Salisbury NC Feb 2 2011 Police are looking for a gunman who robbed the Bank of America on West Innes Street Tuesday afternoon.
Police say the robber entered the bank and stood in the lobby for several minutes without interacting with anyone. He then ran over to the counter and scaled it.
Taking out a handgun, he demanded cash from several of the tellers and left with an undisclosed amount of money.
There were several employees and customers inside the bank at the time of the robbery, shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday. One of the customers went outside to tell a private security guard employed by the bank that it was being robbed.
According to police, the security guard waited near the ATM and fired two gunshots in the direction of the robber as he ran out the door. One of the bullets struck a glass window on the SunTrust building across the street.
No-one was injured by those gunshots or during the robbery.
According to the Salisbury Police Department, the robber fled south across West Innes Street and continued on foot parallel to Ellis Street.Witnesses tried to follow him but lost sight of him among some houses.
One of those witnesses was Charlotte resident John Kurc, who was standing at the ATM when the robbery occurred.
“I saw three guys run out the front door,” Kurc said. “I think they were customers… I was like, ‘Well, something’s not right,’ so I ran to my car.”
Kurc said he watched as the man ran across the street and then followed him at a distance before losing him.
William Brown, of Salisbury, pulled into a parking space in front of the bank just before the robber ran out.
“At first, I didn’t notice the security guard,” Brown said. “Once I noticed him, I paused maybe two or three seconds before the other guy came out of the bank at a crouch… It all happened really fast.”
Witnesses described the robber as a black male about 6 feet 2 inches tall with a thin build and possibly some gold in his teeth. He was wearing a dark blue windbreaker style jacket and a black toboggan hat with a blue rim, and he was carrying a red and black backpack.
Police say a small, white two-door vehicle with a black marking on the rear bumper left the parking lot quickly during the robbery and may have been involved.
Because this situation involves a bank, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been notified to participate in the investigation.
Charles Christopher Cook, an HR manager, said he was out of town when the crime took place and that police have the wrong man.
Cook sat down with Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones to explain his side of the story. Cook showed Jones an airline itinerary, dining receipts and a letter from his boss saying he was in Texas.
But police told Jones they initially had no choice but to arrest Cook because Kroger employees identified him as one of the thieves, plus there was video surveillance.
“There may be a video, but it won’t show me,” Cook said.
Two other men were involved, police said. They allegedly stole almost $1,000 worth of cigarettes.
“Impossible. No. I’ve only been in Cobb County maybe once in 30 years,” said Cook.
Now, Cobb County police told Channel 2 that they are taking a second look at the case in light of the information that Channel 2 brought to their attention.
Reports indicate that an officer stopped a car matching the description of the getaway car, and that one of the men said his name was Charles Cook, although he didn’t have an ID.
Police told Jones that a detective looked up a driver’s license photo of Cook and showed it to Kroger employees, as well as the officer who stopped the men. Each was emphatic that the photo was that of the man who robbed the store. Officers said the driver’s license photo even matched the man in the video.
“It’s a nightmare. I’d like to have a public apology from the person responsible for getting me behind bars the first time,” Cook said.
Cook’s attorney, Philip Holloway, is working to get the charges dropped.
“I’m confident that the Cobb County DA’s office will do the right thing,” Holloway said.
Long Island NY Feb 2 2011 The body of a Long Island man who shot himself to death was found entombed in a snow-covered car on a residential block in Queens Tuesday, police said.
Kevin Roman, 36, of Bay Shore, L.I., was discovered slumped over the wheel of a sedan at about 12:30 a.m., police said.
He died from a self-inflicted shotgun blast to the head and may have been dead since last Wednesday, according to authorities.
Police did not say who discovered Roman’s body. But his anguished relatives raced to the block at 3 a.m. Tuesday, demanding to see him.
“That’s my son,” shouted one man, who said he was the father. “I want to see him. I want to see him! That’s his brother. Let us see him!”
Investigators said Roman battled drug and alcohol addictions and previously threatened to take his life.
The dead man’s car was parked at the intersection of 162nd St. and Laburnum Ave. in Flushing.
One resident, who lives across the street, said he never heard a shotgun blast – and the heavy snowfall made the car blend in.
