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2010: All over the map

Some of the year's top stories include officers suing the department, alleged ADI fraud and 'bunny' sting.

December 30, 2010|By Jason Wells,
(Illustration by…)

From a dust up over a giant bunny pedestrian decoy, to revelations that an affordable housing developer under investigation for fraud funneled thousands of campaign contributions to City Council members, the news cycle was all over the map in 2010. Even a chicken that set up shop at a busy intersection at Glendale Community College got its 15 minutes of fame.

Let's not forget the UCLA dropout who caused a national media sensation when she decided to run away instead of telling her Glendale family that she'd been faking her college career. Her disappearance prompted fears that she had been kidnapped, or worse. There was also the devastating mudflows triggered early this year in the Station fire burn areas.

Here's a look at some of the stories that dominated the news cycle of 2010:

NANCY SALAS: On May 12, police deemed 22-year-old Nancy Salas' disappearance suspicious after discovering her cell phone and car keys at home.


The massive search that ensued took a turn when police discovered she had told her parents she was graduating from UCLA, where she had not been enrolled since fall 2008.

Nearly two days after Salas was reported missing, she entered a downtown Merced carpet store, called 911 and reportedly told Merced police that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted — claims that were later found to be untrue.

She was later charged with filing a false police report, and sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service after she pleaded no contest in a Merced courtroom. The case got national media attention, but unlike some other missing person stories, it ended with relief.

BUNNY STING: Drivers got an eyeful — and police officials got an earful — when an officer donned a large bunny costume as part of a pedestrian sting that nabbed motorists who failed to yield to the brazen bunny.

Police cited 24 motorists on suspicion of failing to yield to the bunny as it walked across Central Avenue near Garfield Avenue, but complaints from some drivers to the City Council soon found their way to the Police Department.

Councilman John Drayman came down especially hard on the enforcement tactic, calling it a "stupid traffic stunt" that was "breathtakingly dangerous."

The bunny costume was soon ditched.

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