WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Dec 11 2011
A Clayton middle school teacher was arrested Friday on suspicion of having sex with a former female student, a Walnut Creek Police Department sergeant said.
At about noon, Walnut Creek detectives and Clayton police served a search warrant and an arrest warrant at Diablo View Middle School and arrested Andrew Bruce Cottrell, who was a math and science teacher there.
The 41-year-old Walnut Creek resident allegedly gave police a full confession.
He was booked into Martinez Detention Facility on six counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, two counts of lewd acts with a victim who is 15-years or 14-years-old, and nine counts of oral copulation with a victim under 16-years-old.
Walnut Creek police said Cottrell carried on a year-long sexual relationship with a former student, a girl between 14- and 15-years-old.
Earlier this week the girl’s parents got suspicious.
“The parents did discover some information that led them to believe there was a relationship between the two and at that time they contacted the police department,” said Walnut Creek police detective Tom Cashion.
Investigators said Cottrell and the underage girl had sex numerous times at his house in Walnut Creek, and possibly even at the school.
Steve Sherman has a daughter who goes to Diablo View Middle School, but she wasn’t in Cottrell’s class.
“I’m thankful that my daughter didn’t have him,” he said Friday. “Just heard about it and it’s awful.”
Cottrell’s longtime neighbors were stunned to find out about the arrest.
“He’s a lovely guy,” said Janet Abrams, a neighbor. ”I’ve always thought he was a lovely guy and I’m shocked, absolutely shocked.”
Abrams said Cottrell is married and the couple has two little boys.
“I’m mad at Bruce, but I’m sorry for Kelly and the boys,” Abrams added.
After the arrest on campus, the school district sent out a phone message to parents explaining that children’s safety is of paramount concern to the district.
Police said they believe Cottrell only had a relationship with the one underage girl, but they would like parents to come forward if they think their child was victimized.
Cottrell was being held in jail on just under a million dollars bail.
KTVU spoke with someone at Cottrell’s home Friday night and she declined to give her name but said the situation was horrible.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Walnut Creek police at (925) 943-5844.
Union, S.C. Dec 11 2011
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year old Tyler Crawford Pitt on Thursday.
He’s charged with dissemination of obscene material to a minor. Authorities say it’s a felony offense, punishable up to ten years in prison.
7 On Your Side has learned that Pitt was a teacher at Woodruff High School where he met the victim. The attorney general’s office says Pitt had transferred to Whitmire Middle School by the time of the alleged offense.
Investigators say the incident happened on July 6, 2011. They say Pitt used Facebook to send a 14-year-old victim a nude photo of himself. The mother of the victim discovered the evidence.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Attorney’s General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Pitt’s arrest marks the 299th arrest for the Task Force.
Greenville County SC Dec 11 2011 The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is responding to the Wal-Mart located 6134 White Horse Road for a deadly stabbing.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s office is investigating a stabbing inside the Wal-Mart at the Wood Forest Bank. An argument between Lila Blandin and an unknown male broke out and then Blandin was stabbed.
38 Year-Old Lila Blandin from Simpsonville was transported to Greenville Memorial where she died from her injuries.
Deputies say the suspect is in custody, but has not been charged at this time.
The autopsy will be held on Monday.
Lake Worth Fla Dec 11 2011 A Lake Worth High School teacher has been arrested after police said he tried to set up a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old girl through an undercover agent posing as the child’s mother earlier this week.
Todd Wilson Bush, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with computer pornography and child exploitation, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Police began investigating Bush on Dec. 2, when an adult female reported to police that Bush had asked her “to locate a minor child for sex,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Detectives asked the woman – who is not named in the report – to text Bush and tell him she had a friend who could hook him up with an underage girl. That friend, in actuality, was a detective with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Bush texted with the detective, whom he thought was the mother of a 12-year-old girl, from Dec. 3 through Tuesday . During that time, he agreed to pay $120 to have the 12-year-old give him oral sex, according to the affidavit.
The encounter was supposed to happen on Wednesday in Bush’s car behind a strip mall where he and the mother and daughter were supposed to meet, the affidavit said.
But on Tuesday, Bush cancelled, saying he had changed his mind. Police subpoenaed phone records to confirm the cell phone was his, and got a search warrant for his cell phone.
