<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usFri, 29 Apr 2016 17:11:03 -0700Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:11:03 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Woman Lured by Singles Ad Dies After Weeks in Captivity]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:05:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/German_Ambulance-550668973.jpg

A 41-year-old woman who responded to a singles ad was held captive for several weeks by a man and his ex-wife — and later died at a hospital of injuries sustained while in captivity, NBC News reported.

The woman, from Lower Saxony, Germany, contacted a man "who was looking for a steady parternship" and later moved in to her assailant's house.

Once there, she was physically abused by the man and his live-in ex-wife. The suspects attempted to take their "severley battered" victim back to her apartment, but when their car broke down, they called an ambulance. She died about two hours later of "blunt force trauma to the head", German officials said.

German paper Bild reported that the victim had been kept in a cellar and labeled the incident "The Horror House of Hoexter."

Photo Credit: ullstein bild via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prickly Situation For Dogs Who Ran Into Porcupine in New Mexico]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 07:45:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6A+DOG+VERSUS+PORCUPINE+VO+-+000017091.jpg

A "prickly" situation turned into a lesson learned for two dogs in New Mexico.

Two dogs roaming the streets of Albuquerque learned the hard way: Don't mess with porcupines.

But we can tell you - no animals were permanently harmed in the making of this video.

All the quills were safely removed.

The dogs, one of which was nicknamed "Needles," now seem pretty happy. Workers at the Petroglyph Animal Hospital say their owners have yet to come forward.

Photo Credit: Petroglyph Animal Hospital
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<![CDATA[Oakland Firefighters Free Pigeon from BART Wires]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:44:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pigeon1.jpg

Firefighters are known for rescuing humans from burning buildings and cats from trees.

But this weekend, Oakland rescued a pigeon that was trapped in wires at the Fruitvale BART station.

The Oakland fire union tweeted and Facebooked the daring feat, showing video of a firefighter on engine 18 climbing up a ladder, untangling the bird from the wires, and saying “there you go buddy,” as the pigeon flew off into the sky.

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Photo Credit: Oakland Fire Live via Twitter
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<![CDATA[10 People in San Jose Owe the Library at Least $5,000]]> Sun, 24 Apr 2016 18:45:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/localmusicbooks.jpg

Ten people managed to rack up thousands of dollars of debt due to overdue San Jose Public Library books, while at least 130 people are eligible to face fines of at least $1,000, according to a report from the San Jose Mercury News. 

The newspapers investigation revealed that at least three people owe more than $10,000 for overdue or lost books, while seven face fines totaling more than $10,000. 

City Council member Pierluigi Oliverio, who acts as a liaison between the city and library, recommended amnesty programs that would forgive fines. The councilman also suggested to the newspaper that the problem was allowing residents to check out 100 items at a time, far more than other cities allow. 

San Jose Library Director Jill Bourne said the 100-item limit has been in place before she started working at the library, but conceded that she is willing to consider changes. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Zoo to Auction off Nearly 50 Paintings Created by Animals]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 10:38:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*128/art13.JPG

Animal lovers can now own works of art created by animals from the San Francisco Zoo, zoo officials said Friday.

Nearly 50 paintings by dozens of animals and insects, from cockroaches to chimpanzees, will be up for auction at the Zoo's upcoming fundraising event, ZooFest, which will take place April 30 at 6 p.m.

The project, titled Animal Artists in Residence, consists of paintings created with a brush or by having animals step or roll through water-based paint before transferring the paint onto a canvas, according to zoo officials.

A select number of paintings are already available for auction on eBay. Those paintings will be on the site through Friday, zoo officials said. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the zoo. For more information about the auction, visit the zoo's website.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Crime Organizations Targeting California's High-Valued Nuts]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 16:35:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/175*120/GettyImages-85739690.jpg

International crime rings targeting California's booming agriculture industry are increasingly stealing truckloads of high-value nuts, prompting authorities and the firms falling victim to ramp up efforts to break the spree costing millions.

The sophisticated organizations in many cases use high-tech tactics, hacking into trucking companies to steal their identities. Armed with false shipping papers, they pose as legitimate truckers, driving off with loads of nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pistachios valued at $150,000, and some worth $500,000 each.

Days later, when a shipment fails to arrive to its intended destination, the nuts may already be in another state or on a ship destined for Europe or Asia, where they fetch top dollar on the black market, authorities say.

Nut thefts hit an all-time high in California last year _ with losses totaling $4.6 million from 31 reported cases, more than the three previous years combined, according to CargoNet, an alliance of cargo shipping firms and law enforcement agencies aimed at preventing losses.

Losses for all four years combined reached nearly $7.6 million, the group said.

"It's made my life miserable,'' said Todd Crosswell, general manager of Caro Nut Co.

Caro was victimized six times last year for a total loss of $1.2 million. In each case, thieves stole cashews imported from Vietnam and Africa that were roasted, salted and packaged in Fresno.

"You get hit with that kind of loss -- it hurts,'' Crosswell said.

The value of nuts grown and processed in California, the nation's leading agricultural state, have soared in recent years as global demand for the health-food snack grows in places such as China and emerging economies.

California produces more almonds, walnuts and pistachios than any other state, with a combined value of $9.3 billion in 2014. Almonds alone were valued at $5.9 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The high value of nuts grabbed the attention of criminal organizations, who are exploiting weaknesses in the cargo shipping industry to reap big profits, said Dan Bryant, supervisory special agent for the violent and organized crimes programs of the FBI Sacramento office.

Bryant declined to identify any organizations under suspicion, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

"It's not just some teenage kids ripping off nuts,'' he said. ``These are sophisticated people.''

Local authorities also are taking action. One state lawmaker has introduced a bill to fund a statewide taskforce targeting all types of cargo thefts. And law enforcement officials and nut processors met Thursday to share information to help prevent more nut thefts.

Alarmed by a spike in large-scale nut thefts, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux last year beefed up his agriculture crimes unit from two to six detectives.

In 2013, his office investigated a pistachio theft worth $189,000. No cases were reported the next year, but in 2015, six loads of almonds and pistachios were stolen at a combined loss of $1.6 million.

Investigators tracked at least one load to Los Angeles and made one arrest. Boudreaux declined to name the suspect due to the ongoing investigation.

