In Brief, Bandits Caught With Their Pants Down

When attempting to rob a market cleverly disguised as a man wearing tighty-whiteys on his head, it's best not to go commando until you're completely sure the coast is clear.

Seems these guys didn't get that memo.

Cops say Donnie Caraway and Ronald "Toucan" Watkins were caught on camera robbing the Big Apple Market in Spring City, Tenn., of a 200 lb. safe and a few cartons of cigarettes wearing skivvies where the sun should shine, WTVC reports.

"He wore his son's underwear on his head, and a pair of his socks," Police Chief Jason Yuhas said, no doubt struggling to keep a straight face.

Still photos from surveillance cameras show the Caraway and company — now known around town as 'The Underwear Bandits" — sporting boys briefs on their heads and knee socks for gloves, making off with the heavy safe and the smokes.

Once the fearsome tighty-whitey-wearing duo made it outside with their loot, they found themselves in need of a getaway car. Cops say the men first tried to haul the safe away in a shopping cart, but when that proved too heavy, they snagged a lawn mower — sans-engine — and mowed their load on down the road.

Much to the amusement of police, that precious moment was also caught on camera.

When the crooks thought the coast was clear, they ditched their drawers, inadvertently revealing their identities.

Cops say once the bumbling burglars were debriefed, so to speak, they had a pretty clear idea who they needed to question.

Thanks to Out There reader Johnny J.

Bad Toys! Bad Toys! Whatcha Gonna Do ...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The stuffed reindeer had apparently gotten out of hand, so 6-year-old Kevon Gorham, who wants to be a police officer, handcuffed one of his favorite toys.

Just to make sure the animal didn't run, or fly, away, the child attached one end of the toy handcuffs to his own wrist. And that meant the family had to call the real police Wednesday.

"I was watching TV in the bedroom and he came in there with handcuffs on. He was crying, and he said he couldn't get it off," said the boy's mother, Rolandra Wright, who tried to remove the handcuff.

North Charleston police patrolman Phillip Alger arrived and tried a key to his handcuffs and then bolt cutters. But he couldn't use the cutters without hurting the boy.

Then three firefighters arrived and tried soapy water and a bigger pair of bolt cutters, but again to no avail.

Finally North Charleston Fire Department engineer Burgess Atkins used a less involved method — he picked the toy lock with a hairpin.

"I might ask Santa Claus to get me a police key for Christmas," Kevon said when it was all over.

Claus might bring it too, but perhaps only on the condition no reindeer are again shackled.

Mr. Chen and Me ... and Him ... and Those Guys Over There

SHANGHAI, China (AP) — Here's to you, Chen Jie. And you, and you, and you. The name — surname Chen, given name Jie — is shared by almost 4,000 Shanghainese, topping the list of the city's most common monikers, according to official figures released Thursday.

That's become a problem for many with the name, playing havoc with school enrollments, residency registration, bank accounts, mail delivery and health insurance.

"Names are a civil right, and formerly were just a way of calling people, but overlapping names have now become a serious social problem in China," the Youth Daily newspaper said in a commentary.

Authorities have implored parents to choose less common names, but insist that names be drawn only from a list of standard Chinese characters.

Following the 3,937 people named Chen Jie, the 3,751 named Zhang Min make up the second largest group of identically named Shanghainese.

While many Chinese characters are homonyms — having the same sounds but different meanings — "Jie" is especially popular due to its connotations of purity or cleanliness. "Min" also reflects positive attributes, most often associated with sensitivity or nimbleness.

Purely in terms of surnames, Zhang comes out on top among Shanghainese, with almost 900,000 occurrences, according to data culled from identity card registrations.

Wang and Chen follow closely in second and third.

Immoral of the Story: Nobody Likes a Tattletale

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Police were looking for a man who reprogrammed a gas station ATM to give out four times as much money as it should.

Surveillance footage shows a man walking into the gas station at 6:17 p.m. on Aug. 19, swiping an ATM card and punching in a series of numbers, breaking the machine's security code. The automated teller machine was reprogrammed to disburse $20 bills but record it was a $5 debit to his account, Virginia Beach Police spokeswoman Rene Ball said.

He returned a short time later and took out more money, but authorities did not say how much. The card was prepaid and can be purchased at several locations, so police are not sure who is behind the theft.

No one noticed until nine days later, when a customer told the clerk that the machine was giving out more money than it should.

Police are investigating the incident as fraud.

See? Everything's Fine! Just Get Daddy an Ambulance

LANTANA, Fla. (AP) — A father broke his leg trying to cure his daughter's fear of heights.

Troy Stewart and his 10-year-old daughter Meagan were on their daily bike ride Monday evening when Stewart suggested they jump off a 15-foot bridge as a way of curing the girl's fear of heights.

Meagan made the jump into the Intracoastal Waterway safely, but her 31-year-old father ended up with a broken leg.

"At first he said, 'Do you want to do it or not?"' Meagan said. "I thought, 'It's kind of high,' and then he's like, 'Trust me."'

Stewart was able to get out of the water and waited nearby after Meagan rode her bike the half mile home and alerted her mother, who called authorities.

"In his mind, he was playing," said Mandy Potter, 32, of her partner of 10 years. "But I don't condone his child's play."

Stewart was not charged with a crime since Meagan jumped willingly. However, officials from the state Department of Children & Families planned to interview him.

"This is an example of what not to do as a parent," police Capt. Andy Rundle said. "And let this be a lesson to everybody: Somebody's tried it, and it's not a good idea."

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We would like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to