Money Matters - Simplified


Tennessee 'toilet bandits' in jail

Memphis -- Two Memphis, Tenn., men are in jail accused of a two-month crime spree involving stealing toilet flush valves from local businesses, officials said.

Jeremy Shane Gray, 36, and Kenneth Coradini, 23, were charged with three counts of theft each, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Tuesday.

Police had sought the public's help identifying the "toilet bandits" who, over two months, removed flushing valves from toilets and urinals in public restrooms at Target, Schnucks, Wendy's, Kroger and Walgreens stores.

A tip led Memphis police to the suspects.

The two men targeted brass valves that could be sold to scrap metal dealers, to court affidavits said.

Replacing the valves cost about $300 each.

Report: Cavs probe possible LeBron tamper

Cleveland -- The Cleveland Cavaliers suspect the Miami Heat broke NBA anti-tampering rules while wooing free agent forward LeBron James, Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday.

Citing "league sources" it did not name, the Web site said Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has hired a law firm to investigate his suspicions that Heat President Pat Riley and star player Dwyane Wade talked to James about joining them well before the July 1 start of the NBA free agency period.

The Heat signed James and former Toronto forward Chris Bosh prior to the start of the 2010-11 season in an unprecedented assembling of NBA free agent star power.

Thrown Slim Jims strike clerk's son

Fern Park, Fla. -- Police in Florida said a gas station clerk's 6-year-old son was struck in the head with a box of Slim Jims while his father was arguing with a customer.

Seminole County sheriff's deputies said a man paid for $10 worth of gasoline at the Chevron station in Fern Park Saturday afternoon and cashier Eilya Saadati said the man came back inside the store and said he was having trouble pumping the gasoline, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Saadati told authorities he helped the man but the customer returned to the store a second time and complained he had not received the amount of gas he paid for.

Ronni Chasen murder case: Police believe publicist shot from SUV

Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen's tragic death is still shrouded in mystery. While there is no clear suspect, information, or motive for the crime in the investigation, police probing the killing of renowned publicist have come up with a theory.

Police: Teen burglar found snoozing

Orlando, Fla. -- Police in Florida said a 17-year-old burglary suspect broke into a home and fell asleep in a bedroom.

Orlando police said a homeowner called 911 Wednesday to report a break-in and officers arrived to find a side door had been forced open, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Thursday.

Officers said they found the 17-year-old sleeping on the floor of a bedroom. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

The homeowner told police his home had been broken into multiple times in recent days.

The teenager was taken to the Orange County Juvenile Assessment Center.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Kidnap victim swerves into police station

Salt Lake City -- A Salt Lake City coin dealer being held at gunpoint got police attention by swerving his pickup truck into a police station, investigators said.

A suspect was arrested as he tried to run away, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Another man was found at the victim's house, where his wife had been tied up.

"This was just downright bizarre," said Lt. Don Hutson of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. "It really was like something out of a movie."

Suspect allegedly urinated on police car

Johnson City, Tenn. -- Police in Tennessee said a drunken driving suspect was arrested after urinating on a police cruiser during a traffic stop.

Officers said Darinel Lopez Cruz, 23, was pulled over in Johnson City about 3:30 a.m. Sunday after being spotted crossing the center line of a road and swerving to avoid a curb in his Chevy Blazer, the Johnson City Press reported Tuesday.

Police said Cruz was taken into custody after failing field sobriety tests, exposing himself and urinating on the patrol car while being arrested.

Cruz was charged with driving under the influence and indecent exposure. He was taken to the Washington County Detention Center in lieu of $4,000 bond.

Vanity plate IDs robbery suspect

Manchester, N.H. -- Police in New Hampshire said a robbery suspect's vanity plate, which bears her first initial and last name, led to her arrest.

Investigators said Bonnie Usher, 43, wore a hooded sweatshirt and a ski mask when she entered the Rite Aid pharmacy Friday morning in Manchester and approached a worker, WMUR-TV, Manchester, reported Monday.

"A woman approached her with a hood and a mask, put a metal object to her head and said it was a robbery," Lt. Nick Willard said. "The (employee) thought it was a gun. The clerk complied."

Suspect had mouse in rectum

Seneca, S.C. -- Police in South Carolina said a nude burglary suspect who appeared to be under the influence of drugs was found to have a mouse lodged in his rectum.

Oconee County sheriff's deputies said they responded to a home near Seneca Monday on a report of a burglary and discovered Noah Smith, 31, was naked and lying face down in the doorway of the address, WCSC-TV, Charleston, reported Wednesday.

Investigators said Smith slapped a deputy, who responded by using his Taser to no effect. More deputies arrived and confronted Smith in the victim's bedroom, where he allegedly tried to attack the authorities until he was finally wrestled to the ground and placed in handcuffs and leg shackles.

Job application leads police to suspect

West Homestead, Pa. -- Nudists irk beachgoers ... Man seeks Obama, Jesus restraining orders ... Hospital catches father-to-be smoking pot ... Police: Man tossed oranges at planes ...

Police in Pennsylvania said a man who carried out a gunpoint robbery outside of a Subway sandwich shop had filled out a job application moments earlier.

West Homestead police said the man, whose name was not released, used his real name and address when he filled out an application at the restaurant only moments before carrying out an armed robbery outside the facility Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday.

Investigators said they went to the man's home and spoke with his mother, who told them he had taken a bus to Pittsburgh.