<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Weird News, Strange News, and Odd News]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:59:58 -0500 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:59:58 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Throws Alligator Through Drive-Thru Window]]> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 08:49:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 11:07:15 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 07:41:59 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 04:25:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 18:12:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[CIA Posts UFO Documents in Time For 'X-Files' Return]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 22:24:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/ufocia.jpg

The CIA posted documents on its blog it said "X-Files"' characters would love to get their hands on. 

"To help navigate the vast amount of data contained in our FOIA UFO collection," the CIA blog reads. "We’ve decided to highlight a few documents both skeptics and believers will find interesting."

While the documents aren't new, since they have been declassified in1978, they come out just in time for the return of Fox's "X-Files."

The ten documents are separated by two lists.

First, a list of documents Fox Mulder could use as evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial activity. The second is documents Dana Sully could use as scientific explanations for UFO sightings. 

In the series, Mulder believes in extraterrestrials, UFOs and that there was a government conspiracy to cover up their existence. Scully was paired up with him as the skeptic, refuting Mulder's beliefs on the basis of scientific evidence. She later became a believer. 

On Mulder's list was one case from 1952 in East Germany. A 48-year-old German mayor, Oscar Linke and his 11-year-old daughter, Gabriella, said they saw two men in "shiny metallic clothing." The man told officials that his daughter pointed out something in the distance after Linke's motorcycle tire blew out. When Linke went to investigate he saw the two men and what appeared to be a "huge flying pan."

When Gabriella called out for her father, Linke said the men got in the "flying saucer" and it "disappeared over the heights and forests in the direction of Stockholm."

Other unidentified flying object sightings included those in Spain and North Africa in the 1950s.

Scully's much more skeptical documents were panel minutes.

"The Panel members were impressed with the lack of sound data," minutes from a scientific advisory panel from 1953 read. 

In this document, the panel said "balls of light" or "flying saucers" were believed to be electrostatic or possibly light reflections from ice crystals in the air.

While the panel said they accepted that "earth might be visited by extraterrestrial intelligence beings of some sort, some day" this day in Jan. 1953 was apparently not that day.

"What (we) did not find was any evidence that related to objects sighted to space travelers," the minutes read. 

Photo Credit: CIA]]>
<![CDATA[Student Charged in Theft of Bar’s 7-Foot Statue of Liberty ]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 08:41:48 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Orin+Frazier+1200.jpg

Middletown police have charged a Wesleyan University student in connection with the bizarre theft of a 7-foot tall Statue of Liberty replica from a local bar.

A police officer noticed Orrin Frazier, 20, of Montauk, New York, hunched over a large object in front of 119 Washington Street in Middletown just after 1:15 a.m. on Friday and thought there was some property damage, so he went to investigate.

The item turned out to be the 7-foot-tall Statue of Liberty replica, worth $2,000, that had been taken from the Corner Pocket bar, on Ferry Street in Middletown, at some point during the night, according to police.

As the officer was approaching Frazier as he was hunched over, he ran and the officer apprehended him behind 395 Main Street and identified him through his Wesleyan identification, police said.

In Frazier’s pocket was a broken piece of the statue, according to police, and he said he’d been drinking whiskey at a bar on Ferry Street, but denied taking the statue and didn’t know how a piece of it wound up in his pocket, police said.

Police noted that Frazier smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet and they charged him with second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree larceny. He was held at police headquarters and was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police]]>
<![CDATA[Bizarre Late-to-Work Excuses]]> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 05:39:06 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 10:31:43 -0500 Watch video of the creature here. ]]> Watch video of the creature here. ]]> http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 13:19:26 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 13:26:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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]]> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:28:19 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Vegan Butcher Offers 'Meatless Meats']]> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 18:06:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 05:24:18 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Cops Pay $40 for Escaped Goat: NYPD]]> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 16:00:20 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 18:26:56 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 15:00:27 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Satanic Cross on City Hall Lawn]]> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:31:40 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Gray-Haired Men Guilty For Britain's Biggest Burglary]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 23:27:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 Vanishes]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 15:44:42 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Michigan Man Flies Off Car Hood Into Police Cruiser]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 06:54:27 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 16:55:05 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 10:35:15 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 20:46:58 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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 17:30:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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[Wrong Math in Viral Powerball Meme]]> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 12:26:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/powerballmeme.jpg

A photo that shows the math of the Powerball winnings divided by the population of the United States went viral earlier today but people soon realized this math was wrong. 

The image appears to have gone viral after a Facebook user named Livesosa, an Arkansas-based musician, posted the meme on their page.

The picture reads:

Powerball 1.3 Billion/ U.S. Pop 300 Million = Everyone receives 4.33 mil

Poverty Solved! - Philipe Andolini

Since the posting, Livesosa updated a new photo with the same text over a picture of Steve Harvey captioned: "Hope I gave the world a good chuckle this am! Stay positive my people."

