Citizen Crime-Fighters Use Free Beer, Free Ride to Catch Crooks

A Florida town has two new heroes today, after a pair of citizen crime fighters took the law into their own hands using their secret weapons: beer and a free ride.

When two robbery suspects were startled in the midst of breaking into a van, they fled into the local woods. Police arrived on the scene and tried to follow, but lost track of the escape artists, reported Florida's Local 6 News.

Luckily, two local men had seen the attempted burglary and decided to stay on the lookout for the criminals.

When they spotted one of the hoodlums, they stopped their car and offered him a free beer and a ride to the highway.

But, instead of a ride to freedom, he was driven directly into the hands of the law. The two do-gooders deposited the man with the cops, where he was arrested on suspicion of loitering and prowling and resisting arrest without violence.

Witnesses reported the suspect as muttering, "You've got to be kidding" as he opened the car door and saw the cops waiting for him.

The search continues for a second suspect.

The Afterlife Needs Accessories Too!

For the right price, now you, too, can be buried in a giant beer bottle.

Handmade, 'fantasy' coffins are becoming all the rage among the Ga tribe in Ghana, where carpenters will fashion you a customized coffin in any shape you choose.

When loved ones die, the Ga believe they go on to another life, so the special coffins are designed to help them arrive in style, reported

The specialized coffins are often shaped to mirror the way the individual lived. So, a driver might have a car-shaped coffin, a seamstress may have one shaped as a sewing machine, etc.

They can also represent the person's vices, i.e. an extra large beer bottle or king-sized cigarette.

Click Here to See Pictures of Some of the Coffins

One artist, Ablade Glover, who works with carpenters to build the coffins, appreciates that they're so beautiful, but laments what happens to them.

"By the end of the day, they are going to bury this thing, which has taken so much time, so much energy," he said.

Sore Skiier Bares It All

WENGEN, Switzerland (AP) — Rainer Schoenfelder lost a bet Wednesday, and paid for it by skiing nude down the Lauberhorn.

The 29-year-old Austrian skier, who hurt his neck and back in a crash last week, lost a bet with his physiotherapist, who had been treating his injuries. Schoenfelder had vowed to ski naked if his pains had lessened by Wednesday morning.

Schoenfelder skied wearing only yellow boots and an orange helmet and gloves, and a photographer snapped a shot of the skier that has been circulated on the Internet.

"Somehow I didn't notice the photographer," Schoenfelder said. "It was an internal bet and of course the whole thing wasn't planned for the public.

"I am happy, though, that the pains have eased up and that it was not cold when I honored my debt."

Schoenfelder had been in pain since his crash in Adelboden last week. After little success treating the pain, his physiotherapist performed a "special" treatment on Tuesday and Schoenfelder said he woke up the following morning without pain for the first time since an accident in Turracher Hoehe, Austria, a day before the World Cup races in Adelboden.

Austria head coach Toni Giger said he did not think Schoenfelder would be sanctioned for the stunt.

"I have no problem with nudity in general," Giger said. "I haven't seen the pictures but no one was hurt. ... This was typical Schoenfelder behavior."

Schoenfelder has had a run of bad luck recently.

In the giant slalom at Adelboden, he was disqualified for committing a rare rule violation — he kicked out of the start hut four seconds too early.

World Cup racers have a 10-second window in which to push open the starting wand. They are warned by a succession of beeps when they can go, but Schoenfelder pre-empted the start.

Where Oh Where Did I Leave That Pesky Jawbone?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than one million people a day ride Los Angeles' trains, buses and subways, and as diverse as they are, so are the items they leave behind — everything from cell phones and wallets to a prosthetic leg and a human jaw bone.

The items will sometimes end up at a two-room lost and found operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that is set to reopen Wednesday following a $137,000 renovation.

"There's some of everything here," said Lorna Riley, the MTA customer service agent who logs and sorts everything that comes through.

The lost-and-found holds items for 30 days before offering them up for auction or donating them to charity.

Unclaimed clothes, books and toys have been given to a homeless shelter in a downtrodden neighborhood known as Skid row. Unclaimed backpacks have been used by law enforcement agencies to train dogs to sniff out drugs and explosives.

Last year, the MTA netted $7,000 from lost-and-found items, in addition to $4,000 in unclaimed cash.

Riley said one man came in looking for his class assignment — a jaw bone — that he lost on a bus. Another man could not find his prosthetic leg after removing it while he took a catnap on a bus.

And a woman reported missing a suitcase containing her mother's cremated remains.

"Every day is different," Riley told the (Los Angeles) Daily News for a Wednesday story. "You never know what to expect."

Missing Magician's Stunt Stirs Up Storm

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — An escape artist whose dive into choppy waters prompted a two-day search-and-rescue mission now has to watch his money disappear.

A Key West judge on Tuesday ordered Michael Patrick, who performs as "Patrick the Escape Artist," to pay $60,000 restitution to the Coast Guard, the city's fire and police departments and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for their search following his Oct. 31 back-flip into Key West Harbor.

Police found him the next day at a Key West house with his girlfriend, planning, they told The Miami Herald, a "big ta-da."

The judge found Patrick, who has already served 60-days in jail, guilty of culpable negligence, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Patrick's escape act for the past 15 years at Mallory Square's Sunset Celebration included hanging upside down while freeing himself from chains and a straitjacket.

He changed his routine on Halloween, back-flipping into 35-foot-deep waters. Several audience members dived in when he didn't immediately resurface.

Patrick has been banned from performing at the Sunset Celebration.

Compiled by's Hannah Sentenac.

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