Bush was arrested Friday at Lake Worth High School. According to Palm Beach County School District records, he was hired in September.
“These allegations are always disappointing,” school district spokesman Nat Harrington said Friday. “We expect our employees to abide by the code of conduct.” He said the district is going through the normal process on how to reassign Bush during the investigation.
Source:the lake worth news
MILLBRAE, Calif. Dec 11 2011 – It goes by many names — space monkey, Cali high, the choking game — and it’s a risky fad that appears to have claimed another young victim, a freshman from Mills High School in Millbrae.
Child advocates say we’re not putting any ideas into kids’ heads by doing this story — most already know about the choking game and it’s important for parents to be warned. The parents of the boy who died this past Saturday asked the I-Team to tell this story.
Phil and Elisabeth Piefer from Millbrae buried their son Friday. Dylan was just 14 years old.
“Very happy, full of life the day he died,” said Dylan’s mother, Elisabeth Piefer. “He was so happy that day, he cleaned his room up, I gave him $10 and he said, ‘Thanks mom, I love you,’ and that was the last I saw of him.”
This past Saturday, Dylan told his parents he was heading to the park to meet friends. He climbed through a hole in the fence, walked the long path to the airport property that lines Highway 101 across from SFO. Just across the water is a popular meeting place; they call it “the fort.”
Dylan was the first one there. His friends arrived to find him with a rope around his neck, attached to a tree about four feet from the ground.
“He was on his knees when they found him. There was no way that he was, you know, he could have got up,” said Dylan’s uncle, Kenny Piefer. “If his friends were there, they could have took the rope off him at least, if there was other people there with him.”
“My friend Elisabeth came flying to my house screaming that her son was found dead over here,” said family friend Christina Baugh.
San Mateo County sheriff’s investigators are working the case as a suicide, but the coroner told the family it appeared to be something else.
“That a lot of children played the choking game and that’s what it looked like it was,” said Elisabeth Piefer.
The choking game has been around for years, but it’s spreading because of online videos.
“This is like a how-to instructional video, how to do it, but be careful, don’t kill yourself ’cause then it would suck if it’s my fault,” said the narrator in of these online videos.
There are many variations — deep breaths and pressing on the chest, a headlock, using a rope, belt, bed sheet or curtain. The point is all the same — cutting oxygen to the brain.
“I want to warn you, I think you lose like several billion brain cells each time you do it,” said the video’s narrator.
The rush comes as brain cells die. The twitching that’s so common with someone who’s passed out is actually a seizure. There’s also the danger of broken bones, if no one is there to catch and a kid lands hard.
The danger of death grows exponentially when someone does this when they’re alone.
“It’s definitely not safe because you don’t have a lot of control over what you’re doing,” says adolescent therapist Jennifer Tan.
Tan works with the Bay Area Center for Adolescents, and she has treated kids who’ve experimented with the choking game.
“It’s maybe considered a safe way to experiment with a different state of mind because drugs aren’t used,” she said.
It’s difficult to track just how many kids die from the choking game; they’re often simply ruled a suicide.
While Dylan’s investigation moves forward, his classmates and teachers at Mills High are being offered grief counseling. They’ve been writing their thoughts on a banner for him.
Even on this, the most painful of days, Dylan’s parents want you to hear their story, hoping something good can come from such tragedy.
“And I have the biggest hole in my heart and I hope no other parent ever, ever has to go through this,” said Dylan’s mother. “It’s heartbreaking over something just so silly.”
Investigators are checking reports of an adult male seen heading into the trees with Dylan just before he died.
Those instructional videos are all over the Internet, in fact, parents’ groups use them to explain the warning signs, such as marks on the neck, bloodshot eyes, or persistent headaches.
Washington DC Dec 11 2011 – The nation’s 44,000 airport screeners would lose the title “officer,” their metal badges and maybe even the stripes down their pant legs under a bill sponsored by a Transportation Security Administration critic.
Called the “STRIP Act,” for “Stop TSA’s Reach In Policy Act,” the bill was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, on Thursday in response to a series of alleged strip searches by TSA officers.
The TSA denies that strip searches were conducted.
“Congress has sat idly by as the TSA strip-searches 85-year-old grandmothers in New York, pats down 3-year-olds in Chattanooga, and checks colostomy bags for explosives in Orlando. Enough is enough!,” Blackburn said in a statement. “The least we can do is end this impersonation, which is an insult to real cops.”
