Image: Fake Ferrari
AP
Italian police have busted a ring of professionals who built fake Ferraris. Authorities have 21 cars, 14 of which had already been sold, and seven in production in Sicilian garages.
By Brian Tracey Associate editor
msnbc.com
updated 2/29/2008 9:50:54 PM ET 2008-03-01T02:50:54
COMMENTARY

We understand that Italians are known to buy bogus Gucci bags or Rolex watches to look stylish, but this has to be the ultimate ersatz accessory: Police recently broke up an operation selling fake Ferrari cars for a fraction of the real price.

Police accused 15 people of building the faux sports cars and selling them to car fanatics on a budget, most of whom knew they were buying a counterfeit classic.

Car body workers who police called "very able" cobbled together mostly fake parts and a few original components. They used body parts from other makes of automobiles, such as chassis, roofs, hoods, trunks and doors.

The body parts were modified to look like Ferrari classics such as the 328 Gtb, which went out of production in the late 1980s.

Some of the cars sold for about $30,000, about a tenth of the going price for some real versions.

Police confiscated 21 cars, 14 of which had already been sold, and seven in production in Sicilian garages.

We think the cars should pitted against each other in a racing series titled Fake Formula One.

Nursing home's exploding commodes
Now this is colossal customer-service concern: An employee of an Auburn, Wash., nursing home called firefighters for help on Tuesday because the toilets were exploding with steam.

The blast at the at Regency Auburn Rehabilitation Center set off the sprinkler system and flooded the floors of the three-story building.

The Valley Regional Fire Authority said no one was hurt, but water damaged electrical systems and the kitchen. The facility's 72 occupants had to be temporarily moved to five other rehabilitation facilities using ambulances, buses and vans.

The fire department said there was a boiler malfunction that caused the "minor explosion."

We think that they wouldn't be calling it minor if someone had be using the bathroom at the time.

Employee demands prostitute perk
File this under Confounding Career Moves: A judge has denied an Iowa man's claim that he shouldn't have been fired for repeatedly requesting help to procure a prostitute.

Neil Jorgensen, 62, worked at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort and was given a gift certificate and free night's stay at the casino hotel to mark a year's employment.

After eating and drinking at a casino restaurant, he returned to his hotel room about midnight and later called hotel managers about hiring a prostitute. When managers refused to help him, he made a call to the adjacent resort and made the same request.

"The advertisement is that it's just like Las Vegas, so I thought I was in Las Vegas," Jorgensen testified at a hearing regarding his request for unemployment benefits.

Hotel workers were sent to Jorgensen's room to ask him to stop demanding prostitutes. When they arrived at his room, Jorgensen answered the door in the nude, human resources director Tim Donovan said.

Jorgensen was fired the next day.

At the hearing, Jorgensen said his actions didn't hurt the casino, and he said he'd received strong performance reviews. He also blamed the restaurant for serving him too much alcohol.

"I was absolutely plowed," he said.

When has that excuse ever worked?

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Video: Faux Ferraris sold

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