Check back here daily for the latest oddball stories that just may give you a chuckle or leave you scratching your head.
Fears squashed: Zucchini mistaken for WWII bomb in Germany
BERLIN — A worried resident in Germany alerted police to what he thought was a World War II bomb in his garden. Officers rushed over — and found a particularly large zucchini.
Police were summoned to the scene in Bretten, near the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, on Thursday morning by an 81-year-old man.
They said in a statement Friday that officers determined "the object, which really did look very like a bomb" was actually a 40-centimeter (nearly 16-inch) zucchini.
The offending vegetable, which was very dark in color, weighed about five kilograms (11 pounds). Police believe someone threw it over a hedge into the garden.
Unexploded wartime bombs are unearthed frequently during construction work in Germany, often forcing authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of residents while they are defused.
Addled in the saddle? Woman charged with DUI on horseback
LAKELAND, Fla. — A 53-year-old woman riding a horse down a busy Florida highway has been arrested and charged with driving drunk.
Polk County Sheriff's officials said in a news release that someone called 911 about a woman who appeared confused and possibly in danger. When deputies arrived they found Donna Byrne riding her horse in the road.
Officers did a sobriety test and said she gave breath samples that registered blood-alcohol level of .161 — twice Florida's legal limit of .08.
Byrne is charged with DUI and animal neglect for endangering and failing to provide proper protection for the horse.
Deputies took the horse to the Polk County Sheriff's Animal Control livestock facility. She was booked into the Polk County Jail. Jail records did not list an attorney for her.
Swedes watch postal thieves board moving mail truck from car
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Sweden's postal service was puzzled when packages of electronics disappeared from its trucks on a road northeast of the country's second-largest city.
PostNord head of security Alexis Larsson says the service mounted concealed cameras inside the back of a postal truck in September to crack the thefts. The stolen items — mostly laptops, computers and smartphones — were estimated to be worth 2.5 million kronor (about $300,000).
The cameras provided a live feed of the PortNord truck. That's how Larsson was able to watch as two men leapt onto the moving truck from the hood of a car traveling behind it, entered the cargo area and rummaged through the load.
The truck was going 80 kph (50 mph) when the thieves boarded it, he told The Associated Press Friday.
The idea to equip a mail truck with a roving eye came about after PostNord noticed valuables vanishing from trucks traveling between Stockholm and Goteborg. The vehicles' padlocks had been cut and removed, leading Larsson and his team to conclude the thefts must have happened while the trucks were in transit.
After the camera caught the daring duo that broke into the truck while it was in motion, police were contacted and four men — all non-Swedes — were arrested on Sept. 16, during an operation involving unmarked police cars.
Charges against the men, who range in age between 30 and 45, are expected later this month. Larsson said they are suspected of being part of an international gang.
"This is a modus operandi that has been seen elsewhere in Europe, but it has been hard to prove," said Larsson, a former military officer who has worked in corporate security for the past 10 years.
"I think this is good for the shipping industry as a whole. We have been able to see how it happens," he said.
Police tweet beer photo to deter underage Halloween partiers
UPPER DARBY, Pa. — Police in Pennsylvania have tweeted a photo of a Halloween beer can costume to make underage revelers think officers would be staked out in disguises at parties.
Upper Darby police sent out a series of tweets Tuesday after they found out about underage parties planned for the holiday. They said they know teenagers keep tabs on their social media accounts, so they were hoping the tweets would scare some of them away from the parties.
"We will be dressed up and ready to go," the department tweeted, accompanied by a picture of uniformed officers standing at attention.
Later, they said they'd heard of a new party location. "Good news," they said. "We have cars."
WTXF-TV reports officers checked in on the addresses where the parties were expected, but found nothing.
Information from: WTXF-TV, http://www.foxphiladelphia.com
Prankster tosses yellow dye into Lincoln Center's fountain
NEW YORK — A prankster has thrown yellow dye into the fountain at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Photos posted on social media Saturday show lemon-yellow water gushing from the fountain, which sits in front of the Metropolitan Opera and is a popular tourist attraction that has been featured in movies including "Moonstruck" and "Ghostbusters."
The Daily News reports the fountain was turned off after suddenly changing color Saturday afternoon.
A Lincoln Center spokeswoman says security notified the police, who are looking for the prankster. She says the fountain is being cleaned.
Man gets prison time for illegally harvesting Virginia eels
NORFOLK, Va. — A New York seafood dealer has been sentenced to 1 ½ years behind bars for illegally trafficking more than $150,000 worth of baby eels from Virginia.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that 42-year-old Tommy Zhou of Brooklyn was sentenced Friday in a federal Virginia court after he pleaded guilty in April.
Called elvers, baby eels are valuable because they are sold to Asian aquaculture companies so they can be raised to maturity and used as food. Fishermen sometimes sell them for more than $2,000 per pound at the dock. They can be legally harvested only in Maine and South Carolina, and the fishery is tightly regulated.
Prosecutors say Zhou obtained a Maine elver dealer license in 2013 and then used it to cover his illegal operation.
Zhou's attorneys declined to comment.