Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii
End of Watch: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 3018
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 1/21/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available
Officer Garret Davis was killed in an automobile accident when his patrol car was rear-ended on H-1, near the Kaonohi Street overpass, at approximately 8:20 pm.
He had stopped his marked patrol car behind a stalled vehicle on the left shoulder. Before he was able to exit his car it was struck from behind by another vehicle and burst into flames.
Officer Davis suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Two civilians were also injured in the crash.
Officer Davis had served with the Honolulu Police Department for three years.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief Louis Kealoha
Honolulu Police Department
801 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 529-3111
Chicago IL Jan 23 2012 A Chicago Police Department Commander serving on the city’s Southwest Side died of a heart attack Saturday night, according to a release from the department.
Cmdr. John Kupczyk was in charge of the large Chicago Lawn District, which covers such neighborhoods as Marquette Park, Gage Park and surrounds Midway Airport.
“Commander (John) Kupczyk proudly served the Chicago Police Department for 28 years, and he exemplified excellent leadership and the utmost professionalism while working each and every day to preserve the safety and well-being of the communities in which he served,” Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement released by the department Saturday night.
Before being promoted to the rank of commander, Kupczyk was a captain in the Harrison police district on the West Side.
As a lieutenant, he helped coordinate a drug bust in 1999 that netted 114 gallons of gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, a cheap and euphoric drug.
During an interview last month with the Tribune, McCarthy praised Kupczyk, noting that his Chicago Lawn District showed a significant improvement in its 2011 crime numbers, compared to 2010. The district in 2011 was down about 40 shootings from the previous year, according to McCarthy.
“That’s outstanding,” he said in the Dec. 28 interview about end-of-the-year crime statistics.
McCarthy that day said Kupczyk embraced the superintendent’s CompStat strategy, which stresses the need for resources to be in the hands of district commanders with the expectation that they will be able to use them as effective crime-fighting tools within the neighborhoods they oversee.
“The (Chicago Lawn) District has done an outstanding job this year,” McCarthy said during the interview. “You know, John Kupczyk is one of those guys who took to CompStat and is just knocking it out of the park.”
McCarthy continued: “It’s the biggest district…It’s got the highest population and it has the most reported crime. So, here’s an example where one district can make a difference in the citywide numbers.”
“(Kupczyk’s) down 39 (shootings) for the year. That’s enormous.”
Kupczyk’s family released this statement through the police department’s News Affairs office:
“On behalf of the family of Commander John Kupczyk, we wish to thank everyone for their condolences and prayers during this difficult time. John was a loving father, husband and brother. John was a proud member of the Chicago Police Department family and dedicated his career to serving the community he loved, as well as protecting the City of Chicago. He will be greatly missed. “
WTVR-TV reports 35-year-old LaToya Wilson was arrested Friday on felony charges of obtaining money by false pretense.
Police say the alleged thefts occurred between January 2008 and March 2011 while Wilson worked for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
She faces a hearing in Dinwiddie County Circuit Court on Feb. 21.
Richmond VA Jan 23 2012 Authorities late last night captured a woman wanted in the slaying more than three years ago of a pregnant woman who was shot, burned and stabbed in Henrico County.
Members of the Richmond area’s U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, along with Henrico and Chesterfield County police, captured Kayla C. Armstrong about 11:30 p.m. hiding in a closet in a home in Chesterfield County.
Armstrong, 28, was indicted in October on a charge of first-degree murder in December 2008 death of her long-time rival, Keiona Cecilia Tiree Braxton, 26. Braxton was three months pregnant.
Her body was discovered by firefighters who responded at 6:40 a.m. to a blaze at Braxton’s apartment on Dec. 31, 2008, in the 5700 block of Crenshaw Road near Chamberlayne Avenue.
The state medical examiner’s office has concluded that Braxton died from gunshot wounds to her arm and stomach.
