The Case of the Missing Wallet

posted at 2:55 pm on May 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

This got forwarded to me mainly because of my love for Pittsburgh Steelers football, but it’s an interesting Rohrshach test for editorial decisions on newsworthiness.  Let’s see how Hot Air readers see it.  Pittsburgh police arrested three men at gunpoint for breaking into Heinz Field over the weekend, and if this is all you knew about the story, would it be newsworthy outside of the city?

Three men were arrested this morning after police said they scaled a fence to enter Heinz Field. …

At around 7 a.m. this morning, Heinz Field security reported they saw three men attempting to climb Gate B into the stadium, Sgt. Patrick Knepp of the Pittsburgh Police’s Zone 1 station said.

Security reported the men were unable to climb that gate so they moved to Gate A, where they “used themselves like human ladders” and made it inside the park, Sgt. Knepp said.

Eh.  Sounds a bit like a fraternity prank gone wrong so far.  However, to their credit, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made it a little more interesting in the second paragraph, which I intentionally omitted in the above excerpt:

Shazad Hosi Mehta, 28, of Elmhurst, Ill., Adil A. Minocherhomjee, 22, of La Jolla, Calif., and Neville Noshir Medhora, 27, of Austin, Texas, were charged with criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit criminal trespass.

Forget the names for a second, and look at the ages and the residences of the suspects.  What are all three doing in Pittsburgh collaborating on a break-in at Heinz Field?  They appear to be too old for a university prank (except perhaps Minocherhomjee), and since they all live hundreds of miles apart, it seems odd that the three of them would get together to do a search and rescue for … a wallet.  That’s what they told police they were doing by breaking into the Steelers’ home field.

Unfortunately, the last time a game was played at the stadium was December, thanks to a mediocre Steelers season.  That’s a long time to let a wallet sit in the stands.  If they wanted to retrieve a wallet, wouldn’t they have called the stadium first to check with its lost and found department?  The Pittsburgh police called the explanation “not credible,” which is a masterful understatement.

The police have turned the case over to the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, and the trio was released on $5000 bond pending a hearing on Thursday.  The police have begun increasing patrols in the area, which is a jewel in Pittsburgh’s urban renovation efforts.  It will be interesting to see if they show up for their day in court, and to find out what exactly they wanted inside Heinz Field.

Update: The USA Today report on this apparently has a comment that says the men attended a wedding earlier at Heinz Field.  Perhaps, but if that were the case, I doubt that the Pittsburgh PD would have called the FBI and DHS.  That’s fairly easy to check with the stadium personnel.  How many football stadiums host weddings?  Perhaps more than a few, but the police would almost certainly have double-checked it with management.  And they still wouldn’t have had to break into the stadium to retrieve it.


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It will be interesting to see if they show up for their day in court

Bwahahahaahha……………….Bwahahahaha!!

BacaDog on May 24, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Aren’t all three Hindu?

Christien on May 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

He is Parsi Zoroastrian, not Muslim. From his personality, it seems the last thing in the world he would be interested in is terrorism.

I truly believe it was nothing.

IreneFingIrene on May 24, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Where are you getting this?

That name is not the name in the story.

petunia on May 24, 2010 at 3:23 PM

I can’t know if that was intentional or not, but either way that was priceless petunia.
Best laughof the day

ontherocks on May 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

7am is a little early for a prank

faraway on May 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Look forward to an explosive Steeler’s defense this season.

trs on May 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Apparently they have now changed their story…they claim they lost the wallet at the Groton Sub Pens and would like to be given access to look for it.

Justrand on May 24, 2010 at 3:56 PM

C’moooooooooooon

Alden Pyle on May 24, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Maybe they were doing work on a Freddie Mercury revival show (famous Parsi). Were the 3 singing “We are the Champions” when they were arrested?

faraway on May 24, 2010 at 3:57 PM

After looking at these pages, I suspect this is indeed some sort of prank.

DelD on May 24, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Yep. I also found this for Neville Noshir Medhora. He seems mostly concerned with keeping his love handles under control while consuming vast quantities of beer and stuff..

Buy Danish on May 24, 2010 at 3:58 PM

“Don’t jump to conclusions…” – Barack Hussein Oboma after the Ft. Hood shootings.

Seven Percent Solution on May 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Now, if it was some Pittsburgh fans looking for a football team, it would be understandable.

IndieDogg on May 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Any Carnegie Mellon connection?

Christien on May 24, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Maybe they were looking for the balding 40 year old white male from NYC

faraway on May 24, 2010 at 4:01 PM

The names don’t sound Muslim to me. And you can’t scale a tall fence by yourself. And why break in to scout a location for an attack? Casing targets happen when everyone is there, like during a game or other event.

If you lost your wallet in a venue and knew you couldn’t fly home without it, what would you do? Round up a posse and go get it maybe?

BelchSpeak on May 24, 2010 at 4:01 PM

OK, let me get this straight. I want to make sure I have the facts right. Three young men with Arabic sounding names were trying to break into an empty stadium, one which has no events scheduled until August of this year, months away.

OK, they may have been doing a check to see what kind of attack they could mount, but this seems a little too overt. It also sounds incredibly stupid.

Then again, considering that the leader of Al Queda in Arabia recently blew himself up “playing with a bomb” these may be the brightest stars left in the Islamic Jihadi camp.

It seems that these men may have fallen into the “Hope the Terrorists are idiots” part of Homeland Security playbook.

Snake307 on May 24, 2010 at 4:04 PM

ontherocks on May 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Nice catch. Funny!

