My name is Express. Roadway Express.
As the manager of a Western Union outlet in downtown Dallas, Mike Spain says he has seen some very desperate people try to cash some very suspicious-looking checks.
But he said the sharply-dressed man who walked up to his counter with a $715.47 check wins the all-time award.
The man presented a check made out to a trucking company called Roadway Express. Nothing too unusual there.
"I said, are you the owner or what?"
"No," he said. "My first name is Roadway and my last name is Express."
To prove it, the customer took out a photo ID, obtained through a private ID service, that listed his name as Roadway Express. He then completed a check-cashing application in that name and wanted his money.
"Okay, Mr. Express, I'll be right back," said the skeptical Mr. Spain.
The 32 year-old manager, who has been in the money business for seven years, called a Roadway trucking company supervisor in Irving who told him the check had been stolen. Mr. Spain then called police.
While waiting for the officers, Mr. Spain said he and Mr. Express discussed Western Union's fees. The customer was upset about having to pay 3 percent of the check's value.
Sgt. Paul Stanford responded to the call.
"When I saw the ID, I started laughing," he said. "My partner started laughing too."
The officers arrested the man, who finally revealed his real name. Anthony I. Jackson, 18, of Cedar Hill. Mr. Jackson, charged with a felony count of forgery, posted a $1,500 bond and was released.
Police said Jackson was a dock worker for Roadway Express.
Wanna-be thief provides name and address
Ronald Dean Cherry, 52, thought he would "win" some money from a casino without leaving his house. He phoned the Treasure Bay Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi and demanded they deliver $100,000 to his house or he would come to the casino and start shooting people. He then gave them his home address.
"It makes our job extremely easy when theygive their name and address," said Biloxi Police Captain William Kirk. "We love that type of work. Unfortunately, not all criminals will cooperate."
Cherry was charged with telephone harrassment and taken to the Harrison County Jail. A judge set his bond at $25,000.
Armed robber robs his own landlord
After being released on bail for an armed robbery, a 35 year-old Philadelphia man was anxious to get some cash for his drug habit. Living in an apartment just above a tavern, he decided to hold up the establishment for an easy payday.
He entered the bar with a gun and demanded the cash. The bartender obliged and gave him the receipts from the register. The defendant then fled back upstairs to his residence. Ten minutes later, police arrived and arrested him at the kitchen table, counting the money. Unfortunately for him, the bartender was his also landlord, who identified him at the scene.
I must be drunk. I can do that when I'm sober
I am a retired sergeant from the Sturbridge Police in Sturbridge, MA. One night one of my officers arrested a subject for driving under the influence of alcohol. As the officer brought him into the booking room the subject asked to use the bathroom. He was escorted to the bathroom.
When they returned to the booking area, which is video taped, the subject ran ahead of the officer and attempted to do a back flip and landed on his face. He picked himself, looked into the camera, and said, "I must be drunk because I can do that when I'm sober."
Needless to say, he was convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Man smuggled lizards in underwear
LAS VEGAS &emdash; A Las Vegas man has been convicted of smuggling a dozen lizards into the United States in his underwear. Don Astorga, 31, was arrested at the airport in June after police looking for drugs noticed unusual bulges around his groin. In his underwear were several tube socks stuffed with nine dead lizards and three live ones, including a Nile monitor lizard, a water monitor and several geckos, all of them native to Southeast Asia and Africa. Astorga was found guilty of violating the Endangered Species Act and failing to declare the lizards. He could get up to six months in prison.
Man escapes jail on day of release
FORDYCE, Ark. &emdash; If only inmate Sherman Lee Parks had known what was going on in a nearby judge's office, he might not be behind bars today. A Jefferson County judge had ordered the release of Parks and another man the same day the 50-year-old inmate escaped from jail, authorities said. ''The judge ruled that since they had been locked up for nine months to let them out,'' Dallas County Sheriff Donny Ford said. Parks had served nine months for burglary. Parks, now wanted for an escape attempt, was re-arrested the next day, a sheriff's department dispatcher said. Parks is back in the Dallas County Jail.
Man robs bank so he can go back to jail
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- A 76-year-old ex-convict walked into a bank on Monday and handed a teller a note demanding two $50 bills.
As the man left the bank, he said he would be sitting in his car smoking a cigarette, waiting for police to come take him back to prison.
Robber provides name and phone number
The identity of a man who allegedly intended to rob a convenience store wasn't too difficult to determine because he left his name and address with the store's clerk, police said.
Officers said the man entered the Bigfoot convenience store at 2345 Covert Ave. at 4:40 a.m. Saturday wering a ski mask and a hooded sweatshirt.
He announced: "This is a robbery."
Stunned, the clerk didn't know what to say, so he simply told the man: "You don't want to do that. Is there something I can help you with?"
The clerk told police that that's when the man, later identified as David Allen Coon, 21 of 1717 S. Boeke Road, removed the ski mask from his face and told the clerk he left his wallet in the store the previous Wednesday, according to a police affadivit.
When the clerk said he couldn't find the wallet, he suggested the man give him his name and telephone number.
He did, the clerk said.
About the same time, a man entered the store and asked for directions, the affidavit reads.
The clerk told police that Coon then began arguing with that man and then pulled a steak knife from the pocket of his sweatshirt.
Police said the manager of the store asked Coon to leave and he did. The clerk told police he then returned a second time to argue with the man and another person.
The clerk told police that Coon left the store and walked south on Boeke Road.
Officers located him about one block from the store and the store clerk was able to identify him.
Officers said they found a blue ski mask just west of the store.
Coon faces a probable charge of attempted robbery. He was lodged Sunday in the Vanderburgh County Jail in liew of a $1,000 cash bond.
Courtesy of Evansville Courier & Press. Story by Kevin Kinnaird, staff writer.
The wrong place at the wrong time
Four Florida men picked the wrong restaurant to rob - at the wrong time. The place: A KFC restaurant directly across the street from the police department. The time: 10:30 p.m. - shift change at the police department, when as many as 25 officers from day and night duty converge on headquarters.
The thieves pistol-whipped and robbed several customers before fleeing with two cash registers holding as much as $2,000, according to police reports. The KFC manager, Walson Joseph, fled before the masked gunmen did. Yet he still managed to foil the crime.
"I looked around the corner and saw the gun," he said. "So I just ran out the back door."
As luck would have it, Joseph ran right into a Boynton Beach Patrol car.
"I banged on the window and said, "Please help us!"
Police said Mario Campos, 19 and Jim Roger, 18, were caught as they tried to make their getaway by running through the police parking lot. Two other people were still on the loose Saturday night. One customer was treated at Bethesda Medical Center and released, said Boynton Beach Detective Toby Athol.
Campos and Roger were each charged with five counts of armed robbery and were being held Saturday night in the Palm Beach County Jail. Most of the stolen money was recovered.