Woodbridge Township NJ Jan 20 2012 A member of the Hopelawn Volunteer Fire Department died after suffering a heart attack while battling a fatal blaze.
Firefighter Bruce Turcotte, 58, was transported to JFK Medical Center in Edison where he died, according to The Star-Ledger.
Crews responded to 33 Jefferson Street in the Menlo Park Terrace section of the Woodbridge Township.
“Bruce was an outstanding fire fighter and public servant,” Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said. “He loved the fire company. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
The resident who died in the fire was found in the basement of the wood-framed home.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Kansas City KS Jan 20 2012 A third Kansas City, Kansas police officer has now admitted stealing electronics from a home while serving a search warrant.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said 34-year-old Jeffrey M. Bell pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy against civil rights. The statute makes it a crime for police to conspire to deny anyone’s civil rights.
Bell admitted stealing a Nintendo DS handheld game system with a game cartridge while conducting a search. The FBI was monitoring the house as part of a sting operation on the officers. Bell also said he took a PlayStation and some games during an earlier search.
Fellow police officers Darrell M. Forrest and Dustin Sillings pleaded guilty Tuesday to the same count.
All three are also set for sentencing June 5.
DOVER DE Jan 20 2012 — A man convicted of stabbing a security guard at a Dover nightclub Oct. 23 has been sentenced to four years in prison. He then faces deportation, according to authorities.
Francisco Pasqual Lopez, also known as Francisco Lopez Ernandez, of Dover pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to charges of felonious assault and escape. He was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court in New Philadelphia.
It is expected that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will deport Ernandez directly from prison after he serves the sentence, according to Assistant County Prosecutor Scott Deedrick. Ernandez, who is believed to be at least 30 years old, has six aliases and was in America despite being deported twice previously, Deedrick said.
The judge stated that Ernandez’ conduct warranted the maximum penalty, but she didn’t want to burden Ohio taxpayers for all of the costs associated with that sentence when he shouldn’t have been in the country anyway, Deedrick said.
Ernandez, initially known only as “Chico,” was indicted by a county grand jury on second-degree felony charges for felonious assault with a deadly weapon (a knife), felonious assault, and escape.
Deedrick said the 43-year-old security guard from New Philadelphia was stabbed once in the side. The victim suffered a punctured lung and lost much of his spleen because of the stabbing, Deedrick said Wednesday. The victim stated he remains in significant pain, which limits his activity and ability to work. The holidays were ruined for his family, he added in a written statement.
Ernandez had a reputation for being violent and forcibly had been removed from the bar on previous occasions, Deedrick said, adding that he stabbed the guard while being ejected. Dover police arrested Ernandez Oct. 23 at LaRumba nightclub and restaurant after the stabbing, reported at 1:44 a.m. He was taken to the police station, where he slipped out of his handcuffs and ran out the back door.
He was arrested by Dover police and Tuscarawas County sheriff’s deputies Oct. 28 at a residence in Goshen Township off state Route 416.
Novato CA Jan 20 2012 A 20-year-old Suisun City woman was arrested at Vintage Oaks shopping center Tuesday afternoon after a store employee reported a suspected gift card fraud in progress, Novato police said.
Officers responded to the Target store at 11:19 a.m. after a security officer reported suspicious activity during a purchase, said police Sgt. Jennifer Welch. Officers obtained a description of the suspect and contacted her in the parking lot, Welch said.
An investigation revealed that Dewana Racettajean Maxie appeared to be using pre-paid gift cards that had been recoded with credit card account information belonging to other people. The investigation also showed she had a felony warrant out for her arrest from another county.
Maxie was arrested and booked at Marin County Jail. She faces felony charges of burglary via obtaining credit by use from another person’s identification and receiving stolen property worth more than $200. She was also found to have burglary tools in her possession, a misdemeanor.
Police will continue to investigate the matter, according to a release.
HOUSTON TX Jan 20 2012 — A security guard shot a man trying to get away with a woman’s purse in northwest Houston overnight.
It happened right outside the Beltway at the Maverick game room on Cypress Creek Parkway around 1am. The security guard spotted the purse snatcher and approached him before he could leave, but when the man began to fight back, the security guard shot the suspect three times in the leg.
