A Chicago-bound traveler who stuffed his shoes with batteries and metal plates in a bid to appear taller put security officials on high alert at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport last Tuesday. Shortly before 10 a.m., the man was stopped by security. The unusual contents of his shoes set off alarms. The man was detained, taken to a nearby police station, and questioned for five hours. The incident drew the interest of Peel Regional Police, the RCMP, and INSET, Canada’s integrated national security enforcement team. But instead of concealing bomb-making equipment, the man was simply trying to appear taller.

In a string of recent burglaries, thieves have targeted dairy farmers in Wisconsin and Illinois to steal a valuable commodity: bull semen. The semen, valued at $22,000 in one Rock County case, is used to breed high-end cows for the show ring and milk production. Farmers believe thieves might be selling the semen on the black market. An Orfordville dairyman and and three other area farmers recently had liquid nitrogen tanks full of frozen semen stolen. The Orfordville man’s farm was burglarized in late March, and 200 samples were stolen. He said farms in Poy Sippi in Adams County, Ixonia in Jefferson County and Hampshire, Illinois, southeast of Rockford, Illinois, were hit around the same time. A bull semen theft also was reported in Brodhead, Wisconsin in July 2008. About 100 embryos or semen samples valued at $35,000 were stolen.