Watercooler Stories

Laptop tracks, photographs suspected thief

OAKLAND, Calif., June 3 (UPI) -- Police in California said a suspected laptop thief was arrested thanks to a program on the computer that tracked its movements and photographed the suspect.


Oakland police said Muthanna Aldebashi, 27, was arrested Tuesday after the victim, Joshua Kaufman, posted pictures of the suspect online, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

Kaufman had installed a program on the Apple MacBook computer, which was stolen from his apartment in late March, that took photos of the suspect while he was using the computer and sent them to Kaufman. Kaufman said the program, called Hidden, also tracked the laptop's movements but officers told him they could not arrest the suspect due to a lack of resources.

However, police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said media inquiries led police to discover the case had mistakenly been labeled as closed and officers arrested Aldebashi by calling the taxi company he works for and arranging for a pick-up.

Police recovered the laptop from Aldebashi's home.

The suspect was taken to the Alameda County jail on suspicion of possessing stolen goods.

Graduates dress up with flashy footwear

STEVENSON, Md., June 3 (UPI) -- Officials at Maryland schools and universities said they have noticed an increasing trend of graduating students offsetting their plain robes with flashy shoes.


Sarah McDowell, director of internship programs at Stevenson University, said she first noticed the trend of female students bucking the traditional black flats and kitten heels in favor of flashier footwear two years ago, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

"I was a little surprised at the height of the shoes," McDowell said. "They were just gorgeous. Some were really bold -- neon pink, green, and blue leopard print. Some of them were just absolutely crazy."

Howard County schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan said officials have also noticed the trend among graduating high school seniors, and principals have been asking this year's graduates to refrain from sporting high heels.

"It's a safety issue," Caplan said.

Carolyn Warner, manager of the high-end shoe store Sassanova in Harbor East, said the most popular graduation shoes this season are a $550 pair of Loeffler Randall crisscross stilettos and a pair of $595 beige suede peep-toe platforms by Oscar de la Renta.

"People put a lot of time and a lot of effort finding graduation shoes," Warner said. "The last couple years, younger kids have started earlier chasing the runway. For special occasions, they want the perfect outfit. They are not holding back with shoes at all."


Sen.: 'Adult baby' cheating disability

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. senator said an Oklahoma man who likes to dress and act like a baby may be improperly collecting Social Security disability insurance.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said he learned about Stanley Thornton Jr., 30, from cable TV show "Taboo" and his investigation into the case uncovered evidence the man has been improperly collecting disability checks, KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa, Okla., reported Thursday.

"We're waiting on the GAO (Government Accountability Office) to come back with details and the Social Security office to come back with details," Coburn said.

Thornton, who claims he can't hold down a job because he suffers from a disability, wears diapers and eats from a bottle. He also runs, an online support group for adult babies, as well as designing and building baby-style furniture for adults.

"Given that Mr. Thornton is able to determine what is appropriate attire and actions in public, drive himself to complete errands, design and custom-make baby furniture to support a 350-pound adult and run an Internet support group, it is possible that he has been improperly collecting disability benefits for a period of time," Coburn said.

Florida teacher's gift included loaded gun


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., June 3 (UPI) -- A Florida school district said a gift given to a teacher on behalf of an 8-year-old student was found to contain a loaded .22-caliber handgun.

The Palm Beach County School District said the gift, a box of toiletries, was given to the Allamanda Elementary School teacher by the student's grandmother in the parking lot of the school after the students had been released Tuesday, the Palm Beach Post reported Thursday.

The district said in the statement the teacher found the loaded gun at the bottom of the box when she opened it at home later in the evening. The statement said the student's grandmother is not believed to have known the gun was in the box.

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