Thursday, October 13, 2011

Moss man

So said Sgt. David Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff's Office in describing the investigation of a possible break-in at Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals last October. The collection includes an estimated $250,000 worth of gold and other precious stones. Deputies had installed security devices at the Hillsboro, Oregon, museum earlier in the month after a caretaker noticed a large hole in the bathroom wall. When the alarm sounded a few days later, they responded with a K9 unit and searched the grounds before dawn. They found a bike and a backpack, then the police dog led them to a wooded area about 1/2 mile away from the building. The suspect cried out when the K9 bit him, and police realized that he had been concealed on the ground in a camouflage outfit. He was dressed in a ghillie suit, a head-to-toe outfit worn by military snipers to blend in with vegetation. The man was identified as Gregory Liascos, 36, a resident of Portland. He was not found with any stolen goods, but was arrested on burglary and criminal mischief charges. After his photo (above) appeared in the media, he became known as the "Moss Man," with Liascos claiming that the episode was all a misunderstanding with his children over a Halloween costume. Well, just in time for this year's holiday, the Moss Man is back in the news. The jury was sent home and the judge issued a bench warrant after he failed to show up for his trial on Tuesday. The Seattle Weekly blog calls the photo of Liascos in his Moss Man outfit priceless and comments, "He may in fact be in the courtroom right now..."

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