<![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 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:13:18 -0400 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:13:18 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Officer Watches Bank Robber Fleeing in Cab Get Stuck in Traffic]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:49:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/218*120/PNC+Bank+Dekalb+Pike+KOP.JPG

An officer stuck in traffic near a Montgomery County shopping center spotted a man darting to a cab at the same moment that a bank robbery call went out.

The drama played out just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the PNC Bank branch at Dekalb Pike (US Route 202) and Henderson Road in King of Prussia.

The officer sat in traffic near the bank when he heard to robbery-in-progress call, said Upper Merion Township Police. The officer then saw a man run from the bank and toward a taxi waiting around back.

The same traffic that slowed the officer also slowed the cab as it left the parking lot, said investigators. The alleged thief then got out of the cab and made a run for it. He didn’t make it very far as the officer captured the suspect in the backyard of a home along Ivy Lane -- just a few hundred feet away, said police.

Investigators found that the man had handed over a demand note to a bank teller that said he had a weapon – he never showed a weapon, however, said police.

Police found the money the man stole in the back of the cab, investigators said.

Charges were pending Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Google Street View]]>
<![CDATA[Grandma Getaway Driver: Police]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:12:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/steering+wheel+generic.jpg

Police have arrested a northern New Jersey grandmother who they say acted as the getaway driver for her grandson and his friend after a home robbery.

Shortly after Monday's theft, officers received a tip that led them to a vehicle stopped in the Hibernia section of Rockaway Township.

Police found items reported stolen by the homeowner in the car, which totaled $4,000.

The Daily Record reports 78-year-old Vera Buniak was charged with possession of stolen property. Her grandson, 18-year-old Timothy Buniak, was charged with burglary, theft, possession of stolen property and drug charges.

Police say Vera Buniak was charged "as part of the process" despite potentially not knowing that a crime was being committed.

Vera Buniak's phone was out of order. It is unknown if the three have attorneys.

<![CDATA[Sanders' Candidacy Inspires Merch]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:15:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2015-07-21-19h30m41s117.png

As the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attracts more and more interest from around the country, it’s also inspiring a surge of support in surprising ways. Those include pro-Sanders displays on the bottoms of beer cans and on the sides of purses.

At the Burlington Beer Company in Williston, Vermont, brew master Joe Lemnah recently printed a message saying #FeelTheBern, a reference to Sanders, on the bottoms of cans of his Light in the Window IPA.

“It’s kind of like a little Easter egg, if you will,” Lemnah said, describing how a beer drinker may discover the slogan on the bottom of a can. “Politics and religion were always the things you don’t do with business, but I feel like those days are changing a little bit; where it’s safer to show how you actually feel.”

The support from the craft beer producer, who said he admires how Sanders has long championed agricultural concerns, comes as the candidate is drawing huge crowds at rallies nationwide. In those appearances, Sanders often decries what he calls the outrage of income inequality, and pushes for a political revolution to strengthen the working class.

The enthusiasm level and size of the crowds at Sanders events has led some political observers to describe his candidacy as one that challenges the sense it’s inevitable that Hillary Clinton will walk away with the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Along with that surge of interest from rally attendees, Flashbags, an accessories line, has seen a surge in business. The company, as did Sanders’ political career, launched in Burlington.

“I just sent some out to Wyoming,” said Erin Cain of Flashbags, showing necn several designs of Sanders purses, which she said are hot sellers with liberal customers. “I can’t actually seem to make them fast enough right now.”

Burlington graphic designer Dave Barron, who has a side business called The Bernie Shirt said he has shipped hundreds of the garments to nearly all 50 states. “Bernie brings an electricity to the race you don’t often see,” Barron said.

Barron told necn he is donating a tenth of his sales to Bernie 2016, noting that buyers seem energized by how the sometimes wild-haired senator focuses on the little guy. “Bernie fights for everybody, which you don’t see in every candidate.”

Barron also noted the shirts are printed by New Duds in Winooski, another small Vermont business.

In response to an inquiry from necn regarding the support from the Burlington Beer Company, Flashbags, The Bernie Shirt, and other independent businesses around Vermont, the Sanders campaign issued the following statement:

“These are all examples of the many ways that Bernie's message is resonating. This is part of the grassroots movement that is growing in Vermont and all over the country. People in different, creative ways are sending a message to the billionaire class that they can't have it all.”

Joe Lemnah said he did receive a complaint about his beer cans, from someone backing Hillary Clinton. But Lemnah said that will not stop him from “feeling the Bern.” 