The suspect was transported to the hospital and is listed as stable.
CVS robber disarmed security officer -herded several employees into the office www.privateofficer.com
Redford MI Jan 20 2012 Police chased and apprehended a man suspected of taking a security officer’s handgun and detaining several employees before stealing an undetermined amount of cash from a Redford Township pharmacy Sunday.
The suspect entered the CVS Pharmacy at 8900 Telegraph shortly after 7 a.m. according to the police report, then disarmed the security officer and herded several employees into the office. One of the employees was able to call 9-1-1, before disconnecting the call, according to the police report.
Redford Township officers arrived moments later and found several employees in an office. The employees said the suspect — wearing a ski mask and armed with two handguns — fled through the main entrance.
As township officers pursued the suspect they were assisted by Dearborn Heights officers who helped trail the suspect to a yard in the 8800 block of Dale where a black hand bag containing a large amount of loose cash was found. Officers followed the suspect to Riverview where he was subdued and handcuffed.
Officers subsequently located a van registered to the suspect, and they recovered two handguns. The suspect was not identified pending arraignment.
RIDGEVILLE, SC Jan 20 2012 - Police have left their post Thursday morning outside Lieber Correctional Institute in Ridgeville, but prison officials haven’t said if the lockdown has been lifted. The prison was locked down Wednesday night after inmates started a riot inside the facility.
According to a Department of Corrections spokesman, it is believed that two correctional officers were overpowered by some inmates who were able to take away the officer’s keys and radios.
The spokesman said it is believed that one officer was let go by the inmates.
Authorities say the inmates were loose in the Ashley A Dorm of Lieber, which houses more than 200 inmates.
A source says that inmates were gassed for about an hour before riot police entered the building. Authorities say the general public is safe and not at risk.
One person was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. There is no word yet on who it was.
MONROE OH Jan 20 2012 — Two West Virginian men were arrested Wednesday on drug-related charges in the parking lot of the Premium Outlets Mall.
Around 7:30 p.m., a security guard witnessed a man hunched over inside a 1995 Ford Ranger with West Virginia plates. The guard told police just prior to hunching over, the man made a hand-to-hand transaction with another vehicle.
Monroe police identified passenger Taylor Moore, 20, of Ramage, W.Va. Moore reportedly admitted to police he’d purchased an Oxymorphone pill for $38 from a black male only identified as “Green.”
Police found a powdery substance on the truck’s floor board, which tested positive for an opium alkaloid. Moore was charged with felony drug abuse.
The driver of the vehicle, Ronnie Collins, 44, of Ottowa, W.Va. was charged with misdemeanor permitting drug abuse. Collins told police the two men were in town to pick up Moore’s girlfriend and return home.
The men are being held in Warren County Jail for a Thursday arraignment.
LEXINGTON, Ky. Jan 20 2012 (AP) – Lexington Police have charged a woman they say drove away from a liquor store, leaving her baby in a shopping cart outside.
Police charged 24-year-old Kelly Gonzales with endangering the welfare of a minor, according to WKYT-TV .
A customer found the 7-month-old girl Wednesday night and police were called. The baby had been outside for about 10 minutes in chilly weather. Authorities said Gonzales returned to the store about 45 minutes later and was arrested. The baby did not require medical attention.
The baby’s grandmother said social services took custody of all 4 of Gonzales’ children.
LOS ANGELES CA Jan 20 2012 (AP) — An investigation unfolding near the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles is playing out like a gory movie script, as police worked to identity a man whose body was found in parts over the past two days — first a head on Tuesday, then two hands and two feet on Wednesday.
On Thursday, some 100 police officers and Police Academy recruits searched seven acres of brush in the Bronson Canyon wilderness park in Hollywood to see if they could find more body parts. Officers, some on horseback, pushed through waist- and shoulder-high scrub surrounding a semi-paved hiking trail.
It would have been a perfect place to hide a body had it not been for a single curious dog, police said.
Like a scene from a David Lynch movie, a pooch being walked off-leash on the trail Tuesday afternoon tugged a plastic grocery bag from the brush about 100 yards from the park entrance gates and began playing with it.
“It shakes the bag, and out pops the head,” officer Bruce Borihanh said.
