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Departments : It's a Jungle Out There

This Never Happens in the Movies

Errant money bags, food-covered roads, and a silicone thief.

August 01, 2004  |  by Commander Gilmore

Lu Fang-nan, a 57-year old Taiwanese businessman, was peacefully scooting to work on his motorcycle when he got smacked off his cycle and dropped in a ditch. When he shook the chirpin' birdies out of his head, he wasn't surprised to find himself surrounded by cops. But he was a little disturbed to note they were less interested in him than they were in the bag that hit him. It contained $600,000 in kidnap ransom money.

Family members of the victim were just following orders when they chucked two bags full of bucks off a highway bridge, but the money was supposed to be grabbed by the kidnappers. The whole operation was blown when the pitch went wild and struck poor Mr. Lu.

Police said the kidnapped man was subsequently released unharmed, but no suspects were in custody. Mr. Lu, who describes himself as "unlucky," got only bruises and road-rash out of the deal.

German Food Traffic Threats

True, raspberry syrup and beef don't sound like they go together at all, and German traffic cops don't think so either. On a cold February Tuesday, der Polizei found themselves slippin' and slidin' trying to sort out and clean up a 25-mile syrup slick on a highway near Schwabach.

Cops said improper load caused a steel container to break, dumping about a ton of raspberry syrup, while the driver cruised blithely along. Officers found out that syrup doesn't freeze up very fast if dozens of cars keep spinning around in it.

If that wasn't enough in the field of freaky traffic jams, on the following day an escaped bull bound for a Muenster slaughterhouse got loose, creating a two-hour, seven-mile-long chaotic jumble of stopped cars, honking horns, and motorists undecided whether to stay in their vehicles or run for their lives.

Muenster cops and animal control officers traded off chasing the bull and the bull chasing them as it repeatedly jumped over the safety barriers until a vet finally shot it with a tranquilizer and dropped it. Officers then shot it dead, probably with some degree of satisfaction.

"It would have got the chop anyway," a police spokeswoman told the press.

But Who's Looking at Her Face?

Police in Rome are on the lookout for a woman who defrauded a hospital there and skipped out without paying a $9,500 surgery bill. Using a false name, the lady checked in for a cosmetic procedure including the implanting of, according to the hospital, "the biggest silicone implants available." And remember, this is "biggest" by Italian standards.

Investigators said they had a pre-surgery photo of the woman and they knew her new, roughly doubled, bra size. They hoped that info would help identify her and lead to her arrest, but as one unnamed source put it, "Who's going to be looking at her face?"

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