VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.Oct 10 2011 – Virginia Beach Police are looking for a man they say is using their name to scam people out of money. The solicitor hit several businesses last week claiming he needed donations to help needy officers and their families.
Vita Salon in Virginia Beach isn’t used to this kind of walk-in customer.
“Looking at him, I would have said he was an honest guy,” hair stylist Angie Davenport said.
The stranger entered the salon wearing a hat and sweat shirt that read ‘police’.
“Yeah it was crazy,” Davenport added. “It was bizarre.”
The man wasn’t there for a haircut. Instead, Davenport said he asked people in the salon for money, claiming he was collecting for Virginia Police Chiefs. The suspect said the money was for officers who are struggling during tough times. When Davenport told him no, things got hairy.
“He started badgering the clients. So, I said ‘sir you have to leave now’,” Davenport explained.
The man left a flyer with an address where cash could be sent, but the name, address and phone number on the flyer weren’t local. Virginia Beach detectives believe he’s running a scam.
“I could have very easily fallen for it,” Davenport added.
The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation is a real organization, but say they are not going door-to-door. The VPCF has even put a scam alert on their website warning people of the fraud.
Here are some tips that could keep you from becoming a victim of a scam::
•Remember if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
•Always verify information and opportunities.
•Never wire or send money to secure winnings.
• Never allow yourself to be rushed into a decision. Scammers often try to rush decisions by limiting the offer time. Always try to sleep on decisions or ask a friend about it.
•Always get agreements in writing.
•Only deal with reputable companies.
•Verify people collecting money for charities.
•Never pay cash. Get a receipt.
•If it seems suspicious, it probably is. Notify the police.
•Be careful when dealing over the internet, especially when the person is located in another country. It is best to make payments in person while you take receipt of the item you are purchasing.
MONROEVILLE, Pa.Oct 10 2011 — Four men from Atlanta accused of running an elaborate check-cashing scheme were arrested in Monroeville on Thursday, police said.
According to Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, the men are accused of recruiting people to cash 18 counterfeit checks worth $42,000.
An employee at PNC Bank’s Monroeville branch became suspicious last Saturday and rejected one of the checks, police said. The employee also wrote down a Georgia license plate number as the suspect drove away.
According to police, the men offered homeless people or prostitutes 10 percent of the proceeds to cash the checks from businesses along the East Coast.
Authorities said they arrested the suspects at two hotels in Monroeville. They’re being held without bail on a long list of charges.
Warwickshire Police is taking on G4S contractors to plug gaps left after its longest-serving officers were ordered to retire.
It is the second force in the Midlands to adopt the controversial policy which has attracted criticism from MPs and unions.
The news comes after the Sunday Mercury previously revealed West Midlands Police was having to hire agency staff for its stretched Counter Terrorism Unit.
The private-firm cops were brought in to probe high-profile murder investigations, the recent riots as well as other crimes.
Now it has emerged that Warwickshire Police is also being forced to resort to hiring external contractors.
Private security firm G4S, formerly Group 4 Securicor, has been advertising for contractors to plug gaps in the force’s CID departments.
An online advert said candidates would be paid £15 per hour to provide ‘‘support to staff and officers in all aspects of crime investigation and case file management’’.
Far from being peripheral roles, the successful candidates would need to ‘‘identify and exploit investigative and intelligence opportunities in order to detect serious and complex crime’’.
Warwickshire Police is one of several forces, including West Midlands, which is implementing a legal loophole known as A19 to force officers with more than 30 years’ service to retire.
Many of the 24 G4S contractors taken on by West Midlands were ex-officers.
In a statement, Warwickshire Police said: “In common with many organisations, Warwickshire Police sometimes needs to employ contract staff to fulfil performance requirements. When this is required we use an employment agency. On occasions we require contract staff with specialist policing experience. In this case the agency we use sub contracts to agencies who are able to provide staff with these skills as they specialise in recruiting former police officers and police staff.
‘‘The number of contracted employees working for Warwickshire Police at any time varies from week to week and month to month, depending on the requirements of the force and the work required.’’
The incident occurred at the store, 3080 Jaeger Road, about 8 a.m. Friday where loss-prevention officers observed the teens putting clothes in a shopping basket as they browsed the store.