A police search the next day uncovered two hands and two feet, all apparently from the same victim.
Investigators checked fingerprints, dental records and missing persons records in an effort to identify the victim, a graying man believed to be 45 to 60 years old.
Police also checked with their counterparts in Tucson, Ariz., where a torso was found a few days ago but it’s not believed to be from the same person, Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
Whoever dumped the dismembered body parts in Bronson Canyon apparently intended to hide them, he said.
“If they wanted them to be found, they could have left them at the gate,” Smith said.
Some parts may have been scattered or eaten by wildlife, police said.
Police did not have a motive for the killing, but there was no evidence that a serial killer was at work, Smith said.
Local residents walking their dogs near the closed park had their own views.
A gang killing or a drug deal that went bad was Mark Hart’s suspicion as he walked his two pit bull mixes.
“It sounds like they kind of botched it” because the body was discovered, he added. “They probably thought if they left it there, the coyotes would get it.”
The discovery was disconcerting so near a safe and quiet neighborhood, said Renee Dake Wilson, walking her boxer-pit bull mix, Sweet Pea.
“I’m a little worried. It’s a concern to have such an event happen in your neighborhood,” she said. “But I do think it’s an isolated event.”
Campus police and security officers agree to one-year pay freeze in a new contract www.privateofficer.com
Pittsburgh PA Jan 20 2012 Campus police and security officers in the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education have agreed to a one-year pay freeze in a new three-year contract.
The board of governors for the State System today approved the pact, which also suspends some overtime pay and temporarily eliminates shift differentials. It covers 250 employees in the Security, Police, Fire Professionals of America union.
Labor-management committees will be set up to devise a new police performance evaluation form, officer training recommendations and suggestions on how campuses could share police services.
In a news release, Gary Dent, State System vice chancellor for human resources and labor relations, said, “This agreement demonstrates an understanding by the union of the tough fiscal times we are facing and the need to make significant changes in the way we operate.”
Also in the news release, Thomas Hearn, chief negotiator for the union and vice president of Local 502, said, “Although the talks were long and laborious due to the state budget, every effort was made to make a reasonable agreement that was fair to both sides.”
The agreement runs from Sept. 1, 2011 through Aug. 31, 2014. After the initial wage freeze, each July, officers will be eligible to receive wage increases of 2.25 percent.
The State System includes 14 state-owned universities, such as California, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana, and Slippery Rock in Western Pennsylvania.
Willcox AZ Jan 20 2012 Robert L. Stewart, 52, of Willcox, was suspended and subsequently resigned from his elected, but unpaid office as constable of Justice Court Precinct 4 after he pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for a class 4 felony in Cochise County Superior Court on Dec. 12.
Superior Court Presiding Judge Wallace R. Hoggatt wrote a letter to Stewart Dec. 13, which stated:
“Dec. 12, 2011, you were sentenced for a class 4 felony to which you had earlier pleaded guilty. Your crime was that you attempted to commit aggravated assault upon Bruce C. Shane by using a firearm to place him in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.”
“As a consequence of your conviction, you were placed on two years’ supervised probation by the Honorable John F. Kelliher, Jr., Judge of the Superior Court in Cochise County, Division Two. The conviction resulted from your acts of May 17, 2010, when you encountered Mr. Shane while attempting to serve process on Norman Harbolt, Jr.”
Stewart said Thursday, “I feel that this should never have gone to court. I felt threatened at the time it happened.”
“I took a plea because I didn’t want to fight it due to personal reasons. In my situation, I didn’t have a choice. I took the lesser of two evils,” he said. “Even the Constable’s Association didn’t understand how it got this far.”
Stewart said he had “no problem with the people I dealt with in court or the judges – they were very nice.”
But, as presiding judge with authority over constables in Cochise County, Hoggatt “had to do what he did. He accepted my plea and that was the end of it.”
Hoggatt said in his letter, “I believe that the only appropriate discipline to impose is one that removes you from office immediately – and probably for the remainder of your term, depending on any response you might make within the time allowed.”
Hoggatt’s reasons were as follows:
1. “Your crime shows that you cannot be trusted to represent the judicial branch of government in Cochise County. Your crime was serious not merely because it was an armed class 4 felony, but because you committed the crime while you purported to act as an officer of the judicial branch.
