Avoid dialing up bad luck

Today is the second of three Friday the 13ths this year. So cross your fingers and be careful out there today. We kid. Of course it’s all just silly lore and superstition. On the other hand, people create their own darn bad luck all the time, regardless of the day. For example:

•”’Butt-dialing’ leads Renton police to suspected car thief”: Things just aren’t going to go your way when your cellphone calls 911 when you’re out scouting for cars to break into. After receiving no response from the other end, the 911 dispatcher realized it was an “open-line” call, or “pocket dial,” or “butt dial.”

The males in the vehicle remained on the line for 44 minutes, the Seattle Times reported, as they apparently drove through the Renton area discussing what kind of cars to target, and what kind of property they could get, police said.

Police were unable to locate the source of the call. But lucky for them, four days later, two more calls from the number were made to 911. In the second, a male could be heard discussing a 4-Runner that had been stolen following the first call.

Finally, on April 1, police received one more call from the number, which led to the arrest of 40-year-old Wesley Strom, who told police that his cellphone sometimes called 911 for no apparent reason. Either that, or he not only has a smartphone, but a moral one, possessed by a “Go ahead, make my day” chip.

•”Fleeing police, man still updates Facebook status”: He eluded Port Angeles police, and remains on the run. (One friend posted to his account, “Cops all over you.” The suspect replied, “ya got away thanks bro.”) But now his story and has gone “viral,” with his Department of Corrections mug shot accompanying most Internet articles.

That should help Travis A. Nicolaysen keep a low profile. Way to go, bro. Status: Doh!

•”Woman charged for bragging on radio about jury-skipping ploy”: She can’t even blame that on the bad luck of butt-dialing.

Squad car mic broadcasts cop’s alleged sexual tryst”: The Memphis Police Department suspended an officer whose alleged sexual escapade inside a squad car was picked up by a microphone and broadcast on an open channel, according to news reports.

The unscheduled broadcast went out between 8:45 and 9 p.m. and could be heard by 30 to 35 officers in the precinct, and by anyone listening to a police scanner. Unlucky for all involved.

Would this be known as, uh, “a pocket broadcast?” Try your luck at naming that one.