Man Steals Fiancee's Engagement Ring

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He might be able to star in a spin-off of "Desperate Housewives" — maybe something along the lines of "Desperate Husbands-to-Be."

A Milford, Conn., man staged a burglary to steal and hock the engagement ring he gave to the woman he planned to marry, The Associated Press reports.

Police said 43-year-old George Rich turned the home he shares with his fiancee upside down in order to make it look like a thief had broken in and taken jewelry, including her gold-and-diamond ring.

Court documents show Rich pawned the gems and jewelry for $5,000 at the Hock It To Me shop on Bridgeport Avenue.

On Sept. 21, he called police to report that burglars ransacked his home and stole a gold cocktail ring and the engagement ring, both valued at $2,500. He also said a gold chain was missing.

Detectives became suspicious when they noticed Rich's name in a weekly update on pawnshop activity. Records from Hock It To Me showed that Rich pledged a gold chain and two gold rings — including the engagement ring — at the business on Sept. 14.

Rich later admitted the scheme to detectives, police said.

He was charged Tuesday with falsely reporting an incident and providing a false statement, according to police. He was released on a written promise to appear in Superior Court on Dec. 7.

There was no word on whether the wedding is still on.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

That Ain't No Lady, That's My Wife!

The "other man" in Lupe Cyl's life has become the sued man. And her ex is the one doing the suing.

Steven Cyl of Chicago was so distraught that his wife of 15 years walked out of his life and into the arms of neighbor and firefighter Lee Bauman that he's taking him to court, The Associated Press reports.

"This guy, he ruined my life," said Cyl, 44, who filed an "alienation of affection" lawsuit.

Illinois is one of the few states left in the country where spouses can file the antiquated suits, which date back to times when wives were considered property.

The lonely ex-husband's claim argues that he endured "great mental suffering and anguish" and "devastation" and is seeking unspecified damages from Bauman.

"I want them to admit what they did to me," Cyl said. "I want them to admit she had an affair."

Cyl contends his wife, Lupe, met Bauman in a neighborhood bar, they started an affair and Bauman persuaded her to move out of her home. In June, she ended what Cyl said he believed was a happy marriage.

For his part, Bauman, 61, sounds like a man who doesn't understand what is happening.

"You've got to be kidding me," he said. "Is this thing for real?"

It is. Lawsuits claiming a spouse alienated a partner for someone else date back to 18th century England when women were viewed as property. Such lawsuits have been abolished in England, Canada and most states in this country.

Just last year, the Missouri Supreme Court said such lawsuits "have no place in the modern legal system." But they can still be filed in a handful of other states, including Illinois.

So few of such lawsuits are filed that the laws go unnoticed by legislators who might otherwise erase them from the books.

"When cases aren't brought, no one bothers to think about it," said Katherine K. Baker, a law professor and associate dean at Chicago Kent School of Law (search ).

When they are filed, they are "very difficult to win," she said. That's because while it may have once been "perfectly permissible for a judge to pass judgment on who was a good husband or bad husband ... the liberalization of divorce laws really tried to rid the courts of those moralistic assessments," she said.

In recent years, ex-U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds (search) of Illinois tried to sue a man he claimed seduced his wife. The judge threw out the case.

Still, winning is not impossible. In North Carolina, two similar cases resulted in judgments of $1 million and $1.4 million. In Utah, two morning radio hosts settled a lawsuit in which the female half of the duo was accused of getting breast implants to seduce her married co-host.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Peter, Peter, Lobster Eater

KITTERY, Maine. (AP) — Tink Giddings is the new "Lobster Maniac of the Year."

The Vermont man ate 19 lobsters in 35 minutes. He won a lobster-eating competition over the weekend at the Weathervane Restaurant in Kittery, Maine.

His prize is a trip on a working lobster boat and up to 100 pounds of the day's catch.

After polishing off 19 lobsters, Giddings loosened his belt buckle and smoked a post-victory cigarette.

Thumbthing to Talk About

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Ben Cook's fingers can communicate at warp speed. Cook, 17, used his cellular phone key pads to type a string of words with 160 characters in 57.75 seconds Tuesday, bidding to become the world's text-messaging king.

The message was: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human."

Cook competed against a friend, Dave Stoddard, and others in a televised text-off. Cook improved on his early performances, which took him about four minutes to type out the standard Guinness World Record (search) sentences.

"I just have fast thumbs, I guess." Cook said. "I'm just always texting. My parents are always on my case about not taking (the phone) to church."

Cook edged out Stoddard by less than two seconds. Both said they can pound out messages keeping their phones under a desk or in a pocket.

Guinness lists the previous record typing the same words at 67 seconds.

South Beach Diets, Kiddie Size

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Lunch these days for about 2,700 grade schoolers is low-fat and low-carb — a la South Beach Diet (search).

The menu switch is part of a children's health study by Miami Beach cardiologist Arthur Agatston (search), author of the best-selling South Beach Diet books. If the diet helps students maintain a healthy weight, the study may be expanded to other school districts.

"We have to prove that we can go into a school system and without totally and expensively uprooting everything, make changes that will have a positive effect," Agatston said.

Students have been measured, weighed and fitted with pedometers to count each step they take and encourage them to keep active. The program at Kissimmee Charter Elementary, Mill Creek Elementary, Partin Settlement Elementary and P.M. Wells Charter Elementary ends in May.

"We are not putting them on a diet, so to say," Agatston said. "We're teaching them to make better choices."

Instead of breaded chicken products and the white bread sandwiches found at many schools, the students get grilled chicken fajitas and ham on whole wheat. The South Beach Diet eliminates carbohydrates during the first two weeks, but those restrictions were excluded from the school program.

Compiled by's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.

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