Thieves steal truckload of cancer drugs http://www.privateofficer.com
Police said the trailer, which was loaded with powerful prescription drugs, could be worth millions of dollars.
“It’s our understanding that they were extremely valuable, cancer-fighting drugs being transported from Kentucky to a plant in LaVergne,” said Metro police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford
Police said the theft occurred during one of the busiest times of day at a Truck Stops of America on Old Hickory Boulevard Wednesday night.
The thief broke out a passenger window of the trailer’s truck, hotwired the truck and drove away. The truck’s driver said he had gone inside to grab a snack and that when he came out, his truck was gone.
On Friday, the stolen tractor was found off Harding Pike, but the trailer and the drugs were gone.
“They apparently are raw pharmaceutical drugs, meaning they had not yet been made into the actual medication,” Mumford said.
Authorities said they don’t think the heist is an inside job. They said the crook may have seen the trucker loading the drugs in Kentucky and followed him to Nashville.
Truckers said that as the thefts become more common, they’ll be on the lookout.
“Be aware of your surroundings. You know, turn around and look to see who’s looking at you,” said Theron Suddeth.
Police and truckers said thieves are skipping banks and stealing trailers in the hopes of cashing in.
There was no surveillance tape or witnesses of the incident, police said.
Officials said the theft could end up being costly to the manufacturers and patients as the cost of the theft makes its way down the line.
Police said the stolen trailer is white with the words “New Prime Inc.” on the side.
Be part of our social community! http://www.privateofficer.com
Dunbar armored car robbed http://www.privateofficer.com
Baltimore police responded to the area of Lexington Market after a guard for Dunbar Armored was robbed at gunpoint Friday morning according to a city police spokesman.
The spokesman for the Baltimore police Officer Troy Harris, said two armed men escaped with an undetermined amount of money from the armored truck.
Police searched the area and are floowing a few leads in the robbery case.
A spokesman for Dunbar’s Baltimore office, Sean Gibbons, said he checked into the incident and would not comment further.
School security officer investigated for sexual assault http://www.privateofficer.com
Honolulu police arrested a 43-year-old man on campus on Wednesday morning.
Authorities released him pending further investigation.
Public school officials said they are conducting a probe of their own.
“All of us here at Highlands Intermediate and all of us at the department, we are very much committed to the safety of our students as we are conducting our own investigation,” Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Keith Hayashi said.
Police records show a 12-year-old girl claimed the assault happened at around 11:30 a.m.
The child identified the DOE worker in a field line up, officials said.
Police took the man to the Pearl City police station, where they booked him on third-degree sexual assault.
DOE officials said he is currently on leave with pay.
The worker had been employed at Highlands for the last five years.
School officials are in the process of notifying the students’ families about the arrest.
“We will be getting something out to parents as we get more from the investigative process,”
After nearly 20 years with the public school system Hayashi said he can’t recall another a case like this involving a security guard.
Shoplifter faces drug charges http://www.privateofficer.com
A shoplifter who was apprehended for theft at an area store was also in hot water with the police after they say that they found illegal drugs on her.
Police say that the incident began at about 12:45 p.m. when the Alexandria Police Department responded to Ron’s Warehouse on 3rd Avenue East to investigate a report of a suspected shoplifter
Officers questioned the suspect, Lynnette Marie Johnson, 23, of Hoffman and determined that she had allegedly shoplifted several items from Ron’s Warehouse, according to Police Chief Rick Wyffels.
After investigating further, officers found that Johnson was in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to Wyffels.
She was arrested and subsequently charged with felony possession of a fifth degree controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft.
The case remains under investigation.
Police officer arrested on federal fraud charges http://www.privateofficer.com
A Cincinnati police officer was arraigned in federal court today to answer to charges he swindled homeowners facing foreclosure.
Adrian Mitchell, 35, faces 12 counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud. He is accused of operating a real estate business, R.I.C.H. Properties and/or R.I.C.H. Investments, which allegedly offered to help people in financial distress.
Mitchell also allegedly used fraudulent documents to try and secure loans on other properties.
He is on leave from the police department.
Mitchell entered a not guilty plea in court this morning.
