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Feb. 25, 2009 at 6:00 AM
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Robbers use fake chimney to cut into bank

NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Thieves equipped with industrial blowtorches used a fake chimney as a shield while they cut through the roof of a New York City bank branch, police said.

Employees of the Astoria Federal Savings Bank branch in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn discovered the theft Monday morning, the New York Post reported. Police sources told the Post the thieves made off with the contents of 60 safe deposit boxes.

Investigators found the blowtorches at the bank and at a nearby construction site. They also found a circular section of the roof.

Police said surveillance cameras got images of the thieves.

As word of the robbery spread through the neighborhood, customers gathered outside, waiting for word on whether they were among the victims.


Britons: Justin Case, Barry Cade, Ray Gunn

LONDON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A Welsh Web site said a survey of Britons discovered residents with smile-inducing names, including Justin Case, Barb Dwyer and Anna Sasin.

TheBabyWebsite.com said its monthlong online survey discovered several other Britons with double-meaning names, such as Stan Still, Mary Christmas, Paige Turner, Chris Cross, Barry Cade, Sonny Day, Rose Bush and Pearl Button, The Sun reported Tuesday.

Other mirth-inducing monikers found by the Web site include Tim Burr, Max Power, Doug Hole, Terry Bull, Lee King and Ray Gunn.

"When the parents of some of those people mentioned named their children, many probably didn't even realize the implications at the time," a spokesman for the Web site said. "However, we can't help but smile when we imagine someone having to give their full name. There must be tremendous embarrassment every time they have to introduce themselves to anyone, especially to a crowd. Even their teachers must have had to hold back their smiles sometimes."


Authorities eye Seattle wresting group

SEATTLE, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Members of Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling said the group could face its end if Washington state authorities declare participants to be professional athletes.

The Washington State Department of Licensing is set to rule Thursday on whether the performers are professional athletes, which members said would subject them to fees and regulations that would put them out of business, or a "fight-cabaret theater troupe," as participants claim, the Seattle Times reported Tuesday.

The organization was brought to the attention of authorities by a former member, Paul Richards, 40, who said he left the league, which is about 6 years old, after organizers refused to respect his stage persona, The Banana.

"It was revenge, plain and simple," Richards said. "I just told the state, 'Wrestling show, no license, here's the location.'

Trudie Touchette, the Department of Licensing administrator leading the case, said she believes Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling fits "the definition of our law -- wrestling exhibition or wrestling shows mean a form of sports entertainment in which the participants display their skill in a physical struggle against each other in a ring, and either the outcome may be predetermined or the participants do not necessarily strive to win, or both."


Man unhurt by ride on car hood

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A Georgia man said he was unharmed after a wild ride on the hood of a car he had attempted to block from leaving the scene of a collision.

Eric Hefton, 36, said he was heading home with his wife and 10-year-old son when he spotted an elderly man chasing a Nissan Altima in the parking lot of a gas station in Lawrenceville, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

Hefton said he got out of his family car and stood in front of the Altima at a red light outside of the gas station and the elderly man, Richard Januszewski, told him that the woman driving the Altima had side-swiped his car in the parking lot.

Hefton said the woman inched her car forward while he and Januszewski were standing in front of it and eventually sped off, flinging Hefton onto the windshield.

He said the woman attempted to shake him off by braking, swerving and accelerating quickly, but he held on until the woman rear-ended another vehicle and came to a stop about a quarter of a mile from the gas station. Hefton said he was miraculously unhurt after the ordeal.

The woman, identified as Jennifer Joy Griffin, told police she had taken anti-anxiety medication Xanax and anti-psychotic drug Seroquel prior to the incident. She was charged with aggravated assault, hit and run, reckless driving and driving under the influence.

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