<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:27:32 -0700 Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:27:32 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Drivers Scoop up Armored Truck Cash]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:57:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_542372564.jpg

An armored truck lost an unknown amount of money on a Maryland interstate Friday morning -- and numerous drivers quickly scooped up the money, police said.

Maryland State Police are now "reminding" the drivers to that they are "welcome to turn in the money at the local barrack."

The incident happened shortly before 8 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-270 near Route 80.

According to a preliminary investigation, a door lock on the armored truck malfunctioned, causing a side door to open. A bag of cash fell into the left lane of I-270, scattering cash into the air and across the highway, police said.

The truck driver pulled over to the shoulder and saw multiple vehicles had also stopped, with drivers picking up the cash. When a fire department official arrived at the scene, the drivers quickly left.

Maryland State Police, assisted by a K-9 team, recovered just over $200 from the scene.

Authorities have issued a warning to the drivers who grabbed the cash, telling them they can turn in the money at Maryland State Police's Frederick barrack. Those who don't return the cash could face theft charges if police learn their identities, authorities said.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Students' Worms Destroyed in Rocket Explosion]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:33:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/220*120/worms2.jpg

When the unmanned rocket exploded Tuesday after launching from a NASA launchpad in Virginia, 5,000 of pounds of spacegear and supplies were incinerated inside a glowing ball of flames.

Also inside: a tube of red worms, the subject of some Oakland students' science experiment.

The squiggly critters, technically Eisenia fetida, had been on the Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket headed for the International Space Station, because they were part of a winning science proposal written by 6th graders at Oakland's Urban Promise Academy. The school is the first public school in Oakland to be accepted into the National Center for Earth and Science Education's Space Flight Student Experiments Program.

"Fortunately, there were no injuries," Urban Promise Academy Vice Principal Dennis Guikema said on Wednesday. "But our worms are, unfortunately, gone."

Much of the student body was gathered in the school gym, watching the rocket take off at 3:22 p.m. At first, no one could tell what was happening, and the kids all cheered when the spaceship took off. Then there was fire and smoke. "But it all was very confusing," Guikema said. "We hoped it was just excessive flare from the rocket."

Then, as the details began to unfold, the students and staff soon realized the spacecraft had actually blown up over Wallops Islands on Virginia's eastern shore. While no injuries were reported, it was the first catastrophic launch in NASA's commercial spaceflight program.

And some of that catastrophe included destroying everything inside the "Cygnus" capsule, which was carrying "classified cryptoequipment" for the six people living aboard the space station. And the explosion also destroyed the science experiments from 18 schools in North America.

Three 6th graders from Urban Promise Academy, Kevin Cruz, Cithlali Hernandez and Jose Morga, won the chance to have their experiment be launched into space. Their project was chosen last year by a review board at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to see if worms can compost food waste into soil in "microgravity," or in space.

Their proposal was selected out of a total of 1,487 original submissions. The final 18 winners came from San Marino, Calif.; British Columbia, Canada; New York, Washington, D.C.; Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and beyond.

"It was difficult for them to come to grips with what had happened," Guikema said, recalling the conversation he had with the three students. "But they're amazing kids. It was a definite setback, but it didn't diminish their excitement."

He said that organizers have already called the school to say another launch is in the works.



Photo Credit: Urban Promise Academy vimeo
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<![CDATA["Hello Kitty" Arrested on DUI Charge]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:49:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-10-29+at+6.11.06+AM.png

Police say a Maine woman who was pulled over while wearing a Hello Kitty costume was arrested on a drunken driving charge.

Gorham police say officers stopped 37-year-old Carrie Gipson, of Westbrook, at about 2 a.m. Sunday because she was driving in the wrong lane.

They say she refused to take a breath test and was arrested for operating under the influence. She was taken to the Cumberland County jail.

Her police mugshot shows her wearing a red and white Hello Kitty costume, minus the doll's mammoth head.

There was no immediate response to a phone message left by The Associated Press at a residence believed to be Gipson's.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Cumberland County Sheriff's Office Jail]]>
<![CDATA[Stranger Sleeping in Man's Bed: PD]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:19:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sullivan+Edited.jpg

A Clinton man woke up in the middle of the night to find a stranger sleeping next to him early Saturday.

Police arrested Tyler Sullivan, 22, of the Higganum section of Haddam, on charges including criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.

