Is that a candy bar in your pocket?
OCALA, Fla. — Call him the Baby Ruth Bandit.
A Philadelphia man was in the Marion County jail Tuesday following a weekend crime spree in which he stole a car by pretending a candy bar in his pocket was a gun, police said.
Jesse Allen Gross, 20, reportedly told a deputy after his arrest on Sunday that he was on drugs when he pedaled a stolen adult tricycle to a convenience store and purchased the candy bar to prepare for the heist.
Gross said he watched Earl and Carolyn Sue Roberts, both of Umatilla, as they stopped at the store in their 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Sunday morning. Earl Roberts went inside and Carolyn Roberts went to a pay phone.
Moments later, Carolyn Roberts noticed Gross getting into her car. She pleaded with him not to take their car, according to reports. Roberts said Gross gestured that he had a gun in his pocket.
The couple ran back into the store and Gross drove off. He was quickly spotted by deputies and abandoned the car.
Eventually, deputies found Gross and arrested him. He was being held on charges of armed robbery and resisting arrest without violence.
Block those calls
LE ROY, N.Y. — George Washington and Thomas Jefferson died before the telephone was invented, but that didn’t keep them from dialing a New York woman — according to her caller ID box.
The former presidents were among several famous names listed on the ID box of Nancy Crocker one morning last week. Other calls supposedly came from Edgar Allan Poe, Albert Einstein and Ronald Reagan.
Crocker, a resident of this town 20 miles southwest of Rochester, called her telephone company, Frontier Telephone of Rochester Inc., which said the listed numbers were fake.
A Frontier customer service representative said a brief power failure or aging equipment may have caused the names to appear. The company sometimes enters fictitious names and numbers when testing the system, she said.
The phone company said the same thing has happened before, according to Crocker.
Convict sues for not being arrested fast enough
BANGOR, Maine — A convicted sex offender who fled into the woods when approached by a detective is threatening to sue, saying he lost a few toes to frostbite because police were slow in arresting him.
Harvey Taylor, 48, spent at least three nights in the woods after running from a Penobscot County Sheriff’s detective a few weeks ago.
“If the detective had done his job, I wouldn’t be in here now. I would have been in jail that very same day,” Taylor told the Bangor Daily News in an interview Tuesday from his hospital room.
Taylor said he has had “two or three” toes amputated on his left foot due to frostbite. He said he wasn’t sure of the number because he didn’t want to look too closely at his foot.
A hospital spokesman declined to comment on his condition.
Chief Deputy Glenn Ross of the sheriff’s office said Taylor is wanted in Florida for probation violations linked to his convictions for sexual offenses involving a minor child.
Ross defended the actions of the detective.
“He was cautious and professional,” he said. ”(Taylor) made some decisions and he has to live with the consequences.”
Inmate finds stolen wallet
MADISON, Wis. — The money was long gone, but the credit cards and family photographs were still there.
Sociology professor Bert Adams didn’t think he’d ever again lay eyes on his stolen wallet, lifted in 1996 from his office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The wallet was found in a broken refrigerator by a prison inmate.
Adams happily went through his still-wet wallet Friday after it showed up in the mail from the Fox Lake Correctional Institution.
Fox Lake officials said the inmate found the wallet when he was moving some refrigerators that the university had donated to the prison’s vocational school program.
“He turned it in and the instructor looked through it and came up with the name,” said Larry Jenkins, an associate warden.
“We contacted (Adams) and he seemed quite stunned.”
Adams said everything was wet but in fine shape, including photographs of his grandchildren, his registration for a 1991 Toyota traded in five years ago and the rain check for a car wash that expired in September 1996.