"They do tend to have some overseas connections,'' said Scott Cornell, an investigator for Travelers Insurance and an expert on cargo thefts. ``Wherever they can sell it and move it, they're going to.''

Food and drinks are the most frequently stolen cargo items, Cornell said. Nuts are an easier target than other products, such as electronics, because there is no serial number and the evidence is gone once it is eaten, he said.

Crosswell, of Caro Nut Co., said he's put in place new safeguards with hopes he doesn't fall victim once more, taking photographs and fingerprints of the roughly 25 truck drivers each day who pull up to the shipping docks.

Despite these efforts, Crosswell said he fears the criminals will strike again.

"Whoever they are, they're watching,'' Crosswell said. ``They'll try it again. They'll figure out how to beat the system. We just have to stay one step ahead of them.''

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PayPal in Hot Water for Hosting All-Male Gender Equality Panel ]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:49:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/paypal-logo.jpg

Paypal is catching flak following the announcement that it will host a discussion on gender equality in the workplace. The problem? An all-male panel is set to lead that discussion. 

The invite, which started circulating on social media Thursday, reads: "Please join us for a discussion with our senior male leaders...about how men and women can partner to achieve a better workplace." 

Many have questioned PayPal's suitability to host such a discussion in the first place, considering the company has an executive board composed of 15 men and only three women. 

Following the criticism, PayPal released a statement from its President of Unity saying that the invite was a missunderstanding, and that the panel is subtitled: "A Conversation with our Male Allies."

But the announcement only drew more ire.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, file
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<![CDATA[Great Dane Gets Stuck in Tree]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:40:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DaneinTree.jpg Kora, a 120-pound Great Dane who was stuck 20 feet up a tree in Louisville, Nebraska, was rescued Saturday night by the local fire department.

Photo Credit: WOWT]]>
<![CDATA[Chimp Leads Police on Chase Through Japanese Town]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 09:58:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chimp-escaped-zoo.jpg

A chimpanzee fled from a zoo in northern Japan and tried desperately to avoid being captured by climbing an electric pole.

Not for long.

Chacha, the male chimp, was on the loose nearly two hours Thursday after disappearing from the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai, the city that's hosting finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations in May.

TV footage showed Chacha perched atop the pole, agitated and screaming at zoo workers below. Even after being hit by a sedative arrow in the back, Chacha desperately tried to escape, dangling from a power line.

He finally gave up and fell head down into a blanket held by a dozen workers on the ground. It's not immediately clear if he survived.

Zoo officials are investigating how he escaped.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Unusual Collection of Disney Bronze Bars Found]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:16:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DISNEY+BRONZE1.jpg

Some Disney aficionado lost a hunk of bronze “character bars,” pristinely wrapped in plastic, and Fremont police detectives are hoping to find the rightful owner.

Police on Wednesday posted images of the Donald Duck, Elvis Presley and Lone Ranger palm-sized rectangular decorative souvenirs on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook hoping that whoever owns the collection will come to claim it.

Police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said they were found during the course of a residential burglary, and that detectives believe there's a "strong likelihood" they were stolen. Bosques didn't want to say too much, but detectives found the bronze bars during a probation search in Hayward. A suspect was arrested on unrelated charges. She declined to say more.

As for how much the collection costs? Police aren't sure. On eBay, similar items sell for $20 to $50. But Bosques said the souvenirs are likely significant to the collector who is now without them. And she's hoping that owner will come forward to help police piece together the larger investigation.

Anyone who has information should call the investigations unit at 510-790-6900 or email lostandfound@fremont.gov.

Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Burger Shop Break-In]]> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 15:48:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/five+guys+burglary+cooking+burglar.jpg

Police in Washington, D.C., are searching for a man seen in surveillance video who apparently grilled himself a hamburger as the restaurant was closed before allegedly swiping some water.

Police said the burglary happened between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. March 18 at the Five Guys Burgers and Fries location in Columbia Heights, in the 1400 block of Irving Street NW.

Investigators said the man followed a delivery man into the restaurant and waited until he left. The man then rummaged through the restaurant, cooked food and stole bottled water before leaving.

Surveillance video shows a man appearing to put food on a grill in the restaurant while talking on a cell phone.

Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted by sending a text message to 50411.

Photo Credit: DC Metropolitan Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves in Livermore Targeting Construction Trucks]]> Sat, 09 Apr 2016 20:10:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nighttime+construction.jpg

Livermore police are warning people about a rash of recent robberies targeting construction and trade crews.

Since last fall, police said two dozen of these vehicles with visible lockboxes for were stolen. Many of those cars were white Ford vans or trucks.

“Too often, we have community members that (say) ‘I saw it, but I didn’t want to bother you…it made me suspicious but I thought you didn’t want to know.’ Said Lt. John Hurd of the Livermore Police Department. “We Want to know.”

Police say the cars are usually recovered, but the equipment or work tools often aren’t found. 

Authorities are asking the public to call the Livermore police if they see suspicious behavior in the area. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cliff Proposal Lands Would-Be Groom in Jail for Drugs]]> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:40:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/222*120/04-08-2016-morro-rock-rescue-3.jpg

A man who captured national attention Friday with a seemingly romantic, but reckless, marriage proposal on a California rock was taken to jail on drug charges and told he would have to pay for his own rescue.

San Luis Obisbo Sheriff jail records show that 27-year-old Michael John Paul Banks of Fresno was booked on misdemeanor drug use and possession charges on Thursday, and released on $10,000 bond.

Banks had scaled the 600-foot Morro Rock in Central California's Morro Bay on Thursday morning to ask his girfriend to marry him via Facetime. While she reportedly said "yes," it's unclear if she knew at the time her paramour was allegedly on drugs.

During the proposal, Banks got stuck. And a California Highway Patrol helicopter was set to airlift him from the steep rock 90 feet above the ocean.

It is illegal to climb Morro Rock. Trying to reach Banks on Friday was not immediately successful.

The city of Morro Bay posted a video of some of the rescue and said the "gentleman will be billed for the chopper ride and other related costs."

Photo Credit: Morro Bay Fire Department
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<![CDATA[Coyote Lounges on San Francisco Lawn]]> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 11:41:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0407-2016-SFCoyote.jpg

San Francisco homeowners got a surprise Thursday morning when they woke up to find a coyote lounging on their front lawn, one of a string of such sightings in the city.

