Thief Keeps Stealing, Returning Philly Cop Car

Philadelphia police, who lost an undercover car to a quick-thinking prostitute a few months ago, have another vehicular-loss problem on their hands.

Someone's been taking an unmarked squad car from its parking space — and bringing it back, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Over the course of the last few weekends, an unknown person or persons has been taking an unmarked pool car from Police Headquarters," police spokesman Inspector William Colarulo said last Wednesday. "During the course of one of the unauthorized usages, the car did sustain damage to the driver's side."

The car is an undercover special of the sort immediately recognizable as a police car — a dark-colored Ford Crown Victoria with red strobe lights and a siren.

"The person or persons responsible will be held accountable for the unauthorized use of this auto, along with the damages incurred," Colarulo told the newspaper.

Cops were going over security-camera footage from the past few weeks to see if they could spot the temporary thief.

One suspect being looked at: a 14-year-old boy, mentored by Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson (search), who stole Johnson's $2,000 walkie-talkie and disrupted police and 911 communications this winter before apologetically giving the unit back.

Johnson has banned the boy from police headquarters, but still mentors him, the Inquirer reported.

— Thanks to Out There reader Peter L.

'FU' Not OK in WY

Do the letters "FU" offend you? If so, a group of Wyoming residents agrees.

Inhabitants of homes along County Road 6FU, near the town of Cody, have petitioned the Park County Commission (search) to change the road's name to "Stagecoach Drive," reports KMGH-TV of Denver.

"It is probably one of the most embarrassing road names the county has in the books," said property owner Terry Hinkle. "There is no other road in the United States, I can assure you, that has the road name 'F-U.'"

The dubious designation happened back in 1980, when Park County adopted an alphanumeric naming system for rural roads.

The 30 property owners who signed the petition — there are about 40 houses along the road — at first asked if 6FU could also be called "Sheep Mountain Road." It turned out there was already a Sheep Mountain Lane.

The county commissioners plan to vote on the name change May 4.

Bulls, Bears and Now Wild Turkeys

NEW YORK (AP) — A wild turkey left its roost in a Manhattan park over the weekend, stopping traffic and puzzling pedestrians as it strutted through the city's financial district.

The bird, nicknamed "Zelda" by Parks Department workers, disappeared from Battery Park Friday and eluded capture until firefighters grabbed it at Greenwich and Chambers Streets Sunday. Its incongruous appearance on the West Side Highway several times over the weekend nearly caused at least one traffic accident, officials said.

Wild turkeys are allowed to live in city parks as long as they don't disturb anyone.

Megan Sheekey, a Parks Department spokeswoman, said she had a theory about why the animal became restless on Easter weekend, seven months before Thanksgiving.

"Clearly, this attention-getting behavior has something to do with the fact that it's the bunny's day, not the turkey's," she joked in Monday editions of The Daily News.

Nude Statues Covered Up, Sales Soar

HARTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A garden center's nude statues proved a bit immodest for some in this small town. G & L Garden Center responded to complaints by covering up the classical-style statues with stylish, two-piece crimson velvet sarongs.

It turns out leaving a little to the imagination meant a lot more customers for the $99.95 ornaments. Six statues have sold in the past couple weeks alone, and the attempt at roadside modesty is stopping traffic.

"He wanted to stop when he saw the naked women and the bikinis," Joan Philpot said of her husband of 50 years, Bill.

And yes, some customers are peeking.

"They are pulling the tops and looking underneath," said G & L co-owner Angie Langford. "They wonder what we're hiding."

Langford doesn't know who made the anonymous calls complaining about the yard art in this town of 3,500 about 40 miles northeast of Nashville.

Workers across the street at Hartsville Gas didn't seem bothered by their full view of the statues.

"I guess some people just don't appreciate art," said gas technician Brad Smith.

A Little Place in Town — for $128 Million

LONDON (AP) — A British newspaper reported that an Indian steel tycoon paid $128 million for a mansion in the British capital, breaking the world record for the most expensive house purchase.

The Sunday Times said Lakshmi Mittal (search), named by Forbes magazine as one of the richest people in the world, bought the 12-bedroom house in London's Kensington district from Formula One car-racing boss Bernie Ecclestone (search).

Mittal's spokesperson was unavailable for comment Monday and a call to Ecclestone's Formula One Management company went unanswered.

The Sunday Times reported that three real estate agencies were involved in the sale. The offices of all three companies were closed for Easter Monday.

The Sunday Times said the sale of the property near Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana, broke the record for the world's most expensive house sale. It said the previous record was set in Hong Kong in 1997 when a property sold for $101.6 million.

Mittal, 53, owns the LNM Group, one of the world's biggest steel-making companies, and is based in Britain. In February, Forbes magazine ranked him 62nd in its list of the globe's richest billionaires, with a fortune worth $6.2 billion.

The Sunday Times said the property has garage space for 20 cars, Turkish baths, a ballroom, an oak-paneled picture gallery and an ornate basement pool.

Bank Robber Runs, Car Won't

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man robbed a bank of $1,800 a couple of weeks ago, but his car stalled during the getaway and he was caught quickly, police said.

A passer-by unwittingly aided the man by giving him a jump-start.

"The guy was trying to start his car, then a lady stopped to help him," witness Nicole Ditzler said. "He couldn't get it started in time. Then the cops came flying in. The lady was flabbergasted."

Dennis Colbert, 39, said the robbery was "a very stupid thing" that he did because he could not afford car repairs.

"I had to get my car fixed for my mom's sake," Colbert told WGAL-TV.

Colbert confessed to police, and all of the money was recovered from his car.

"He actually looked at the photos from the bank surveillance and said, 'Yup, that's me going into the bank. That's me at the counter,'" Mount Joy Township police Lt. Carl Steinhart said.

Colbert was held in Lancaster County Prison on $50,000 bail.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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