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Owner of Cremated Remains Comes Forward]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:11:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cremated+Remains+Found+Philadelphia+Linda+Upshur.jpg

A mystery in North Philadelphia has been solved after the owner of a woman's cremated remains that were found in an empty lot came forward. 

A woman found the cremation box of Linda Upshur in a lot on the 2600 block of Oakdale Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city Sunday morning. Upshur died on July 11, 2007 at the age of 64 and was cremated on July 24, 2007. The box lists the Ivy Hill Cemetery and Crematory on 1201 Easton Road in Philadelphia.

NBC10 first reached out to the Ivy Hill Cemetery. A representative from the cemetery told NBC10 they released Upshur's remains to a Philadelphia funeral home. NBC10 contacted the home but never received a response. 

After checking the name, NBC10 found a 1976 article from the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper about Upshur stating she lived in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. According to the article, Upshur was a commercial credit analyst at Continental Bank in Center City as well as a musician with ties to the NAACP Youth Organization and the YWCA.

An NBC10 viewer also found a newspaper clipping of Upshur from the Pittsburgh Courier in 1962 reporting she had chosen to work in the U.S. Air Force and was also a volunteer worker with the Colorado Springs' School for the Deaf and Blind. 

NBC10 then contacted Emma Chappell, a friend and former co-worker of Upshur at Continental who was also involved in the NAACP. 

"She was kind of like I," Chappell said. "We were very active in the civil rights movement. I remember a very attractive, fun-loving person who had a wonderful personality. She was a beautiful young lady."

After searching once again through the neighborhood Monday night, Linda Cooper, who claimed to be a close friend of Upshur and the owner of her ashes, came forward and reached out to us. Cooper, who referred to Upshur as her "street mother," said at some point Upshur fell on hard times and began battling a drug addiction. Cooper claimed she and a group of young women became Upshur's only family until she died in 2007. 

"She was a wonderful person," Cooper said. "She was good to us. All of us." 

Cooper told NBC10 she held Upshur's ashes in her apartment, which is located about a block and a half away from the empty lot where they were found Monday. 

"I had her ashes for like three or four years," Cooper said. "And my husband passed away. And when I moved out I left a lot of things behind. And I guess that's how you guys found her ashes." 

Cooper told NBC10 she never intended any disrespect. The box of ashes is currently being held by Philadelphia Police. 

"I loved her," Cooper said. "I loved her so much. She was a wonderful woman." 

<![CDATA[Man Records 'Upskirt' Video of Woman at Walmart: Police ]]> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:53:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Walmart-Peeping-Tom.jpg

A man was arrested after police say he was caught on camera secretly recording a video up a woman’s skirt at a South Jersey Walmart.

Geovanni Varona, 44, of Haileah, Florida is charged with invasion of privacy. Police say Varona was inside the Walmart on the 2100 block of Mount Holly Road in Burlington Township Sunday afternoon when he took out his cellphone, stuck it under a woman’s dress and began recording. 

A Walmart employee called police who later confirmed Varona committed the act which investigators say was also captured on surveillance video. Varona was also captured on surveillance looking at the video on his cellphone, investigators said. The victim told police she was unaware she was being recorded. 

“She was very grateful that we found it,” said Burlington Township Police Detective John Bird. “She was obviously very upset and kind of distraught that it occurred. Your first impression is that it’s going to be circulated on the Internet.” 

Varona was arrested and is being held in Burlington County Jail on $35,000 bail. Varona allegedly told police he’s recorded under other women’s skirts before. 

“We believe actually there might be more victims out there, we just haven’t been able to identify any in Burlington Township and other states possibly” Detective Bird said. “It doesn’t look like this is his first time. He’s a truck driver who drives up and down the east coast and has made other stops. He believes that this is something for fun to do.” 

Police say they have no reason to believe at this point that Varona has shared his videos on social media. If you have any information, please call the Burlington Township Police Department at 609–386–2019 or the investigating officer's number at 609-239–5888.

<![CDATA[Serial Robber Wears Ugly Sweater During Heist]]> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Animal+Sweater+Delaware+Bank+Robber.jpg

A serial bank robber in Delaware wore a unique outfit during one of three heists – two at the same bank – over the past few months.

In one of the robberies at the Artisans Bank on Silverside Road in Wilmington the gunman wore a backwards baseball cap and a tan sweater with what appears to be a wolf on it, according to a photo released by Delaware State Police.