Shoplifter slashes security agent http://www.privateofficer.com
Authorities responded to a shoplifting attempt at WinCo Foods on Franklin Road Thursday night and say that the incident left a security officer with a slash to his arm and an unsuccessful search for the suspects, Yuba City police said.
The incident began when two males and a female came into WinCo at around 9:12 p.m., police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey said. The female went in her own direction while the two males went to the hard alcohol aisle and placed two bottles — one vodka, one rum — inside their pants and attempted to leave.
The suspects had been under surveillance by store security personnel and they were met by two WinCo security officers near the front of the store, at which point the two suspects began punching the officers, starting a struggle, Pavey said.
At this point a third suspect came into the fray, brandishing what appeared to be a knife, Pavey said.
The two suspects managed to break away from the struggle, but as one of the security officers tried to hold onto one of the subjects he had managed to handcuff, the third suspect attacked him with the knife, slashing him across the forearm, Pavey said.
Police arrived on the scene and was told that the suspects fled into the parking lot and attempted to leave in a Nissan coupe, but another customer backed up his vehicle to prevent the Nissan from leaving, Pavey said. The suspects then jumped out of the car and “scattered.”
Additional officers were brought in including with K-9, and made a search of the area but was unsuccessful, Pavey said.
The abandoned vehicle was searched, and police are still working on tracking down the suspects, she said.
The injured WinCo security officer declined medical attention at the scene, Pavey said.
School security faces armed man, robbery suspect http://www.privateofficer.com
Police responded to a local school several times to assist school security officers who were looking for an armed man.
School security officers called Berkeley police for help after they surrounded the man in a school courtyard at lunchtime, Principal Jim Slemp said.
The student was unharmed by the man but was taken to an area hospital after he suffered an asthma attack, Slemp said.
It is the second time in two days Berkeley police were called to campus for a violent incident.
Wednesday morning the school was locked down for more than an hour as police cornered and arrested a student in a classroom.
Thursday’s action started when school security guards radioed the following message to Berkeley police: “We have a dangerous person in the Berkeley High School courtyard, and we got him surrounded.”
Police arrived and arrested the man.
Wednesday’s incident started at 9:42 a.m. when police were called to Civic Center Park after a woman saw someone wearing a black mask robbing a boy in the park.
The robbery victim told officers the man had just stolen his MP3 player and that the man had what looked like a semiautomatic handgun tucked in his front waistband.
On Thursday police searched the boys locker room after a student found an unattended backpack. They recovered a pellet gun, which looks like a real gun but is not.
Security officer attacked by shoplifter http://www.privateofficer.com
Police are looking for a teenager after he robbed a Meijer store and attacked a security officer who tried to detain him.
Police say that it happened Tuesday around 7:15 p.m. at the Meijer in Georgetown Township.
Officers responded to the store and say that a security guard caught a teenager who was attempting to steal from the store.
That’s when the teen attacked the officer, punching and hitting him with a pop bottle.
The teen got away and managed to elude Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies.
He’s described as a white male, 16 or 17-years-old, 130 to 150 lbs., with blond hair wearing a gray t-shirt, black pants and a black hooded sweatshirt.
The security officer was not hurt.
Police officer arrested for dozens of rapes http://www.privateofficer.com
The officer is in Kings County jail, facing a dozen molestation and rape charges.
He’s an officer in the small Kern County city of Maricopa but he’s accused of molesting children in Lemoore. Detectives say they’ve identified three victims and believe there could be more.
Court documents show a restraining order against Ferguson in Kern County.
Garry Ferguson pleaded not guilty to twelve charges of unlawful intercourse with a minor, lewd acts with a child and forcible rape.
Ferguson was arrested at his parents Bakersfield home on Friday.
Ferguson returns to court on the 19th and until then he is being held on $500,000 bail.
Kings county detectives say the suspect is being investigated for similar crimes in that area.
Be part of our social community! http://www.privateofficer.com
Miami city audit shows Wackenhut Security owes millions http://www.privateofficer.com
Miami Fla. May 11 2008
The Wackenhut Corp. overbilled Miami-Dade County as much as $6 million over three years for phantom security guards at county transit stations, according to a long-awaited audit released Thursday.
