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$16K Toothbrush Heist, Tipster Mom: Weird Crime News

Also, in the battle between vehicles and buildings, cars and trucks win out.

Each week, Patch combs through the more shocking, surprising and often absurd alleged criminal acts and police-related incidents that unfold around the region. Here’s what went on this week for “OMG PD.”

Where there's smoke, there's a ... smoke grenade: A Lindenwold man allegedly decided to light a grenade-shaped smoke bomb outside the Friendly Food Mart. That didn't sit well with Cherry Hill Police, who shut down a major intersection for an hour to deal with the device. Eric Brown, 25, ended up with charges of maintaining a nuisance and possession of a destructive device after police nabbed him while the bomb squad took care of the smoke grenade.

Didn’t they see the signs? OK, sure, technically horses aren’t allowed on the Atlantic City Expressway—but try telling the horses. Three horses and a pony, who either can’t read or ignored those signs, hoofed it out on the highway in Gloucester Township right around rush hour on March 4, causing one of the weirdest backups in recent memory.

Drive-thru travel agencies on the way? A swerving car and a ping-pong effect from a crash with another car sent a Lexus right through the front window of Liberty Travel on Route 38 in Cherry Hill, the driver told police—and if not for a strong set of concrete blocks as the back wall, it might’ve kept on going. The good news is the travel agency was closed when the crash happened, and police say no one was seriously hurt.

Speaking of vehicles winning versus buildings: Someone hot-wired a front-end loader and took it for a joyride down Route 130 in Westville, according to police, but it ended in a hurry and in an ugly way. The out-of-control construction truck ended up buried in the front of the Piston Diner, doing major damage. Empty bottles of booze littered inside the driver’s cabin, police said to no one's surprise.

Toothbrush heist of the century: A warrant is out for an Annapolis, MD, woman police say managed to steal from Kohl’s stores in Middletown Township, PA, and Morton, PA, over the course of two months. Beate Proeller, 47, would go into the stores, grab high-end electric toothbrushes off the shelf, then slap a fake barcode on the boxes to score the goods at a serious markdown.

And you thought your mom was tough: Collingswood cops caught an alleged car burglar with the help from a tipster who turned out to be the boy’s mother, who spotted her son going through cars in the Heights of Collingswood parking lot. He got third-degree burglary charges from the police, but that might be easier to deal with than getting caught by your mom—and this isn't the first time, either.

Bystander turned Batman: Merchantville resident Gerald Smith didn’t hesitate when he saw a man allegedly swipe a woman’s handbag outside Pathmark in Cherry Hill. Smith ran down the alleged purse-snatcher, David Zane Jr., of Westville, and waited for cops to arrive.

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