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The Funny Side: Strange stories of Robbers and their Getaways

In 2008 was a case in Malaysia where robbers used a getaway car that was too small for all the money they had stolen

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Robbery (Representational Image), Pixabay
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– by Nury Vittachi

Nov 18, 2016: I saw cops chasing a guy down the street the other day. My first thought was, “Man, those guys are going to get great scores on their fitness band.”

Police and robbers should agree to a 30-second window between any actual bank robbery and the ensuing chase to give time for both sides to turn their step-counters on. Robber: “Ready, chap?” Cops: “Wait. Just need to click this. Okay, let’s do this thing.”

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Two days later, a reader sent me a news item from Florida on a related subject. A young female bank robber had no getaway car — so persuaded her dad to drive her to and from the bank “for a job interview”. She robbed the bank and leapt back into the car, telling him that the cash she was holding was her salary in advance. The conversation must have been interesting: “Hi sweetheart, how’d the interview go?” “Fine thanks, Dad, now DRIVE GO GO GO GO GO.” (Bullets fly.)

This writer canvassed sources for other offbeat getaways and a colleague shared an odd one from Ecuador. A professional footballer was in the middle of a game last month when police arrived to arrest him for non-payment of alimony. He pretended to become injured (footballers spend most of their training hours practising this) and was transferred by stretcher to an ambulance while police watched helplessly from the other side of the field.

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But perhaps the most cost-effective getaway of recent times was a curious theft in India this summer. Bank security guards put a large cash payment in a tightly secured train carriage. Robbers sitting on the roof of the moving train cut a hole into the carriage, snatched the money, and then jumped off. They were a huge distance away when the robbery was discovered — and they hadn’t spent a cent on a getaway car.

Someone reading over my shoulder (GO AWAY) has just referred me to a case from Kent in 2008. The robbers had a regular getaway car, but used a driver who just didn’t have the right mindset for car chases. They were only about 250 metres from the place they’d raided when a traffic light turned red. The driver stopped the car and politely signalled right to show pursuers which way they were going. Police caught them within minutes.

Also in 2008 was a case in Malaysia where robbers used a getaway car that was too small for all the money they had stolen. And there was a 2012 case in Texas where a bank customer got so scared during an armed robbery that she ran outside and drove away in the first car she could find — which turned out to be the robbers’ getaway car.

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But going back to escaping on foot, a long run through the centre of any city will boost your score on Pokemon Go and provide good opportunities to distract police officers chasing you. Robber (glancing at smartphone screen): “Oh my goodness, there’s a legendary Articuno, a Pokemon which has never been caught.” Cop: “Where? I mean, stop, there!” (Cops slow down and pull out phones.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a taxi to work, waving my fitness band out of the window all the way. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)