The coyote ran away as soon as animal control officers showed up in the Balboa Terrace neighborhood, the homeowners said. But it left behind a mess. Garbage cans were knocked over, and residents think the animal was looking for food.

On April 4, a coyote was spotted on a San Francisco elementary playground. And in March, San Francisco residents held a meeting to complain about overly agressive coyotes.

Photo Credit: Anonymous]]>
<![CDATA[A's Fly Back From Seattle Aboard Giants-Branded Plane]]> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:10:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfgiantmain.jpg

After completing the sweep of the Mariners, the A's headed to the airport to return to Oakland.

At 5:30pm on Sunday, A's outfielder Josh Reddick tweeted out a photo of the team's plane.

On the side of the aircraft, underneath the cockpit, is a message that reads: "We are SF We are Giant."

The "SF" is the San Francisco Giants logo.

The A's are 4-3 on the young season, while the Giants are 5-2.

Photo Credit: Josh Reddick via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[No One Claimed Wayward Bay Bridge Chihuahua]]> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 11:40:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ponch.jpg

No one has claimed a wayward Chihuahua who earned himself the hashtag, #BayBridgeDog when he ran loose on the bridge Sunday morning.

"Ponch" — nicknamed for Erik Estrada's character in the 1970s TV hit "CHiPs" — will be heading to foster care before Animal Care and Control San Francisco finds him a permanent family, the agency said Thursday on Facebook.

The agency posted a picture of the pooch with a training supervisor, adding that he still needs some "serious quiet time."

The pint-size dog raced across the westbound side of the Bay Bridge Sunday morning, where a motorcycle officer took video of the unusual scene, according to CHP Officer Vu Williams.

Two officers were finally able to corral him and scoop him up.

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and John Zuchelli contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Animal Carea and Control San Francisco
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<![CDATA[Cops Stop San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 12:58:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ed-lee-sfpd-force.jpg

San Francisco police were surprised Tuesday night when they stopped a vehicle with an unlikely person in the passenger seat: Mayor Ed Lee.

The mayor and the driver of the unmarked vehicle - police Lt. Luke Martin - were slowly patrolling neighborhoods to get a firsthand glimpse of the rising property crime that has been alarming city residents, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"I think I was driving maybe a little suspiciously, so the officers keyed into the way I was driving and decided to investigate further. What their investigation turned up was Mayor Ed Lee," Martin told the Chronicle.

Lee and Martin were immediately sent on their way.

The stop occurred near the intersection of Mission Street and the Embarcadero.


Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Museum Accuses Marin County Man of Stealing Meteorite]]> Thu, 07 Apr 2016 08:41:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/METEORITEcrop.jpg

A gold-flecked meteorite that has traveled from the asteroid belt near Mars to the mountains of Fukang, China, and finally Marin County, California, is at the center of a vicious ownership battle being waged in federal court.

The 227-pound iron "pallasite" meteorite is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. First discovered in Fukang, China about 15 years ago, it could be worth as much as $1 million, according to Stephen Settgast, an asteroid collecter who claims he's the rightful owner.

He sued a museum in Maine and a New York meteorite expert in February alleging breach of contract over the sale of the meteorite. But they have now filed a counterclaim, alleging that Settgast, who is staying in Marin County, is behind a "blatant theft of a unique and precious meteorite."

The countersuit alleges Settgast sold the meteorite for $425,000, then engaged in an "outrageous act of seller’s remorse" by stealing back the space rock for himself.

"This isn't a typical theft," said Wayne Minckley, undersheriff in Miami County, Kansas, in a Skype interview with NBC Bay Area.

A sheriff is involved in the out-of-this-world case because authorities aren’t yet ready to decide who stole the meteorite until the suit is settled.

"It’s a complicated case in the mere fact that the individual who sold it to the folks in Maine is our suspect in the theft," Minckley said.

Settgast would not speak on the record. But his attorney, Curt Edmonson of the Oregon firm, Slinde Nelson Stanford, said this is a simple business dispute gone awry.

"Civil suits don’t use terms like ‘steal.' That’s a criminal term," he said. "We didn’t go over the top in our complaint, but they certainly went over the top in their counterclaims."

But Settgast's story is full of holes, according to the founders of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum — Lawrence Stifler and Mary McFadden of Brookline, Massachusetts — and meteorite expert Darryl Pitt, of New York. All three filed the counterclaim on March 29.

In the suit, Jeff Valle, the trio's Los Angeles attorney, laid out his clients’ argument like this: Noted for his ability to spot beauty and value in meteorites, Pitt suggested to the museum founders that they buy the meteorite in question. Stifler and McFadden agreed to pay Settgast $425,000 to feature the "Fukang meteorite" in their museum, which is not yet open.

In August 2014, Pitt brokered the deal with Settgast. The final of three payments was made in February 2015, the counterclaim contends. According to his website biography, Pitt is the purveyor of the "world's foremost collection of aesthetic iron meteorites," which he describes as "extraterrestrial objects d'art."

Valle and Pitt have declined to be interviewed.

After the money was paid, Pitt and the museum founders waited for the meteorite to be cleaned up and prepared by Kansas duo Keith and Dana Jenkerson, of KD Meteorites. The couple's website twinkles with brightly lit stars and boasts they've been "chasing meteorites since 1990s."

The Jenkersons took almost two years to stabilize, restore and prepare the "Fukang meteorite," the countersuit alleges, and on Jan. 10, Keith Jenkerson told Pitt this was "one of the most awesome meteorites to ever be displayed." He guessed the spiffed-up space rock to now be worth $1 million. But Pitt and the museum founders said this higher price is wildly inflated, the counterclaim states.

Less than two weeks later, the meteorite was reported stolen.

Pitt and the museum founders allege that Settgast, whose lawyer described him as a "world-renowned" fossil hunter who also has a ranch in Montana, went into the Jenkersons' lab on Jan. 23 and stole back the meteorite. Settgast's attorneys claim a condition of the sale was that the meteorite couldn't be shown in a public museum, a point the museum founders' say is simply not true, the counterclaim contends.

