The hungry housebreaker of Seattle has been caught.

Beginning last Monday, and lasting nearly all week, as many as 11 homes in the city's Shoreline and Lake Forest Park neighborhoods were broken into, reports the Seattle Times.

Money was taken in some cases, but the burglar's overwhelming motive was more primal: food.

At Julie Sanchez's house, the intruder ate, according to the Times, a box of Creamsicles (search), six shrimp kabobs, a dozen mini corndogs, half a large package of Costco lunch meats, two fruit drinks, a glass of milk, a dozen clumps of frozen cookie dough and several large handfuls of M&Ms (search).

"Ate all the lunch meat, went through the candy," Sanchez told KOMO-TV. "Ate some food that was sitting out on the stove."

The thief even drank the juice out of the Sanchez children's sippy cups. He only took off when the family dog woke up the adults sleeping at home.

"We believe he actually heated up some of that food in the microwave," Sanchez said.

A small amount of cash was missing. Untouched were a three-stone diamond ring, two pairs of 24-carat gold earrings, credit cards and a $50 gift certificate.

At a different house, the intruder thawed out some frozen steaks, fried them up and ate them on the sofa while watching TV, according to King County sheriff's Detective Christina Bartlett.

In several instances, he was confronted by residents, even getting into one fight, but got away each time.

On Sunday, the thief was finally caught during possibly his most brazen stunt — going through a woman's purse right in the middle of services at Berean Bible Church (search).

Parishioners tackled the man and held him down until the cops came. Found in his car outside the church was what the Times called "food-related evidence."

As of Tuesday, police had not named the ravenous rover, nor filed any charges against him.

Sanchez was philosophical about the break-in.

"I have four kids, and all of them could have been exposed to who knows what," she told the Times. "People have endured a lot worse in these kind of situations, and we're just really fortunate he was really hungry."

— Thanks to Out There readers Chris B. and Mitchell M.

Home Depot Customers Beat Each Other Over Shopping Cart

VINELAND, N.J. (AP) — A dispute over a pushcart at a Home Depot store escalated into a duel between two patrons armed with 2-by-4 boards, leaving one of them with a wound to his chin and both under arrest.

Police charged Wei Sun, 45, of Upper Darby, Pa., and Larry Bostic, 52, of Vineland, with assault following the Sunday morning altercation inside the store at the Cumberland Mall.

Bostic needed eight stitches to his chin, according to police, who said Bostic also had a tooth knocked out and another one cracked.

The fight followed Bostic's taking a cart that had been sitting in an aisle unattended. Bostic told police a store worker suggested he use the cart after he asked the employee for one.

When Bostic began to stack his lumber, Sun said the cart was his and demanded it back, according to police. A fistfight ensured, followed by the men grabbing 2-by-4s and swinging them at each other.

Police said Bostic suffered the wound to his chin when a board was thrown at him.

— Thanks to Out There reader Greg F.

Angry Cat Tries to Hijack Plane

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — A Belgian airliner made an emergency landing after an agitated passenger — a cat — got into the cockpit and attacked the co-pilot, the airline said Tuesday.

The SN Brussels flight from the Belgian capital to Vienna, Austria, had been in the air about 20 minutes Monday when "it was noticed" that a passenger's pet had escaped from its cage, "although it is not yet clear how," according to an airline statement.

"Once free, the animal proceeded to wander around the cabin," slipping into the cockpit when meals were being delivered to the two-man flight crew, it said.

"At this stage the animal became agitated and nervous," it said. An airline spokeswoman added that the cat scratched the copilot's arm.

The pilot decided to return to Brussels as a precaution, and the 58 passengers departed once more two hours later on another flight.

The cat had been checked in Oslo, Norway, in an internationally approved "flight transport bag," but the airline said it may end up changing its procedures for pets in the cabin once it concludes its investigation.

"At no time throughout the incident was the passengers' security affected in any way," it said.

Clown Sad About Stolen Clown Car

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — A clown isn't smiling now that someone stole his clown car.

Delmer Jefferson drove the miniature, bright yellow tow truck in parades. But on July 5, someone stole the truck from the parking lot of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine (search) in Altoona.

"I'm heartbroken," said Jefferson, who's been a clown for the Shriners for more than 30 years. "I can't replace it. And it's not worth anything to anyone else. It's a clown car."

Police Det. Jason Ferguson said the theft is being investigated.

"This thing is so unique," Ferguson said. "What would anyone do with it?"

— Thanks to Out There reader Joe Z.

Towel Found in Dead Woman's Chest

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — For seven years before her death, Bonnie Valle told her family and her doctors she had an odd feeling in her chest.

The feeling turned out to be a surgical towel that had been left behind during a 1995 surgery and wasn't found until a year after her death, when medical students opened her chest cavity.

Valle's daughter, Jeanne Clark, says her mother donated her body to the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (search) in Rootstown, Ohio, because she hoped doctors would be able to learn more about the emphysema that killed her.

Two weeks ago, Clark filed suit against the Cleveland Clinic (search), her mother's doctor, Jeffrey Miller, and his practice. The lawsuit alleges the towel caused serious complications, additional medical bills and, ultimately, her death.

Clinic spokesman Cole Hatcher said the hospital doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.

Homeless Man Tackles Purse Snatcher

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP) — A homeless man is being hailed as a hero after chasing down an alleged purse-snatcher, tackling him and holding him down until police arrived.

Loretta Ferraro, 68, was in the Chef's Spot restaurant waiting for a friend when she said a man tried to grab the handbag out of her lap. The two engaged in a tug-of-war, but the man prevailed and bolted out the door.

The suspect ended up fleeing right past a homeless shelter where Kevin Runkle had just stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. Runkle said he noticed the commotion and took off after the man, identified by police as Hyo Lee.

"Finally he stopped, shoved the purse up under his shirt and he turned around to face me," Runkle, 38, said Thursday. "He punched me twice in the face — not that hard, because you know, I stayed standing. ... So I hit him and wrestled him to the ground, and then I held him."

Runkle, who walked 80 miles to Philadelphia from York several months ago, said he has a history of drug addiction and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. He and his caseworker at the shelter, however, said he is working hard to turn his life around.

Nobody needs to tell that to Ferraro, whose son first found out Runkle was homeless when he asked where he could send a thank-you note.

"I think God sent me an angel," Ferraro said. "I really do."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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