A Texas man's ingenious plan to make a little extra money turned out to be a train wreck — or, in this case, a car wreck.
Paul Michael Dejesus of Austin was arrested and charged with theft after police say he stole about $178,000 worth of NASCAR tickets and attempted to sell them on Craigslist, according to an arrest warrant.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that Dejesus was charged with a second-degree felony and is in Travis County Jail on $200,000 bond.
The affadavit stated that a representative from a company called Full Throttle Productions, which sponsors and sets up NASCAR races, told authorities that she never received a package containing tickets for a March 14 race at Thunder Hill Raceway. Federal Express said they had delivered the package to her address and left it on her front porch.
When another representative from Full Throttle noticed an advertisement for NASCAR tickets on Craigslist, police detectives got involved. The affidavit said the tickets matched the ones that were missing.
According to the American-Statesman, a police detective responded to the ad and received a reply from Dejesus. Detectives met with Dejesus and bought four tickets, according to the warrant.
The detectives were able to confirm the tickets were stolen and secured a warrant to search Dejesus' home. Police found the remainder of the tickets as well as other Federal Express packages and mail that were not addressed to him.
There's no real joke here, other than the thought of a NASCAR fan trying to outsmart police.
Going for a ride
It's a good thing New York Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey wasn't injured, or he might have had to come up with some kind of Jeff Kent-type excuse,
Pelfrey was wearing a black motorcycle helmet during voluntary workouts at the team's spring training complex recently after crashing his golf cart while playing a round with teammates. Pelfrey called it his "crash helmet," according to the New York Post.
While playing with pitcher John Maine, catcher Brian Schneider and right fielder Ryan Church, Pelfrey caught one of his cart's wheels on the edge of a sand trap, causing it to flip over into the bunker.
Pelfrey wasn't hurt, and the foursome was able to turn the cart back upright.
"The only people who saw it were the guys about to tee off on that hole, and they asked if I was OK," Pelfrey told the Post. "The guys aren't going to let me drive the cart anymore, though."
No truth to the rumor that if Pelfrey had been injured, he was planning on telling team officials he was actually washing his truck.
Top five list
The top five proposed names for a new 49ers-Raiders venue:
5. Oddfellows Stadium
4. Frick and Frack Field
3. Spritzer and Suds Park
2. Down and Out Dome
1. Field of Pipe Dreams
— Tom Barnidge and Matt Schwab
Nobody asked us but...
— Tom Barnidge
"I think you just felt a tremendous need to keep up and to play well. You know, it was hot in Texas every day. It was over a hundred degrees."
— Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, describing part of the reason he took steroids
That's a fact
Phoenix center Shaquille O'Neal will play in his 15th All-Star game today. That is second all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (18).
The bottom line
During a recent one-week span, the Los Angeles Lakers team site had the most page views on NBA.com. The Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were second, far outnumber the rest of the league. The Warrors check in at No. 20. Here is the team-by-team breakdown for the week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1.
Team Page views
1. Lakers 1,861,636
2. Cavaliers 1,763,416
3. Celtics 986,064
4. Heat 806,203
5. Raptors 674,601
6. Suns 664,444
7. Magic 551,029
8. Knicks 519,473
9. Spurs 501,586
10. Bulls 483,585
11. Pistons 477,438
12. Rockets 414,623
13. Trail Blazers 413,950
14. Bobcats 364,412
15. Grizzlies 330,668
16. Mavericks 291,794
17. Pacers 291,150
18. Wizards 284,340
19. Hornets 284,085
20. Warriors 280,377
21. Hawks 262,445
22. Nuggets 250,035
23. 76ers 248,990
24. Clippers 242,857
25. Jazz 228,908
26. T'Wolves 219,835
27. Bucks 215,17
28. Nets 151,58
29. Kings 149,995
30. Thunder 98,087
Worth a look
NBA: All-Star Game, TNT, 5:30 p.m. Watch nine great basketball players stand around and watch one score — every time down court!
Cycling: Tour of California, VERSUS, 9 a.m. If this is truly a tour, the bikers actually are riding much too fast to be enjoying it.
Soccer: West Ham United vs. Manchester United, CSBNA, 3 p.m. If there is one thing this game has, it's unity.
Cycling: Tour of California, VERSUS, 1 p.m. The tour takes the riders through Berkeley, where Cal football coach Jeff Tedford asks a few of them if they can play quarterback.
Golf: Johnnie Walker Classic, GOLF, 6:30 a.m. Funny how the golfers seem to get happier and less coordinated as the round goes along.
Golf: Northern Trust Open, GOLF, noon. This tournament is met with skepticism from people in the South.
For experts only
1. Who led the American League in batting average last season?
2. How many 20-game winners were there in the major leagues in 2008?
3. Which team had the most homers in the big leagues last season?
4. Which team had the fewest homers?
5. Which were the only two teams to lose at least 100 games?
For answers only
1. Joe Mauer of Minnesota (.328)
2. Four (Cliff Lee of Cleveland; Brandon Webb of Arizona; Roy Halladay of Toronto; Mike Mussina of the N .Y. Yankees)
3. The Chicago White Sox (235)
4. The Giants (94)
5. The Seattle Mariners (101) and Washington Nationals (102)
Fanfare was compiled by Jonathan Okanes, except otherwise noted, by staff, wire reports and Internet reports.