How Settgast would have gotten the meteorite out of the lab, at the Jenkersons' home in Osawatomie, Kansas, without detection, and then to Marin County, where Settgast has been living with a relative, has not been clearly explained.

Minckley, from the sheriff’s office, reiterated that it’s his understanding Settgast stole the meteorite from the lab. He said there was no surveillance video to document what might have happened. His office, however, is reserving a final determination on whether a crime was committed, and by whom, until a federal judge makes a ruling on who really owns the meteorite.

As for why the sheriff’s department is letting the civil case play out first, Edmonson said: "That tells you a little bit about how they feel about the criminal action. If they don’t feel there is enough evidence for the claim of theft, then it’s not there."

A hearing is set for June to be heard by Oakland-based U.S District Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong.

Photo Credit: Maine Mineral and Gem Museum
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<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Cat With Thermal Imaging Camera]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 07:38:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/CATRESCUE1.jpg

Firefighters rescue cat. Not news.

Firefighters rescues cat with thermal technology. Different story.

That’s the angle that grabbed headlines Tuesday for Alameda County firefighters in San Leandro who used a thermal imaging camera to locate a trapped cat inside of a wall before strategically cutting around the heat reading and freeing the kitten. The cat was in the attic before it fell, wedging itself between wall studs.

Down on their hands and knees, three firefighters helped pull the small feline from the wall and then wrapped it in a white blanket.

The firefighters decided to document their high-tech rescue on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Alameda County Fire Department/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[SF Nightclub Theft Caught on Video]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 14:51:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/nightclub.JPG

Owners of a popular San Francisco nightclub are seeking the public's help to identify two men who stole $500 and a bottle of alcohol on April 4 and were caught on surveillance camera.

Monarch co-owner Micah Byrnes has posted the footage to his YouTube and Facebook accounts in hopes that the thieves will be identified and located. (Warning: His commentary on the video contains profane language.)

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to try to compensate the club's bartender, whose wallet containing her tips for the week was brazenly stolen from the back room.

Photo Credit: Micah Byrnes via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Alligator Tries to Get in Fla. Home]]> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:54:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/040516+plant+city+gator.jpg

An alligator was removed from a mobile home community in Central Florida Tuesday after it approached a resident's front door.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the gator was 9 feet 5 inches long. Authorities said the animal "was attempting to gain entry into a residential mobile home."

Officials said a licensed trapper and HCSO deputy were able to capture and remove the gator before it could harm anyone.

Plant City is about 30 miles east of Tampa.


Photo Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Super-Sized, Illuminated Bunnies to Grace San Francisco Civic Center Plaza]]> Tue, 05 Apr 2016 19:22:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/intrude-by-amanda-parer_25429655743_inflatable.jpg

Five giant nylon bunny rabbits will grace the lawn of San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza this month as part of a traveling art installation.

A ceremony Tuesday morning kicked off the show, which runs through April 25. Reactions from passersby included comments such as, "I think it's totally crazy," and "You can't miss it, that's for sure."

Australian artist Amanda Parer, who created the 23-foot-tall glowing bunnies, calls her work "Intrude" and says on her website her art is about "changing usual places." In Parer's native Australia, rabbits have caused a great imbalance in the country's delicate ecosystem since the animals were introduced in 1788.

The exhibit has been traveling around the country since the end of February and has already been on display in 19 locations, including Washington, D.C. The bunnies will also head to New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Denver.

San Francisco Arts Commission spokeswoman Kate Patterson said the art will be taking over public space in the plaza so all can see the illuminated animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The artwork loan and installation cost $84,000, Patterson said. The city paid $54,000 trhough the Arts Commission, $25,000 came through the Public Art Trust, a voluntary donation from private development," and $4,5000 came from private donations.

Patterson said the project was initiated by Mayor Ed Lee, who sought public art that was "family friendly" and would appeal to a broad audience.

Arts Commission Project Manager Jill Manton researched artists for months and was tipped off to the project by a colleague. Patterson said it fit all of the mayor's criteria.


NBC Bay Area's Joe Rosato Jr. contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Amanda Parer/San Francisco Arts Commission
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<![CDATA[Falling Tree Barely Misses Cop Car]]> Tue, 05 Apr 2016 16:03:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/boonton+dashcam+tree.jpg

A New Jersey police car came dangerously close to being crushed by a large tree when the tree snapped and fell onto the road amid powerful winds Sunday, dashcam footage from the patrol car shows. 

Boonton Township police said a sergeant was driving a patrol car eastbound on Rockaway Valley Road just before 8 a.m. Sunday when winds brought a large tree down directly in front of the car.

The sergeant was able to steer his car away from the trunk, narrowly avoiding a collision. But footage shows a pickup truck driven by Alex Conklin coming from the opposite direction slamming into the tree and briefly going airborne before resting on top of it.

Incredibly, the driver did not suffer any injuries, according to police. The sergeant in the patrol car was also OK. 

"(It was) the worst amusement park ride you've ever been on," Conklin said Tuesday. 

Tow truck driver Mike Corigliano came to the scene after the crash and took photos after the crash, and noted that a bent bumper appeared to be the only visible sign of damage to Conklin's truck.

"It's something you would see in 'Dukes of Hazzard'," Corigliano said.

Gusts of 60 mph were reported in the tri-state area early Sunday morning, and subsided by the afternoon. But torn-offs roofs, uprooted trees and knocked-down power lines were left in their wake. 

Winds knocked out electric power to as many as 63,000 customers in New Jersey and New York, utility officials said.

Photo Credit: Boonton Township Police
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<![CDATA[LA's 'Murder House' Up for Sale]]> Mon, 04 Apr 2016 17:35:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/4-4-16-Murde_House.jpg

The ad on realtor.com for the four-bedroom home in Los Feliz tells only part of the story. The beautiful Los Angeles home nestled on a hill has a grand entrance, step-down living room, ballroom, library and serene views.

The 5,050-square-foot Spanish Revival is "waiting for that special person looking for a wonderful opportunity to remodel or develop."

But the $2.75 million home at 2475 Glendower Place has a dark history.

The house is where Dr. Harold N. Perelson bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer and attacked his 18-year-old daughter before killing himself "in a frenzy that he himself likened to a nightmare," the Los Angeles Times wrote on Dec. 7, 1959.

