SEPT. 10, ‘01 (REUTERS) - St. Tropez

-the band that couldn’t shoot straight

At approximately 2pm (CET) today during a daring daylight jailbreak attempt, three people succeeded in only capturing themselves. St. Tropez police report that Furk Zhenk - half of the pop duo Kilopop!, Henri Pinard - the EU’s Assistant Minister for Popular Culture and a Mr. Otis Ball of no fixed address were attempting to free Mr. Zhenk’s half-sister and musical partner Trynka Zhenk. Ms. Zhenk has been in St. Tropez’s municipal jail since early June, having refused bail after being arrested during street protests over President George W. Bush’s environmental policies.

The hapless trio were apparently thwarted when a remote computer program designed by Mr. Ball failed to function properly. The three entered the building unchallenged dressed as fire-fighters after the building’s fire alarms were triggered and doors opened via telephone, only to discover that the jail was completely empty since it has been scheduled for demolition. A timing glitch in the program (where seconds were mistakenly entered for minutes) caused the jailhouse doors to re-lock themselves before the three could exit. The trio were also apparently unaware that Ms. Zhenk had been released early that morning with all charges dropped.