The crime itself may not be the weirdest, but the story sure is. Up this week: stories with a criminal twist and an unexpected element:
- Cops: 'Harry Potter' Busted Robbing Muggle Banks: Washington state police say they've nabbed a suspected bank robber who resembles a certain boy wizard, and who they say has a not-so-magical history of busting into banks. Police and the FBI say Caleb Andrew Dierlam, 20, is the "Harry Potter Bandit" responsible for at least six bank robberies in Washington and Oregon from late July through early November. The big break in the case came on Dec. 1, via Starbucks.
- Poker Pro Pushed Legal Edge of Gambling, Lost Big: Phil Ivey is a poker pro, but in 2012 he was on a baccarat hot streak, winning $9.6 million over four visits to Atlantic City's Borgota. It's not money he'll keep. A federal judge last week ordered Ivey and companion player Cheng Yin Sun to return $10.1 million to the casino—the baccarat money plus another $500,000 won at craps by spending those baccarat winnings. What landed the duo in hot water: edge-sorting.
- Cops Say Woman Swipes Nativity Jesus, Reports Neglect: "Joseph and Mary Christ" are neglectful parents, or so alleged a Pennsylvania woman who police say took baby Jesus from a Nativity scene in Bethlehem and dropped the figurine off at a hospital with a note pointing the finger at his parent. "I did it. I took the statue. It was a joke, a prank. I took it to the hospital and dropped it off. I left a note," 49-year-old Jacqueline Ross told the court. Police aren't laughing.
- Instead of a Ticket, Speeder Got a Favor: A University of Wisconsin-Stout student got a lesson in tying a necktie from an unlikely teacher: the police officer who pulled him over for speeding. After Menomonie officer Martin Folczyk followed him into a college parking lot last month, Trevor Keeney—well-dressed in a gray suit—explained he was running late for a presentation in which he needed to wear a tie, and his efforts to find help had been unsuccessful.
- Man's New Car Starts Rattling for Very Illegal Reason: "We went out to dinner one night and the car started making a strange noise inside the passenger seat," explains a northern Kentucky man. It wasn't a ghost, but perhaps the ghost of drug dealers' past. The Volkswagen Jetta, purchased at an Ohio auto auction, was hiding $130,000 of heroin beneath the front passenger seat. A Highway Patrol spokesman says the car was thoroughly searched before it was released to the auction. Apparently not thoroughly enough. Here's what a DEA official had to say.
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