<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Weird News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:01:52 -0500 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:01:52 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Wooden Passenger Fools Carpool Lane]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:57:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fake+passenger.JPG

A Long Island man allegedly used a wooden figure in a hooded sweatshirt to drive solo in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lane because, he told officers, he was late to his new job, police said.

A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer noticed the fake passenger when he pulled the man over for speeding at 77 mph at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in Dix Hills.

A photo of the crudely made dummy shows a wooden board with a block-shaped, wooden head wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

"I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly," said officer Jonathan Abrams. 

Abrams said for a moment, he actually thought it was a real person.

"The silhouette was realistic enough," he said. "You see people with hoods up, sleeping in the front seat all the time." 

The man told the officer that he was driving to a new job and didn't want to be late.

"He said he started a new job and he couldn't afford to be late to his new job, so traveling through the HOV lane allowed him to get there a little bit faster," said Abrams. 

He was issued summonses for speeding and occupancy violation, police said.



Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Dept. ]]>
<![CDATA[KFC to Serve Edible Coffee Cups in U.K.]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:29:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/178*120/kfc+edible+coffee+cup+scoff-ee.jpg

Chicken lovers in the United Kingdom have a new treat to try — edible coffee cups that will be served at KFC restaurants in Britain.

A one-of-a-kind cookie, lined with heat-resistant white chocolate and covered with sugar paper, make up the consumable drink holder — known  as "scoff-ee cup," according to a news release from the Kentucky-based poultry chain.

"We have been experimenting with edible packaging to see if it could be a feasible product to bring to market...and thought that if our customers occasionally like to have their cake and eat it, why wouldn't they want [to] have their cup and eat it instead," said Jocelyn Bynoe of KFC.

Colonel Sanders' team partnered with food scientists at The Robin Collective to develop the new product, which was created to celebrate the launch of Seattle's Best Coffee in its restaurants.

"We've infused different cups with a variety of ambient aromas including coconut sun cream, freshly cut grass and wild flowers, said Brandy Wright, a designer at Robin Collective.

French vanilla and mocha are yummy and popular coffee flavors, but we'll have to wait and see how Brits react to java that puts a hint of mowed lawn on the palette.

The item has not yet been added to British stores' menus and a KFC U.K. spokeswoman told NBC they have no date set for the scoff-ee cup's launch.

A stateside KFC spokesman said their are no current plans to bring edible cups to the United States.



Photo Credit: Oliver Dixon/KFC]]>
<![CDATA[What Color Is This Dress? No One Can Agree]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:44:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/the-dress-B-1l26HXAAEJ48-.jpg

Is this dress blue and black… or gold and white? The debate is raging, and no one seems to agree.

BuzzFeed posted the controversial photo Tuesday evening, and already it's gone viral.

The image was originally uploaded by Tumblr user "swiked," who wrote:

"I see it as white and gold. My friend right here sees it as blue and black. I CANT HANDLE THIS"

Another user fired back:

"if that’s not gold my entire life has been a lie"

Others chimed in, all with different perceptions. Admittedly, no one in the newsroom could agree either.

So what color is it really?

The mystery may never be solved.



Photo Credit: Romanoriginals.com
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<![CDATA[Woman Had Cheating Ex Robbed]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:59:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/022515+sarah+matherly.jpg

A South Florida woman was arrested after authorities say she arranged to have her cheating ex-boyfriend robbed at gunpoint.

Sarah Nicole Matherly, 22, is facing robbery with a firearm and extortion charges following her arrest in Hollywood. She was ordered held on $7,500 bond at a hearing before Broward Judge John Hurley Wednesday.

According to the arrest report, Matherly lured her ex-boyfriend to a home in Hollywood. Once inside, he was met by a group of men.

Matherly went into a bathroom while the men robbed ex, and told them "don't forget his f-ing" chain," said Hurley. One of the men reportedly put a gun to his head during the robbery. 

The home was a "smoke house" where people go to take drugs, Hurley said.

Matherly later contacted her ex and told him, "that's what you get for cheating on me," Hurley said. She also threatened him with robbery if he didn't give her cash, Hurley said.

At the bond court hearing, Matherly's attorney argued that she was in another room and didn't know about the robbery.