Since then, the so-called "Murder House" has become the center of morbid fascination, sparking ghost hunters to endlessly ruminate about it online.

"People into weird, creepy stuff would know about it," LA history blogger Kim Cooper said. "There's no justice. That's what makes it so weird and mysterious."

A Los Angeles Times article documents the killing under the headline, "Doctor Kills Wife and Self in Frenzy of 'Nightmare.'"

Perelson, 50, killed his wife while she slept, then attacked his daughter, the article said. She survived. Two other children, Debbie, 11 and Joel, 13, were not hurt.

When Debbie woke to the sounds and confronted her father, Perelson told her, "Go back to bed; this is a nightmare," The Times wrote, citing police.

Nobody knows what set Perelson off, but detectives at the time said they found paperwork suggesting he was having financial problems.

The dark history of the house took on a life of its own.

After the Perelsons, another family bought the home in probate in the early 1960s. When they died, the son inherited it from his parents but he didn't live there. The last owner died last year and the home went to probate again. The house went up for sale last week, said real estate agent Susan Nancy Sanborn, of Berkshire Hathaway.

So far there have been no takers. She said the urban legends of paranormal activity are not helping the cause.

"It's a very beautiful house," she said. "I don't have any ghoulish details to share."

There's the myth that there was another family who moved in after the Perelsons who reportedly left in a hurry because something happened and they didn't have time to take their Christmas tree and gifts, said Jeff Maysh, an LA-based journalist who wrote a history of the house on Medium.com.

There is another myth of visits by the ghost of Dr. Perelson.

"The house is a sinister character in my story," said Maysh, who sold the story to an LA production company that plans to make a horror film. "It's a building that has secrets which kind of gives it a personality. LA is a town based on secrets. Everyone wants to know what's behind closed doors."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway]]>
<![CDATA[No One Ran Naked at Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon Race]]> Sun, 03 Apr 2016 21:27:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6P+ROCK+AND+ROLL+MARATHON+VO+-+00001103.jpg

The big story out of today’s Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in San Francisco is not who won – it’s who had clothes on.

Race organizers say no one ran the race naked this year, despite the long and unofficial tradition of skipping clothes and donning nothing but birthday suits for the trek. 

Instead, runners came out in full force and fully clothed, prepared to take on the 11-plus mile run.

Every year, the hilly course goes along the Great Highway and makes its way down Balboa Street and other San Francisco twists and turns before it finishes at Civic Center Plaza.

Runners from 47 different states and 32 countries participated in the race, according to a news release.

Jonathan Varela Obando of Costa Rica finished first in the men’s category with a time of 1 hour 14 minutes and 14 seconds, while Alisa MacDonald of Canada came in first for the women’s category with a time of 1 hour 22 minutes and 14 seconds.

“This is a much harder course than what I’m used to,” said MacDonald in a news release. “It was tough but it was beautiful. The conditions were absolutely perfect.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area ]]>
<![CDATA[911 Call Over Botched Pizza Order]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 01:47:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Food+Phillies+2012+Preview+Seasons+Pizza+Generic.jpg

A woman called 911 to complain that a Hartford, Connecticut, pizza shop made a mistake with her order and wouldn’t return her money, so she wanted police officers to get it back for her.

The woman said she ordered a small half-cheese, half-bacon pizza from Empire Pizza on New Britain Avenue, but they gave her one that had hamburger on half of it.

The pizza shop said the incident happened a couple weeks ago and they would have been happy to replace the order, but the woman said she'd already eaten half of the pizza.

Here's how the call went down:

“If I order a pizza and they don’t want to give me my money back, can you guys do something,” the caller asked the 911 dispatcher.

The dispatcher calmly told her to take it up with the pizza shop.

“That’s not something you would dial 911 for – 911 is for life-threatening emergencies only,” the dispatcher said.

“OK, can you call the pizzeria or something?” the caller then asked.

At that point, the dispatcher asked the woman what happened.

“I ordered a small pizza – half cheese and half bacon – and they bring me half hamburger, so I call them back and they don’t want to give my money back,” she said, adding the pizza shop was hanging up on her.

“That’s not a police matter, ma’am,” the dispatcher said. “You’ll have to work that out with the pizza shop.”

The caller again asked the dispatcher to call the pizza shop.

“No, we cannot call the pizza shop,” the dispatcher said.

The woman then asked the dispatcher why the pizza shop could call the police if she went over there and started arguing with them.

“If you go over there, you can call and have an officer meet you, but an officer’s not just going to call them and ask them to give you your money back,” the dispatcher explained.

The dispatcher then offered to have an officer meet her and urged her not to go into the pizza shop and say anything until she spoke with an officer.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the woman who called 911, but she did not want to comment.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Dan Stamm]]>
<![CDATA[San Leandro's BB Gun Vandals Now Hitting People: Police]]> Sat, 02 Apr 2016 23:38:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/shot+out+bb+gun.jpg

The BB gun vandals have advanced from hitting cars to hitting people.

The San Leandro Police Department is asking the public to help them identify a group of suspects who have been vandalizing hundreds of cars in San Leandro and neighboring cities. All told, the damage to property has exceeded $60,000, police said.

A slew of shootings has led the police to believe the brazen group of suspects is now targeting people. 

“This is becoming dangerous,” said Lt. Robert McManus. “Windows can be replaced. However, these suspects have become violent since they’ve begun to shoot at people.”

On March 24 at about 10 p.m., the vandals shot off rounds of BBs at a group of workers milling about on their break in the 900 block of Montague St. Then, at 10:30 p.m, aresident in the 400 block of Begier Avenue told police that his car’s rear window had been shot out.

When police inspected the broken window, they determined the likely weapon used to be a BB gun.

About an hour later, an automatic alarm at Knop’s Upholstery Shop alerted police to a possible break in. When officers arrived on scene, they discovered the front window to be riddled with a BB hole.

The crimes continued on the evening of March 25, police said.

At approximately 8 p.m., a 29-year-old man was standing outside a bar on the 14500 block of E. 14th St. when passengers inside a silver Toyota 4-Runner with black wheels fired at him. Police say one of the BBs lodged itself into the man’s arm, requiring surgical removal.

The escalating crimes has surprised community members, who say this is out of character for the place that they call home. 

"It does make me scared," said Peter Rydell, a resident of San Leandro. "You never know when they're going to be shooting at us." 

