<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sat, 13 Feb 2016 07:31:25 -0800 Sat, 13 Feb 2016 07:31:25 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Shoplift Suspect Hid Trout in Pants While Urinating: PD]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:15:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/wylie-%282%29.jpg

A Tennessee man who allegedly urinated on the floor of a Walmart while trying to conceal a package of trout in his pants was arrested Wednesday, police said.

A store employee told the reporting officer that the man took $130 worth of merchandise, and he was seen urinating on the floor near the alcohol section while trying to hide the trout, according to the Clarksville Police Department.

David Wylie, 56, of Clarksville, was arrested on charges of shoplifting, vandalism and public indecency and intoxication, NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis reported. Jail records didn't indicate whether he had retained an attorney.

Wylie allegedly attempted to leave the Walmart without paying for the merchandise he had concealed, according to the incident report.

He allegedly told the reporting officer that he had consumed alcohol, and "was not concerned because it was a misdemeanor," the report said. The officer noted that he was able to detect an odor of alcohol on Wylie. 

Wylie was booked into Montgomery County Jail on a $2,000 bond, according to jail records.

Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



Photo Credit: Clarksville Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Helps Solve Own Disappearance]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 17:18:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/160212-edgar-latulip-larger-yh-1022a_828608684cca8b71cca091f66e86fbef.nbcnews-ux-600-700.jpg

A man missing nearly 30 years has been found alive, living just 80 miles away from where he disappeared. He had reportedly been suffering major memory loss due to a head injury.

Edgar Latulip vanished in September 1986 from a group home in Kitchener, Ontario. He was 21. According to local news reports at the time, Latulip, who had developmental delays, was being treated after attempting suicide.  

In January of this year, Latulip told a social worker in St. Catherines, Ontario, that he had a flashback and remembered his name.



Photo Credit: Waterloo Regional Police Service/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Tarantula, Native to Folsom Area, Named After Johnny Cash]]> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:28:03 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cash-and-spider.jpg

Researchers have named a species of black tarantula native to the Sierra Nevada foothills around Folsom after country music legend Johnny Cash, who dressed in black and sang "Folsom Prison Blues."

In a scientific paper published Feb. 4 in ZooKeys, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal of animal taxonomy, the authors write that they named the spider after the "Man in Black" because the carapace of the mature male Aphonopelma johnnycashi is black.

The female of the species is larger, hairier, and brown or gray.

The spider is native to the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Folsom Prison, where Cash performed for inmates and recorded a live album in 1968.



Photo Credit: AP/file/ZooKeys
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<![CDATA[Man Throws Alligator Through Drive-Thru Window]]> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05:49:11 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-02-09-at-8.43.49-AM.jpg

A Florida man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly hurled an alligator through a Wendy's drive-thru window, according to Palm Beach County Jail records.

Joshua James, 23, threw the 3-and-a-half foot reptile through the window after receiving his large drink in Loxahatchee in October, according to a report from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

He was was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals this week, WPTV reported.

James told police he picked up the alligator off the side of the road and brought it to Wendy's. He is facing charges for unlawful possession of an alligator, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and petit theft, jail records show. 


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<![CDATA[Alleged Thief Gets Stuck in Drain]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:07:15 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/storm+drain+020716.jpg

A man who fled from a deputy in Canyon Country, California, after allegedly trying to steal a car was found stuck in a storm drain on Saturday, officials said.

The alleged thief was spotted by an off-duty Ventura County sheriff's deputy attempting to steal a vehicle in the 1800 block of Goodvale Road around 5:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Santa Clarita Valley Station.

The man fled and the deputy chased after him, only to find him stuck in a storm drain in the 2700 block of Walnut Springs Avenue.

The suspect, identified as Josue Fernandez, was extricated out of the drain by firefighters, officials said.

Fernandez was arrested and booked at a nearby jail.



Photo Credit: Santa Clarita Sheriffs Department]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Hits Empire State Building]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 04:41:59 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/drone+suspect+empire+state+building.jpg

A small drone crashed into the 40th floor of the Empire State Building Thursday night and then fell to a 35th floor landing, authorities said. 

Police said a New Jersey man was flying the drone in an attempt to take pictures and apparently lost control of the aircraft.

Investigators said Sean Nivin Riddle was arrested at the scene and is expected to face criminal charges. He was being questioned by officers at the Midtown South police precinct.