The bill, which has 25 co-sponsors, would prohibit airport screeners from using the title “officer” and would ban them from wearing a metal badge resembling a police badge or a uniform resembling that of a federal law enforcement officer unless they receive law enforcement training.
When the TSA was formed after the 2001 terrorist attacks, screeners wore white shirts with embroidered patches. But in 2005, the TSA reclassified screeners as “transportation security officers,” and in 2007 introduced new uniforms in an effort to professionalize the workforce and boost morale. In 2008, metal badges were added to the uniform.
At the time, the association representing federal law enforcement officers opposed the badges, saying that they would mislead the public into believing the screeners had traditional police powers. Transportation security officers are unarmed, do not have arrest powers and cannot use force, the association said.
But the association on Friday opposed the changes.
“I think it is wrong to strip away the title. It’s not the screener’s fault,” said Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. “I think the bill in Congress should focus not so much on taking away a title but in assuring that the training and experience support the title. The answer is to build upon it; don’t strip it away.”
The union representing screeners called the bill an insult.
“Every single member of Congress should be supporting federal employees, not trying to demean them,” said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
“Reps. Blackburn, (Florida Rep. John) Mica and their other cohorts in the House need to stop bullying the TSA workforce, and maybe just worry about doing their own jobs,” Gage said.
“Instead of actually helping to fight terrorism,” he said, “they are inspiring the type of unnecessary and disrespectful behavior by a few members of the public with an agenda that in fact diverts attention from securing American skies.”
BROOKVILLE, Pa. Dec 11 2011 (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Pennsylvania say a man published an obituary for his living mother in a ploy to get paid bereavement time off from work.
Relatives called The Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper in Brookville after the obit appeared to report the woman was actually alive and well. The woman herself then visited the paper.
Brookville police charged 45-year-old Scott Bennett on Tuesday with disorderly conduct.
Democrat editor Randy Bartley says he accepted the obituary in good faith after being unable to confirm the funeral arrangements at press time. He told The Derrick newspaper on Friday that the woman was very understanding.
Police Chief Ken Dworek says Bennett wrote up the memorial notice because he didn’t want to get fired for taking time off.
MANATEE FLA Dec 11 2011 – Christine Marie Dickinson walked into the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office on Dec. 1 to get a Florida ID card.
She left in handcuffs.
Dickinson, 61, who turned out to be a federal fugitive wanted since 1993 on cocaine-related charges, joined a list of more than 100 who have been arrested in the tax collector’s office since February, according to Tax Collector Ken Burton.
The arrests began when Burton hired Andrew Jacobus, a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy, in January to primarily handle increased threats against employees from irate customers, but also to enforce the federal REAL ID Act and new driver license responsibilities mandated by the state, Burton said.
Burton and others never anticipated, however, the volume of criminal activity Jacobus would unearth.
Since being hired, he has made 65 misdemeanor arrests and 37 felony arrests. He has issued 28 citations and 10 warnings, and even recovered one stolen Mercedes, Burton said.
He has also Tasered a customer in the parking lot who ran from the lobby when told he was wanted for violation of parole, Jacobus said.
Working in his green sheriff’s office uniform, Jacobus is clearly visible as he watches the activities at 819 301 Blvd. W. He is called upon when one of Burton’s 67 associates is suspicious something doesn’t add up.
Such was the case when Dickinson entered the office and approached one of Burton’s associates with everything she needed to get the ID card, including her Social Security card, birth certificate and two proofs of her new residence, said Tony Conboy III, director of current collections for the tax collector’s office.
Dickinson set off suspicion when she indicated that it had been so long since she held a driver license that she couldn’t remember anything about it, Conboy said.
“The customer had everything she needed to obtain the ID according to procedure, but the employee became concerned because of the amount of time it had been since she had possessed an ID card or driver license in any state,” Burton said.
Jacobus was called in and decided to run Dickinson’s name in Florida law enforcement databases that only he has authority to access.
“When I put in Miss Dickinson’s name, up popped this U.S. Marshal’s warrant,” Jacobus said, describing Dickinson’s photo and information listed from the U.S. Marshal’s Northern District of Florida.
