Mount Arlington Police Department, New Jersey
End of Watch: Sunday, October 16, 2011
Biographical InfoAge: 37
Tour of Duty: 10 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Date of Incident: October 16, 2011
Weapon Used: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Suspect Info: Charged with manslaughter
Patrolman Joseph Wargo was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a drunk driver on I-80, near exit 30, at about 1:00 am.
The vehicle the drunk driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control and crossed the median. The vehicle struck Patrolman Wargo’s patrol car head-on and pushed it into a wooded area. Patrolman Wargo was flown to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
The drunk driver was charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and several other offense.
Patrolman Wargo had served with the Mount Arlington Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife.
Agency Contact InfoActing Chief Keith Licata
Mount Arlington Police Department
520 Altenbrand Avenue
Mount Arlington, NJ 07856
Phone: (973) 398-2100
WILKES-BARRE TWP. PA Oct 16 2011– Mohegan Sun Arena officials expect to save money by using a new agency for traffic control.
The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority’s executive board on Friday signed a contract with the Pennsylvania State Constable Association Luzerne County Chapter 40 for traffic control duties.
Wilkes-Barre Township police had been providing traffic control for arena events since the venue opened 12 years ago.
Arena manager Rebecca Bonnevier said a township official told her the township was losing money by providing the service through township police and had initially requested a 25 percent increase in fees that the arena couldn’t afford. Negotiations for lower fees were unsuccessful, she said.
According to the two-year contract between the arena and Wilkes-Barre Township, which expired Aug. 31, the township was paid $18.99 for each hour an officer worked in the first year of the contract and $19.75 per hour in the second year, which reflects a 4-percent increase. Supervisors were paid an additional $1 per hour.
Mayor Carl Kuren had said police officers received only about $14.50 per hour of that amount, with the remainder going to payroll taxes and workers’ compensation insurance.
Constables, who began directing traffic for Friday night’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey game against the Springfield Falcons, will receive $18 per hour and will work as private contractors. A supervisor will receive an additional $2 per hour and an assistant supervisor will receive an additional $1 per hour, Bonnevier said.
While Bonnevier expects there to be a learning curve with the changeover, she doesn’t anticipate any traffic problems. She noted that the township had supplemented police coverage with constables.
Bonnevier said a township police officer will continue to control the traffic signal at the intersection of Highland Park Boulevard and the Interstate 81 on-ramp/off-ramp for Exit 168. She said only police officers and state constables have the authority to direct traffic on major roadways, so the board couldn’t consider having a security company provide the service.
Kansas City MO Oct 16 2011 A spokesman for Kansas City confirmed Friday that 25 city security guards have been laid off, effective at the end of this month.
They will be replaced with employees of a private security company to save money, said spokesman Dennis Gagnon.
City Hall had been using private security contractors for several years, and this latest move affects other city buildings. Many other cities are resorting to private security contractors as well.
“That’s the trend in the industry,” Gagnon said.
He did not know how much money the city would save by the move.
About two-thirds of the security employees are members of the municipal labor union and have the right to bump less senior employees from other city positions.
But that option is unavailable for non-union employees, some of whom had been with the city for decades. Those workers were told they could seek employment with the private security company.
New York NY Oct 16 2011 A retired monsignor at a Brooklyn Catholic Church who worked for the FDNY was suspended Friday after being accused of trying to prey on two minors, the Diocese of Brooklyn said.
Msgr. Thomas Brady, 78, was charged with attempting a “criminal sex act” toward two teenage boys on Thursday, according to court records.
“It’s a shock for everyone in the parish,” said Stefanie Gutierrez, the diocese spokeswoman.
The alleged incidents occurred on the same day, but at different times, Gutierrez said.
Brady had suffered several strokes over the last few years, said Gutierrez and is undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer.
She said that there was “no physical contact” between the monsignor and the teens.
“His mind just got very foggy,” she said. His mobility has also been severely reduced over the last few years due to his ill health, Gutierrez said.
Brady, who stepped down as the leader of Good Shepherd Church in 2009 after 20 years, had remained the pastor emeritus of the Marine Park Parish and lived in the church’s rectory where the alleged attacks occurred.
Brady was released after posting a $2,000 bond Friday.
He was ordained as a priest in 1959 and formerly served as an FDNY chaplain.