Matherly, who has no criminal record, will have to undergo drug testing every week after her release from jail, the judge ordered. She'll also be required to get a job or go back to school.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[What Caused the Bright Green Stream?]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:43:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/208*120/Green+River+Newark+Delaware.JPG

People in Delaware noticed something strange in the water earlier this week that might have had them thinking that Slimer was in town.

The green water flowing down a drainage ditch at Phillips Park and along other area waterways was nothing more than a dye, however, stemming from a pipe break in nearby University of Delaware.

About 500 gallons of chilled water containing a fluorescent green dye — used as a leak tracer — leaked from a cooling system of inside Purnell Hall along Amstel Avenue, said school spokeswoman Donna O’Brien.

"There was a cracked pipe and it leaked into the sewer system," said O'Brien.

The bright-colored tracer was being used to track the root of the original break. 

"The water contains a nontoxic florescent dye ... it's not harmful to health or the environment," said O'Brien. "It's just a very bright green."

Crews located the source of the leak and fixed the problem Monday night but the green river continued to raise eyebrows even after it washed away.

The tracer used in Delaware appears to be similar to a green dye that raised eyebrows in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood a few years ago that left people wondering if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were living under the street.



Photo Credit: City of Newark]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Found in Box Near Landfill]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 22:44:43 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Irving+landfill+021815.jpg

A woman was found alive and barely clothed inside a cardboard box near a landfill in North Texas, and now police are working to figure out what happened.

Officers were called Saturday morning after employees and some community service workers in Irving discovered the woman. Police said the woman was wearing only a shirt and only spoke Spanish, telling investigators she was out with friends the night before in Dallas and had no memory of how she ended up in the box or at the dump.

In fact, a missing persons report was filed with Dallas police just hours before she was discovered.

According to police reports obtained by NBC 5, the victim was out drinking with a girlfriend Friday night at a club near Walnut Hill Lane and Brockbank Drive.

The victim's friend went to get their car, leaving the woman with a man they had just met. When the friend came back, the victim was gone.

The missing person report was filed Saturday at about 7 a.m. and by about 9 a.m. workers found the woman, who is in her 30s, inside a large box at the municipal landfill in the 200 block of West Hunter Ferrell Road.

Police took the victim to a local hospital to have her tested on whether she had been raped.

Irving police continue to investigate, and further details have not yet been released.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[What Do You Call A Sport That Combines Skiing and Horses?]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 05:53:43 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_skijorning0217001_1500x845.jpg Skijoring, a sport that combines skiing and horses, is a huge hit in Silverton, Colorado.]]> <![CDATA[High Winds Drop Water Level of Del. River]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:06:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/Philadelphia+Snow+Generic+Snow+Philly+Skyline+Generic+Delaware+River.JPG

High winds over the weekend helped drop the water level of the Delaware River to the lowest point in almost 22 years, the National Weather Service said.

The big drop was recorded on Sunday. The National Weather Service released a graph showing that day's water level in comparison to the average.

"The river level fell to -3.4 feet mean lower low water (as shown by the red arrow on the graph). The last time the river level was that low at Philadelphia was on March 15, 1993," a spokesperson for the Weather Service wrote. "The red line on the graph indicates the actual water level, the blue line is what the water level should be based on the normal tidal fluctuations and the green line is the departure or difference between the two." 

The spokesperson says the low water levels were caused by strong northwest winds that pushed ocean water away from the New Jersey and Delaware coasts, drawing water out of Delaware Bay and the tidal portion of the Delaware River.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Drive-In Fields "50 Shades" Gripes]]> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 19:24:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/50ShadesDriveThru.jpg

Opening weekend for the film "Fifty Shades of Grey" included some unwilling viewers.

The movie is being shown at the West Wind Drive-In theater in Sacramento, right off Highway 50. Motorists say they could clearly see the R-rated movie as they drove past.

Even worse, the theater is right next to a go-kart track, which was filled with families over the President's Day weekend.

"I just don't think it should be on a big screen out in the middle of the public, where anybody could turn around and see it," Susan Weiss told KCRA-TV on Monday.

The manager of the theater says he has moved things around so the movie is not visible from the freeway or the track.

By Monday night, KCRA reports, Jennifer Lopez's "The Boy Next Door" and "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” could be seen from a distance, but “Fifty Shades” was tucked away from plain sight.



