Unexpected pit stop
Alligator raises eyebrows along calif. roadway
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was suspicious. When he heard two women were spotted near a Lancaster, Calif., intersection, and one of them was holding an alligator, he didn't buy it. "I'm thinking, 'Yeah, an alligator. Okay,' " Deputy Michael Rust told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. "Maybe an iguana, but an alligator?" A 911 operator agreed. "Could it have been a lizard?" the operator tells a woman reporting "a couple girls carrying an alligator" on a recording released by the Sheriff's Department. Rust investigated the report Tuesday morning and found not just a 4-foot alligator, but a kangaroo and monkey too, all inside the same van. The women explained that the menagerie is part of the "Zoo to You" program in Paso Robles that introduces kids to animals. The animals had just visited with students at Quartz Hill Elementary and had begun the nearly 200-mile journey home when they pulled over. "The alligator urinated inside his cage, and it's a long ways back to Paso Robles with the smell of alligator urine," Rust said. "So they decided to pull over."
Concert in captivity
Passengers hear from string quartet
A string quartet from the Philadelphia Orchestra made a lengthy flight delay quite enjoyable for a plane full of lucky passengers in China. Two violinists, a cellist and a viola player were aboard a flight that was delayed for three hours on the tarmac in Beijing on Friday. They took out their instruments and played an impromptu concert for the appreciative — if captive — audience. The musicians played a selection from Dvorak's American string quartet.
Busted for brewskis
DNA from beer can leads to arrest
Authorities say a burglar's decision to knock back a couple of beers during a break-in at an upstate New York home led to his arrest. Onondaga County prosecutors tell the Post-Standard of Syracuse that 29-year-old Moses Wilson was stealing copper piping from a vacant rental home in Syracuse in early February when he found an unopened case of beer in the basement. Officials say he drank some of the beer. Prosecutors say police were able to match Wilson's DNA to DNA found on the cans. Wilson was arraigned on charges of burglary and petit larceny.
Authorities search for chicken thief
Southborough, Mass., police are investigating the apparent theft of 45 chickens from a resident's coop. Sgt. Ryan Newell says the chickens' owner reported the birds stolen on Sunday. The resident told police he had shut the coop's gate the night before and that one of his workers found the gate still shut in the morning — but no birds. The MetroWest Daily News reports that the chickens were valued at $18 each, putting the total value at $810.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.