Redundant Robber Holds Up Clerk Twice ... in the Same Night

Rob me once, shame on you. Rob me twice, shame on the guy over there who looks just like you, cleverly disguised in a different shirt.

A convenience store clerk in Alamo, Texas, had to be thinking the latter when he was held up by the same crook twice in one day, The Monitor reports.

Police say the criminal creature of habit entered the store a little after midnight and browsed around for a while.

After the other customers had left, he approached the clerk and asked whether his name was Tony. When the clerk said no, the thief pulled a knife on “Not Tony” and demanded cash, cigarettes and a random assortment of items he’d picked out around the store.

He then fled in a car parked out front.

Five hours later, the clerk — who was, in fact, still not Tony — was likely surprised to see the same guy come into the shop again wearing a new outfit.

But this time, he brandished a gun and made off with cartons of cigarettes and more money.

"I’ve worked a lot of robberies, and I’ve never seen anything like this," said Sgt. Lupita Valdez, an investigator with the Alamo Police Department.

"What he did was he parked his car in the same spot where he did the first time. There was nothing this guy changed except his shirt."

Images from video surveillance led police to their man, who will be charged with aggravated assault.

"It’s all pretty odd to us," Valdez said.

Thanks to Out There reader Oscar V.

Not Your Grandpa's Bazooka Joe

It seems that no one can escape makeover madness … not even 59-year-old patch-wearing, bubble-gum-hawking comic strip characters.

Bazooka might be your grandpa’s bubble gum, but if the folks at the Topps Company have anything to say about it, it won’t be that way for long.

Lookout, America: Bazooka Joe’s gonna have street cred.

The venerable, squarish, rock-hard block of gummy goodness, known almost as much for it’s tooth-breaking toughness as for it’s fleeting flavor is being retooled for the next generation. The Chicago Sun Times reports.

Bazooka Joe, famous for having his face plastered on the little comic strips tucked within each piece of Bazooka bubble gum, is getting re-vamped to appeal to the latest generation.

Starting at next month’s All Candy Expo, Joe will be sporting ripped jeans, wild hair, a backward hat and a multi-ethnic posse of compadres.

Makers are also promising softer, more flavorful gum and bigger bubbles. And they’re ditching old school flavors like grape and strawberry for newer, sexier tastes like watermelon and cotton candy.

"One of the things that was always synonymous with Bazooka was this rock-hard piece of gum," Paul Cherrie, New York-based Topps' managing director, said.

"While that is sort of quaint, it's not something that's preferred. . . . Nobody likes popping a piece of Bazooka into their mouth and having to gnaw on it before they can loosen it up and chew it."

But bubble gum purists needn’t fret — Bazooka says it has no plans to lose it’s identity in a bid to boost business.

"Not a chance," Cherrie assured. "We're not going to do New Coke with Bazooka, that's for sure."

18,000 Pounds of Explosives + Fuel Tanker = Bad Idea

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. (AP) — Police officers who stopped a truck that was tailgating a fuel tanker on a highway say they made a potentially explosive discovery — 18,000 pounds of fireworks.

"It would have devastated a quarter-mile radius if they had gone off," Suffolk County Police Department spokesman Robert Boden said Wednesday.

The truck carrying the explosives was found to be dangerously overloaded when it was pulled over Monday for a routine safety check, police said.

A police dog named Nitro — a German shepherd added to the department's anti-terrorism efforts after the Sept. 11 attacks — sniffed out the fireworks.

The driver of the truck, whose manifest said it was carrying paper goods, brought the fireworks from Maryland for illegal resale, police said.

State law prohibits the sale or possession of fireworks without a permit. The driver, who was with his adult son, faces multiple summonses for carrying hazardous materials and driving an overweight truck.

To demonstrate how powerful 18,000 pounds of fireworks could be, police exploded about 25 pounds of the sky rockets, Roman candles and other fireworks inside a car at the department's firearms range in Westhampton. The car was destroyed in a massive fireball.

Postal Peeker Pilfers Pricey Presents

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The check was in the mail — until, authorities say, a post office clerk got her hands on it.

Rebecca R. Ring, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court after being accused of stealing money out of people's mail. She had been charged with theft of mail by a postal employee.

Court records say the Roundup Post Office began receiving written complaints at least two years ago about money missing from their mail. The complaints would later disappear from the drawer in which they were kept, documents said.

In October 2005, a customer called the post office complaining that a birthday card she sent to Aurora, Colo., containing a $50 bill never arrived. She said the card was in a priority envelope with delivery confirmation, and that Ring was the clerk who had waited on her, court records said.

Later that day, another Roundup postal clerk discovered a rifled priority envelope and made a copy of the confirmation information. When the clerk told the postmaster of the tampering and went to retrieve the envelope, it was gone, court documents said.

Postal inspectors initiated a sting and caught Ring forging an endorsement on a $200 money order and taking the money, and stealing two $100 bills from a greeting card, court records said.

Ring later admitted that on 10 occasions, she either cashed customers' money orders or opened customers' mail and removed things of value. She faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years' supervised released.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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