On California Islets, a Clear Case of Rat and Wrong?
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The seas get rough in October, when Rob Puddicombe and an accomplice bounce their inflatable dinghy across the 12-mile, open-water channel separating the mainland from Anacapa Island, the lonely, windswept rock that is the scene of Puddicombe's alleged crimes.
According to federal prosecutors, the surfer-bus driver beached his boat at Anacapa, shouldered a large backpack and began dispersing five pounds of specially formulated, vitamin-fortified kibble.
"I can see the headline now: Man Wants to Save Rats. Like ha, ha, ha," Puddicombe said as he spoke with a reporter on the beach. "Which I do. I want to save the rats, and I want to save the Xantus's murrelet and the Anacapa deer mouse, too. I want to save them all."