In a statement, Bishop Nicholas Dimerize, requested “prayers for the victims of misconduct as well as for Msgr. Brady.”
The transferred to the Staten Island District Attorney for prosecution due to the priest’s prior working relationship with Brooklyn prosecutors.
Woodbridge VA Oct 16 2011 On Oct. 11, police arrested Sanae Ballafrikh and charged her with assault and battery on a law enforcement officer after an incident at Potomac Hospital in which she reportedly attacked police officers that were trying to arrest one of her family members.
Police arrived at 10:25 p.m. to deal with a disorderly subject at Potomac Hospital who was bothering staff. As they were arresting that subject, Ballakfrikh reportedly rushed up toward the police. A security guard tried to stop her and she reportedly pushed him away.
As police began to arrest her, she then reportedly shoved one of the police officers. Police eventually gained her compliance and only minor injuries were sustained.
Ballafrikh has been charged with one count of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, another count of assault and battery, and obstruction of justice. Her court date is Nov. 22. She was released on a $5000 unsecured bond.
Syracuse Hancock Airport looks to replace police with private security to cut cost www.privateofficer.com
Syracuse, NY Oct 16 2011– A public authority recently formed to operate Syracuse Hancock Airport is wasting no time tackling its top priority — security costs that city officials say are making it hard to attract more airlines to Syracuse and are helping to keep ticket prices high.
The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, at its second meeting since its creation this summer by the state Legislature, voted 10-0 Friday to approve an agreement with the city that will give the authority the exclusive right to provide security personnel for the airport.
If the agreement is approved by the Syracuse Common Council and the Federal Aviation Administration, the authority will hire a private security firm rather than relying solely on city police, said William Fisher, the authority’s chairman.
The city-owned airport spends more than $4 million a year on security — twice, city officials say, what comparable Upstate airports pay. The reason? The city uses city police officers to patrol Hancock, while airports in Albany, Buffalo and Rochester use mostly private security guards who are paid less.
Adding to the cost is the city’s long-held practice of using officers on overtime shifts. Of the $4.1 million the city spent on airport security in the fiscal year that ended June 30, $3.4 million was for police overtime pay.
Fisher said the authority hopes to slash security costs in half. The authority will keep at least four city police officers at the airport at all times, he said.
Airlines foot the bill for security costs because they are included in the landing fees they pay to the city. By lowering the security costs, the airport could lower landing fees, making Hancock a more attractive place for airlines — especially discount airlines, Fisher said.
“Airlines go where costs are lower,” he said. “This is just about the first thing that low-cost carriers want to know — the cost per passenger.”
Hancock has been plagued by high air fares for years. Economic development officials have complained that the high cost of flying raises the cost of doing business here and makes it harder to attract new employers.
City officials say the only way to bring fares down is to attract more airlines to boost competition. City Aviation Commissioner Chris Reale said fares at Hancock are competitive with those at other Upstate airports in cases where there is more than one airline flying to the same destination, especially if one is a discount carrier. But fares at Hancock are much higher than those at other airports in routes where only one airline is flying, she said.
Delta Air Lines charges $436 for a one-way flight from Syracuse to Atlanta, a major travel hub and business destination. It charges $206 to fly to Atlanta from Rochester, where Delta must compete with AirTran Airways.
One of the major reasons the city asked the state to create a regional airport authority to take over Hancock’s operation is to avoid a potential legal battle — or at least put itself in a stronger position for such a battle — with the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association. The union contended that the city has no legal right to hire private security firms or even police officers from other departments to provide security at Hancock. The PBA has said the city’s longtime practice of using police gave them a right to those jobs.
Fisher said the state legislation that created the authority specifically gives the authority the right to provide security.
On Friday, police union President Jeff Piedmonte acknowledged that once the authority is fully in control of the airport’s operations, it could hire a private firm for at least some security. However, until the authority has reached an agreement with the city giving it that control, the union believes that police officers, though not necessarily city police officers, must be used, he said.
Piedmonte questioned the quality of a private firm’s work. Unlike police officers, private security guards cannot stop cars, issue tickets or make arrests, he said. And with only four police officers stationed at the airport — two at security checkpoints within the passenger terminal — an officer may not be immediately available to assist a private guard, he said.
