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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

July 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

Police nab road sign screw thief

PEITING, Germany, July 17 (UPI) -- Police in Germany said they have arrested a man accused of stealing screws from dozens of road signs over the course of several months.

Peiting Police Chief Rudolf Fischer said a motorist called police late Saturday evening and reported a man with a flashlight attached to his head was working on a warning sign and attempting to hide whenever cars approached, The Local.de reported Tuesday.

Officers arrived and arrested the 54-year-old man, who matched the description of the man believed to be behind the thefts of screws from dozens of other road signs.

"He had a large number of nuts and appropriate tools with him," Fischer told the Munchner Merkur newspaper. "He quickly admitted that he had been dismantling road signs for some time."

Police said they found several pounds of stolen screws, nuts and eyelets in the man's home. Investigators said the man, who is receiving psychological care, was apparently motivated by a compulsion to collect.


Inmate takes stolen police car 1,800 miles

WATERPROOF, La., July 17 (UPI) -- A Louisiana sheriff said he is baffled as to how a jail inmate managed to steal an unmarked police cruiser and drive it 1,800 miles to Maine.

Tensas Parish Sheriff Rickey Jones said Benjamin Gottke, 43, was working in the sheriff's office kitchen last week as part of the jail's trusty program when he managed to steal the unmarked cruiser and drive it to Houlton, Maine, where he was stopped while attempting to cross into Canada, the Natchez (Miss.) Democrat reported Tuesday.

Jones said Gottke likely took the keys from a storage shed at the jail that is used to house the keys to several vehicles.

"This situation is going to make me rethink a lot of things with our trusty program and where we keep certain things," Jones said. "The jailer that was working that night said (Gottke) was acting normal, so we're not sure what motivated him yet."

Gottke was rearrested at 2:30 p.m. Saturday after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents asked him for identification at the Canadian border.


Romney lookalike finds new career

OGUNQUIT, Mass., July 17 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man bearing a resemblance to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he hopes to make a new career as an impersonator.

Mike Cote, 56, of Ogunquit, said he appeared as Romney in a video for the Rick Santorum campaign and appeared in an unaired reality TV show about political impersonators living together in a house, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Cote said he is hoping to parlay his experiences into a career impersonating Romney, but he is having trouble deepening his voice and getting rid of his thick New England accent.

"I have to lose the 'paahk the caah in the Hahvahd Yahd' and be more 'park the car in the Harvard Yard,'" Cote said. "I can own this whole thing. All I have to do is get the voice close and I own it."

"We're going to be crazy busy once I get the voice down. Guys like [former Arkansas Gov. Mike] Huckabee are just waiting for me to come on their show," Cote said.

Dustin Gold, Cote's manager, said there are many hurdles ahead for his client.

"This is going to be a challenge," Gold said. "We're taking a drywaller, trying to turn him into a country club guy."

Cote said he is hoping his impersonation career takes off so he can help his daughter, a single mother, and his mother, who is struggling with cancer.


Scorned wife cites affair in house listing

BEAVERTON, Ore., July 17 (UPI) -- An Oregon single mother's sign advertising the sale of her home admits her husband left the family "for a 22-year-old."

Elle Zober, a mother of two attempting to sell her Beaverton home, posted a sign in the house's front yard Friday that says: "Husband left us for a 22-year-old. House for sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner," KPTV, Portland, Ore., reported Tuesday.

"Adulterers need not apply," the sign reads, along with Zober's contact information.

Zober said her marriage of 10 years fell apart a few months ago when her husband had an affair.

"I want everyone to know I am hurt. I am scorned. I am bitter. I am sad," said Zober.

She said the sign is not a means of revenge against her ex.

"I just thought it was truth in advertising," she said. "I want people to know it was a family home. It was well-loved and it was well taken care of. I want another family who will love it and care for it to move in."

Zober said her ex-husband, who did not respond to calls for comment, approved the sign.

"As long as it sells the house, we're good," she said. "Neither of us wants the house to end up in foreclosure."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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