<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:41:37 -0400 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:41:37 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[No "Purge" Coming to Philly Tonight]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:01:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Purge+Philly+Flyer+Social.jpg

It's August 22. The day a roving band of crazies are set to take to the streets of Philadelphia and undertake a crime spree of monumental proportions.

But, never fear. It's all just a big fat hoax.

Rumors have been swirling on social networks for two weeks now about the state-sanctioned mass killing, dreamed up as the plot line for the Universal film "The Purge," coming to life in our town. They were quickly debunked (as we told you earlier this week): here, here and here.

Although, some of the more gullible among us worked themselves up into a hysteria-ridden froth warning people to stay at home.

And because they must always be prepared, local law enforcement agencies were warned to be on the look out for psychos tonight.

But just so you can hear it from the horse's mouth, a spokesperson for Philadelphia Police tells NBC10.com that the department has heard of no credible "purge" plans for tonight.

So feel free to live your life as normal. You shouldn't be any less safe tonight...than any other Friday in the summer.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Claims He's Ex-STP Singer]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:39:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/scottweiland+-+14.jpg

A shoplifting suspect who identified himself as former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland managed to mislead law enforcement for nearly four weeks and will likely face additional charges after police discovered he had lied about his identity.

Beverly Hills Police arrested a man at a Rite Aid drugstore on the 400 block of North Bedford Drive on July 26 after receiving a call about shoplifting. He identified himself as Weiland and was taken into custody on drug possession and burglary charges.

Police discovered Thursday that the man was not the former Stone Temple Pilot through an FBI fingerprint return. The man was then identified as 44-year-old Jason Michael Hurley. 

Weiland posted a video on his Facebook page Thursday in response to an article he read on TMZ that day that said he had been in jail for weeks.

"I just got done reading something interesting. A nice piece of fiction from TMZ saying I was in jail and have been. I’ve actually been touring, writing and recording my new album," Weiland said.

Weiland told his fans not to worry and that the report was a lie.

"TMZ, you’ll be hearing from my attorneys," Weiland said.

Police have requested that Hurley also be charged with furnishing false information to a peace officer.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[400 Chinchillas Rescued]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:01:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Chinchillas50820REAL.jpg

More than 400 chinchillas were rescued by the San Diego Humane Society during an eight-hour operation in Vista, the largest animal rescue operation ever by the humane society.

The chinchillas were rescued from a breeding farm on Tuesday, three weeks after the humane society received a request from PETA to step in.

A spokeswoman for the humane society said the owners were looking to retire. However, PETA said it closed the business because of "cruel practices." Sam Simon, co-creator of the TV show "The Simpsons" purchased the business in conjunction with PETA.

On its website, PETA claims the chinchillas were set to be slaughtered and that the business was known to electrocute the animals for fur -- a claim that the humane society said they "can't confirm or deny."

Kelli Schry, a spokeswoman of the humane society, said she was aware of the electrocution claim, but humane society officers visiting the farm did not find any evidence of mistreatment.

"All the animals were well cared for, so there's no need to pursue any neglect or cruelty charges on them," she said.

NBC 7 reached out to the owner. She admitted to electrocuting some of the chinchillas, but added that she grew up in the country, where animals were slaughtered for food.

While PETA offiicals said they did find evidence of chinchillas being electrocuted, these type of cases are seldom prosecuted because "some would consider it as part of agriculture," said Lisa Lange, vice president of PETA.

"This is pretty common in the U.S. -- electrocuting animals for fur," she said. "It's easy and it's fast."

Lange said instead of going after prosecution of chinchilla owners, PETA is working to eliminate the consumer demand for fur.

After the chinchillas were brought to the humane society, veterinarians and animal welfare officials examined them to ensure they were healthy before being adopted. Schry said a number of the chinchillas have already been examined and are ready for adoption.

The rest will be available for adoption once they've had a health exam, Schry said.

"All seemed to be in good health and good behavioral health," she said.

  Chinchillas, native to South America, are similar to guinea pigs and have become popular pets in recent years because of their sweet and social temperament.

Those wanting to adopt one of the chinchillas can visit any of the three humane society locations in San Diego, Oceanside or Escondido.

