Opinion

Stupid boat thieves and other amusing tales

Here are some of my favorite news stories of 2007, this time not all about animals.

• OLYMPIA — A vigilant Olympia man went to great lengths to recover his stolen 35-foot speed boat, chartering a plane to scour highways in Jefferson and Mason counties.

His 2005 Cobalt speed boat was stolen on Aug. 7 from a repair shop.

Friends told the boat owner they’d seen it in Shelton, so he chartered the plane, spotted the boat on Highway 101 and called authorities. The couple towing the boat, a 52-year-old Bremerton woman and a 49-year-old Port Orchard man, told police they’d recently bought it and didn’t know it was stolen.

They directed police to a home just off Highway 104 on the western side of the Hood Canal bridge. There police found another stolen boat from Milton. They suspect boats are being chopped up and sold for the metal and have suspect, a Port Orchard man already in Jefferson County jail on a DUI charge.

• DALLAS — A Dallas homeowner shot to death an intruder after being alerted by his pet parrot that someone was on the premises. Police were called to the home about 3:30 a.m., a home that had already been burglarized four times that month.

Owner Dennis Baker was awakened from a deep sleep by his Mexican redheaded parrot, Salvador, who says “hello” whenever he sees someone.

His “Hello, hello” woke Baker who found 46-year-old John Woodson in his attached garage and shot him with a handgun.

Earlier this year, Texas lawmakers approved the Castle Law, which removes any obligation for a crime victim to retreat before responding with deadly force when faced with an intruder in his or her home, vehicle or business.

• CHEHALIS — A quick-thinking 9-year-old boy grabbed the wheel of a tractor trailer rig when his father fell unconscious, called for help, and with the help of a Good Samaritan, helped bring the big truck safely to a halt.

The father and son were hauling two trailers loaded with lumber out of Tillamook when the father passed out. The boy climbed into the driver’s seat and began steering the truck which had traveled into oncoming lanes of traffic and grazed a power pole.

He managed to get it back into the correct lanes and used the CB radio to ask for help.

A passing driver braked to a stop, chased the truck on foot and jumped aboard, opened the driver’s door and applied the brakes.

The father’s OK.

• METAIRIE, LA. — A 53-year-old woman and her 17-year-old son were in the drive-through line at an Arby’s restaurant when Carl Chestnut, 44, walked up and pointed a gun at the woman, demanding money and the car.

When he leaned inside, trying to pull the mother out of the car, the teenager grabbed the gun, which went off once as they struggled, but did not hit anyone.

Once the teen got the gun, he shot Chestnut several times.

The robber was hospitalized and the teen told it is safer to cooperate.

• BRISTOW, VA. — Mona Shaw, 75, made an appointment with Comcast to come to her home and install its “Triple Play” service which combines phone, cable and Internet services.

The installers failed to show up but came two days later and left with the job half done.

The next day, they cut off all service. That same day, Mona and her husband went to the call center office to complain.

When Mona demanded to speak with the manager, she was told someone would be right with them. They sat for two hours. Then the customer rep told them the manager had left for the day.

Mona stewed over it all weekend, then armed herself with a claw hammer and returned to Comcast.

BAM! She whacked the keyboard. BAM! She whacked the monitor. BAM! She totaled the telephone. POW! A parting shot to the phone.

The cops came and she received a three-month suspended sentence and a $345 fine.

She’s cooled off but now she’s on Verizon.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at PO Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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