County auditor Cathy Jackson — who reviewed a sample of the bills — found that Wackenhut, one of the country’s largest security firms, routinely charged the county for empty guard posts at Metrorail stations and along bus routes, and relied on inaccurate and falsified records to try to cover up the overbilling.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez has given Wackenhut 90 days to repay the county or rebut the audit findings or he will cancel the company’s no-bid contract, along with a separate Wackenhut contract for guards at a juvenile detention center.
Jackson said Wackenhut should also pay the county an additional $233,000 for violating the terms of its contract. Wackenhut’s billing is also being examined by public-corruption detectives with the Miami-Dade Police Department.
”There is no disputing that [Miami-Dade Transit] was billed for hours not worked by Wackenhut security officers, which is a very serious offense,” County Manager George Burgess wrote in a memo to Alvarez.
Wackenhut, however, does dispute the audit. The company says Jackson used unreliable records to determine that posts were uncovered, and ignored other records that could prove guards were on duty.
While Wackenhut says it will reimburse the county for any ”substantiated billing errors,” the company says Jackson’s conclusion of $6 million in overbilling from 2002 to 2005 is an exaggerated estimate based on a small sample.
”If you start with a false premise, you end up with a false conclusion,” said Bruce Rubin, a company spokesman. “We respectfully but forcefully disagree with the auditor’s methodology.”
Jackson based her estimate on a review of 505 billing records — only .25 percent of the bills submitted in the three years studied — which found $14,722 in questionable charges. She also found $83,665 in suspicious charges, but these were not included in her sample for estimation purposes.
Wackenhut has been providing security for Miami-Dade Transit since 1989, and the contract has been awarded without bidding since 1994. The current contract, which pays Wackenhut as much as $17 million a year, is set to expire in November 2009.
The security company, based in Palm Beach Gardens, has also spent the past three years fending off an unusual lawsuit brought by a former guard at the county’s Juvenile Assessment Center, who accused her former employer of padding its bill to the county.
The former guard’s attorney, H. Mark Vieth, has said he believes the overbilling could be as much as $3.6 million a year. He has compiled sworn statements from ex-guards who said they struggled to fill unmanned posts, submitted false records and received pay for hours they didn’t work.
Jackson ”found exactly what we’ve been telling the county for a while now,” Vieth said. ”I could have practically written that report for her. The only difference, really, is that we’re auditing 100 percent of the bills and she’s found this much fraud” based on a far smaller sample.
Wackenhut has denied wrongdoing in the suit and has challenged Vieth to provide proof of specific instances of overbilling.
Vieth has enlisted a team of investigators and bookkeepers to sort through Wackenhut bills, sign-in sheets, log books and other records to prove his case, which is not yet scheduled for trial. If he wins the case — brought under the county’s False Claims Act — his client will receive 25 percent of any damages and the county will receive 75 percent.
REFUSED TO TESTIFY
Yet the lawsuit has put Vieth at odds with the county. Last month he sought a contempt of court order against Jackson after she refused to testify about the audit before it was completed. Vieth plans to call her again for a deposition next week.
The audit was costly to Wackenhut even before its release. The company had been selected by county staffers to win another $4.8 million county security contract — before county commissioners, worried about the audit findings, decided Tuesday to scrap the bids and start over.
In her audit, Jackson said Wackenhut constantly shifted guards around to cover unguarded posts, pulling in supervisors or patrols from the bus routes, but the county was billed as though all these jobs were filled.
In some cases, log books at Metrorail stations contained no notes to prove a guard was there, the audit found. In other cases, the logs and other records showed guards in two different locations at the same time.
Records showed that one armed guard was on duty for 34 ½ hours in a row — violating a rule capping guards at 13 ½ hours in a 24-hour period and ”leaving in question the ability of armed employees to remain alert and responsive,” the audit said.
Wackenhut officials said the log books were never intended to be used for timekeeping, and said the absence of notes in the books do not prove a guard wasn’t on duty.
Be part of our social community! http://www.privateofficer.com
Shoplifter ordered to wear sign http://www.privateofficer.com
A Jackson woman who repeatedly shoplifted from Kmart was ordered Thursday to advertise her crime in front of the 3001 E. Michigan Ave. store.