<![CDATA[Steve-O Behind SeaWorld Sign Prank]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:01:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sea-World-Sign-Steveo.jpg

A well-known reality television trickster is claiming responsibility for a prank that included changing the words on a SeaWorld exit sign along a San Diego freeway.

Back in late May, “Jackass” star Steve-O took it upon himself to scale a highway sign on southbound Interstate 5 and express his strong dislike for SeaWorld.

Using tape, white letters and some “Jackass” determination, he plastered the word “SUCKS” over the highway sign, which includes the SeaWorld Drive exit information. In the end, the sign read “SeaWorld SUCKS.”

Steve-O released a video of the prank on his YouTube channel Wednesday. As of 6 p.m., the clip had been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

The clips starts with Steve-O stating, "I'm putting my foot down for Shamu."

According to the video, Steve-O says it took him five attempts over a span of two days to pull the prank. He can be seen falling several times as he tries to get himself to the top of the sign. He’s accompanied by a group of friends, but seems to accomplish the final task on his own -- with the help of a ladder.

“If doing that was wrong, I don’t want to be right. Screw you, SeaWorld!” he says to the camera after completing his mission.

“SeaWorld sucks terribly,” he adds, asking fans to share the video on social media using the hashtag #SeaWorldSucks.

Steve-O’s stunt came just days after People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) unveiled an anti-SeaWorld sign that caused controversy at the San Diego International Airport.

Steve-O is a known animal rights activist who has posed for PETA public service campaigns in the past. Still, there was never any evidence to link PETA to the roadside prank.

It is unknown, at this time, if Steve-O will face any charges for the stunt. NBC 7 reached out to both the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans for comment on the matter.

Chief Steve Saville of the Caltrans District 11 Public Information Office had this to say Wednesday night:

“We consider defacing public property at a cost to state taxpayers an unlawful act and a dangerous distraction for motorists. We will refer all information to the California Highway Patrol.”

Meanwhile, CHP officials told NBC 7 investigators were reviewing the incident and Steve-O's video to determine whether or not charges will be filed.

NBC 7 also reached out to SeaWorld Wednesday, but the a spokesperson said the park would not be releasing a statement.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA["Ninja" Tries to Kill Uncle With Hammer: Police]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:09:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Michael-Norley-Jr-Lead.jpg

A Montgomery County man is behind bars accused of attacking his uncle while dressed up as a ninja.

Michael Norley Jr., 29, was arrested Tuesday at his home on E. Lemon Street in Upper Providence, Pa. and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Investigators say Norley’s 57-year-old uncle and former boss was taking out the trash at his home on the 800 block of Sycamore Mills Road Tuesday around 8 a.m. when the incident occurred. Suddenly a man dressed in all black and wearing a helmet and face shield jumped from an area near the trash cans. The “ninja” took out a ball-peen hammer and struck the man in the head, according to investigators.

Officials say the victim fell backwards as the “ninja” continued to strike him with the hammer. The victim ran toward the front of his home but tripped and fell on the steps as the suspect chased after him. Officials say the victim then fought back and kicked the suspect’s helmet, causing it to fall off.

The victim told police he then realized his attacker was Norley, his nephew. Officials say the victim began to scream Norley’s name causing him to run into a wooded area near the home. The screams awoke the victim’s family who ran out of the home and found him bleeding heavily. They then called 911.

The victim was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was treated for severe head trauma.
Norley was arrested at his home on Tuesday and arraigned on Wednesday. He was remanded to Delaware County prison in lieu of $500,000 cash bail.

Investigators have not yet revealed the motive behind the alleged attacks.

Photo Credit: Upper Providence Police]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Calls 911 for Botched Pot Deal]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:40:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Amanda-Twomey-Jackson-Crisler.jpg

A Virginia woman called 911 to claim a pot dealer robbed her at gunpoint, but detectives later discovered a different story, say Prince William County Police.

Authorities say 19-year-old Amanda Paige Twomey called police around 5:10 p.m. Sunday and told them she was robbed after making arrangements to buy pot in Woodbridge.

Twomey claimed that when she met with 20-year-old Jackson Crisler in the 13400 block of Longwood Manor Court, he pulled out a gun and demanded her money. She said that she complied, and he left without giving her the marijuana.

However, detectives say that during the investigation that followed, they discovered that Twomey voluntarily gave Crisler money to buy marijuana from another person. They say Crisler instead kept the money without giving Twomey the pot.