Security officers recovered security tags that were believed to have been cut off the clothing with a pair of scissors found in the dressing room. After paying for a pair of sunglasses, the girls were stopped outside the store.
Police said all of the clothing the girls allegedly took was recovered. The teens were held until being released to their parents.
The student who police said is in his 20s, reported the incident on Oct. 3. Police said the incident occurred between 7:30 the previous evening and 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Police said the student reported that he was given an “intoxicating vapor” by the instructor, Scott Saarheim. The student was attending a party at Saarheim’s Sims Street home, police said.
Police said the 46-year-old man then orally copulated the student, who was intoxicated, “against his will.”
After further investigation, Saarheim was eventually arrested at his residence at about 9 a.m. Saturday. He was booked into Solano County jail, with a bail set at $65,000. Saarheim’s court date is scheduled on Wednesday.
Saarheim has been a faculty member since 2000 and is a Maritime Vocational instructor.
The academy declined to comment as of Saturday.
Rapid City SD Oct 10 2011 When local attorney Ken Orrock decided to start a private security company in town last year, he was rather dismayed by the city’s regulations for the profession.
There were antiquated references to companies using the word “police” on their uniforms, badges and vehicles, and no one was required to carry liability insurance for allegations of false arrest and assault, two of the most likely claims in the business.
“There are some companies out there that are driving around with unmarked vehicles with some semblance of a uniform that doesn’t identify who they represent,” said Orrock, who has owned Black Hills Patrol since May 2010. “We think our citizens should know who they are dealing with, and our law enforcement should be able to quickly identify who’s who.”
At Orrock’s prodding, the city is now in the midst of considering a series of changes to its regulations for private security companies, including requirements that all guards on patrol drive in vehicles marked “security” and wear badges or patches that identify the name of the company they work for.
The Rapid City Council voted 9-1 last week to approve the first reading of the revised ordinance, which was proposed by a task force of law enforcement officers, people in the security business and citizens. A second reading of the ordinance will be at the Oct. 17 council meeting.
Owners of security companies that participated in the task force, including Orrock, greeted the proposed changes with optimism, saying they should do a lot to improve safety both for the public and law enforcement.
“The language definitely needed to be cleaned up,” said Karen Kierstead, who owns Mountain States Security with her husband and served on the task force.
One of the most significant changes in the new ordinance, business owners agreed, is a requirement that all security companies provide proof of at least $1 million in liability insurance, including coverage of claims of false arrest and assault. Most other professions regulated by the city already are required to provide proof of insurance.
“You’re foolish if you don’t have insurance — the same way for the client,” Kierstead said. “It’s good that they’re requiring that.”
Security companies have long been regulated by the city of Rapid City, and according to the City Finance Office, more than 300 businesses or individuals held active city security licenses as of Sept. 14.
Under the current rules, both individual security guards and security businesses must be licensed by the city, a policy that will continue with the new proposal. The fees would also stay the same — $50 initially for guards, with $25 renewals, and $150 initially for companies, with $100 renewals – but the licenses would expire every 24 months, rather than every year. Private investigators will also now be required to register and undergo the requisite background check.
The proposal before the city council also lays out clearer regulations for the marking of patrol vehicles and uniforms, rules that would apply to both contract and in-house security guards.
All vehicles used for patrolling between multiple properties would have to be marked with the word “security,” and uniform badges or patches would be required to identify the name of the company the guard works for. If patches are not worn, the company name must be displayed on the front or back of the actual uniform shirt.
Kierstead said Mountain States has used marked patrol cars as a matter of policy since it was founded more than 20 years ago.
“It can be constituted as a safety issue for law enforcement so they know we’re the good guys,” Kierstead said. “If they see a Mountain States vehicle, they know what’s going on.”
The same can be said for uniforms, Orrock said.
“If there is a complaint or there is an attaboy, people will know who to do that toward,” Orrock said. “The police department won’t be stuck figuring out who these people are.”
Capt. Marty Graves of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office also served on the task force and said it is equally important that people in a crisis do not mistake security guards for police officers or sheriff’s deputies.
“It was rewritten well,” Graves said. “It cleans it up and makes it more doable for what they do today and what we do today.”
Months later, bosses tell you the investigation turned up some problems. They provide no details, just a three-word assessment: “no determination made.”
Within weeks, without explanation or recourse, in the middle of a recession, you’re fired.
