Cell Phone Calls Cops, Catches Crooks

Hey mister police officer, can you hear me now? How about now?

Two Enid, Okla., men could be spending some time in the slammer after authorities listened in to a three-hour account of their alleged plans for arson during an inadvertent cell phone call to 911, The Enid News & Eagle reports.

Robert Allen Patterson and Johnny Ray Miller were charged with third-degree arson and conspiracy after one of their cell phones decided to reach out and touch someone — namely, the cops — from their pickup truck while the two sat inside for hours, allegedly discussing building a firebomb and using it to destroy a vehicle, dispatchers say.

Enid Police Department Detective Mark Pettus said that shortly after the men were heard talking about lighting up the vehicle, another call came in reporting a vehicle on fire. The vehicle's owner said the suspects might be in a brown pickup truck.

Cops, all the while monitoring the alleged arsonists' accidental call, found the pair in their pickup truck, and, since the officer's horn could be heard by those on the listening end of the line, pulled them over.

Inside they found a lighter, a claw hammer with some glass particles in it, a leather jacket that smelled like flammable liquid and the cell phone that was still connected to 911.

“They didn’t have a clue they had dialed the phone,” Pettus said. “They thought we were lying to them about the call.”

Thanks to Out There reader Beth G.

This Guy Needs a Stunt Double, Pronto

Even the most hysterical Keanu-phobes would agree that what happened to Kevin Nicolle is just a teensy — and we mean teensy — bit more horrifying than being forced to watch “Speed” again.

Nicolle was driving along the highway in his BMW when the accelerator stuck and he went careening for 60 miles through the English countryside at speeds exceeding 130 mph with no way to stop, the BBC reports.

Sadly for Nicolle, this was no far-fetched action movie, he is not (as far as he has reported) Keanu Reeves and no one was paying him an inordinate amount of money to solve this sticky situation Hollywood-style.

"I was in tears most of the time on the phone to the police — I really could see myself dying," he told the BBC.

Authorities advised the unwitting speed demon to turn on his hazards and lay on the horn while the cops and a helicopter struggled to catch him.

But Nicolle had other plans.

"There was a load of cars parked waiting to go onto the roundabout, so I went on the inside on the hard shoulder to try to get around it. But doing that sort of speed there was no chance,” Nicolle said.

He crashed the car into the roundabout and — miraculously — walked from the fiery wreck unscathed.

No word on whether Sandra Bullock was there to greet him and plan a sequel.

Thanks to Out There reader Peter L.

He Really, Really Quiere Taco Bell

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A man accused of repeatedly robbing fast-food restaurants and markets became so familiar that employees at a Taco Bell would open the cash register when they saw him coming, police said.

Eugene Rutledge, 31, of Oakland was charged Monday in connection with 16 robberies since November, including four at the Taco Bell.

Rutledge, who served prison time for robbing an Oakland bank in 1999, is accused of jumping the counter in most robberies and emptying the cash register. He is accused of using a gun in other cases to make his demand.

After his arrest Wednesday, police said he admitted to the robberies and said he needed the money for drugs and to help a sick girlfriend.

Other businesses were robbed more than once, including a Jack in the Box restaurant and Albertson's and Smart & Final grocery stores.

Thanks to Out There reader George M.

Go (To Jail) Speedracer, Go!

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) — A motorcyclist has been given a couple of days to think about the record he set — at least in the minds of state troopers.

Brian Samuel Willis, 20, was clocked zooming down Interstate 12 on Sunday at 155 miles per hour — more than two times the speed limit 70, state police said.

"That may be the fastest of all-time in the state," said Trooper Ryan Riley of Troop A. "I can't confirm it, but I don't think anyone has ever gotten anybody at 155. The fastest I know of is like 144."

Riley said he was traveling westbound about 6 p.m. when he got the motorcycle in his radar. Maneuvering his vehicle to the other side of the interstate, Riley tried to follow Willis, but the black Yamaha R6 ducked off the roadway onto state highway 441 and traveled south to state highway 42, Riley said.

At that point, Livingston Parish sheriff's deputies and Springfield police chased Willis back toward Riley, who made the arrest, he said.

"He pulled over once he saw all of us, without incident," Riley said. "He just said he didn't think he was going that fast and he didn't know we were behind him. He thought he was only doing 120 or 130."

Willis motorcycle was impounded and he was booked for reckless operation of a vehicle, flight from an officer and speeding, Riley said.

"The judge refused to set the bond until Tuesday," Riley said. "I think she is going to let him spend a few days in jail."

Thanks to Out There reader Scott M.

Psst ... You Got Change for a Billion?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal authorities investigating a man who smuggled money into the country have seized 250 counterfeit bank notes in billion-dollar denominations, they announced Tuesday.

The 250 bogus Federal Reserve notes had 1934 issue dates and were stained to make them look old, but no such currency exists, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

The man has been charged with cash smuggling, but no charges have yet been filed in connection with the counterfeit notes.

Federal authorities warned that the sale or transfer of fake securities has increased in recent years. Scam artists typically sell phony government bank notes at a discounted value or use them as collateral to secure loans or make purchases.

"A billion is a substantial number. We want to ensure that no one was duped or fleeced by the passing of these documents," Kice said.

Click the box at the top of the story to see a picture of the bogus billions.

Do You Think by 'It' He Means Horribly Painful Snake Venom?

SWEETWATER, Texas (AP) — James Wells and his 1,200 pounds of rattlesnakes were first in line for the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in this small West Texas town.

Wells, from nearby Roscoe, has been collecting Western Diamondback rattlesnakes for 25 of the roundup's 48 years and was waiting before 7 a.m. Friday to garner premium prices — $5 per pound — for the first 2,000 pounds of rattlers turned in.

"It gets in your blood," said Wells, 73. "If you're doing it for the money, you're going to go into the hole. We do it more for the sport."

The event, officially known as the World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup, started as a way to control the poisonous reptiles in the area but has grown into a four-day attraction that brings about 30,000 visitors and an economic impact of more than $5 million.

Besides the roundup, there's a parade, a snake charmer pageant, a snake meat eating contest and snake-handling demonstrations, which are aimed at educating adults and children about the ways of rattlers. There's also a demo on how to skin a rattler in preparation for cooking or to use the skins.

People come from across the nation and from other counties to take in the event. Hotel rooms are booked about a year ahead of the roundup, which is always the second weekend in March.

"It's what we're known for," said Lynn Adams, executive director of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. "Nobody bad-mouths the roundup."

The roundup is organized by the Sweetwater Jaycees, and the money funds events the group sponsors throughout the year.

Since 1958, those who've rounded up the snakes have brought in more than 132 tons of the reptiles. The record came in 1982 when 17,986 pounds were tallied.

Texas A&M University researchers have said the roundup pulls about 1 percent of the state's Western Diamondback population.

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Taylor Timmins.

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