SNAKE IN CAR
WARRENTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia woman was rattled when a snake slithered out of her car vent and disappeared into the depths of her SUV. It was actually just a harmless garter snake, but Lora Goff was startled when the 2 1/2-foot long serpent entangled itself in her phone cord. She pulled over and called animal control. A Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office spokesman says a responding officer with his own snake phobia tried to catch it, but it slipped out of sight. Goff returned to work and put sticky rodent traps under her seat, but they remained empty during her 10-minute commute home. The next morning, her husband discovered the snake alive and stuck to a trap. Goff says he disposed of it in some fashion, she prefers not to know.
FAKE CASH-CONVICTION OVERTURNED
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Appeals Court has overturned a man’s conviction because the fake money he tried to use was too unreal to believe. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that 48-year-old James Scott, of Waterloo, offered a $100 bill marked “For Motion Picture Use Only” and “This note is not legal” in April 2016 when he tried to buy a cellphone in Waterloo. A store clerk rejected it, and Scott eventually was convicted of forgery. Scott argued in his appeal that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him. But an appellate court cited Iowa court rulings from 1859 and 1869 that say that if a document isn’t capable of deceiving, its use doesn’t constitute forgery. Consequently, the court said, “There is insufficient evidence to support Scott’s conviction.”
DOUBLE HAT BANDIT
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 54-year-old man known as the “Double Hat Bandit” has pleaded guilty to robbing banks and credit unions in seven states. Shayne Carson said in his plea agreement filed in federal court in Utah Friday that he stole from 18 banks from Oregon to Iowa. The crime spree went from October 2016, until shortly before his arrest last September. In many of the robberies, Carson is believed to have worn two hats — typically a beanie over a baseball cap. Several robberies took place at banks inside grocery stores. Carson said he frequently told bank tellers he had a gun and demanded they hand over money in their till. Officials believe the handgun was a fake. The plea deal stipulates that he will be sentenced to between 12 and 15 years in prison.
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Workers at a Massachusetts supermarket have found a rare orange lobster. Roche Bros. Supermarkets said in a Facebook post on May 29 workers at their Westborough store found the lobster in a shipment of crustaceans from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. It has since donated the lobster to the New England Aquarium in Boston. The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine says the likelihood of a lobster being orange is about 1 in 30 million. The New England Aquarium says the lobster is about 7 to 9 years old. It says the crustacean is lucky to be alive because its color was “flashing a neon sign” to predators.
BLUE HILL, Maine (AP) — Drivers in a town in Maine are being warned of a slippery highway hazard. Caterpillars. The Maine Department of Transportation posted an alert for two days that the insects were making things slippery along Route 15, or Mines Road, in Blue Hill. As of yesterday, the department said the incident “has been cleared.” WMTW-TV reports the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said the caterpillars are wandering as they eat oak tree leaves. Officials said the main culprit is the forest tent caterpillar. They should finish feeding toward the end of June. Until then, people should expect to see them wandering. The department says other caterpillar culprits are the Browntail moth and gypsy moth.
KINGWOOD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A routine traffic stop reunited a New Jersey state trooper with the now-retired police officer who helped bring him into the world. Trooper Michael Patterson was on patrol Friday when he pulled over Matthew Bailly for a tinted window violation in Kingwood Township. The two men talked and Bailly mentioned he used to be a police officer in Piscataway where Patterson grew up. Bailly was on-duty in Piscataway 27 years ago when he was called to the home of Karen Patterson, who had gone into labor. He helped her deliver Michael Patterson. The trooper said, “My name is Michael Patterson sir. Thank you for delivering me.” The New Jersey State Police said Wednesday that Bailly wasn’t ticketed.