That’s the situation facing at least 18 local Navy contractors who, until August, worked in fuel operations at local bases. It’s unclear how many additional contractors could be affected by the Navy’s implementation of federal homeland security requirements, but one expert said he has heard of similar situations elsewhere, also involving the Navy.
The problem seems to stem from a disconnect between various Navy commands about how to interpret the results of newly required background checks for government contractors. Unlike military members and government employees, contractors at naval installations have fewer rights when the checks uncover potentially damaging information. And they appear to have no protection from mistakes in the investigation process – meaning they might be fired based on information that’s outdated or wrong.
If that happens, they’re out of luck: The process does not allow them to appeal.
Those are some of the frustrations of out-of-work former employees of LB&B Associates who have handled fuel at local bases for years. Eighteen LB&B employees, many of them military veterans, were fired in August. Without favorable background investigations, they were told, they could no longer work on the company’s $38 million contract providing fuel to ships, aircraft and tankers in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Yorktown. Overnight, the company shed 15 percent of its local workforce.
The Maryland-based firm had no other option. A recent supplement to its contract requires it to remove all employees in positions of trust “when a favorable determination is not made.”
A spokeswoman for the Naval Supply Systems Command in San Diego, which oversees fuel operations, said the contractors’ no-determination ruling can’t be appealed. And the government won’t re-examine the results, because the contractors were terminated and no longer have LB&B sponsoring them through the background investigation process.
“They just threw us to the curb,” said Randy Zellefrow, former night shift supervisor for LB&B at the Navy’s Yorktown Fuel Terminal. “It’s like the government is this big machine with no heart. Throw us by the wayside and get some other guys. They don’t care that they’re crashing families, ruining our lives.”
The questionnaire they submitted – required for contractors this year for the first time – said background investigations are done to show “whether you are reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and loyal to the United States.” The checks can include academic, residential, achievement, performance, attendance, disciplinary, employment history, criminal history and financial and credit information.
No one told the fired workers what their background checks uncovered, or what kinds of personal problems might render them ineligible to hold so-called “positions of trust.”
They suspect that financial issues – unpaid bills, liens, bad credit – are the root of the problem. After LB&B learned in July it might lose so many employees – including the site manager of the fuel depot at Craney Island, the Navy’s largest such terminal in the continental United States – it ran credit checks on some of them.
The credit check on site manager Frank Johnson showed a judgment against him for not paying about $950 in dues to his homeowners association. Once he found out, Johnson quickly rectified the lapse – only to discover that he actually hadn’t forgotten to pay the bill. His wife tracked down a receipt. The homeowners’ association had never cashed the check.
Johnson is one of the lucky ones. Because of his position, the company kept him on and resubmitted his SF-85P – the standard federal form that serves as the basis of background investigations for contractors in positions of “public trust” or “noncritical sensitive” jobs.
The investigations conducted on Johnson and his former colleagues are different from what is required for security clearance, which involves a different level of scrutiny and allows applicants to appeal unfavorable decisions.
The closest Johnson came to losing his job was being forced to take two days of vacation recently while he waited for the re-investigation to be finished.
A 20-year Navy veteran who has worked at Craney Island for 12 years, Johnson shudders to think that one lost check might have cost him his job.
“I’m all for homeland security,” Johnson said. “But this whole process – I just don’t understand.”
James “Frank” Thomas doesn’t understand, either.
Thomas spent 10 years as an enlisted sailor handling fuel from Navy barges. Within weeks of leaving active duty, he found similar work as a fuel contractor at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek.
After 14 years on the job, and without any financial problems that he knows of, Thomas was terminated in late August. Like Johnson, his background investigation came back labeled “no determination made.”
“I feel like we’ve been blindsided,” Thomas said.
Thomas, a married father of three, doesn’t claim to have perfect credit.
“You might have a bill or two you done forgot,” he said. “Everybody has bills. If you don’t have bills, it means you’re rich.”
But Thomas refinanced the mortgage on his Virginia Beach home last year and the lender didn’t find any significant blemishes.
The Navy veteran is disgusted that the termination letter he received from LB&B said that the federal government found him “unfavorable” for the work.
“It’s like I’m bin Laden’s cousin or something,” he said. “How can I not be favorable to work on a naval installation where I served 10 years?”
Thomas can only guess what the background investigation that cost him his job turned up. But he has a theory.