As Dickinson stood in the lobby, Jacobus called a U.S. Marshal, who confirmed his agency still wanted the woman.
“We cuffed Miss Dickinson in the lobby,” Jacobus said. “She kind of held her head down. She knew what was going on. She knew her past had caught up to her.”
Jacobus has reeled in an unregistered, out-of-state sexual predator attempting to obtain a Florida ID, customers driving on suspended/revoked licenses, customers with warrants from around the state and nation, as well as arrests for title fraud and the presentation of counterfeit or fraudulent identity, driver license and immigration documents, Burton said.
“You know what, I’ve been a deputy for five years and I am still amazed at the stuff we are seeing,” Jacobus said. “I had no idea of the amount of fraudulent activity coming out of these places.”
Burton praises not only Jacobus, but the 67 associates, who, he says, have found a way to be friendly and efficient while still being on the look out for law-breakers.
“It’s all paid off big time,” Burton said.
PHOENIX AZ Dec 11 2011 — Mesa police have arrested a woman after she allegedly tried passing off a man’s ID as her own by saying she had a sex-change operation.
Police say 23-year-old Monica Christine Cole was arrested Thursday on suspicion of offering a forged instrument and committing identity theft.
The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/uziN05) says Cole tried withdrawing money from a Mesa bank branch. She allegedly gave the responding police officer a California driver’s license that listed her gender as male and claimed she had a sex change operation.
Police say Cole admitted to attempting to withdraw funds with another person’s ID and forging his signature.
The police officer noticed the age listed on the driver’s license didn’t appear correct and arrested her. Cole also had a Social Security card matching the victim’s driver’s license.
Police say Cole admitted to attempting to withdraw funds with another person’s ID and forging his signature.
CAMBRIDGE MA DEC 11 2011 — A former Massachusetts police officer suspected in a triple homicide has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas said at a news conference Friday.
Hours after the Friday evening shooting, suspect John Brosnahan, a 67-year-old retired Bedford police officer, was found dead in Boston, Leone’s office said in a statement.
“At this time, it is believed that Brosnahan fatally shot the three victims, and then fatally shot himself,” the district attorney’s office said.
Authorities said they found the victims, all of whom were related to Brosnahan, inside the former police officer’s Grove Street home in Cambridge around 6:40 p.m. Friday. It was not immediately known what Brosnahan’s relationship was with the victims, whose identities were being withheld pending notification of other family members.
About three hours after the killings, Brosnahan’s body was discovered near the Charles River in the Brighton section of Boston.
Cambridge police and state troopers assigned to Leone’s office are probing the incident, which appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.
“This is another horrific example of domestic violence, a familial incident leading to three (deaths) in that house,” Leone said.
Brosnahan’s body was found near a white Toyota Camry that authorities had been searching for, the Boston Globe reports.
Brosnahan was employed as a patrol officer with the Bedford Police Department from 1972 to 2000, according to the Globe.
An unidentified woman who arrived at the scene of the Cambridge shootings burst into tears and yelled to police, “hope you’re happy now,” the Boston Herald reports.
Neighbors said they were unaware of any past domestic incidents at the Cambridge home, according to published reports.
“Such an action, if proven to be true, does not reflect on the fine tradition of the Bedford police,” Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno told the Herald.
AUBURN, CA Dec 11 2011 - Placer County deputies arrested Andrew Charles Areshenko, 28, of Roseville after he was spotted with a “large, square bulge in the front of his pants.”
Placer County sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin said security officers at the Best Buy on Bell Road watched as Areshenko put cameras inside his jacket. At the same time security contacted the police, Areshenko went into the bathroom with the cameras, said Erwin.
Arriving deputies waited outside the bathroom for Areshenko to exit. When he did, and spotted the deputies and a canine officer, Areshenko ran into the store, ignoring deputy orders to stop, said Erwin.
Authorities pursued and soon apprehended Areshenko inside the store.
A search of Areshenko returned two Nikon Coolpix cameras stuffed in his pants, valued at $560. He was later booked at the Placer County Jail on charges of burglary, with bail set at $135,000.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. Dec 11 2011 – A state lawmaker wants to arm campus police officers at Rhode Island’s colleges and universities.
Sen. Glenford Shibley announced Friday he plans to file legislation that would allow campus police officers to carry guns.
