Bluff The Listener Our panelists read three stories of a brilliant heist, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Our panelists read three stories of a brilliant heist, only one of which is true.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, Adam Burke and Tom Bodett. And here, again, is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air.

Hi. You are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


SAGAL: Hi. Who's this?

MORGESTER: Candace Morgester.

SAGAL: Hey, Candace, how are you?

MORGESTER: I'm well. How are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine. Where are you calling from?

MORGESTER: I'm calling from Connecticut.

SAGAL: Oh, beautiful Connecticut. Been there many times...

MORGESTER: It's cold (laughter).

SAGAL: It is. Not as cold as it is here. What do you do in Connecticut?

MORGESTER: I'm a teacher.

SAGAL: Oh, who do you teach?

MORGESTER: I teach middle school kids science.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. Do you enjoy it?

MORGESTER: I love it. I actually...

SAGAL: Do you really?

MORGESTER: I actually tell them I listen to old-fart radio.


MORGESTER: And I tell them the stories that I learn on NPR.



TOM BODETT: Oh, old-fart radio.

SAGAL: I didn't realize you meant us. I thought there was another radio network that I could even enjoy even more. I was excited. There's for old farts, really?

MORGESTER: (Laughter) It's us.

SAGAL: It's us, oh. Candace, it's great to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Candace's topic?

KURTIS: Stick 'em up.

SAGAL: The best things in life are worth working for. The extra best things in life are worth stealing. This week, we read a story of a heist so brilliant we think the bad guys deserve to keep what they got. Our panelists are going to tell you about it, pick the real one you will win our prize - Carl Kasell voice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

MORGESTER: Yeah, I am.

SAGAL: All right, first, let's hear from Mr. Tom Bodett.

BODETT: Anthony Cayhan (ph) aka The Doctor, worked months training a ferret to identify and retrieve a reproduction of Tiffany's legacy bracelet and necklace, which sell for a combined 1.3 million. But an experienced thief knows you can't just walk into Tiffany's with a ferret. They've seen that before.


BODETT: You need a distraction. That's where the goose came in.


BODETT: The goose was conditioned with a blackout hood to freak out when confronted with bright light and shiny objects. Feeding it some of his Adderall prescription helped. He is The Doctor. Cayhan walked into Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue with a white, 20-pound, hooded goose under his arm, a ferret down his pants, and months of planning were set into motion. As the hood was yanked from the amphetamine-stoked goose, the panicked bird careened throughout the sparkling store honking like a New York taxi, biting clerks, customers and security guards, while crapping up the posh holiday decor.


BODETT: The ferret, meanwhile, slipped unseen from Cayhan's pant leg and slunk along the jewelry cases until he found what he was looking for, dragged the booty back across the floor to Cayhan, who scooped him up and calmly walked out. Everything went smoothly but for one flaw in the plan. Unbeknownst to Cayhan, the goose had swallowed the empty prescription bottle which bore his name and address. I didn't factor in how stupid the goose was, said Cayhan from his holding cell at New York's 17th precinct. I'll never work with a goose again.


SAGAL: A great heist involving a jewel, thief, a ferret and a goose almost goes off perfectly if it weren't for the damned goose. Your next story of an awesome robbery comes from Adam Burke.

ADAM BURKE: In what must be the most challenging mannequin challenge of them all, two wily criminals in England managed to pull off the heist of a lifetime this week by quite literally posing as department store dummies in order to make off with over 10,000 pounds worth of designer clothes. The pair of miscreants, who turned out to be anything but model citizens, masqueraded as mannequins at the trendy Beales clothing store in Worthing, Sussex, in order to perpetrate the crime. Local police, who didn't even get the chance to yell freeze at the culprits, were nonplussed as to how the crooks circumvented the store's sophisticated alarm system.

According to a Beales employee, the alarm was, quote, "only triggered when they left the store. They probably dressed in clothes identical to those worn by the mannequins and stood there not moving a muscle until the shop shut and everyone went home." In the end, the sartorial sneaks thieves made off with an expensive array of oilskin jackets and high-end garments. We can only hope that when they got home the plastic poser's realised that the clothes always look better in the window display. Until then, the villains remain at large, medium and ladies petite.


SAGAL: Thieves infiltrate a department store by posing as mannequins. Your last story of a theft worthy of celebrating comes from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: When Santa walked into a Los Angeles Toys"R"Us on Saturday, manager Jim Cameron (ph) was curious, then excited when the jolly, old elf showed him a letter from corporate headquarters in Wayne, NJ., explaining that the store had been selected for a Santa surprise giveaway. For the next 30 minutes, Santa, accompanied by Cameron in an elf hat, walked through the aisles, pulled toys off the shelves and gave them to a family who happened to be shopping that morning. The family, of course, was thrilled, and Cameron was overwhelmed with hugs and happy tears.

It was a great day until Cameron emailed his regional manager about the event. That's when he learned there was no Santa surprise giveaway or a letter from headquarters. Cameron had been scammed by a seasonal Robinhood who gave away almost 10,000 in merchandise. After viewing store surveillance tape, LA police said they believe the same family and Santa hit two other stores in the past month. They issued a description of the main subject - a 6-foot male, 200 pounds, white beard, red suit - who remains at large.


SAGAL: All right. Three stories of crimes of the century. From Tom Bodett, a guy who used a ferret to steal the jewels at Tiffany's and a goose to distract the cops, from Adam Burke, thieves who posed as mannequins standing very still until the store was empty and they could take what they wanted, or from Roxanne Roberts, a fake Santa who gave a surprise to a store in Los Angeles. Which of these is the real story of a brilliant heist?

MORGESTER: Oh, well I want to go with the fake Santa because I just do. But I did the mannequin challenge with my kids. So I have to go with the mannequin challenge.

SAGAL: That is ridiculous logic, but it works as well for me as anybody else. So you chose, then, Adam's story.


SAGAL: We did speak to somebody familiar with the real story to bring you the real answer.

CHARLIE TODD: I know (unintelligible) happened put people in a store dressed as a mannequin and in real life that you're going to get caught eventually.


SAGAL: Right, that was Charlie Todd. He's founder of Improv Everywhere who, for his own reasons, has sent people to pretend to be mannequins, talking about, in fact, the robbery of the fake mannequins. Congratulations, you did get it right, Candace, well done.


SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing. You have won our prize, Carl Kasell's voice. And, of course, you've earned a point for Adam just for being truthful. Thank you for playing, Candace.

MORGESTER: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.




THE DECEMBERISTS: (Singing) The perfect, the perfect, the perfect crime. It was the perfect crime.

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