Atlanta GA Feb 15 2011 A Salvation Army employee was indicted on charges she stole $200,000 in financial aid funds, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office announced Friday.
Kelley Jo Taylor Allison Vishnubhotla, 36, faces trial on 45 counts of theft by taking and three counts of 1st degree forgery.
The alleged crimes occurred from 2004 to 2007, when Vishnubhotla was in charge of the Salvation Army’s educational loan process. False financial aid applications were submitted using names that varied only slightly from those of the defendant and her husband, the Fulton D.A. said.
Vishnubhotla received 48 checks ranging from $1,000 to $9,000 and deposited them into her personal bank account, according to prosecutors.
A trial date has yet to be scheduled.
Salt Lake Utah Feb 15 2011 The whole incident happened in matter of seconds, Lori Poulsen said.
She and the other security employees at the Layton Walmart Supercenter had stopped a man who had unwrapped a laptop and hidden it under his clothes. Trent Allen Longton was taken into an office, where he handed over the merchandise.
When Longton was asked to sit down, he said he needed to leave. He told the group he had something on him that he couldn’t get caught with.
Poulsen watched as Longton, 25, reached to the small of his back and pulled out a gun, placed it on the side of his leg and cocked it. Poulsen announced “gun — hand” to let everyone know. Longton moved closer to the office door, where three other employees were standing. They raised their hands at the sight of the gun.
Longton stood behind assistant manager Gabriel Stewart, holding his shoulder with one hand and the gun inside his pocket with the other.
Security workers Shawn Ray and Justin Richins each grabbed Longton by an arm and spun him around. Poulsen then took the gun away from the man.
“All of it takes places within about 23 seconds from the time we got him into the office from the time we put our hands on him to get control of the situation and removed the gun,” Poulsen said.
“It was absolutely terrifying. We didn’t know what to do, but once he didn’t leave and felt that Gabe’s life was in danger and everybody else’s …,” Ray said. “We thought we had done the right thing.”
It all just naturally happened, Poulsen said recounting the Jan. 13 incident.
A week later, the four employees were fired.
Poulsen, a Walmart employee for 7½ years, said they were fired for their inability to perform their jobs, with a comment on violation of the company’s policy.
“I was very much at a loss. I figured there would be disciplinary action, but never through the whole process did I think I would be terminated,” Poulsen said. “I never had any other disciplinary action.”
The former employees are looking at their legal options.
A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company created its policy banning employees from using force to interfere with shoplifters as a safety precaution for everyone.
“Like most companies, we have policies and procedures in place that are designed to ensure the safety of our asset protection associates, store associates and our customers,” said Dan Fogleman, a spokesman for the Bentonville, Ark.-based company. “Nothing is more important than our ability to protect our customers’ and associates’ safety and well-being. We always want to avoid having a situation escalate that could result in someone getting hurt.”
“We appreciate the intentions demonstrated by our associates in this situation but, after a thorough review of what took place, it was determined the actions taken put their safety — and potentially the safety of our customers and other associates — in jeopardy. In their roles within the store, they were aware of our expectations regarding safety and, unfortunately, their actions have led to them no longer working for the company.”
Ray, who had been with the store for 2½ years, said he doesn’t understand the decision.
“We protected the customers. We protected ourselves,” he said. “It was a first-time violation of any policy for all of us. We don’t have marks on our records.”
Longton was charged in Farmington’s 2nd District Court with second-degree felony robbery and four class A misdemeanors — unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, use of a dangerous weapon in a fight, carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, and obtaining an identifying document of another.
Court records show Longton’s criminal history includes felony convictions for drug possession, which prohibits him from carrying a gun.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree felony robbery and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Monday. The remaining charges were dropped in exchange for his plea.
He is set to be sentenced on March 28 before Judge John Morris, where he faces one to 15 years in prison for the robbery charge and up to a year in jail plus a fine for the class A misdemeanor.
Source:Salt Lake Tribune
Gainesville Fla Feb 15 2011 A woman told investigators that she hit an off-duty deputy with her car and then drove with him on the hood because she thought going to jail on shoplifting charges would ruin her life.
Lounetta Watkins The woman went to jail on much more serious charges. The deputy suffered a hand injury.
The incident began at the Lowe’s store in Alachua around 11:15 a.m. Sunday, according to the Alachua Police Department, and involved Mike Rodenwoldt, an off-duty deputy for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Witnesses said Lounetta Watkins, 18, 14000 NW 154th Ave. in Alachua, ran out of the store after being confronted by employees about items she was accused of shoplifting.
Watkins ran past Rodenwoldt and he began to chase her, finally catching up to her as she was getting into a 2000 Nissan sedan, according to police. Rodenwoldt said he identified himself as a deputy and ordered her to stop but she backed into some bushes and then accelerated forward, hitting him. The deputy said he was forced onto the hood of the car to avoid being run over but was able to jump off as the car was leaving the parking lot. Rodenwoldt said he injured his left hand.
