Tech Support for Stolen Laptop

It had to be the dumbest customer-service call ever.

Lancaster County (search), Neb., sheriff's deputies say a man couldn't get a stolen laptop computer to work — so he called the manufacturer's toll-free tech-support number for help.

The IBM ThinkPad was reported missing after a rural home burglary Sept. 13, but there were few leads until IBM called, reports the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star.

It turned out someone who wasn't the registered owner had failed in booting up the machine and called IBM's customer-service line, which still handles the calls although IBM sold its personal-computer division to China's Lenovo earlier this year.

When the caller gave the machine's serial number, support personnel realized it had been stolen and notified the authorities.

On Sept. 29, deputies executing a search warrant on a Lincoln home found both the ThinkPad and a pistol that had been stolen in Omaha in 1989.

They arrested Darrell Brown, 48, on suspicion of possessing stolen property.

— Thanks to Out There reader Jeff C.

Dead Goose Knocks Out Hunter

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — A Swedish hunter spent two days in bed after being knocked unconscious by a Canada goose that landed on his head moments after his son shot it dead, news reports said Wednesday.

The goose had been flying about 65 feet up in the air when it was shot by Carl Johan Ilback, who was hunting with his father, Ulf, along a stream in eastern Sweden in August.

When the goose dropped from the sky, it hit Ulf Ilback in the head and knocked him out, he said.

"It wanted to extract its revenge, I assume," Ulf Ilback told local newspaper Extra Ostergotland. "If it had gotten a better hit, it could have broken my neck."

Ilback spent two days in bed with severe headaches before returning to work.

"The story brought about a lot of laughter at work," he was quoted as saying, adding that during this month's moose hunt, he may wear a helmet.

— Thanks to Out There reader Phillip R.

Car Goes to the Dogs

WAKO, Japan (AP) — Honda Motor Co. has designed a car that's friendly for dogs — part of the Japanese automaker's ongoing effort to create vehicles that are easy to use and comfortable to ride in.

The W.O.W. Concept (search), which stands for "wonderful openhearted wagon," shown to reporters recently, is an exhibition model with no plans for commercial sale that will be exhibited at the Tokyo auto show later this month.

A special crate for dogs in the glove apartment allows owners to interact with their pets while driving. A bigger crate pops up from the floor in the back seat area and can be folded back into the floor when it's not needed. For even bigger dogs, just buckle them up with a special seat belt to the floor.

The big danger for pets riding along in cars is that they get thrown out during a crash. About a fifth of Japanese households have a dog, and demand is growing for cars that cater to man's best friend, according to Honda.

The W.O.W comes with removable, washable, rollout flooring and has wide sliding doors to keep dogs happy.

"We created this vehicle from the point of view of a dog, but it turned out to be a gentler vehicle for the elderly, children and other family members," said Honda designer Katsuhito Nakamura.

— Thanks to Out There reader Kris P.

Click in the photo box above to see some mobile pooches.

Overbearing Mom Banned From Daughter's School

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — A woman in the Netherlands has been banned from any contact with her daughter's school or teachers after complaining too much, a court ruled Friday.

The woman, whose name was not released, "overloaded" the Borgh Elementary School in the northern city of Zuidhorn (search) "with an incessant stream of questions, comments and complaints," a panel of judges at the Groningen District Court wrote in their judgment.

"For causing an illegal hindrance ... she will be barred from approaching the school or the school area for a year, and forbidden from addressing the school, educators or the board in any way other than as specified in the verdict," the judges said.

The woman's complaints ranged from treatment of her daughter — described as "highly gifted" — to disagreements about curriculum, method of teaching and the safety of the school.

In the 2004-2005 school year, the woman sent 50 e-mails and 20 letters to the school, and came nine times to visit.

She also wrote 29 letters to the school board and others "to the National Complaint Commission, the Labor Inspection Service, the Educational Inspection Service, the Queen's representative and the media," the judgment said.

In the future, the woman will be allowed to submit complaints to the school on a single page of paper once a month, the court ruled.

Man Spends Sick Day at Bar

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Calling in sick is going to cost a Pennsylvania jail guard plenty.

Authorities say Westmoreland County (search) senior corrections officer Thomas Gildard was busted in a bar last month, on a day he called in sick to work.

Gildard has been ordered to repay the county for the sick day. He's also going to lose two days' pay and could face additional disciplinary action, depending on how the criminal case turns out.

Gildard is charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Authorities say he was asked to leave the bar ten times before police were called.

Handicapped Man Steals Police Car

RIALTO, Calif. (AP) — A disabled man in a wheelchair, arrested for allegedly trying to steal a power saw at Home Depot, managed to slip out of his handcuffs and steal the squad car he was placed in.

Phillip Anthony Moreno, 44, a parolee with a previous $200,000 warrant for his arrest, has eluded capture.

Moreno and girlfriend Denise Marie Vasquez, 35, were taken into custody about 3 p.m. Tuesday by Home Depot security officers after they allegedly tried to steal a hand-held electric saw, Sgt. Randy DeAnda said.

"He had been sitting on it. It was under him on the chair," the sergeant said.

When police officers arrived, they arrested Moreno and Vasquez and placed them in separate patrol cars. Moreno's wheelchair was put the squad car's trunk and the arresting officers stepped away to search the couple's car.

DeAnda said Moreno got out of the handcuffs, crawled through the security barrier window opening separating the front and back seat and got behind the wheel of the squad car.

Moreno drove away, the sergeant said, noting he has a bad leg.

The police car was found several hours later abandoned in Bloomington. The wheelchair was missing from the trunk.

Vasquez was booked and remains in custody, DeAnda said.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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