Counterfeiters send jammed printer for repair

It seems there are some very stupid criminals out there. They sent the printer they were using to print counterfeit notes in for repair because it was jammed. They forgot to remove the counterfeit bills that were jamming it first though!

Arizona authorities this week charged suspected members of a criminal ring thought responsible for 10 per cent of all fake money in the state after some members sent a printer, jammed with counterfeit bills, out for repair.

A three-month investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the local sheriff’s office nabbed 10 suspects for crimes including forgery, weapons violations and drug charges, according to the Southwest Valley Republic. The ring of counterfeiters allegedly included two Wal-Mart cashiers who accepted the fake bills as payment for big-ticket items in order to put the faux money into circulation. The suspects would then go to a different Wal-Mart and return the items for cash, according to the news report. — SecurityFocus

[Editor’s note: While in this case the idiots left counterfeit currency in the printer when they sent it out for repair, manufacturers of color laser printers embed tracking codes onto every printed page, so that a counterfeit bill can be tracked back to the printer that produced it.]

Woman wants to marry man who shot her

Tina Marie Stebbins, of San Bernardino, Calif., said in a letter Monday that she still plans to marry Christian Leroy Lindblad, 37, who shot her and held her hostage for six days in his family’s garage. Lindblad pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2002.

“I love Christian today as deeply as I loved him before this awful thing happened to us,’ Stebbins wrote in a victim impact statement. “We are soul mates.’

She added: “I want to tell you all that I have forgiven Christian. And I pray that Christian has forgiven me for failing him when he needed me most.’

The incident occurred at the Big Bear City home the couple shared with Lindblad’s parents. Lindblad and Stebbins had a history of domestic violence and substance abuse, according to a sentencing report. It also said Lindblad had been drinking at the time of the shooting.

Lindblad and his parents, Robert and Shirley Lindblad, tried to cover up the shooting by treating Stebbins with home remedies, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s report. They also threatened her young sons and her family, the report said. — Associated Press

For wanting to get back together with this scum of the earth, Tina Marie Stebbins wins today’s Stupid Person of the Day award. But I must give an honorable mention to both of Lindblad’s parents, who tried to help him cover up his crime. They both pleaded guilty to being an accessory.

Man duped out of $70,000 by money-multiplying potion

People will believe just about anything, it seems. Nou Chang, 52, of Coon Rapids, Minn., owner of Foley Foods grocery store there, was duped into believing that con artist Franklin T. Forlemu, 22, of Savage, had a potion that would turn blank paper into hard cash if immersed in the potion for several hours.

According to the complaint, Forlemu went to Chang’s store, slipped blank pieces of paper between some $20 bills, donned a breathing mask and poured his mysterious concoction over the pile. When he was done, the blanks looked like twenties to Chang.

Forlemu told him to get large sums of cash, and Chang came back with $70,000 in $100 bills.

He watched Forlemu put the blank slips between them and pour the solution on the stack, then wrap the wad in tinfoil and pour on more.

Forlemu said the money and paper must be sealed for three hours before opening the windfall. But when Chang finally unwrapped the tinfoil stack, he found nothing but white paper.

Chang felt foolish, he told police. But he wound up lucky.

Police arrested Forlemu at his apartment and found $76,000 in $100 bills duct-taped in a cardboard box under his bed, including Chang’s cash.

The potion turned out to be water, said Coon Rapids Detective Dave Westberg. He said Forlemu used sleight-of-hand to make it look like the paper slips turned into cash.

Forlemu refused to say where the additional $6,000 in the box came from, Westberg said. — Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Con artists and swindlers do their thing very well, and one should be skeptical of things that seem too good to be true. In this case, it’s the victim, Nou Chang, who gets today’s Stupid Person of the Day award. But the fact that he got his money back should make him feel a little less bad about it.

Death row escapee drinks his way back to jail

Charles Victor Thompson, 35, who had been sentenced to death in Texas, escaped from custody last Thursday by somehow getting hold of civilian clothes and a fake ID of the Texas Attorney General’s office. U.S. marshals captured him today near a liquor store in Shreveport, La., primarily because he couldn’t stop drinking.

U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Marianne Matus said Thompson was too drunk to be questioned about his escape and how he got to Shreveport, which is the near the border with northeastern Texas.

“He was pretty intoxicated. He was pretty impaired,’ said Lt. John Martin of Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston. — Reuters

If you’ve escaped from prison, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself, and wandering around the streets blasted is a great way to get yourself caught. Charles Victor Thompson, therefore, is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Confused man shoots trick-or-treaters

A 70 year old pensioner in Torino (Turin), Italy, frightened by two trick-or-treating boys in Halloween costume, instead of giving them candy, grabbed his hunting rifle and shot them.

The 14-year-old boys, dressed as demons, had knocked on the man’s door during an evening of “trick or treat’ near the northern town of Turin and set off a firecracker.

When the door opened, instead of a treat, the man fired four shots at the boys having been scared by the noise and their strange outfits, the news agency ANSA said.