If the Powerball winnings were to be divided across the United States, each person would receive $4.33. (Note: $1.3 billion divided by 300 million = 4.33)

There is still no winner for the ever-increasing Powerball jackpot that is now at $1.5 billion. But there's a lot to know about the winnings if you were to hit the big jackpot.

Some people have made parody images of the original post:

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<![CDATA[Man Steals Python From Pet Store by Stuffing Snake in Pants]]> Mon, 11 Jan 2016 17:11:22 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.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.

<![CDATA[Man Steals Python by Stuffing It in His Pants in Pet Store]]> Mon, 11 Jan 2016 16:49:34 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NC_pythoninpants0111_1500x845.jpg Police in Portland, Oregon are looking for a shoplifter seen stuffing a python down his pants and walking out of the pet store. The snake is about two feet long and was being sold for $200, says store co-owner Christin Bjugan.]]> <![CDATA[Truck Dumps Shoes on Fla. Highway]]> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 18:05:39 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/010816+overturned+truck+shoes.JPG

An overturned Penske truck dumped thousands of shoes strewn about the Florida Turnpike near Sun Life Stadium in Miami-Dade.

The crash occurred just before 1:30 p.m. Friday at Northwest 199th Street and the Turnpike Expressway.

The Florida Highway Patrol said five people were in the cabin of the truck when it flipped. Some of them were taken to the hospital, but authorities said injuries appeared to be minor.

According to driver Miguel Marquez, the truck was carrying 32,000 pounds of shoes when it tipped. There were so many shoes, crews needed bulldozers and shovels to clear the road.

"Nobody got hurt and I didn't have a car behind me. I got blessed," said Marquez.

FHP is investigating what caused the truck to flip over. Marquez said said he was driving 45 mph when it happened.

The off-ramp was closed for several hours as crews responded to the scene, but the area has since reopened.

The shoes came from New Orleans as donations and were making their way to Haiti and South America.

<![CDATA[Raccoons Climb Up Restaurant Wall]]> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 23:17:16 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-499532914.jpg

Staff members at one Bronx Chinese restaurant had a hard time shooing off a couple of would-be diners who wouldn't quit hanging around Thursday night.

Video posted to Facebook Thursday shows a pair of large raccoons hanging from a wire door inside the New Chinatown restaurant on Bronxwood Avenue in Wakefield as a worker inside tries to pry them away with a broom. 

The Facebook user who uploaded the video said that she had stopped at the restaurant after spending time upstate and ignored a noise from overhead as she placed an order. 

When she left, her little brother ran out and she saw the raccoons hanging from the door, she posted. That's where the footage begins, showing two workers using a broomstick to try to pry the rodents off of a grated door. After about 30 seconds, one falls and runs out of the front door as people outside scream.

The second one is forced out a few seconds later, trotting out more slowly than his masked companion.

The video has been viewed nearly 2 million times.

The user later posted a second video where she says, "This raccoon food tastes dummy good" as she eats takeout, apparently from the restaurant. 

The restaurant, which appears to have an "A" grade from the city Department of Health, declined to comment on the video. 

Another man who saw the workers trying to get the raccoons to leave said it wasn't the first time the pesky rodents had turned up in the neighborhood, but Thursday's incident made for a strange scene.

"Scary stuff," he said. "I know I'm not eating here anymore."

Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Snapchat Selfie Helps ID Suspect]]> Sun, 03 Jan 2016 15:41:14 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/suspect+image.jpg

A man accused of armed robbery and taking a Snapchat selfie with his victim has been arrested, according to a Northern California police department.

Authorities in Pacific Grove continue to search for two other suspects believed to be involved in Wednesday's bizarre incident.

It occurred at Lovers Point Park, according to the Pacific Grove Police Department. Victor Almanza-Martinez, 18, of Castroville, and two other men allegedly approached four victims and robbed them of their belongings, including keys to a 2013 black Chrysler 200.

The suspects fled in the Chrysler, which is still missing, but not before Almanza-Martinez and one of the female victims exchanged Snapchat information and posed for a selfie together, police said.

The selfie was apparently a break in the case, police said, adding that it helped them track down Almanza-Martinez.

The suspect was subsequently arrested and charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, violation of probation and gang enhancements. Almanza-Martinez is being held at the Monterey County Jail with bail set at $170,000.

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

Police are asking that anyone with information about this robbery contact detectives at (831) 646-6926.

Photo Credit: Pacific Grove Police Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Escaped Zebra Reunited With Owner]]> Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:58:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/zebra1116.jpg

Officials in a North Texas county say a zebra found Friday afternoon is back home with its owner after a few hours of freedom.

Sheriff Roger Deeds of Hood County said deputies found the zebra roaming just south of Granbury. They caught it once, but it escaped and then they caught it again.

The animal was unharmed, and its owner contacted the sheriff's office to pick it up late Friday.

Further details were not divulged.

Photo Credit: Hood County Sheriff's Office]]>