2. Your felony conviction means that you are no longer a qualified voter. Under Article VII, � 15, of the Arizona Constitution, “Every person elected or appointed to any elective office of trust or profit under the authority of the State, or any political division or any municipality thereof, shall be a qualified elector of the political division or municipality in which such person shall be elected. As of yesterday, you are not a qualified elector of Precinct 4 – or anywhere else in the State of Arizona.
3. Your conditions of probation state that you cannot associate with anyone you know to have a criminal record without first obtaining written approval of the probation department. A constable is likely to encounter persons with known criminal records. As a practical matter, this provision would prevent you from discharging at least some of the duties of the office.”
Hoggatt was set to review the suspension to determine if it would be permanent on Jan. 5, considering “any response you may wish to present to me,” by Jan. 4.
However, instead of a response, Stewart sent a letter of resignation to the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, dated Dec. 19. It was received and later approved by the Supervisors at their Jan. 9 meeting.
Stewart said he’d like to have continued as constable even though he was paid only $1 per year, and eventually he may have been paid.
He said the Legislature has passed a law that will make the position paid based on the amount of papers served, with a minimum salary. That is supposed to go into effect after the next election, he said.
But, Stewart said that even after his probation is over, “I wouldn’t do anything for this county anymore,” as he is distressed by the way the Sheriff’s Office handled the situation.
“Some people in law enforcement don’t believe that position (constable) should exist. They feel they are the only one’s who should do it. We have mandatory training – we are trained to do the job,” he said. “I have been constable for three years, and that’s the only confrontation I’ve had.”
LaPorte IN Jan 20 2012 A former LaPorte County police officer is under close observation at IU Health LaPorte Hospital after threatening to kill himself when police tried to arrest him on child molestation charges.
David Oldham, 42, is already facing federal child porn and evidence tampering charges, and on the state level he is charged with child exploitation. He has a hearing in May on those charges.
Tuesday afternoon, around 3:30 p.m., Michigan City Police along with deputies from the United States Marshall’s Service went to Oldham’s home on West Andrea Drive in rural LaPorte Country to arrest him on a new charge of child molestation. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Alevizos issued a warrant for Oldham’s arrest for one count of child molesting. This stems from a new accusation of child molestation by Oldham police started investigating last month.
When police first got there, Oldham wasn’t home. They started to leave, but then they saw Oldham drive up in a minivan and pull into his driveway. Officers blocked Oldham’s van in and tried to make the arrest. He stayed in his van, got very agitated and defensive, and then police saw he had a gun.
One of the officers tried to taser Oldham, but it did not work. Police say Oldham then got really upset and started waving the gun around and making threats toward police and himself. Oldham is a 17-year veteran with the LaPorte Sheriff’s Depart and was experienced in SWAT procedures and had tactical team training, so officers quickly took cover and called for backup. The Michigan City Police SWAT team, along with LaPorte County Sherriff’s office and that Indiana State Police responded to the call.
Michigan City Police Sgt. Chris Yagelski was one of the negotiators at the scene. He says Oldham continued to wave around the semi-automatic handgun.
“He made the threat to himself by use of his handgun and by waving of the gun he’s passing officers over with it,” Yagelski said. “It was quite a threat to everyone involved.”
The scene was frightening for many people living in the neighborhood. Residents WSBT talked to said the streets were lined with marked and unmarked police cars, and over a dozen officers, most of them carrying around rifles. Police would let people leave, but not come into the subdivision.
Jody Heilmann lives a few houses down from Oldham and says her two sons couldn’t come home.
“I was very nervous,” she said. “I was praying and rocking my little girl to sleep and I could see out the window. I didn’t want anything bad to happen and it looked bad.”
For four hours police tried to talk him into turning himself in. During that time Oldham used his cellphone to call friends, family and one of his attorneys.
Attorney Bryan Truitt represents Oldham in his federal case. Truitt says he talked to Oldham for 20 minutes.
“I was trying to get things stabilized,” he said. “He was very angry, very distraught over what he believes are groundless charges.”
Around 7:30 Tuesday night Truitt finally got him to surrender.
“My main focal point was that I needed him [Oldham] alive to defend him against these charges,” Truitt said.