“I’m concerned with security being lessened at the airport while every other airport across the country is increasing security,” he said.
Fisher said the authority plans to negotiate an agreement with the city to take over operation of the airport. But it will take time and it will have to be approved by the FAA, he said. Rather than wait, the authority and officials of Mayor Stephanie Miner’s administration decided to go forward quickly with an agreement on security personnel, he said.
Common Councilor Pat Hogan, chairman of the council’s Airport Committee, said he will vote to approve the agreement, which will go before the full council on Oct. 24.
“One of the biggest obstacles to bringing down the cost of a ticket is bringing down the security costs,” he said. “The situation is not tenable.”
As of Thursday, police had collected nearly $30,000 from local businesses, according to officer Scott Uhlman, the city’s code enforcement officer.
Past due fees date back to 2008, the year the Police Department received its new computer system.
In the past, police were more lenient, often letting merchants off without a fee for false alarms.
Now if they ignore past-due, false-alarm bills from the Police Department, business owners are taken to small claims court.
“Once we take it to court, I’d say about 90 percent of them end up paying the fee,” Uhlman said.
According to city code, the first three false alarms at each business in a calendar year are free. After that, the fourth and fifth alarm would cost $25 each.
On the business’s sixth and seventh offense, the fine increases to $50 for each incident. Above eight false alarms costs $75.
The biggest offender owed $3,800, Uhlman said.
All the false burglar alarm fines are deposited into the city’s general fund.
“The fact is some people don’t pay their fees,” Uhlman said.
The fees do not apply to fire alarms or alarms that measure temperature, smoke or humidity.
“I’m glad the Police Department is finally going after these people,” said Ron Bethany, president of the Campello Business Association. “How many warnings do you need before you realize you’re being a nuisance?”
Bethany has noticed fewer alarms going off around him lately.
“It’s a good thing. We don’t need police responding to false alarms, we need them to keep the streets of Brockton safe,” Bethany said.
City Councilor-at-large Jass Stewart agreed.
“Many cities have this type of restriction,” Stewart said. “We hate to extract fees out of companies during this downturn in the economy but at the same time, the city is strapped for resources.”
Scott Dwyer, president of the Montello Business Association, finds the collection of past fees “unfair.”
“I don’t think the fines should be enforced,” Dwyer said. “Anything can trigger a false alarm – a bird, an employee, anything. They aren’t meaningfully doing it.”
Despite the new collection procedure, the presidents of both business associations said they have not received any complaints from local businesses thusfar.
Lower Burrell PA Oct 16 2011 The fugitive who gunned down a Lower Burrell police officer on Wednesday likely ended his own life by shooting himself in the head moments before police shot him, Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth A. Bacha said.
While the final determination of the cause and manner of Charles A. Post’s death remain pending, Bacha said on Friday that the 33-year-old Lower Burrell resident with a history of run-ins with police probably fired the suicidal shot seconds before police shot him twice.
“We want to be sure before releasing that officially,” the coroner said.
After shooting and killing Patrolman Derek Kotecki in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen along Greensburg Road (Route 366) in Lower Burrell, Post sustained three gunshot wounds — one each to the head, chest and abdomen.
Kotecki, a K-9 officer and 18-year veteran of the force, died of three gunshot wounds — to the head, left arm and abdomen. Bacha ruled the manner of his death as homicide.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said he will wait until after Kotecki’s funeral on Monday to interview the other responding officers “in-depth.” For that reason, he declined to offer an update on the investigation.
“My intention is to have a complete understanding of what happened before revealing that to the press,” he said.
Bacha said he likely will conduct a coroner’s inquest, which he has done routinely in shootings involving police.
Kotecki, 40, of Lower Burrell leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Post’s criminal background
More details about Post’s criminal background in Westmoreland County have emerged.
• His criminal history in the county dates to 1997, when he was arrested in Lower Burrell for drunken driving. Court records show he was pulled over on March 15, 1997, and that a breath test revealed his blood-alcohol level was 0.13 percent.
• On March 20, 1997, Post was admitted to the state’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program and sentenced by Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. to one year of probation. That probation was extended while he finished other treatment requirements. He eventually completed his sentence on Sept. 13, 2000.
Post was convicted in April 1998 of driving with a suspended license — a summary offense — and was fined $200.