At 1:35 a.m., a man in a home on East Main Street heard the front door open and thought that it was his wife. He rolled over expecting it to be her, but instead saw an intruder he didn't know sleeping next to him. When the stranger wouldn't leave at the resident's request, the man called 911.

Sullivan was still in the man's bedroom when police arrived and was very drunk, according to police. He later told police that he forgot what happened and "thought he was at his mother's apartment in the same complex," police said in a news release.

Police charged Sullivan with first-degree criminal trespass and disorderly conduct and took him in a police cruiser to the station for processing.

He was released on a $1,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Middlesex Superior Court in Middletown on Nov. 4.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Woman With Last Name of Crook Arrested for Burglary]]> Sun, 26 Oct 2014 04:50:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/josephine+crook+burglary+kohls+alhambra.gif

A woman with the last name of Crook was arrested for burglary at a department store in Alhambra Friday night, police said.

Josephine Crook, 49, was arrested at a Kohl’s department store on the 1200 block of South Fremont Avenue and is suspected of commercial burglary and possession of burglary tools. Crook allegedly was in possession of a pair of wire cutters and a pair of scissors.

Crook allegedly took ladies’ undergarments and failed to pay for the items she concealed in her empty purse, police said.



Photo Credit: Alhambra Police]]>
<![CDATA[First Cat Cafe Opens in Oakland]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:08:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*160/catcafe.jpg

America’s first cat café opened its doors Saturday in Oakland.

At the Cat Town Café, people can buy a latte and an hour of playtime with adoptable felines.

The owners hope this new business will help find homes for East Bay cats.

Internationally, cat cafés are popular in urban areas. This new venture in Oakland was the first to master the logistics and health code approvals in the U.S.

A similar idea is in the works in San Francisco.

The Cat Town Café features an area called the Cat Zone — where cats will roam freely and are available for adoption.

Walk-ins are welcome if space permits, but for a $10 donation, you can make a Cat Zone reservation ahead of time.

 

Cat Town and OAS volunteer Katie K. plays with Glynda, the first @cattowncafe cat!

A photo posted by Cat Town Oakland (@cattownoakland) on

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<![CDATA[Man Stole 500 Pairs of Used Panties]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:29:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/police_generic21.jpg

A Petaluma man's underwear-stealing crime spree is over.

Felony charges are pending against Benjamin Hawkins, 18, after police discovered 500 pairs of stolen panties along with firearms in his bedroom, according to the Argus-Courier.

Police say they were onto Hawkins for weeks, ever since a neighbor reported that she'd had two guns and some underwear stolen out of her home.

Cops contacted him and he told them that they could search his mom's home -- but not his bedroom, the newspaper reported.

So police got a warrant and searched his bedroom where they found 500 pairs of panties, two guns, and stolen jewelry, the newspaper reported.

He was arrested Tuesday, at which time cops found five pairs of underwear "shoved down his pants," the newspaper reported.

Police say that other victims came forward to report Hawkins had been prowling in other homes.

Hawkins is in jail on $40,000 bail.

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<![CDATA[Lady Liberty to Don Halloween Costume: Report]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:46:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP13062605022.jpg

This year, even the Statue of Liberty will be getting dressed up for Halloween, according to USA Today.

The newspaper reports that Joe Boxer founder Nick Graham is planning to fly vividly colored 60-foot-wide bow ties hanging from helicopters in front of Lady Liberty beginning 8 a.m. Oct. 31 to mark the launch of an eponymous menswear brand.

The bow ties, one black and one white, will pass about 1,000 feet in front of the statue to create the illusion that the monument is wearing the neck wear.

"It's going to be a big collection, so what better way to launch it than the Statue of Liberty," Graham told USA Today.

Two ties will pass in front of the statue for several hours before heading up the Hudson River.

Graham said the stunt hasn’t been approved yet by the FAA.

The National Park Service said it is aware of the plans, but wouldn’t have any say about the flyby since the helicopters won’t pass directly over Liberty Island.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTO: Snakes on Subway Train]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:43:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/erichertzog-crop.jpg

Snakes on a plane? Fuggedaboutit. In New York City, surprised subway riders discovered two snakes on a train.

Eric Hertzog said he got on the C train at Canal Street this week and saw the man with the snakes. One snake was hanging from the railing, while another was between his legs.

The man started playing with the snakes, Hertzog told NBC 4 New York. One passenger nearly sat beside the reptiles, but ran to the other side of the car when he realized the snakes were there, Hertzog said.