Armstrong, 28, apparently abandoned her young child and left her South Richmond home empty before disappearing from the area soon after she was indicted.
Armstrong, a former Virginia State University student, had been charged days before Braxton’s death with assaulting her and vandalism. Armstrong spent six months in jail before being acquitted in a case filled with conflicting evidence.
In 2006, Armstrong was convicted of the unlawful wounding of Braxton, leaving head injuries from multiple stab wounds. Braxton sought a protective order a year later, alleging that Armstrong was “going to kill me.”
Apple Valley MN Jan 23 2012 A woman living in Apple Valley faces three drug-related charges after police say they allegedly saw her accept a package of cocaine delivered to her home and found drugs and paraphernalia in the residence.
Elizabeth Laine Sanchez, 33, is charged with second-degree and fifth-degree controlled substance crimes, both felonies, and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
The maximum penalty for the combined charges is 30 years in prison and a $510,300 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 18, Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport police found what they believed was a suspicious package, and upon opening it and testing the materials inside found it contained 17.6 grams of cocaine.
Dakota County Drug Task Force officers delivered the package to the apartment of the addressee, Sanchez, the complaint says.
Officers executed a search warrant on the apartment, the complaint says, and allegedly found Sanchez and another woman inside, and the package open, though they did not find the 17.6 grams of cocaine.
According to the complaint, they also found: a scale, three spoons, a drug pipe and a plastic bag with traces of a controlled substance on them; pills in an unmarked bottle and in a bag; syringes; other drug paraphernalia.
Initial tests showed .53 grams of cocaine was on one of the spoons, the complaint says.
The second woman told police she was not involved with the package Sanchez received, the complaint says.
Sanchez was no longer being held as of Saturday, according to Dakota County Jail records.
Springfield OH Jan 23 2012 Police say security video from Player’s Club Internet Cafe on South Limestone Street shows a 27-year-old employee being assaulted by a 35-year-old male security guard about 1:45 a.m. Friday.
The video shows the man choking the woman until she went to the ground then punching her in the face after she got back up, according to the report. He then punched a customer in the face before getting into a car and leaving, police say.
The woman told police she fired him prior to the assault. A warrant was requested for his arrest.
Springfield OH Jan 23 2012 Cynthia Sparks, 47, of 700 N. Burnett Road, and Connie Elegeer, 40, of Renoldsburg, were arrested Friday before 7 p.m. for stealing almost $600 worth of items from the Best Buy at 1709 N. Bechtle Ave. in a week, according to a police report.
The duo were seen taking 19 CDs valued at almost $200 into the restroom, and then left without them. After they left, the CD cases were found in the trash can. Police located them later in different parts of the store and found the CDs in Sparks’ pants.
The two were also responsible for two other thefts on Thursday and Jan. 15 — 10 CDs worth $146 and 15 CDs and video games worth $242.
Sparks and Elegeer were arrested and charged with three counts of theft. They were processed at Clark County Jail and ordered into court.
Source:Sprinfield News Sun
Palo Alto CA Jan 23 2012 Police offers arrested a man Thursday morning after he was caught inside someone else’s car at the Stanford Shopping Center.
Roger Khanna, 24, of San Jose, was cited for tampering with a vehicle and released at the scene, according to police.
At approximately 11 a.m., a shopper contacted a security guard at the mall to report a man looking into vehicles in the parking lot just west of El Camino Real. The security guard spotted Khanna sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car, but when the guard approached Khanna to speak with him, Khanna fled towards El Camino, police stated in a press release Saturday.
Officers stopped Khanna across the street. The owner of the parked vehicle arrived and told the police that no one should have been inside her unlocked vehicle.
The Palo Alto Police Department is asking residents to lock their homes and vehicles, secure their property and report suspicious people and activity to 911 immediately. A great deal of crime is solved by information provided by residents, according to police.
