Copper Caper

Today's health tip: Try not to get electrocuted while stealing stuff.

police stories! feel-good stories white-collar baddies

Last week, 19-year-old Frank Mason and his mother's boyfriend, 25-year-old Anthony Upton, decided to launch new careers in Northeast Ohio's highest growth industry: Stealing scrap for fun and profit.

So our heroes broke into American Electric Power in Canton, stealing copper wire from a substation before making a run for it, according to Canton Police.

But as they were making their break, Mason made a rookie mistake. The armful of copper he was holding came in contact with the station's transformer, sending 43,000 volts of electricity through his body. Leading scientists believe this wasn't very pleasant.

Upton quickly called 911. Mason was carted off to Akron Children's Hospital's burn unit, where he was treated for severe burns to his face. Upton was sent directly to Stark County jail.

Unfortunately, Upton had just been released from jail three days earlier. He tearfully explained to police that he had to steel the copper to pay the bills, since no one will give him a job due to his lengthy criminal record, which runs the gamut from wife beating to drug abuse.

After the inevitable conviction for his latest caper, scientists now believe it will also become harder for him to find a girlfriend.

The Insurance Devils Come to Bluffton
Last March, a bus carrying the Bluffton University baseball team plunged off an overpass in Atlanta, killing five students, the bus driver and his wife, and injuring 28 others.

But eight months later, the tragedy is far from over. The bus company's insurers — Hartford, American Alternative, and Federal — are refusing to pay up, claiming the company wasn't covered under $21 million in policies. Which is news to the university — and the families of three students, who last week filed suit against the company for untold damages.

But one university insider believes the insurers may simply be running a power play. Bluffton is a Mennonite institution. And Mennonites, by nature and the Bible, are anti-litigation.

"The insurance companies would be far quicker to answer if the university would actually sue them along with the families for the money," says a Bluffton insider, who is sickened by the whole situation. "However, Mennonites are anti-litigation . . . So our administration is playing hands-off, which is unfortunate."

The insurance companies, of course, refuse to comment.

Helping Small Boobs in Need
During the holiday season, it's important to remember the less fortunate among us. But if the whole feeding-the-needy thing isn't your bag, you can always help some lady get bigger boobs.

That's where comes in. It's where thousands of women from around the world share one thing in common: They want bigger breasts, yet can't afford the surgery, which averages around $6,000. In exchange for your kind donations, they'll strike sexy poses and chat one-on-one with you. You'll still get that same warm feeling you do when donating to the Christian Children's Fund — just in a different part of your body.

"I'M GETTING BOOBS!" writes one elated woman, after reaching her fund-raising goal. Writes another, "WOW WOW WOW!"

See, it really is like helping children.

Jay Moore, who co-founded the site in 2005, says what started as an experiment with one woman has ballooned (so to speak) beyond his wildest dreams.

Yet not everybody is feeling the holiday spirit. Brian Hugins, spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, says no respectable doctor would ever endorse the site. "It's bordering on sleaze."

Moore, however, says the site's male visitors aren't as shallow as one might think. "They want to meet real people," he says. "If [a woman] can communicate well and if [she's] educated, that helps."

For example, take this intellectual comment from TomUU, posted on the blog Digg: "Holy shit this is the best social network ever," he writes. "Titties, i repeat, titties."

Police Story
Did you ever hear the one about the cop who walked into a firearms store?

So a cop walks into a firearms store in Elyria called Atwell's, where cops and firefighters can buy guns and stuff. This cop — he's a Cleveland guy, so you can probably see where this is going — goes in to pick up a flashlight for his Glock.

Now, a handgun really doesn't need to be loaded to get it fitted with a flashlight, but Farid Alim — that's the cop — strolls into the store with a loaded 9mm. He manages to get the magazine out of his gun without shooting anyone. But he still has to clear the lone bullet in the chamber. Which he does. But he clears it the old-fashioned way — by firing it into a nearby display box, which happens to hold semiautomatic rifles.

Remarkably, no one is injured. Alim, it seems, is packing some seriously high-grade karma. A little less luck and that bullet ricochets around a little and lodges in someone's skull. A little less luck and you probably would have heard the one about the cop who walked into a firearms store a lot sooner.

"It was a pure accident," Alim tells Punch of the October incident. But that's all he's saying. "I'd rather not have my business out there like that."

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