Police caught up with Watkins in a nearby store parking lot where officers said she confessed to stealing $30 worth of merchandise, including a lock set, two screwdrivers and three lights. She told police that she thought Rodenwoldt was a security guard, not a “real deputy,” and that she ran over him because she did not want to go to jail because it would ruin her life. Watkins was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, robbery with a weapon, resisting an officer with violence and resisting arrest.
She was being held at the Alachua County jail on Monday.
Ardmore OKL Feb 15 2011 — Ardmore police have released photos of the man who died Wednesday night as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“We are asking for help in trying to identify this person,” said Cpl. Chad Anthony, Ardmore Police Department Pubic Information Officer.
The photos of the man have been taken from security video footage just minutes before he shot himself in a restroom at Walmart.
In addition, investigators have released the following physical description of the victim:
◦White male, possibly in his 40s
◦6-feet 4-inches tall
◦Scar approximately 6.5 centimeter long, located 2 to 3-inches above his left ankle
“If you know this subject or if you think you know him call the Ardmore Police Department at (580) 223-1212 as soon as possible,” Anthony said.
Police were called to the local store about 8:30 p.m. after a store employee reported finding a man who appeared to have been shot in a restroom. The victim was taken to the local hospital and later airlifted to another medical facility. Chief Keith Mann said Thursday the victim died in flight and his body was returned to Ardmore. His remains were later sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.
Mann said the victim had no identification on his person at the time he was found. Continuous efforts to discover his identity remained unsuccessful Friday.
“Police officers are sworn to uphold the law and protect the public, but at least one Kingston officer chose to take advantage of his position and cheat taxpayers,” DiNapoli said. “My office will expand its probe of city finances to make sure this is an isolated incident. This is taxpayer money. It’s my job to protect it.”
DiNapoli announced at a press conference today that his office would conduct a full audit of the Kingston Police Department that will examine the department’s controls over payroll as well as the procedures for handling seized funds and other monies, as requested by Kingston Mayor James Sottile.
“We’re providing Comptroller DiNapoli the city’s full cooperation,” Sottile said. “It’s disturbing that the very individuals we’ve entrusted to enforce the law are breaking it. Kingston taxpayers deserve better. We’ll work with Comptroller DiNapoli to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
During a review of the Kingston City School District, DiNapoli’s auditors identified potential problems regarding security services performed at the district by city police officers. They identified 13 individuals who worked for the district as security officers and for the city as police officers. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, these individuals were paid a total of $185,921 by the district for security services.
Based on a review of payroll records, auditors identified 16 instances, totaling 57 hours, in which one officer, Detective Lieutenant Tim Matthews, submitted a claim for hours worked as a security guard that coincided with the hours he claimed for police overtime.
For example, on September 8, 2009, district records show Matthews submitted a claim for working as a security guard from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., a shift of 15 hours. On the same day, city records indicate that the individual claimed to work overtime hours from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. as a detective. City and
district records document that he was working for both entities simultaneously from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm, a period of 5.5 hours. Matthews is paid $26 an hour by the district and $52 an hour from the city for overtime.
Matthews made $58,694 from the district for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
DiNapoli’s auditors also found one instance in which Matthews claimed to work a total of 37 hours during a 38.5 hour period.
Auditors found that Matthews, a supervisor in the department, was allowed to authorize his own overtime. City police department officials also did not maintain records to document the starting and ending times for shifts worked.
Pittsburgh PA Feb 15 2011 A man and a juvenile were apprehended Friday in a street robbery when Pittsburgh SWAT officers located them along with stolen items on the top floor of an East Hills apartment building.
The incident began about 4:30 p.m., when two workmen were robbed at gunpoint at 2100 Park Hill Drive. Reportedly taken were $1,200 and car keys. The robbers fled into another building, which security officers surrounded until officers from Zone 5 arrived, police reported.
SWAT officers responded to the scene and conducted a slow and deliberate clearing of the entire 14-unit building and found two people who fit the description of the robbers on the top floor. SWAT officers also located items that had been stolen from the victims.
The suspects, whose names were not released, were taken to police headquarters for questioning by robbery detectives.
Charleston SC Feb 15 2011
Byron Moises Milian Ramirez went before the bond court judge today to face a charge of 2nd degree arson.
According to the affidavit, Ramirez was in a fight with security at the night club “Club Havana” on Remount road early Sunday morning.
After the building burned down, arson investigators found Ramirez, and questioned him.
Ramirez provided a confession and admitted to setting the building on fire out of anger. The judge gave Ramirez a $100,000 bond.
The most severely injured victim did not lose her leg, as was originally reported. KUSI’s Ed Lenderman reports on the very latest of this horrific accident.
The news comes as San Diego police traffic investigators painstakely recreate the accident and re-interview the cab driver, people at the scene, patrons of the Stingaree night club and security staff, they all say they’ve never witnessed anything like it.
Shortly before 2am Saturday, a taxi-cab, which had just stopped at a stop sign at the corner of 6th and Island, plowed into a crowd of people outside the popular nightspot. 35 people were struck, but police say 36 were injured because the cabbie, 52-year-old Sam Hassan Daly was beaten by some angry members of the crowd and his nose was broken.
