ST. LOUIS MO July 31 2010 – A cashier in the St. Louis collector of revenue’s office is accused of stealing $1,800 in cash from her office.
Pamela Dimercurio, 47, was charged last week with felony theft. The St. Louis Police Department’s intelligence division investigated the case.
The collector’s office notified police about the missing money, and investigators zeroed in on Dimercurio.
Police say $1,000 of the missing money actually belonged to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Detective Lawrence Pleimann said in court records that the cash was scheduled to be deposited with the state Revenue Department when the theft was discovered.
Pleimann alleged that it wasn’t the first time Dimercurio stole money from the collector’s office. Pleimann said his investigation found that she previously had taken $800 in cash that belonged to the office.
Dimercurio was hired by the collector’s office in March 2007.
Court files give a wide timeframe for when the thefts happened: sometime between Dec. 1, 2008, and June 29, 2010.
But Tom Vollmer, deputy chief with the collector’s office, indicated that the actual amount missing — and the time period in which it was stolen — may end up being quite different.
He said he believes the theft happened on just one day — June 29 — and that the amount stolen is far less than $1,800.
Vollmer said the office has tight accounting procedures that detected the missing money right away. They called police, and detectives began interviewing everyone in the office who handles the money.
After the arrest, the collector’s office began an internal audit. Results of that audit won’t be complete for about two weeks. The last audit, conducted in March, found nothing missing. That outside auditor, he said, “verified every nickel.”
“Because of the checks and balances in my office internally, this happened on one specific day,” Vollmer said. “The system would have caught it. The checks and balances worked.”
Every year, about $600 million in cash and checks flows through the collector’s office. Vollmer said the office is heavily audited — about a dozen times a year.
Dimercurio was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with the felony that covers the crime of stealing more than $500 but less than $25,000. She is free on $2,500 bond.
Dimercurio lives in the 1400 block of South 13th Street in St. Louis. She could not be reached for comment.
Andrew W. Gaskell, 32, of 67 Ethan St., Apt. 1, Providence, and Trevor W. Krous Gaskell, 30, of 15 Touisset Road, Warren, were both charged in the investigation that involved several departments, said Det. Lt. William F. McGovern.
Andrew Gaskell was arrested by Bristol Police on three felony shoplifting charges from the Narragansett, North Kingstown and Barrington police departments. North Kingstown Police also arrested Gaskell on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injuries.
Trevor Krous Gaskell was arrested by Warren Police on a Narragansett Police charge of felony shoplifting.
McGovern said the charges were a result of an investigation of four incidents in which two men entered the Stop & Shop at 91 Point Judith Road to steal formula between June 21 and 28. After a multi-department investigation, North Kingstown Police were able to identify Andrew Gaskell as one of the two men involved, which led to Trevor Krous Gaskell being identified, McGovern said.
The men’s identities were posted on the R.I. Most Wanted list, McGovern said. Andrew Gaskell also was found to be part of a “Bonnie and Clyde” couple involved in a crime spree in 2008 in Florida that included 16 car thefts, burglaries and shopliftings, McGovern said.
Both men were arraigned in Fourth Division District Court in Wakefield before Judge Stephen P. Erickson on Thursday and bail was set at $10,000 each on the Narragansett police charges. The men also were arraigned in Washington County Superior Court this week and are being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston, until a felony screening on Aug. 17.
SHERWOOD, Ore. July 31 2010 — Video surveillance captured a man taking photos up the skirts of unsuspecting women at a Target store last week, police said.
Sherwood police officers arrested 22-year-old Matthew Navaie on Wednesday night.
Security at the Target store in Sherwood notified police last week that a man had been spotted on store surveillance cameras trying to take photos from under women’s skirts as they shopped, police said.
When the man returned Wednesday, Target security alerted police again, said Capt. Jim Reed, of the Sherwood Police Department.
Police said they stopped Navaie and arrested him on four counts of invasion of personal privacy, a misdemeanor crime.
Officers seized Navaie’s cell phone and his home computer.
Detectives said they found child pornography on the computer, and he is now facing additional charges of encouraging child sex abuse.
Reed said it’s likely that Navaie has other victims who may not know they are victims. Anyone with information is asked to call local law enforcement.
On Thursday at 3:50 a.m., county officers responded to the 6000 block of Winterhaven Drive in the Reserve at Forest Gate Apartments, for two suspects (Ayers and Fisher) who were acting suspiciously as they were running through the parking lot. A security officer for the complex observed the men and yelled for the subjects to stop. Ayers and Fisher complied and were detained.