The man also held up the same location on June 8 and then held up the SWFS Bank on Concord Pike in Wilmington on July 24, said investigators.

Each heist happened shortly after 9 a.m. and in each case the man pointed a gun at a teller and demanded that the teller empty the cash drawers.

Luckily no one has been hurt.

Police describe the suspect as being between 25 to 35 years old with a medium build and standing between 5-feet, 10 inches and 6-feet tall.

Despite the animal sweater, the man is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who spots him should call 911 and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective J. Paul Doherty at 302-365-8438.

Photo Credit: Surveillance image released by Delaware State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Finds Cremated Remains in Philly Lot]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:13:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cremated+Remains+Found+Philadelphia+Linda+Upshur.jpg

UPDATE: The owner of the remains has come forward. DETAILS HERE

The startling discovery of a woman’s cremated remains has led to a mystery in Philadelphia.

A woman found the cremation box of Linda Upshur in a lot on the 2600 block of Oakdale Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city Sunday morning. According to the box, Upshur died on July 11, 2007 at the age of 64 and was cremated on July 24, 2007. It also lists the Ivy Hill Cemetery and Crematory on 1201 Easton Road in Philadelphia.

NBC10 first reached out to the Ivy Hill Cemetery. A representative from the cemetery told NBC10 they released Upshur's remains to a Philadelphia funeral home. NBC10 then reached out to the home but we have not yet heard back from them. 

After checking the name, NBC10 found a 1976 article from the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper about a woman named Linda Upshur who lived in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. According to the article, Upshur was a commercial credit analyst at Continental Bank in Center City as well as a musician with ties to the NAACP Youth Organization and the YWCA.

An NBC10 viewer also found a newspaper clipping of Upshur from the Pittsburgh Courier in 1962 reporting she had chosen to work in the U.S. Air Force and was also a volunteer worker with the Colorado Springs' School for the Deaf and Blind. 

NBC10 reached out to the Bryn Mawr Trust which took over Continental Bank, as well as the NAACP. While we have not yet heard back from Bryn Mawr, a local NAACP coordinator later contacted NBC10, claiming she went to church with Upshur and worked with her at Continental. The woman said Upshur was a "tremendous singer" but had lost track of her prior to her death. She also said the funeral home "should be ashamed of themselves" for what happened. 

NBC10 also checked the last known addresses for Upshur in Philadelphia but did not find anyone who knew her.

Both NBC10 and the woman who found the box also contacted police who are not currently investigating but encourage anyone with information to call 911 and file a report.

If you are a friend or family member of Upshur or have any information on her, please call us at 610-668-5701. 

<![CDATA[Thief Uses Stolen Polka-Dotted Mini Cooper to Steal Bikes]]> Sun, 26 Jul 2015 08:26:40 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Stolen+Mini+Stealing+Bikes.png

For the past three days, John Caulfield's flamboyant Mini Cooper has drawn the ire of bicyclists in Southwest Center City, Bella Vista and South Philly.

It wasn't because the sherbet-colored, polka-dotted convertible wasn't sharing the road with them, but instead, carting bikes away.

A thief broke into Caulfield's home at 10th and Delhi streets through an unlocked door overnight Wednesday and jacked a number of items including two bikes and keys to the Mini Cooper.

"The burglars started opening the door to my bedroom while they were in the house, but I thought it was my daughter who was in the house and didn't really think of it," Caulfield told NBC10 Friday night. "I'm feeling extraordinarily lucky."

The thief then left, found the car parked two blocks away and used it — and the attached rack — to scope out other bikes and steal at least one.

Surveillance video posted to a Facebook group dedicated to finding bicycles stolen in Philadelphia shows a man using bolt cutters Wednesday night to break the lock on a bike attached to a pole at 12th and Dickinson streets in South Philly. He then rolls it over to the stolen car and attaches it to the back.

A number of people, including Caulfield's friend, said they spotted the car driving through the neighborhood. Each time they called police, but the car — however distinctive — and its driver eluded authorities.

That is, until Friday night.

A man spotted the car parked near Fitzwater and Hicks streets and called police. Inside, officers found the alleged suspect sleeping. He was arrested and the car will soon be returned to Caulfield.

The bright colors and pattern covering Caulfield's Mini are actually vinyl decals on top of black body paint. They could've easily been peeled off and with them the chances of getting his car back.

"The car is pretty noticeable. It's the only pink, yellow, blue Mini with orange polka dots in the city and so I was surprised that whoever had the car was still driving it around," he said.