MetroHealth System’s security force acted as police officers illegally for six years www.privateofficer.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio Jan 23 2012– From 2005 to 2010, the MetroHealth System’s police department regularly arrested and detained people — even though it lacked the legal authority to do so.
MetroHealth security personnel wear uniforms, carry guns, drive zone cars and have access to holding cells that are near the main hospital’s emergency department.
The health system calls its four dispatchers and nearly 60 state-trained peace officers and security guards “a full-service police department.”
But they are not police. The department lost its power to arrest and detain people when the city amended an ordinance granting that right in 2004.
MetroHealth’s new security director, Randall White, who was hired this month, said Friday that the department thought it was still a police force because the city continued to issue its guards private police commission identification until 2011.
It is unclear whether the city notified MetroHealth guards and other security guards in the city of the changed authority when the ordinance was amended.
Cleveland Public Safety Director Martin Flask said he began looking into the rights of all armed security guards in the city in late 2010 and notified the health system last January that it would be in violation of city law if its security guards arrested and detained people.
MetroHealth board members were alerted to the issue in a meeting last September when Michael Grace, the senior administrative director of support services, told the board, “We’ve been operating thinking that we still had the ability to act as police.”
A sampling of Cleveland police incident reports obtained by The Plain Dealer reveals that in some three dozen documented incidents between 2005 and 2010 MetroHealth’s security guards acted as police: They handcuffed people and placed them in holding cells, read them their Miranda rights, patted them down, searched vehicles, placed people under arrest, and collected statements from victims and witnesses. In many cases, the reports note, officers from the Cleveland Police Department were called only after the offenders were in a holding cell.
In some reports, Cleveland police even refer to MetroHealth security guards as police officers.
A November 2010 Cleveland police incident report, for example, says that officers were “met by reporting person (Scott Dillon) who is employed at MetroHealth as a police officer.” A document provided by MetroHealth lists Dillon as an employee commissioned by the city of Cleveland to work as an armed security guard.
The report goes on to detail that Dillon “stated he placed arrested male in handcuffs and conducted a pat down search for officer safety.” Dillon then read the male, who was found in a trash bin near the MetroHealth main campus’s powerhouse, his Miranda rights, according to the report. The suspect’s charges included criminal trespass and petty theft.
No one on MetroHealth’s security force had legislative authority to detain or arrest individuals at the time. And they did not have authority to enforce parking or ticket violations, as Flask reminded MetroHealth leaders in a Sept. 21, 2011 letter.
To act as police, hospital security departments need state certification. MetroHealth officials said last fall they were going to seek that certification. They have not done so yet.
Flask, who is a former chief of police in Cleveland, also told the health system leaders that once they have certification, they need approval from the chief of police to act as police officers. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said he supports MetroHealth’s efforts to become a certified police force.
Before 2004, MetroHealth did not need state certification because it had authority through a city ordinance.
MetroHealth spokeswoman Phyllis Marino confirmed in an email last week that the hospital’s security department had detained people when it lacked city authorization. She stated, “We operated under the authority we thought we had until notified otherwise by the city.”
MetroHealth leaders have said the safety-net health system’s employees stopped arresting suspects when the hospital was notified by the city. On Friday, White and Marino were not certain if the hospital stopped its police activity in January 2011 or September 2011. Marino noted in her email that the department can detain people in certain situations, such as when a felony is being committed.
Cleveland spokeswoman Andrea Taylor said of the hospital’s prior police actions in an email this month that the city “is not aware of MetroHealth’s security force detaining and arresting people without authority and has received no complaints concerning this type of conduct.”
Cleveland’s interim Law Director Barbara A. Langhenry said one of the reasons city officials are encouraging MetroHealth to organize as a special police force under the Ohio Revised Code is “so they clearly have the right to hold people.” In addition, a certified force would be able to make misdemeanor as well as felony arrests and write traffic tickets.