Police arrested the man, who lived alone and was the victim of several robberies, for attempted murder, ANSA said. Police said the boys’ lives were not in danger but one risked losing an eye. — Reuters

The two children are listed in serious condition at Ivrea hospital, according to the news report.

The practice of trick-or-treating is relatively new to Italy, so maybe today’s Stupid Person of the Day, who was not named by police, simply hadn’t heard of it yet.

Hurricane evacuees murder woman who helped them

Jimmy Hoang Le, 18, Stephanie Jacobo 18, both of Beaumont, Texas, and Roosevelt Smith Jr., 43, of Louisiana, were charged with capital murder Saturday in the robbery and strangulation death at her home of Betty Blair, 77, of Pasadena, Texas.

“It appears that those that she tried to help were the ones that murdered her,’ said Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell. The three lived together in an apartment in the 900 block of Randall in Pasadena, Mitchell said.

They were arrested Friday night at the toll booth at Beltway 8 and Westheimer, driving Blair’s tan 2000 Buick, in which some of her belongings were found. Jacobo’s 10-month-old boy, was also in the car, and is now with “appropriate relatives,’ said Gwen Carter, a spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The car was located through OnStar, an onboard electronic tracking system. . . .

The three suspects were the second group of evacuees Blair had helped after Hurricane Katrina, according to her neighbor and fellow parishioner Mary Titus. — Houston Chronicle

Talk about ungrateful. Not to mention stupid. I thought everybody knew OnStar could locate your vehicle.

City arts centre pays artist to get drunk, fall down

The Chapter arts centre in Canton, Cardiff, Wales, has paid Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi £5000 to drink “48 bottles of beer’ and walk across a beam wearing high heels until she falls off.

Unfortunately, some see her one-woman performance art show as less a comment “on the availability and use of mass-produced products’, as she claims, and more an exhortation to binge drink.

“This is stupid and dangerous and sends out the message that binge drinking is OK,’ said Ramesh Patel, a local councillor, who called for an inquiry. He demanded to know why taxpayers’ money “is being wasted on trash like this’.

An Alcohol Concern spokesman said: “We’re always concerned when someone puts their health and safety at risk by drinking to excess like this.’

David Davies, a Tory member of the Welsh Assembly, said: “If anyone is daft enough to want to see a young woman getting plastered and tottering around in high heels, they can do it in just about every city centre most nights of the week. The show is probably the biggest waste of money in the world. The worrying thing is people are deciding to hand out taxpayers’ money like this when they are sober.’ — Telegraph Online

I really need a job like this. Most of us have to pay to get drunk.

Mom puts 2-year-old on wrong tracks

A woman in Marina, Calif., put her 2 year old son onto railroad tracks in an apparent attempt to kill the toddler, but the attempt failed when the train stopped about 25 feet short.

Then she did it again.

Officers arrested the woman, 22, on suspicion of attempted murder and child endangerment. The boy was placed into protective custody.

Trolley security guards first saw the woman and child standing on the tracks at Front Street and Harbor Drive about 7:20 p.m. as a freight train approached slowly, San Diego police Lt. Shelley Zimmerman said.

The train engineer saw the pair and was able to stop within 25 feet of the them. He and the security guard told the woman to get off the tracks and she did, taking the boy with her, Zimmerman said.

But about 15 minutes later, as another slow-speed train neared the intersection, a security guard saw the woman push the boy onto the tracks, Zimmerman said. Again the train engineer stopped 25 feet short of hitting the boy. — San Diego Union-Tribune

Police had not released the name of today’s Stupid Person of the Day as they weren’t sure of her identity. She carried no identification.

Man steals limousine with 15 people in it

Here’s a hint to you would-be car thieves: Steal a car which isn’t full of people.

A Hummer limo filled with people celebrating a birthday party turned into a wild ride early Sunday after a man attempted to steal it, San Antonio Police said. What the suspect did not realize was there were 15 people in the back of the limo.

Twenty-one-year-old Noe Ochoa was arrested, police said. He was held down by people in the limo until officers arrived. . . .

“The Hummer starts to move and everybody’s like, ‘What’s going on?” Kenneth Thornton said. His friends had rented the limo for Kenneth’s 28th birthday.

The limo driver was apparently in the back talking to one of the 15 the passengers when Ochoa jumped in to the Hummer, police said.

Thorton crawled through the privacy window to stop the suspected carjacker.

“I flip the park on the Hummer, and it screeches us to a halt,’ Thorton said. “Then, I put him in a choke hold until they can get out and pull him out.’ — WOAI

Ochoa, today’s Stupid Person of the Day, said he stole the limo because his friends ditched him and he needed a ride.

Going down in Larry Bird’s jersey

In Oklahoma City, Okla., on Tuesday, a man being sentenced asked for a longer prison sentence than he had been given.

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird’s jersey number 33.

“He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird’s jersey,’ Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. “We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But, I know the DA is happy about it.’ — Associated Press