-de-sac, peering inside a trash can and then venturing off into the woods.

The video has been viewed more than 250,000 times.

"It probably is a black bear," said Larry Ragonese, press director for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. He said there's no way to fully authenticate the video.

Ragonese said bears can walk on two legs, although they usually don't for extended periods. 

A biologist who examined the video said the bear could have damaged a front paw, requiring it to walk on two legs, Ragonese said.

Neighbors left comments on the video saying that they too had seen the bear pull the stunt recently.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Boa Still on the Loose in South Jersey Town]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:38:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Boa-on-the-Loose-New-Pic.jpg

Police continue to search for a large snake that escaped its owner in a South Jersey town last month. However, they also say the reptile doesn’t pose much of a threat to humans.

Animal control officers received several reports of a snake in the Villas section of Lower Township. The reptile was spotted several times but still has not been captured.

One witness, Becky Clements, told NBC40 she took a picture of the snake eating a seagull in her backyard.

“I never thought I’d ever see a snake that big in the Villas,” Clements said.

Lower Township Police located the original owner, a resident of Villas. They also determined the species and identified the snake as a red-tailed boa, approximately six-feet long and eight-pounds.

Despite the panic from some residents, officials say the snake is relatively harmless to humans.

“No one should feel unsafe in their own backyard,” said Lower Township Manager Mike Voll. “This was an unfortunate case of a pet snake that wasn’t being watched properly and it caused concern when it got away. The bottom line is that people don’t have to be afraid.”

Officials still say however that residents should supervise their children and pets as they continue to search for the snake.

“The red-tailed boa is not aggressive and unlikely to be found wanting anything other than amphibians, rodents, rabbits and birds,” said a Township spokesperson.

Police say the owner is not facing any criminal charges since it’s not illegal to own a snake in New Jersey. The red-tailed boa can be found at pet stores nationwide. Officials say the owner is still accepting responsibility however for not watching the snake carefully after he took it out of its aquarium for cleaning and exercise.

Boas are normally shy and primarily nocturnal, doing most of their movement during dawn and dusk, according to Dr. Nick Holland of Shore Animal Control Services.

Boas are native to South America as well as some areas of Mexico and are a popular item at pet stores.

Officials hope to find the snake soon. According to Holland, the snake won’t survive in cool weather and could also die from eating wildlife that carries bacteria that it's not immune to.

The snake was last spotted eating a bird around the 200 block of Arbor Road earlier this week. According to experts, the reptile will likely retreat to a cool, dark place for three weeks to a month in order to digest its meal.

“Residents don’t have to be afraid,” said Lower Township Police Chief William Mastriana. “Even though this isn’t an aggressive snake, we want people to exercise caution and take the time to check their property, their sheds and crawl spaces. If you see something, give the police department a call.”

The snake has gained plenty of attention on social media since news of its escape surfaced. Two parody accounts @VillasSnake and @CapeMayPython were created on Twitter.

Lower Township Police are advising all residents who spot the snake to call the department at 609-886-2711 as well as animal control at 1-800-351-1822.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York



Photo Credit: Lower Township]]>
<![CDATA[Company Pays Settlement in Buckets of Loose Change]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:01:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Andres+Carrasco.jpg

An unexpected delivery of loose change has a 73-year-old man in California giving his own two cents.

Andres Carrasco filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Adriana’s Insurance Service, Inc. alleging he was physically assaulted by one of the company's employees.

After agreeing to a settlement with Andres Carrasco in June, Adriana’s Insurance decided to deliver the funds in the form of a check -- and buckets and buckets of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.

The coins amount to more than $21,000, said Carrasco’s attorney Antonio Gallo.

"Adriana's Insurance, is this the way you treat everyone?" Carrasco said in a statement. "Why don't you like your clients?"

When the time to pony up for the settlement came, Carrasco’s attorney said eight of Adriana's Insurance employees arrived in a van with five-gallon containers full of coins in hand.

The employees then went to Carrasco’s attorney’s office, dropped them off in waiting room and left.

Carrasco had just had a hernia operation and wouldn’t be able to lift one of buckets, let alone the scores left by the company, Gallo said.

"I am disappointed by the way Adriana's treats their customers and the elderly,” Carrasco said in the statement. "We might be poor, but we are people too."

Officials with the insurance company did not respond to requests for comment.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Tortoise Reunited With Human Family]]> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 00:51:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/209*120/dirk+the+turtle.JPG

A tortoise that was found strutting the streets of Alhambra by police was reunited with his human family Sunday, police said.

After an adventure that may have tired out a lesser reptile, Dirk was taken back to his home in Alhambra to spend his days munching on leafy greens. 

Police said they received a call about the tortoise on Saturday after he was found moseying at a leisurely pace near Sixth Street and Norwood Place.

Finding Dirk wasn’t too much of a problem, but bringing him into custody proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Officials said it took two officers to bring in the hefty 150-pound pet. The animal was later put into the care of animal control who released him into his family’s custody.

Police joked on Facebook that while possession of a dirk, which is a type of dagger, is a punishable offense, possession of a Dirk can only result in a lovable scaly slowpoke.



Photo Credit: Alhambra Police Department]]>