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Pigs, Squirrels, Spiders, and Cannonballs—It Was a Strange Month

Welcome to the first roundup of off-the-wall security-related stories of 2024! This month, we reach back to some older stories that were new to us (or, at least, new to us since we started this monthly feature). We also have a squirrel story, which will not surprise the other Security Management editors because they know I hate those furry-tailed rodents (and you would, too, if they damaged your car the way they damaged mine).

Enough with this introduction (where every sentence seems to need a parenthetical explanation) and on to the stories… right after our standard disclaimer: These stories are in some way related to security, and things related to security tend to have victims. Although we present this round-up with a lighter approach, we do not want to diminish any pain and suffering that these stories may well have caused.

Number 5In All Fairness to the Would-be Thief, They Are Good Water Bottles: Police in Roseville, California, responded to a shoplifting call from a local retailer. A woman had grabbed several Stanley brand water bottles and walked out of the store past retail staff who were demanding that she stop. Police apprehended her soon after she pulled out of the store parking lot and found 65 Stanley bottles and mugs from various stores.

Number 4Man Catches Squirrels, Spray Paints Them Red, Releases Them: Mark Kuhn from Patterson, New York, was charged with three counts of poisoning or attempting to poison animals, which are misdemeanors in the state. Authorities found the traps and spray paint at his home. The cages looked like something inside them had been spray painted. Those looking for a reason why the man was allegedly painting the squirrels will be disappointed—the report does not provide a reason.

Number 3Fred the Pig Causes Colorado Mischief: This is an older story, from September 2023, but it’s new to us, so we share. Last fall, a pig named Fred was accused of going on a “multi-day crime spree,” which sounds excessive, since, after all, he was just doing what a pig lost in American suburbia would do: mainly trying to avoid being squished by cars. He was able to elude authorities for several days, causing travel headaches wherever he went. Don’t worry, it’s a safe ending for Fred.

Number 2This Story Involves Mailed Live Spiders, a Bloody Pig Mask, and a Funeral Wreath: Another older story, brought back because in January eBay agreed to pay a $3 million fine for harassing a Massachusetts couple. The eBay security lead at the time as well as other staffers sent threatening packages—the spiders, bloody pig mask, and funeral wreath among other things—to bloggers perceived to be giving the company bad press.

Number 1Nude Man Nabbed by Police After ‘Cannonball’ Plunge into Giant Aquarium at Bass Pro Shop in Alabama: I mean, wow, that headline pretty much says it all, right? But I’ve got to write something, so I’ll say the man yelled obscenities at police when they arrived, but he eventually climbed out of the tank, where authorities arrested him. Mercifully there was no video shared as part of the news story.

A few other stories that caught our eye in the past month:

A man who claimed to be selling Queen Elizabeth II’s walking stick is sentenced for fraud

Man who admitted stealing ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers from museum tells court it was intended as ‘one last score’

New Orleans thief steals 7 king cakes from bakery in a very Mardi Gras way

Man allegedly terrorizes Long Island gas station worker—just to get $3 of gas

Venomous snake found lurking in public toilet in Australia