Police: Man used bank robbery
cash to buy engagement ring
Middletown, Ohio (AP) – Authorities say a man robbed a bank in Ohio and used the money to buy his fiancée an engagement ring. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports 36-year-old Dustin Pedersen has been charged with robbing a Fifth Third Bank branch in Trenton on Dec. 16. Police say records show that Pedersen spent $4,500 on an engagement ring less than an hour after the robbery and presented it the next day. A Trenton police detective said in court Wednesday the robbery netted $8,800. Police say Pedersen became a suspect after a man wearing an identical hat robbed a Butler County bank six days later. Pedersen has denied robbing any banks, but told police that surveillance photos of the robber look like him. Pedersen’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment Thursday.
Russian army demonstrates latest weapon: Cuddly puppies
Moscow (AP) – The Russian Armed Forces has unveiled its latest cutting-edge weapon in a New Year’s greetings video: cuddly puppies. After a year of showing off its military might in Syria, the Defense Ministry has taken a softer approach in a one-minute video showing dozens of puppies sharing food and cuddling with each other. Older dogs are shown playing with unidentified officers. In the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the year of the dog, so many Russians are using dogs in their holiday greetings this season. Over 3,000 dogs are employed in the Russian armed forces. Dogs from the 470th Dog Breeding Center outside Moscow are among the most decorated in Russia. The center won an international competition last summer against the canine forces of Belarus, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan.
Police: Snow thwarts shoplifter
in North Dakota
Minot, N.D. (AP) – Authorities say a North Dakota man who wheeled a shopping cart with stolen merchandise out of a Hobby Lobby craft store was stopped by snow. Police say 22-year-old Dustin Johnson filled up a cart with about $4,000 in products at a Hobby Lobby store in Minot on Wednesday. After the cart got stuck in the snow in the parking lot and tipped over, Johnson allegedly ran off. Police say that along with the merchandise, Johnson left behind his wallet – which contained identification with his address. Johnson is charged in Ward County with theft of property. Court documents do not list a lawyer for him.
Rats! DC wages war against resurgent rodents with dry ice
Washington (AP) – Any mists spotted rising over the swamp may just be Washington wielding its newest weapon in its never-ending war on rats: dry ice. The District of Columbia’s rodent control division’s program manager, Gerard Brown, tells The Washington Post the frozen form of carbon dioxide complements the poison the city uses, as reported rat complaints reach a four-year high. Last month, Brown and Mayor Muriel Bowser oversaw a demonstration in which health department staffers stuffed dry ice into a northeast Washington alley rat hole. As the ice smoked, the emanating carbon dioxide suffocated the rats, according to Brown’s explanation. Residents are encouraged to purchase their own dry ice. The city is working on usage guidelines. Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells says dry ice is relatively humane, cheap and pet-friendly.