When officers arrived they found Ayers and Fisher were in possession of a bag that contained 37 dvd’s and five credit cards. It was discovered they also had a screw driver, flashlight, back pack and Ayers had a hypodermic needle in his possession. Further investigation revealed that Ayers had given officers a false name and the dvd’s and credit cards were taken from a vehicle parked in the complex. Ayers and Fisher were charged with criminal trespass in the third degree, theft, possession of burglar tools, conspiracy in the second degree, and loitering. Ayers was also charged with criminal impersonation and possession of a hypodermic needle.
Ayers was arraigned and committed to the Howard Young Prison after failing to post $5,000 secured bail. Fisher was arraigned and committed to the Howard Young Prison after failing to post $4,000 secured bail.
Boaz AL July 31 2010 A woman, two men and two men dressed as women were arrested Sunday at Walmart in Boaz with 19 cell phones still in their packaging. The arrests have led to the discovery of a theft ring spanning two states, Boaz Police Chief Terry Davis said.
Boaz police officers responded at the request of Walmart security and took the five people into custody.
The two men dressed as women usually dress that way and were not dressed that way as part of a disguise, Davis said.
During the investigation, it was discovered the group had been involved in thefts of cell phones worth more than $70,000 from Walmart stores in Alabama and Georgia.
It was determined that 19 cell phones also were taken from a Walmart in Snellville, Ga., on Sunday.
Boaz police investigators also have been working with police departments in Guntersville, Talladega, Snellville, Cullman, Marietta, Ga., and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Those arrested also are charged with first-degree receiving stolen property and first-degree theft of property in thefts stemming from an incident at the Guntersville Walmart on July 13 in which cell phones worth $6,500 were taken.
Precious Darnika Humphrey, 19, and Terrell Marquae Jolly, 21, are charged with first-degree receiving stolen property and first-degree theft of property.
Jarquez Levell Dancy, 23, and Trevor Devante Baker, 18, are charged with first-degree theft of property. All are from Huntsville.
A juvenile also is in custody.
Jose L. Quesada Jr., of Elizabeth, N.J., allegedly left multiple voice mails at an NBA Properties Inc. office in Secaucus, N.J., the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark said in a statement Friday.
Mr. Quesada, 19 years old, worked as a guard for a private firm that the NBA contracted with to provide security, prosecutors said.
“A bomb threat is not a prank, it is a federal crime,” said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman in a statement. “There is nothing amusing about scaring people and wasting the valuable time and resources of those responsible for keeping us safe,” Mr. Fishman said.
Mr. Quesada has been charged with willfully making a false bomb threat. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Donald J. McCauley, Mr. Quesada’s lawyer, declined to comment Friday.
Mr. Quesada allegedly left a threatening voice mail on Monday morning, five more voice mails in a 16-minute period on Tuesday night and a seventh voice mail on Wednesday afternoon, according to a criminal complaint.
In one voice mail Tuesday night, Mr. Quesada allegedly said, “Leave the building. It’s gonna blow up. Leave the building. No where to go. It’s gonna go up. It’s gonna go ‘Boom!’ “
The NBA Properties offices were evacuated and searched as a result of Monday’s threat, according to the complaint. Other security measures, including adding four armed guards, also were taken as a result of the threat, prosecutors said.
Mr. Quesada allegedly admitted to making the threats and to not having any bomb-making materials when interviewed by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Thursday, according to the complaint.
The NBA didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment Friday.
EAST ST. LOUIS July 31 2010 The Rev. Joseph Tracy said he’s tired of going to funerals. And now, he suspects he’ll be going to more of them.
“It’s open field day now,” said Tracy, the pastor of Straightway Baptist Church here. “The criminals are going to run wild.”
The pastor voiced his fear of a spike in crime on Friday at a raucous special City Council meeting at which East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announced that the city will lay off 37 employees, including about one-third of its police officers.
In total, 19 of the city’s 62 police officers, 11 firefighters, four public works employees and three administrators will lose their job in the layoffs that take effect Sunday.
Parks said the weak economy has robbed the city of badly need money. For example, revenue from the Casino Queen alone was $900,000 below budget expectations last year.
There are no signs of improvement, Parks said.
“I want our citizens to know we have some of the bravest police officers and firefighters in the country,” Parks said. “But we don’t have the money to pay them. We have to have fiscal responsibility.”
City officials wanted police and fire unions to accept a furlough program that would have required employees to take two unpaid days in each twice-monthly pay period. If accepted, emergency responders would have seen a pay cut of about 20 percent for the rest of the year.
But Parks said the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.
On Friday, he stared at a standing-room only crowd and told his emergency response chiefs words they didn’t want to hear: “Tell your workers to start packing their things.”