Photo Credit: KCRA]]>
<![CDATA[Sinkhole Swallows Up Snow Plow]]> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 14:11:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/209*120/Warren+County+Snow+Plow+Sinkhole.JPG

A plow truck fell into a sinkhole Tuesday morning along a snow-covered New Jersey road.

The accident happened along Wordsworth Lane in Lopatcong Township in Warren County as a snowstorm moved out of the area around 7:30 a.m., said Mayor Tom McKay.

Instagram user MRLish456 captured the aftermath on Instagram. The township truck's plow could be seen dangled above the truck, which was partially emerged in the hole.

The shaken driver of the plow managed to get out of his vehicle. He was taken to the hospital for observation, said McKay.

The township issued a warning for people to avoid the area. McKay said it could take hours to remove the truck.



Photo Credit: Instagram - Robert Strain]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Fire Breather Catches Fire]]> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 21:49:18 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Tattoo-Fire1.jpg

A Philadelphia couple captured a scary moment on camera when a performing artist suddenly caught fire.

Jeff Hurd and his wife Alice Gibson attended the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Sunday and watched a fire-breathing performance from the Ink Illusionists.

As the performer blew fire, flames suddenly engulfed his entire body and spread to the floor. The fire breather was able to put the flames out while event organizers quickly extinguished the fire on the floor by flipping a table on it.

Gibson told NBC10 the whole incident happened so fast that many members of the audience thought it was part of the show. The Philadelphia Fire Department did not respond since the flames were put out so quickly and with minimal damage, according to Hurd.

Hurd said the performer told him he was okay when he went to check on him. Gibson told NBC10 she noticed minor burns on his body.

NBC10 reached out to the Ink Illusionists. A spokesperson for the group declined to comment.

The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention is an annual three-day event featuring appearances and performances from some of the most popular and skilled tattoo artists in the country.
 



Photo Credit: Alice Gibson]]>
<![CDATA[Winter Beast Given Mercy: Punxsutawney Phil Safe (For Now)]]> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 10:24:47 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/56729702.jpg A ski resort in New Hampshire has offered asylum to Punxsutawney Phil after a police department jokingly sent out a warrant for his arrest.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scorpion on a Plane at LAX]]> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 13:38:59 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/scorpion2.jpg

An Alaska Airlines flight out of Los Angeles International Airport was delayed Saturday night after a passenger said they were stung by a scorpion on the plane, airline officials said.

Flight 567, which was carrying two college basketball teams, was preparing to depart at 7:50 p.m. for Portland, Ore., when the sting was reported, Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove said.

The female passenger was checked out by medics at the gate and released, but didn’t continue on the flight, Cosgrove said.

The scorpion was found and killed by the crew, who checked overhead compartments for any additional unwanted arachnids, Cosgrove said.

It was unclear how the scorpion got on the plane. The flight originated from Los Cabos, Mexico, Cosgrove said.

Both Oregon State University Men's and The University of Portland's Women's Basketball teams were aboard the flight to go home after weekend games in Los Angeles, according to Oregon State University radio play-by-play announcer Mike Parker. 

The flight was delayed by 40 minutes.

Olivia Woo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 



Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images (File photo)
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<![CDATA[GPS Guides Driver Onto Railroad ]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:50:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/img_551.jpg

One look at the aftermath, and you can guess right away that something went terribly wrong early Monday in Carrollton, Texas.

Police officers were called out to the 1000 block of North Broadway Street after 1 a.m., and when they arrived a female driver told them that her GPS told her to turn right instead of left, which put her vehicle on a set of railroad tracks.

Police said she traveled about 50 to 60 yards before the railroad tracks damaged her car and kept her from going any farther, and she was forced to call the police for help.

Carrollton Police Department Spokesperson Jolene DeVito told NBC 5 that the officers had to call the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and make sure no freight trains were coming through the area while a tow truck removed the car from the tracks.

The driver was arrested and taken to jail on suspicion of drunken driving, and Carrollton police later posted the photo to social media as a reminder of how dangerous it is to drink and drive.



Photo Credit: Carrollton Police via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Breakfast Sandwich Helps Bring Missing Dog Home]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:38:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Annie+the+dog+missing.jpg

A dog missing for two years has been reunited with her owner thanks to the help of a neighbor, animal control and an unfinished breakfast sandwich.