In October, The Plain Dealer reported that members of MetroHealth’s security force wrote more than 2,000 parking tickets, representing close to $74,000 in fines, after a memorandum of understanding that allowed them to cite parking violators expired in 2009. Money from the tickets, if paid, went to the city.
Robert Fiatal, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission, said the importance of state certification is that it ensures there is oversight of a force. All state-certified forces must submit their rosters annually to the agency and any new hires or terminations must be reported. The Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission then checks the certification and training of individuals on the force, Fiatal said.
Ohio’s peace officers also are expected to receive continuing professional training annually.
Cuyahoga County has 73 certified police departments, including a handful of special forces such as those at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, KeyBank and John Carroll University, according to the training commission.
Summa Health System in Summit County recently completed an 18-month process to receive state police certification. Summa, with 100 security department employees, also now has protocol agreements with the city of Akron to act as police.
Summa Chief of Protective Services Dave Davis said that before its final certification last month, “our process was basically observing, following and calling the police department.” If a suspect tried to get away, he said, security officers would “maybe follow those suspects but never put [their] hands on them.”
The hospital depended on Akron police to respond quickly. Summa doesn’t have any holding cells, Davis said.
Because MetroHealth’s security force is a private, proprietary department with officers who are employees of the hospital and no jurisdiction designated by the city, there is no city or state regulatory oversight of its operations, said Earl Mack, a deputy director for the Ohio Department of Public Safety investigative unit.
Any investigations into misconduct or how the department handled an incident would be “strictly the responsibility of the hospital,” Mack said.
In most case reports, MetroHealth’s guards detail handling dangerous situations: people carrying knives, guns or drugs onto the hospital property. In other situations, they report catching offenders stealing property or intervening in an assault.
Cleveland’s Taylor said that MetroHealth’s guards can legally make a felony arrest because Ohio’s code allows for “any person without a warrant” to arrest someone when a felony has been committed or there are reasonable grounds to believe a felony has been committed.
It is largely unclear from the Cleveland police incident reports if the detentions and arrests by MetroHealth’s security guards were for misdemeanor or felony offenses.
But on June 8, 2008, an incident report states clearly that a person was issued a “minor misdemeanor citation.” In that case, the report states, a MetroHealth guard found marijuana while taking inventory of a suspect’s clothes while that person was being treated for a gunshot wound.
In Ohio, the distinction between felony and misdemeanor isn’t always clear on the scene. That designation is often made by a prosecutor after a suspect has been arrested, said Terry Gilbert, a local civil rights lawyer who does not work for the city or MetroHealth.
After hearing about the health system’s lack of certification, Gilbert said there are “serious questions raised when a group of security officers are exercising police powers when the agency that they work for is not certified.”
“If these uncertified agencies who are glorified security guards are acting like police . . . where does the victim go for redress and who is accountable?” Gilbert asked.
Public Safety Director Flask began looking into MetroHealth’s policing status — and the legal authority of all armed security guards in the city — in the fall of 2010, after receiving a phone call from someone inside the hospital’s security department asking, he said, “about the legality of MetroHealth Medical Center’s security making misdemeanor arrests.”
Flask then asked the city’s law department to research whether armed security guards — not just those employed by MetroHealth — had the authority.
After learning they did not, Flask sent a letter in early January 2011 to all armed security guards in the city “to ensure the guards clearly understood the limits of their authority” and informing them that they could not detain individuals or make misdemeanor arrests.
Before 2011, the city of Cleveland had been issuing individual ID cards to MetroHealth’s guards that read “private police commission” at a cost to them of $85 annually. In 2011, the city changed the wording on the card to read “armed security guard.”
Flask met with Thomas Miller, who at the time was director of MetroHealth’s security department, “to explain the law department opinion and to remind them that their employees do not have misdemeanor arrest authority,” according to the city.
“If there was any lack of clarity or lack of understanding, that certainly was conveyed to them on Jan. 20, 2011,” Flask said.