Right after the crash, Riddle apparently wrote on his own Twitter feed: “filming w/ drone, now its stuck on the empire state building....w/security.”

The crash brought a significant police and FBI response to the landmark at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street as a precaution. Investigators said that they do not believe the crash was intentional.

No one was hurt.

Riddle did not immediately respond to requests from NBC 4 New York seeking comment. 



Photo Credit: File.
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<![CDATA[Michigan Couple Abandon Exotic Pets]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 01:25:21 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Tarantula.jpg

Two people are accused of animal abandonment and cruelty after investigators Friday discovered 20 exotic animals in “squalid” conditions at a rural Michigan home, according to a report.

Animal Control discovered four wallabies, sugar gliders, a coatmundi, a tarantula, a venomous spider, fish, a rat-like animal, and an aggressive monkey inside the home in Mottville Township, located just north of the Indiana border, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette. The sheriff told a reporter that the house had a “nasty” smell.

Investigators found the animals after a complaint about small kangaroos in the home’s backyard, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported. Animal Control initially believed the complaint was a prank call.

Troy Leiby, 40, and Jessica Archberger, also 40, face charges including animal abandonment and cruelty, as well as animal killing/torture, according to the report. The pair may have previously operated an exotic animal shop in Indiana.

Employees at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek were working with investigators to determine the condition of the animals and to find them a new home, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sea Lion Shocks Shoppers]]> Sat, 30 Jan 2016 15:12:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sea+lion+in+store+2.jpg

A San Diego store had to refuse service to a whiskered customer who wandered in from the sea.

A curious little sea lion climbed 145 steps to reach the Cave Store in La Jolla, manager Rachelle Agosti told NBC 7 Friday.

The Cave Store acts as the entrance to a manmade tunnel which delves down the cliffside and into the Sunny Jim Sea Cave.

While most people use the store to access the spectacular cave, the employees were surprised to find a visitor coming from the other direction on Jan 21.

Agosti said just before closing, the sea lion waddled into the store.

“It was shocking,” the manager said.

Security footage shows the sea lion startling customers as it wandered around for about 10 minutes, confused and scared as the employees chased it around.

The quick-thinking humans decided to grab some salmon – normally used to feed their cats -- to grab the sea lion’s attention. They were able to lead it out of the store, back into the tunnel and to the ocean.

This is the first time a daring sea lion has made it into the building, though five years ago, another climbed up the stairs and close to the entrance, said Agosti.
 



Photo Credit: The Cave Store]]>
<![CDATA[Bizarre Late-to-Work Excuses]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 02:39:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/runnign+late.png

A new report revealed 12 of the most bizarre late-to-work excuses, and the list contains a bear, a lizard and a lot of Vaseline.

CareerBuilder surveyed nearly 2,600 hiring and human resources managers and more than 3,200 employees between November and December of 2015, according to the job site.

For employees who walk into work late every once in a while, good news. One third of employers said they have no problem with workers who are late occasionally, according to CareerBuilder. However, four out of 10 employers have fired an employee for being late.

Overall, some of the most common late-to-work excuses included: traffic at 53 percent, oversleeping at 33 percent and bad weather at 28 percent, according to the report.

However, some employees reportedly gave their bosses less traditional excuses. Here are 12 of the most bizarre reasons employees have used to explain their tardiness, according to CareerBuilder.

1. I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
2. My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
3. I was detained by Homeland Security.
4. I had to chase my cows back into the field.
5. A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
6. My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
7. There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
8. There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
9. I had to finish watching "My Name is Earl."
10. All of my clothes were stolen.
11. I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was "spring forward" or "fall back."
12. A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Kinkajou Sleeps on Woman's Chest]]> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 07:31:43 -0800 Watch video of the creature here. ]]> Watch video of the creature here. ]]> http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/012616+kinkajou+in+miami+home.jpg Check out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.

Photo Credit: South Dade Animal Hospital]]>
<![CDATA[Alligator in Basement for 2 Decades]]> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:19:26 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dfgdfgfdgdfg.jpg

A man in south suburban Lansing kept an alligator at his house for over two decades without neighbors knowing, according to authorities.

The 6-foot-long alligator spent most of its 26 years in a cage of the basement of Charles Price’s house, according to Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Chris Young.

However, Price "put it out periodically in his back yard. No one knew he had it, no one had ever seen it,” IDNR Sgt. Bill Shannon told The Chicago Tribune Saturday.