After not receiving the drugs, Twomey called police to report the robbery.

Following an investigation, both Twomey and Crisler were arrested.

Twomey, of Woodbridge, is charged with filing a false police report and attempted possession of marijuana.

Crisler, also of Woodbridge, is charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Both were ordered held without bond. They are due in court Oct. 28.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

<![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.nbcphiladelphia.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[Hiker Falls Just After Proposing]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:50:10 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/bradandjainee.jpg

An experienced hiker a friend called a "bad ass rock climber" fell to his death in Yosemite National Park, just hours after proposing to his girlfriend during an earlier climb.

Brad Parker's girlfriend, Jainee Dial, had accepted his marriage proposal Saturday after the couple reached the top of Cathedral Peak.

His father, Bill Parker, said his son told him that it was "the happiest day of his life,'' the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Tuesday.

Later in the day, the couple separated as Parker went on a solo climb of nearby Matthes Crest, a ridge of upturned rock about three miles from Cathedral Peak.

But Parker never returned to his new fiancee.

Other climbers witnessed Parker fall about 5:45 p.m., Yosemite Park Ranger Kari Cobb said. Parker, 36, had gone climbing alone and without ropes and fell on an established route, Cobb said.

Park rangers hiked in and located Parker's body. Parker's death was the second climbing death in Yosemite this year, which Cobb noted was the  typical annual average.

A resident of Sebastopol, California, Parker appeared on a cover of California Climber magazine in 2012. He also worked as a yoga instructor and was an avid surfer and mountain biker. He also enjoyed backpacking and fly fishing trips in the Sierra Nevada with his father and good friend that he considered a brother, Mat.

"He was the nucleus of a community of adventurous people out here," Parker's longtime friend Jerry Dodrill, 41, a photographer, told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday. He and Parker have climbed Matthes Crest – the spot where Parker asked Dial to be his wife –  on several occasions. The two also scaled a wall near the Moab desert in Utah last May. Dodrill snapped the camera from above, capturing Parker climbing in jeans and gloves. A huge smile was plastered on Parker's face.

"He was a bad ass rock climber and surfer," Dodrill added. "And he did it all with grace and dignity."

Dodrill said he and Parker were scheduled to climb on the High Sierra this weekend. Instead, Dodrill will attend one of several memorials for his friend Saturday.

He told NBC Bay Area that Parker had been dating Dial, a yoga instructor and digital media producer, for a little more than a year.

Dodrill took several pictures of Parker rock climbing, as well as a portrait of Parker and Dial on Dial's phone that she posted on her Facebook page late Monday. In the photo, a bare-chested Parker dangles his arm over Dial's shoulders, huge white smiles on both of their faces. Dodrill captured the two again last August walking arm in arm on Driftwood Beach in Jenner, California.

Friends were posting messages to Dial after her fiance's death, remembering Parker as one of the "best people" they had ever known.

Parker's father told the Press Democrat he thinks fatigue from the climb up Cathedral Peak and the run his son made to Matthes Crest may have been a factor in the fall.

"We're all so stunned," Bill Parker told the newspaper. "What happened is so unbelievable."

About 150 people attended an impromptu vigil for Parker Monday night in Sebastapol, Dodrill said. The climber's father said some family and friends planned to hike to the Cathedral Peak area Tuesday.

"It's the only closure we're able to get,'' Bill Parker told the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Jerry Dodrill]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Will Not Be "Purged" on Friday]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:22:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Purge+Philly+Flyer+Social.jpg

Rumors swirling on social networks about a real-life purge -- where a band of psychopaths go around and commit mass murder -- coming to Philadelphia are as fake as the film on which they’re based.

Still, local law enforcement agencies are being warned to be prepared for any issues.

Fliers showing masked men and women holding a machete over Friday’s date, August 22, have been bouncing around online for the past few days.

The imagery comes from the Universal Pictures film “The Purge: Anarchy.” (Universal is a sister company of NBC10.) In the horror flick, the U.S. government sanctions one night out of the year where a “purge” can take place. People participating in the bloody event can commit almost any crime without prosecution.

