He Collars Suspect but Loses His Shirt

Kyle LaBrache, a 26-year-old director, came upon a real-life drama at the Beverly Center when he heard a woman scream, “He stole my wallet! He stole my wallet!”

LaBrache chased the suspect down the outside escalators. “It was very crowded,” he said. “He was reaching into his pocket and throwing change at people--to confuse them and make them move away, I guess.”

The pursuit continued down the street. Finally, LaBrache caught the worn-out suspect and held him for police, who had been summoned by the victim via her cellular phone.

In the excitement, LaBrache dropped a bag containing two new shirts. When he returned to look for it, the bag was gone.


A HAPPY ENDING: Good Samaritan LaBrache wasn’t out of luck, though. The store where he had bought the merchandise agreed to replace it.

“When a customer does something like that he’s helping all of us out,” said Kris Evans, co-manager of the men’s shop, Structure. “You don’t hear many stories like that in L.A.”

KIDS, DON’T READ THESE WORDS! On a driveway exiting Camarillo High School, John Verardo spotted some directions that get a failing grade for spelling (see photo). “Perhaps it’s a good reminder not to drop out of school,” he observed.

CHRONICLES OF THE CAR CULTURE: Tamara Rolfe of Norwalk placed an ad in the Long Beach Press Telegram, hoping that “someone, perhaps a senior who no longer needs a car,” would agree to trade (see accompanying). Rolfe has five 18-inch-tall porcelain dolls. “My grandmother made them,” she said. “She had a studio in Hollywood. I figure they’re worth $300 to $500 apiece.” Alas, so far she’s had no takers.

GREAT THINKERS: One of my colleagues received an invitation to a publicist’s Los Angeles Media Round Table, “a monthly dinner to encourage intellectual dialogue in our city. . . . Our guest of honor for the evening will be former presidential advisor Dick Morris.”

Too intellectual for my colleague.

LEGENDARY LAWSUITS: Some people will believe anything. And outrageous lawsuits seem to be on the rise. Both of which may explain why David Mikkelson of the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society has received “dozens of ‘is this true?’ inquiries” for what Mikkelson calls a “completely implausible” tale.

Mikkelson said the story goes like this:


“An L.A. man, having bought several expensive cigars, insured them against . . . get this . . . fire. After he had smoked them, he decided that he then had a claim against the insurance company. The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars normally.

“The man sued. The judge stated that since the company had insured the cigars against fire, they were obligated to pay.

“After the man accepted payment for his claim, the insurance company had him arrested . . . for arson.”

DICK MORRIS AND I WERE BOTH OVERLOOKED: I phoned a reader who had left a message on my machine, asking for more information about a column item regarding this month’s Angel Festival. When I gave her a phone number for the event, she hesitated, then said, “Oh, does that mean you’re not in charge of it?”



Jan Brown was intrigued by an ad in the Warner Center News that said: “Sell our Idaho potatoes in your neighborhood and workplace. Make extra money. No experience or money required.” Asked Brown: “In this heat, would they be baked potatoes?”