Plenty of weird crimes in Wichita in 2010

Keeping a straight face can be a challenge for police officers sometimes.

Some cases are so amusing, baffling or downright bizarre that they defy the imagination.

"This is what makes the job so interesting and fresh," Lt. Doug Nolte said in an e-mail. "Every day, it seems that someone attempts to do the unimaginable."

Here's a sampling of head-scratching crimes from the past year in Wichita:

Drugs left behind?

There was the woman who called police early in November to report that two armed strangers with towels covering their faces walked into a west-side apartment, accosted the woman who lived there, shot her boyfriend twice when he got home, and then left.

As officers investigated the scene, they came across a duffel bag holding 12 bricks of marijuana.

Oh, that was brought in by the intruders and left behind, the woman insisted.

Police didn't buy her story. She was arrested.

About those drugs...

Then there were the two guys who called 911 as they hid in the bathroom from a robber early on the morning of July 6.

Police looking for the suspect found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the house in the 3200 block of South Millwood — so the two men who called for help ended up being arrested themselves.

Footprints in the snow

A man and woman burglarizing an east Wichita business last February were caught red-handed by a police officer. Or is that white-footed?

The officer was patrolling near Central and Greenwich early on the morning of Feb. 22 when he noticed a suspicious hole in a fence.

When he went to check it out, he noticed two sets of footprints in the freshly fallen snow. Those footprints led to a building at Crestview Marine, 11018 E. Central.

He found a door open, and as he searched the building he found a 30-year-old man and 30-year-old woman hiding inside.

They had piled items next to the door that they planned to steal, authorities said.

The man and woman were arrested.

Slip-up for man in PJs

Crimes with weird or wacky outcomes typically have one thing in common, Nolte said.

They're "crimes of opportunity that are not necessarily well thought out," he said.

Take the man who walked into Cordova's Liquor Store on East Lincoln on the night of Dec. 15 in clothing that included a pair of green pajama pants with cartoon characters on them.

Yes, the sun had set, but it wasn't that late at night.

The man grabbed a bottle of liquor and began to leave the store. The clerk intervened, telling him he needed to pay for the liquor.

In response, the man pulled a black handgun from a pocket and tried to point it at the clerk — but he slipped and fell instead.

His bravado busted, the man crawled out of the store and then walked away.

A trail of wrappers

Someone stole a delivery truck filled with Little Debbie cakes from the Walmart at Pawnee and Broadway early on the morning of Sept. 27.

They went on a merry little drive, stashed cases of the cakes along a bike path parallel to the Canal Route — as if they planned to come back and fetch them — and then crashed the truck nose-first into the water.

There was a trail of wrappers leading away from the scene, as if those responsible wanted a little snack as they made their departure.