Police continue to investigate the case. It's not yet clear what happened to the bikes.

Photo Credit: Surveillance Video
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<![CDATA[Tooth-Shaped Balloon Mascot Gets Loose, Flies Away]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:13:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/mickey+balloon+2.JPG

A Chicago-area dental practice is asking for help finding a loose tooth. 

“Mickey the Molar,” a 10-foot by 10-foot balloon, has disappeared up into the sky.

The balloon, which has been a staple at Algonquin’s Founders’ Day Parade for 17 years, is the mascot for Dr. Timothy Stirneman’s All Smiles Dental practice.

[[318452971, R]]

A spokesperson for the practice said the flying tooth seems to have just “flown away on its own.” With the Founders’ Day Parade beginning on Sunday, the practice said they’re desperate to get the balloon back.

Anyone who spots the “loose tooth” can call All Smiles Dental at (847) 854-7645. 

Photo Credit: All Smiles Dental
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<![CDATA[Thief Swipes 10 Chain Saws from South Jersey Artist]]> Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:53:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/USE+Brian+Ackley+Ackmonster+Chainsaw+Art+Theft+Burglary+Chainsaws.jpg

Brian "Ackmonster" Ackley, the South Jersey "chain saw artist" who recently used his skills to help his fellow New Jersey residents save trees downed in storms, isn’t too concerned with the person who stole his 10 chain saws sometime late last week – he just wants his livelihood back.

"That’s everything that I had," Ackley, 47, who’s been doing chainsaw carvings for 15 years, told NBC10. "I’m about to go out on my annual state and county fair carving tour, which takes me up and down the East Coast. I’m about to embark on that next week, and they took all of my stuff enabling me to do that."

Ackley said he went into his shop, on West Deerfield Road near Center Road in Bridgeton, Friday morning and found that someone had taken a sledgehammer to his lock, smashing it. All 10 of his chain saws – which he said are valued at about $6,000 to $7,000 – were gone.

"They were very direct in what they wanted. They left behind two weed whackers and a blower, but they took every chain saw that I had," Ackley, a father of five adult children, said. Ackley later told NBC10 he heard that police made at least one arrest in connection to the theft. Police have not yet confirmed this however. 

Earlier this month, Ackley was interviewed on NBC10 when he was helping to preserve a homeowner’s tree downed by severe storms that left widespread damage in South Jersey.

Ackley said Thursday night, he was up until about 11:30 p.m. watching the news, and then woke up about 6:30 a.m. He lives next door to the shop, he said, so he believes the break-in happened in the seven-hour window he was sleeping.

He said he’s surprised someone would so brazenly come to his shop, in the heart of a rural area, and steal his belongings.

"We’re an agricultural community. Everybody minds their own business," Ackley said. "It’s an extremely low-crime area, but it’s getting scarier."

He said he doesn’t have surveillance cameras, and he found very little evidence that might reveal who’s responsible for the burglary, but he filed a report with the New Jersey State Police in Bridgeton.

"My shop is surrounded by sawdust, so that leaves no tracks whatsoever," he said.

For now, a friend has started a GoFundMe account to help Ackley get new equipment before he heads out on his state and county fair tour next week. So far he's received two chainsaws on credit from a local farm store as well as donations from community members. Ackley said he’s been overwhelmed by the amount of support he’s gotten so far on the GoFundMe page. He said he isn’t as concerned with retribution for the person who stole the chainsaws than he is with being able to make his art again as soon as possible.

"Stealing my carvings is one thing," he said. "But stealing my ability to make more, that’s a little dastardly."

Photo Credit: Ackmonsters Chainsaw Art/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Alligator Taken Into Police Custody on NYC Street Dies]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:11:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/alligator+manhattan.jpg

A 3-foot alligator NYPD officers took into custody after they spotted it walking across a Manhattan street has died, authorities say.

The reptilian scofflaw startled residents near Ninth Avenue and 205th Street in Inwood Thursday afternoon and was picked up by the NYPD's emergency services team, authorities said.

The reptile, which the NYPD's 34th precinct joked was having trouble hailing a trip out of town, was taken to Animal Care Centers of NYC, where workers removed the duct tape police had put on its snout and put it in an aquarium-type setting that had heat and a shallow pool of water.

The alligator died Friday morning, Animal Care Centers of NYC said. The group said it had named it CockadoodleQ.

"We have no knowledge of the conditions CockadoodleQ had lived in prior to his arrival that contributed to his death," Animal Care Centers of NYC said in a statement.

