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Dec. 7, 2011 at 6:00 AM
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Police identify bass mailbox thieves

NEW BERLIN, Wis., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Police in Wisconsin said they have busted a group of teenage thieves who have been targeting bass-shaped mailboxes.

New Berlin police said the 10 New Berlin West High School students, who called themselves the "Bass Hunters," were found to be behind the thefts, which began in August, and seven of the stolen mailboxes were recovered, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Lt. Mike Glider said the students were identified following a "good, thorough investigation by the school resource officer at New Berlin West."

"That's all we can say at this time since we are still in the process of talking to all those involved," Glider said. "We are still determining who the principal players were and who was a party to the crimes."

Police said they are still working to determine the total number of mailboxes stolen by the group.

Man hits drive-through worker with food

HOLIDAY, Fla., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Florida authorities said a man accused of hitting a McDonald's employee in the head with a bag of food was found passed out in his driveway.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Todd Rogers, 30, went through a McDonald's drive-through in Holiday with his girlfriend, who was driving, shortly after midnight Sunday and returned a few minutes later when they found they were missing a drink, the St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday.

Rogers, who deputies said was extremely intoxicated, screamed obscenities at a 22-year-old woman working at the McDonald's and poked her, causing her to step back, investigators said. Rogers then allegedly threw a bag of food at the woman, striking her in the head. He threw a second bag of food when the woman closed the window, the arrest report states.

Deputies said they found Rogers sleeping in a Buick in his driveway. He was arrested on a charge of simple battery.

"I hit her in the ... head with a bag of food, so what?" Rogers allegedly told deputies.

"I deserve to go to jail," the report quotes him as saying. "I don't care."

Carjacker foiled by victim's texting

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Police in Missouri said an accused carjacker was arrested after a passenger exchanged text messages with a friend in a following car.

Kansas City police said Antonio Jackson, 27, of Kansas City, allegedly pointed a gun at two women who were leaving a party at the Peanut bar downtown and ordered them to get into the front seats of their Toyota Highlander when he discovered they were not carrying any cash, the Kansas City Star reported Monday.

The gunman ordered the women to take him to an ATM, but a friend leaving the party approached the vehicle before they left and asked the women if they were OK. The friend, who could not see through the tinted windows to see Jackson in the back seat, said the woman responded they were OK, but he was worried by the driver's facial expression and decided to follow the sport-utility vehicle.

The man sent a text message to the passenger asking again if the women were OK, and she responded, "No, call cops."

The man continued to follow the SUV and called 911.

Police said the driver withdrew $300 from an ATM and gave it to the carjacker before police pulled the vehicle over.

Jackson, who was found in possession of the $300 as well as a semi-automatic handgun with two live rounds of ammunition, was charged with first-degree robbery, kidnapping and two counts of armed criminal action. He was jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond.

U.S. bottled message found in Portugal

ADAMS BASIN, N.Y., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A New York state 10-year-old whose bottled message was thrown into the Gulf Stream in March says he has word it had been found 2,589 miles away in Portugal.

Curtis Kipple, 10, of Adams Basin, wrote the message-in-a-bottle as part of a fourth-grade class project and it was thrown into the Gulf Stream in March by Outer Banks fishermen off the coast of North Carolina, the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle reported Monday.

"I wrote about how I like to play football with my dad," said Kipple, who is now a fifth-grader at Fred W. Hill School in Brockport. "And video games."

Kipple's fourth-grade teacher, Chris Albrecht, said he received an e-mail last week from a Portuguese woman informing him that the boy's bottle had been found by her father and brother while they were fishing off the island of Terceira.

"My brother and my father [woke] up earlier today and went to sea to catch a seafood very common here and found a bottle with a message from a boy Curtis Kipple," Ana Ponte, 25, wrote in the e-mail.

"About 80 percent of my students have never seen the ocean. That Curtis's bottle made it across the Atlantic Ocean is pretty amazing," Albrecht said.

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