Resident Dean Jones echoed Rydell's sentiments. 

"You can really hurt someone, or you could cause an accident or someone could get killed," he said. "It's crazy."

A few hours later, 49-year-old man leaving a church on Bancroft Avenue reported a passengers from a Toyota 4-Runner driving past him and striking him in the head with a BB, police said.

The last case, according to police, happened just after 10:16 p.m. when a man at a bus stop on the 14100 block of E. 14th St said he was hit by a BB. The man described a car similar to the Toyota 4Runner, police said.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (510) 577-2740.

<![CDATA[Mystery Meat Found on Several New Hampshire Roads]]> Tue, 29 Mar 2016 08:40:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-462467813.jpg

A trail of mystery meat has hit the road in New Hampshire.

Chicken, drumsticks, sausage, Angus steaks, pork chops and wild game meats were found alongside several roads in Epping last weekend, according to the Union Leader.

Police Capt. Jason Newman said an estimated 30 to 40 packages of meat were discarded on Red Oak Hill, Rocky Lane, Old Nottingham Road and Route 87, the paper reported.

The meat appeared to have been dropped out of a moving vehicle about every 200 feet. Much of it was partially frozen, and police said the label on one package left a clue that it came from a local store, according to the paper.

Residents notified authorities about the discoveries on Sunday.

No arrests have been made at this time, and the motive remains unknown. Anyone with information is asked to call: (603) 679-5122.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[16th Big Wheel Race Features Costumes, Crashes]]> Mon, 28 Mar 2016 10:40:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Scott_BigWheel11.jpg

The first thing most rookie Big Wheelers figure out is the iconic children’s ride doesn’t hold up well to adult sized weight. Dozens of racers rolling down Vermont Street in San Francisco this weekend had to stop half way with flat tires and broken forks.

Despite the equipment failures, the 16th annual “Bring Your Own Big Wheel” was a rousing San Francisco success. The guys who dress up as BART cars were there. There were several Donald Trumps, a number of princesses of both genders and a half dozen Woody and Buzz Lightyear combos. Rides included the eponymous Big Wheel, Green Machines, Lil’ Tykes and even a few daring drivers on desk chairs.

The race was born on the city’s more famous twisty street, Lombard, but was moved in 2008 to Vermont Street. Which is twistier is up for debate: technically Lombard has a greater number of curves, but Vermont has a higher “sinuosity”. More importantly to the Big Wheel set, Vermont is steeper.

Photo Credit: Ian McGrew]]>
<![CDATA[Chaos at PEZ Easter Egg Hunt]]> Mon, 28 Mar 2016 13:08:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/easterhunt.jpg

Chaos erupted when parents rushed the fields at an annual PEZ Easter egg hunt in Orange, Connecticut, causing the event to end early, the visitor center's general manager told NBC Connecticut.

Staff had laid out nearly 10,000 eggs over three fields at the PEZ visitor center and planned three start times for different age groups, but some parents ignored that plan, rushing the fields early, trampling signs and shoving other participants. One woman said an adult injured her grandchild's nose.

"My grandson ended up with a bloody [nose] from an ADULT in the 9-12 year old section knocking into him!!!! Where was PEZ personnel?? Where was the safety of our children in your thought process??" Jennifer Barden-Moore wrote on Facebook.

A woman from West Haven said she was separated from her son and later found him in tears.

"It was ridiculous. The parents were literally a poster for everything not to do," said West Haven mom Nicole Welch.

"By the time I found my 4-year-old, he was hysterically crying," she added. 

Her son, Vincent, described the scene in his own words.

"Somebody pushed me over and take my eggs and it's very rude of them and they broke my bucket," Vincent recalled.

The event — the third annual — drew more participants this year than the candy maker had expected. More than 1,000 people attended, according to Shawn Peterson, the general manager of the PEZ visitor center. 

Peterson said this year, the parents "took over," flooding the "kids only" fields and going on to the next hunt well before the designated start times. The signs on each field were taken or trampled on, Peterson said. 

"I take this personally. I don’t want this to be a reflection of the brand," said Peterson. "It was a fun thing up until this point."

PEZ said its staff pleaded with parents to follow the rules, but the staff was overwhelmed. He said staffing was the same as in previous years, with one employee at each hunt field, and this weekend's incident was the first.

The company released an updated statement Monday.

"People chose to ignore staff direction and entered the fields before the posted starting times, removing everything well before the activity was to begin.  Due to the actions of a few, the good intent quickly turned into a disappointment," the statement read.

Parents stormed the company's Facebook page with concerns and frustrations about the lack of order.

One father who commented on Facebook said his 5-year-old was nearly trampled by other adults despite the presence of “no adult” signs.

Peterson said the company deliberately refrained from advertising the event widely in an effort to keep the number of attendants low. No one should have left empty handed, the company said. When PEZ noticed the number of people, staff offered parents free coupons and candy inside the venue. 

"We sincerely tried our best to create a fun, free activity for everyone to enjoy and greatly appreciate the overwhelming support we have received not only locally, but nationally and internationally as well," the PEZ statement concluded.

Photo Credit: Patty Tomaso]]>
<![CDATA[Fur Seal 'Ozzie' Found in Fremont Front Yard]]> Thu, 24 Mar 2016 19:28:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sealion16.jpg

A 9-month-old, tagged California fur seal found its way to a home in Fremont Thursday morning, puzzling cops and neighbors over how the small mammal waddled its way there.

Police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques made a video, which she tweeted out about 9:30 a.m., showing the seal, which rescuers nicknamed “Ozzie,” likely for where it was found: In the 42300 block of Osgood Road.

“We have no idea how it made it to Osgood, far from any body of water,” Bosques said.

The block is about four miles from the nearest body of sea water.

“It’s possible,” said Marine Mammal Center veterinarian Sophie Whoriskey. “These animals do haul out and spend some time on land sometimes, so they can certainly walk that far.”

Police also showed a picture of smiling residents standing around the seal, which is in a cage and wrapped in a black blanket with white paw prints. Later, Fremont police updated the status of "Ozzie," stating its real name was "Kumofur."  She was apparently supposed to head north, but ended up south. Police initially stated incorrectly that the seal was a sea lion.

