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The skinny

But officer, I'm certain I was well below limit

Traffic control

Jeff Buck of Nuthall, England, was caught by a speed camera twice recently and sent tickets for speeding, reports the Nottingham Evening Post. But when Buck challenged the ticket, he had an excellent defense for the offense. His car was parked at the time, and therefore unlikely to be speeding. Police could not argue with the logic and voided the tickets. "I assumed the first time it happened that the police would put something in place to prevent it from happening again," Buck said. "I am amused by it, but also angry." The camera is in front of his home, and he parks on the street. "It's amazing that whatever system is in place cannot tell the difference between a car that is motionless and one traveling at 37 mph."

Hold all calls

A fatwa issued against ringtones

Earlier this month, a reverend in London blessed cell phones for their ability to remind people God's grace can reach them in many ways. Monday in Egypt, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa issued a decidedly different take on the technology. Gomaa issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against a fad in which Muslims set their phones to ring with a call to prayer or Koranic verses, saying the devices demean God's words. "God's words are sacred. . . . He ordered us to respect them and glorify them," Gomaa said. He suggested followers could replace the tones with hymns or other nonsacred religious prose.

Criminally stupid

He's a driver, not an accomplice

Four thieves in Holyhead, Wales, had what they thought was a pretty good plan. Police say they took a cab to a store — already it sounds like a bad plan, right? — went in, stole two televisions, then came back out to the cab to make their getaway. The flaw was in that they did not get a cabbie willing to go along with the plan. "They told me to drive the car," cab driver Darren Renton told the Sun. "I just said, 'Are you having a laugh?' They really started to panic then and started offering to make it worth my while. But I just told them to get out of the car." They did. Police caught one of the four, and recovered the televisions.

Burglar at home until she showed up

Police in Easton, Pa., have arrested Jose DeGracia on charges that, among other things, he took a shower. Grace Kraus came home on Sunday and found a man she did not know in her house. He had recently used her shower and given himself a haircut and was in the process of cooking up some fried chicken when she showed up and asked him to leave, the Express-Times of Lehigh Valley reported. But he refused. Police removed him from her house and took him to their place.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

But officer, I'm certain I was well below limit 01/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 2:06am]
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