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The Odd Truth: April 28, 2005

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Joey Arak.

Burglar Returns Booty

ENID, Okla. - There may be a burglar with a conscience in Garfield County.

A television, stereo, and VCR were stolen over the weekend from a house in the small town of Kremlin.

Undersheriff Jerry Niles said the woman who lives at the house called deputies Monday night to say that someone broke into her house again while she was away, returned the electronics gear, even restoring the wiring and repairing a door jamb damaged in the original break-in.

"It was spooky," Niles said.

He said it was the first time he has ever seen all of the property taken in a burglary returned like that. Deputies are still investigating the case.

Trading Tickets For Freedom

OSHKOSH, Wis. - A woman given the choice between giving up her family's Green Bay Packers' tickets or going to jail has chosen to turn her back on football.

A judge ordered Sharon E. Rosenthal, of Appleton, to decide whether to spend 90 days in jail or donate her four seats in the Packers' three-game season package next season to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Rosenthal, 59, took more than $3,000 from labor union accounts before she left the organization, according to a criminal complaint. She was sentenced Friday in Winnebago County Circuit Court on one felony count of theft.

"She is going to give up the Packer tickets," defense attorney Kevin Musolf said Wednesday. "They don't have them yet, but when they get them, arrangements will be made."

The donation is part of Rosenthal's two-year probation period.

License To Beg

MINNEAPOLIS - Beggars on the streets of Minneapolis may soon have to show a panhandler's license to collect spare change.

Police chief Chief William McManus wants to license panhandlers, saying it would help officers manage aggressive begging in Minnesota's largest city.

Under his plan, panhandlers would have to register each year at a government center and have their picture taken. Anyone failing to wear an ID badge would be jailed for 30 days, and possibly fined.

Mayor R.T. Rybak says he's not sure he'll support the plan.

A handful of others cities license beggars. They include Cincinnati, Dallas and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Cincinnati's ordinance is being challenged by civil liberties groups that say begging is protected speech.

Surprise! We're Getting Married

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - After more than three decades together, Betty Tellesbo and John Troutman have tied the knot. But not before playing a complicated trick.

The couple began by asking their parents, their three children and the children's spouses and children to meet them at a restaurant on the pretext of a combined celebration for a number of family members who have birthdays in April.

Just before the arrival time on April 9, they called their relatives' cellular telephones and said to follow them instead, leading the entourage to a chapel where the couple opened their car trunk and began distributing flowers and boutonnieres.

"They knew then it was a wedding," Tellesbo said. "We wanted to have them shocked and amazed."

Dog-Napper Busted

BOSTON - Police in Massachusetts have arrested an alleged dog-napper who they say threatened to kill an eleven-week-old puppy unless a ransom was paid.

The dog's owner says he left the keys and his dog inside his truck on his way into a convenience store. The truck was then stolen along with "Dakota," a two-pound Pomeranian-Maltese mix.

The owner says he called his cellphone inside the truck and he says the thief answered. He says the man threatened to kill the dog if police got involved, and demanded a $500 ransom.

The police did get involved and they arrested the suspect after a struggle.

The dog and truck have both been returned, and the owner says he won't ever leave "Dakota" alone again, "not even for 20 seconds."

How Did This Guy Get Away?

FOREMAN, Ark. - It sounds like a scene from one of those shows of wild police chases. Officers pursued a 22-foot RV across two counties in Oklahoma and Arkansas before the driver crashed and bailed out. Little River County, Arkansas, Sheriff Danny Russell says in his 20 years of law enforcement, he's never chased an RV before. Russell says the pursuit started when the Winnebago ran a stop sign. Deputies are still searching for the driver. He fled on foot after crashing the Winnebago, which matched the description of an RV involved in a hit-and-run over the weekend.

Free Money, No Taker

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Luck has run out for a lottery winner in Washington state. A $1.2 million jackpot has gone unclaimed. The deadline to submit the winning lottery ticket was the end of business Monday. Now that million-plus is going into a fund that's used to finance future jackpots. The winning ticket was sold October 27th at a Safeway in Bremerton. Manager Nick Waldbillig says his regular Lotto customers have been scrambling to find the winning ticket. Some people think a sailor might have bought the ticket and shipped out before being able to cash it in. But Waldbillig figures someone just bought the winning ticket and forgot about it.

Dear Judge: Want Drugs?

AZTEC, N.M. - Officials in New Mexico say a prisoner sent a letter of apology to a judge. But the letter has gotten the inmate into even more trouble, because it contained pot leaves. In the letter, San Juan County prisoner Craig Hopkins apologized for violating his probation. After the pot was discovered, guards carried out a six-hour shakedown of Hopkins' cellblock. But authorities say they didn't find the source of the marijuana and Hopkins isn't talking. Hopkins already faces charges ranging from possession of a controlled substance to DWI.

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