San Diego police traffic investigators are looking into the possibility that Daly blacked out or fell asleep behind the wheel.
San Diego police say it is to early in the investigation to speculate on what if any chargers may occur, but the lieutenant indicated criminal charges aren’t likely if the driver blacked out or fell asleep and at this point there’s no indication that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The most seriously injured victim was a 45-year-old woman. Dominic Gambale’s leg was badly mangled. Initial reports said her lower leg was severed, but we learned Monday that surgeons at UCSD hospital are trying to save the limb.
Credit also goes to Stingaree security guard Chad Starkey, who may have saved the woman’s life when he used his necktie as a makeshift turnaquet.
Starkey is an ex-Marine, he appeared this morning on our Good Morning San Diego. “Obviously we’re trained on CPR, any emergency in the field, high volume, and that was definitely high volume,” said Starkey.
Attorney King Aminpour represents several of the victims and he said that they interviewed a witness at the scene who said the driver appeared to be dazed and in shock and confused, indicating he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.”
The fact that the cab had just left the stop sign and was only going 15 miles an hour was a huge factor in there being no deaths or worse injuries to others than Gamale. As it was another man suffered a broken leg and several of the victims had concussions and lacerations. Police say the investigation could take weeks, because so many witnesses have to be interviewed.
LINDEN NJ Feb 15 2011 — Two Newark men were arrested after they were spotted along the fence line of the Conoco Phillips Refinery property
Linden police were sent to the Conoco Phillips property, 1400 S. Park Ave., around 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 for a report of trespassers.
A 26-year-old security guard told police she was making her rounds when she spotted two men wearing dark clothing and hoods enter the refinery property from an access gate near the New Jersey Turnpike.
The two men fled when they saw the guard in her vehicle. Linden officers Paul Zack and Ian Conk responded to the turnpike entrance and saw the men fleeing along the fence line. They were ordered to stop at gunpoint.
The two men, Victor Jackson, 50, and Ronald Yvone McLeod, 45, both of Newark, were arrested and charged with burglary and criminal mischief.
Police learned the men had used bolt cutters to enter the fenced property. Police believe they may have been attempting to steal scrap metal from the property.
Jackson and McLeod were both sent to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth where they were being held on $37,500 bail each.
The investigation is continuing by the Linden Detective Bureau and Counter Terrorism Unit.
The Transportation Security Administration officer, Michael Arato, 41, admitted in U.S. District Court in Newark he took kickbacks from a subordinate officer, whom he permitted to steal between $10,000 and $30,000 in cash from travelers over the course of a year ending in October 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
During a three-week period ending on October 5, video surveillance showed Arato pocketing some $3,100 in kickbacks from the scheme, mostly in $100 bills, authorities said.
He also admitted he regularly stole from passengers at his own checkpoint at the airport’s Terminal B.
Arato, 41, of Ewing, New Jersey, faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on May 24.
According to the original complaint, authorities began investigating after receiving several complaints from passengers on Air India’s daily nonstop flight to India that money and other valuables from their carry-on bags had gone missing after the bags were hand-searched by TSA employees at Arato’s checkpoint.
The victims were mostly non-English speaking women of Indian descent, it said.
The co-worker was not identified in court papers and a spokeswoman said the investigation is continuing. That officer was cooperating with authorities when the surveillance cameras captured Arato in the act.
BEAVERCREEK, Ohio Feb 15 2011 – A breastfeeding mom was outraged after she said she was asked to leave a local mall because other shoppers complained.
Rhonda Bell said she was feeding her 13-week old daughter inside the Fairfield Commons Mall Sunday afternoon when security workers approached her.
“She said, “ma’am you are not allowed to breastfeed in public inside the mall, ” said Bell. “I said no I am allowed to breastfeed, wherever I am”.
Bell said the security officer called for back up and both mall employees told her to leave.
“She said, “no, this is a private facility and there are other mothers complaining,” said Bell, “I said well the Victoria’s Secret ad is showing way more cleavage than I am. You couldn’t even tell, unless you were a foot away from me”.
On Monday, Fairfield Commons officials acknowledged the incident, but denied wrongdoing.
In a statement issued to 2 NEWS, they said, “The Mall at Fairfield Commons fully supports mothers with infants. Yesterday we did receive several complaints from shoppers regarding a mother being overexposed while breastfeeding in a common area. We spoke with the mother, shared those concerns and offered the use of our family restrooms. At no time was she asked to leave our property.”
Bell said she will not be forced to feed in a restroom and says there are laws in place to support her rights.
“A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location, public place, or where a mother is otherwise permitted,” Bell read from a computer. “So, wherever I’m allowed to be, I’m allowed to breastfeed”.
Bell said she is planning a nurse-in, or breastfeeding protest, at Fairfield Commons in the near future.
Fairfield Commons mall officials said they welcome all mothers and families and even hold an annual Breastfeeding Walk.