The animal was noticed earlier this month by an appliance repairman who had been working in Price's basement, Young said. The worker noticed something moving in a covered container, so he lifted the cover, took photos of the reptile and contacted Lansing Police Department's animal control.

Shannon got word of the alligator and contacted conservation police Officer Roberto Macias and an alligator specialist known as "Bob."

"It was every bit of 200 pounds," Shannon told the Tribune.

Lansing police Chief Dennis Murrin Jr. also told the publication: "In 25 years, I've never had anything like it.”



Photo Credit: Illinois Department of Natural Resources ]]>
<![CDATA[Man in Clown Mask Robs Calif. Gas Station at Gunpoint]]> Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:26:47 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/160125-clown-robber.jpg

A robber wearing a clown mask held up a San Bernardino, California, gas station at gunpoint Monday, and police say that business may not have been his first target of the night.

About 10 p.m., surveillance cameras captured the man disguised as a clown robbing the Arco on Inland Center Driver with a semi-automatic handgun, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. The man then fled in a silver-colored Jeep – police didn't say what he took from the store.

Police say he's believed to be responsible for an attempted robbery earlier in the evening on E Street.

Detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying the robber. He's described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and gray shoes.

Anyone with information was asked to call detectives at 909-384-5665.
 



Photo Credit: San Bernardino Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Wakes Up to Exotic Animal]]> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:51:53 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/012616+kinkajou+in+miami+home.jpg

A 99-year-old woman in Miami said she woke up to find an animal on her chest, according to a veterinarian caring for the unusual creature.

"I was awaken by a phone call at 2 a.m., which is never good news, and it was from my terrified mother-in-law," said Carlos Aguaras.

Aguaras said he rushed over, and found the animal that had terrified his mother-in-law. The only other person in the home at the time was her live-in caregiver.

It was a kinkajou, an animal usually found in the rainforests of Central and South America, said Veterinarian Dr. Don J. Harris, who works for the South Dade Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center.

Aguaras said the animal was in the attic when he arrived, and they lured it out with food. They got it inside a cage and brought it to Dr. Harris, who said he knew the animal belonged to someone.

"No undomesticated wild animal like this would curl up on a woman's chest to go to sleep," Dr. Harris explained.

The animal, whose name is Banana, was being cared for at South Dade Animal Hospital, where the medical center operates, but will be reunited with its owner Wednesday morning.

There's no word on how the animal got loose, but the woman's family has a message for the owners. "Put it in the hands of the experts, but it's not intended to be a pet in a home," Aguaras said.

Kinkajous typically spend most of their time in trees. They have the ability to turn their feet backwards to run easily in either direction, along branches or up tree trunks. Kinkajous also often hang from their tails. According to National Geographic, they are sometimes called "honey bears" because they raid bees' nests by slurping honey from the hive.



Photo Credit: South Dade Animal Hospital
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<![CDATA[What to Wear? Zuckerberg Posts Photo of His Closet]]> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 17:07:17 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/markzuckerbergcloset.jpg

Mark Zuckerberg keeps a closet full of the same grey t-shirts and hoodies so he doesn't have to decide what to wear to work.

The Facebook founder poked fun at himself by posting a picture of his monochromatic closet on his Facebook page: "First day back after paternity leave. What should I wear?"

According to NY Daily News, Zuckerberg's sense of style keeps free space in his brain to dedicate to his company. The publication noted that he said in a 2014 Q&A session that he really wanted to "clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how best to serve this community."

If Zuckerberg wanted to spice up his sartorial style a bit, he could perhaps try a Lone Wolf Zip Hoodie designed by artist Sam Flores for San Francisco's Upper Playground. Or, if that's too colorful, he could check out the Premium Grade Zip Hoody from Cookies, also in SF.



Photo Credit: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook
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<![CDATA[Vegan Butcher Offers 'Meatless Meats']]> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:06:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_veganbutcher0121_1500x845.jpg Chances are pretty good when you think vegan or vegetarian, a butcher shop isn't what comes to mind but the owners of Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis, Minnesota hope to change that.]]> <![CDATA[Raw Meat Found in Luggage]]> Sat, 23 Jan 2016 02:24:18 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raw-chicken-DFW.jpg

U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors say a traveler tried to smuggle five raw chickens and three packages of pork meat after a flight this week to North Texas from El Salvador.

The traveler, a United States lawful permanent resident, arrived Wednesday at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, officials said.