Miller said that after that meeting, he asked MetroHealth’s leaders to consider obtaining state certification. Miller left the health system in October.
White took over as director of MetroHealth’s protective services this month. He is the former director of corporate security for the Cleveland Clinic, which has a state-certified police force with 135 full-time officers, according to state records.
MetroHealth said last week that it is still planning to apply for state certification. Marino wrote in an email that the security department does not lack any elements or skills to become certified.
Back in September, MetroHealth’s Grace described the need to obtain department certification as urgent.
“Every week here, we’ve been lucky . . . ” Grace told board members during that September meeting.
“You know, most victims of violence come to MetroHealth emergency and when they arrive, their families arrive. And the tension between the two parties sometimes gets out of control,” Grace added. “So, it’s very important that we have the ability to act as police officers.”
Wicomico County, Maryland high school teacher arrested for sexually abusing student www.privateofficer.com
Wicomico County MD Jan 23 2012 A Wicomico County, Maryland high school teacher and head volleyball coach is free today on $50,000 bail following his arrest Thursday for accusations that he sexually abused a student.
43-year-old Steven Kiggins of Hebron is charged with assault and sexual offense for alleged sexual contact with a female student both on- and off-school grounds for a two-year period which started in December 2008.
A preliminary hearing for Kiggins is scheduled for February 16.
Woodstock North High School teacher charged after having sex with 14 yr old student www.privateofficer.com
WOODSTOCK IL Jan 23 2012 – A Woodstock North High School teacher and wrestling coach has been charged after police said he had sex with a 14-year-old student – at least once at the school.
James B. Guttridge, 38, of 8010 Stater Drive, Rockford, was arrested Friday at his home after what Woodstock police said was an extensive investigation that included cooperation from School District 200 and Woodstock North High School officials.
District Superintendent Ellyn Wrzeski said Guttridge, who taught physical education and was hired in 2000, has been on paid administrative leave since the district learned of the allegations in October. School officials, who are conducting an internal investigation as well, immediately reported the allegations to Woodstock police and the Department of Children and Family Services, she said.
“District 200 has refrained from taking any additional action against him in deference to the pending criminal investigation,” Wrzeski said.
According to the criminal complaint, Guttridge had sex with the girl on April 15, 2009, at Woodstock North High School. He also is accused of touching the girl’s breast on April 7, 2009.
Guttridge is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He is being held at McHenry County Jail on $80,000 bond.
A woman who answered at a phone number listed on the criminal complaint for Guttridge declined to comment.
Sgt. Chip Amati of the Woodstock Police Department said the victim, who still is a student, came forward to police.
“At 14, she can’t consent,” Amati said. “At 14, and him being 38, there is no relationship. That can’t even be considered or entertained as a relationship.”
Amati said no one else has come forward with any allegations.
This is the second teacher at Woodstock North High School in less than a year to have been accused of having inappropriate contact with a student. In late June, Joseph Brasile, 49, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to one year of supervision plus 50 hours of community service.
According to the criminal complaint, Brasile wrote a letter to a 15-year-old female student “inquiring about her thoughts of engaging into a more meaningful relationship with him while displaying his strong feelings he had developed for her.”
There was no physical interaction in that incident, police said.
District 200 recently updated its policy regarding employee suspension, but Director of Community Services Barb Banker has said the change was not prompted by any specific incident.
Under the policy revisions, employees may be suspended with pay for up to 30 days during any board investigation of misconduct.
The district will retain the right to suspend an employee with pay for a longer period of time when a more serious disciplinary action, such as a termination, is pending, the policy states.
The board is slated to give its final approval to the policy changes Tuesday night.
Guttridge’s next scheduled court date is Feb. 6.
The investigation is ongoing, and Woodstock police encourage anyone with more information to contact the investigations division at 815-338-2131.