The standoff ended after Oldham’s cell phone went dead. Yagelski say he dropped the gun and put both of his hands outside the window of his van, finally giving up peacefully.
The LaPorte County prosecutor says once Oldham has undergone a mental evaluation, he will face those new child molesting charges and will be put in jail. The judge has ordered Oldham be held without bond.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement paid employees to get drunk to test alcohol breathalyzer machine www.privateofficer.com
SARASOTA, Florida Jan 20 2012— A newspaper says Florida law enforcement officials paid for employees to get drunk to test the reliability of an alcohol breathalyzer machine.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shelled out $330 on Jim Beam whiskey and other booze in October and invited 15 employees to drink up. The point, according to the FDLE, was to test the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine, which has been under attack in the courts as inaccurate.
The employees blew into the machines at the FDLE’s Tallahassee office, then had their blood drawn and sent to a lab.
An expert at the agency pronounced the machines accurate, but others question if the test had any real scientific validity or whether it proves what it was intended to.
Montreal Canada Jan 20 2012 A retired Montreal police officer is believed to have committed suicide after he was identified as being under investigation for trying to sell the names of secret informants to the mob.
Police in Laval, north of Montreal, confirmed they were called at 9 a.m. Wednesday to the L’hôtel Châteauneuf Laval, by the side of Highway 15.
A dead man was found in a room by an employee, said Constable Nathalie Lorrain, adding that she was not authorized to give more details.
News of the investigation broke Monday that a 33-year-veteran retired officer was under investigation by the Montreal police, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP. Montreal’s police chief Marc Parent said the man was among a limited number of people who had access to a confidential list of informant names.
But it was Wednesday morning that the newspaper La Presse identified the suspect as former detective-sergeant Ian Davidson, a retired intelligence analyst.
He had been arrested last October at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau international airport as he was about to board a flight to Costa Rica, the newspaper said, adding that he was released but his passport confiscated.
Mr. Davidson lived in a two-storey detached house in the Ste-Rose district of Laval.
It was not known if he faced financial problems but provincial land records show that last August he remortgaged for $214,000 the house he co-owned with a 41-year-old woman with whom he also co-owned a 2010 Jeep Patriot.
A neighbour said police officers raided the house during the summer, hauling out several boxes.
“They nearly emptied the house,” said the neighbour, who described Mr. Davidson as being “very, very discreet.”
Mr. Davidson retired a year ago and the allegations against him surfaced four months later in a wiretapped conversation.
“It’s really an exceptional case. We’re talking about a straightforward person who seemed to have a very spotless career who, for diverse reasons, at the end of his career, decides to take this action,” Mr. Parent said.
“When something like this happens, it doesn’t just tarnish the Montreal police, it tarnishes all police forces,” Mr. Parent added.
Defence lawyer Claude Olivier, who has represented several organized-crime clients, confirmed in an e-mail that he was contacted by someone who offered to sell a list of confidential police sources to one of his clients. Mr. Olivier received an envelope with four photocopies inside but chose instead to contact police.
According to La Presse, citing unnamed police sources, investigators at one point resorted to what they called a “C-24,” a reference to Bill C-24, an amendment to the Criminal Code that gives limited justification to law-enforcement officers to commit an offence during an investigation.
In this case, the paper reported, investigators broke a window of the couple’s Jeep Patriot to seize a portable computer without a warrant.
SPRINGFIELD TWP., Ohio Jan 20 2012 – A security guard was shot at by thieves trying to steal scrap metal, police said.
Officers said as many as three people tried to rob Carthage Auto Parts on Wednesday night.
Police said one of the assailants fired a shot at the security guard, while another person tried to assault the guard with a tire iron.
The security guard fought back, and the thieves got away.
The owner of Carthage Auto Parts, Dennis Ashford, said thieves have targeted his business before looking for catalytic converters to sell.
“We’ve caught them in the past, but this time I think he was able to do a little damage to a couple of them,” Ashford said.
Ashford said the guard was not injured in the attack.
Police searched the area for an hour with K-9 officers, but no arrests were made.
Ashford issued a warning for anyone who tries to steal from the salvage yard again.
