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Thief swipes BBQ grill and meat

(COURT TV) -- The thief who made off with Paul Kirk's barbecue grill is no vegetarian.

Police in Roeland Park, Missouri, are looking for the suspect who stole Kirk's van, the custom-built grill attached to the vehicle, and barbecued meat -- plenty of it.

Kirk, a nationally renowned barbeque champion and author, discovered the van and the $18,000 grill missing the morning of June 26. Also gone were several chickens, a half-dozen slabs of ribs and a dozen pounds of brisket he had prepared for a catering job.

According to Roeland Park Police Chief Rex Taylor, the thief did not have to work very hard for his lip-smacking payoff because Kirk left the keys in the van.

The van and grill were recovered three days later when residents of an apartment complex called to report a gigantic barbeque grill sitting in their parking lot.

The 5,000 pound grill showed no sign of recent use, police said. But Kirk's award-winning barbecued meat was nowhere to be found.

"As far as we're concerned this is a case of auto theft," Chief Taylor laughed when questioned about the missing meat.

The suspect is still at large.

'Big bad wolf' wanted for pig-napping

The classic folk tale of the three little pigs is getting a modern-day revival in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Police say Mary and Bobby Romine reported two of their concrete pig statues missing June 27. A ransom note signed "the big bad wolf" was left at the site of the abduction.

The wolf, perhaps having lost a taste for meat over the centuries, wanted two ears of corn and a ripe mango.

"We thought it was rather humorous," police spokesperson Kate Novitsky said. "But it's still a theft of property so we filed an incident report."

A day later, the Romines received a single serving of fried pork chop and a second note that read, "Cooked the pig."

The ransom notes were sent to a lab for fingerprints, but police are still waiting for the results.

Although the statues are only worth $10 each their owners are anxious to have them back, Novitsky said.

The "big bad wolf" would face a misdemeanor theft of property charge if caught.

Parents charged with making fake carnival tickets

Police in Bartlett, Illinois, have shut down one family's Ferris-wheel fest.

Timothy and Carole Alexander are charged with making counterfeit tickets to bankroll summer-long admission for their children to a local amusement park. The joy rides came to a halt three days after they started.

According to a police document, carnival workers at Astro Amusement discovered the deception July 4 when one of the Alexander children attempted to board a ride with one of the fake tickets.

"The tickets were exceptionally similar, but there was enough of a slight difference in which the workers were able to tell they were not real," police spokesperson Sergeant Jessica Crawley said.

The workers alerted Bartlett police, who spoke with the girl and then conducted several interviews with her parents. Timothy and Carole Alexander, both 41, were later placed under arrest and charged with forgery.

Police allege that the couple manufactured hundreds of tickets and distributed them to their children and to as many as 20 other children who used them over the holiday weekend.

Police are not disclosing where or how the fake tickets were made. The original tickets are worth $1 apiece.

According to the Chicago Daily Herald, the Alexanders have denied the charges and maintain that they were approached by a man who offered them a bundle of tickets for $50. They thought the tickets were real.

The couple was released from DuPage County jail after posting $500 bond each. They are expected in court July 26. The forgery charge carries a sentence of probation or two to five years in prison.

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