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Etc...

Hey, where'd my money go?

If you had to guess, what would you say is the latest crime problem in Bucharest, Romania? Drug-dealing? Kidnapping? Car theft ? None of these, apparently. Instead, some inventive thieves have built a set of automated teller machines that are authentic in every detail except one: They lack a cash box. The fake ATMs are turning up in such areas of the capital as apartment complexes to dupe unsuspecting people into entering details of their bank accounts. This gives the thieves enough information to go to real ATMs and drain each depositor's balance. Yes, police are on the case.

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Attention, shoppers, if you like lots of stores ...

If shopping, not baseball, is truly the American pastime, then mega shopping centers are the big-league parks. None is bigger in the US than the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., which became an instant destination shopping and entertainment experience in 1992, with more than 500 stores, and a seven-acre amusement park. As massive as the complex is, others come close to its size. The largest US shopping centers with gross leasable area in millions of square feet, as complied by the International Council of Shopping Centers:

1. Mall of America 2.8 Bloomington, Minn.
2. South Coast Plaza 2.8 Costa Mesa, Calif. [Editor's note: The original version located Costa Mesa in Arizona.]
3. The Plaza & Court at King of Prussia 2.6 King of Prussia, Pa.
4. The Galleria 2.4 Houston
5. Woodfield 2.2 Schaumburg, Ill.
6. Roosevelt Field 2.2 Mall Garden City, N.Y.
7. Sawgrass Mills 2.2 Sunrise, Fla.
8. Del Amo 2.1 Fashion Center Torrance, Calif.
9. Lakewood 2.1 Center Mall Lakewood, Calif.
10. Scottsdale 2.1 Fashion Square Scottsdale, Ariz.


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