Christien on May 24, 2010 at 4:07 PM

canopfor on May 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM
====================
Sounds like Indians. Mehta and Justaboutanythingendinwith”jee” is pretty obvious.

Christien on May 24, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Christien: I’ll trust your logic!!:)

canopfor on May 24, 2010 at 4:08 PM

university prank

This is a stupid and dismissive phrase. A prank stops being a prank when it involves or promotes a crime.

7am is a little early for a prank

faraway on May 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

???

The Race Card on May 24, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Too late. If there really was a wallet, Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl and Pittsburgh City Council already picked it clean. Ironically, to pay for the stadium.

Saltyron on May 24, 2010 at 4:11 PM

“They were probably upset about the healthcare bill and were looking for Nancy Pelosi so they could spit on her.” ~Mike Bloomterd

Western_Civ on May 24, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Apparently they have now changed their story…they claim they lost the wallet at the Groton Sub Pens and would like to be given access to look for it.

Justrand on May 24, 2010 at 3:56 PM

“Excuse me, sir! Can you direct us to the naval base in Alameda? It’s where they keep the nuclear wessels.”

Mary in LA on May 24, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Read a bit more of Neville’s blog. He has some nice recipes for vodka salad.

Buy Danish on May 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

The names look Indian to me and I would like to remind that not all Indians are Hindus. There is a place called Kashmir
where there is constant conflict between muslims and hindus.
Connection? I don’t know.

LarryG on May 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I thought this post was going to segue into the SCOTUS ruling against the NFL. I think the impact of the SCOTUS ruling is more newsworthy than what is known about the intentions of these 3 guys.

ButterflyDragon on May 24, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Is it possible that these men were all brothers of women Ben Rothlesberger violated and they were just looking for him so they could kick his ass?

radjah shelduck on May 24, 2010 at 4:36 PM

COMING SOON:

A lawsuit by some leftist wacko group (like the DHS) against the security personnel who stopped these three stooges from entering the stadium.

“Racial Profiling” will be claimed…

landlines on May 24, 2010 at 4:59 PM

I don’t think we’ve paid enough attention to the threat posed by radical Zoroastrianism.

YYZ on May 24, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Under Obama, we will all be looking for our wallets soon.

faraway on May 24, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Before I even read the names, I was thinking Muslim terrorism.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on May 24, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Before I even read the names, I was thinking Muslim terrorism.

Good work, Columbo!

YYZ on May 24, 2010 at 5:06 PM

OK, let me get this straight. I want to make sure I have the facts right. Three young men with Arabic sounding names were trying to break into an empty stadium, one which has no events scheduled until August of this year, months away.

Snake307 on May 24, 2010 at 4:04 PM

You think those names sound Arabic? They sound Indian to me. I don’t discount the possibility that they could be Muslim Indians (especially Shazad) — Kashmir is a possibility as Mehta is a name from northern India.

Somehow I don’t think they’re terrorists as much as they are bumblers.

mr.blacksheep on May 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM

They do weddings at Heinz Field, but the bride or groom have to be connected to the Heinz family or the owners of the Steelers. A former boss of mine attended a wedding there a few years ago. The bride was related to the owner’s family.

rockmom on May 24, 2010 at 5:38 PM

They do weddings at Heinz Field, but the bride or groom have to be connected to the Heinz family or the owners of the Steelers. A former boss of mine attended a wedding there a few years ago. The bride was related to the owner’s family.

rockmom on May 24, 2010 at 5:38 PM

somehow I think if you have enough money they would rent it to you

CWforFreedom on May 24, 2010 at 7:05 PM

They wanted to get the last of the Heinz catsup with salt.

Sloan Morganstern on May 24, 2010 at 9:20 PM

WPXI story says they wanted pictures because the event wasn’t on the field.

HotWeaver on May 24, 2010 at 10:13 PM

He is Parsi Zoroastrian

IreneFingIrene on May 24, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Where are you getting this? That name is not the name in the story.

petunia on May 24, 2010 at 3:23 PM

I can’t know if that was intentional or not, but either way that was priceless petunia. Best laugh of the day

ontherocks on May 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Yeah, Parsi Zoroastrian… isn’t he that Armenian guy who does note-perfect impressions of other races & religions? ;)

RD on May 24, 2010 at 10:17 PM

The names sound Indian to me as well, esp. the second one, but then Richard Reid didn’t sound like a Muslim name to me either, so there ya go. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

That said, the wedding story seems like a plausible one, but also pretty easy to verify I would think. Why then involve the FBI and Homeland Security? We’ll see I guess. But if it was nothing, these yahoos ought to be charged with criminal stupidity at least. What a boneheaded thing to do.

NoLeftTurn on May 24, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Somehow I don’t think they’re terrorists as much as they are bumblers.

mr.blacksheep on May 24, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I do think you have hit the solution.

Considering the effectiveness of the crotch-bomber and the Times Square bomber we should be profiling bumblers.

Yoop on May 24, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Of course if you start profiling bumblers that would move Oba-bumbler to the top of the list.

Yoop on May 24, 2010 at 10:50 PM

$5000 bail? WTF?

These guys look like they could be involved in a terrorist attack, and all they have to do is give $500 each to a bail bondsman in order to get out of jail?

Greg Q on May 25, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Oh puhleeze! These fine young gentleman from that wonderful religion of peace weren’t looking for a wallet….they were looking for bitter clingers!

olesparkie on May 25, 2010 at 2:45 PM

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