Odds and ends: Wife’s report to police leads to husband’s burglary arrest

By The Associated Press

SUTHERLIN, Ore. – They say problem gamblers never quit while they’re ahead, and one properly insured Oregon man apparently didn’t, either.

Authorities recovered a stolen antique slot machine worth $4,000 and arrested the 30-year-old, who they said asked his wife to help file an insurance claim to cover damage done to his van during the heist.

The slot machine was reported stolen in a burglary Monday night at a home in Sutherlin, 170 miles south of Portland, Douglas County sheriff’s deputies said. Investigators learned that the victim’s housekeeper filed a police report a day earlier claiming someone had thrown a piece of sheet metal through the window of her parked van.

The sheet metal turned out to be from the back of the stolen slot machine, with the serial number attached.

Deputies said the housekeeper’s husband stole the machine, which tipped over as he drove away, breaking the van window. He told his wife the van had been vandalized and asked her to report the damage so insurance would cover it, deputies said.

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The husband and a 25-year-old man were charged with burglary and theft, but the wife wasn’t charged.

The case was still being investigated.

Possible piece of human scalp baffles Wash, police

PASCO, Wash. – The discovery of an apparent piece of human scalp has puzzled police knocking on doors to try to determine the source.

“At this point it appears to be human,” police Capt. James Raymond said Tuesday. “We’re taking a leap that the person it belongs to probably is not alive.”

Eriberta Salinas said her 4-month-old puppy Clifford brought home the apparent piece of scalp with reddish hair on Sunday from a back yard in the neighborhood.

Police went door to door in the neighborhood in this central Washington town for about five hours Monday to ask neighbors if they had seen any red-haired strangers in the area lately.

Investigators initially thought the scalp might have been taken in the recent car prowl and theft of a kit containing body parts for training cadaver dogs in nearby Kennewick, but that was later ruled out, police said.

The apparent piece of scalp has been sent to a crime laboratory for analysis. “Someone out there is probably not living and so that’s really what the priority is: Where is this person?” Raymond said.