“I never thought anything of the car being there for a few days,” said the resident, who asked that his name not be published.
“The car behind it has been buried under snow for three weeks now,” he said. “People leave their cars buried around here. It didn’t make me look twice.”
FAU police say 47-year-old Jimmy Dac Ho was placed on administrative leave Tuesday morning and later resigned, after he was charged with attempted first-degree murder. He was being held without bail.
Boynton Beach police say they responded to the 29-year-old woman’s apartment Monday night. Officers found the woman in her bedroom, suffering from several gunshot wounds.
Police traced phone records back to Ho, who told investigators that the shooting was self-defense. He said there was an argument over money, and he thought the woman was trying to rob him.
The woman was taken to a Delray Beach hospital, where she underwent surgery. Officials say her lower body appears to be paralyzed.
LAS VEGAS NV Feb 2 2011 — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have placed two officers on paid administrative leave while they investigate why the officers were pulled over in Kingman, Arizona, while they were supposed to be patrolling the streets of Las Vegas.
Police say officers Brad Gallup and Jake Grunwald have been placed on leave after being stopped in their marked police car for speeding by a Mohave County sheriff deputy.
The deputy apparently became suspicious when he saw the Metro patrol car in Kingman, which is about 100 miles south of Las Vegas.
The two officers have been placed on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The officers are assigned to the Enterprise Area Command, which patrols the southwest area of Las Vegas.
HAMILTON, Ala.Feb 2 2011 — The security guard who police in Jacksonville believe stole money from a local casino boat last week has been arrested.
Wednesday morning, the captain of the Jacks or Better arrived to find his security guard, 22-year-old Jeremy Welch, missing.
A wall cabinet and drawer had been forced open as well, and surveillance video showed Welch leaving the boat shortly after midnight.
More than $500 in quarters and nickels was missing.
Welch had been employed as the night security guard for about two months prior to last week.
Today, First Coast News received a tip from Alabama stating that Welch had been arrested in a hotel in Hamilton, a small town in the northwestern part of the state.
The Marion County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the arrest.
Source:First Coast News
The pair was reportedly stealing merchandise at approximately 2:50 p.m. When a mall security guard confronted the man and woman, the man punched the guard in the face and fled, police said.
Clarkstown Police are continuing to search for the two, and did not have details on the security guard’s well-being. Authorities described the man as black and wearing a black sweater.
On Jan. 25, a 29-year-old NJ man was arrested for allegedly punching a Clarkstown police officer in the face at the Palisades Center. The officer was responding to calls that the man was stalking a mall employee. The man—Marty Napoleon—was held on $150,000 bail. The officer was treated for face and head injuries.
Los Angeles CA Feb 2 2011 Two men were arrested Friday at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle 50 live turtles and tortoises into the country by concealing them in snack food boxes.
Atsushi Yamagani and Norihide Ushirozako of Osaka, Japan pleaded not guilty today to charges of conspiracy, animal smuggling and wildlife trafficking. A March 8 trial date was set for both defendants.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, investigators commenced “Operation Flying Turtle” about a year ago, after agents learned of a possible smuggling operation.
Federal agents first infiltrated the suspected turtle trafficking ring in July when they purchased turtles from a person allegedly linked to Yamagami and Ushirozako.
A month later, a man was arrested at Honolulu International Airport carrying 42 turtles and tortoises in his checked luggage. The man told investigators that Yamagami allegedly paid him $1,200 to smuggle the critters into the U.S. He has since pleaded guilty to a smuggling charge.
Erin Vespe, acting director of the field office for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says investigators are still unsure as to what exactly Yamagami and Ushirozako planned to do with all of those turtles.
An agent of the Fish and Wildlife Service called the accused “unscrupulous law violators who are motivated by profit and status, and clearly have no respect for our ecosystem.”
If convicted on all charges, the men could face up to 26 years in federal prison. Both defendants are being held without bail.
State police in Hazleton said Charles William Humphrey, 31, of Hazleton, entered Boscov’s Department Store at the Laurel Mall on Monday afternoon while he was out on a pass from MinSec, removed five gold chains valued at $250 from a display and left without paying for them.