The man put the snakes in bags and then into his backpack before exiting at 14th Street, Hertzog said.

Hertzog posted the photos on his Instagram account (below).

Other than service animals and working dogs for law enforcement, the MTA prohibits bringing animals on trains unless "enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers."

 



Photo Credit: Eric Hertzog]]>
<![CDATA[Strange Metal Object Falls From Sky]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:00:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mystery+metal+secaucus.jpg

Workers at a New Jersey treatment plant say they saw a heavy, metallic object fall from the sky Wednesday, and they want to know where the potentially deadly projectile came from.

The employees at Secaucus Treatment Works said the 5-by-5 inch piece of metal debris hit a railing, ricocheted off a concrete tank, then hit the ground. It landed about 25 feet from where employees were working.

"It came close. It came pretty close," said employee Victor Suppa.

It "could have killed somebody, absolutely" if it hit anyone, added operations foreman Steven Bronowich.

The workers said the object isn't part of the plant and there were no planes in the sky at the time. They were afraid to touch it at first, but they later picked it up and examined it.

They went online in search of answers and came up with all sorts of theories.

"We went on the website and we looked up space shuttle tiles, and you could see that picture there, it basically matches up with that," said Bronowich.

It seems unlikely; the last space shuttle mission was more than three years ago. So far, no one has been able to give employees a theory that seems to fit.

Employees handed the tile over to the county health department. Officials there tell NBC 4 New York it appears to be made of ceramic, metal and rubberlike layers. They were giving the piece to the FAA Friday.  

Follow Michael George on Twitter at @MGeorge4NY


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<![CDATA[Man Squeezes Woman's Toes in Parking Lot: Police]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:05:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/514298485.jpg

Police are searching for a man who allegedly got a bit too “touchy-feely” with a woman’s feet at a grocery store parking lot in South Jersey. 

The woman told police she was loading groceries into her vehicle in the parking lot of the ShopRite on Ark Road in Mount Laurel around 10:20 p.m. Saturday.

As she began to close her driver’s side door, a man stopped the door from closing. The man then told the woman he wanted to speak to her and complimented her toes, according to investigators.

The woman said the man then touched and squeezed two of her toes. After the woman told the man to stop touching her he let go and told her he was obsessed with toes, police said. He then walked away.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call Mount Laurel police at 856-234-1414.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Mountain Lion Jumps on Car]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:03:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/1008-2014-SJ-MtLion.jpg

Surveillance video shows a mountain lion pouncing on top of a car in San Jose.

The homeowner said it happened around 3 a.m. Tuesday in the Almaden Valley Country Club neighborhood.

Residents in the area said the large cat may have come from the Almaden County Quicksilver Park, which has open space and several trails.

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<![CDATA[Heroin in Padded Underwear: Cops]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 05:44:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/underwear3.jpg

A Massachusetts woman arrested when police found heroin and pills hidden underneath her padded underpants told police she wore the unusual garment because "I don't have a butt," police say.

Jill Roy, 33, and a passenger were both arrested during a traffic stop in Buzzards Bay last month when police say they found bags of pot and pills in Roy's car.

Bourne police said that when they first pulled Roy over Sept. 16, they found a large bag of marijuana under the front passenger seat. Then, as they were escorting her to the cruiser, a makeup bag containing several straws and various pills, some of them crushed, fell from her pants, also.

At the police station, Roy admitted the pot was hers and said she had a medical marijuana card, though she didn't have it with her.

Roy was then searched again, and an officer found her underwear had a hard exterior.

"I don't have a butt, so I wear these and another pair of underwear under it," Roy explained, according to police.

Police told her to take off the hard outer layer of underpants, and they found a bag of heroin and several bags of painkillers inside the underwear she was wearing underneath.

Roy was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail. She was charged with a variety of felony and misdemeanor narcotics charges.

Roy has a very lengthy criminal record, according to the police report.

Roy's passenger Jennifer Johnson, 32, was arrested on two active warrants — one for unarmed robbery and intimidating a witness/juror/police/court official, and another for no inspection sticker/registration not in possession/operating a motor vehicle with a suspended licence.

Johnson was ordered held on $5,000 bail.



Photo Credit: Evidence Photo
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<![CDATA[Burglary Suspect Claims She Was Searching for ISIS]]> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 13:15:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-6-14_ISIS-Burglary-Suspect.jpg

A Mississippi woman claimed she was searching for members of the terrorist group ISIS after being arrested on suspicion of burglarizing vehicles at her children’s school Friday, officials said.

