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Least Competent Criminals | Perspective

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published August 25, 2015

Least Competent Criminals | Perspective

But A Successful Parent: Scott Birk, 31, was arrested in New Berlin, Wisconsin, in July, thanks to a big boost the police got from his 6-year-old daughter.

A Wal-mart security guard noticed, on video, someone breaking into a jewelry case and pocketing earrings, and approached Birk as a suspect, in time to overhear the girl tell her dad "several times" to stop breaking into jewelry cases.

Officers running an ID check found no driver's license and asked how he had gotten to the store, and he said they walked. But Daddy, she said, we came in our car, and she cheerfully pointed it out to police.

A search turned up more items stuffed in Birk's shorts, and he was charged with theft and violating a previous bail condition. [WISN-TV (Milwaukee), 7-3-2015]

Pharmaceutical companies justify huge drug price markups on the ground that the research to develop the drug was, itself, hugely expensive.

In February, a Canadian company, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, decided to raise the price of two heart-saving drugs (Nitropress, Isuprel) by 212 percent and 525 percent, respectively, even though it had conducted no research on the drugs. That was because, reported The Wall Street Journal, all Valeant did was buy the rights to the already-approved drugs from another company (which, of course, had thought the drugs -- research and all -- had been fairly priced at the lower amounts).

Said a Valeant spokesperson, "Our duty is to our shareholders and to maximize the value" of our products (even, apparently, if it owned the product for less than a day before jacking up the price as much as five-fold). [Wall Street Journal, 4-26-2015]

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