It comes one day after a campus police officer at Virginia Tech was shot and killed. Police said the gunman took his own life.
33 people, including a Rhode Island native, were shot and killed on the campus of Virginia Tech back in 2007.
Shibley says a similar bill will be introduced in the House.
COLUMBIA, SC DEC 11 2011 - Two Loomis Fargo employees stand accused of stealing $70,000 from the armored car company according to the Columbia Police Department.
Authorities say 28-year-old Bernard Ray Fields and 23-year-old James Demetrius Brevard have been charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent and conspiracy.
Police Chief Randy Scott says the pair was supposed to deliver the money to a retail store. When the money did not arrive, law enforcement officials were called.
The money was eventually located in two halves. One half was found buried underneath a dog house on Juniper Street in Columbia while the other half was found at a house in Camden.
Fields and Brevard are being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
SUMTER, SC Dec 11 2011 – A part-time employee of the Sumter YMCA was arrested Thursday after the mother of a boy who attended the facility said the man reached up her son’s shorts and touched him in an inappropriate manner.
Darrell Jerome Josey, 55, of Wedgefield is charged with sex/lewd act, committing or attempting lewd act upon child, according to the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.
According to a Sumter Police Department incident report, the mother of the alleged victim showed up at the YMCA on Miller Road Saturday evening to pick up her child, but could not find him. After walking around the facility and checking for unlocked doors and staff members, Josey eventually greeted the woman by opening the doors of the weight room, the report stated.
According to the report, Josey told the woman that her son had a cramp in his upper thigh and he was trying to “help the boy stretch the cramp out.” Josey went on to tell the woman that he “ran the business on the weekend and looked out for the young boys,” the report stated.
Josey then asked the woman to walk back to the front of the building where she met the suspect and her, according to the report. She took custody of her son and they left the property.
The boy’s mother called police several hours later when she learned from the boy that Josey had reached up the boy’s shorts and touched him in an inappropriate manner, according to the report.
The YMCA of Sumter issued a statement to the media on Friday. In it, the organization said it has “served our community with distinction and pride as an organization committed to youth development. The safety and well-being of children in our care always has been and always will be our top priority. “
“The Sumter Police Department informed us that allegations of inappropriate contact with a minor had been made against one of our part time custodial workers. We are taking this matter very seriously. As a result of the allegations, we suspended the employee without pay immediately. After further investigation, Darrell Jerome Josey was arrested in reference to the incident.”
“The safety of all children in our care is our primary concern. Due to the nature of this incident involving a minor child, we are unable to comment further. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family involved.”
A background check on Josey revealed no previous charges.
Josey’s bond was set Friday afternoon at $25,000 surety.
Three defendants, including two police officers convicted in armored car robbery www.privateofficer.com
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Dec 11 2011 - Three defendants, including two officers, were convicted of conspiracy to rob armored car employees.
Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney, announced today that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against three men on all counts related to a conspiracy to rob employees of an armored car company that began in 2005 and culminated in the successful armed robbery of an armored car employee on Sept. 10, 2007 at a U.S. Bank in North Little Rock.
The three men included Jason Gilbert, a former officer with LRPD, Allen Clark, a former officer with the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, and Antonio “Tony” Person. Person is said to be Gilbert’s cousin.
Also, the jury found Person guilty of the armed robbery of an Arkansas Armored Car employee on Sept. 10, 2007. He was also guilty of brandishing a firearm during the robbery.
Around $400,000 was stolen at gunpoint from an armored car driver who was delivering money to U.S. Bank in NLR.
“This verdict sends a strong statement regarding our commitment to protect the people of this district from those who intend to endanger lives and steal, not only property, but also the confidence in law enforcement officers’ integrity,” stated Thyer. “Officers Gilbert and Clark took an oath to protect citizens and uphold the law. Instead, they along with others conspired to steal from an armored car company. They have been held accountable by a jury for the choice they made to ignore their oath and perpetrate crime.”
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Little Rock Police Department, and the Little Rock Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Gordon and Tricia Harris.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office
New Jersey woman arrested for manslaughter after injecting silicone in man’s penis causing death www.privateofficer.com
NEWARK, N.J. Dec 11 2011 — A New Jersey woman who police say injected a man’s penis with silicone, resulting in his death, has been charged with manslaughter.