The notion of a killing spree, obviously, unnerved some:

NBC10.com has learned that a bulletin has been circulating among local law enforcement agencies making them aware of the social chatter. The bulletin advised officers to be on heightened alert in light of the unrest and tensions in Ferguson, Missouri.

But the Philly "purge" is all simply a hoax.

The rumor-debunking website Snopes outlined the origins of the online hysteria, writing that it appears the first posts came out of Louisville, Kentucky, where a purge was set supposedly to take place last Friday.

The rumors reached such a fervor in that city that school events were canceled, attendance was down at the state fair and the city’s police fielded 20 percent more calls than normal, according to the town’s major newspaper. Officials believe that the hoax, which appears to have been started by a high school student, had a negative economic impact.

Friday night came and went without issue, all while the fake event spread to other cities across the country.

A spokesperson for Philadelphia Police says the department has heard of no credible "purge" plans for this Friday. Still, officials say personnel are being reminded to remain vigilant.

Regardless of whether police are on heightened alert or not, we can chalk this entire rumor up to a  “vortex of stupidity” that at times takes hold online.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Sailboat Put on Auction Block for $25]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:57:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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[Woman Steals, Crashes Police Car]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:42:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Felicitas-Flores-SDPD.jpg

A 22-year-old San Diego woman took a joy ride in a stolen police car Friday night, leading officers on a long, high-speed pursuit and ultimately crashing the vehicle.

According to the San Diego Police Department, the suspect – Felicitas Flores – stole an officer’s parked vehicle in the 300 block of 17th Street in downtown’s East Village area just before 11:30 p.m.

Flores took off in the patrol car, hopping onto northbound Interstate 5 and leading police on a pursuit all the way to the North County.

The tires of the vehicle were spiked in Carlsbad, but Flores continued driving through Oceanside until she pulled into a rest stop. As officers attempted to arrest her, she collided head-on into another police vehicle, the SDPD said. She also rammed into two California Highway Patrol cars.

The stolen police car stalled out and Flores was taken into custody.

“CHP did take over the negotiations to get her out of the car,” explained SDPD Lt. Steven Shaw. “She did not want to get out of the vehicle. Eventually, she opened up the driver side door. She started to get out of the car then she started to get back in. It afforded our officers the opportunity to go up to the car and physically take her out of the car.”

Flores was booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility on at least nine charges, including grand theft auto, driving under the influence of alcohol, being under the influence of a controlled substance and evading officers. She’s also facing counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident is under investigation, with officers trying to determine how Flores was able to steal the police vehicle in the first place. It is unknown if the vehicle was left unlocked.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Man in 'Hoagiefest' Shirt Robs Wawa]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:13:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/Mount+Laurel+HoagieFest+Wawa+Theft.JPG

A man tried to look the part of a Wawa worker during an alleged heist.

A thief wearing a tie-dyed “Hoagiefest” T-shirt pretended to be a Wawa employee as he swiped hundreds of dollars’ worth of cigarettes from a South Jersey convenience store, according to investigators.

Mount Laurel Police say surveillance video shows the man masquerading as an employee walking into the store along Route 73 on August 12 around 1:40 p.m.

A Wawa spokesperson said the company doesn't sell "Hoagiefest" shirts to the general public.

After going through the front door, the man played the part of an actual employee by heading behind the counter, according to police. He wound up swiping at least five cartons of cigarettes.

Police say a second suspect -- not dressed as an employee -- stood by the door as a lookout.

The pair fled the store with $380 worth of cigarettes in a gold, older model Nissan Maxima driven by a third suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mount Laurel Police at 856-234-1414 extension 1599, the Detective Bureau at 856-234-1414, extension 1526 or send an email to facebook@mountlaurelpd.org.

Photo Credit: Surveillance Image]]>
<![CDATA[Mutilated Bodies of Cats Found in Philly Neighborhood]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:30:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Mayfair-Cats-Bodies.jpg

Gruesome discoveries in the city’s Mayfair section have led to concerns for the safety of stray kittens in the neighborhood.

“It’s gruesome,” said Raymond Boyce. “It’s sick.”

Boyce says he was at home with his fiancée last week when he heard a knock at his door.

“Some little girl knocked on the door and said there were kids trying to hurt the cats,” Boyce said.

The girl directed Boyce to a shed on Lardner Street.