A few years ago, he said, one paycheck came with a much smaller dollar amount than usual. The payroll department told him his wages had been garnisheed for nonpayment of child support.
There was just one problem – he was happily married and lived with his children.
It turned out that another man named James Thomas, also employed by LB&B, was in arrears for child support, Thomas said. He got the mix-up straightened out right away – but now he suspects the child support confusion came back to haunt him.
William Henderson, a
retired government investigator who has written two books about federal background checks and security clearance issues, thinks the Navy is wrongly applying the regulations.
Here’s how the system is supposed to work: The command that oversees contractors – in this case, Norfolk’s Fleet Logistics Center, part of Naval Supply Systems Command – has each employee fill out an 11-page SF-85P, the standard form for individuals holding positions of public trust. It submits the form to the Office of Personnel Management, which handles the background investigation.
OPM sends its results to the Department of the Navy’s Central Adjudication Facility (DONCAF), an agency within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. If OPM’s investigation comes back clean, DONCAF informs the command of a favorable determination, allowing the person to receive the necessary ID card to enter military facilities.
When an OPM background investigation finds that problems might exist for contractors in public trust positions, DONCAF returns that file to the command with a label of “no determination made.”
That’s where the involved agencies disagree about what happens next – and where the problem seems to start for the employees. None of the offices involved will take responsibility for the outcome.
Nannette Davis, a spokeswoman for the Naval Supply Systems Command’s global logistics service in San Diego, said the command considers “no determination made” to be an unfavorable result.
The command’s various branches “do not employ trained adjudicators and therefore do not have the expertise to make trustworthiness determinations,” Davis wrote in an email.
According to Ed Buice, a spokesman for NCIS, DONCAF doesn’t make a favorable or unfavorable ruling on public trust cases with potential problems. Instead, it notifies the command of issues warranting further attention by the command’s hiring authorities.
Buice said it’s up to the Navy command or its human resources department to decide whether the potential problems uncovered by the check are significant enough to deny employment, or whether the individual can be hired anyway.
“Hiring decisions are made by the command, not DONCAF,” Buice wrote in an email to The Pilot after discussing the process with the agency’s director. “There is a clear misunderstanding by anyone who indicates something different.”
Information from the Navy’s top officer seems to echo Buice’s position.
A 2008 memo from the office of Adm. Gary Roughead, then the chief of naval operations, specifies that Navy commanders – not DONCAF – have responsibility for making final decisions on whether a contractor in a public trust position who receives “no determination made” is eligible for work.
“If issues (in investigations for public trust positions) are discovered DONCAF will place a ‘no determination made’ in the (computer system) and forward the investigation to the submitting office for the commander’s final determination,” reads the instruction, dated Oct. 9, 2008.
But Davis said her bosses interpret the process differently.
“Final determinations are NOT made by NAVSUP commands,” she wrote, using the acronym for Naval Supply Systems Command. “After all attempts to upgrade a no determination made… have been exhausted, the contractor company is advised to replace the employee with a ‘no determination made’ with an employee who holds a favorably adjudicated background investigation.”
“This situation is very unfortunate,” Davis acknowledged. But ultimately, she said, it’s a company’s responsibility to terminate employees who don’t receive favorable background checks. If they don’t, they aren’t meeting the terms of the contract.
She also said that the LB&B employees are held to a higher standard than positions of “public trust.” Davis said all command positions are considered “national security sensitive” jobs, which require DONCAF’s approval.
That doesn’t square with LB&B’s website, which lists a public trust background check as a prerequisite for three fuel jobs and a grounds maintenance position in Norfolk.
It also doesn’t make sense to Henderson, who spent more than 20 years as an investigator for OPM and is the author of “Security Clearance Manual” and “Issue Mitigation Handbook,” as well as a contributor to ClearanceJobs.com. Background checks for national security sensitive jobs are handled through a different agency and require applicants to submit an SF-86, he said, not an SF-85P.
Henderson, who lives in California, said he thinks the staffs at Norfolk’s Fleet Logistics Center or San Diego’s Naval Supply Systems Command don’t understand the process or don’t want to be held accountable for deciding whether the affected LB&B employees are security risks.
“This is not the way the system was intended to work,” Henderson said. “They’re circumventing the system by not making a decision.”