After dropping her kids off at East Central High School, Lisa Carol Roche, 41, of Durley, was allegedly found taking sunglasses and other personal items from vehicles in the parking lot, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Roche told responding deputies that she was searching for terrorists -- a claim that caught the attention of investigators, including Sgt. Curtis Spiers.

“In my years of experience, this is a first for me,” Spiers told NBC4. “It took me back.”

Spiers said the woman was seen a day earlier looking into vehicles in the parking lot. She also has a history with law enforcement, including arrests for shoplifting, felony burglary and felony embezzlement.

“This obviously isn’t her first rodeo,” Spiers said.

Roche faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, if convicted. She was expected to go before a judge Monday afternoon.

As for hunting down terrorists, Spiers said that should be left to the professionals.

“If you suspect any terrorist activity, contact your local law enforcement instead of taking the law into your own hand. No pun intended.”
 



Photo Credit: Jackson County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Weird News Photos: $10,000 in Coffee Cans]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:09:32 -0700 NBC]]> NBC]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP041209016025.jpg Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Crabs Delay Flight]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:18:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Crabs-Generic.jpg

A flight from LaGuardia Airport was delayed after crabs got loose in the plane's cargo hold, officials said.

US Airways flight 890 to Charlotte Douglas International Airport was delayed about half an hour Thursday night after live crabs that had been transported to New York City on the plane's previous voyage escaped their cages, a spokesman for the airline said.

Crews scurried to sweep the crustaceans out of the plane, which then continued safely to its destination.

Some passengers found the delay amusing and tweeted about the odd tarmac incident.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Police Find Stolen Ed Sullivan Statue]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:48:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/file-ed-sullivan-statue-stolen-atas.jpg

A $45,000 statue of iconic TV personality Ed Sullivan was found Thursday after being stolen earlier this week, police said.

The solid bronze statue, which weighs about 20 pounds, was being displayed in an outdoor exhibit at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza in North Hollywood when it was taken from atop its pedestal on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

North Hollywood detectives recovered the statue Thursday and said it was in good condition, but police would not give any more details about the discovery.

Police said the investigation into the theft was still ongoing.

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<![CDATA[New Jersey Man Shoots Down Drone]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:18:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/drone-file.jpg A Cape May County man shot down a drone hovering over his neighbor's yard and taking pictures.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bumbling Burglars Botch Beer Theft]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:10:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bumblingbeerbandit.jpg

A pair of beer bandits fumbled their way through the crime as they tried to steal upwards of 72 cans of beer from an Oakland Park, Florida, convenience store.

The two men were seen on surveillance video walking up to the store’s coolers and grabbing six 12-packs of beer. The duo then slowly made their way towards the registers before walking past them and trying to open the door.

That’s when the duo met their stiffest test: the front door.

The door was locked, and the first burglar twice tried running into it with his shoulder, both times to no avail. He slipped on the rug by the door and became frustrated enough to put down his beer and kick the door open, which finally opened for a getaway.

While the first man was picking up his beer, the second burglar walked quickly through the open door only to slip and fall just outside the store. The second burglar lost one of his cases of beer when he slipped and fell outside.

The first burglar ran out as the second man got up and retrieved as much of the beer as he could. Both eventually staggered back to their car, which was described as a green 1996 Honda with a Florida tag U39 4SC.

If you have any information about the bumbling beer bandits, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Pumpkin Fever: Healthy or Not?]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:12:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_pumpkin_facial_111612_ew_380.jpg While many foods that contain "pumpkin" are automatically considered to be healthy, some pumpkin-flavored foods may actually be quite the opposite. Erika Edwards reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spooky, Scary, Funny: Haunted House Reactions]]> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:49:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/July262012pic0084.JPG Celebrate the season! For the past four years, Nightmares Fear Factory has been scaring these poor souls, much to our delight! Hidden cameras capture the visitors wigging out.]]> <![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: Kale Day]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:55:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/168635609.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pumpkin Spice Madness: Craziest Treats]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:41:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pumpkin-spice-fatte-Ramsey-Mathew.jpg It seems like everyone is going crazy over pumpkin spice-flavored this and that. Take a look at the wackiest pumpkin-inspired culinary items that might be worth a try this season. ]]> <![CDATA[Tired of 3-Piece Suit? Enter the "Suitsy"]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:21:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/2014-09-29_12-27-28.jpg

San Francisco real estate developer Jesse Herzog has invented the look of a three-piece-suit into a comfy "onsie" for the man who just doesn't want to have to deal with the hassle of actually getting dressed.