“I walked in and I thought I was going to throw up,” Boyce said. “I went in and saw four dead cats. The only things left were skulls, fur and little bones here and there.”

Gina Albater, also of Mayfair, told NBC10 her neighbor made a similar discovery last week as well. According to Albater, two dead cats were found on her neighbor’s front lawn and across from her home on Harbison Avenue.

Boyce and Albater filed police reports and also contacted officials with animal welfare, who are now investigating. No arrests have been made and investigators have not released a description of any suspects.

“These are innocent little creatures,” Albater said. “They don’t know how to hate. They don’t know what hate is. All they know how to do is love, eat and purr. There’s no reason to hurt them.”

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gets Shot in Head, Walks to Hospital]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 07:17:59 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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.

<![CDATA[Pot Plants Worth $5M Removed From SoCal Public Park]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:37:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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.

<![CDATA[Uncanny: "Canstruction" Sculptures Made From Thousands of Cans ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:31:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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.nbcphiladelphia.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[2 Rescued From Scaffolding Stuck 20 Stories Up in NYC]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:37:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/scaffold+rescue.jpg

Two workers trapped on scaffolding about 20 stories high after an apparent equipment malfunction in lower Manhattan have been rescued, authorities say.

Fire officials said the workers were trapped on the scaffolding at a high-rise building that houses federal offices on Broadway near Reade Street around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

"The scaffold was swaying back and forth," said Thioma Onyekene, who watched the rescue at the Ted Weiss Federal Building from the sidewalk below. "It was kind of scary looking at it." 

Authorities said the scaffolding was level, but an equipment malfunction prevented the workers from being able to move it up or down. Firefighters helped them into the building.

No injuries were reported, but the workers were evaluated.

Multiple fire trucks converged on the scene, and federal Department of Homeland Security police taped off the busy block near City Hall. 

A spokeswoman for the U.S. General Services Administration said the scaffold had been tested recently and had no history of problems.

-- Roseanne Colletti contributed to this report 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Residents Set Up Dog Walker "Wall of Shame"]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:08:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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.

<![CDATA[Number Goof Leads to Years of Alcatraz Misdials]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:12:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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 10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Masked Vigilantes Patrol Park]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 14:28:26 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/xtreme+justice+league+north+park.JPG

Would-be caped crusaders calling themselves the Xtreme Justice League are taking the safety of one San Diego neighborhood into their own gloved hands.

After a string of violent attacks in North Park, masked men dressed like superheroes have a message for criminals: you’re being watched.

But it’s not punches this group plans to throw; it’s distractions. The citizen patrol hopes to ward off and report attackers among the crowds out and about on weekend nights.

The costumed crime fighters are comprised of students, former service members and security officers going by aliases like Vigilante Spider, Spartan and Freedom Fighter.

Despite a good deal of criticism and teasing about their colorful costumes – since it’s neither Halloween nor Comic-Con weekend – the hopeful vigilantes say their elaborate get-ups help achieve their goal.

“It breaks the momentum of the conflict,” said one member who calls himself Midnight Highwayman, “and that’s more important than almost anything because now they’re focused on me. They’re not focused on fighting each other, and it lets us de-escalate the situation, which is always our primary goal.”

Saturday night, five members of the Xtreme Justice League scoured North Park’s main streets and back alleys for potential threats.

Their mission began in response to attempted sexual assaults and attacks on five women walking alone late at night over the past few months.

The band of pseudo-superheroes believes any community member has the power to stop the assaults, even just by stepping outside and looking out for one another.

“Take a phone with you. Take a flashlight,” said Midnight Highwayman. “Keep an eye out down your street, and if two or three people did that on every block, this problem would stop because if people see that people are watching, they’re not going to do these things.

The men told NBC 7 what they are doing is extremely fulfilling. San Diego Police officials say they appreciate community members who wish to get involved by being their ears and eyes and reporting suspicious activity.

<![CDATA[Would-Be iPhone Thief Shoots Self in Foot: PD]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:39:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/Philadelphia+Police+Generic+Logo.JPG

A robber wound up allegedly shooting himself in the foot after police say he pulled a gun on his victim and demanded her smartphone.

The strange incident played out around 11 p.m. along the 1700 block of Guilford Street in Northeast Philadelphia -- that’s a short distance from Northeast High School.

