It was a holiday bar-code caper.
Boulder, Colo., police have charged 19-year-old Jonathan Baldino with a Class 5 felony for allegedly using homemade bar codes to purchase electronic gizmos for far less than the marked price, according to the Denver Post.
The police report says the freshman electrical-engineering student at the University of Colorado put the fake bar codes together by taking real bar codes from cheap items and gluing them onto pricey tech gadgets at Target.
The alleged holiday markdown scheme worked once, and it seems the bar-code schemer might have been a bit of a sexist, police say.
"He looked for female checkers that he thought did not know enough about electronic items to catch the switch," officer Don Schuler wrote in the police report.
In his dorm, Baldino allegedly downloaded a program called "Barcode Magic" on Nov. 16, making a bar code for a CD player that cost just $24.99. He then hit the stores and slapped the homemade bar code on a system for using iPods worth $249.99, according to police.
However, the cops got wise and cracked the alleged bar-code scam Wednesday when a Target security specialist remembered Baldino when he returned to the store to try the caper again, police said.
Baldino tried to check out as the security guard watched, seeing that Baldino only paid for headphones costing $4.99 — but was scooping up a $149.99 iPod, police said.
After he was arrested, police say he took to begging them for a holiday pardon: "I will NEVER EVER DO THIS EVER AGAIN and I am once more terribly sorry," Baldino wrote in a statement for police, according to the Post.
"Please let me go for I am terribly sorry!!! I'm only a kid! Help me out. I just want to go home. I did this not knowing of the serious penalty that lies behind it. Please! Please! Please!"
The yuletide begging was all for naught. Baldino faces a felony count of forgery and two misdemeanor counts of theft, police said.
The alleged caper wasn't this holiday season's first case of bar-code funny business. As earlier reported in Out There, police said a Reno, Nev., man switched around the bar codes on Lego boxes, stealing up to $200,000 worth of brick sets.
— Thanks to Out There reader David H.
EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Virginia Voiers thought she was taking part in a rambunctious holiday custom. But a Eureka Springs carriage driver thought differently and called police when he saw the 70-year-old grandmother stealing the baby Jesus from the city's nativity scene.
Voiers was ticketed for misdemeanor theft by an officer who quickly caught up with her van after she foisted the statue. Voiers told the Lovely County Citizen newspaper of Eureka Springs that she played the prank after her granddaughter remarked that no one had taken the baby Jesus yet this year from the city's nativity. But a security camera was added to the nativity this year, and the camera is monitored at police headquarters.
A dispatcher saw Voiers taking the statue and put out a call to officers. Carriage driver Thomas Tharp heard the broadcast on his police scanner and got the van's license number. The van was pulled over and Voiers was cited. The charge carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
— Thanks to Out There reader Melissa B.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Dorothy Rodefeld, known around town as the "light lady" because of her elaborate outdoor Christmas display, woke up to find an illuminated Jesus had gone missing.
"They pulled the light right out of Jesus," Rodefeld said.
Rodefeld has mounted ornate Christmas displays at her 1861 farmhouse for the last seven years -- ever since her husband died. She spends much of the summer in her machine shed, checking the display bulbs and wiring.
"That's my enjoyment," she said. "That's how I spend my time."
Last year, Rodefeld racked up $125 in electricity costs lighting her display, which she keeps on from Thanksgiving to the first week in January, between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The theft of the Jesus, and a wooden manger he was resting in, hit Rodefeld hard.
Her grandson built the manger from wood the family salvaged from a granary that had once been part of the family's original homestead.
"That's the one thing they took that really meant something to me," she said.
Rodefeld said she knew something was wrong Friday morning when she noticed Santa Claus was lying down in the snow.
"I could see somebody's tracks up to Santa," she said.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Vandals have again torched a giant straw Christmas goat in a town in central Sweden.
The goat has gone up in smoke so frequently that it's almost become a Christmas tradition.
Merchants in Gavle, 90 miles north of Stockholm, began erecting the goat in 1966 to mark the holiday season. Since then, just 10 of the 43-foot-high goats have survived.
Most have been burned, though one was hit by car and another was damaged by fireworks.
Police spokeswoman Margareta Olander said officers received a call Saturday night to report that the goat was ablaze.
"In just a couple of minutes only a sooty wooden skeleton remained," she said. There were no immediate suspects, but Olander said that one of two men seen running from the scene was wearing a Father Christmas mask.
The vandals are seldom caught, but in 2001, the goat was set on fire on Dec. 23 by a 51-year-old visitor from Cleveland, Ohio. The culprit, Lawrence Jones, was convicted and spent 18 days in jail.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — It was twice as much fun at the Malaysian wedding as two pairs of identical twins tied the knot.
Guests could be pardoned for thinking they were seeing double: The best men were twins. So were the bridesmaids and the flower girls, the Star newspaper reported Monday.
The paper reported that Zeenat Begam Sawai Hamid and Zannat Begam Sawai Hamid, 23, had been promised by their parents soon after birth to identical twin brothers Hasan Mohammed Yusof and Husen Mohammed Yusof, 26. The two sets of parents were good friends, the Star said.
But the families lost touch with each other until seven years ago, and agreed to fulfill their pledge. Their children took their vows on Sunday in Balakong, a town outside Kuala Lumpur.
The Star said the two sisters, born 48 seconds apart, are medical students. The older groom is a clerk in Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara, and the younger, born four minutes later, is a businessman.
The couples wore identical dresses, but one pair was decked in yellow while the other in purple. The twin best men, Mohammed Aswad and Mohammed Hafiz Yaakob, 20, wore identical dresses, and could be told apart only because one of them has a thin beard.
— Click in the photo box above to see a picture of the twin-happy wedding.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man they say stole a hot-air balloon from a Knox County home before breaking into another house and forcing the family to feed him.
Gregory Allen Williams, 40, was caught by police Friday night as he left the home where authorities say he demanded a meal from a couple. The couple's daughter hid in a closet and called authorities on her cell phone, said Loudon County Assistant Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis.
The hot-air balloon, which belongs to James Hood, was packed in a trailer and parked in his driveway Friday morning when a neighbor saw someone hitch the trailer to a vehicle and take off, authorities say.
Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison said the suspect eventually ditched his vehicle and the balloon trailer in a field in Loudon County and fled into nearby woods.
Hood recovered his trailer and balloon, valued at nearly $30,000. Authorities say Williams was already wanted on a probation violation warrant and now faces felony theft charges.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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