He said he’s heard about Navy contractors in other states having similar issues with background checks, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for Army or Air Force contractors.
Henderson said he wouldn’t expect a company to fight too hard for its fired employees because it wants to stay in the Navy’s good graces.
“They’re not going to rock the boat,” Henderson said.
But with more than a dozen positions at local fuel terminals unfilled, LB&B still has a problem on its hands. Finding employees with favorable background checks isn’t easy.
According to Vern Stella, assistant regional fuel superintendent at LB&B, the company has been unable to fill 15 of the 18 open positions created by the mass firing. A local recruiting event attracted 100 applicants, he said. More than a dozen met the company’s standards, which included a credit check. Just three received the required “favorable” determination from government investigators.
“We’re scrambling around, trying to fill these billets,” Stella said. “Everybody we’re looking at interviewing can’t pass the credit check.”
Stella, who spent 31 years in the Navy, said the security-check process needs to be tweaked.
“It’s very hard, and we know it’s happening across the country, and we understand some portion of it,” he said. “But at least come back to the individual and say, ‘Hey, we see this blemish, what caused this blemish, and is it still there?’ More thought needs to be put into the people that they say can’t work here anymore. They were all very good people, good citizens and then, bam.”
One of the fired workers – Zellefrow, who worked in Yorktown – is certain he knows why he was labeled “unfavorable.”
Zellefrow and his wife declared bankruptcy in 2009 after a series of medical emergencies depleted their savings. Both underwent emergency surgeries, and his pregnant wife spent 31 days in the hospital before losing the baby.
Before he declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he specifically asked his lawyer whether doing so might affect his job. No, his lawyer told him, not if he didn’t handle money as part of his job.
That was not part of his duties as night shift supervisor at the Yorktown fuel terminal, where he was in charge of the control center, all fuel movements and up to eight employees.
Zellefrow, who first handled fuel for the Army as an enlisted soldier, loved the job. He worked for LB&B for seven years – in addition to a side job as a security officer at the nearby Coast Guard base in Yorktown.
The side job helped make up the $820 a month deducted from his LB&B paycheck that went to pay off his creditors. He looked forward to finally being debt-free in two and a half years.
But in August, LB&B fired him because of his “unfavorable” rating.
Zellefrow’s attorney, Philip Boardman, said firing an employee who’s declared bankruptcy is illegal.
“The code is clear,” Boardman said, citing a section of federal law: “No employers may terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against, an individual who is or has been a debtor under this title.”
The law applies to both government and private employers, Boardman said. “It does not make an exception.”
If his client doesn’t get his LB&B job back, Boardman said he would considering filing a lawsuit.
Zellefrow might not need to do that. His Coast Guard job – now his full-time gig – also required him to fill out an SF-85P in order to get a new government ID card.
He submitted it, electronically, three days before he was fired at LB&B. Last week, he got word that the application was approved.
He doesn’t understand how one agency cleared him to work as an armed security officer at a Yorktown military facility while another considers him untrustworthy of working at the fuel terminal a few hundred yards away.
“I can’t figure it out,” Zellefrow said.
Thomas can’t, either.
He hopes to land a job soon as a truck driver handling hazardous material.
Since losing his job with LB&B, Thomas obtained certification to transport hazardous materials and got a federal transportation worker credential, both issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration. Both require a fingerprint-based criminal history records check and security threat assessment.
How can he be cleared to transport hazardous materials and access port facilities across the United States, but not work at Little Creek?
“No one seems to know, or wants to give you any information,” Thomas said. “If this is something related to 9/11, that was a decade ago. This is something that should have been in place before now.”
After months of angst and questions, Zellefrow and Thomas might get some sort of explanation soon.
Responding to a request from Johnson, the Craney Island site manager, and inquiries from The Virginian-Pilot, Sen. Mark Warner has asked the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, to look into the contractors’ issue. A spokeswoman for Mabus said he hopes to have some answers in coming weeks.
Chicago IL Oct 10 2011 A woman died in an apparent suicide after plunging from an upper floor inside the Thompson Center this evening, police said.
Police were called to the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., just before 6:15 p.m., said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien.
A woman was dead on the scene after plunging from an upper floor in an apparent suicide, O’Brien said.
Chicago Fire Department emergency crews were called to the scene but did not provide any emergency medical services there, a department spokesman said.