Stephanie Cunningham, 38, agreed to carry a sign that will read: “I got caught stealing from this store. Don’t let it happen to you.”
Circuit Judge John McBain borrowed the idea from a Texas judge whose retail community reports a drop in shoplifting when a sign-toting criminal is present
I could have sent her to prison for 23 months, or given her a longer jail sentence,” McBain said. “This is probably a first for Jackson County, but I’m going to start trying it in some cases. I won’t force anyone into it.”
So-called shaming punishments have been used in other states, including California, Georgia and Tennessee, according to a report last year in Business Week magazine.
McBain offered Cunningham the unusual sentence through defense attorney Alfred Brandt. Cunningham, who told probation agents she is a kleptomaniac, said she preferred carrying a sign to jail or prison.
So far, jail has done nothing to deter Cunningham, prosecutors said.
Court records indicate she began stealing at age 12; as an adult she has been convicted of five felonies and eight misdemeanors.
Kmart loss-prevention officials told investigators Cunningham was a frequent shoplifter.
She was last arrested Jan. 7 by Blackman Township police, when she fought with a security officer at Kmart when the officer saw her leave the store with $322 worth of merchandise in a bag.
McBain said Cunningham will carry her sign for 30 hours in front of Kmart, if store officials accept the old-fashioned justice.
“I think standing in front of a store with a sign is kind of a scarlet letter,” the judge said in his chambers. “Shame and a little responsibility have to be part of a sentence.”
Be part of our social community! http://www.privateofficer.com
Police nab fleeing shoplifters http://www.privateofficer.com
Police arrested Khyon Brandon, 33, Ann L. Williams 34, and Naima R. Scott, 31, all of Philadelphia, Pa., on charges of being in possession of stolen property on April 24.
Police were called to the Route 18 store at 4:10 p.m. on a report that a male and two females had left the store with a shopping cart loaded with unpaid merchandise. The group fled the area in a newer model, black Jeep Cherokee, with the male driving, police were told.
The information was broadcast over the police radio, alerting patrols to be on the lookout for the vehicle and the three suspects. A short time later, Patrolman Matt Petrillo observed the vehicle traveling on Route 18 south near the Brunswick Square Mall and conducted a motor vehicle stop.
According to police, all of the property from the shoplifting at Linens ‘N Things was recovered from the vehicle, as well as property allegedly stolen from The Children’s Place and Gymboree stores. The total amount of recovered stolen property was valued at an excess of $5,700, police said.
Perillo placed the three suspects under arrest and brought them back to headquarters.
Brandon and Williams were then transported to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center, North Brunswick, and held in lieu of $15,000 bail. Scott, who was found to be a wanted person out of Delaware and had an additional charge of being a fugitive from justice signed against her, was also held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Riot police called in to quell high school fight http://www.privateofficer.com
The melee, which students said started around noon Friday between rival black and Hispanic gangs, forced authorities to shut down Locke High School and keep students in their classrooms. After restoring order, they rounded up students who had not returned to class and separated them by race, holding Hispanics in the gym and black students in another room.
Four people were arrested, three students for fighting and one non-student on suspicion of possessing a knife, Los Angeles school district spokeswoman Susan Cox said.
Several students were injured and treated at the scene, but nobody was hospitalized, officials said.
Music teacher Reggie Smith described to the Los Angeles Times a chaotic scene where it was difficult to distinguish between troublemakers and those trying to avoid the mayhem.
“The kids were crazy, running from place to place jumping on other kids,” Smith said. “Some of my kids were crying because they were walking to class with friends and they got jumped.”
Victor Wong, an 18-year-old senior, told the Times the melee grew out of a fight two days earlier between two graffiti gangs. He said Hispanic students who are friends of his asked him to participate in a fight planned for Friday that was to pit 10 Hispanic students against 10 black students.
The two groups met as planned at the handball courts, but the fight quickly spread throughout the campus, Wong said.
“Security didn’t know where to go,” he said. “They’d concentrate in one spot and something would happen somewhere else.”
