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April 25, 2008 at 5:34 PM
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Boy, 15, caught in stolen pink bikini

KELOWNA, British Columbia, April 25 (UPI) -- Canadian police in British Columbia reported the arrest of a 15-year-old boy driving a stolen van wearing only a pink bikini stolen from a tanning salon.

Darlene Lehoux, owner of the Serenity Tanning Salon near Kelowna, told The Province newspaper in Vancouver her shop has been burglarized three times in the past year. No cash was taken but some bikinis were missing, she said.

In this week's latest robbery, security cameras recorded a boy ambling through the store and taking 42 bikinis. Lehoux was alerted by an alarm and as she approached her shop, spotted the youth fleeing into a van.

She reported the license number to the police, who spotted the stolen van and used a spike belt to stop it.

The driver was wearing a pink bikini with frills on the top and bottom.

"When the police told me, it was hard to keep a straight face," Lehoux told The Province.

The youth will make his first court appearance in June, the newspaper said.


Student fined $628 for sitting on ledge

MONTREAL, April 25 (UPI) -- A university student in Montreal was fined $628 for sitting on a granite ledge in a downtown park after photographing police dealing with homeless people.

Brendan Jones, 25, told The Gazette newspaper he was taking a break from studying in the National Library and perched on the 3-foot ledge to enjoy the sun. He saw three police officers approach several people in the park who apparently were drinking alcohol.

Jones said he took several pictures "to observe how police deal with underprivileged people," the newspaper said.

The officers approached him and asked if he had been taking pictures and Jones said he told them he wasn't giving up his camera.

Montreal police Sgt. Ian Lafreniere told the newspaper Jones was told "several times" he was sitting "somewhere else than on a park bench," the report said.

"I found this to be absurd, since there were no benches around and there were many other people sitting around the square," Jones said.

His ticket, which has a 30-day appeal option, claims he was "using urban equipment for uses other than those intended," the report said.


Gray whale poses for tourists

SAN FRANCISCO, April 25 (UPI) -- A gray whale migrating north up the Pacific coast took a detour into San Francisco Bay, to the delight of tourists, the Coast Guard said.

The whale, which appeared to be a juvenile, was originally spotted by passengers on a tour boat Thursday morning off Crissy Field, an airfield converted into a public park near the Golden Gate Bridge, The San Francisco Examiner reported.

The whale, about a quarter-mile from shore, quickly became a magnet for camera-toting tourists on the boat and in the park.

The whale reappeared in the afternoon.

Whales have been seen in the same area since early in the week, officials said.

Jim Oswald of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., said the whales are moving up the coast from their winter breeding ground in Mexico to spend the summer in Alaskan waters, The Mercury News reported.

"It's normal to see a whale or two come into the bay," Oswald said. "But we don't want anybody to get close to them or disturb them, so they'll go on their way north."

The Coast Guard put out an alert warning crews of ships in the bay to proceed carefully.

The main danger to whales are ship strikes from the many large vessels in the bay, officials said.


'Holiday camp' prisons in England

LONDON, April 25 (UPI) -- A prison official says inmates in British jails are treated so well they have absolutely no incentive to try to escape.

In fact, Glyn Travis of the Prison Officer's Association says there is one jail in Yorkshire where a drug dealer kept breaking in over a six-month period to sell drugs and mobile phones to inmates, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Travis says the inmates had an opportunity to escape but none tried.

"It tells me there's something wrong in society when people are breaking into prisons to bring in drugs but the prisoners are quite happy to stay inside," says Travis.

At one top security prison, inmates told Justice Secretary Jack Straw that conditions were like a "holiday camp" with such amenities as satellite television and video games.

Nick Herbert, the shadow justice secretary, says it is time for a fundamental shakeup of Britain's prison system.

"Prison's should be places of hard work and restoration," says Herbert, not a holiday camp.

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