Belmont Area detectives were conducting a death investigation following the woman’s death, O’Brien said.
A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, which manages state buildings, said she did not immediately have information on the incident.
GOSHEN IN Oct 10 2011 – Police say James Miller, a 58-year-old Goshen College professor, was killed Sunday morning at his home during a robbery attempt. The crime scene is located just off the college campus.
WSBT talked with Miller’s neighbors just hours after the attacks occurred.
“I heard these cries for help – ‘Help me! Help me!’” said Sandford Lehman.
Around 1 a.m. Lehman heard those cries coming from the area of the nearby home of Jim and Linda Miller in the 1700 block of Wildwood Court. Police say a man broke into the residence and attacked the couple.
“I was trying to determine whether it was a man or woman,” said Lehman about the cries for help. “It was just simply ‘Help me!’ numerous times and at the same time a dog was barking loudly.”
Linda was able to get away from the intruder and call 911. Two minutes later, police arrived at the home and pronounced Jim dead at the scene.
Linda had been injured. Police say she was taken to Goshen General Hospital and then transferred to Memorial Hospital. Her condition is currently unknown.
The suspect had left the scene before police arrived.
Neighbors, community caught off guard
“Usually, you know, in small town like this, things like this don’t happen,” said Kevin Yoder, who lives nearby. “So it’s usually South Bend, Chicago, places like that”
“It has just been very quiet, very nice, and then to have something like this happen…just, it’s very frightening,” said neighbor Brenda Houser.
It’s not only the neighbors who are left in shock and disbelief – the entire Goshen College campus is in mourning. Professor Miller was a very popular and well-known teacher in the biology department.
“We are a very close-knit community, so people not only knew Professor Miller…most of our students have a first name relationship with all of our professors,” said Richard Aguirre, Goshen College director of public relations. “And so Jim was known and respected and loved by students, and Jim touched the lives of countless students and faculty members here. He was responsible for primary instruction to our upper-level classes in the sciences having to do with biology, so all of our nursing students, all of the pre-med students, pre-veterinary, a lot of our health specialties would have taken classes from Jim Miller or are taking them now…so he is well known by many nurses in our area, as well as physicians, who came through Goshen College.
Statement from Goshen College’s president
“It is with profound sadness that I inform you of the death this morning of Professor James S. Miller, 58, a professor of biology at Goshen College since 1980.
“The Goshen Police Department has issued a press release to the news media reporting that as the result of a home invasion robbery, Professor Miller and his wife, Linda, were attacked early on Oct. 9. Jim died at the scene and Linda was wounded, and was being treated at a regional hospital.
“Police are conducting an investigation into the death, so we encourage all members of the campus community to cooperate fully. Police have asked anyone with information in connection with the case to please contact the Goshen Police Department at (574) 533-8661 or the Michiana Crime Stoppers at (800) 342-STOP.
“Words cannot adequately convey our grief over the enormity of this tragedy. We offer our prayers and support to the Miller and Jeschke families and we ask that you please keep them in your prayers. We also will be holding in our prayers Professor Miller’s students, colleagues, friends and alumni.
“In the coming hours we will pass along any information we receive about arrangements. We also will be contacting Professor Miller’s students about arrangements being made for his classes.
“At 8 p.m. tonight, there will be a brief time of prayer and reflection for the campus community outside the south entrance to the Science Building to give all an opportunity to grieve and to pray for our brother and friend.
“May God grant us peace.
Hometown Honda parts manager Zachary P. Michael, 31, of 2545 Pleasant Ridge Road, Marietta, was arrested Sunday on a charge of fifth-degree felony theft as part of an investigation into allegations of embezzlement and stealing from the business on Pike Street in Marietta.
Also arrested was general manager Rick A. Mattos, 42, of 215 Sturbridge Drive, Franklin, Tenn., on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business.
The scope of the alleged embezzlement and thefts is not known, but Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said more charges are anticipated after an audit by the business is completed.
The investigation began last week after it was reported that Michael had stolen several Harley-Davidson parts and given them to a family member, who was selling the items online, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
A sheriff’s detective found the parts in question on eBay, along with more than 1,000 other motorcycle parts and accessories, the release says. The detective arranged to purchase a new fender and saddlebags from the seller, and once he acquired them Sunday, an employee at Hometown Honda identified the items as coming from the store.
