Ronda M. Alves, who was employed as the permits clerk in the Public Works Department, was charged Monday with theft in excess of $2,000 from the city, according to court documents. A probable-cause affidavit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court alleges that Alves took that amount in cash sometime by March 2010.
Alves, of Carterville, allegedly acknowledged that she had signed the “pink copy” of receipts for the transactions and had taken in that amount of money, according to the affidavit. But she “could not account for or give any explanation as to why the cash or the ‘yellow copy’ did not make it to City Hall,” the affidavit said.
Mayor John Biggs said “strictly cash,” not checks, apparently had been disappearing between the time it was received by the department and transferred to City Hall. The issue surfaced recently when a resident went to City Hall to get a refund on a deposit he had made for a water meter, Biggs said. The resident produced a receipt for his $200 cash deposit, but no copy of the receipt or the transaction was found at City Hall, he said.
Biggs said the Public Works Department keeps a receipt book of deposits for items such as building permits and water meter installations. He said employees periodically file a report with City Hall related to their transactions — reports that investigators sometimes could not reconcile with the department’s original receipt book.
Alves was the primary person responsible for taking deposits and filing the reports with City Hall, Biggs said.
Alves began working for the city in October 2007 and resigned at the end of January, Biggs said. She also had been a member of the Planning and Zoning Board and the Adjustments and Appeals Board.
The Webb City Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated, Biggs said.
WAYNE NJ Feb 20 2011 — Police have charged an employee of the Payless Shoe Store at the Wayne Hills Mall in connection with a theft from the store, police said.
The theft of $720.04 was reported Friday, and mall employees said someone who worked at the shoe store was seen entering the business before it opened. The police investigation culminated in the arrest of Dwayne Wright, 25, of Paterson, Capt. James Clarke said.
Wright was charged with one count of theft in excess of $600 and one count of burglary, police said, and he was released on a summons and is to appear in Municipal Court next Thursday.
Police said Gracie Ann Lopez, 20, of 531 Beech St., Scranton, took a customer’s Boscov’s credit card number and used it to ring up more than $200 worth of merchandise for herself.
Ms. Lopez also stole $50 from a register at the store in December, police said.
She was charged with one count each of access device fraud, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking.
Clarkstown NY Feb 20 2011 A 20-year-old Bronx woman is accused of using a bogus $100 bill to buy merchandise at Palisades Center mall in West Nyack, according to Clarkstown police.
Police said Sarah Larocca was arrested after security officers at the Target department store discovered the counterfeit bill at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and contacted police. Clarkstown police alerted town officers with a description of the woman and a short time later she was found in a car that was stopped on Palisades Center Drive.
During their investigation, police said they discovered Larocca had other counterfeit bills and a forged driver’s license. Lorocca was taken to police headquarters in New City, where she was arraigned in Town Court and ordered held in the Rockland County Correctional Center in New City pending a Town Court hearing.
She is charged with five counts of first-degree possession of a forged instrument for the counterfeit money, petty larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and second-degree possession of a forged instrument for the forged license.
ST. CHARLES IL Feb 20 2011 – A St. Charles department store employee is accused of stealing more than $3,000 by providing excess change during transactions with a friend, according to a St. Charles police report.
Loss prevention officers from Target, 3885 E. Main St., reportedly told St. Charles police they have evidence employee Nicole J. Jurkowski has been stealing cash from the register since Jan. 10.
The total loss is $3,205.52, according to the report.
Jurkowski told authorities she had been giving Anthony C. Allen incorrect change for his purchases since before Christmas 2010, according to the report. Police reported that, when questioned, Allen did not recall any information regarding Target or money he got from Jurkowski.
According to the report, the $577 in cash Allen had on him was collected into evidence.
Jurkowski, 21, of the 200 block of Pinewood Lane, Bloomingdale, was charged Feb. 10 with theft over $500. Allen, 26, was charged Feb. 10 with theft over $500 and driving with a revoked license.
Dalls TX Feb 20 2011 An undercover TSA agent was able to get through security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun during testing of the enhanced-imaging body scanners, according to a high-ranking, inside source at the Transportation Security Administration.
The source said the undercover agent carried a pistol in her undergarments when she put the body scanners to the test. The officer successfully made it through the airport’s body scanners every time she tried, the source said.
“In this case, where they had a test, and it was just a dismal failure as I’m told,” said Larry Wansley, former head of security at American Airlines. “As I’ve heard (it), you got a problem, especially with a fire arm.”
Wansley said covert testing by the TSA is commonplace — although failing should be rare.
The TSA insider who blew the whistle on the test also said that none of the TSA agents who failed to spot the gun on the scanned image were disciplined. The source said the agents continue to work the body scanners today.
