Tricky Teen Makes Buying Car Look Easy

It looks like a New Jersey teenager might be guilty of grand theft auto — and didn't have to lift a finger to do it.

The 17-year-old Jersey City boy called an Ohio car dealership in January to order himself a birthday present, the Jersey Journal reports.

He wasn't stealing small, picking out a BMW 760il (search), a 12-cylinder sports car worth $122,000.

After filling out and mailing back some paperwork with his real name and address, the teenager called the dealership again a few days later, this time pretending to be a bank official confirming that a wire transfer covering the car's cost had gone through.

On Jan. 27, the brand-new Beemer was dropped off in front of the boy's high school. He liked it so much he promptly ordered another.

By this point, the Ohio dealership had gotten wise to the scam. Jersey City police staked out the boy's home, but after a few days with no sign of the car, finally knocked on the door.

The boy's mother was horrified at the story and got her son to come home. He did and was promptly arrested — but the car had already been sold for $40,000 to a North Carolina used-car dealership, where it was found by police, according to The Associated Press.

The teenager awaits trial for theft by deception and could get three years in juvenile detention.

We'll Never Mistake Sexually Suggestive Nude Photos for Porn Again

Attention all Out There readers: The Harvard undergraduate erotic magazine mentioned yesterday is NOT porn.

Katharina Cieplak-von Baldegg and Camilla Hrdy, the founders of the proposed "H Bomb," published an angry letter in Thursday's Harvard Crimson contesting the newspaper's characterization of their enterprise.

"H Bomb is not porn," they wrote. "It is a literary arts magazine about sex and sexual issues at Harvard. It will contain fiction, features, poetry, and art."

"Both male and female students will appear nude in photography portions of the magazine, but that is not the main focus of the magazine," they added. "We hope that people understand the misrepresentation that has occurred and are neither offended nor expecting a porn magazine to come out in May."

Cieplak-von Baldegg had told the Crimson Tuesday that she didn't mind the magazine being seen as pornographic.

"I guess student porn is sort of an underground thing," she had said.

Ostriches Survive 15 Seconds Near Nuke Plant

Another follow-up: The skittish ostriches near the North Carolina nuclear plant have survived their emergency test.

We reported a couple of weeks ago that ostrich farmer Madeleine Calder was upset that her Apex, N.C., neighbor, the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant (search), had decided to resume emergency-siren drills. Calder argued that the loud noise would drive the birds into a homicidal frenzy.

On Wednesday, the siren rang for the first time in 11 years, and the ostriches made a quick run around their pens, reports the Raleigh News & Observer.

But they calmed down fairly quickly after the 15-second sounding ended.

Calder is still worried. This test, at 108 decibels, was just a warm-up for the mother of all tests in August — three full minutes at 120 decibels.

"Did you see the birds run?" she asked a News & Observer reporter. "If they extend this thing — I'm very nervous for August."

Another of Calder's neighbors was glad the emergency siren did work.

"I'm satisfied," Steve Adams told the newspaper. "They could go another year and just do it like this, and I'd be happy."

— Thanks to Out There reader Esther T.

High Cost of Health Care Leads to Threatening Sand

GAINESVILLE, Florida (AP) — An elderly man told police he robbed a bank to pay his wife's medical bills.

His wife was behind the wheel of a getaway car Tuesday when the 71-year-old man ran from the bank, police said. Her doctor's appointment was scheduled a half hour later.

A dye pack exploded inside the bag of money, covering James Roland Clark as he left the bank. Clark and his wife, Deloris Jane Clark, 66, were arrested soon afterward, said Gainesville police Sgt. Keith Kameg.

Clark told police he threatened bank tellers saying he had a bomb, but it was actually a bag of sand, Kameg said.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office Bomb Team detonated the bag of sand as a precaution.

"Even though he told us it was filled with sand, nobody wants to be the first person up to check," Kameg said. "If you allege it to be a bomb and you rob a bank with it, we're treating it like it's a bomb."

No one was injured during the robbery, or during the detonation of the bag of sand.

The couple was being held at Alachua County jail late Tuesday, charged with armed bank robbery. James Clark also faces a charge of threatening to discharge a destructive device.

James Clark has a federal criminal history dating back to 1954, Kameg said. Charges include bank robbery, mail fraud and conspiracy to grow and distribute marijuana, officers reported. He also had been sentenced in 1992 to 12 years in a federal prison on bank robbery charges.

Deloris Clark has no criminal history, Kameg said.

Ad Typo Results in Weird Calls

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Barbara Bennett wanted to sell her Brother brand sewing machine, so she bought a classified advertisement under "Miscellaneous" and "Items under $50" in The Columbian newspaper.

Instead, the words "sewing machine" were accidentally dropped, leaving a "BROTHER" for sale ad.

One caller wanted to know if the price was negotiable. Another, upon hearing what was really for sale, said merely, "Thank you," and hung up.

Bennett, 41, a customer service representative, said Tuesday she has two brothers in California and is not putting either on the block. Newspaper officials agreed to run a corrected ad.

"It's OK, I needed a good laugh," Bennett said. "I had minor heart surgery on Friday, so it helps."

Buffy the Crocodile Dinner

CAIRNS, Australia (AP) — Buffy is getting steak for dinner this week — a perk after the dog nearly became a hearty meal himself for a 6-foot-long crocodile.

Seaplane pilot Ted Von Nida took his three dogs for a run on Sunday afternoon outside his home in Trinity Inlet — near the northeastern Australian city of Cairns — when he noticed two of the pets frozen in fear and Buffy in big trouble.

"He was trying to climb, like he was trying to get up a flight of stairs, and the croc had him and was just shaking him," Von Nida told reporters Tuesday.

"It was sickening, he was being flung from side to side. My dog was howling ... I just knew I had to get to him pretty quick."

Von Nida said he approached the crocodile, which released the dog from its clenched jaws and charged toward him.

"The croc saw me and heard my voice and thought: 'Here's a bigger meal,'" he said.

The crocodile circled Von Nida, who was able to retreat to retrieve Buffy. The dog suffered several long cuts to its leg.

Since the attack "I've been spoiling him and just giving him steak and sleep," Von Nida said.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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