The Odd Side – November 22, 2016

Hunt On for Spelling-Challenged Bank Robber in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) – A bank robber dubbed the “spelling bee bandit” because the notes he’s passed to tellers contain the same misspelling is being sought for four robberies in Massachusetts.

The FBI says the man’s notes have just one word: “robery” with one “B.”

His latest target was a TD Bank in Peabody on Sunday. He’s also suspected of hitting banks in Arlington, Reading and Burlington since Oct. 31. In all the robberies, he’s worn sunglasses and either a baseball hat or hood. He’s described as white, in his late 30s or early 40s, between 5-feet, 11 inches, and 6-feet-2.

The FBI says it’s concerned because the man’s becoming increasingly aggressive toward the tellers.

The reward is up to $1,000.

Thai Fish With National Flag Colors Sold For More Than $1.5K

BANGKOK (AP) – A Siamese fighting fish with the colors of the Thai national flag has been bought for 53,500 baht ($1,530) at an online auction, possibly making it the most expensive Betta fish ever sold.

The fish’s breeder, Kachen Worachai, said he had expected someone to buy the fish for a few thousand baht but was shocked when the bid hit 10,000 baht ($285) on the second day.

“I never expected my fish to go for this price,” said Kachen, a 40-year-old convenience store owner who breeds Betta fish as a hobby. He posted the pictures on Nov. 6 with a starting bid of 99 baht ($2.82) and closed the auction on Nov. 8.

Betta fish have been bred previously to reproduce the colors of the Thai flag but Kachen said none have come close.

He said the highest previous price for a Betta was for a half-moon Betta fish that sold for 23,500 baht ($671).

“The chance of getting a fish with the flag’s exact color is like one in 100,000,” said Kachen. “So many people have tried to breed the Thai flag colors. Luck was really on my side.”

Clean Getaway: Police Seek Pennsylvania Detergent Thief

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania State Police are hoping to prevent a detergent thief from making a clean getaway.

Troopers say an unidentified man loaded up his shopping cart with more than a dozen 150-ounce bottles of laundry detergent early Tuesday, then left the Giant Food Store in South Hanover Township without paying. Police say the man drove away in a dark gray sport-utility vehicle.

Police say that happened about 3:20 a.m. at the store near Hershey. Police believe the same man stole detergent form the same store on Nov. 3.

Japan Rubber-Mask Makers Happy to Face A Trump Presidency

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) – While much of the world anxiously awaits what happens under President-elect Donald Trump, one factory manager in Japan is all smiles.

Ogawa Studio, the only manufacturer of rubber masks in Japan, is working feverishly to catch up with a flood of orders for Trump masks since his election victory last week.

The 23 workers at the plant in Saitama, a city in Tokyo’s northern suburbs, are trying to produce 350 likenesses of Trump a day, up from 45 before the U.S. election, factory executive manager Takahiro Yagihara said Tuesday.

The factory also produces masks of unsuccessful Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and other Japanese and international politicians and celebrities.

The masks emphasize Trump’s characteristic hair and facial expression. They are first spray-painted to add natural tan to the skin and yellowing to the hair. Then an employee hand-paints details such as blue eyes for a life-like resemblance.

The masks cost 2,400 yen ($22) each and are available in Japan at toy and retail stores and on shopping sites.

Snake on a Plane: Live Reptile Intrudes On Flight in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Passengers on a commercial flight in Mexico were given a start when a serpent slithered into the cabin. Carrier Aeromexico says the reptile was detected on a Sunday flight from Torreon in the country’s north to Mexico City.

A brief video shows a greenish snake emerging from the ceiling behind an overhead luggage compartment and then partially dropping down into the cabin.

Aeromexico says in a statement that the plane was given priority landing in Mexico City, where workers “secured the reptile.”

The airline says it’s investigating how the snake came to be in the cabin and is taking measures to avoid it happening again.