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The Odd Truth, Nov. 22, 2004

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum.

Armed, Dumb And Dangerous

SYDNEY, Australia - Three hooded bandits in eastern Australia bungled a would-be robbery when they apparently mistook a restaurant's sliding door for a swinging one, police said.

About 20 diners at Gabby's seafood restaurant in the coastal town of Gerringong watched as the trio repeatedly tried to kick the glass door open Saturday night, but they failed to enter and later fled in a stolen car.

Restaurant owner Greg Moore said the door was unlocked - and clearly marked "slide."

These might not have been your average criminals, police investigator Jamie Williams warned.

"They're probably more dangerous because they're dumb," Williams said.

'One Large With Extra Cheese And A Dime Bag ...'

VENTURA, Calif. - The green leafy stuff with the pizzas wasn't oregano. At least according to authorities in Southern California. Ventura County Sheriff's deputies busted pizza deliverymen Jerry Moore and Daryl Rummens for serving up a little something extra. Deputies charge the pair with selling baggies of pot along with the pizzas. Investigators say the arrest of the deliverymen and another man netted about three-quarters of a pound of marijuana and thousands of dollars in cash. Police say an anonymous tipster told them the men were dealing pot and pills to kids at a local middle school.

He Should Have Used Head And Shoulders

LONDON - A veteran British criminal received the longest prison sentence of his career Monday, after being caught because of the dandruff he had left behind at the scene of an armed robbery.

Using a DNA profiling method, investigators identified Andrew Pearson as a suspect by examining 25 flakes of dandruff found in a stocking he had worn as a mask during the robbery 11 years ago.

Pearson's two accomplices in the crime remain at large.

Andrew Pearson, now 40, and the two other men escaped with $70,630 in cash after raiding a caravan company in the northeastern city of Hull in June 1993.

Pearson - who had 76 previous convictions for crimes such as burglary, assault and robbery - was only arrested in June for the caravan crime after the relatively new DNA procedure matched his dandruff with a swab of his saliva.

Using that evidence, a jury needed only 75 minutes Monday to convict Pearson of robbery and possession of a firearm. Judge Michael Murphy then sentenced him to 12 years for the robbery and a consecutive three years for possessing a firearm.

During the crime, prosecutors said, Pearson and his accomplices - armed with two guns and a baseball bat - held five staff members at the caravan company, one of whom was wounded by a gunshot.

The criminals fled the scene in a car that was later abandoned nearby. Part of the stocking Pearson had used as a mask was found by police, who removed the dandruff and kept it as evidence.

Mourning Mix-Up

IRAKLION, Greece - A family at a village on the island of Crete, mourning the recent loss of a young girl, were sent the wrong body by the local morgue, a newspaper reported Monday.

The mix up was discovered during a wake, as mourners gathered around the coffin, The Athens daily Eleftheros Typos said. The weekend incident occurred at the village of Houstouliana, near the island's capital Iraklion.

Many villages in Crete maintain strong family traditions and observe a lengthy mourning period following the death of relatives.

The morgue was eventually contacted and the body of family member was returned to the village for the funeral, the newspaper said.

Vermont Authorities Seek Cheese Vandals

MONKTON, Vt. - Wanted: Cheese vandals. Someone sneaked into the production house at Orb Weaver Farm and punctured 237 wheels of cheese at the Orb Weaver Farm.

The cheese, a blend of havarti and colby that made up nearly a year's production at the farm, can no longer be sold or eaten because of the contamination last week.

Orb Weaver Farm's Vermont Farmhouse Cheese is sold to local restaurants and stores. It was used in a recipe for macaroni and cheese in the recent cookbook "The Way We Cook: Recipes from the New American Kitchen."

A cash reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Possibly The World's Biggest Pig

HUBBARDSVILLE, N.Y. - They think it may be the world's biggest pig.

It's a porker named Norm. It stands four-feet high, is seven feet from snout to tail and weighs 1,600 pounds.

Norm lives on Bob Peterson's farm in central New York's Madison County. Peterson, a retired state trooper, named the prodigious pig after the character on "Cheers."

A livestock specialist at Cornell says a normal three-year-old pig tops out at 500 pounds. Being more than three times that, Norm has attracted a lot of human visitors. But Peterson says the big pig will never wind up as bacon. He says Norm has become a mascot, and as long as there's a farm, he's got a place to stay.

Purse With $43,000 In Cash Returned To Owner

CASPER, Wyo. - Two Wyoming college students returned a lost purse to its owner - a handbag containing a woman's $43,000 life savings.

Derek Hepner and Adam Simanton spotted the purse lying in the gutter of a Casper street Monday. They pulled out a wallet and an Arizona driver's license and immediately took the purse to police.

What they didn't see was an envelope containing $43,000 in cash.

Sargent Larry Baker says the owner had been traveling through Casper and apparently misplaced her purse during a stop.

The woman informed both students of a $200 reward for them.