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News Quirks (6/24/15) 

Curses, Foiled Again

A shoplifter made off with $150 worth of produce from a supermarket in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but surveillance video showed the thief wearing a Manchester United shirt with "Benson 22" printed on the back. That evidence led police to Paul Robert Benson, 24, who pleaded guilty after District Judge Mervyn Bates told him he might as well have been wearing a "neon sign" identifying him. (Britain's Metro)

A uniformed police officer put his cellphone down on a counter when entering a deli in Bayonne, N.J., but returned to find it missing. Only one other person was in the store: Alvaro Raul Ortega, 34. The officer asked him about the missing phone, and Ortega admitted taking it. The officer arrested Ortega for theft. (Hudson County's Jersey Journal

Problem Solved

After complaining for 15 years about school buses cutting him off by running a stop sign while leaving their parking lot in Tulsa, Okla., Josh Holocker posted a video making his case. The Union Public School system responded by replacing the stop sign with a yield sign. "Now, someone is just going to drive right out," Holocker lamented. (Tulsa's KOKI-TV)

When a California court ruled that the state was financially obligated to provide sex-reassignment surgery for convicted killer Michelle-Lael Norsworthy (previously Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy), a state panel recommended that she be paroled before the surgery. (Associated Press)

Second-Amendment Follies

The Boy Scouts of America ordered a ban on water-gun fights. The organization's revised National Shooting Manual also forbids Scouts from using "marshmallow shooters that require placing a straw or similar device in the mouth." (Washington Times)

Colonial Williamsburg has proposed increasing hands-on activities at the living history museum by opening firing ranges for 18th-century black-powder muskets. "We think that giving [guests] the opportunity to handle the device, feel the weight of it, the noise, the smell, the recoil, it will provide a fun, enjoyable and, of course, educational experience," officials said, noting that the range is expected to open this fall, with six to eight lanes where shooters can load and fire the muskets. (Norfolk's WTKR-TV)

Hand Babies & Holy Erections

Muslim televangelist Mücahid Cihad Han warned his Turkish audience that Islam strictly prohibits masturbation and that "those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife." (Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News)

Aiming to provide moral support for Pakistan's persecuted Christian minority, Pavez Henry Gill is building a 14-story bulletproof cross at the entrance to a Christian cemetery in the middle of Karachi. He had hoped the 140-foot-high, 42-foot-long iron, steel and concrete structure would be the world's tallest cross, but it will fall 68 feet short of the "Great Cross" in Florida. Still, it will be the biggest in Asia. (Associated Press)

Crime-Stopper of the Week

A Subway sandwich shop in Knoxville, Tenn., became the first location in the United States to install the Intruder Spray System. The device, which has been used in 30 other countries in the past decade, sits above a door and, when activated, showers a person with synthetic DNA that can't be washed off, is visible only under ultraviolet light and is traceable for up to seven weeks. (Knoxville's WATE-TV)

Wrong Arm of the Law

Police officer Shaun Jurgens resigned from the Fredericksburg, Va., police department after using his Taser and pepper spray on a hit-and-run suspect traveling in the wrong direction who refused to obey orders to show his hands and exit the vehicle. Jurgens said he presumed the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but he was actually having a medical emergency, possibly a stroke. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

The city manager and the police chief of Whitehouse, Texas, were suspended, along with three other police officers, in an incident that began when City Manager Kevin Huckabee and visibly intoxicated Chief Craig Shelton visited the estranged wife of officer Shawn Johnson. Shelton made sexual advances toward her but then came to his senses and left. Jessica Johnson called her husband about the incident. He arrived just before Shelton returned and proceeded to beat him up. Shelton texted Shawn Johnson, threatening his job, but he inadvertently sent the message to most, if not all, of the police force. Johnson was suspended, as were two other officers who reported the events to other law-enforcement agencies. Huckabee then suspended Shelton and himself. (Tyler's KYTX-TV)

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Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet is the author of the syndicated column "News Quirks," which appears weekly in Seven Days.

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