TODAY’S GENIUS AWARD GOES TO……
It was a foolproof plan to avoid paying tolls — until he was caught by an off-duty trooper. 70-year-old Robert Craig Davis of Florida was arrested on Nov. 17th after troopers found a remote control that could raise and lower a shield to block his license plate.
With this device, Davis could drive through a toll without paying and, due to the deployed black cloth shield, cameras would not be able to snap a photo of his plates to send him a bill.
News of the deceptive driver first arose during the summer when drivers caught video of a minivan using the remote-controlled shield. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho spotted the plate cover in action while driving through the Bird Road toll plaza on the Florida turnpike.
Troopers found not only the remote, but also a SunPass transponder inside of a static shield bag in the glove compartment. The bag interrupted signal so that tolls could not charge the transponder. Davis faces a charge of organized fraud and petit theft.
AND THEN THERE’S……
A man with unique facial tattoos, including a dollar sign over his left eye, has been charged with kidnap in his 54th run-in with the law. 35-year-old Michael Mann from the Pine Hill neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been charged over the kidnapping of a woman in October of this year.
Dave Wood of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office told the court, “Police responded to a check cashing store where a woman said her sister was being held against her will until she returned with $100. The defendant was the person holding her for ransom.”
Prior to this allegation, the well-inked suspect had been charged 53 times with a variety of criminal offenses including burglary, assault, and drug possession. Mann was even arrested earlier this year on aggravated burglary and domestic violence charges.
OR HOW ABOUT……
Authorities say a Florida man attacked his elderly landlord with a machete after the older man confronted the tenant about unpaid rent.
News outlets report that 48-year-old Jimmie Lee Leeks was arrested in Fort Lauderdale and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Police say 89-year-old Maurice Blanchar was renting a studio apartment in his backyard to Leeks. Blanchar told police he went to talk to Leeks about late rent money on Wednesday and said Leeks pulled out a machete and tried to kill him.
Blanchar suffered cuts to his arm, head, and leg but was able to somewhat defend himself with a cane.
OKAY, ONE MORE……
A former Washington state pastor was sentenced to five years in federal prison on a drug smuggling charge. The Columbian reports 55-year-old John Bishop was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in San Diego after pleading guilty earlier this year.
The founder of Living Hope Church in Vancouver was caught smuggling nearly 300 pounds (136 kilograms) of marijuana into the United States from Mexico in December 2017.
He later told authorities he had smuggled marijuana across the border 18 to 20 times since April 2016, earning $50,000. Bishop apologized in court, telling the judge that he will do everything he can “to bring hope and life into every person I come in contact with and to do good.” He will have four years of supervised release after prison.