In a tale sure to break the hearts of oenophiles everywhere, thieves stole an expensive wine collection and sold some bottles to a convenience store for $300 and cigarettes, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
San Francisco police say convicted drug dealer Sterling Gerard, 36, and one or more accomplices broke into attorney Adam Belsky's house while it was being renovated this past August.
Cops say Gerard happened upon the basement wine cellar, propped open its door with a bottle and walked out with 250 other bottles — mostly top Italian and French vintages — worth a total of $20,000.
Police found Gerard's fingerprint on the bottle left behind and charged him with burglary late last month.
At a nearby deli, cops discovered 52 of Belsky's bottles nestled among the chocolate bars.
The store owner said he'd given $300 in cash and a few cartons of cigarettes for the bottles to a man other than Gerard, who told him it was his recently deceased mother's collection.
Unfortunately, several of the recovered bottles may have been ruined by improper storage in the deli. Still missing are the other 198 bottles.
"These guys were idiots," Belsky told the newspaper. "It's devastating and frustrating because they didn't know what they were taking, but it meant a lot to me."
Belsky's insurance will cover the monetary damages. He's trying to come to grips with the sentimental loss.
Gone for good may be the $500 bottle of 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (search) Bordeaux that he'd bought at his son's birth. He'd planned to open it on the boy's 21st birthday.
Also probably lost is a $100 bottle of 1997 Altesino Brunello Montalcino Di Montosoli that Belsky and his wife bought in Italy.
The SFPD couldn't prove the store owner knew he was buying stolen property, but the state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control may slap him with buying wine from an unlicensed seller.
Good Samaritan's Intentions Go Awry
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A man trying to stop a robbery at a gas station ended up smashing a plate glass window, wrecking his car and fingering the wrong man. The suspect escaped, minus a shoe, and remains at large.
His insurance company says it won't pay for damage. Police say what he did was too risky. Even so, Michael Lonsway, 43, says he would do it again.
If people refused to get involved, "we'd have anarchy in our system," he told The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens.
Lonsway had pulled into a Shell station Sunday when he saw a man run inside and dart behind the counter. Seconds later, an employee stepped back toward a window, hands held high.
Lonsway said he pulled his Pontiac Grand Prix (search) within a few feet of the entrance, hoping to surprise the robber upon exit.
"First I just tried to pin him," Lonsway said. "He said, 'Come on, let me go!' I said, 'You ain't going anywhere.' That's when I floored it."
As the robber climbed across the hood of Lonsway's Pontiac Grand Prix, the vehicle plowed through a window, shattering the glass and knocking over merchandise.
The impact knocked the robber out of a shoe, and a fake pistol from his hand.
The robber fled, and Lonsway gave chase. He says he though he saw the robber drive off in a Cadillac and called police on his cell phone. It was someone else.
Authorities have a description of the robber and are pursuing leads.
Police say they don't advise people following Lonsway's example.
"We don't want civilians getting hurt," said Detective Sgt. Darcy Leutzinger. "The best thing to do if they see something in progress is to call us."
Five-Year-Old Helps Deliver Own Sister
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A 5-year-old boy who aspires to be a doctor received some unexpected training as an obstetrician when he helped his mother deliver his baby sister.
Taru Mills woke up at 5 a.m. Oct. 15 and realized that it was time. She called 911 and family members, and with keys and purse in hand attempted to get down the stairs of her East Oakland apartment.
But the baby was impatient, and Mills had to turn to her son, Devon.
"[The baby] was crowning, and I just dropped to my knees and told Devon to get me some towels," Mills told the Oakland Tribune.
A calm and composed Devon helped with the towels, kept the family cat out of the area and held his mother's hand while she pushed.
In a matter of minutes, Mya Daylene entered the world two weeks before her scheduled arrival, weighing six pounds and 15 ounces.
Mills said she was in a daze after the delivery, but Devon helped her snap out of it.
"He said, 'Mom, the baby's on the floor,' and that just got me alert again and I picked the baby up. Devon kept me thinking straight, and he was very comforting."