“We’d like the word to get out, finally, we’re not the easy market we were for a quite a while. We’re trying to put a stop to all the robberies we’ve had,” Ashford said.
BOSTON MA Jan 20 2012 – Police say two Puerto Rican men have been arrested at Boston’s Logan Airport after a dog sniffed cocaine in their luggage.
Officers seized more than 8 pounds of cocaine after the men arrived from Puerto Rico on Wednesday night.
The drugs have a street value of $130,000 to $150,000.
Police didn’t say what aroused suspicions. But they say the men didn’t give a credible story about their travel.
Authorities say the men agreed to a luggage search after a police dog alerted them to two suitcases.
Eighteen-year-old Adam I. Miranda and 24-year-old Luis Carraballo-Robles face a charge of trafficking more than 200 grams of cocaine.
The Suffolk County district attorney’s office says the defendants entered not guilty pleas in court Thursday. Each was detained in lieu of $200,000 cash bail.
LITTLE FALLS NJ Jan 20 2012 — A 32-year-old teacher at Passaic Valley High School has been arrested and charged with having sexual contact with a female student, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Kyle S. Daniw of Wayne was taken into custody at his home Wednesday. Daniw met the girl when she was a student in his history class during her freshman year and he began having sexual contact with her during her sophomore year, according to the prosecutor.
Daniw, who is married, is charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Daniw was being held on $40,000 bail at the Passaic County jail. He has been suspended from his teaching position.
ST Louis MO Jan 20 2012 34-year-old Eugene R. Milzark, a teacher at Fox High School in Arnold, is accused of having sexual intercourse with a student at his apartment on January 6th.
According to police, the victim’s school is part of the Fox School District in Jefferson County but “the crime allegedly occurred at the suspect’s apartment in St. Louis County.”
The age of the student was not divulged in a press release from the St. Louis County police department.
Bond for Milzark was set at $10,000 on one count of sexual contact with a student.
Police are asking that if anyone believes they have a child or know anyone else who may have been a victim of a sexual crime by Eugene Milzark to contact them at (314) 889-2341.
TULSA OKL Jan 20 2012 - A Central High School teacher has been arrested for second-degree rape.
Tulsa Police Department spokesperson Officer Jason Willingham says Maurice A. Parker was arrested Wednesday afternoon while driving down Riverside.
Willingham tells 2NEWS the 18-year-old student says she and Parker, a social studies teacher, had sex three times between Dec. 22 and Jan. 12.
The student says the sex took place at Parker’s apartment.
Willingham says Parker admitted to sex in text messages between the two.
Parker was released from the Tulsa County Jail early Thursday morning on a $25,000 bond.
Tulsa Public Schools spokesperson Chris Payne says Parker, a TPS employee since 1997, is suspended with pay and termination proceedings have begun.
Parker previously taught at Monroe Middle School.
Rexburg ID Jan 20 2012 Two Florida men who’d gone on a shopping spree using fraudulent credit cards at a string of Idaho Walmart stores were busted Friday in Rexburg.
A security worker and an associate from the electronics department in the Rexburg Wakmart recognized the men’s identities from a surveillance photo previously distributed at the store that showed the men defrauding a Walmart in Boise a few days prior.
Alejandro Perez-Castellanos, 19, and Onis Alvarez-Rodriquez, 27, were arrested in the parking lot of Walmart at 3:30 p.m. Both men face felony counts of attempted grand theft and felony grand theft by possession and are being held at the Madison County Jail with bail set at $100,000 each.
The pair of suspects had defrauded Walmart stores in Boise, Chubbuck, Blackfoot and Mountain Home prior to Rexburg. They bought merchandise and Walmart gift cards using manufactured credit cards with valid numbers on them. After their Rexburg stop, they’d planned to head to Billings, Mont., and possibly onto Washington state, where police said one suspect may have relatives.
Rexburg Police Capt. Randy Lewis said the men are Cuban, and believes they are likely part of a larger fraudulent credit card ring.
“We think they may be the runners,” Lewis said. “We believe it’s a lot bigger.”
The two walked into Walmart and headed to the electronics department where an associate left his post to tell Walmart Store Manager Mike Bullard that a suspect looked similar to the guy in surveillance photos distributed throughout the store the day prior.
