Odd News: Say It Ain’t So, Apollo-boy

Crisis-hit Greece to recruit man’s best friend to sniff out tax dodgers

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will be recruiting dogs to sniff out potential tax dodgers trying to take cash out of the crisis hit country, where mass bank withdrawals prompted capital controls last year.

In a posting on a government web portal on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry said it would be putting together a team to assess tenders for the provision of dogs tasked with detecting cash.

More than 50 billion euros left banks from November 2014 to July last year on fears the country could crash out of the euro, a crisis which culminated in capital controls and a new international bailout for the country.

Banking sources estimate that anything between 15 and 20 billion euros is still being hoarded by Greeks outside the banking system. Tax evasion is still thought to be rampant.

Authorities prefer German Shepherds, Labradors or Belgian Melinois, the government document said, reported on Greece’s Star Channel TV. A pedigree was not necessary.

Odd News: 1, 2, 3 Strikes Yer Out!

Would-be burglar in Florida beaten with his own bat, flees bleeding heavily

Bat’s how we do it!

A Florida woman beat a would-be burglar with his own weapon during a botched break-in.

Noah Dassat, 33, beat down the door of a North Port home Thursday, according to a police press release.

The California man allegedly went after the family of five — which included three children, ages 2, 9 and 10 — with a black wooden baseball bat.

After a brief struggle, father Jason Petty caught Dassat in a bear hug, while his wife Allison Young nabbed the burglar’s bat — and beat him with it.

Bleeding heavily and sporting “significant head injuries,” Dassat fled on foot, leaving behind his bat and a hat, according to a police report obtained by the Daily News.

The hatless cat burglar was later apprehended after giving a fake name at a Port Charlotte hospital.

The night before the break-in, Dassat apparently cased the joint, knocking on the door and asking for “Josh,” police said.

After the badly-executed burglary, police found a blood-spatterred vehicle with a Texas plate, which they later identified as the car Dassat was driving.

Now, he’s facing charges including armed burglary, battery and criminal mischief — a total of four felonies and one misdemeanor.

Dassat — who is a carpenter from Santa Cruz, according to sheriff’s office records — is being held in the Charlotte County Jail with no bond.

“We would never recommend violence, but you certainly have the right to protect yourself, so do what you have to do, I guess,” North Port Police spokesman Joshua Taylor said.

The family’s neighbors were proud of their bat-wielding neighbors.

“Kudos to them!” said neighbor Sherri Mitchell.

“That’s how we roll around here,” said Jim Joyce, another neighbor.

Odd News: Feelin’ HOT HOT HOT!

Dozens burned in Texas walking on hot coals at Tony Robbins seminar

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – As many as 40 people were injured after walking on hot coals as part of a self-help seminar hosted by motivational speaker Tony Robbins in Texas, fire officials said on Friday.

Attendees of the “Unleash the Power Within” event, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, reported burns to their feet and legs just after 11 p.m. on Thursday, Dallas Fire and Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

“A lot of the attendees were asked to walk across hot coals, and as a result, a lot of the people sustained burn injuries,” Evans said.

Of the 30 to 40 people injured, five were treated at the Parkland Hospital burn unit, Evans said. The others were treated and released at the scene. It was unclear how many participated in the coal walk.

The three-day seminar is intended to help people “break through any limit” and improve their quality of life, according a description posted on Robbins’ website.

Representatives for Robbins, who is a popular motivational speaker, personal finance adviser and bestselling author, were not immediately available for comment.

According to media reports, 21 out of 6,000 people who walked on hot coals at a Robbins event in 2012 in California were treated for burns.

Most people avoid burns because coals are not efficient conductors of heat, but standing too long in one spot and other factors can increase the risk. In the 2012 incident, there was speculation that the large number of people participating caused the lines of firewalkers to slow down, raising chances of burns.

(Additional reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Odd News: Florida Is At It Again

Florida man brags about burglary on Facebook, lands in jail

By Melissa Fares

(Reuters) – A Florida burglar who posted a Facebook video bragging about a $500,000 jewelry haul has landed himself and one of his accomplices in jail, police said on Thursday.

Officers from Pinecrest, Florida said they arrested Raderius Glenn Collins, 18, after he uploaded the video to Facebook on May 27. His friend, Marcus Terrell Parker, 27, was arrested after another burglary on June 9, police said.

They are still searching for a third suspect, who is seen in the video in the passenger seat of the car flashing $100 bills to the camera.

The video, which runs more than seven minutes long and has over 3,000 views, showed the men bragging about their illegal earnings, exclaiming: “We got a safe” and “Can someone say check please?”

The man in the driver’s seat makes sure the traffic light is still red and proceeds to proudly reveal his bag of cash to the camera while the other two men cheer.

The burglars stole a safe from a home with jewelry valued at more than $500,000. Police say Collins and Parker later burglarized a second home and stole jewelry valued at more than $10,000 and a screwdriver that would later tie one of the arrested men to the burglary.

One of the arrested subjects told police that he and the other two subjects sold the stolen jewelry to a jewelry and watch shop and received $1,300 each in return.

Michelle Hammontree, communications director for Pinecrest, told Reuters that the Facebook video helped police establish a link between the burglary and the jewelry store, where the suspects pawned their ill-gotten goods. The bag featured in the video is the same one given to the suspects at the store.

“It was just one dumb decision after another,” Hammontree said.

Police said that while they are seeking a third suspect in the May 27 burglary, it is unclear whether he had involvement in the second break-in.

The Facebook video can be viewed here: (http://bit.ly/28QfTTi)

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Alan Crosby)