Police office at a car window

News of the weird

Bits and bytes of the bizarre and strange gathered from around the web so you don’t have to…yer welcome!  

Compiled and edited by Alexander Johnson

Car thieves are using wildlife cameras

We’ve seen criminals not only get more aggressive about stealing cars from dealerships and private citizens, but also turn to more creative measures. Now a report out of the UK details how thieves are using wildlife cameras to stalk and steal classic cars. 

The scheme often starts with spotters checking out cars at local shows. When they find the make and model they need to steal, one of them will craftily hide a magnetic tracking device on the classic car. That allows them to find where the vehicle is being stored so that they can then stake out the location.

That’s when these criminals will put up wildlife cameras around your property. It might sound bizarre, but these crafty individuals use the cameras to figure out when you usually come and go from your house, determining when it’s likely you’re not home but your classic car is.

This all sounds like something out of a movie but was 2020 in a nutshell, and just because this scheme is being deployed in the UK doesn’t mean it hasn’t already been put to use in North America. We’ve seen crimes tested in one area quickly spread to another. Like vehicle rebirthing.

Authorities in the UK are advising classic car owners to inspect their vehicle, especially the chassis, for any magnetic tracking devices upon returning from a show. They also say owners should be on the lookout for camouflaged cameras attached to trees on their property. Installing a set of security cameras, an alarm for the garage, and a tracker on the classic car are also good ideas. 

We really hate being right about the awful trend of increasing car theft. Some automotive sites have tried to paint this rosy picture that the rise in car thefts isn’t real or that it’s a temporary blip, but not us. We’d rather readers be armed with accurate information so they can take appropriate actions instead of not realizing just how bad things are currently 


Flipped Ford Truck cruises around town

Have you ever flipped a car? If so, you might not find this spectacle particularly funny considering it might bring back some painful memories of a devastating car crash. However, it’s safe to say that the rest of us can admire this incredibly well-designed custom truck by Rick Sullivan of Clinton, Illinois. At first glance you might cringe at the thought of a terrible accident, but soon realize that it was indeed built to look like it’s upside down. So why did the owner do this?

A little while ago, Sullivan was hard at work responding to the scene of the accident where a Ford Ranger was overturned. Sitting with all four wheels sticking upright in the air, he decided that he might as well make a truck that looked just like it without having to go through the expensive process of wrecking his vehicle. He wanted to see what his capabilities really were when it came to building a classic custom and this truck really does show off his talents well.

Nowadays, you’ll find the truck driving around through the streets with the owner’s family accompanying him along the way. The truck gets a lot of attention which is something that everybody close to this guy can enjoy. There are always comments and questions about what might happen if the truck flipped over, pointing out paramedics might initially think it was completely fine due to its looks. While this is, of course, an absurd scenario, everything about this truck is about having fun and thinking outside of the box which is why it is fantastic creation 


A GM cruise autonomous Chevy Bolt gets stuck in traffic 

GM’s Cruise self-driving service in San Francisco has been offering driverless rides since June 2022, and its cars have reportedly covered over half a million miles without a driver at the wheel. Unfortunately, autonomous driving technology isn’t exactly bulletproof and Twitter user @k_pendergrast captured how things can go sideways when there’s no one in the car to intervene. 

A Cruise-operated Chevy Bolt got stuck at an intersection and turned on its emergency lights, even though the traffic light was green. According to the Twitter user who filmed the whole thing, the autonomous vehicle sat there for multiple light cycles as all the other cars passed it.

Interestingly – and this is when things started to look like a satirical science fiction movie – a Waymo-operated Jaguar I-Pace pulled up behind the stuck Bolt and waited for the intersection to clear. Unlike GM’s Cruise, which has a permit to charge for rides without a driver present, Waymo still has an emergency driver on board to take over when things don’t go as planned, so the Jaguar didn’t sit for too long in the autonomous traffic jam.

Eventually, after 13 minutes, another Cruise Chevy Bolt arrived on the scene with a technician on board, who drove the stuck car away and freed up the road. Nobody was injured, but some drivers were not pleased with the situation. Thankfully, driverless cars don’t have feelings 


Arizona Grinch gets pulled over in carpool lane

We’ve seen people try to pull the wool over law enforcement’s eyes in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane using dummies and other realistic “passengers”, but this is the first time we’ve seen someone use an inflatable Christmas decoration. Why this driver thought that was clever is beyond us.

After determining the passenger wasn’t someone wearing a suit, and that nobody was in the backseat, the trooper cited the driver for the HOV lane violation. Just like in many areas, there are time restrictions when nobody driving with just one person in a car can use the carpool lane. The exception is if you have a “clean” vehicle like a hybrid or EV, depending on the regulations where you live.

As everyone heads out for holiday gatherings and vacations, we all need to watch out for the rules of the road. Sure, it’s annoying dealing with heavy traffic and the HOV lane can look tempting, but it’s best to just not go there if you’re driving alone or the trip can cost. 


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