Philadelphia Police said that the armed suspect approached the woman and tried to take her iPhone.

During the attempted robbery the suspect then somehow shot himself in the foot, according to investigators.

The suspect wound up in Aria Health-Torresdale Campus hospital in stable condition. The victim didn’t suffer any injuries, said investigators.

Police didn’t immediately identify the suspect.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Woman Caught With Cash in Girdle at Airport]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:29:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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[Claw Game Topples Onto Girl in Jersey Shore Hotel]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:18:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/197*120/claw+game.JPG

An 11-year-old girl had to be airlifted to a children's hospital after a claw drop arcade game fell over and crushed her inside a Wildwood Crest, N.J. hotel.

The girl, who was visiting the shore resort with her family from Luzerne, Pa., was playing the game inside the the Bal Harbour Hotels' arcade around 10:30 p.m. Thursday when the machine toppled over, Wildwood Crest Police tell NBC10.com. The girl was pinned to the ground by the 800-to-1,000 pound machine and suffered head injuries.

Wildwood Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Speigel said family members and witnesses were able to lift the machine off of the girl by the time firefighters arrived.

Paramedics rushed her to a waiting medical helicopter which flew her to Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, officials said. She remains hospitalized and is expected to recover, officials said. She could be released over the weekend.

What caused the machine to overturn remains a mystery, however.

Hotel management did not want to answer questions on Friday, but did release a written statement saying they are investigating what happened. It went on to say it was unknown whether the machine was being shook when it fell.

"It's very unusual. It's actually a first for me for having an arcade machine falling on a child," Speigel said. "Usually those machines don't fall over, they're pretty stable."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

<![CDATA[Shoplifters Swipe Lobsters, Rogaine, Whitening Strips: Cops]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:42:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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[Real or Hoax? Bear Walks on Legs]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:40:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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[Mets Give Out Promotional Truck With Phillies Logo]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:50:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Mets-Truck-Wrong-Logo.jpg

At least one Mets fan was surprised to find the logo of a division rival’s team on a souvenir keepsake he got before a game at Citi Field over the weekend.

Steven Mitzmacher tweeted a photo of a toy truck, which was in a Mets box but had a Phillies logo on the toy itself, before the team’s home game against the San Francisco Giants Sunday.

He later tweeted that he looked at other fans’ trucks and noticed that his appeared to be the only one with Philadelphia’s logo.

The trucks were a promotional giveaway to the first 15,000 fans in the stadium and were sponsored by office supply company W.B. Mason, which is also a corporate sponsor for the Phillies.

Most of the trucks had the Mets’ logo, and the team confirmed Wednesday that the man got the Phillies truck in an accident.

The vendor who makes the trucks told ESPN New York that it made the giveaways for both NL East rivals and the switch was made in error.

"Unfortunately, this turned out to be a case of human error during the packaging stage of production, and we apologize that a few manufactured units of the incorrectly branded truck were placed in the wrong team packaging," the company said. "We believe this is a very isolated issue that hadn't occurred in the past but will address to make sure mistakes like this don't occur in the future."

Photo Credit: @SMitzma]]>
<![CDATA[Owner of Poisoned Dog Taunted With Dog Bones, Pigs Feet]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:10:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Bella-the-Dog.jpg

Months after her 1-year-old puppy was poisoned with anti-freeze, a South Jersey woman continues to live in fear. Not only is the person responsible for her beloved pet's death still on the loose, but she's now the target of even more harassment and taunts from an unknown culprit.

Since May, someone has repeatedly thrown pigs feet, meat scraps and dog bones into the backyard of Amanda Von Ahnen's Mantua home. The pigs feet and bones also ended up in her neighbor's yard.

Von Ahnen claims the scraps have been thrown in her yard about 18 times so far, with the latest incident occurring on Sunday. A surveillance camera that Von Ahnen installed in her yard shows the scraps being tossed over her fence between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. In all, Von Ahnen says she's spent about $2,000 installing the security camera and replacing her metal fence in order to keep her pets safe.

The incidents come as Von Ahnen continues to mourn the death of her 1-year-old Rottweiler Bella.

Back on April 7, Bella suddenly grew sick after someone poisoned her bowl.

“When I came home Monday night at 8:30 she had lost all function of her back legs,” Von Ahnen told NBC10.