Police said Humphrey was released to a state parole officer.
A charge of retail theft will be filed through District Judge William Sharkey’s office, police said.
A MinSec employee, who would identify himself only as Wayne, declined comment. He refused to say if Humphrey was still lodged at the facility.
Donna Palermo, president of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce and a vocal opponent of the parole center’s location in downtown Hazleton, said another incident involving a MinSec inmate “goes to show there’s no accountability for these people.”
“It seems as if this is occurring every few days now, so we’re very concerned about it,” Palermo said, referring to incidents involving either residents or former residents of the parole center, which is located in the former Altamont Hotel building at Broad and Church streets.
Local officials have been expressing concerns about the facility since it opened in 2008. Since then, several inmates or former inmates at the facility have allegedly committed crimes in and around Hazleton.
Most recently, a MinSec inmate was apprehended after he allegedly robbed a bank in Pike County and led police on a high-speed chase in southern Luzerne County on Thursday, according to state police at Hazleton.
State police said James Heller, 30, called the state police barracks in West Hazleton claiming he was going to harm himself and others during the pursuit that began on Interstate 80.
When Heller stopped at a traffic signal, he told a trooper on the phone that if police approached his vehicle, he would use his gun, according to charges filed. Heller was apprehended when troopers rammed his vehicle after it became disabled on state Route 924 near Hazleton.
CASPER, Wyo. Feb 2 2011 — A 54-year-old woman is facing up to 10 years behind bars after authorities said she stole more than $1,000 from the east Casper Walmart during a six-week period while working as a cashier.
Linda M. Grigsby made her initial appearance Friday in Natrona County Circuit Court, where prosecutors formally charged her with grand larceny.
While answering routine courtroom questions, she claimed to have been in Casper about five months after moving from Michigan.
Police first learned of the alleged theft Thursday evening when Wal-Mart authorities reported the situation. A loss-prevention officer at the retail store told an officer Grigsby was suspected of taking roughly $1,900 in cash and merchandise from mid-December through late January, according to the affidavit.
Authorities say Grigsby, while working a cash register, would drop $50 and $100 bills on the floor. She would then place her foot over the bills and “either put it in her pocket or slip it up the sleeve of her shirt or jacket,” the affidavit states.
She is also accused of purchasing snacks and claiming to pay for them with a $20 bill while actually paying with a $1 bill and then pocketing the change, authorities say.
Police say she also took two Verizon prepaid telephone cards without paying for them.
In all, authorities documented 22 thefts. Police say two compact discs containing video footage of the alleged crimes are in evidence, according to the affidavit.
When interviewed at the police department, Grigsby told authorities she did not want to make any statements without a lawyer present.
On Friday, Judge Michael Patchen set her bond at $10,000.
At the time of her arrest, Grigsby had two out-of-state extradition warrants, from Arkansas and Missouri, for allegedly passing bad checks, according to court documents.
She remained in the Natrona County Detention Center on Friday evening.
Grigsby will have a preliminary hearing within the next two weeks, when a judge will decide if enough evidence exists for her to stand trial in district court.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Feb 2 2011 — Louisville Metro Police have arrested a man scamming customers and a charity out of thousands of dollars.
And they say his company — PI Development Group — doesn’t exist.
51-year-old David K. Judd was arrested Friday night.
According to his company’s Web site, PIDevelopmentGroup.com, Judd is the vice-president of national sales and marketing for the company, which claims to provide event management for corporate golf scrambles.
But police say at least two of Judd’s customers had severe problems with his services. One client allegedly paid him $6,450 to coordinate a golf trip to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. Police say Judd gave this client a fake itinerary, but when the client arrived in Alabama, he found that no trip had been set up.
“Mr. Judd used a fake company…to deceive the victim and avoid responsibility for repaying him,” police state.
Fox41.com could find no record of a Kentucky-based company called “PI Development Group” on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Web site, nor of any founding officers named David Judd.
One of Judd’s alleged victims is a kids charity named Trainers for Kids — a charity that provides personal fitness trainers for children in an effort to curb childhood obesity.
On Monday morning, Fox41.com spoke with Mike Graham, a spokesman for the charity. He said his organization provided personal training for Judd’s children on a couple of occasions, and when they heard that Judd’s company organized golf scrambles, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to raise money for Trainers for Kids.