The CPB agriculture specialists asked the traveler if he had any items to declare, and he said he was carrying fried chicken. However, during an examination of his bag, the officials found the unprepared chickens and the packages of cooked pork.

Raw poultry is prohibited from entry into the U.S. because it may carry invasive diseases that could harm the agriculture industry. Pork products, either prepared or unprepared, are restricted due to the risk of swine fever.

The CPB officials issued the traveler a $300 fine, and the chicken and pork products and their packages were seized and destroyed.



Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection]]>
<![CDATA[Two Arrested for Truck Stealing]]> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 06:55:17 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/penske2.PNG

A man and a woman were arrested near David’s Bridal in Southern California Saturday for stealing a Penske rental truck.

The truck is registered to Indiana, but the suspects stole it from Oceanside, a coastal city located in San Diego County.

“The male is actually a parolee at large, so he’s going to be going back into custody for the possession of a stolen vehicle,” CHP officer Enrique Bermudez said.

The woman told police they have been living in the truck.

The truck was reported stolen around Thanksgiving last year.

CHP is investigating.
 

]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Saves Snake From Fire]]> Sat, 23 Jan 2016 11:43:21 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/firefighter+boa+constrictor.jpg

A San Diego area firefighter gently wiped the face of a boa constrictor he had just pulled from a burning apartment Friday afternoon.

Chula Vista Fire crews were called to the 1600 block of Calle Atria at 4:15 p.m. for an electrical fire inside a second-story apartment unit.

When firefighter Robert Parkhill walked into the unit, he saw smoke filling a terrarium.

He said he was concerned for the animal inside, but did not know what it could be -- a snake or spider or something poisonous.

He soon discovered it was a five-foot long boa constrictor. Parkhill grabbed the snake as colleagues extinguished the fire.

Once outside, Parkhill cleaned extinguisher chemicals from the snake's mouth. No one was inside the apartment at the time, so firefighters were still trying to reach the residents as of 5:30 p.m. The unit sustained minor carpet damage, fire officials say.

The boa is recovering with a welcoming, snake-friendly neighbor.



Photo Credit: Rich Eagan
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<![CDATA[Cops Pay $40 for Escaped Goat: NYPD]]> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 13:00:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Goat-Escapee-NYPD-0122.jpg

A couple of NYPD cops paid $40 of their own money to bail out a goat that escaped a slaughterhouse earlier this week, taking the gruff former fugitive to a Long Island sanctuary.

Cops from the 103rd precinct's anti-crime unit caught the baby goat that escaped the slaughterhouse at Merrick Avenue and 180th Street in Jamaica, Queens, according to the NYPD.

But when they rustled the escaped kid, the cops decided they couldn't force it to go back. So they decided to pay the slaughterhouse $40 for the animal's freedom. 

Afterward, the animal, nicknamed "Merrick," got a ride in the back of a police SUV for a short time before being taken to a sanctuary in Suffolk County.

Sgt. Mary Humberg, one of the cops who rescued the animal, told DNAinfo that Merrick "deserved his freedom."

“He fought crime with us,” Humburg said. "Best $40 I've spent.

The goat wasn't the only hoofed escapee in Queens this week. A cow set to be slaughtered Friday busted out and led cops on a chase through the neighborhood on Wednesday.



Photo Credit: NYPD / Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Cow Escapes NYC Slaughterhouse, Leads Cops on Chase]]> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 15:26:56 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cow-on-the-run-0121.jpg

NYPD cops did their best cowboy impressions Thursday afternoon, wrangling a bovine that escaped a slaughterhouse  and ran through the streets in Queens. 

Officers in Jamaica say they cornered a cow in a parking garage at 165th Street after it escaped earlier in the day. 

DNAinfo reports that the bovine was set to be slaughtered Friday at Archer Halal Live Poultry, but had other plans, slipping out of the facility and going on the run. 

Several observers on social media, including the NYPD, chronicled the chase. 

"Just in case you're wondering: there is cow on the loose in Jamaica, Queens," tweeted J. Peter Donald, an NYPD spokesman.

The wayward steer was returned to the slaughterhouse after it was lassoed by police, DNAinfo reports.



Photo Credit: NYPD / Twitter
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<![CDATA[Crocodile Found in Fla. Pool]]> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:00:27 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/CROCODILE+IN+A+POOL+%282%29.jpg

A homeowner in Lower Matecumbe Key had quite the surprise Thursday morning when an uninvited guest turned up in the pool: a live crocodile.