• On March 21, 2002, Post was charged with two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment and one count of disorderly conduct in connection with a bar fight at Big Al’s on Wildlife Lodge Road in Lower Burrell.
According to court records, as many as six witnesses identified Post as throwing the first punch and hitting and kicking at least two men outside the bar.
Kotecki was one of three city officers to respond to the scene, although he didn’t file the charges.
Post pleaded guilty on June 10, 2003, to two counts of simple assault and was sentenced by Judge Debra Pezze to serve 10 to 23 months in jail.
Records show that county probation and parole officers attempted to have Post returned to jail numerous times after he was paroled.
According to court records, Post tested positive for cocaine and opiates at least 16 times in 2005. The case officially was terminated on Feb. 1, 2006.
• On Jan. 24, 2006, Post pleaded guilty to a charge of fleeing police. According to court records, Lower Burrell police spotted him on June 19, 2005, and believed he was driving with a suspended license. Police attempted to pursue with lights and sirens engaged although Post sped away and eventually was charged via a summons by mail. He was fined $500 for that offense.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Oct 16 2011– The year 1974 marked the end of the Nixon Administration and the inaugural edition of People magazine.
It also represented the year a now-retired 68-year-old school aide from Great Kills began using a bogus name to bilk the Social Security Administration of almost $220,000, allege prosecutors.
Audrey Mann, of the 4200 block of Amboy Road illegally received $219,309 in Social Security disability benefits between 1974 and February of this year, said court papers.
She has also obtained benefits under her “real” Social Security number for several years, after retiring from the city Department of Education, said court papers.
A law enforcement source said the scheme recently unraveled when officials matched one of Ms. Mann’s addresses in her files to a relative’s.
Her lawyer contends it’s all a “misunderstanding” and that Ms. Mann will repay Social Security any benefits she wasn’t entitled to.
“She is legally disabled,” said attorney Mario F. Gallucci.
According to court papers, the scam’s roots trace back more than a half-century to 1959 when Ms. Mann obtained a social security number. She was 16 then.
Using a phony name under that number, the suspect began applying for Social Security disability benefits in 1974.
Over the next 37 years, Ms. Mann collected about $500 each month in illegal benefits, said the source.
The suspect deposited the cash into a bank account set up under the relative’s address, the source said.
Gallucci said his client filed claims for two injuries under her married and maiden names. Mann is her married name.
“This is a misunderstanding between Ms. Mann and Social Security disability benefits,” said Gallucci. “We are in the process of resolving the matter with the Social Security Administration. I believe it will be resolved imminently with Ms. Mann paying back the excess disability benefits she received.”
The suspect was arrested Wednesday and arraigned in Stapleton Criminal Court on felony charges of second-degree grand larceny and making a false written statement, said a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan
She was released on her own recognizance and ordered back to court on Dec. 8.
If convicted of the grand larceny count, she could face a maximum of five to 15 years in prison
Cullman police officer Roy Bates had just bought a new cell phone and he saw a number and a message he knew didn’t come from anyone he knew. The text read, “Hey I’m desperate. I don’t guess you have anything you would get rid of? Or know anyone that does?”
Another text read, “Anything U can spare! U name it! I love you please!”
Bates said the person texting was looking for meth. He played along texting back, “let me look.” What he was really doing was setting her up. “I said well I am at the Wal-mart buying some supplies. I am going to the leave here and go to another Wal-mart to buy some more,” said Bates.
The woman agreed to meet him. By this time the narcotics unit was already in route to Wal-mart. Agent Chris Thomason explains, “Once the deal was made the subject gave us 150 bucks.”
That’s when agents took 42-year-old Shanda Hyche into custody. “This one was pretty funny. We’ve never had anything like this happen,” said Thomason.
Bates said, “I thought maybe I need to change my phone number, but then I thought well come on somebody else text me. We will take you down too.”
This is by far the easiest drug bust Cullman police have ever had.
Officers say when they busted Shanda Hyche her 4-year-old was next to her in the passenger seat. She even had the boy shake the “drug dealer’s” hand.
Jamie Anthony Adames, 21, was taken into custody at 11:30 p.m. outside The Pub, 15 East Pleasant St., on charges of disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm while intoxicated, police said.
Detective Lt. Ron Young said Adames was causing a scene when asked to leave the restaurant, which he eventually did.
