The Odd Side – July 18, 2017

Would-Be Robber Arrives Early At Banks to Find Doors Locked

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sometimes the early bird doesn’t get the worm.

Police in Iowa are looking for a would-be bank robber who showed up to two West Des Moines branches before they opened on Wednesday.

A security recording shows a man wearing a bandanna over his face trying to enter a Marine Credit Union branch at around 8:15 a.m. — nearly three hours before it opened.

Police Sgt. Tony Giampolo told The Des Moines Register that employees in the parking lot watched the guy yank on the doors before fleeing upon realizing they were locked.

Giampolo says a similarly dressed man tried to enter a nearby First National Bank branch at around 8:45 a.m., but it wasn’t scheduled to open until 9. He says the man fled when he spotted an officer inside who was alerting the staff about the earlier robbery attempt.

Thieves Go Big, Steal Tiny Home In Missouri

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) – Thieves targeting a so-called tiny home in Missouri decided to go big — and steal the whole house.

The Joplin Globe reports that Missouri resident Lisa Stubblefield left the structure in a roped-off area in Springfield last week for the Food Truck Showdown. When she arrived for the festivities Saturday morning, it was gone.

Stubblefield says she’s surprised someone targeted the building, which is 13 feet tall and looks like a small house, complete with a covered porch, but has no plumbing. It’s designed to be a mobile clothing boutique.

Stubblefield’s plight eventually caught the attention of a woman in Pittsburg, Kansas, a town about 90 miles west. Police found the house there the next day.

No arrests have been made.

As Indonesia Cuts Forests, Fake Nature Thrives

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia’s capital is lush with fake greenery even as the country is cutting down its precious tropical forests at a record rate.

Jakarta’s gleaming air-conditioned malls have a particular fondness for lifeless extravaganzas of plastic ferns or autumnal trees that don’t drop any leaves.

Construction sites are wrapped in screens printed with giant leaves glistening with dew drops or the picturesque deciduous forests found in temperate climates. A new terminal at the international airport has a mini-jungle within its cavernous air-conditioned interior. Despite the odd inclusion of fake grass, it has the slight saving grace that the potted greenery is real.

Indonesia’s most densely populated island, Java, is nearly completed denuded of its original virgin forest and Sumatra is nearly as bare. Palm oil and pulp wood plantation companies are now making inroads into the great forests of Borneo and Papua.

The draining of tropical wetlands for industrial plantations has also come at a significant human cost. Record dry season fires in Sumatra and Borneo in 2015 hastened 100,000 deaths in the region from air pollution, according to a Harvard and Columbia study, and by World Bank estimates cost Indonesia’s economy $16 billion.