The Essex County prosecutor’s office says 34-year-old Kasia Rivera gave 22-year-old Justin Street the injection on May 5. Such injections often are used to enlarge body parts, such as the buttocks.
Street died the day after his injection. His death was ruled a homicide following an investigation and a medical examiner’s determination he died of a silicone embolism.
Rivera also faces charges for the unauthorized practice of medicine. She was arrested Friday and is being held on $75,000 bail. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer. No telephone listing could be found for her home in East Orange.
FAIRBANKS AK Dec 11 2011 — A man who tried to steal a grocery cart full of meat from Safeway and sprayed a store employee in the face with bleach when the employee tried to prevent him from leaving has been arrested on robbery and theft charges.
Alex Trenton Beltz, 25, of Fairbanks, was attempting to leave the Bentley Mall Safeway on College Road with a grocery cart containing $235 worth of meat early Tuesday morning when store clerk Ben Nash stopped him in the foyer.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Fairbanks police, Beltz sprayed Clorox bleach in Nash’s face. Nash told police he grabbed Beltz and they both fell to the ground. He was wiping his eyes when Beltz collected some packages of meat off the ground and fled the store on foot to a waiting vehicle.
Nash got a description of the vehicle and the license plate number.
Police were then able to quickly locate the vehicle at the registered owner’s address on Charles Street. When police arrived, Beltz fled out the back door but was caught and detained by officers.
Nash, who was uninjured, identified Beltz as the one who stole the meat and sprayed bleach in his eyes. Beltz registered a breath-alcohol content of 0.342 percent on a portable breath test, more than four times the illegal limit for driving.
Beltz, who is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center, was charged with second-degree robbery, a felony, for using force when confronted by Nash. He was also charged with third-degree misdemeanor theft.
All the meat was recovered.
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
AIKEN, S.C. Dec 11 2011 — Two 18-year-old recruits getting ready to be Marines chased a couple of shoplifters at the Aiken Mall.
The Aiken Standard reports that Tura Brady and Jeremy DuMont saw a mall officer chasing two people but not keeping up around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday as they prepared for a run.
The teens sprinted after the suspects, who split up. The man DuMont was chasing dropped a bag full of stolen goods, and the recruit stopped to return the merchandise.
The man Brady was chasing got in a pickup truck. The recruit jumped in the truck bed, and the driver started swerving. Brady jumped out of the truck when it slowed down, but wrote down the license tag.
Aiken police are investigating.
Brady jokes that he was Batman and DuMont was Superman.
HIRAM, Ga. Dec 11 2011
Surveillance video from a Cobb County Target store has led to the arrests of a group on a multi-state crime spree which police say used fake checks to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“They were able to beat the check verifying system that Target has now,” Lt. Brian Acree of the Hiram Police Department said.
Investigators told Channel 2′s Ross Cavitt the group of four figured out how to print bogus checks with account numbers and amounts that passed security and let them walk out with a bunch of Christmas presents.
“They were also purchasing small amounts of merchandise and for the larger amounts they were getting gift cards, VISA gift cards that they could use anywhere,” Acree said.
Investigators believe the group learned some inside information about how Target’s check security system worked.
Surveillance video showed as a cashier tried unsuccessfully several times to get one suspect’s check through the reader, the suspect appears to give him a code to punch in, that eventually let the reader accept the check.
And soon he, and a boy described as his grandson, were headed off with a cartful.
Hiram Police stopped the group after a frantic 911 call and soon learned the store had been desperate to catch them for months.
“Target told us they’d been looking for them since August of this year. And they have scammed Target in excess of $107,000 thus far,” Acree said.
One of the four admitted to hitting 20 metro Targets and stores in four different states.
Because the crew would use small children as distractions in their crimes, police will charge them with child cruelty along with a long list of other charges.
Anthony Alan Giniewicz
Signal Hill Police Department, California
End of Watch: Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tour: 10 years
Badge # 38
Incident Date: 2/19/1985
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Paroled in 2003
Police Officer Anthony Giniewicz succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on February 19, 1985, during a shootout with three gang members at a local restaurant.
He and another officer had just gotten off duty and were eating at the restaurant with a dispatcher and Officer Giniewicz’s wife. The other officer left the restaurant to go home but as he walked to his car he was accosted at gunpoint and robbed of his badge and service weapon.