The homeowner, who lives near mile marker 77, called the Monroe Sheriff’s Office and asked for help removing the 8-foot croc.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials responded to the scene to help.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said the croc got out of the pool and returned to its natural habitat.

It’s still unclear how the crocodile got into the pool.
 



Photo Credit: Monroe County Sheriff Office]]>
<![CDATA[Vultures Wearing GoPros Bust Illegal Dumpers in Peru]]> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 17:23:49 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11A-GOPRO-VULTURES-VO---00003705.jpg

People in Peru are getting busted for illegal garbage dumping... by vultures.

It's part of a program called "Vultures Detect." The vultures are wearing special vests, outfitted with GoPro cameras and GPS systems to record images of any illicit garbage dumps.

The birds are fit for the task because they already look for organic matter and garbage during their searches for food.

The 10 vultures are trained to return to their keepers.

]]>
<![CDATA[Internet Cat Video Festival Returns to SF]]> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 17:43:30 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/cat-sitting-in-a-chair_970.jpg

Organizers of an online cat convergence hope that four days of feline-focused activities will spawn real life adoptions.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Franicsco welcomes the return of the real life Internet Cat Video Festival Thursday through Sunday.

Tickets to the main screenings have sold out, but there are several activities that are free and open to the public between 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, including a cocktail bar serving Whisker Sours and Cat Nip drinks, a pop-up "Felines on Film" exhibit from The Cat Museum of San Francisco, astrology readings for kitties and, most importantly, a cat adoption fair from Animal Care and Control of San Francisco.



Photo Credit: Walker Art Center]]>
<![CDATA[Satanic Cross on City Hall Lawn]]> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:31:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/012016+satan+cross+hallandale+beach+city+hall.jpg

A South Florida man has erected a satanic cross on the front lawn of the Hallandale Beach City Hall.

Chaz Stevens, a self-described atheist, put up the 6-foot black cross upside down. The words "In Chaz We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" adorn the cross.

City officials later posted a sign next to the cross saying the display will be removed by Friday.

"This display has been privately installed as an expression of religious freedom," the sign reads. "The views expressed so not represent the city's administration."

Stevens has made news in the past for his efforts to have opening prayers dropped from government meetings and to have a Festivus pole erected at the Florida Capitol to protest a Nativity scene.



Photo Credit: Chaz Stevens]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Kitty Gets Mistaken for Lynx in San Jose]]> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 23:07:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/spock.PNG

What’s 27 lbs, 4-ft tall and eats a pound of meat every day? Not a bobcat or lynx, not even a “wild animal,” as some passersby in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood (mistakenly) think.

It’s just Spock the house cat — a giant 4-year-old Maine Coon who was adopted by Colleen Pizarev and has now gone viral.

"We have people who walk through the neighborhood and see him at the window. They knock on my door and say: 'I am concerned you have a lynx in your house,'" Pizarev said. "In most cases I am able to diffuse the situation ... I say, 'No it’s okay he has a tail.'"

Sometimes, people mistake Spock for a bobcat. Some have even threatened to call animal control.

"When I'm in the front room I get a lot of strange looks," Pizarev said. Spock's story made it to page six of the Rose Garden Weekly and he was discovered by local media. Buzzfeed and the Daily Mail came calling and pretty soon Spock was trending on Facebook. Thankfully, Pizarev says, Spock is oblivious to all the attention.

The worst part about going viral? "People are stretching the truth about Spock — suddenly he's 5-ft tall," Pizarev said.

"I just want to raise awareness about the breed," said Pizarev, who has adopted two other Maine Coons from an Oakland cat rescue center. One of them, Fluff Ball, bosses Spock around even though he's only 10 lbs. The breed is large, highly affectionate and people-oriented, with a "clown-like personality," according to the International Cat Association.

"They are the sweetest, most wonderful gentle giants," Pizarev said. 

Pizarev adopted Spock when he was fiive months old — his tail was longer than him even when he was a kitten. "He was supposed to be a show cat, but his eyes turned a different color, so we adopted him," she said. "We love him to bits — he's full of personality and a joy to have."

And like a lot of kitties, Spock thinks he’s a human trapped in a cat’s body.

On Facebook, Spock's story has sparked a conversation about Maine Coons and how gentle these huge cats are with people.

“You all right out there, San Jose? A bobcat implies a short tail, this is obviously a Maine Coon,” User Robyn Ostrokol joked.