The news spurred shouts from the crowd.
“The blood is on your hands,” yelled police Officer Michael Hubbard.
Hubbard said he will be the lone patrolman for East St. Louis’ midnight shift when the cuts take effect.
“This is devastating,” Hubbard said after the meeting.
Police officials say the cuts will mean fewer officers for patrols, investigations and juvenile cases in a city that has been crippled by crime and poverty for decades.
Fire officials said the region should be upset because the department will have fewer people at the ready to fight fires on some of the region’s major highways and bridges.
The police already rely on other agencies to handle some of the heavy case load. For example, the Illinois State Police routinely work on the city’s homicide investigations.
Capt. Steve Johnson of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department said his agency has no plans to step up its work in East St. Louis.
“We don’t do calls for service in East St. Louis,” Johnson said. “But, if we’re called for assistance, we will help when we can.”
Worries about East St. Louis’ crime rate got little sympathy from Councilman Roy Mosley, who gave a 10-minute speech on Friday blasting the city’s police officers.
“We don’t have the money,” Mosley said. “You lay off when you don’t have the money. The money’s gone.”
Mosley complained that police officers take patrol cars home, park them in other jurisdictions and misuse the city’s gasoline.
“I’m only telling the truth,” he shouted.
The crowd jeered.
“You can see how disrespectful they are,” Mosley said while pointing at the police officers. “You see what they’re doing to me right now.”
Richard V. Stewart Jr., an attorney for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police union, said Mosley’s claims are untrue.
Stewart said the words amounted to nothing more than “political grandstanding.”
“Unfortunately, this is what I expected,” Stewart said.
The union plans to fight the layoffs and work to get the jobs back.
Bad blood already exists between the two sides. An arbitrator has ruled that the city improperly imposed unpaid furlough days on its employees earlier this year. The city was ordered to pay $500,000 in lost wages.
On Friday, the city approved a proposal to defer bond payments until next year in order to free up $500,000.
“Next year is a different situation,” Mayor Parks said.
Philadelphia PA July 31 2010 A Philadelphia police officer is facing charges in the theft of money from a bar in Northeast Philadelphia. He was involuntarily committed after finding out he was going to be arrested and fired.
56 year old K-9 officer Kenneth Crockett is facing theft and recovering stolen property charges for allegedly pocketing $800 from a safe at Pats Cafe on Tuesday morning. District Attorney Seth Williams says when arrangements were being made for the officer’s surrender he apparently became unstable.
“After his notification that he was going to be arrested and charged. It was clear to his family that he was a danger to himself. As a result of that the police were called and he was involuntarily committed for mental health evaluation”
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey had no kind words for Crockett or any corrupt police officer.
“We’ve got too many guys than on occasion feel they have special privileges as police officers, they don’t.”
Crockett has been suspended with intent to dismiss. His arraignment will happen after his mental health evaluation.
Russell G. Cummings, an employee for Wackenhut/G4S in Tampa, was charged with felony child abuse.
Pasco Sheriff Bob White said Friday morning he is ending a contract that began in December with Wackenhut for support services at the juvenile facility.
“In this case, there’s no second chances,” he said. “These are our children.”
Wackenhut officials couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday afternoon.
Cameras recorded the incident, White said, and footage shows Cummings hitting the boy across the left side of his head with an open hand.
As the boy was being searched, one of two being arrested on the same charge, he began to laugh. Cummings, according to his arrest affidavit, thought the boy was being disrespectful and hit him.
A deputy witnessed the incident.
“This was done in an aggressive manner and was an unnecessary use of force,” a deputy wrote in the affidavit.
The sheriff said he contracted with the security company to help move deputies into more critical areas rather than “babysit” juveniles. For now, he said, detention deputies will take on duties at the assessment center.
“This is inexcusable and this will not become the norm in the Pasco jail,” White said about the charge against Cummings.
White said a second contract with Wackenhut to guard inmates who require medical treatment at hospitals will remain for now. He said Wackenhut is a “top flight” company and the issue involving the 13-year-old is an isolated incident.
White said this gives him further fuel to stress the importance of a proper budget for his agency and called on the county commission “to step up to the plate … to do the right for the citizens who elected them.”
“This doubles my resolve to make sure my office is funded appropriately and I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer,” he said.
Having four contract guards rather than four deputies at the assessment center saved the agency $98,000 a year, said sheriff’s office spokesman Doug Tobin.
Cummings, of Tampa, is being held at the Land O ‘Lakes Jail with bail set at $5,000.
The boy’s name wasn’t released because of his age.