Bizarre News-Robber's Wallet

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Losing his wallet was a would-be robber's mistake. Trying to get it back was an even bigger blunder. Police in Little Rock, Ark., report 23-year-old Courvoisier Marteze Riley dropped his wallet during an attempted robbery at a home. While police were interviewing the victim, authorities say Riley called wanting to get his wallet returned. Officers say Riley told the victim to bring the wallet to a service station. Of course, that's where officers found the suspect. Police say Riley tried to run, but was caught after a short chase.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) - The latest Dan Brown mystery involves what some might consider a rather obscure language. But this time hero Robert Langdon isn't trying decode an ancient cypher. Police in Iceland are looking for someone who snatched a copy of Brown's latest novel, "The Lost Symbol." The thief got away with the first proof copy of the Icelandic translation of the best-seller, from the publisher's office. A spokeswoman for the Icelandic publishing house jokes the crook probably just gave up on trying to read the English version of "The Lost Symbol."

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio church's fundraiser is anything but a smashing success. Police are now looking for the vandals who smashed pumpkins on the lawn of the Fellowship Lutheran Church in Columbus. Church officials say it looks like the dozens of gourds got clobbered with a golf club. But the pumpkin attack may not be a total loss. Pastor Michael Sayre says people are still sending contributions. The clergyman adds one donor says it's like buying "invisible pumpkins."

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - There's an art to snowboarding. And then there's art on snowboards. Ryan Farnes is making a business of both. The former major-leaguer is now a co-owner of California-based Publik snowboards and a recent convert to the winter sport. Farnes also designed the graphics on the first three Publik boards, including one which has a New Orleans scene. Not a city known for its ski slopes and a long way from his boyhood home in Billings, Mont. But Farnes takes a little creative license in designing snowboards. He tells the Billings Gazette he'd like to think of his boards as something you could hang in an art gallery.

NEW YORK (AP) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to enlist an army of "Flu Fighters." Health officials in Fun City are signing up some 800 volunteers to help spread the word about how not to spread the flu. The Flu Fighters will be battling both swine flu and seasonal flu. They'll help manage the expected crowds at vaccination centers around the city. The New York Flu Fighters will also distribute posters and brochures.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A refugee from Hurricane Ike is finally going home. An endangered sea turtle had apparently spent months trapped in a land-locked lake in southwest Louisiana. The 90-pound female was washed miles inland by Ike more than a year ago. Yesterday, she got a ride on a Coast Guard boat about 20 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, where the turtle was released. Adam Einck, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, says, "When you blinked your eyes, she was gone."

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