NEIGHBORS : Oxnard Officer Has Eye for Stolen Cars : Martin Ennis wins auto club honors by recovering a county-high 18 vehicles. He claims he can spot a license plate 20 feet away at night.


The guys in the station house are saying that Martin Ennis has a sixth sense for stolen cars.

Ennis, an Oxnard police officer, posted a county high of 13 arrests by recovering 18 stolen vehicles, thereby earning him honors from the Automobile Club of Southern California.

His closest competitor had seven arrests.

"We get a hot sheet every day," Ennis said. "It usually has about 10 to 25 stolen cars on it. I try to remember something, the color of the car, an odd combination on the license plate. Something."

Ennis, who can read a license plate from 20 feet away at night, said that among his arrests were L. A. gang members in possession of a sawed-off shotgun, ski-masks and duct tape; local homeboys joy riding; and a woman who convinced police that she didn't know the car was stolen.


IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN IN VEGAS DEPT.: A typo comes to us from the Associated Press bureau in Las Vegas.

A Ventura County man was found dead in his hotel room. Officers discovered the body after they stopped a 1993 Lexus registered to the deceased. The woman driving had a handful of the man's credit cards and a history of prostitution.

Once in the man's hotel room, investigators found the body along with mirrors, razor blades and a white, powdery substance. The AP meant to print words to the effect that the cause of death has yet to be determined.

Instead, the story read, "The cause of death is spending."


From Oops to Hoops.

If you're a college basketball fan, you've probably seen Camarillo resident Jerry White on the television.

White referees Pac-10 basketball and has for the past 20 years. Of course, if you're a fan you know that basketball is not a summer sport.

During the off season, White is teaching two classes at Oxnard College, one titled men's sports officiating, the other, women's sports officiating.

"I consider myself a feminist. I'd like to think there is no distinction between the way men and women officiate," White said. "However, with women there is a greater distrust because the fans are not used to seeing them making the calls."

White, who's taught the class for eight years, said he gets few women who want to officiate men's sports, but lots of men who want to officiate women's sports. "The pay is the same and the games are shorter," he said.


For some it's difficult to muster the Christmas holiday spirit in July, but the women of Leslie's Hallmark Shoppe had an incentive.

Leslie Adkinson stuffed herself and five employees into a human-sized Crayola box and shuffled across the stage at the Hallmark national convention. They took second place in the annual Christmas ornament look-alike contest.

"Some of these contest entries are getting so sophisticated that they can't walk. The winner this year was like a float."

This is a big thing for ornament lovers, of which there are many in Ventura County. Adkinson said the local ornament collector's club is so popular that it attracts members from as far away as Los Angeles.

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