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Quote of the Day - I take my line from a remark made by Aubrey Herbert, surveying his fellow members of the intelligence cadre brought together in Cairo in 1914: 'Then there's Lawrence, an odd gnome, half cad - with a touch of genius'. A.W. Lawrence [Lawrence's youngest brother and the keeper of the flame for more than half a century] thought that was just right. - Malcolm Brown

Gnome Rats Out Burgular In England

People do stupid things.  In fact, they do so many stupid things that Court TV has an entire site dedicated to Stupid Crimes and Misdemeanors.  Some of the shenanigans are so funny that the site is occasionally the inspiration for a post on this site. 

In fact, Court TV has 52 nominations each year, including some that might qualify for the Darwin Awards:  the site features a "Stupid Story of the Week," which also includes and award for the "All-around Dumbest."  As an example, this week's "dumbest" award goes to the bank robber whose underwear exploded.   You'll just have to read that one for yourself.  But let's get back to the crime at hand.

This week's "Stupid Story" is especially . . .  well, stupid. 

Court TV reporter Tracy Majka found a story in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph that highlights the plight of Clifford Taylor, a Darwen, England homeowner whose house was burgled.  A thief had broken a kitchen window to gain entrance and ransacked Taylor's house to steal a number of valuables, including a gnome Mr. Taylor bought while on holiday in Australia.  The homeowner dutifully provided a list of the stolen items to the local constabulary.  One of those items, the gnome, caught an officer's eye.   He remembered seeing the gnome at the house of someone he had visited the day before on an unrelated issue.

The officer went back to that home, the residence of 22-year old Sean Thompson, found the distinctive gnome and promptly arrested Mr. Thompson.  At his preliminary hearing in Preston Crown Court, Mr. Thompson's solicitor told the court that properties around the victim's home in Hannah Street were being demolished.  According to the newspaper account, Thompson's solicitor, Richard Hunt, defending, then tried this excuse with the court: "The defendant never realised the property was still, in effect, being occupied."

Nice try.  Still stupid.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, September 10, 2006

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