A search warrant was then executed at Michael’s residence.
“We recovered a large amount of items that were taken from the business,” Mincks said. “We recovered 71 at the location. Exactly how many had been taken in the past, we won’t know until we complete an audit of the company’s books.”
Michael was found to be in possession of money with serial numbers matching the bills used in the purchase, the release says.
It is not known whether the family members selling the parts online were aware they were stolen, according to the release.
During the investigation, Mattos allegedly made false statements to detectives, the release says. Mattos, who has a Tennessee address but works at Hometown Honda in Marietta, was arrested Monday morning at the business.
Mincks said the allegations against Mattos and Michael appear to be related, although he declined to go into further detail about the suspected embezzlement.
Both men were arraigned Monday in Marietta Municipal Court. Michael remains in custody at the Washington County Jail on a $5,000 bond, jail officials said. Mattos was released after posting a $1,000 bond.
An employee at Hometown Honda declined to comment on the matter.
Source:news and sentinel
Michael Leone, 30, of 5 Jay Road, Billerica, Mass., and Amy Hill, 30, of no fixed address, were arrested Friday, police said. Both were arrested on warrants for theft by deception (consolidation), a Class A felony.
The two had been working together in the scheme, police said.
On June 28 about 2:15 p.m., the Nashua Police Department received a report of a theft from a clothing store at the Pheasant Lane Mall. It was reported that two suspects had been performing fraudulent clothing returns at clothing stores in the mall and were receiving gift cards from the stores, police said.
The suspects then allegedly were selling these gift cards at pawn shops, police said.
Working together, Hill and Leone were collecting clothes, taking them into store dressing rooms and removing the tags, said Lt. Jeffrey Bukunt of the Nashua Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.
Leone and Hill were stealing from two mall stores, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister & Co., Bukunt said.
Members of the Nashua Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division furthered this investigation and were able to identify Hill and Leone as suspects in these thefts, police said.
Over the past four months, Hill and Leone each performed numerous fraudulent clothing returns and each suspect fraudulently obtained in excess of $1,500 in gift cards from these returns, police said.
A Class A felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison plus fines.
Hill and Leone each were held at the Nashua Police Department on $10,000 cash or surety bail pending their arraignments at Nashua District Court.
Suffolk County NY Oct 10 2011 County police are seeking the public’s help in identifying two men who stole nearly $10,000 from three Walmart stores in one day.
Police said two men men took $3,290 from two cash registers at the Walmart on Broadhollow Road in Farmingdale at 3:45 p.m. June 25. Less than an hour later, the men struck again stealing $3,680 from a closed cash register at the Walmart on Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia. The same two men then traveled east, taking $2,785 from a locked register at the Walmart on Route 347 in Setauket.
Police are asking for anyone with information about this crime to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS. Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
The officer said that around 11 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after finishing a shift at the maximum-security unit at the Cook County Jail, he and three friends in his car were approached by Darnell Crume, 25, and another man, who was armed, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Crume and his companion ordered the four occupants, one of whom was a 16-year-old boy, to exit the car and get on the ground, according to the Chicago Tribune. They then demanded valuables and took the officer’s gold necklace, wallet, cell phone and badge.
The officer fired shots but did not hit Crume, who fled the scene, the Tribune reports. Police later found Crume hiding under a porch. The other robber escaped, but his semi-automatic handgun was recovered.
Crume was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail in a bond hearing early Friday afternoon, according to the Sun-Times. The man was previously at the Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, where he had been serving an 11 year sentence for conspiracy to murder before being paroled on March 21.
In September, detectives with Louisiana State Police Region 2 received information about the theft. The complaint alleged 43-year-old Robert Moreau of Turkey Creek was removing store items from the shelves, then leaving with them without permission and without paying for them, according to the news release.
During the course of investigation detectives gathered evidence indicating that Moreau, who at the time of the offense was employed as the chief of police in Turkey Creek, was wearing his uniform when the offense took place. The evidence also indicated that the complaint was valid, according to the release.
An arrest warrant was issued for Moreau and state police detectives arrested him in Evangeline Parish, then transported him to Lafayette Parish for booking.
Earlier this year, Moreau had played a key role in apprehending a fugitive, Matthew Keyes, who had escaped from the custody of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office and had led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase in a stolen SUV from St. Landry Parish, through Evangeline Parish and into Rapides Parish.