Exotic animals are illegal to have as pets in New York City. It's not clear how the gator made it onto the street, nor was it known if police were looking for an owner.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Bugs Appear as Storm on TX Weather Radar]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 09:00:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/217*120/bug+radar+tx.JPG

Rangers at a state park near the Texas panhandle say flying insects caused a weather radar to light up as if there was a large storm there Wednesday.

The interesting radar image came from the area near Copper Breaks State Park, west of Wichita Falls.

National Weather Service officials say people shouldn't be alarmed by the size of the blob, which spanned for several miles. It wasn't a swarm, they said, rather there were just enough bugs flying around to be seen on the radar.

Photo Credit: National Weather Service
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<![CDATA['Drunk' Squirrel Damages English Club]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:30:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-469038412SQUIRREL72315.jpg

A “drunk” squirrel caused hundreds of dollars of damage at a private members’ club located in England, BBC reported.

The secretary of the Honeybourne Railway Club told BBC that he originally thought that someone had broken into the building, located near Evesham in Worcestershire.

He was mostly right -- except the invader was not a man but a squirrel that was “staggering around” after coming out from behind a box of chips, according to BBC.

"There were bottles scattered around, money scattered around, and he had obviously run across the bar's pumps and managed to turn on the Caffrey's [Irish Ale] tap,” Sam Boulter said. "He must have flung himself on the handle and drank some as he was staggering around all over the place and moving a bit slowly.”

Boutler said he lost £300, or about $465, in the incident. He was able to grab the rowdy rodent in a waste bin and released it out of a window.

"I've never seen a drunk squirrel before,” Boutler said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Snakes Take Over Texas Property]]> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:38:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/191*120/dead+copperhead+snakes.JPG

A North Texas family says hundreds of copperhead snakes roam their Weatherford property at night.

Vicki Barnett has a hard time going to sleep knowing copperhead snakes surround her home.

"If one got in the house or in the cars, I would have to move," Barnett said. "I really would."

Barnett said she and her husband killed about 30 snakes last weekend alone and another on Tuesday night. It's a problem they've been dealing with since they moved there two years ago.

"I nearly stepped on it and then I just ran and waited for my husband to come outside and kill them," Barnett said.

Barnett arms herself with a rifle, killing the venomous reptiles at dusk when they're most active.

"Any thicket is a real good place for them," said Randall Kennedy, who works for Fort Worth Wildlife, a company specializing in nuisance removal.

Kennedy came out to Barnett's property Wednesday to investigate where she claims hundreds of snakes call home.

"Once they start taking over, they'll take over," said Kennedy. "There can be quite a few of them."

The copperheads are masters of hiding during the day, but that leaves no comfort for Barnett and her family.

"My little grandson says, 'Mo Mo, you've got all these snakes,'" Barnett said. "I've showed him and said, 'Mo Mo has a lot of snakes here.'"

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Thirsty Burglar Steals Juice From Day Care]]> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 10:08:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Camden-County-Juice-Burglar.jpg

Police are searching for an apparently thirsty burglar who was caught on surveillance video stealing juice from a day care center in Camden.

The unidentified man went inside the Broadway Family Center on 250 Line Street early Tuesday morning. Surveillance video shows him stealing four one gallon juice bottles from a refrigerator before leaving the building.

The suspect is described as a thin man wearing a grey shirt, blue jeans and a red hat. If you have any information on his identity please call Camden County Police at 856-757-7042.

<![CDATA[Bombshell Discovery: Bazooka Shell Found in Storm Drain]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:16:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/072115+bazooka+shell+found+in+Fairfax+County.jpg

A Fairfax County, Virginia, worker inspecting a drain made an unusual discovery in a residential neighborhood Tuesday morning -- a round of bazooka ammunition possibly dating back to the Korean War era.

The bazooka shell was found in a drain on the 9300 block of Glenbrook Road in the Mantua neighborhood, Fairfax County Police said. Officers responded about 10:45 a.m. and kept neighbors away as they investigated.

The device was determined to be an inert, "blank" round likely used in training, police said. It wasn't immediately clear how long the shell had been there.

Police and fire officials stayed on the scene near the Mantua Hills Swim Club for almost four hours, leaving about 2:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Fairfax County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle Anti-Fast Lasts 153 Days and Counting]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:50:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/536073195.jpg

Two men who have never met appear to have in common a similar zest for fast Mexican food. Both men started eating Chipotle every day for the last 100-plus days and have taken to social media to write about their experience on the diet. 