“He waited for an employee outside. He basically wanted to threaten him,” Young said.
When he observed the employee, Adames took out his loaded 9 mm pistol from his waistband, making threats before other employees assisted in getting the firearm away from him, Young said.
No shots were fired during the incident.
The weapon is licensed to Adames and he also has a license to carry the concealed weapon, Young said.
While he is listed as a student in an online University of Massachusetts directory, Young said he is not affilated with a local campus.
“They are alleged to have cooked the books,” Assistant Police Chief Robert Casteel said. “The substitute teacher was getting paid for days working that she didn’t actually work.”
Theressa Sanks, the bookkeeper, and Sophie Anne King-Sellers, the substitute, were charged with one count each of first-degree theft of property, a Class B felony.
“The total fraud to the school added up to thousands of dollars,” said Casteel, who added that police do not expect additional arrests for the time being.
The investigation began a few weeks ago when the school district’s central office discovered irregularities with the school’s payroll numbers. School officials began checking records and determined that King-Sellers allegedly had been drawing a paycheck for days she didn’t work. Officials also discovered apparent forgeries among payroll sheets after combing through the checks.
Sanks was placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continued. School officials said they were awaiting official charges before beginning the termination process.
“Any time we discover that an employee or anyone else is depriving our students from the scarce funds and resources that we have to educate them, we will pursue the prosecution of those employees with great vigor,” Phenix City Schools Superintendent Larry DiChiara said.
School officials will take steps to make the system “even more foolproof,” DiChiara said.
“Although it took some time to discover what we believed was happening, there was still a system in place of checks and balances that worked,” he added. “We’ll also welcome luck anytime. Sometimes luck plays a big part in catching someone before you thought you would.”
A third person also has been under investigation, DiChiara said, though it remained unclear whether charges would be filed.
The women have posted $7,500 bond each and were released from the Russell County Jail, authorities said.
Fort Lauderdale Fla Oct 16 2011 Andre Miguel Beadle, a 35-year-old security guard at a Fort Lauderdale Publix grocery store, was arrested on Wednesday after police say two women came forward saying Beadle sexually assaulted them during their first dates with the man.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, a woman came to police saying she arranged a date with Beadle after meeting him while he was working his shift at the Publix store.
Police say he picked the woman up for the dinner date a week later and then told the woman he had to stop by his apartment so he could change clothes.
When they arrived at Beadle’s apartment, the cops say Beadle became “sexually aggressive” with the woman and ended up sexually battering her before dropping her off back at her place.
While the cops were investigating that allegation, another woman came forward to police with her own story of her first date with Beadle.
The sheriff’s office says Beadle invited the woman and her 3-year-old daughter to his apartment in Tamarac for dinner.
Beadle then told the woman they had to eat in his bedroom because he had no furniture. Once in the bedroom, the sheriff’s office says Beadle “put the victim in a headlock and told her that he could snap her neck, that he has killed before and has no problem doing it again.”
Police say Beadle proceeded to pull a blanket over himself and the woman and sexually assaulted her with the 3-year-old girl in the room.
The sheriff’s office believes there may be other women who were sexually battered by Beadle, so they ask that you call BSO Special Victims Unit detectives Sandra Haye-Roberts or Eric Hendel at 954-321-4240 if you believe you were victimized by Beadle.
BSO’s Dani Moschella tells the Pulp they don’t believe Beadle is connected with the serial rapist in Palm Beach County as he doesn’t really come close to matching the composite sketch, and from a look at the circumstances between the crimes, they’re not very similar.
Beadle faces two counts of sexual assault, one count of kidnapping during the commission of a felony, and an additional charge of battery.
He’s being held in the Broward County Jail on $75,000 bond on each charge, for a total of $300,000.
Fairfax City police said Zemar Melgerai, 59, of Santa Monica, Calif., was seen at the high school around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning by a school security guard who said Melgerai was “accosting staff members and seeking to use the shower.”
Police said further investigation revealed that Melgerai is a convicted sex offender, and had been observed by several male students inside the boy’s locker room the previous day.
“We ran his information through the [National Crime Information Center] database and discovered his conviction,” Fairfax City police spokeswoman Lynn Coulter said on Thursday. Coulter would not disclose the exact nature of the conviction.
