The five quirkiest Illawarra stories of 2012

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1) Streaker strikes 

Spectators at the CrossFit Australian Regional Games saw more bulging muscles than they bargained for when a masked streaker took to the exercise circuit in the buff. Cheeky was the only way to describe the masked man, whose naked romp around WIN Entertainment Centre arena was a huge hit. Eager to show off his, er, athletic prowess, the streaker - dubbed the hamburgler by onlookers because of his mask and hat - performed a number of moves to the whoops and cheers from the crowd. 

2) Swallowed by the tide 

An excavator bogged in Lake Illawarra left fishermen scratching their heads. Regular lake user Andy Bridge, 44, was checking crabpots with his son when he came across the strange sight sitting in the shallow channel near Bevans Island. The excavator, which sparked fears about oil or fuel leaks, was brought into the lake on a barge to clear sand from the channel as an interim measure before dredging early in 2013. 

3) Mighty proposal 

Truckie Steve O'Connor popped the question to Alison Webb with an 8m-wide hand-painted  sheet strung across the side of his eight-tonner on Valentine's Day. "I will love, honour and respect you forever," he pledged. The bride was presented with two engagement rings - one from the truckie and another from his two children Tiffany, 9, and Kaylie, 11. 

4) A dopey idea

Motorists were surprised when they saw three large bags loaded with 16kg of cannabis left by the side of the road with a sign encouraging them to smoke it up. The garbage bags filled with cannabis were located on Bolong Road at Bomaderry. A member of the public contacted police after seeing the bags, which were tied up with a sign reading: ‘‘Free Dope. Smoko Mull Up’’. Police said the bags were seized and the cannabis would be destroyed.

5) Roadside stunt

A down-on-his-luck jobseeker was inundated with offers after he stood on the side of the road with a sign reading: "I want a job!!". The 21-year-old Primbee man began waving the sign on Windang Rd at 6am, frustrated at months of fruitless job searching. Daniel Davey got his first offer of work from a construction company boss who pulled over and commended his early start. When he checked his phone he found more than 30 missed calls from prospective employers. 

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