Los Angeles animator Andrew Hawryluk, 23, is documenting his Mexican food habit on his Chipoltlife blog, calling it a "culinary endurance art piece." Hawryluk says he's eaten Chipotle at least once a day for the past 153 days, spending $1,567 and consuming 110,890 calories.

On his blog, he says he typically orders a burrito bowl consisting of white rice, chicken, guacamole, and lettuce with Tabasco chipotle sauce on top. He prefers a bowl so he doesn't have to eat with his hands.

Hawryluk's food project started on Feb. 18, the first day of Lent, as an anti-fast. He's taken a photo of each of his receipts to prove his purchases at the "best restaurant," as he calls it. 

This feat is not so unique, though.

Mark Rantal of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is also chronicling his Chipotle addiction. On July 14, Rantal celebrated his 100th lunch at Chipotle and posted a photo of himself to his Facebook page holding a plate of food with candles outside the restaurant to celebrate the milestone. 

"We are fortunate to have such fiercely loyal and enthusiastic customers. While these guys are taking that farther than most, we have a lot of people who are very loyal and regular customers," said Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle Mexican Grill. 

Neither Hawryluk nor Rantal is a paid spokesperson, according to the food chain. 

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Lightning Strikes 2 NJ Troopers on GS Parkway]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 09:58:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/237*120/New+Jersey+State+Police+Troopers+Struck+Lightning+Garden+state+Parkway.JPG

As isolated storms struck South Jersey Tuesday afternoon, lightning struck two New Jersey State Police vehicles along the Garden State Parkway. 

The strikes happened along the Parkway in Middle Township Cape May County around 2:15 p.m.

One struck trooper was taken to AtlantiCare Medical Center and is expected to be OK, said police. The other trooper wasn't injured.

A short time after the incident, NBC10's Ted Greenberg captured a tow truck hauling away both damaged state police vehicles -- a sport utility vehicle and a cruiser. Both vehicles will be inspected for damage from the lightning. 

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Ted Greenberg]]>
<![CDATA[Foal Born with Patch That Looks Like Its Own Shadow]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 09:03:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Horse+11+AP774176329487_14.jpg

A chestnut foal born in May in England has been gaining a lot of attention around the Internet for his peculiar, self referential birthmark.

The young horse, named Da Vinci or "Vinny" for short, appears to host his own silhouette on his back and shoulder that mingles with his mane. 

Owner Wendy Bulmer told the Daily Mail that she named the horse Da Vinci because of the work of art that adorns his coat.

This horse, she said, is full of surprises. 

"I bought his mother at a sale and didn't know she was in foal [pregnant] so that was a bit of a surprise," the riding school owner Wendy Bulmer told the Daily Mail in an interview.

While many chestnut horses have patches, most are unrecognizable, Bulmer said, but this one is a work of art. 

Not only does the horse have something of a self portrait on his coat, he's also got a little heart near his hind quarters. 

Maybe that heart is why all the children Bulmer's riding school, Fyling Hall riding school at Robin's Hood Bay love 'Vinny' so much. Or maybe it's because he's such a friendly foal, like Bulmer said. 


Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Modern Day Cinderella? Woman Shoplifts, Loses Shoe]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:00:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Kmart+shoe+Shoplifter+Theft+Woman.JPG

An alleged thief put an interesting spin on the Cinderella Story earlier this month.

Gloucester Township Police seek to identify a woman who lost a shoe fleeing store security after shoplifting from a New Jersey K-Mart on July 1.

Police posted surveillance video that shows the suspect entering the store on Blackwood-Clementon Road while talking on her cellphone the entire time. As the woman approached the exit, she darted out of the store with a $100 electric toothbrush, setting off the store's alarm in the process. 

The suspect has light-colored hair and wore a plaid shirt and jeans at the time of the theft, said investigators.

All information can be reported to Gloucester Township Police at 856-228-4500 or the Anonymous Crime Tip Line at 856-842-5560.

Photo Credit: Surveillance image released by Gloucester Township Police
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<![CDATA[Wedding Whopper: Joel Burger, Ashley King Tie the Knot]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:54:53 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/071915-burger-king-wedding-illinois.jpg

Couples will tell you that every wedding is special in its own way — and that's certainly true for Joel Burger and Ashley King, who married Friday afternoon in Illinois for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, with French fries or with onion rings.