Vomiting, unable to walk and falling into a semi-comatose state, Bella was rushed to the veterinarian and then euthanized the next day after her kidneys failed.

According to the vet, Bella died from anti-freeze poisoning.

Von Ahnen told NBC10 she remembered seeing a plastic bowl in her backyard the day Bella got sick but thought little of it. When she went back to retrieve it later that night, the bowl was gone. Von Ahnen believes someone placed the anti-freeze inside the bowl to intentionally poison her dog.

Mantua Police also told NBC10 last April that the dog was specifically targeted by a person familiar with the area.

“It’s very personal,” said Mantua Police Sergeant Brian Grady. “People treat their pets like family members and it’s tragic.”

Since the dog's death, the person responsible has not been caught, despite a $1,000 reward being offered by a private citizen for an arrest in the case. Mantua Police say they're unsure if the latest incidents are related to the dog's poisoning. They are currently adding more patrols to the neighborhood.

Von Ahnen told NBC10 she would stop at nothing to bring the culprit to justice.

“I will say it a million times,” she said. “I refuse to stop until this person is behind bars.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Mantua police at 856-468-1920.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Razor Blades Found in NJ Parking Meters: Police]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:38:59 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/razor+blade+1.JPG

Authorities are warning drivers parking in one New Jersey town to watch out for razor blades when they put money in meters.

Rutherford police say eight utility knife blades have been found in borough parking meter coin slots over the last six months, most recently on Monday. 

The blades were found in meters along Park Avenue, Ridge Road, the Kip Garage and The Park and Ride, Rutherford Police Chief John Russo said.

"It may be a disgruntled resident who doesn't want to pay the parking, but it could be someone definitely trying to injure someone," Russo told NorthJersey.com. "Either way someone could really get hurt."

Russo says investigators are processing fingerprints pulled from the meters where the razors were found.

Police posted an alert on the borough's website urging residents and visitors to be "mindful and vigilant when depositing monies into parking meters."

Anyone who discovers a razor blade in a meter or sees someone putting one in a meter is asked to contact the Rutherford Police Department at 201-939-6000.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Boa Still on the Loose in South Jersey Town]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:43:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.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 10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Lower Township]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Owner Accused of Injecting Kitten With Heroin]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:21:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Kitten-Given-Heroin.jpg

A Chester County man has been arrested after police say he shot his kitten up with heroin, choked it with a rope and slammed it to the ground.

James Paul Myers, 24, has been charged with cruelty to animals, drug possession and other related offenses.

A police officer patrolling Dunwoody Drive in West Whiteland Township spotted Myers parked in the middle of the street with his car door open around 4:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to investigators.

A small black kitten was underneath the door, investigators said. Its neck was bound tightly with rope, its face was bleeding and several of its teeth had been knocked out, according to police.

Police say the phrase “SLAM IT YOU [expletive]" was spray painted on the roadway near the vehicle, and the kitten appeared to have been dragged and slammed to the ground.

Police executed a search warrant of Myers’ vehicle, where investigators say they found bundles of heroin, hundreds of used bags of heroin, 46 hypodermic needles, a rope that matched the one used on the kitten and a small box containing cat feces.

The 8-week-old kitten, which was lethargic, unresponsive and suffering from head trauma, was taken to the HOPE Veterinary Clinic in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

The kitten was examined by Dr. Jennifer Magilton and determined to have been given heroin. Dr. Magilton gave the kitten Narcan, a heroin antidote commonly given to humans.

The kitten, renamed Hope, is recovering at the veterinary clinic and eventually will be transferred to the Chester Count SPCA into a designated foster home. The animal will not be available for adoption until it has made a full recovery.

"I would think in the next few days or a week or so he'll be back to nearly a normal kitten, up and ready for a permanent home," said Dr. Gary Puglia of HOPE Veterinary.

Myers was taken into custody and charged with cruelty to animals, drug possession and other related offenses.

“There is no excuse for cruelty to a defenseless animal,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “The West Whiteland Police Department should be commended for intervening to stop this abuse. Dr. Magilton should be praised for her quick thinking to save the kitten’s life.” 

The Chester County SPCA are asking for donations to help with medical expenses for Hope. You can send your donations by visiting the Chester County SPCA website.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Chester County District Attorney's Office]]>