Police took Melgerai into custody and transported him to the Adult Detention Center where a warrant was obtained charging him with entering onto school property after conviction as a sex offender.
Police said Melgarai has been residing in Virginia with a relative and failed to register as a sex offender within 72 hours of entering the state, as required by law. Consequently, he was also charged with failure to register as a sex offender.
Fairfax High School Principal Dave Goldfarb issued a letter to parents and teachers at the 2,000-student school about Melgerai’s arrest.
Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman Paul Regnier said there is nothing to suggest that any student of the school was been harmed, but said security at the school will be re-evaluated.
“I understand that [Melgerai] was able to enter the school through an unlocked door that kids use to go outside to the school’s trailers,” he said. “We are reviewing the school’s safeguards and will see if there is some way to keep that door locked.”
Police said Melgerai is currently incarcerated at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where his bond has been set at $3,500. No attorney information was available.
The police department’s website now features a database where the public can search through active warrants. Visitors can search by the person’s name, the type of crime committed or by the criminal code.
Susan Morris, who’s in charge of the police department’s website, says this new tool gives investigators the additional help they need.
“In some cases that have extinguished every possible way to find this individual and when you put it on the internet, it opens many access points,” says Morris.
Visitors can log onto the Virginia Beach electronic police reports page, click on the active warrant link, agree to the terms and they will be taken to the search site.
If you recognize a person, you can click on a link that gives you different ways to safely turn them in, whether it’s by submitting an anonymous tip to the Crime Line or directly to the police department.
This is a level of protection using the online that’s a convenient way to report information.
It allows the public to take action against crime, and help police get these fugitives off the street.
Click here to go to website.
Sheboygan WI Oct 16 2011 A man convicted of retail theft nine times since 2002 — including six times in the last two years — was sentenced this week to more than two years in prison for two thefts from Sheboygan Walmart stores.
Dexter T. Love, 40, of 903 High Ave., was sentenced Monday by Judge Terence Bourke to two years and three months behind bars on misdemeanor counts of retail theft and bail jumping. Both offenses had enhancers for being a repeat offender that raised the maximum penalty from nine months to two years.
Love was convicted of bail jumping for a July 22, 2010, theft at the north-side Walmart that occurred while he had at least three other criminal cases pending, a criminal complaint said. Love removed a car stereo from its box and hid it under his clothing but was stopped by store security as he left.
The retail theft charge stemmed from Feb. 24 and 25, 2010, when Love attempted to steal laptops by removing them from the packaging and hiding them under his clothes. He was caught on camera the first time and stopped by store security the second time.
Online court records show Love has a lengthy rap sheet beginning in 1992 that includes two felony convictions for false imprisonment. Most convictions, however, have been misdemeanors, including counts of battery, theft, harassment, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.
The prior retail theft convictions include a June 2009 incident in which he was arrested for stealing a DVD player from the south-side Walmart, a complaint said. After being processed at the Police Department, he walked across the street to Pick ‘n Save and stole two bottles of vodka by stuffing them down his pants.
A majority (60 percent) of survey participants experienced a year-over-year increase in the amount of shoplifting by organized crime rings, according to the 2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey. Additionally, respondents reported increases in the frequency with which organized crime rings committed online theft/fraud (44 percent) and gift card fraud (38 percent). The organization surveyed 34 of its members to generate the results.
Shoplifting by individuals acting alone also increased for 41 percent of respondents, according to the survey. Additionally, 35 percent experienced an increase in individuals committing refund fraud and 32 percent experienced an increase in individuals committing credit card fraud.
“In reviewing the results, we were disappointed, though not surprised to see the continued rise in shoplifting by organized groups and individuals acting alone,” Lisa LaBruno, RILA’s vice president of loss prevention and legal affairs, said in a statement.
A majority (73 percent) of respondents also experienced an increase in cash and merchandise theft from internal sources.
When it comes to deterring external theft, respondents cited “customer service” (85 percent) and merchandise protection strategies (62 percent) as the most effective options. Respondents cited new hire orientation (82 percent) and internal hotlines (61 percent) as the most effective deterrents to internal theft.
