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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
Just in time for April Fools' Day, a new video shows how a Glendale shelter, with the help of a TV chef and others, pulled the wool over the eyes of the homeless. Their surprise was a filet mignon dinner in a fancy restaurant setting. "Feeding the Homeless -- Prank It FWD" is from Break.com and Greg Benson's MediocreFilms. Benson has worn many hats, including that of character actor. He's the man behind the popular " cellphone crashing" videos on YouTube. In those, Benson eavesdrops and insinuates himself into cellphone conversations.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
Just in time for April Fools' Day, a new video shows how a Glendale shelter, with the help of a TV chef and others, pulled the wool over the eyes of the homeless. Their surprise was a filet mignon dinner in a fancy restaurant setting. "Feeding the Homeless -- Prank It FWD" is from Break.com and Greg Benson's MediocreFilms. Benson has worn many hats, including that of character actor. He's the man behind the popular " cellphone crashing" videos on YouTube. In those, Benson eavesdrops and insinuates himself into cellphone conversations.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Authorities are asking for the public's help in gathering additional evidence against a group of teenagers who allegedly posed as Temecula police officers while staging pranks against their unsuspecting victims. The first report to police involved two separate incidents on the evening of Dec. 23, but the pranksters may have been involved in other similar acts, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. “The suspects used high-powered flashlights and electronic megaphones to order the victims out of their cars and to lie face down on the pavement,” according to  the Sheriff's Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
When Jim Hellmold decided to run for sheriff of Los Angeles County last month, he knew that one of the first things his campaign needed was a website. He figured JimHellmoldForSheriff.com would make the most sense. Except when he typed the address into his browser it took him to an already established site promoting one of his competitors: former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. So he tried another: JimHellmold2014.com. Again, he was directed to a site boosting Tanaka. “I was left with 'Hellmold-the-number-four-sheriff-dot-com,” the assistant sheriff said.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Earlier we showed some of the first April Fools' Day pranks posted online by tech companies, with Google notably leading the way, but more companies have joined in on the humorous holiday with pranks of their own. From Netflix's super-specific movie and TV show suggestion categories to Microsoft's April Fools' Day jab at Google, tech companies have been relentless with their pranks Monday. You can check out the first dose of pranks in our earlier post or in our photo gallery , and you can find more pranks below.
NEWS
January 30, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Former President Clinton asked aides to investigate reports of White House vandalism by outgoing members of his administration and possibly "make amends" if warranted, a spokesman said. "We made an offer to go over and survey what was done--take a look and see if we can make amends," Clinton spokesman Jake Siewert said. "We asked to take a look at the damage and offered to try to sort it out. They said that it was isolated incidents and that that would not be necessary."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
As many as 10 students are believed to be responsible for a costly senior prank last week at Chatsworth High School, the school's principal said Thursday after some of those students owned up to painting over walls, windows, doors and sidewalks. Principal Dan Wyatt said an unspecified number of students have agreed to pay for the $4,000 cleanup. After the damage was discovered June 14, administrators threatened to cancel today's graduation ceremony if the vandals did not come forward.
