5 Craziest Crimes of the Week

Including would-be car thieves who couldn't drive a stick

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 17, 2014 5:56 AM CST | Updated Jan 17, 2014 8:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Hapless car thieves and the Florida shooting over movie texts are among the cases causing a double-take from the police blotter this week:

  • Would-Be Crooks Stymied by Door, Stick Shift: Two stories this week showcase would-be criminals thwarted by ... themselves. One involves car thieves in Massachusetts who apparently need a lesson in the manual transmission, and the other is about a burglar who didn't understand the distinction between "push" and "pull."
  • 'Stand Your Ground' Eyed in Florida Movie Shooting: Chucking popcorn at an elderly guy may not sound like a valid reason for gunning a man down, but the retired police captain charged with murder in an argument about movie theater texting happens to be both 71 and in Florida so he might just have a case under the state's Stand Your Ground law.

  • 'Swiss Cheese Pervert' Suspect Caught in Philly: It's not every crime story that involves the phrase "indecent acts with dairy products," but this one involves a suspect called the "Swiss Cheese Pervert." Philadelphia police arrested a 41-year-old man accused of harassing women in exceedingly creepy fashion.
  • Priceless Plant Stolen From Garden: Thieves who struck in London will need some serious green thumbs or their priceless loot won't be worth a cent. Someone dug up a tiny water lily from the Royal Botanic Gardens, and it happens to be one of the world's rarest (and tough-to-grow) plants.
  • Shopper, 77, Charged With Express Lane Assault: The sign said 20 items or less, so 77-year-old William Golladay started counting. When the shopper ahead of him placed 22 items on the belt at a Florida Walmart, police say Golladay wigged out on the 65-year-old man.
Click for more crazy crimes, including a man who police believe was murdered after a disagreement over a chess move.

For car thieves, a lesson in how to drive a stick is probably a wise investment.
For car thieves, a lesson in how to drive a stick is probably a wise investment.   (Flickr)
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