It's bad enough when you get busted being naughty after the fact, but getting caught in the act — and called out in front of your friends by a disembodied voice from above — might just be embarrassing enough to keep the bad guys at bay.
At least, that's what the dudes behind the talking cameras in one English town are betting on.
Authorities in Middlesbrough, England, have affixed microphones to seven CCTV cameras in town so Big Brother can loudly shame passersby who are up to no good, the AFP reports.
"It is like a public humiliation in a way, but it means that the person won't do it again," said councillor Barry Coppinger.
"The voice addresses the person who is littering for example, directly by saying, 'Could the person in the green jacket please pick that up?' It can be embarrassing."
The cameras are manned by authorities at the CCTV command center, which is linked to police headquarters. CCTV operators are responsible for dishing out the warnings.
Coppinger says feedback on the cameras with the voice of doom has been encouraging.
"A lot of people are quite surprised when they hear the voice for the first time, I think it gets to their guilty conscience," he said.
In 2005, the cameras helped catch 678 crooks and locate 15 missing people.
I Just Called … to Say … I Robbed You!
A bumbling crook in Italy inadvertently turned himself in after losing his cell phone during a robbery, then later calling the phone and arranging a date with the cops to get it back.
Agi news agency reports the man had just been released from the big house under a mass pardon meant to thin out the crowds in jails. He lost his phone when he snatched the purse of a 77-year-old woman on the street, who promptly noticed the misplaced device and turned it into the authorities.
By the time the cops had lured the crook to the meeting point, the baddie had already robbed another granny and was putting around town on a stolen scooter.
Delivering in Rain, Sleet, Snow, Dark of Night or Whenever He Feels Like It
ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — It wasn't rain, sleet, snow or dark of night that kept Charles Fred Miller from his appointed rounds.
Miller, a one-time mail carrier in the eastern Kentucky city of Grayson, said it was laziness.
Miller, 32, pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge related to undelivered mail. Miller told U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning that he stuffed more than 500 items of undelivered mail into garbage bags in a storage shed behind his house.
"I just got lazy," Miller said.
A federal grand jury indicted Miller in July on felony counts of stealing mail, possessing stolen mail and obstructing correspondence, along with a misdemeanor charge of deserting the mail.
Prosecutors said it was apparent that Miller had simply not done his job and wasn't using the mail for personal purposes.
Three charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement and he admitted to one count of obstructing correspondence. Sentencing is set for Dec. 4.
Room Rule No. 1: No Roommates Allowed. Neener Neener Neener.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Students who moved in to dorms at Ohio State over the weekend are making sure they have the ground rules straight with their roommates first.
The school is requiring the roughly 5,000 undergraduates living in its residence halls to put their "room rules" on paper. Roommates will have to work out the rules, such as how late friends are allowed to stay and when music should be playing.
A copy of the agreement will be kept on file with their resident advisers. The school hopes the rules will clearly outline expectations for roommate conduct and cut down on conflict.
Ahoy There, Matey! Pass Me the Pepper O'er the Briny Deep! Yarrrr
LONDON (AP) — Two designers have come up with an unusual way of escaping a flash flood: a dining table that can quickly be converted to a life raft.
The table, entitled Either Oar, has removable legs that convert into paddles and a built-in buoyancy tank. It is part of a series of designs created "as a response to climate change and natural disasters of recent times," an apparent reference to crises such as Asia's tsunami in 2004 and last year's Hurricane Katrina in the United States.
The table will be on display as part of the Design Museum's Design Mart exhibition, which opens in London on Sept. 20 and celebrates new talent.
The "Climatized Objects" range was designed by David Cameron and Toby Hadden.
Other dual-purpose devices include a vase that switches to an emergency flashlight if knocked from its ledge, and a series of picture frames that turn into flashing navigational aids.
"We've always wanted to do a project that translates the way people in emergency situations use everyday objects in innovative ways in order to stay alive," the pair said in a statement.
"The effects of climate change can leave us facing dangerous situations in our own home, where we are affected by destructive elements such as flooding and earthquakes. Rather than shy away from these negative processes, our ideal was to offer functional solutions in these increasing times of crisis."
'Globe Luxation' Is a Nice Way to Say 'Worst. Talent. Ever.'
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — Claudio Paulo Pinto is looking to break an eye-popping record. Literally. Pinto can pop his eyeballs out of their sockets at least 7 millimeters (0.3 inches), a national record for eye-popping according to RankBrasil, an organization modeled after the Guinness Book of World Records that lists Brazilian records.
A former driver, Pinto got a job scaring visitors in a commercial haunted house in Belo Horizonte, 210 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. But he recently was laid off, and now he seeks international recognition for his ability.
"I was measured by an opthalmologist on television in January. I could pop my eyes out 7 millimeters," Pinto said by telephone Saturday. "Since then, my capacities have improved over 50 percent."
That could put Pinto close to the record. The title of "furthest eyeball popper" in the Guinness Book of World Records currently belongs to Kim Goodman of Chicago, who can pop her eyeballs 11 millimeters (0.43 inches) out of her sockets.
Pinto's ability is called "globe luxation." Doctors say it can strain blood vessels and nerves between the eyes and the head and feels unpleasant but usually doesn't cause lasting damage.
Pinto says he's been luxating his globes since he was 9 years old and "it doesn't hurt a bit."
Compiled by FOXNews.com'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 firstname.lastname@example.org.