July 1-Aug. 30. New evidence that George W. Bush and Al Gore are right and Hollywood is destroying America: earlier this summer, an Edwards Cinema in Newport Beach displayed several oil paintings by a local artist. Moviegoers waiting in line for popcorn, soda and Junior Mints were able to enjoy the 24-inch-by-24-inch landscapes, valued at around $4,000 each, arrayed on the walls of the theater lobby. When the artist visited the theater on Aug. 30, one of her creations, Snow Scene of Frozen River, was missing. Had it been sold? No, the startled management replied. Apparently, an unknown suspect—perhaps inspired by the art-heist hit The Thomas Crown Affair—had abducted the painting.
COLA WARS, PART III Sept. 22. Last week, we reported the theft of all four wheels from a Newport man's Acura NSX. The week before, we reported the same crime performed on a BMW and a failed attempt on a Mercedes. In each successful incident, the stripped cars were left perched on soda crates labeled Coca-Cola and 7UP, respectively. Perhaps alerted to their opponents' inroads in branding the criminal market, competing soda officials may have issued a challenge. On Sept. 22, a Costa Mesa woman discovered that her new BMW 323 CSI had been similarly denuded of its wheels and tires. The brand of crates left supporting the car? Pepsi, of course. THE PURR-FECT CRIME Oct. 2. A twentysomething woman with bleached hair, heels and a snake tattoo on her neck entered Russo's Pet Supermart in Fashion Island and inquired about the Siamese cat cavorting in a nearby cage. The manager unlocked the cage and handed the cat to the woman, explaining the pet was 4 months old and available for $599. She then left to assist another customer. Thirty minutes later, the cat's cagemate began crying because the Siamese had not been returned. Fashion Island security was immediately contacted but was unable to locate the cat or its mysterious abductor. The case remains unsolved. HATE CRIME? Oct. 2. The course superintendent of Big Canyon Country Club discovered some mysterious vandalism on the golf green. Using an unidentified white substance, the perpetrators burned a 2-foot-wide penis and a happy face into the 11th hole. Police have no suspects. Penis proponents could not be reached for comment.