Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The skinny

Police follow escapee via his Facebook page

Police reports

Police have a lot of luck catching criminals using Facebook, but one British criminal is using the social network to taunt those chasing him. Craig "Lazie" Lynch, 28, escaped from a minimum-security prison in southern England in September and has since built a following of more than 3,800 virtual friends who follow him in his attempts to elude capture. On Christmas, he posted a photo of himself holding a turkey in one hand and showing a different kind of bird with the other in a message to police. His followers post best wishes, mostly, though some remind the others they are cheering for a convicted burglar. To squash romantic notions of Lynch's escape, police remind his fans that he escaped a converted college. "Basically it's an open prison," said spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach. "(Inmates) can virtually walk out."

Stolen game leads police to burglar

Police in Pelham, N.Y., raided the home of Jeremiah Gilliam, 22, last week and arrested him on charges involving several recent burglaries. And they say it was an item from one of those burglaries that led them to him. It seems a recent burglary victim lost an Xbox video game system. When he signed on to play on another Xbox, he found that he was already signed on. He called police, who traced the Internet protocol of the stolen game to Gilliam's house. "At the house, we found Xboxes, PlayStations, GPS units, laptops — a total of 53 items, including stolen credit cards," Pelham Detective John Hynes told the New York Post. Gilliam was suspected in 13 burglaries, but police think the stolen property came from as many as 200.

Christmas trees can't multitask

An 18-year-old in San Clemente, Calif., was hospitalized with head injuries after a surfing accident. A surfing accident in December? Well, yes, because it wasn't your standard surfing. It was an extremely seasonal form in which really dumb people tie a Christmas tree to the back of a vehicle then ride on it as it's being dragged. Police say that the tree veered into a parked car when the SUV pulling it took a hard corner. The driver fled after impact, but strangely, a second surfer and two passengers say they didn't know the driver. Tricky. The injured surfer is expected to survive, and police suggest never tree surfing.

Big blue teddy bear a smuggler

It is not unusual for Toy Town in Ladera Ranch, Calif., to get a package of toys. But when owner Joshua Vecchione opened up a package last week and found a 2-foot-tall blue teddy bear, he was a little perplexed. Especially since it was "hard and crinkly," which is not what he usually looks for in teddy bear inventory. He noticed that he was not the addressee, but that his store was listed as the return address. Then he called police. When they cut it open, they found three packages of marijuana inside the bear. "Some mix-up took place," Vecchione said.

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

Police follow escapee via his Facebook page 12/29/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 1:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. University student accused of making bomb threat on Snapchat


    DELAND — A Florida university student is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus.

    Stetson University freshman Griffin Powell, 18, is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus in DeLand.

  2. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants


    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  3. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium


    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  5. Watch live: President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly


    UNITED NATIONS — U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to take the spotlight at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations — but it's the tough global challenges from the nuclear threat in North Korea and the plight of Myanmar's minority Muslims to the …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]