Homeowner Cathy Carpentier said Kumofur looked wet and fairly healthy, but scared.

“It was moving around quite a bit. It was looking at you with big brown eyes – gorgeous,” Carpentier said, explaining police knocked on her door about 8:30 Thursday morning asking if she and her husband knew how the seal got here.

“There’s a seal in your driveway. A seal. How do you comprehend that?” Carpentier said. “Occasionally we get raccoons, skunks, bobcats, but a marine animal? This is a first for us.”

Kumofur was originally rescued in November 2015 at New Brighton State Beach in Capitola, California, according to Giancarlo Rulli from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, where the seal was taken. After the malnourished pup was treated at the center, Rulli said she was released at Scotty Creek Beach in Bodega Bay, California, earlier in March.

Rulli said veterinarians will exam her to try to figure out why she might have made her way to Fremont, 100 miles away.

A record number of mammals were found and rescued at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito last year, most likely, experts say, because of the Pacific Ocean weather phenomena called "The Blob" and El Niño.

A total of 107 fur seals were rescued by the center in 2015, three times the average. Dr. Whoriskey says usually during March, they are treating 15 to 20.

“We think that’s because of warmer water conditions so these animals are having a harder time finding food,” Dr. Whoriskey said.

Throughout California, other rescue centers are busy feeding high numbers of hungry mammals before sending them back into the ocean.

Overall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that from January to May 2015, California sea lion strandings were occurring 10 times more than average.

A similar phenomenon occurred during California’s last El Niño in 1997, when the death rate of seals hovered about 70 percent, compared to a normal rate of 45 percent. 

As for 2016, Rulli said the number of strandings have not yet been tabulated. But he didn't expect them to be too high, because stranded seals usually happen shortly after birth, which would mean they would occur in the fall.

Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department
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<![CDATA[SF Job for Hire: Butler for $175K a Year]]> Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:23:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/jeeves.jpg

A high end service job in San Francisco is drawing international attention.

A Noe Valley family is looking for a house manager/personal assistant with at least 10 years experience to help run their lives and 10,000-square foot home and will pay at least $175,000, depending on experience, according to The Guardian.

"You will be responsible for calendar management for this family of 5 (plus a puppy!), help with travel planning, restaurant reservations, to running local errands and organizing closets and pantries," reads an ad posted to The Help Company. "We are looking for someone who can set up systems for this new home and organize everything from a gift database to cleaning routine for the housekeeper and groundsmen. If you have the best eye for attention to detail, and love keeping everything in its place and want to work for the loveliest, most loyal client, please send your resume."

A background in architecture or art is a bonus as the family owns an "extensive art collection comparable to a museum!"

The family is said to enjoy a "simple lifestyle" but also entertains "high profile" international friends.

Resumes from across the country are welcome.

The Help Company has also posted San Francisco jobs including a manny in Pacific Heights and a full-time personal chef in Cow Hollow.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Boaty McBoatface' Floats in UK Ship-Naming Poll]]> Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:06:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/national-environment-research-council-boat.jpg

When scientists in the U.K. asked the public to name their new $290 million polar research ship, they expected the name of an explorer or a naturalist. Apparently, they didn't factor in the Brits' oddball sense of humor.

By 9 a.m. Monday, more than 27,000 people had voted to name the ship "RRS Boaty McBoatface," almost 10 times the votes of any other name, NBC News reported.

The poll was launched Thursday by the National Environment Research Council, the government-funded body building the ship in Cammell Laird shipyard, near Liverpool. Expected to set sail in 2019, the 420-foot vessel will "provide the U.K. with the most advanced floating research fleet in the world," the NERC said.

The website has been crashing over the weekend under the weight of the unexpected increase in traffic.

Photo Credit: Natural Environment Research Council]]>
<![CDATA[Petaluma Man Is Prison Bound For Selling Misbranded Meat]]> Sun, 20 Mar 2016 20:57:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-816900161.jpg

A federal judge sentenced a former employee of a Petaluma slaughterhouse Friday in San Francisco for his role in a scheme to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat. 

Felix Sandoval Cabrera, 56, of Petaluma, was sentenced to three months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, which includes three months of home confinement, in addition to $1,000, according to prosecutors.

Cabrera worked as the kill floor foreperson at the now defunct Rancho Feeding Corporation.
On Nov. 26, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, prosecutors said.

As part of his plea agreement, Cabrera admitted to directing other kill floor employees to carve stamps that read "USDA Condemned" out of carcasses of condemned cattle. He then directed the employees to process the carcasses for transport, sale and distribution, according to prosecutors.
Cabrera also admitted to placing heads of healthy cows next to the carcasses of cows that showed signs of cancer eye, in an effort to sidestep government meat inspection procedures. The uninspected cattle were then processed for transport, sale and distribution, prosecutors said.

Cabrera was charged along with fellow former employees Jesse Amaral, 78 and Eugene Corda, 66, both of Petaluma, with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, conspiracy to commit the same and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

A fourth defendant, Robert Singleton, 79, owner of the Petaluma-based Rancho Veal Corporation was charged separately with distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.

Amaral, Corda and Singleton each pleaded guilty and acknowledged their separate roles in the scheme, according to prosecutors.

A federal judge sentenced Amaral to 12 months and one day of prison and Corda to three years probation, including six months of home detention.

Singleton was sentenced to three months imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release, which includes three months of home confinement and fifty hours of community service, prosecutors said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zebras Spotted Running Around East Bay ]]> Sat, 19 Mar 2016 22:56:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N6A+ZEBRAS+PIC+VO+-+00000504.jpg

Two zebras got loose from a circus on Friday in Oakland and were seen running along a major East Oakland Road near the O.co Coliseum, police said today.

A police officer reported seeing the zebras at 4:31 p.m. running north on Hegenberger Road near Edes Avenue, Officer J. Moore said.

Circus personnel were able to herd them back, Moore said. The UniverSoul Circus opened a show in Oakland on March 5 at 633 Hegenberger Road, which is near where the zebras were spotted.

The show wraps in Oakland on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Courtesy @Key_BlackBeauty]]>
<![CDATA[What Happens When You Pour Molten Copper on Big Mac]]> Mon, 14 Mar 2016 10:36:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/190*120/big+mac.png

Most know the ingredients of a McDonald’s Big Mac: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions – on a sesame seed bun. So what were to happen if you were to pour molten copper on it? Apparently not much, at all.