Wansley said that is a problem.
“This was only a test, but it’s critically important that you do something, because if that person failed in the real environment, then you have a problem,” he said.
The TSA did not deny that the tests took place or the what the results were.
The agency would only provide the following statement:
“Our security officers are one of the most heavily tested federal workforces in the nation. We regularly test our officers in a variety of ways to ensure the effectiveness of our technology, security measures and the overall layered system. For security reasons, we do not publicize or comment on the results of covert tests, however advanced imaging technology is an effective tool to detect both metallic and nonmetallic items hidden on passengers.”
TSA agents who spoke to a reporter agreed that the body-imaging scanners are effective — but only if the officers monitoring them are paying attention.
Grand jury will hear case of grandmother who threw child to death at Tysons Corner mall www.privateofficer.com
Ogdoc took a few steps more, then looked back again. Recalling that November evening in court Friday, barely audible through her tears, she said she saw her mother standing at the walkway railing, five stories above the ground, and “I saw her drawing her hands back.”
And Angelyn was gone, she realized, dropped from the 50-foot-high walkway .
“I yelled, ‘Mom!’” Ogdoc recalled, then sprinted down five flights of stairs with her father and brother. Angelyn was still alive, and her 22-year-old mother rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital. The girl died nine hours later, and her grandmother, Carmela Dela Rosa, was later charged with murder.
In a preliminary hearing in Fairfax juvenile and domestic relations court, a judge found probable cause to believe Dela Rosa, 50, was involved in the killing. The judge sent the case to a circuit court grand jury, which will hear the case Tuesday and hand up a possible indictment.
The emotional hearing, witnessed by two dozen family members sitting on both the defense and prosecution sides of the courtroom, was the first time Kathlyn Ogdoc has spoken publicly about the death of her daughter. She refused to make eye contact with her mother, and when asked by Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh to point out the defendant, she looked down in disgust and pointed one finger at her mother.
In addition to Ogdoc’s testimony, the first Fairfax police officer on the scene added a new detail to the case. Officer Anthony Stancampiano said he was dispatched to the mall at 7:20 p.m. on Nov. 29, found paramedics treating the toddler, then looked up and saw Dela Rosa still on the fifth-floor walkway, speaking with mall security.
“I walked up to her and asked if she was the one involved in this,” Stancampiano said. “She said, ‘Yes, I did it. I threw the baby off.’ “
Dela Rosa watched the hearing impassively, occasionally making comments to her lawyer, Fairfax Chief Deputy Public Defender Dawn M. Butorac. Family members declined to comment after the hearing, and Ogdoc could be seen in a witness room after the hearing, sobbing and being comforted by her husband, James, who was working at Tysons that night.
“She’s devastated,” Morrogh said of Ogdoc after the hearing. “She’s a wonderful young woman and I think everyone’s heart is broken for her.”
Dela Rosa used to regularly babysit for Angelyn and doted on her, neighbors said. But she also has a history of mental health problems and family friends said she suffered from depression.
Dela Rosa’s mental health issues were raised in Friday’s court hearing and Butorac said she planned to explore them as a possible defense. She said Dela Rosa had been seeing a psychologist for 10 years before Angelyn’s death, and is being treated by mental health professionals in the Fairfax jail.
Ogdoc and her family – her father, brother, mother and daughter – had been at Tysons for about two hours, she said, when they headed out, and Ogdoc said she wanted to stay close to her mother and daughter. “As long as she’s in sight with Angelyn, I’m fine. Usually.”
“Why wouldn’t you be fine?” Butorac asked.
“She hasn’t been that reliable the past few months,” Ogdoc said.
“Why do you say that?” Butorac asked.
“Because she’s tried to kill herself more than one time,” Ogdoc answered. “I didn’t think my daughter would be safe with anyone outside of myself.”
Ogdoc did not actually see her mother drop Angelyn over the railing, instead only glancing back at her twice: once to see her pick up the toddler, and once to see her empty-handed at the walkway railing.
But sources close to the case said the mall surveillance cameras captured the horrific event. The tape was not played in court Friday.
As Ogdoc and her family stood near the injured Angelyn, they looked up at Dela Rosa, five stories above them. Ogdoc said her mother had crossed her arms on the railing, placed her chin on them, and placidly looked down at them, saying nothing.
PHOENIX AZ Feb 20 2011 — Arizona law could soon change the limits of what police officers are allowed to do in their free time.
It was the off-duty work of a Tolleson police officer that prompted lawmakers to propose Senate Bill 1020. The bill would make it illegal for active or reserve police officers to also work as private investigators.