“An associate came back and alerted us and said, ‘This sure looks like him. Take a look.’ Security was walking the floor and the Rexburg Police were notified,” said Bullard.
Rexburg Police had been dispatched to Walmart, which Bullard said took about 15 to 20 minutes for them to arrive.
Perez-Castellanos then attempted to purchase an ipad 2 with his fraudulent card, which was swiped and denied. The associate told him the store couldn’t help him, so the man left Walmart to join Alvarez-Rodriquez who was waiting for him in the parking lot.
“They got spooked and left in a hurry,” said Lewis.
Bullard said he saw Perez-Castellanos leave the store. “There were three cops standing out there,” he said.
Lewis arrived with other officers and spotted the silver Cadillac the men had driven and approached Alvarez-Rodriquez standing outside the vehicle.
Perez-Castellanos began walking toward Arby’s and was intercepted by Officer Chuck Kunsaitis who questioned him.
“They played dumb,” said Lewis. But when officers inspected the Cadillac, they hit the mother lode when they opened the trunk.
It was loaded with merchandise bought with the fraudulent credit cards. In total, the goods were valued at around $19,000. This included 31 Walmart gift cards valued more than $10,000, seven fraudulent visa cards, fraudulent driver licenses, eight ipad 2s valued at over $6,000 and Wii games, X-box games like Mortal Combat, Blu-ray videos and other items.
Not only were the men defrauding Walmart, but also they were defrauding many others by use of these cards.
“If you had $300,000 on your card, they’d drain that puppy,” said Lewis. “It looks like this may be a part of a fraudulent credit card ring.”
“We believe there may be other states involved.”
Bullard says Walmart is grateful for his team helping recognize the men and for the Rexburg Police department.
“The police department reacted very quickly,” he said. “This happens a lot, but it usually doesn’t work out the way it did this time.”
Clarkstown NY Jan 20 2012 A New Jersey man is accused of shoplifting $1,295 worth of watches from a Palisades Center mall department store in West Nyack and possessing a forged credit card, according to Clarkstown police.
Tarek Khalil, 21, of Cliffside Park, NJ, was arrested about 3:45 p.m. Sunday after a complaint from security staff at the Lord and Taylor store. Police said Khalil was seen taking several Michael Kors watches from a store display and putting them in a Macy’s bag.
Police said Khalil attempted to leave the store without paying for the watches and was found with five watches worth a total of $1,295. When Khalil was taken to Clarkstown police headquarters in New City he was found to have a forged credit card, police said.
Khalil was arraigned in Clarkstown Town Court and was ordered held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City on $3,500 bail pending a Jan. 20 hearing on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and second-degree possession of a forged instrument
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.Jan 20 2012 – A teacher has been arrested after police said he hit a student on her buttocks with a belt numerous times after she failed to finish an assignment Wednesday.
Virginia Beach Police said it happened around 4:30 p.m. while the Landstown High School student was staying after school for a tutoring session.
After the incident, the girl told the school nurse what happened and police were notified.
Officials said 37-year-old Michael David Shanklin, of the 2500 block of Hunters Run Trail in Virginia Beach, was charged with Abduction and Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
Shanklin is being held in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.
This case remains under investigation by the Department’s Special Victims Unit.
DC woman charged with sexual assault of son’s 13-year-old friend during sleepover www.privateofficer.com
Washington DC Jan 20 2012 Invited to spend the night playing video games at a friend’s home, the 13-year-old asked his friend’s mother to call his family first. Later, prosecutors say, the mother sexually assaulted the teen over the course of the night, her children begging her to stop from outside a closed bedroom door.
Police arrested Zakiya Gaskins, 32, of Southwest Washington, on Saturday, charging her with first-degree sexual abuse in the alleged Jan. 14 incident.
Gaskins lives in the 1500 block of First Street SW with her three young children, according to authorities. The teen had been playing at the apartment when the oldest, a 9-year-old, asked him to spend the night, according to court papers.
Earlier that day, authorities said, Gaskins had offered the teen alcohol. During a hearing Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, Darryn Robinson, a detective with the D.C. police’s youth investigations branch, testified that when the teen arrived at her apartment, she gave him a glass of fruit drink mixed with vodka. He took a sip, tasted the alcohol and refused to drink any more of it, Robinson said.