Annie, a black and tan mixed terrier, was reunited with her owner June Nicolaus this week after disappearing in November 2012. She ran away from her owner's Manchester Township, New Jersey, home three months after being adopted, police said.

Manchester Township Animal Control officers believe Annie survived in the woods near Nicolaus' home for two years before being discovered. Apparently a homeowner had been feeding the dog since June 2014, police said.

But it wasn't until Tuesday when they called animal control. Officer Margaret Dellapietro came to the neighborhood and was able to lure Annie into a cage using a half-eaten breakfast sandwich.

Annie had lost her collar, was dirty and had matted hair, but a microchip allowed Dellapietro to reunite the dog with Nicolaus.

"In the back of my mind, I always held out hope," Nicolaus said in a police release. "Miracles do happen. I was over the moon."

Despite living in the elements for two years, Annie is said to be doing well.



Photo Credit: Manchester Township Police]]>
<![CDATA[Punxsutawney Phil is a Wanted Groundhog]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 00:32:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/phil10.jpg A police department in New Hampshire is sick and tired of the snow and took to social media calling for Punxsutawney Phil's arrest.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Boater Surrenders After Allegedly Faking Death]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:59:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/andy+biddle+faked+death.PNG

A man missing since a pontoon boat crash at the Jersey Shore last summer has turned himself into authorities after allegedly faking his death.

Andrew Biddle, 45, turned up at Atlantic County Superior Court with his attorney on Thursday afternoon to surrender to authorities, Egg Harbor Township police tell NBC10.

The professional boater has been missing since July 20, 2014, when a pontoon boat he was piloting collided with an unlit buoy right off Longport, New Jersey. Biddle and a passenger were thrown into the water. The passenger was found ashore, but Biddle went missing.

Within weeks of the crash, police told NBC10's Ted Greenberg they didn't believe it was an accident and suspected that Biddle was still alive.

Egg Harbor Township police had charged Biddle with several counts of theft by deception months before he disappeared for allegedly defrauding customers during boat sales. They sent out a flier to other law enforcement agencies asking them to be on the lookout for Biddle.

The boat involved in the crash didn't belong to Biddle. Rather, it belonged to a Douglasville, Pennsylvania, couple who say the man and his company stole it from them.

Biddle's attorney Mark Roddy said he's unsure where his client has been since disappearing.

Biddle was arraigned Thursday afternoon and was granted $50,000 bail.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Caught on Camera Stealing Surveillance Cameras: Police]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:11:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/surveillance+thief.jpg

Police say a thief was caught on camera – on the very cameras he was stealing.

The man is accused of stealing video surveillance cameras attached to the outside of a Long Island motel in October.

After taking the cameras, the man fled from the Heritage Motel in Port Jefferson in a white Chevrolet four-door pickup truck with a male passenger, police said.

Anyone who may have seen the man is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.  



Photo Credit: Suffolk County Crime Stoppers]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Dresses Up as "Slave" for #TBT]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:13:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/0210-heritagehigh-costume.jpg

"Throwback Thursdays" are a popular Spirit Week event at many high schools, designed to let students dress up in vintage outfits, and help break the winter doldrums.

But when a student went costumed as a slave last week at Loudoun County's Heritage High School, some classmates were surprised.

News4 learned about the costume from the outraged mom of another Heritage High student. She didn't want her identify revealed for fear of repercussions for her daughter.

She said that when her daughter got home last Thursday and told her about the costume, she immediately asked to see a picture.

"He had this white shirt on with red stains on it as if he'd been whipped," said the mother. "That was blood and on the back it said 'Property of Heritage High School' and he had a 200-count bag of cotton balls that he was scattering as he walked the halls. I was livid. I couldn't believe what I was hearing in 2015. Are you kidding me?"

She was even more surprised to learn the student was African American. The mother wondered why the student was allowed to wear the slave costume the entire day.

A school spokesman said Heritage High administrators greeted the student at the door last Thursday morning.

"They said, 'Look, you are really pushing the boundaries here. This is a tasteless costume. It's not disrupting the boundaries per se. Now if anybody [came] to us during the day with strong objections and says [it's] disruptive, then the costume comes off,'" said Wayde Byard, Loudoun County Schools spokesman.