Tolleson police Cmndr. Wayne Booher was caught on tape offering his services as a private investigator.
“We’ve been doing it for years now,” he’s heard saying on the recording. “We do a variety of investigations. We do private investigations, we do unarmed security and armed security. We do police officers. We do surveillance.”
The person who made the recording can be heard asking Booher, “You’re licensed by the state, right?” Booher answers, “Yeah.”
Booher apparently did apply for a private investigator’s license through the Arizona Department of Public Safety — which is the licensing agency.
DPS in turn opened an investigation into Booher’s extracurricular activities. Operating as a P.I. without a license is a class one misdemeanor. DPS said the investigation was closed and it did not punish Booher. DPS has still not provided CBS 5 Investigates with a copy of the report and refused to discuss the case on camera.
Private investigator Justin Yentis sees a potential conflict for a police officer who moonlights as a P.I.
“A police officer has access to certain information that a P.I. does not have as readily available,” said Yentis. “For example, MVD (Motor Vehicle Department) information, case histories, criminal backgrounds of certain individuals. A P.I. has to request that information via the public records law or FOIA. Whereas a member of law enforcement can generally get that information with a phone call.”
Booher says he’s done nothing wrong.
“We were running a private investigations business doing private investigations business, subcontracting the work out,” said Booher. “We were advertising that, but we hadn’t done any work because we had just started the company.”
But that’s not what Booher said in that secret recording..
“This company has been in business for three years,” Booher said on the recording. “I personally have done surveillance for 21 years. I know it inside and out.”
CBS 5 Investigates asked Booher about that recording.
“I was set up,” he said. “Certainly the person that called us and wanted us to do some work for him misrepresented himself.”
Either way, if Senate Bill 1020 gets through the House of Representatives and is signed by the governor, police officers will not be allowed to also work as private investigators.
JUPITER Fla Feb 20 2011 — The nation’s second-largest security firm is dropping the Wackenhut name, a brand that for decades was synonymous with watchmen in tan uniforms.
After two mergers and the construction of a new corporate home in Jupiter, the former Wackenhut now is known as G4S, the name of its British parent.
Though the company’s North American headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens displayed the logos of both Wackenhut and G4S, its new office in Jupiter is labeled with only the G4S name.
The Wackenhut brand also is coming off the badges worn by the company’s 50,000 guards.
“We see it as retiring a wonderful legacy,” said Drew Levine, president of G4S Secure Solutions-North America.
The renamed company still is in the business of supplying security guards in tan uniforms, but Levine has shifted his focus to selling “more than a gun and a guard.”
G4S is touting technology and surveillance systems in addition to guards. Traditionally, companies that need security services get their guards from one company and their surveillance systems from another firm. G4S is part of an industrywide effort to sell one-stop shopping.
“The old night watchman has been replaced by security cameras with infrared lighting,” said Geoff Kohl, editor in chief of SecurityInfoWatch.com. “You’re seeing more automated technologies pull away some of the jobs of manned security.”
As it diversifies, G4S has been buying such tech firms as Nuclear Services Security Corp., which sells surveillance for nuclear plants.
With 12,000 security firms doing business in the United States, Levine is seeking both the higher profit margins of the tech side of the industry and a competitive edge against rivals who win guard contracts with low bids.
“Everybody’s looking to cut costs, and if you’re single-focused and it’s your turn in the barrel, you’re going to get cut – unless you provide other, more valuable services,” Levine said.
There’s no shortage of cheaper competitors, but G4S’ North American division seems to have weathered the recession. Revenue rose to $1.33 billion in the first half of 2010, up 10 percent from the first half of 2009.
That follows a 3 percent increase from 2008 to 2009.
The Wackenhut empire began modestly. In 1954, George Wackenhut started a detective agency in Coral Gables. A couple of years later, he expanded into security guard services, and the company mushroomed.
Wackenhut Corp. was publicly traded for years, as was a separate prison company, Wackenhut Corrections. In 1995, Wackenhut moved its corporate headquarters to Palm Beach Gardens from Coral Gables.
In 2002, Danish security firm Group 4 Falck bought Wackenhut Corp., and in 2004 Group 4 Falck and Securicor combined to create G4S. The Wackenhut name survived until this month.
Levine, 49, is a 23-year veteran of Wackenhut. Levine (the second syllable rhymes with wine) started in the 1980s as a supervisor overseeing security guards in Miami.
But, he said, “I wasn’t very good at it. Shift work wasn’t my forte.”
Levine admits to missing more than one midnight shift.
Levine hit his stride once he moved into sales and operations. Now, as president of G4S Secure Solutions-North America, Levine oversees 50,000 employees and more than $2 billion in annual revenue.