NEWS
February 7, 1997 | Associated Press
FBI Director Louis J. Freeh has taken special precautions to protect his home against crime, but when the alarms went off recently, it turned out the culprit was 3 years old and it was an inside job. Freeh told reporters Thursday that his home has motion sensors that are turned on at night for security. They sound an alarm in the FBI's Strategic Information Operations Center.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant
In a bid to cut down on fake 911 calls, the Los Angeles City Council has decided to offer rewards for tipsters providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those who engage in "swatting. " Swatting is a malicious prank in which someone reports that a violent crime, usually involving a celebrity, is underway. The calls prompt a SWAT-team-style response to a location where no crime is occurring. The false alarms tie up Los Angeles Police Department resources, and some officers have been injured responding to fake calls, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 1985 | GEORGE RAMOS, Times Staff Writer
A Lynwood sheriff's deputy has been indicted for allegedly putting the license plate of her boss's car into a state computerized list of stolen vehicles and warning that he was "armed and dangerous." Deputy Kathy Kay, 33, a six-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, surrendered Monday on two felony counts--malicious access into a computer system and falsification of government records.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Besides making average people walking down Hollywood Boulevard look like idiots, Jimmy Kimmel's other favorite target is the news media. And on Thursday night's show, he showed once again how he'd duped news and sports media outlets into running a story about a possible wolf wandering the halls of the Olympic village in Sochi, Russia. Using the Twitter account of U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen, Kimmel's team sent out a link to a YouTube video of what appeared to be a very large wolf wandering the halls outside Hansen's room.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
A man accused of making prank calls to several well-known  sports coaches and then illegally recording them pleaded not guilty Monday to one felony count of eavesdropping. Prosecutors have said that Kenneth Edward Tarr, 32, posed as a recruiter for pro teams and universities during calls in October and November to least six college and professional coaches. Prosecutors said the victims included NBC broadcaster and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, who was duped about a football coaching job at USC, and recently fired Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who was contacted about a fake Dallas Cowboys job. Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro was told he was talking to Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti, prosecutors said.  Tarr broke the law by not seeking the sports figures' consent before recording the calls, the L.A. County district attorney's office has said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Authorities are asking for the public's help in gathering additional evidence against a group of teenagers who allegedly posed as Temecula police officers while staging pranks against their unsuspecting victims. The first report to police involved two separate incidents on the evening of Dec. 23, but the pranksters may have been involved in other similar acts, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. “The suspects used high-powered flashlights and electronic megaphones to order the victims out of their cars and to lie face down on the pavement,” according to  the Sheriff's Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
Bear sightings have become a common occurrence in the Los Angeles foothills, but in Huntington Beach? Passersby were stopped in their tracks this week at the sight of a bear peering out the window of a yellow Lamborghini near the beach city's Main Street. Video footage shows a crowd form around the car, with spectators hesitantly running up to the window to snap a photo with the mellow ursine and give it a pat on the head. Some believed people were simply ogling the flashy sports car before noticing a furry head poking out the window.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant
In a bid to cut down on fake 911 calls, the Los Angeles City Council has decided to offer rewards for tipsters providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those who engage in "swatting. " Swatting is a malicious prank in which someone reports that a violent crime, usually involving a celebrity, is underway. The calls prompt a SWAT-team-style response to a location where no crime is occurring. The false alarms tie up Los Angeles Police Department resources, and some officers have been injured responding to fake calls, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Dan Weikel
The 28-year-old ground service worker arrested in connection with a string of dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport did it as a prank out of curiosity because "he thought it was funny," police said Wednesday. Dicarlo Bennett will be charged with two felony counts of suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Los Angeles police said. One device exploded on the tarmac near passenger airliners at Tom Bradley International Terminal and another in a bathroom at Terminal 2. A third dry ice bomb was found Monday fizzing near the Bradley terminal.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 1997 | DAVID PAGEL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Pranksterism and the visual arts share an illustrious history, especially since the modern era began and it became difficult to know whether any work ought to be taken seriously or as some kind of joke. The best art often invites both responses: Initially, it may look like an irresponsible prank, but over time its capacity to sustain our attention can establish and attest to its seriousness.
NEWS
July 6, 1997 | PETER Y. HONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Before the Pathfinder spacecraft landed triumphantly on Mars, David Gruel's mission was to screw it up. As the project's full-time "gremlin," the 27-year-old engineer was assigned to come in the middle of the night to the giant sandbox that was the testing ground for models of the Mars lander and rover. Then he was supposed to make things go wrong. Gruel was the master of his universe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A former high school student from Redwood City who claimed the attempted rape and kidnapping of a teacher was actually a senior prank faces life in prison after being convicted of the charges earlier this week. David Velasquez, 21, was found guilty Wednesday of several charges, including kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, San Mateo County Dist. Atty. Steve Wagstaffe told the San Jose Mercury News. During court testimony, Velasquez described how in January 2012 he hid among garbage cans in the school parking garage before emerging behind the teacher.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
When it comes to selling TVs, LG isn't above scaring the bejesus out of you. The electronics giant took to Chile recently to shoot a hidden-camera prank commercial, which can be seen above. In the ad, LG replaces the window in an office of a high-rise building with one of its Ultra HD TVs. Ultra HD TVs, or 4K TVs as some call them, are supposed to offer a clearer image than any other types of TV currently on the market. The sets offer a resolution four times greater than that of regular HD TVs. PHOTOS: Biggest tech flops of 2013 -- so far But showing off that kind of clarity in commercials can be tough, especially when the potential customer is watching the ad on an HD TV, their smartphone or a computer screen.
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