Don't try this at home -- or elsewhere!

By ANTHONY HALL, United Press International  |  June 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM
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Note to bank robbers: Make a checklist first.

To put that another way, don't try robbing a bank with just a few pints of gas in the getaway car's tank, as an alleged robber did in Vineland, N.J.

The Daily Journal of Vineland reported that Steven Mercado was arrested after allegedly robbing a bank with a garden hose substituting for a gun -- two points for creativity there. But Mercado, after holding up a branch of the Susquehanna Bank, ran out of gas during his getaway. He was caught waiting for plan B to show up, plan B being a taxi cab.

Across the Hudson River, don't steal family secrets if they happen to belong to one of New York City's crime families and you want to see your children grow up.

The New York Daily News reported that the stolen secret revealed at the extortion trial of former Colombo crime family associate Francis Guerra was the pizza sauce recipe from L&B Spumoni Gardens.

You got a problem with that?

Well, L&B Spumoni Gardens is owned by Francis Guerra's in-laws and Guerra "was angry," testified Anthony Russo, a former member of the Colombo organization.

"Frankie [Guerra] told me they caught Geno down in the basement looking at the supplies, the flour. … He wanted to hurt Gene," Russo said.

Normally, of course, you know, a couple of broken legs and a bing and a bang and a boom and you can get back to business. But Geno in this case is Eugene Lombardo, who is tied to the other guys -- the Bonanno crime family.

Time to go to the mattresses, as they say.

Russo said he and Guerra and Frank "Frankie Notch" Iannaci paid a visit to the Staten Island pizzeria and not to order garlic knots.

The visit was not too pleasant: Swear words erupted and someone got slapped, testimony revealed.

The Colombo family later demanded a cut of the Lombardo pizza business or $75,000 up front.

They settled for a $4,000 payoff, the newspaper reported.

In London, don't try parking illegally. Don't even think about it.

A tourist named Nima Hosseini Razi, an MBA student at the University of Wales, said his Ford Mondeo broke down while he was touring London.

He left the car with a note explaining his predicament, saying, "I am just waiting for the AA to arrive. Please do not fine! Thank you, yours sincerely."

Police had other ideas. While Razi continued his tour on foot, they evacuated the area, the London Evening Standard reported.

Then they blew the car up!

"We can confirm there was a suspect vehicle at Stories Gate at 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday and a controlled explosion took place and the incident was subsequently deemed as non-suspicious," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

And all it really needed was a tune-up, maybe a little dry gas.

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