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    5 craziest crimes of the week

    7:27 AM, Jan 17, 2014   |    comments
    (Photo: Metropolitan Police)
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    (USA TODAY) -- Hapless car thieves and the Florida shooting over movie texts are among the cases causing a double-take from the police blotter this week:

    1. Would-be crooks stymied by door, stick shift: Two stories this week showcase would-be criminals thwarted by ... themselves. One involves car thieves in Massachusetts who apparently need a lesson in the manual transmission, and the other is about a burglar who didn't understand the distinction between "push" and "pull."

    2. 'Stand Your Ground' eyed in Florida movie shooting: Chucking popcorn at an elderly guy may not sound like a valid reason for gunning a man down, but the retired police captain charged with murder in an argument about movie theater texting happens to be both 71 and in Florida so he might just have a case under the state's Stand Your Ground law.

    3. 'Swiss cheese pervert' suspect caught in Philly: It's not every crime story that involves the phrase "indecent acts with dairy products," but this one involves a suspect called the "Swiss Cheese Pervert." Philadelphia police arrested a 41-year-old man accused of harassing women in exceedingly creepy fashion.

    4. Priceless plant stolen from garden: Thieves who struck in London will need some serious green thumbs or their priceless loot won't be worth a cent. Someone dug up a tiny water lily from the Royal Botanic Gardens, and it happens to be one of the world's rarest (and tough-to-grow) plants.

    5. Shopper, 77, charged with express lane assault: The sign said 20 items or less, so 77-year-old William Golladay started counting. When the shopper ahead of him placed 22 items on the belt at a Florida Walmart, police say Golladay wigged out on the 65-year-old man.

    For more crazy crimes, including a man who police believe was murdered after a disagreement over a chess move, visit Newser, a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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