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Odds & Ends 11/23
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Man angry about penis enlargement mails doctor a bomb
PHILADELPHIA — A man who mailed a bomb to a doctor because he was angry about how his penis enlargement surgery turned out was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison.
    Blake Steidler, 25, of Reamstown, put the bomb in the mail on Feb. 11, 2005, in North Bloomfield, Ohio, addressed to the doctor in Chicago.
    After returning home, Steidler called 911 and told police what he had done. The bomb was retrieved from the mail and destroyed; no one was injured.
    Steidler pleaded guilty in April to use of a weapon of mass destruction and other charges.
    Defense lawyer Luis A. Ortiz said at the time of the plea that his client was mentally ill.
    Besides the prison term, Steidler was sentenced to five years supervised release, and a $2,000 fine.

Gunman attempts to rob gas station with police officer in line

    SHREVEPORT, La. — A masked gunman walked into a gas station and demanded money, apparently not noticing that the line at the counter included a uniformed police officer.
    L.J. Scott, a member of the Police Department’s armed robbery task force, told the would-be robber to put his own hands up.
    Scott took the handgun and arrested Derek Pierson Jr., 21, of Stockton, Calif., police department spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said.
    Hargrave said Pierson was booked into the city jail on a charge of armed robbery with a firearm.

Cigarette man busted - for bigamy 

    LYNCHBURG, Va. — A man known by some people in the region for dressing up as a giant cigarette and using hip-hop music to teach children to avoid smoking has pleaded guilty to bigamy.
    Phillip Dale Williams, 37, had as many as four wives at the same time, said Chuck Felmlee, deputy commonwealth’s attorney.
    Williams’ fourth wife, Lashawn Stevenson, became suspicious earlier this year when her husband began receiving child support notices in the mail. When the couple wed in 2003, he told her he had never been married, Felmlee said.
    Stevenson did her own investigating, leading her to a Vallejo, Calif., woman, Antoinette Borum, who told Stevenson that Williams left her in 2002 with two children and no child support.
    When Stevenson confronted Williams, he told her he had married Borum and two other women before her, Felmlee said.
    Williams told police he divorced the first wife, but not the second or Borum. Police have not been able to contact the first two wives, Felmlee said.
    Williams was known locally for playing ‘‘Douglas ’Dude’ Cigarette,’’ a character he created in 1996. He has performed in about a dozen states.
    Williams is to be sentenced March 9.
    Williams’ attorney, Tom Current, declined to comment on the case.

Grinch steals toys and electronics from Christmas collection 

    COLUMBUS, Ind. — Someone broke into a warehouse over the weekend and stole toys and electronics equipment that had been donated to a Christmas gift program organized by city firefighters.
    The burglary was discovered Monday after thieves made off with at least two shopping carts full of goods, including compact disc players and boom boxes, organizers said.
    ‘‘You always hear about the Grinch who stole Christmas. Whoever done it is kinda the Grinch to us,’’ firefighter Leroy Armstrong said.
    The items were part of the Firemen’s Cheer Fund, which was founded in 1930 and provided gifts to about 1,500 children last year in the city about 40 miles south of Indianapolis. Police were investigating but had no immediate suspects.
    Firefighter Scott Stam, a co-chairman of the Cheer Fund, said he could not understand the theft.
    ‘‘The community tries to help people out, and somebody tries to come in and help themselves,’’ he said.
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