School district police brought in about 60 officers to the scene, while the Los Angeles Police Department dispatched about 50 officers and more than a dozen patrol cars.
Ronald White, a 17-year-old senior, said that when police arrived some of the students began fighting the officers, who responded with their batons. Another student said he saw police use pepper spray.
Locke has been marred by almost daily fights during much of the academic year, but students and teachers said Friday’s brawl was the worst in years.
About 65 percent of the 2,600 students enrolled at Locke are Hispanic, and 35 percent are black.
Security officer fabricates story of armed man on campus http://www.privateofficer.com
Homewood police say an incident that caused a lockdown of the Samford University campus was a hoax.
In a statement released late Friday afternoon, Homewood police said, “This incident did not happen, and was a total fabrication on the part of the security officer.
Earlier Friday morning, a campus security officer said that as he was patrolling a parking deck area he encountered a suspicous man. As the campus officer approached him and began to ask what he was doing in the garage, the security officer stated that the man pulled a handgun on him and then fled on foot.
The campus was locked down for almost two hours as Samford University security and area police combed the campus and surrounding area looking for the armed man.
Samford officials also implemented their emergency plan, locking down campus from 5:35 to 7:30 a.m.
However after investigating the incident, Homewood police say that the story was made up by the security officer and that there was no armed man.
Police aren’t saying why the security officer reported such an incident or if they plan on charging him with any crimes.
Public Safety Official Arrested For Sex With Minor http://www.privateofficer.com
Be part of our social community! http://www.privateofficer.com
Tn. authorities tracking escapees from long ago http://www.privateofficer.com
Nashville TN. May 11 2008
Tennessee’s six-month effort to corral dozens of prison escapees it had lost track of over the years has found 11 fugitives alive and 20 dead. But the state hasn’t fixed some of the institutional problems that helped create the situation.
In October, prison officials introduced Operation Clean Sweep, a broad roundup aimed at capturing escapees who had fled prisons and work release programs years ago, and correcting internal shortcomings that made it easy for them to stay free.
The highly publicized effort came six weeks after The Tennessean uncovered problems in the state’s system for tracking escapees. These problems, which included expired warrants, allowed more than 120 fugitives to dodge capture for years.
The state Correction Department has taken steps to better track warrants so they don’t expire. But a disconnect between state and local law enforcement agencies still hampers efforts to solve old escape cases.
At issue is a debate over whether it’s worth spending thousands of dollars and tying up courtrooms to lock up older men and women who, in some cases, have lived crime-free lives for decades after their flights.
A state prison official said some local prosecutors have been unwilling to go after known fugitives, even when they know exactly where the escapees are.
In “several” cases, prison investigators have found escapees in other states and asked for warrants for their arrests, only to be turned down by prosecutors, said Jerry Lester. He is the Tennessee Department of Correction’s director of Internal Affairs, the division that investigates escapes.
“That, naturally, is discouraging,” Lester said.
The prosecutor who handles escape cases in Davidson County, where many of the escapes originated, said the local office had cooperated with the state when asked for warrants. But Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said prosecutors have no plans to follow through with some of the now-elderly escapees the state will pick up.
Some of them “had so little time left on their sentences anyway, and they were in on nonviolent offenses,” Moore said, so in many cases, there is nothing to be gained by dragging them back into court.
Lester said his department hadn’t lobbied for fugitives to be prosecuted, or for their paroles to be delayed. He knows time, money and caseload are issues for prosecutors.
That’s why, prosecutors say, it’s not worth the thousands of dollars it would cost to extradite an escapee and bring him or her to court if that person hasn’t turned to violence while on the lam.
“If this person has not been involved in any offenses (since the escape) and has generally been clean, I doubt most DAs are going to bring them back,” said John Gill, special counsel to the Knox County district attorney’s office.
“If it’s a murderer that broke out of the pen, most DAs are going to bring them back,” Gill said. “It’s always a balancing situation.”
Agent checks warrants
Operation Clean Sweep has resulted in the arrests of 10 men and women who escaped between 1961 and 1984. An 11th, Charles Kolb, was removed from the rolls because he is serving life in prison in Alabama. Investigators say they have also confirmed 20 escapees to be dead.