Burger and King have been friends since grade school, Burger told NBC's John Yang for TODAY. Their evening wedding featured gifts from Burger King, which paid for the wedding after their story grabbed international headlines, including the fast-food chain's crowns and custom mason jars (and the groomsmen posed with Burger King shirts under their suits).

Photo Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Burger King]]>
<![CDATA[Doc Accused of Dirt Treatment]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 18:11:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/N11P+FAKE+CANCER+DOCTOR+VO+-+00000411.jpg

A northern California man was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine unlawfully after authorities say he treated a woman in late stage cancer with a “baggie of dirt.”

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office arrested Vincent Gammill, 69, of El Cerrito, on July 9 at his office in Richmond on charges of practicing medicine without a license, dependent adult abuse and furnishing dangerous drugs without a license. 

Detectives said they found 25,000 prescription pills including morphine, Ambien, steroids, along with Mexican and Russian drugs at both his office and home. Gammill told detectives he offered alternative options to the traditional treatment of cancer. He also initially said he had no formal education beyond high school, but then “remembered” he had obtained a doctor of science degree sometime in the 1990s, according to Ventury County Detective Robert Davidson.

Davidson also told NBC Bay Area that Gammill's bail was set at $10,000 and he was later booked in Contra Costa County jail, but as of Friday, he was out of custody.

When reached by phone on Friday, Gammill denied to NBC Bay Area that he prescribed his patient dirt and denied that any dirt was used at all.

He also said he doesn't "treat" patients. Rather his Natural Oncology Institute is an "instructional program," which patients can choose to follow or not. He used these therapies for his own cancer, he said.

The woman involved, Gammill said, is an actress. "I think she just wants to be in the limelight."

He said he is being represented by a Santa Barbara attorney, who was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

In June, a 49-year-old Thousand Oaks woman reported that she sought Gammill’s treatment after finding his website in 2009. His site touts “alternative and complementary care” for people with cancer. The website also offers a five-day "Mango Retreat Program," in Del Mar, in "walking distance" to the Pacific Ocean. Gammill wrote on his company website that he was diagnosed with cancer, as well, in 2009 and chose both conventional and alternative cancer strategies to help. He saw his last formal oncologist in 2010.

Davidson said that agents started investigating the case after the woman told the Thousand Oaks East County Sheriff’s Office that she had been scammed out of $2,000 and harmed by Gammill’s practices.

Gammill reportedly treated the woman with baggies filled with dirt, powders, liquids and other commercial medicines that were past their expiration dates, authorities said.

During one of her visits to his office, Gammill instructed the woman on how to mix the ingredients into capsules before taking them, the pharmaceutical investigators said. At one point in the visit, authorities said Gammill brought out a large frying pan and told her that one of the compounds could burn a hole through the table. After the woman felt a burning sensation in her stomach, Gammill reportedly told her this was a good because it meant the ingredients were still active.

The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials team was called to Gammill’s office to “render it safe” after investigators reportedly found bottles labeled “corrosive” and “poison” in his laboratory, agents said. Investigators did not find any record of Gammill having any medical training upon his arrest.

In 1989, Drug and Enforcement Agents found more than 1,000 types of dangerous chemicals at a lab that Gammill owned. In court papers, Gammill argued that he ran a legitimate lab, and the chemicals the agents found were used to make fuel additive, naval jelly and dextran sulfate, which was a common underground AIDS treatment.

But DEA agents said that the lab was actually an "operational methamphetamine lab."

Gammill was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, but he moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing in California's appeals court that the government violated his "due process rights by its bad faith destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence."

Eventually, in 1992, a judge overturned Gammill's conviction.

Gammill is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on Aug. 31.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: The Natrual Oncology Institute]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Tries to Undress on I-95: Police]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:20:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/185*120/Aramingo+Avenue+Incident1.JPG

Police responded to not one, but two incidents of a female disrobing in public in Philadelphia Thursday.

The most recent incident happened about 11:40 a.m. on the I-95 ramp from Aramingo Avenue.

Pennsylvania State Police received a phone call about a woman disrobing on the highway.

When they arrived, they encountered an abandoned car and a woman who was apparently in the process of disrobing.

State Troopers ushered the woman into a police car and used a tarp to shield her from the public’s view.

The woman is reportedly undergoing evaluation.

Pennsylvania State Police told NBC10 that it was the second incident of a woman disrobing in the same area Thursday. The details of the first incident were not immediately known.

<![CDATA[Tiny Homes in NJ]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:01:24 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tiny+home+movement.jpg

The growing "tiny home" movement may be ready to take root in the suburbs of New York City, where some of the highest housing prices in the nation exist.