The Internet is becoming an important tool for shoplifters: 61 percent of survey respondents experienced an increase in shoplifted merchandise being resold online, while zero respondents experienced a decrease in the same. Additionally, private residences and flea markets were popular venues for the resale of stolen goods, with respondents seeing an increase in each of 48 percent and 47 percent, respectively.
LaBruno said legislative action should be pursued to reduce the ease at which stolen goods are resold. “It’s concerning that retailers continue to fight an uphill battle against the resale of stolen goods online, in flea markets and other venues,” LaBruno said. “As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem of ORC.”
When it comes to loss prevention investigations, it’s no surprise that other retailers are helpful (94 percent of respondents reported receiving at least some help from their peers) while pawn shops are often not (65 percent of respondents reported receiving very little assistance from pawn shops).
When it comes to flash mobs—defined by the survey as “a large group of offenders coordinating efforts to commit large-scale theft at a single retail location at the same time”—the survey found they are more hype than a serious problem for retailers. (This is similar to the conclusion the National Retail Federation came to in early August when it issued guidelines for how retailers should handled flash mobs.) The majority of respondents (79 percent) reported no change in the frequency of flash mobs in the past year, though 21 percent did report experiencing an increase in the activity.
The survey results also address pharmacy theft, use of force by shoplifters and the use of social media as a tool for loss prevention professionals.
It’s just the latest of a multitude of metal thefts in our state.
Deputies say 28-year-old Tolby Bright stole copper from the air conditioner at the Word of Life Worship Center in Washington, as well as more than $2,500 worth of copper from Advanced Air Systems.
“Over the last several years there has been a significant increase in the number of thefts of metals especially copper,” explained Captain Kenneth Watson with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Bright has been charged with breaking in entering into a house of worship, embezzlement, larceny, and several counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.
“Frequently these cases are difficult to follow up on because the metal changes hands very quickly,” said Watson.
So why has copper become such a hot item?
“The recyclable value of copper is considerably higher than other metals such as steel, iron, and things of that nature,” Watson said.
Recent reports show the average price of scrap copper here is two to three dollars per pound and since it is easily available in things like air conditioning units, its makes it an easy target.
Bright is still on the loose but captain Watson hopes once he is arrested it will send a message out to other thieves.
“They can be arrested. This is not a crime you can always get away with,” said Watson.
If you have any information about his whereabouts, please call Beaufort County Crime Stoppers at 252-974-6400.
ARLINGTON, Va. Oct 16 2011– Two men have been charged in connection to a cooking-oil theft after Arlington County police officers caught the duo siphoning waste oil from the Ballston Common Mall last week. According to Clarendon Patch, Fa De Zheng, 36, of Oxon Hill, Md., and Ming Gang Lu, 38, of New York City, face charges of grand larceny, grand larceny with the intent to sell, possession of burglary tools and destruction of property.
Which such thefts may seem bizarre, they aren’t uncommon. As The New York Times reported in 2008:
The suspects in a growing number of grease infractions fall into a range of categories, people interviewed on the matter said, as grease theft is a crime of opportunity. They include do-it-yourself environmentalists worried about their carbon footprints, warring waste management firms trying to beat each other on the sly, and petty thieves who are profiting from the oil’s rising value on the black market.
And the problem may be getting worse.
In Arlington, the waste-oil thefts were reported by a Charlottesville-based biodiesel operation, Greenlight Biofuels, which has noticed at least six such thefts since March at sites it collects waste oil from. In an interview with Patch, Steve Blankenship, a Greenlight regional manager, said that his firm, which is losing 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of waste vegetable oil to theft per month, is working with law enforcement officials in multiple area jurisdictions.
The Washington Post notes that the Arlington arrests mark “a major breakthrough in combating an emerging form of commodity theft.”
“This has been happening for a number of years now, but in the last year, it’s really ramped up,” Blankenship told Patch. “More and more people are becoming aware of it and aware of its value. It’s a relatively new industry and therefore it’s a relatively new product.”
LOUISVILLE, KY Oct 16 2011 – The new Apple iPhone 4S went on sales in stores today, but apparently one UPS employee couldn’t wait.
Louisville Metro Police say 21-year-old Raylon Brooks was working at UPS when they conducted a random audit asking employees to take off their shoes. That’s when police say one of the new iPhone’s, valued around $650, fell out of Brooks’ shoe.
Metro police say Brooks also admitted to stealing other phones from other shipments.