Moreau chased the fugitive, reaching a speed of 105 miles per hour and ended the chase by tapping the SUV with his police vehicle, causing it to spin several times before Keyes regained control. When it was clear Moreau was going to tap his vehicle again, Keyes pulled over and Moreau apprehended him.
The investigation into Moreau’s alleged crime continued and Hammons announced Friday that additional evidence had been gathered in the case and that additional charges had been filed against Moreau.
In a news release, Hammons said the new evidence indicates that Moreau would remove items from the retail store without paying for them, then he would allegedly return the items and receive a store gift card for the cost of the item.
Using that store gift card, Moreau would allegedly purchase other items.
During a search of his home, troopers recovered moe than 7,500 rounds of ammunition, three guns, and various other items.
In addition to the original theft charges, detectives have now included unauthorized use of an access card, attempted theft, theft of firearms, and abuse of office.
Moreau remains in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. This case remains under investigation and additional charges are expected.
Jasmine Connitrah Thomas, 18, of 2017 NE 17th Terr., was charged with grand theft, the report states.
The report states that Thomas and a juvenile selected several pieces of jewelry. After several minutes, the juvenile put her items on the sales counter. Thomas picked them up and put them in a baby stroller, the report states.
The women then went into a dressing room for about 15 minutes before leaving the store. Found in the stroller were 21 pieces of jewelry valued at $455 and 11 shirts valued at $230, police reported.
It was reported by police that Thomas told officers the juvenile had nothing to do with the theft. The juvenile also said she did not steal anything.
LUTZ Fla Oct 10 2011— While shoplifting from Walmart, a woman decided she also needed a ride — so she took the store decals off a motorized shopping cart for disabled shoppers and drove away, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.
Rachel Faria didn’t get far. A deputy spotted Faria and a 13-year-old accomplice in a second motorized cart about 12:20 a.m. Thursday, riding across a dim patch of U.S. 41 less than a quarter of a mile from the store. While Faria, 35, and the teen were questioned, two Walmart employees approached and said they were searching for the stolen carts, worth $2,100 each, a Sheriff’s Office report states.
Faria “admitted to stealing the cart she was riding and telling the juvenile to take the second,” the report states. She said she stole the scooter from the Walmart at 1575 U.S. 41, “so she did not have to walk back to her bike that was parked at 7-Eleven.”
In Faria’s cart was a stolen car battery and “multiple other items” worth about $100, the report states. The juvenile has not been charged, sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Doll said.
Faria, of 20015 Valdez Lane in Lutz, was arrested and charged with retail theft, grand theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She remained Thursday at the Pasco jail in lieu of $5,300 bail.
Atlanta GA Oct 10 2011 Despite cameras, merchandise security tags, loss prevention “shoppers” and the presence of security guards, only one in 48 people who shoplift are caught, according to the National Retail Federation.
The retail industry calls the problem of shoplifting an uphill battle with more organized bands of thieves getting in on the action and reselling the stolen goods on the Internet.
According to a report by AOL’s Daily Finance site, a survey found more than half of 200 retailers representing 100,000 outlets said so-called organized shoplifting by two or more people has increased sharply and 41 percent said shoplifting by individuals also was up. That translates into a loss of $13 billion in merchandise, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention.
On the other hand, Daily Finance reports, most retailers didn’t see a change in the frequency of shoplifting by “flash mobs”, organized through social media.
On top of the shoplifting, metro Atlanta has been plagued by a rash of smash-and-grabs in recent years targeting upscale boutiques in places like Buckhead.
The smash-and-grabs at one time targeted retailers carrying high-end jeans or sunglasses. More recently, however, the thieves have targeted hair weaves at beauty supply shops. The weaves can run in the hundreds of dollars for individual packs.
The thefts leave retailers with not only the cost of replacing the stolen merchandise but also the expense of replacing shattered glass and other structural damage to their building.
WEST COVINA, Calif. Oct 10 2011 — A West Covina teacher was arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a minor, a 13-year-old female student.
Devin White, 33, is a math teacher at Walnut Grove Intermediate School.
Police said the principal got information last week about a possible relationship involving the teacher.
Investigators said they found obscene material in White’s home, and that the relationship has been going on since May.
White was arrested Thursday night. He is being held on $100,000 bail.