“He was supposed to use all of his contacts and networking skills to get a bunch of teams together for us,” Graham said.
Graham said his charity compiled roughly $5,000 – $6,000 for the scramble, which they gave to Judd. But two days before the deadline, they had a rude awakening.
“When we sat down to talk to him, he really hadn’t gotten any teams yet,” Graham said. “He had just collected all of the money from us and from our teams, but he hadn’t provided any teams like he was supposed to.”
Graham said he made a decision to cancel the golf scramble and he told Judd that Trainers for Kids would want a refund. But after numerous attempts to contact Judd over at least a six month period, he wouldn’t refund the money.
“We’ve never gotten a penny back,” Graham said. “So he pretty much took it.”
Despite the fact that the company’s Web site lists at least three other officers of the company, Graham said he never spoke with anyone other than Judd and “someone claiming to be a secretary.”
Graham said Judd’s arrest is a positive development, but it doesn’t help his charity much.
“We’re very glad that it’s been taken care of,” he said. “The fact that he can’t screw over anyone else is really good news to us.”
Graham’s advice to anyone thinking of doing business with Judd?
“Don’t. Run as far away from the guy as you can. He’s trouble. He will lie, cheat and steal your money.”
Judd has been charged with at least two counts of theft by deception in connection with these cases.
Fort Worth TX Feb 2 2011 They looked smart in khaki slacks, white shirt and tie, brown leather vest, tan boots and white cowboy hat, just like the good guys wear.
Each of the four men had a five-pointed star pinned to his vest, the iconic symbol of authority in Western movies.
But these weren’t Texas Rangers, the local sheriff or visiting U.S. marshals; they are security guards in downtown Fort Worth’s City Center complex, decked out in new uniforms for Super Bowl week.
And the new look was getting a thumbs-up from people who work in the complex’s D.R. Horton and Wells Fargo towers.
The uniforms were the inspiration of Joel Glenn, the City Center head of security, who oversees the bike patrols in Sundance Square and building security.
Glenn, a Fort Worth native, spent 15 years in the U.S. Secret Service, working as a field agent and at the White House for Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and, for a short time, Jimmy Carter.
But apparently, he has an eye for fashion as well.
“I’m an old Fort Worth boy,” Glenn said Monday, “and I love to see Fort Worth dress up. I thought with the Stock Show and Super Bowl, we’d have a few officers dress up.”
Glenn put the ensemble together himself, shopping at Cavender’s. The guards are wearing Wrangler slacks, a George Strait shirt, Justin boots and an “Ed Bass-styled Western hat,” he said, from The Best Hat Store in the Stockyards.
“We’ve gotten more comments than I had in 30 years here,” Glenn said.
Job one for Glenn is security, which has been ramped up for Super Bowl week.
City Center officers are working closely with Fort Worth police and fire and federal agencies this week, with ESPN broadcasting from Sundance Square and thousands of people visiting the region for the first time.
“We are patrolling, observing and reporting,” he said. “We believe that good security is about prevention, not reaction. We’re the happiest when we prevent something from happening.”
Glenn said he used to elude security himself when he was a young man and scaled unattended fences to get into the Cotton Bowl to watch the Cowboys play. That was before game-day tickets cost the equivalent of a monthly mortgage payment.
Now, Glenn helps keep the peace in Sundance Square and is considering making his new uniforms a permanent look.
“There’s been some discussion,” he said with a sly smile.
Milwaukee WI Feb 2 2011 A man who police say robbed five banks in nine days last month was charged Monday with five counts of bank robbery by a repeat offender.
Emmett P. Bankhead, 48, of Milwaukee was arrested Sunday. Police had intensified their efforts to find him after he robbed the U.S. Bank at 3720 W. Villard Ave. on Jan. 18, then the M&I bank at 2745 N. King Drive on Jan. 20.
Two days later, on Jan. 22, he was reported wanted for holding up the Wells Fargo Bank at 735 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Jan. 24 for robbing the U.S. Bank at 939 W. Mitchell St. and on Jan. 26 for holding up the Associated Bank at 200 E. Wisconsin Ave.
