Mother Mary mooches rubbers
The Blessed Virgin Mary has been caught shoplifting in a mini-mart in Oklahoma. Security video shot by CCTV cameras clearly show an apparition of the Mother of Christ filching condoms from the convenience store.
"I guess we've all got used to these celebrity shoplifting stories," said Highway Patrolman Jed Ritter, who moonlights as the mini-mart's security guard. "You know, what with Winona Ryder, Hedy Lamarr an' all. But I have to admit to being kinda shocked at this one."
It's not known whether Mary got away with the goods. Her thieving was discovered only after the CCTV tapes were reviewed.
Patrolman Ritter was on night duty when it happened.
"Something woke me," he said. "Don't know what it was. Some kind of celestial chorus, I reckon. Anyhow, it was near the end of my shift and I figured I'd better go look at the video. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw her."
The cameras first caught the Blessed Virgin in the 'Haberdasher Korner' section of the store, before she moved on to the pharmacy.
Ritter claimed that, even after he'd woken, there was still a 'presence' in the store. "I could sense she was still around. It rooted me to my seat."
When questioned on his failure to apprehend the Blessed Mother of Jesus, Ritter said he was unsure whether he had jurisdiction. "I'm not even a Catholic," he added.
Officer Ritter has been suspended from duty pending the result of a drug test, but he has already received many messages of support and praise.
"Mr Ritter is truly blessed to have witnessed this visitation," said Father Dicky O'Rabid, a Roman Catholic priest and Fox News commentator. "Few have the opportunity to be in the presence of the divine."
Asked about the condoms, Father O'Rabid added: "I'm sure she was destroying them, ridding the world of their filthy existence and saving teenagers from temptation."
A spokesman for the store's owner claimed that further analysis of the tapes revealed that the Divine Mary also helped herself to KY Jelly and throat lozenges.
Father O'Rabid declined to comment directly but said that this information had been relayed to the Vatican where a team of specialists would soon provide an interpretation. "Clearly, this is the best evidence yet of a divine manifestation," he said.
Meanwhile, the store has closed temporarily for refurbishment. The owners issued a statement saying that: "The mini-mart will soon re-open with a host of new facilities, including a pay-per-view video presentation of the apparition and a multimedia shrine with low-cost, no-waiting confessional capabilities."