Siegfried K, 22 previous convictions, tried to hold up a bank in Berlin that had been closed for four years. He took a hostage instead and forced her to withdraw £345 from a cash machine. He was traced by his fingerprints on a toy gun he abandoned in a stolen car!
Thieves in Rio de Janeiro were better prepared. They oiled a train track, forcing a train to slow down and stole fifty tons of grain using a tow truck with a hook.
A burglar's 'hit list' found in Manchester gave food for thought. It listed every item to be stolen, where house keys were kept, which houses left windows open and so on. Let this be a warning! Mind you, you don't necessarily have to turn to crime to prosper.
The money paid out by NHS Trusts in private finance initiative contracts (PFI's) is interesting. For instance, £525 to move three beds. (County Durham and Darlington NHS.) £242 to change a padlock on a garden gate. (North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare.) £169 to open a locker. (Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust.) Just three examples of many. If you want to get rich, do work for the NHS. It makes me mad, but not as mad as the motorist who swore at a policeman in Manchester on his way home from an anger management session. (He was on the course after an assault!) You do wonder about some people. There was an 'almighty brawl' (if those are the right words) at a Midnight Mass in Southampton and a man man had his finger bitten off at a school nativity play in South Shields, Tyneside.
So what else caught the eye? A road safety scheme in Paris was embarrassed when an electric car knocked down a pedestrian because she didn't hear it coming. Overweight priests are being paid mileage allowances if they use their bikes in the Diocese of Ely. I notice Hamleys the toy store has stopped having separate floors for boys and girls. No more cookery sets, fluffy animals and beauty products separate from construction toys and spaceships. They say a Twitter campaign is a coincidence!
Amazing that there were two, not one bedbug stories this month. One told how bedbugs aren't too keen on hairy people, the other that genetically they can breed with near offspring, making survival easier. Talking of offspring, a man in an hotel in Harare collapsed when a prostitute he hired to visit his room turned out to be his daughter. He had to apologise to both wife and daughter. Bad taste, maybe, so how about the lottery ticket given to residents of New Taipei City for each bag collected. And what are they collecting, didn't I say, dog faeces of course. Up to now the total stands at 14,000 bags.
Party poopers included, the Methodist Church who argued that its ministers have no employment rights as they reckoned they served 'at the call of God'; the female disability claimant from Cardiff filmed on a waterslide whilst on holiday with her family and a persistent Pakistani criminal, Altaf Khan, guilty of attempted robbery, theft and battery and sex with an underage girl. Aggrieved because he lost his appeal in Strasbourg against deportation, arguing HIS rights were affected.
Finally we must have some December 'feelgood' factors. Casper, the puppy born with cataracts who can now see after thousands donated money for an operation in Thornbury near Bristol. Similarly four month old Eva Joyce from Birmingham, the youngest person in Britain ever to receive a cornea transplant. The Rev Gavin Tyte, who conveyed the Nativity story in rap (winning £5,000 in the process. Plus the Queen travelling to her Christmas 'hols' in Sandringham by train, just like you and me. Mind you, she did travel first class! Just a few more examples of life in Britain: roll on 2012!