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The skinny

If you cough up evidence, use a handkerchief

Criminally stupid

It tends to counteract your alibi if, in the middle of being questioned by police, you start coughing and eventually hack up the $20,000 ring of which the police are investigating the disappearance. The Joplin (Mo.) Globe reports that someone stole a two-carat diamond ring from a jewelry store, and only hours later, a couple came in trying to sell the same ring. Store staff stalled them while police made their way, and when they got there, the man swallowed the evidence. But it didn't stay down. The couple was arrested on charges of receiving stolen property.

They were a victim short of a robbery

Here is the perfect example of "attempted robbery:" According to police in Joliet, Ill., three suspects put on ski masks and bandannas outside a Mexican grocery store. Two stood lookout outside while the third went in with an air pistol. When he got to the part where he stands at the cash register and traditionally says "Give me all your money!" there was a problem: There was no one to say it to. There were no employees, no customers. So he went outside to tell his accomplices, and they milled around while trying to determine a Plan B. But a neighbor had seen them and called police, who arrived and determined Plan B for them, according to the Joliet Herald-News.

DNA easy to leave at crime scene

You have to be careful where you leave your DNA if you are a criminal. It's hard enough to keep the stray hairs and skin cells from falling off while committing a crime — it would seem from watching prime time dramas — but police in Ontario say Kevin St. Germain helped them out a lot. He has been charged in three burglaries, with a total take of $72,000. The London (Ontario) Free Press reports that St. Germain was convicted of three burglaries, committed in 2006 and 2009, because he was leaving his genetic markers all over the place. At one, there was a soda can with two straws. Another, an open bottle of juice. The third had a cigarette butt. All had St. Germain's strains on them. He got two years in prison.


Shrinking big dog

Jiffy, the border collie mix that was so obese that he was abandoned on a Sheboygan Falls sidewalk when he froze to it last year, has recovered from that incident and is getting in shape. When rescued, he weighed 116 pounds and could barely walk, though the fat that caused him to get stuck also probably kept him warm enough to save his life that night. Now his adopted family has helped him get down to 76 pounds, and he can make it up stairs. "When he comes up the stairs, there's no stopping half way. He needs the momentum," said Peter Geise, whose family adopted Jiffy.

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

If you cough up evidence, use a handkerchief 01/25/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 1:39am]
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