Crime & punishment
Robber uses news as how-to for his heist
John Stephens was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to robbing a bank in Indiana, reports WKLY-TV in Louisville, Ky. But who does Stephens blame for his crime? WKLY-TV in Louisville, Ky. It seems that Stephens, 44, got the idea after seeing bank robberies on the news. "I believe that's what led me, I mean, it persuaded me," said Stephens. He says that before he saw coverage of a serial robber on the station, he never thought about bank robbery and that he picked up some tips from the report. He was sentenced to more than 22 years for the robbery, and after that, he will be sent back to Kentucky, where he had been on parole for another crime. The judge suggested that if Stephens was so impressionable, from now on he should watch the History Channel.
Airline can't fly little dogs till Jan.
The glut of chihuahuas in California shelters will last a little longer. There was a plan afoot for Virgin America airline to transport about a dozen of the minidogs from animal shelters in San Francisco to New York, where they stand a better chance of being adopted. But the plan has been delayed by the snowstorms on the East Coast, as the airline is trying to help passengers stranded during last week's storms get flights. Virgin says it will try to fit up to 15 of the dogs on a January flight. Should be easy. They don't take much space. Officials say people in California get the small dogs thinking they will require less care, then give them up when they realize that's not true.
Someone stole a hippo from lawn
Lynn McCarty really wants her Henrietta back. After all, who would steal a 300-pound fiberglass hippopotamus from someone's yard? "It's not fair, it's not right, they need to bring her back," she told KOVR-TV in Sacramento, Calif. McCarty last saw Henrietta, which is known formally as Henrietta the Giant Pink Hippo, two weeks ago. It was in the bed of a white Ford truck, speeding away from McCarty's house. "Her hind end was underneath the tree and she covered this whole area," McCarty said. "They had this very well planned. They must've come with a team of people." McCarty suspects a teen prank.
Date ended with nudity, in a bad way
Four men in South Bend, Ind., found three women on a dating chat line Monday and made a date at a vacant house about midnight Monday. Probably for coffee, a game of Yahtzee and some Bible study. The men were upset that after they got to the house, three more men showed up, reports the South Bend Tribune, and they had two guns. The late-arriving men robbed the four men and stole their clothes, after some persuasion involving the guns. What was worse, the three women helped the robbers. It was a ruse! Imagine! A late-night hook-up with complete strangers is a bad idea!
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.