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In Utah, it's the law vs. 'pranksters'

Published April 26, 2012 12:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sticking a sleeping guy's hand in warm water? Calling a tobacco shop to ask if they have Prince Albert in a can?

Those pranks are for amateurs. Look to the Utah crime blotter for the real pro material.

Take, for example, one Jeremiah Douglas Hill, who inserted a note into a co-worker's luggage that read "1 — Hijack Plane, 2 — Kill Obama."

This note was found by someone at the Transportation Security Agency as the co-worker was headed to Tucson. The TSA worker, apparently missing the depth of Mr. Hill's humor, called the FBI, leading to the investigation that led to Mr. Hill being charged with one misdemeanor count of making a false alarm for intentionally circulating a false warning of a plane hijacking — and facing a magistrate on May 30, according to the Tribune's Melinda Rogers.

But if verbal comedy is not your bag, there's always prop comedy — as allegedly performed by two heirs to the Carrot Top mantel in Utah County.

Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, of Orem, and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, of Provo, are accused of setting booby traps near a popular Provo Canyon trail. The two alleged jokesters told the Utah County Sheriff's investigators that they were meant for animals, not people.

Again, law enforcement doesn't seem to be in on the joke. "We don't buy that," Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon told the Tribune's Rogers. "It's a shelter near a trail. It's built by people, used by people, and [the booby traps] were placed in entrances used by people."

Makes you long for the days of fake dog poo on the rug, doesn't it?