He then greeted the paramedics at the door and rode in a car with a family friend as his mother and sister traveled in an ambulance to the hospital, where his accomplishment was the talk of the maternity ward.
"We all call him Dr. Devon now," said Mills. "It was so amazing how he stayed so calm. Devon's eyes were as big as his head, but he didn't panic at all."
The little hero had only a few words to say about his experience. He denied being scared and described his baby sister as looking "like chocolate."
Asked if he now knew where babies came from, he simply said, "Yep. No storks."
Crass Chopper Crew Grounded
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The crew of an Australian military helicopter was suspended after one of the fliers held up a sign asking women to bare their breasts as the aircraft flew by spectators at a car race, a defense force spokesman said Tuesday.
The soldier held the crudely worded sign urging women to partially disrobe to the open door of an army Iroquois helicopter as it passed by crowds watching the Lexmark Indy 300 (search) car race at Surfers Paradise (search), a coastal resort south of the Queensland state capital Brisbane.
The air crew was caught after a photo of the Oct. 23 stunt was posted on an Internet Web site.
An Australian Defense Force spokesman confirmed that the crew had displayed an "inappropriate sign" during a sanctioned fly-past of the race.
"The type of sign displayed was totally unacceptable and the behavior is not to be condoned by the Australian Army," the spokesman told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. "An investigation of the incident is underway and the crew of the aircraft have been stood down."
It was wasn't clear how long the investigation would take, he said, adding that he didn't know how many crewmembers were aboard at the time.
Suspect Tries to Choke Police Dog
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Police used a stun gun to subdue a man who started choking a police dog that found him after a chase on foot, authorities said.
Danny Cook, 38, of Muncie was being held Monday in Delaware County Jail on $17,500 bond on preliminary charges of cruelty to a law enforcement animal, resisting law enforcement and being a habitual traffic offender.
Authorities said Cook ran from police after an officer tried to stop him for running a stop sign about 3 a.m. Sunday. A police dog named Ronny found Cook about 45 minutes later near a tree beside a house, police said.
Cook grabbed the dog's lower jaw after it bit him to try to hold him in place, police said.
"I told the guy to get on the ground, but he backed away, so I sent my dog after him again," said Ronny's handler, Patrolman Mike Shaffer. "This time the guy grabbed my dog's collar and started choking him. I could hear him [the dog] gasping for breath."
By then, other officers had arrived and subdued Cook by shocking him with an electric stun gun, police said.
If convicted, Cook could face from six months to eight years in prison and fines totaling up to $25,000.
Monkeys Going After Children at Indian Temple
GAUHATI, India (AP) — Monkeys lurking at an ancient Hindu temple in India's northeast have attacked up to 300 children over three weeks, temple officials said Tuesday.
"They hide in trees and swoop on unsuspecting children loitering about in the temple premises or walking by, clawing them and even sucking a bit of blood," Bani Kumar Sharma, a priest at the Kamakhya temple in Assam state, told The Associated Press. The temple, one of the most famous in India, is located in Gauhati, Assam's capital.
"I was returning home from school when a monkey suddenly pounced on me, scratched my head and hand and pushed me to the ground," said Jolly Sharma, a 6-year-old girl.
At least 2,000 rhesus monkeys (search) roam in and around the temple, but none had shown aggressive behavior in the past, the priest said.
Monkeys are often found in tens of thousands of temples across India. They are seen as a symbol of Hanuman (search), the mythical monkey god, and devotees visiting temples often feed them.
While occasional attacks by monkeys are not uncommon at temples, the sudden surge in attacks at the Gauhati temple has experts perplexed.
Some say the Gauhati monkeys may be turning violent because of shrinking living spaces, or because animals once kept as pets might not have been able to adjust to new lives around the temple.
"The loss of habitat due to increased human settlement in the hills around the temple and the release of monkeys kept confined at home ... could be among the reasons for some of the monkeys behaving in a weird manner," said Narayan Mahanta, a wildlife official in Gauhati.
Three monkeys were randomly tranquilized by wildlife officials over the weekend and have been taken to the Gauhati Zoo where they will be examined in search of clues to explain the changing behavior, Mahanta said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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