The San Diego Humane Society was summoned to a convenience store parking lot in Del Mar, Calif., on Oct. 8 after law enforcement officers responded to calls of concern about a van parked there, near one of San Diego's toniest neighborhoods. Officers found a woman living in the van with more than 300 pet rats. Humane Society Capt. Danee Cook told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "This was not a cruelty case. This was a relinquishment." The unidentified owner said she had started with two pet rats, but the situation had gotten out of control, and she agreed to surrender all of them, many of which were juveniles or pregnant. Officers spent several days tearing the van apart and recovered 320 animals, about half of which were put up for adoption. Meanwhile, the woman has found a place to live with the help of a GoFundMe page.

Unclear on the concept

Andrew Blackwell, 25, has his sights set on a particular home in Salt Lake City and apparently will stop at nothing to make it his own. Since late August, Blackwell, a neighbor of the property, has been repeatedly entering the home, according to court papers, even after being told by police that he does not have authority to do so. He has been doing work around the house, including removing trees and shrubbery, installing new locks and telling other neighbors he had bought the house. Blackwell told police he offered the elderly owner of the home, who lives elsewhere, $90,000 for her property, which has a market value of $363,000. Court documents state that after the owner refused the offer, he told her he would "forge any document needed to get the property from her," according to KUTV. On Oct. 18, police issued a warrant for Blackwell's arrest, on charges of burglary, forgery, stalking, theft, three counts of criminal trespassing and criminal mischief.

Questionable judgment

• On-air reporter Angel Cardenas with KMAX TV in Sacramento, Calif., was fired on Oct. 21 after a bizarre incident at the Sacramento International Auto Show the day before. During a broadcast before the show opened, Cardenas climbed on at least two of the privately owned show cars and dinged another when he opened a door against it. "No one is out here to tell me which car I can't go in ... so I'm just gonna live on the wild side," he told viewers before posing atop a Ford Thunderbird. "I feel like a kid in a candy store," he said, according to Fox News. The producer of the auto show contacted the general manager of the TV station and was told Cardenas had been terminated.

• Cesar Schmitz of Eneas Marques, Brazil, was just trying to make his wife happy when he launched an effort to rid their backyard of cockroaches. "She ... begged me to destroy their nest under the ground once and for all," Schmitz, 48, explained. After chemicals failed to do the job, the Daily Mail reported, Schmitz decided setting fire to the hole would work, so on Oct. 18, he poured a capful of gasoline into the hole and tossed in a lighted match. After a couple of misfires, caught on his home's security camera, a match landed, and Schmitz and his dogs are seen ducking for cover as the resulting explosion sends turf and lawn furniture flying through the air. The gasoline itself had ignited but it had also set off the highly combustible methane from the bugs' venom that had accumulated in an air pocket under the grass. "I wish I'd thought this through," Schmitz said. He admitted it made a huge mess, but said, ultimately, his scheme was a success: The cockroaches are gone.

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