In September, The Tennessean uncovered problems in the state’s system for tracking escapees and reporting their status to other law enforcement agencies. In some cases, fugitives dodged capture after being stopped for minor offenses and went on to commit other crimes.
Lester said the state now has an agent whose duty it is to follow up regularly on warrants, “checking on them to make certain they don’t lapse in the future.”
“We want to do whatever we have to do to make sure they stay active so we won’t face that again,” he said.
Lester said the Correction Department will also start assisting county sheriffs’ departments that lost state felons through escape or work release walk-offs. He would not elaborate on how or when that will happen.
“That is a portion of Operation Clean Sweep. It’s another phase of it,” he said. “We’re trying to take it a chunk at a time.”
The state pays local sheriffs’ departments around the state to house felony inmates serving state times in county jails. Initially, corrections officials said it was primarily the responsibility of those counties to catch escapees; some sheriffs have said their small staffs can’t conduct manhunts that last more than a few days.
Some won’t be punished
Escapees like Helen Lawler and Billy Lovingood, both of whom were arrested during Operation Clean Sweep, faced some punishment once they were back behind bars: restrictions on visitors and packages, and official write-ups. Neither served any extra time for their flights.
Bramlett Walker, 65, of Memphis, will walk out of prison on good terms when his parole paperwork is finalized, as will escapee Gary L. Brooks, 55, arrested in December after 31 years at large.
Three others, including Lawler and Lovingood, are already out on parole. A fourth completed his sentence and was released outright, and a fifth is awaiting a decision on his parole.
Knox County prosecutors are charging escapee John Lewis Jones, who fled a work release program there in 1975 and went on to compile a lengthy list of convictions in East Tennessee, including charges of theft and assault, Gill said.
But they’re passing on Lovingood, Gill said, because after he escaped he “went home to the farm and never had a problem.”
“It would probably end up costing the taxpayers a lot more (to prosecute Lovingood), and it doesn’t protect the taxpayers more,” Gill said.
Nashville prosecutors say they’re planning cases against two older escapees arrested during the roundup: Guy Kennison and Larry Payne, both of whom were arrested in other states on the raid’s first day. Prosecutor Moore would not detail why the state decided to charge them, while letting others go.
Moore told prison officials in April that his office would not pursue escape charges against Leroy Morgan, 74, who escaped from the old Tennessee State Penitentiary in 1961 and was arrested this February. Morgan awaits a decision on his parole.
In a letter to Lester, Moore wrote, “I do not believe that the interests of justice would be furthered by the prosecution of (Morgan’s) case.” He cited Morgan’s age, the fact that he had been living in Tennessee for many years and the fact that Morgan had committed no other crimes since his escape.
Clean living is defense
That argument — that clean living should count for something — was a common one among escapees asking for parole, and family members speaking on their behalf.
During his April parole hearing, Bramlett Walker’s wife, Carolyn, said her husband stayed out of trouble after his escape from a Memphis work release program during a drug possession sentence in 1980.
He was working as a janitor at a Memphis children’s hospital when investigators caught up with him in October. His wife said he had become active in their church; two Memphis ministers wrote letters to the parole board on his behalf.
“He’s been working, buying a home, buying cars, credit cards, everything,” Carolyn Walker said. “He wasn’t hiding anything. So I don’t feel he’s a threat to society.”
Others say escapees who lived their best years as free men and women despite their outstanding debts to society aren’t owed an early release.
“I figured we had a better (justice) system than that,” said Denny Knight. “That’s just being too good to the prisoners.”
Knight lives in Cleveland, Tenn., just east of Chattanooga. In 1973, James McGaha, Knight’s childhood friend, was convicted of stealing Knight’s identity and using it to borrow money at a local bank. McGaha was serving time at a work release program for that crime when he took off in 1974 and returned to Cleveland.
Knight, now 56, said he always assumed McGaha had finished his time. The two have bumped into each other around town occasionally, Knight said, most recently two or three years ago at a pizza restaurant.
“I wish I would have known” McGaha was an escapee, Knight said. “I would have sicced the police on him.”
“I think they ought to have kept him,” Knight said. “He ought to still be in there.”