Byard said the student was barred from competing in the costume content. The school's administration determined the costume didn't not violate the dress code, so it was a matter of the student exercising his free speech rights.

"There is a very fine line here between free speech and good taste. As we know, free speech is not always tasteful speech," said Byard. "The student was making a statement. There was no disruption. Students rolled their eyes as you might expect, but nobody said, 'That's horribly offensive and this is disrupting my day.'"

Byard said the decision might have been different if the student had been white.

"Had it been a white student instead of an African-American student, obviously that might have incited some racial tension. That might have been a different story."

Heritage High School senior Bianca Jackson says the costume surprised her.

"I thought it was really inappropriate for Throwback Thursday," said Jackson "I think people are kind of like, 'What are you doing?' It's something you don't joke about."

The mother who told News4 about the costume said she plans to write a letter of complaint to school administrators and the superintendent. She fears allowing this costume will open the door to more troublesome displays.

"What if someone comes dressed as the Holocaust [sic] or the Klan? Is that then considered inappropriate? Where is the line? You are dealing with teenagers. You have to establish some boundaries," she said.

Byard said a Klan costume or student dressed in swastikas would be in violation of dress code policy because that would constitute hate speech.

"I think the principal's job day to day is to sort out what is disruptive and what is not and I'm sure if the line is crossed the principal will reprimand students," said Byard.

The mom said that, at minimum, administrators missed a teachable moment, suggesting they could have kicked off a discussion among students.

"They could have turned this around to a learning opportunity," she said. "They could have done a number of things and they did nothing. That's unacceptable."

]]>
<![CDATA[Students Craft Dresses Made Out Of Diapers]]> Thu, 12 Feb 2015 11:40:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Dresses+all+CMS.jpg

Fashion design students from Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design spent three weeks designing and creating dresses made from diapers.

The project came as a result of a challenge issued by SCA, a global hygiene and forest products company with headquarters here in Philadelphia: to create beautiful garments using — exclusively — SCA’s TENA incontinence care products and materials. Products used included absorbent products for men and women such as pantiliners, daytime and overnight pads, male guards and adult diapers.

SCA provided materials to the 13 students, who worked in four groups. The winning team created a green-braided dress and was awarded $1000 by SCA. Two groups of runners-up were awarded $250 per team. 

SCA used this contest as a way to help educate and open a dialogue about incontinence.

The remaining unused products were donated to a local women’s shelter.



Photo Credit: Susan Michini]]>
<![CDATA['Dumb' Suspect's Selfie Helps Officers Find Him: Police]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:23:07 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WEBSEPTAThefts_6394940_722x406_2210377729.jpg

Officers found a man trying to flee assault charges because he posted a selfie on Facebook while sitting on a Greyhound bus out of town, said a western Pennsylvania police chief.

Ambridge Chief James Mann told the Beaver County Times 22-year-old Donald Harrison was wanted on charges he assaulted a woman and wouldn't let her leave her apartment after an argument on Jan. 24.

An hour after the woman called police, Harrison — originally from Spartansburg, South Carolina — posted the Facebook message, "IT'S TIME TO LEAVE PA."

Police couldn't find him right away, but officers noticed the Facebook selfie on Sunday with the message saying he was headed to South Carolina. Police had him arrested when the bus stopped in Youngtown, Ohio.

The chief says, "We like it when dumb criminals assist us."

]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Pork Loin ]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:42:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pork-loin.gif

Police are looking for a man who stole a pork loin from a New Jersey Sam’s Club by sticking it down his pants and running out of the store, reports NJ.com

The man allegedly approached a store greeter at about 3 p.m. Monday and threw a pork loin at the employee’s feet before running out with another pork loin in his pants, according to NJ.com.

The pork was reportedly worth $105.



Photo Credit: Stock Image]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Tax Returns Found in Street]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:02:03 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Lost-Tax-Returns.jpg

The IRS has launched an investigation after tax returns for hundreds of people were found in the middle of a Philadelphia street.

Yvette Santiago told NBC10 her husband spotted hundreds of papers in the street outside their home on the 1900 block of East Cheltenham Avenue Saturday morning.

“He thought it was garbage,” Santiago said. “But then he said, ‘Oh my God, look!’”

What he initially believed was trash was actually tax returns full of personal information.

“You have the name, social security and date of birth,” Santiago said.