According to a criminal complaint, he was convicted in 2006 of three counts of robbery and sentenced to state prison, but was granted early release last October.
WATERTOWN MA Feb 2 2011 — Two women were arrested after they tried to cart more than $1,700 worth of stolen merchandise out of a Watertown Target store.
On Jan. 29 around 1:30 p.m., police responded to Target on Arsenal Street where security officers had detained Jennifer Dieujuste, 25, and Odeal Jodie Jacob, 20, after they reportedly saw the women putting merchandise into Target bags and wheeling them away in two shopping carts.
According to reports, they waited by the Watertown Mall exit and waited until they thought no one was looking before they pushed the carts out of the store.
Dieujuste, of 942 Union ST., Rockland, was arrested and charged with larceny over $250. She reportedly had 56 items worth $1,010.08 in her shopping cart.
Jacob, of 15 Semont Road #1, Dorchester, was also arrested and charged with larceny over $250. She reportedly had 44 items worth $757.63 in her shopping cart.
Gregory Wayne Ferguson, 18, was taken into custody in the 800 block of Prosper in Houston and is expected to make his initial court appearance Wednesday.
Ferguson is one of seven men charged with conspiring to and committing a series of bank robberies in an indictment that was returned on Monday.
Also charged and in custody are 34-year-old Larry Smith, 30-year-old Raymond Tierra Johnson, 39-year-old Samuel Glen Bonner, 20-year-old Arlington Davis Wilkes, 24-year-old Carl Ray Turner, Jr. and 26-year-old Edward Johnson.
“2010 ended with a dramatic stand-off with police and the rescue of robbery victims at a Pearland bank,” said Moreno. “Today, thanks to the collaborative work of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the crew allegedly responsible for that bank robbery, as well as a string of other robberies in Houston and the surrounding counties, will be brought to justice under a federal indictment. The brazen actions by this robbery crew posed a significant threat to the citizens of this district; I applaud the good work of all the agencies involved in investigating the charges handed down today.”
According to allegations in the unsealed indictment, all seven suspects conspired together between Aug. 23, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2010, to rob Houston-area banks through force and intimidation.
Investigators said the suspects hit Wells Fargo branches on Grant Road, Memorial Drive and Kimberly Lane, a Comerica bank on the Northwest Freeway, a Citibank branch on Cypresswood and Chase bank branches on the Northwest Freeway in Cypress and on North Main in Pearland.
Investigators said the suspects would case the banks and select the branches that didn’t have security guards or bullet-resistant bandit barriers.
They allegedly used lookouts during the robberies and stolen cars as getaway vehicles.
Investigators said the suspects recruited others to assist them in the robberies in exchange for a share of the stolen money.
In each robbery, investigators said the suspects were armed and used threatening notes allegedly written by Smith.
“The FBI will continue to have a role alongside our local law enforcement partners in bank robbery investigations,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Powers. ”It should be known this is a high-risk crime for the robber. “Chances are you’re going to get caught.”
The indictment also charges Smith and Wilkes with discharging a firearm in conjunction with the Citibank robbery in September 2010. A second firearms charge was filed against Smith, Johnson, Wilkes and Ferguson for allegedly brandishing a weapon in an October 2010 robbery at a Chase bank.
In addition, Smith, Turner and Johnson are charged with discharging a firearm during a Wells Fargo robbery in November 2010, and Johnson and Bonner face the same charge in connection with the New Year’s Eve robbery in Pearland.
If convicted, the suspects could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to commit a bank robbery. Each robbery count carries a maximum punishment upon conviction of 20 years in prison. If a firearm was brandished in a robbery, the maximum punishment is 25 years.
Brandishing or discharging a firearm during and in furtherance of a bank robbery carries a mandatory punishment of seven and 10 years, respectively, which must be served consecutive to any sentences imposed for the underlying bank robbery conviction.
The charges against these defendants are the result of a federal investigation conducted by the FBI and the ATF with the substantial assistance and cooperation of the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Crime Stoppers, Friendswood Police Department, Pearland Police Department and the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office. The United States Attorney wishes to recognize each of these investigative agencies, as well as the security departments of Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, for their outstanding efforts.