Photo Credit: Colleen Pizarev
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<![CDATA[Hundreds Gather to Break 'Dog Yoga' World Record]]> Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:06:48 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dog-yoga.jpg

Hundreds of people and their furry friends attempted to break a "dog yoga" world record in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Led by "doga" teacher Suzette Ackerman, 270 participants massaged, twisted and stretched their furry friends in a series of poses.

The record-breaking attempt has yet to be confirmed by the Guinness World Records people, but organizers were confident they had done it.

All proceeds from the Hong Kong Event are going to the Hong Kong Guide Dog Association.

"I feel really, really good," said participant Susan Chan. "It's kind of a really close relationship with my dog, getting close to him, and the heart to heart. I like it."

The previous record for largest "doga" class was set in San Diego on Jan. 25, 2015, with 265 people and their pups turning up.



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Gray-Haired Men Guilty For Britain's Biggest Burglary]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 20:27:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HattonRobberScene-GettyImages-476429124.jpg

The last three members of a British criminal crew with a combined age of around 500 were found guilty Thursday for a $20 million heist committed last Easter — the biggest in the country’s history, NBC News reported.

William Lincoln, 60, and Carl Wood, 58, were convicted of burglary. Hugh Doyle, 48, was convicted of fencing stolen goods from the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Robbery. The oldest of the crooks, Brian Reader, 76, already pleaded guilty. He reportedly used his senior citizen's pass to pay for the bus ride to the job in London’s diamond district.

Police said they recovered “just over £3.7 million ($5.3 million) worth of gold and jewelry.”

All seven men will be sentenced in March. Police are still looking for an eighth alleged robber, a red-haired man identified as “Basil.” 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[300-Pound Statue Missing From UC Berkeley]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:44:42 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/statue-UC-GettyImages-548776003.jpg

Someone could be trying to hide — or sell — a 300-pound bronze statue of a 20th century California crew coach.

University of California police said the life-size statue of UC Berkeley Crew Coach Carrol "Ky" Ebright, valued at $80,000,  was reported missing from the campus boathouse on Glascock Street on Jan. 12.

Ebright coached Cal crew teams to earn three Olympic gold medals and multiple other championships between 1924 and 1959. He was inducted into the United States Rowing Hall of Fame in 1956.

According to friend and interviewer Arthur Arlett, Ebright was small in stature, befitting a coxswain, and was affectionately nicknamed "The Little Admiral." He died in Berkeley at the age of 85.

Police hope whoever knows something about the statue's whereabouts will help return it, as the bronze replica has "significant symbolic and sentimental value."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Evades Deputies, Jumps to Death in Cemetery: Sheriff]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:20:08 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pioneer.JPG

A man allegedly driving in a stolen truck evaded authorities early Thursday in San Lorenzo, and fell to his death.

Ironically, in a cemetery.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson told NBC Bay Area that deputies spotted the driver, whom they say was driving in a stolen Toyota pickup, about 12:30 a.m. near Hesperian Boulevard. The Alameda County Coroner has since identified the man as 40-year-old Paul Giacomoni of Redwood City.

Giacomoni heeded the deputies' warning at first, Nelson said, and pulled off to the side of the road.

But then he changed his mind, leading deputies them on a "low-speed" chase, before stopping near Highway 238, and hopping out of his truck, Nelson said.

Giacomoni then scaled a fence on the shoulder of the road, and fell or jumped 40 feet to his death on a freeway overpass, Nelson said.

He landed on grounds of the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery.

Deputies tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Giacomoni was wearing a ski mask and gloves when he was found and  a passenger, whose name has not yet been released, was found in  possession of stolen property and drug paraphernalia, according Sgt. Ray Kelly.

Kelly said Giacomoni "has a very extensive criminal history  for weapons, violence and a multitude of other crimes."

Bay City News contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Bob Redell
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<![CDATA[Michigan Man Flies Off Car Hood Into Police Cruiser]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 03:54:27 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_1318124128.jpg

A shirtless man clinging to the hood of his brother’s car was sent flying into a police cruiser in Michigan, according to video of the incident recorded by the police, NBC News reported.

Police in Shelby Township, in Macomb County, responded to a domestic violence call last Thursday morning when a white car came rolling toward them — with a half-naked man hanging on the front of it.

In the dash camera video, the officer stops his car, but the other car continues until it crashes into the cruiser.

The man, identified, as Starvo Habib, 18, is then flung onto the street. Police said neither he nor the driver, his 20-year-old brother, were injured.  