Santiago showed the documents to NBC10’s Christine Maddela who took them to local accountant Michael Falco. Falco told NBC10 the documents were actual tax returns, showing where people work, their income and even information about their children.

“For the people who have documents here this could turn into a nightmare,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. This is unbelievable."

Falco, a former FBI agent who specialized as an accounting technician and has done thousands of tax returns, said he immediately noticed several suspicious things about the documents. The most glaring being the fact that several different names were filing from the same address.

"That's a red flag," Falco said. "That's typical fraud."

NBC10 reached out to two of the companies listed as the tax preparer on the documents, one based in Philadelphia and another based in Massachusetts. Spokespeople for both companies said they never filed the returns and didn't even have any clients by the names that were listed. NBC10 also reached out to the employers listed on the documents and were told that the people listed did not work for them.

"The fact that it's so early in the filing season and we see these, that's another clue that there could be fraud because as I said, if people are going to file a fraudulent return, they want to do it as soon as possible so they do it before the legitimate person does it," Falco said.

Last year the IRS paid out over $5 billion in fraudulent refunds, according to Falco.

An official with the IRS picked up the documents from NBC10 Monday night. They are currently investigating.

]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Cruiser, Taunts Officers]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:58:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/10953946_858430890884339_5937183689389048835_n.jpg

A Springfield man was arrested early Thursday after calling police "pigs," taking a cruiser on a joyride, and throwing punches at officers, according to police.

Police in Springfield were called to a home on Laurelton Street around 4 a.m. Thursday and were greeted by a woman who asked them to get her boyfriend to leave.

Officers escorted Michael Kopeski, 27, from the home and had him wait outside. Police said Kopeski became outraged because he wanted to go back inside to "get his stuff." He started to yell at the officers, calling them "pigs," and spit at a police cruiser.

Kopeski then jumped into the police car and began to drive away. The officers ran after the cruiser and were able to open the passenger door, discharging pepper spray into the vehicle, according to police.

Kopeski kept driving, so officers called for backup. Police said Kopeski used the police radio to taunt the officers and disrupt radio transmissions.

Authorities eventually were able to box in the stolen cruiser at Berkshire Avenue and Page Boulevard. Police said Kopeski would still not cooperate and threw punches at the officers.

Kopeski was arrested and charged with several offenses, including larceny of a motor vehicle.



Photo Credit: Springfield Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Gardener in Florida Spots 75-Pound Panther]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 19:56:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/6617975_G-1.jpg

A gardener working at a Florida home Tuesday was shocked by a 75-pound panther lurking on the side of the house.

The couple who owns the residence, Al Dijindil and Andrea Cameron, told NBC affiliate WBBH the gardener spotted the 2-year-old panther in bushes along their Naples home.

"The gardener said, 'I think you have a tiger in your yard,'" Cameron said.

Cameron was able to see the panther safely inside her house by looking out of a window. "I was hoping he would stay there until help arrived,” Cameron said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers tranquilized and removed the cat, which will be released in a less populated region, according WBBH. They said that the panther most likely swam over from Keewaydin Island, off the coast of Naples.

"The panther will be released in Picayune Strand State Forest. It's a little farther from major roads, so we think that will be a safer option than Rookery Bay... No time frame yet, he's still groggy," panther biologist for FWC Mark Lotz said to WBBH.

Cameron's family was surprised to hear about her ordeal with the big cat.

“My brother said, ‘Wow, that’s a big panther. It’s a good thing he didn’t eat you,'” Cameron said.



Photo Credit: Andrea Cameron]]>
<![CDATA[Do You Know This Pygmy Goat?]]> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:55:11 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Stray+Ram+Found+Wandering+Bridgeton.jpg

Officials in South Jersey are trying to find the owner of a pygmy goat found wandering around a Cumberland County town.

The wayward goat was spotted walking along Irving Avenue near Inspira Hospital in Bridgeton, New Jersey early Tuesday morning, police said.

Officials initially identified the animal as a ram, but animal control later clarified.

Bridgeton Police Officers Jonathon Hovermann and Jennifer Skala were able to nab the black and white colored goat, which they nicknamed "Burgy," and took him to the county SPCA office in Vineland.

"Burgy's" owner is asked to call the SPCA to get him back.



Photo Credit: Bridgeton Police]]>