In a new video uploaded to YouTube, user Tito4re did exactly that. He took a Big Mac and drenched it in what he claimed to be the scalding liquefied chemical just to see what would happen to the meal. Turns out, nothing really did. It ended up burnt to a crisp, but all the ingredients seemed to miraculously survive the hazardous material. In some parts of the clip, it looked as if the copper was bouncing right off of the patties.

The copper’s melting point, according to the video, was 1,984 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s been viewed nearly a million times since being posted Thursday. The user's channel is full of videos that see how everyday items react under similarly harsh conditions, according to TIME.

This isn’t the first time a McDonald’s meal has come under fire (pun intended) for holding up in a way that is abnormal for food. Last month, a woman’s Facebook post went viral after uploading photos that showed a Happy Meal she purchased six years ago. The images, which included a receipt from the day the meal was purchased, showed the chicken nuggets and fries never molded and were virtually unchanged.

“It's been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!!” the post reads. “It smells only of cardboard.”

But McDonald’s argued that the photos did not accurately depict what happened.

“While not knowing the conditions in which the food was kept in this specific claim, what is scientifically known is that decomposition of food happens under certain conditions,” the Oak Brook-based company said in a statement. “Without sufficient moisture – either in the food itself or the environment in which it is held – decomposition is unlikely. This is not unique to McDonald’s food. Any food – whether homemade, store bought or from a restaurant - can dehydrate in a dry environment, therefore not decompose.”

A request for comment from McDonald’s on Tito4re’s YouTube video was not immediately returned Monday.

Photo Credit: YouTube / Tito4re
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<![CDATA[Several People Report Breathing Issues While at East Bay Holiday Inn]]> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 00:38:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-AMBULANCE-HOMBRE-MUERE.jpg

A medical scare broke out at a hotel in the East Bay Area Saturday evening. 

At least five ambulances were called to the scene of the Walnut Creek Holiday Inn Express on Main Street, where at least 10 people reported having serious breathing issues, fire officials said.

Hotel guests complained of a "pepper spray-like" smell, and said they suffered from itchy eyes and throats. The hotel has been evacuated.

Five people were treated at the scene, while one person was transported to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries. 

Two Hazmat teams combed the hotel looking for what the issue could be, but were unable to locate the source of the irritant by about 10:30 p.m. 

The structure was ventilated and the HVAC system was switched to bring in a lot of fresh air, a hotel worker said. 

Firefighters on on scene investigating whether the cause is a harmful substance.  

<![CDATA[Hashtags on Bank Robbery Notes: PD]]> Sat, 12 Mar 2016 08:57:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Leroy+Earl+Morris+Daley.jpg

Prince George's County police say a man believed to be linked to at least nine bank robberies in Maryland used notes that included the hashtags #nopolice, #becarefull (sic) and #afterwork?.

Leroy Earl-Morris Daley, 45, likely will be charged with five bank robberies in Prince George's County, police announced Friday. The robberies all occurred between September 2015 and March 2016. 

The most recent robbery was reported Thursday on the 8200 block of Annapolis Road in New Carrollton. Police believe Daley also is responsible for three bank robberies that occurred in just 15 minutes in Montgomery County. 

Daley was arrested Thursday after a police officer spotted his car right next to his police cruiser. 

Prince George's County Police Sgt. Craig Winegardner investigated the bank robbery in New Carrollton and had just finished lunch at Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden.

"After finishing lunch, I walked over to my cruiser ... parked right next to my cruiser was the suspect vehicle," he said. "I saw a dent on the back bumper and then I saw the color of the car. [I saw] every identifying feature that Montgomery County sent us."

Winegardner called for backup and surveillance.

"After about 5 or 10 minutes of surveillance, the defendant walked out to get in his vehicle, still wearing the same clothing from our bank robbery," he said.

Daley walked out of an eyeglasses store, police said.

In the Prince George's County cases, police say Daley passed notes to the tellers demanding money. Those notes included the hashtags #nopolice, #becarefull (sic) and #afterwork?. A skull and crossbones emoji was placed behind the #afterwork? hashtag. 

It wasn't immediately clear if Daley had an attorney.

Anyone with information that can help police is asked to call police at 301-772-4905. 

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Huge Trump Parody Hat Stolen]]> Thu, 10 Mar 2016 05:38:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/hatstolen-pch-030916.png

Some may be taking their hats off to the tricky trio who pulled off one hair-raising crime, because in the words of Donald Trump, "It's huge."

A giant red hat with a message echoing the Republican billionaire's slogan was stolen off a well-known statue in Redondo Beach, California, on Tuesday in a middle-of-the-night theft caught on surveillance camera, the shop's owner said.

"Maybe they got a head so big they think it will fit," said Joe Oliveri, who owns the salon that featured the sizable sculpture.

The hat, reading "Make Your Hair Great Again," is strikingly similar to Trump's red campaign hats bearing his slogan, "Make America Great Again."

Oliveri said he wasn't trying to stump for Trump, he was just trying get his salon noticed.

"The object was not to promote Trump -- it was to promote making your hair great again and I was hoping he would see it and take a shot at letting me fix his hair," Oliveri said. "It's simple to fix."

The hat was worth thousands, the salon owner said, which makes the crime grand theft. A report has been filed with the Redondo Beach Police Department.

Oliveri said the three men accused of swiping it drove up to the giant head sculpture located at 1401 South Pacific Coast Highway in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

As seen on surveillance footage, three men make an unsuccessful attempt to remove the hat.

They come back, and "tear it off the head," Oliveri said.

In one of the most brazen parts of the act, the trio can be seen driving away with the huge hat on top of their car.

Oliveri said the three were driving in a dark-colored, four-door sedan.

Joe Oliveri's shop is located at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Avenue F, and the massive head sculpture, resembling a Chia Pet, has been there for 40 years. 

Oliveri said in the past he's put hair rollers on the sculpture's bushy hair, or bunny ears if it's Easter, just trying to be creative with anything topical.

Anyone with information on the hefty red hat's whereabouts is encouraged to call Redondo Beach police at 310-379-2477.  

Michelle Valles contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Joe Oliveri ]]>