Introducing the "Suitsy."

It's an all-in-one outfit that combines the pants, dress shirt and casual sport coat, which you step into it like mechanics overalls and pull it up from there.

Herzog put on the suit  Monday on the steps of the former stock exchange building in San Francisco's financial district. No need to button the shirt. There's a zipper for that. Fix the collar. Plop on the shoes. And he was ready for work in just under 28 seconds.

"The original genesis was I was sitting at work," Herzog said, explaining his "aha moment." "Thought it'd be great to look professional but also feel like I'm in my pajamas and be comfortable."

Herzog elaborated a little more: "Because the whole suit and tie thing? You know, you've got different elements going on. It's not as comfortable as a onesie. So I thought of you could combine those two, somewhere there could be a happy medium."

Clothing website Betabrand, which touts "New Ideas, Nonstop," has taken an interest in Herzog's prototype. The company is coming up with plans to bring the Suitsy to market by Christmas and cost at least $300 -about half the price of regular three-piece-suit. As of Monday, the outfit had 1,923 votes.

Herzog said he's heard from members of an orchestra and parking valets who would definitely be interested in a tuxedo version.

Yes, there's a downside to the Suitsy: Herzog wore it to his rehearsal dinner this past summer. It became an issue when a friend suggested he give his then fiancé his coat so she could stay warm.
 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[$45K Ed Sullivan Statue Stolen From NoHo Exhibit]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:40:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/file-ed-sullivan-statue-stolen-atas.jpg

A brazen burglar went to a North Hollywood exhibit and stole a solid bronze statue of iconic TV host Ed Sullivan worth an estimated $45,000, police said Monday.

The 18-inch-long, 20-pound statue was reported missing from its pedestal Sunday morning from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’s Hall of Fame Plaza at 5220 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.

The statue, along with other tributes to classic TV personalities and pioneers, was being displayed in an outdoor exhibit.

Investigators were reviewing surveillance video at the plaza. They were also contacting local metal recycling yards for possible sightings.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the LAPD’s North Hollywood burglary detectives at (818) 623-4081.

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<![CDATA[ Deer Goes For A Dip in Encino Pool]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:34:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/09_28_14__deer-encino-pool.jpg

With antlers and four legs, a deer was the last visitor an Encino homeowner was expecting to  find swimming in their backyard pool on Saturday.

However, the deer was not actually looking to cool down.

It appeared as though the deer accidentally fell in after getting trapped in the pool cover, the homeowner said.

The deer eventually made its way out of the pool, and was successfully captured by California Fish and Wildlife.

The deer was expected to be released back into the wild.



Photo Credit: RMG News]]>
<![CDATA[Century-Old Crucifix Stolen from SoCal Church]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:07:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/crucifix.jpg

A Southern California congregation is praying for the return of a more than 100-year-old stolen crucifix taken from an Oxnard church for the second time in two decades.

A man with a shaved head and bushy mustache entered Santa Clara Catholic Church in the 300 block of South E Street on Wednesday afternoon and left with the crucifix, according to a news release by the Oxnard Police Department.

The 110-year-old crucifix is made of bronze and is of significant sentimental value to the church, according to the release.

"We miss it, you know, it has been with us for so long so it's part of our journey, part of our lives," Father Marco Ortiz said.

Officials were worried that whoever stole the church fixture would try to sell it. The crucifix is worth about $1,000, police said.

Church members attending choir practice told NBC4 Thursday night that news of the theft was "heartbreaking" and  sacrilegious." 

"Unfortunately some people do not uphold anything sacred. For us Christians the crucifix is just a beautiful celebration of the love and forgiveness of God," Ortiz said. "And for someone not to even value (or) respect that belief, you know, it really hurts us."

The same crucifix was stolen from the church 20 years ago and later recovered, Oxnard Police Detective Lucy Buttell said. A man had snatched it and tried to sell it in town before it was recognized and brought back to the church.

The man suspected of stealing the crucifix is described as Hispanic, in his 30s, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 170 pounds, police said. He was captured in a grainy surveillance image (shown at right).

Ortiz said he doesn't want to press any charges against the man, he just wants the cross returned to the church. 

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the burglar. Anyone with information can contact the police department at 805-385-7740.

Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Oxnard Police Department]]>