Bloomfield, New Jersey's Malcolm Smith, 36, is joining up, though a 250-square feet house he started building in Montclair had to be moved this past week to a Newark junkyard over weight issues. The 8.5-feet wide, 13-feet high house sits on a trailer, however, so it is perfectly legal from a mobility standpoint.

It has one large loft for a queen-sized bed; a new, full bathroom; a kitchen area with room for a refrigerator and stove, closet, office cubby, and even a second loft for guests.

"It's got everything that I need," Smith, an IT consultant who works from job to job, told NBC 4 New York.

Smith said it is an environmental statement as much as a financial decision, as he also plans to equip it with solar panels.

Even though he started building it before he had a place to park it, Smith says he is confident he can work with a suburban town to get through variance issues.

Erica Gramp is being more cautious.The school teacher and single mother of three also wants to downsize to show her boys that life doesn't have to be so full of "stuff" that people accumulate, she said. But she plans to wait to start building her tiny house until she gets the variances she is seeking from Montclair.

In the meantime, she has already identified a backyard of a senior citizen who will get land rental income from her, while Gramp also promises to look in on her landlord from time to time as an extra courtesy. Gramp said her two boys that still live at home in an apartment are excited.

As for Smith, he said his girlfriend, who has her own apartment, is sympathetic, but when it comes to moving in, they're taking it "one step at a time."

According to The Tiny Life, which bills itself as a resource for those seeking to live simply and responsibly, the tiny house movement is a "social movement where people are downsizing the space they live in," mostly for environmental concerns and financial concerns, and to have more time and freedom. 

<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Japanese Hotel Replaces Staff With Robots]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:51:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/robot-GettyImages-480744956_master.jpg The Henna Hotel, scheduled to open on July 17, features multi-lingual humanoid robots that greet visitors while other robots serve coffee and do the cleaning, as well as room doors that are opened by face-recognition technology.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Man Uses Grave Markers as Flooring in His Garage]]> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:46:57 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_tombstonethief0714001.jpg A former cemetery worker admits to taking damaged grave markers, then using them to line floor of his garage.]]> <![CDATA[Dog and Pig BFFs Find Forever Home Together]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:53:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/j-and-t.jpg

An unlikely pair of animals have found a forever home together in North Texas.

Jack, a beagle mix and his best friend, Tuna, a 6-month-old pot bellied pig, were inseparable for the moment they arrived at the Humane Society of Texas.

"They are definitely very good friends," said Whitney Hanson, director of development and communications for HSNT.

The unusual duo were recently brought to the Keller Welcome Home Adoption Center and were almost immediately adopted by a loving family.

Photo Credit: Humane Society of North Texas]]>
<![CDATA[Man, Nephew Win Meth Lab in Auction ]]> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:20:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-07-12+at+10.20.27+AM.png

A man and his nephew in California got a little more than they expected when they won an auction for an abandoned storage unit.

At Cubesmart in Rancho Cordova, units are auctioned when renters default on them for longer than 45 days, according to NBC affiliate KCRA. Some people buy these units and resell them for a profit.

The two men won one of the units with an $80 bid, according to the station. However, it contained a box full of hazardous, old-fashioned equipment used to make meth.

Narcotics officers told the station that the material was so toxic, hazmat specialists had to be called out.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department detectives are not sure if the lab was operated on site, but they are now looking for the original owners of the unit, according to KCRA.

A message for comment left with Cubesmart was not immediately returned. 

<![CDATA[Man Finds This Object in His Skin]]> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:42:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/219*120/fish+fin+leg+skier.jpg

Pat Schottler didn’t think much about a large bruise on his leg and five puncture wounds after a day of water skiing, but during a visit to the doctor a few days later, things took an unusual turn.

Schottler, 35, said he assumed he hit a stick while skiing on Medicine Lake in Minnesota, NBC affiliate KARE 11 reports.

It wasn’t until his wife encouraged him to visit an emergency room that he found out what the bruise actually was.

Doctors ordered an X-Ray of his leg, which they thought would show a broken fibula, but instead showed a “foreign object embedded in his leg,” Schottler’s wife Julie Schottler told KARE.

That foreign object was something the couple never expected—fish fin.

Schottler told the station doctors removed four pieces of fish from his leg, the longest one being nearly three-fourths of an inch. He said the fin likely came from a bluegill. 

Photo Credit: Pat Schottler/KARE ]]>