Thieves Recorded Swiping Camera

People in Glass Museums …

T A C O M A, Wash. — It was not a picture-perfect crime.

When three young thieves decided to steal a video camera from the Museum of Glass and International Center for Contemporary Art, perhaps they should have considered wearing a disguise, or at least not looking directly into the lens.

Instead, they decided just to go ahead with it.

"They unscrewed it off the mounting and stole it," said James Mattheis, the Tacoma Police Department's public information officer.

"And of course as they're doing that, it's got a full-on image of the guy doing it."

The video shows a man wearing a baseball cap with the word "SECURITY" written on the front, staring into the camera.

Police released images from the security tape of the three suspects, two men ages 21 and 20, and a 17-year-old female. Their names were not released, pending the filing of criminal charges.

"We had good pictures of them and we knew someone was going to recognize them," said Mattheis.

The publicity apparently brought the master criminals to their senses. Police said the three young thieves walked into the Tacoma Police Station and confessed to the crime on Jan. 31.

They also returned the camera and 12 glass apples they had also swiped from the museum, police said.

Way Off Course

D E L A N D, Fla. — It's harder than you might think to stop a man fleeing in a speeding golf cart.

Officers said they spotted David Johnson driving in traffic down New York Avenue in an orange, three-wheeled Harley-Davidson golf cart around 10 p.m. on Jan. 29.

When they pulled him over, Johnson's breath smelled of liquor, officers said, and they noticed a beer can in the cart.

But Johnson apparently wasn't going to give up that easy.

When the officers asked him to take a sobriety test, the 43-year-old allegedly cursed them, hopped back in his cart and drove off.

Police tried to shock Johnson with a Taser electrical shock gun, but the suspect's leather jacket apparently blocked the weapon.

A frantic chase followed, with one officer jumping on the back of the cart and another pursuing on foot.

"Our officer jumped on the back of the moving golf cart. He was hanging on there for a while," said DeLand police spokeswoman Barbara West.

"I got to get it back to the shop!" Johnson shouted as he continued, according to the report by Officer John Provenzano. The cart belonged to Johnson's employer, Carriages Unlimited.

Police shouted at Johnson to stop, but the determined driver kept zipping up and down Spring Garden Avenue. Provenzano said he struck Johnson in the leg with his baton, but it also had little effect.

Finally the officers tackled him and knocked him out of the cart. Johnson was taken to the hospital for evaluation and then charged with operating a golf cart on a public road, fleeing police, resisting arrest and driving under the influence.

Clothing Optional Robbery

B A K E R S F I E L D, Calif. — It seems there was an exhibitionist among the exhibits at the Kern County Museum.

Shane Walton, 25, was caught there rolling around in a stolen wheelchair, naked except for a stolen top hat and cape, police said.

"All he had on was a top hat and long black cloak," said Sgt. Greg Williamson.

Officers responded to a burglar alarm at two museum buildings early in the morning of Jan. 29.

They reported seeing Walton crack open a prop cabinet and roll off in a museum wheelchair. He wheeled himself out of the museum, but not fast enough — officer grabbed and handcuffed him.

Inside the museum, police found a wide swath of damage and vandalism amid the natural history and science exhibits, Williamson said.

Walton allegedly kicked in the door of a curator's office, smashed computer screens and equipment, a sewing machine, a mirror, and an alarm control panel.

He was charged with burglary and malicious mischief.

The alleged naked vandal did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and police admitted it was unclear what motivated the nude intruder.

"Obviously, it's not normal behavior," Williamson said.

Crime Blotter, a weekly feature of, is compiled by Oliver Libaw.