The three gang members took the officer hostage. As they walked him into the restaurant he was able to break free and called out for help. Officer Giniewicz immediately came to his assistance, and after getting a description of the suspects, went out outside. The suspects immediately opened fire on him when he came outside. He was able to return fire but was severely wounded.
He became paralyzed from the chest down as a result of his wounds and remained in poor health until passing away as a result of complications on December 7, 2011.
Officer Giniewicz had served with the Signal Hill Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his son, two stepchildren, mother, and six sisters.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief of Police Michael Langston
Signal Hill Police Department
1800 E Hill Street
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Phone: (562) 989-7200
Waldorf MD Dec 11 2011 Trying to steal from a Wal-Mart is not a great idea, but it’s an especially terrible plan when it’s “Shop With a Cop” day. 50 uniformed officers roaming around the store didn’t stop a Waldorf, Md. man from trying to steal Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 games and accessories.
Timothy Randall Clark, 22, was apprehended in the store parking lot with $635 worth of video game merchandise stuffed in his pants and sweatshirt.
“Shop With a Cop” is a national event where law enforcement officials spend time with needy or neglected children in their area, taking them on various outings including shopping sprees at popular stores.
According to the police report, Waldorf authorities were taking their kids around a local Wal-Mart, when loss prevention officers noticed a male in one of the back rooms cutting open boxes and taking items. As he headed toward the exit, Charles County Sheriff’s Office officers who were inside the store were alerted, and nabbed the would-be thief.
Clark was arrested and charged with theft.
Two former Alabaster Police Department employees sue for racial discrimination www.privateofficer.com
Alabaster Al Dec 11 2011 Two former Alabaster Police Department employees recently sued the department claiming they were fired from the agency in 2010 based on racial discrimination.
Birmingham attorney George Huddleston III filed the suit in U.S. District Court in early December on behalf of Calera residents Leonard and Rebecca Hicks. From 2006-2009, Leonard Hicks, who is black, served as an Alabaster police officer and Rebecca Hicks, who is white, served as an APD dispatcher.
According to the complaint filed by Huddleston, Alabaster Police Chief Stanley Oliver “called the plaintiffs into his office and inquired whether the plaintiffs had been involved in a personal relationship during the period of their employments with the (department). Both defendants admitted that they had, that Rebecca Wright Hicks was then pregnant and had put in for maternity leave.”
According to the complaint, Oliver then told the couple, who were engaged at the time, they had violated a department standard operating procedure barring fraternization between department employees.
Oliver then “forced” the two employees to resign at the instruction of the city attorney, read the complaint.
After the two employees resigned, they “learned that similarly situated Caucasian officers were treated differently than they had been by the defendant.” During questioning before their resignations, the two employees were submitted to “impertinent and demeaning questioning” by department and city officials, read the complaint.
The complaint alleges the APD is a “racially hostile working environment” and “racial jokes and overtly racial comments are commonplace.”
The two former employees are seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, the repayment of attorney’s fees and court costs and “all other damaged to which the plaintiff may be entitled.”
Alabaster City Attorney Jeff Brumlow said he “couldn’t give a comment on personnel issues,” and said the non-fraternization policy is an APD standard operating procedure.
OLIVE NY Dec 11 2011 – A Town of Ulster police officer was killed Friday night when he lost control of his car on Route 28 near Dubois Road in Olive, state police said.
Travis Nissen, 27, was driving a 2001 Buick west on Route 28 around 10:30 p.m. when he lost control, crossed the roadway and crashed into a utility pole. He died around 11:41 p.m. at Kingston Hospital.
“He was one of the greatest people that I ever met,” said Joe Sinagra, deputy chief for the Ulster police department. “He was one of those guys that if you can sketch out who you want for a police officer, that’s exactly who you would have.
Nissen, who lived in Shokan and was just married in August, joined the Ulster police department as a part-time officer in September 2006, becoming full-time in December 2007.
He had been working as a school resource officer at the Miller School since being assigned there in October 2008.
At the school Nissen not only provided security, said Sinagra. He also became a mentor to many students, he said.
“It’s so important to foster those kinds of relationships, and he was a natural at it,” Sinagra said.