G4S’ clients range from NASA and nuclear plants to gated communities. Guards make $10 to $20 an hour, depending on their experience and where in the country they work.
The 225 employees at G4S headquarters moved into the new building in Jupiter last week.
The high-tech headquarters includes a 130-inch screen for video conferences and training.
Levine, a native of Philadelphia, jokes about using the mammoth screen to watch Eagles football games.
As Levine looked for a new home for G4S, he considered moving out of state. “For a fleeting moment, we thought about Charlotte and Atlanta,” he said.
In the end, he decided that moving the company would mean losing too many longtime employees.
HOMELAND CA Feb 20 2011 – A California Highway Patrol officer allegedly pulled a gun on a postal driver who almost hit the officer’s car with a truck, and each placed the other under “citizen’s arrest” until authorities arrived and let them go, a sheriff’s deputy said today.
The contracted U.S. Postal Service delivery driver allegedly nearly hit the off-duty officer’s private car while driving a tractor-trailer about 2 p.m. Thursday on Highway 74, said sheriff’s Sgt. James Wilson.
The officer followed the postal worker to a post office in Homeland and tried to detain him, allegedly showing his gun in those attempts.
The postal worker made a citizen’s arrest on suspicion of brandishing a firearm, while the officer placed the postal driver under citizen’s arrest on suspicion of reckless driving, Wilson said.
Other workers at the post office called the sheriff’s department, and when deputies arrived, both men were released.
Neither was cited at the scene because the arrests involved misdemeanors not committed in the presence of an on-duty peace officer, sheriff’s Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela said.
An investigation could lead to charges, though, and anyone with information on the altercation was asked to call the sheriff’s department at (951) 791-3400.
CLEVELAND OH Feb 20 2011 — Garda Security officers driving an armored car on Valentine’s Day about 8:30 a.m. are still looking for a bag of cash that fell out of a side compartment door on the vehicle when they turned onto Carnegie Avenue near East 40th Street.
According to the police report, the security guards were in the Garda armored car when they turned westbound onto Carnegie and noticed that one side compartment door had flipped open and a black Garda bag filled with cash was lying in the street.
They retrieved that bag and noticed that it had sustained a rip in its fabric.
As they were putting it back into the compartment, they noticed that a second bag that should have also been in the compartment was missing.
That second bag was also a black Garda bag with an undisclosed amount of cash in it.
They searched the area but did not see the second bag anywhere. They called their supervisor and then called police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cleveland police.
Silver Spring MD Feb 20 2011 A man armed with an ice pick was shot and killed by a Montgomery County police officer during a confrontation Saturday evening in downtown Silver Spring, a police spokeswoman said.
The shooting occurred about 5:15 p.m. outside the City Place Mall on Colesville Road near Georgia Avenue, spokeswoman Lucille Baur said.
The officer was summoned by mall security guards after an assault on a security officer there, Baur said. She said the alleged assailant was “brandishing a sharp object.”
She said the officer commanded the man several times to put down his weapon. But, she said, he “refused to comply.”
The officer then fired his service weapon, Baur said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police did not immediately identify the dead man. His age was also unavailable.
Baur said his weapon “was recovered and was determined to be an ice pick.”
The circumstances of the original assault at the mall were not immediately known, and no information was available about any injuries to the security officer.
A section of Colesville Road was closed during the investigation.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.Feb 20 2011 – A high school teacher in Little Rock has resigned after school officials learned she pleaded guilty in November to a prostitution charge.
McClellan High School algebra teacher Solona Islam, who had been put on paid administrative leave, told Fox16.com she resigned because she didn’t want to have the school district involved in her personal matters.
The 27-year-old was arrested Oct. 29 on misdemeanor charges of prostitution and operating a business without a license but Police Sgt. Cassandra Davis said the school district was not notified because the charge was not a felony.
Islam said she was desperate for money and originally thought she was just going to work for a dating service. She pleaded guilty on Nov. 5 and was given a suspended 90-day sentence and a $640 fine.
School officials told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that they finally learned of the plea from a reporter and suspended Islam on Wednesday.
Islam, who was in the fifth year of her teacher career, told Fox16.com that she hopes this attention doesn’t affect her ability to find another job.
Investigators say Santana, who is from Chester, is the woman captured on surveillance cameras during the robbery. They had already determined her identity thanks to several tips and even had security video of Santana at Wal-Mart the day of the robbery.
Just before six p.m. Friday police received a call from Wal-Mart that the suspect was back at the store. They moved in and arrested her. Santana also had an outstanding warrant for burglary out of Lassen County. She was booked into the Butte County jail.