"When you think you've seen it all, you have an incident where it's just another day," Deputy Police Chief Mark Coil told NBC station WILX.        



Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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<![CDATA[Turtle Found Frozen Thaws Out, Survives]]> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 13:55:05 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BLUE+BACKGROUND_edited-1.jpg

A turtle defied the odds by surviving being frozen solid.

The turtle, appropriately named for "Frozen" character Elsa, was found frozen in a tank in a yard last week. Elsa was surrendered to an animal control officer and taken -- still frozen -- to the Pennsylvania SPCA's shelter hospital. There, the tank and turtle were exposed to heat. Within an hour or so, the turtle began blinking and coming to.

Elsa likely has been frozen before because she is missing her toes and her shell is badly damaged, said the PSPCA. Consequently, Elsa will need surgery to remove some dead shell and tissue, and also to repair the cracks in her shell.

Elsa is expected to survive.

SPCA hoped Elsa's survival story would remind people that it's important to protect all animals, not just cats and dogs, from cold weather.

The investigation into animal cruelty charges remained ongoing.



Photo Credit: Pennsylvania SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[$500K in Marijuana Disguised as Carrots: Border Patrol]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 07:35:15 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DHS-CBP+Carrots+Seized+02.JPG

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found half a million dollars' worth of marijuana disguised as carrots this week.

On Sunday, they stopped the tractor-trailer at the Pharr International Bridge along the Texas-Mexico border near the Gulf of Mexico.

Mixed in with real carrots, they found more than 2,800 orange, carrot-shaped packages.

Inside those packages there were nearly 2,500 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $499,000, officials said.

"Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the U.S./Mexico border," said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. "Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities."

The case is under investigation by agents of Homeland Security Investigations.



Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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<![CDATA[Texas Man Falls Into Hole on Walk to Buy Lottery Ticket]]> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 17:46:58 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ticket-fall.jpg

A Fort Worth man is lucky to be alive after he disappeared during a walk to buy a lottery ticket, police say.

Acension Garcia, 69, was reported missing by his family on Monday after he didn't return home.

He left his house that evening to walk to a neighborhood store to buy a lottery ticket.

As the intense search began for the man, Officer Dustin Shaw discovered a large, open construction hole near the area where they believed Garcia was walking.

Garcia was found at the bottom of the seven-foot hole, lying in shallow water. He was OK, but scared and cold.

Shaw jumped in to help and called for assistance.

Garcia is home now. His family says he is very grateful

NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Fort Worth Police Dept.
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<![CDATA['Polite' Robber's Mom ID's Him: PD]]> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:30:32 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/011216+levon+supreme+hall+BSO.jpg

A man accused of "politely" robbing a Little Caesars restaurant in Deerfield Beach last month has been arrested after his mother recognized him on surveillance video and turned him in, the Broward Sheriff's Office confirms.

Levon Supreme Hall, 34, is accused of entering the restaurant on Wednesday, Dec. 9, with a gun and demanding money from the assistant store manager.

Throughout the process, the manager said Hall was very polite and reiterated several times that he was sorry for the robbery. He told the employee that he needed money to provide Christmas gifts for his children.

The employee said Hall always made his demands saying "please," according to an arrest report.

Police say that after surveillance footage of the robbery went public, Hall's mother called authorities and identified her son as the man in the surveillance video.

The woman also identified the gloves Hall was wearing during the robbery as a pair she had washed for him the previous day, according to the report.

She explained that her son has struggled with substance abuse problems for several years, and that he had been using the dangerous synthetic street drug Flakka for the past year.

Deputies arrested Hall at his Pompano Beach home on Monday. He's been ordered held without bond.

It is not known if Hall has hired an attorney.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Python From Pet Store by Stuffing Snake in Pants]]> Mon, 11 Jan 2016 14:11:22 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_pythoninpants0111_1500x845.jpg

Surveillance footage shows a man steal a 2-foot-long python from a pet store in Oregon by stuffing the snake down his pants.

According to NBC affiliate KGW, the man made off with a $200 black pastel ball python Friday.

Surveillance video from A to Z Pets in Portland shows the thief remove the snake from a glass tank and tuck it into his belt.

"They like dark warm places so he was probably very comfortable where he was at," store owner and manager Christin Bjugan told KGW.

Bjugan said the family pet store has been in business for 20 years. She hopes surveillance footage will help police catch the perpetrator and hold him accountable.

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