That night and the next morning, Gaskins pulled the teenager into her bedroom “between five and 10 times,” Robinson said the teen told him, her children banging on the bedroom door and “crying for their mom to let him go.”
Gaskins prevented the teen from leaving the apartment before morning, he allegedly told police.
During an initial interview with police, Gaskins denied touching the teenager. But in a follow-up interview, Robinson said that Gaskins acknowledged some “contact” with the teen, saying he “wanted” to touch her and “knew what he was doing.”
Sitting in the courtroom Wednesday with her hands and ankles shackled, Gaskins at times bowed her head and wiped away tears.
Judge Robert E. Morin ordered Gaskins to remain in the D.C. jail because of a pending case involving threats she allegedly made against a neighbor. Her attorney, Thomas L. Dybdahl of the Public Defender Service, had wanted her released to a halfway house or her mother’s house.
Dybdahl also requested a mental and psychological examination for Gaskins. A trial was set for March 5.
SAN ANTONIO TX JAN 20 2012 – A security guard involved in a shooting may have been saved by his bulletproof vest, police said. The shooting happened at the Garden Valley Mobile Home Park in the 8600 block of S. Zarzamora near IH-35.
According to police it was around midnight Thursday when the security guard confronted four men at the basketball court. He told police he was asking the men about some robberies that had occurred on the property.
The security guard told police that a fight broke out and one of the men grabbed his gun, firing one shot at him. The guard says he was able to get his gun back and fire at the suspects before they fled the scene.
The security guard’s injuries were minor because police say he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Police are searching for the four suspects.
Metro technician – police officer charged with stealing thousands of dollars in coins from Metro stations
Washington DC Jan 20 2012 A Metro technician and a police officer have been accused of systematically stealing thousands of dollars in coins from Metro stations throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. and using the money to buy Virginia Lottery tickets.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority employee, Horace Dexter McDade, 58, of Bowie and police officer John Vincent Haile, 54, of Woodbridge were charged with conspiring to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds.
They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.
The two men were arrested late Wednesday night without incident, and they will make their initial appearance Thursday in front of an Alexandria court.
“Ripping off thousands of dollars”
“Each night, the Metro put its trust – and its money – in the hands of these two defendants, and these men are accused of ripping off thousands of dollars from the Metro and local taxpayers,” said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Court records allege that McDade and Haile conspired to steal bags of coins while working together transporting the funds for Metro in a company vehicle. While making their rounds, the two men allegedly made an unscheduled stop and concealed bags of coins at an underpass near the Revenue Collection Facility, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
After finishing their work, both men allegedly returned at different times and in different vehicles to the same drop-off location to retrieve the stolen funds. Court records indicate that this alleged suspicious activity occurred several times and that Haile often switched his assignment to work directly with McDade.
“We worked closely with Metro to investigate and develop this case, and we appreciate their commitment to holding those responsible for this theft responsible,” MacBride said.
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles ordered the immediate suspension without pay for officer Haile, as he is in the process of being terminated. Technician McDade also has been suspended. The supervisor responsible for the revenue facility has also been relieved of his duties, Sarles said.
The FBI has also helped with the incident, Metro Transit Chief of Police, Michael Taborn said. An investigation was initiated in October 2011, when financial irregularities were brought to the attention of Metro’s Office of Inspector General (OIG)
“I want to say clearly that we will not tolerate theft from Metro, and employees – especially law enforcement personnel – will be held accountable,” he said.
Stolen money used on lottery tickets
Haile is accused of using the stolen funds to purchase Virginia Lottery tickets, often paying with multiple bags of coins containing $500 each.
From October through December of 2011, he allegedly paid more than $28,000 in cash and coins to purchase tickets, and bank records allegedly show unexplained cash deposits by Haile of more than $150,000 since 2008.
According to an affidavit, McDade has worked for Metro since 1979 and is currently assigned as a revenue technician, servicing Metro rail stations’ fare vending machines when they malfunction.
Haile was hired by the Metro Transit Police Department in 1997 and provides protection and security for revenue technicians as they travel throughout the Metro system transporting funds to and from the Metro Revenue Collection Facility in Alexandria.