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Missing: About 150 bowling balls

FRANKFORT, N.Y., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The owner of a New York state restaurant with its own bowling alley said all but one of the establishment's bowling balls have disappeared without a trace.


Alicia Gatto, owner of Thurston's Restaurant in Frankfort, N.Y., said the bowling alley had been closed for repairs and was last used -- with all balls intact -- Feb. 7, the (Utica, N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch reported.

Gatto said some men from the restaurant went into the bowling alley Friday night and discovered all but one of the estimated 150 bowling balls were missing.

"There's one left in the front, but the rest are all gone," she said. "I'm lost."

Gatto said she has no idea how the ball thieves worked around the locked doors, daytime security cameras and nighttime motion detector security alarms.

Long-lost letter leads to reignited love


PAIGNTON, England, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A British man said a long-lost letter he sent to an old love was rediscovered 10 years after he sent it and led to the couple's reconciliation and engagement.

Steve Smith, 42, said he fell in love with Carmen Ruiz-Perez, 42, while she was visiting Paignton, England, from her native Spain to learn English, The Daily Mail reported.

He said they split in 1993 when Ruiz-Perez moved to Paris to run a boutique but he never stopped thinking about her and sent a letter to her mother's address in 1998 hoping to reconnect with his old flame. However, Ruiz-Perez's mother placed the letter atop her fireplace and it fell behind it, not to be seen again until Ruiz-Perez's mother found it last year.

Smith said Ruiz-Perez called the number he left her in the letter and they met a few days later in Paris, the newspaper said.

"When we met at the airport it was like a film. Finding each other again was fate. It is one of those things that was meant to be," Smith told The Daily Mail. "We are both so gobsmacked. It is such an incredible story how we ended up together again. We never stopped thinking about each other but both thought the other one had moved on and married and had children."


Smith said he and Ruiz-Perez plan to marry July 17.

Police: Suspect's hospital escape foiled

NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Police in New York say a drug suspect tried to escape by climbing through a hospital ceiling only to be recaptured after getting stuck behind a wall.

New York Port Authority police said Estaban Gutierrez, 36, was being evaluated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia following his arrest on drug and larceny charges and was allowed to use the hospital's men's room shortly before noon Sunday, the New York Daily News reported.

Gutierrez broke through the bathroom's drop-tile ceiling and fled into a crawlspace, officials said. Officers locked down the hospital after he was noticed missing and he only made it a few feet from the bathroom before becoming stuck behind a wall, Port Authority police spokesman Ron Marsico said.

Police broke through the drywall and took Gutierrez back into custody. He is expected to face additional charges, police said.

Vanity plate causes porn inquiries

EAST MEADOW, N.Y., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A suburban New York man said the personalized license plate he obtained for his car -- XXX PERT -- causes many people to ask him about buying pornography.


Henry DeRossi, 78, of East Meadow, N.Y., said the plate on his Mercedes-Benz is a reference to his business, Expert Metal Slitters of Long Island City, N.Y., but the triple-X on the plate causes many to confuse him for a porn seller, the New York Daily News reported.

"You'd be surprised how many people stop me when I am at a light and want to buy porn," DeRossi said.

He told the Daily News the number of people confused by the plate has grown to the point where his auto dealer has him park the vehicle in a back lot when he brings it in for service.

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