Three Philadelphia men arrested and charged with murder in brutal attack on man near Liberty Bell www.privateofficer.com
PHILADELPHIA PA Jan 23 2012 — Three men were arrested and charged with murder in the fatal beating of a man who had been trying to hail a cab after leaving a bar just a few blocks from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia’s historic district, police said.
Investigators said that the three suspects — Steven Ferguson, 20; Kenneth Santiago, 19; and Felix Carrillo, 23, all of Philadelphia — are charged in the killing of 23-year-old Kevin Kless last weekend.
Police say Kless had been yelling at a cab when three men got out of a car nearby and started kicking and punching him. Authorities say the men may have thought Kless was yelling at them, sparking the confrontation in which Kless fell to the sidewalk severely injured. He later died at a hospital.
The case had been cold for days as police searched for leads. Homicide Capt. James Clark said at a news conference late Friday that the break came after police got a tip, and that authorities are positive they have the men responsible. The men are in custody and it was not immediately known if they had obtained attorneys.
“It’s just a senseless, tragic incident,” Clark said at police headquarters. “We are 100 percent sure we have the right three individuals.”
The attack took place near the historic Second Bank of the United States, not far from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, in an area that is home to many bars and restaurants that are popular hangouts for young adults.
Rewards totaling $20,000 were offered in the killing, which happened as Kless tried to stop a cab a few blocks from Lucy’s Hat Shop, a bar that he and his friends had just left.
Kless, a May 2010 graduate of Temple University who had studied risk management, had recently returned to the city to work at an insurance firm after spending time working in Harrisburg. The youngest of three brothers, he grew up in Warwick, N.Y., and spent his whole life there before going to college in Philadelphia, according to his mother.
Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who commended detectives for the arrests, said Kless’ family was told of the arrests.
“They will never truly have closure,” Ross said.
MONTGOMERY, Alabama Jan 23 2012 — The Alabama Legislature will take another stab in the upcoming session at cockfighting, a heated issue that has lured crowds to the Statehouse during past sessions.
A bill will be introduced in the session that begins Feb. 7 to increase the penalty for cockfighting from a $50 fine to a $6,000 fine and as much as a year behind bars.
The bill is being pushed by the Humane Society of the U.S., which is also trying to slow down an advocacy group that is fighting the legislation. The Humane Society has asked the Alabama attorney general’s office to investigate why the Alabama Gamefowl Breeders Association is listed with the state as a nonprofit organization. The Humane Society of the U.S. is a national animal welfare and protection organization that is not related to local humane society shelters.
Mindy Gilbert, state director for Humane Society of the U.S., said the Gamefowl Breeders Association can’t be nonprofit when it promotes an illegal activity.
Former state Rep. Ken Guin, a Carbon Hill attorney, has been hired to represent the Alabama Gamefowl Breeders Association during the session. Guin said the organization will fight the bill. He said the Gamefowl Breeders are a legitimate non-profit organization that raises the birds, mostly to be shipped out of state and often out of the country. He said many of the birds are raised to show in events similar to dog shows.
Guin said the Gamefowl Breeders will oppose the bill in the upcoming session. He said breeding the bids is a big industry in the state.
“This is a huge industry with a tremendous economic impact in Alabama,” Guin said.
He said the birds are raised in more humane conditions than most poultry and are shipped in individual cages.
The bill will be sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Barton of Mobile in the House and by Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster in the Senate.
Ward said one of the reasons why new legislation is needed is that other states have adopted stiffer penalties for cockfighting.
“So many states are clamping down on this so they are coming to Alabama to do it,” Ward said.
Ward said in addition to the cruelty to animals issue, there is concern about the large amounts of money that are bet on cockfighting and the concern that the birds could spread diseases.
Gilbert said it’s not uncommon for one of the birds involved in a cockfight to die in the ring. She said often sharp objects are attached to their talons before the fights.
“Young children have been found at these sites, handling the birds. Children have been found actively gambling,” Gilbert said.
She said the fights are sometimes staged in arenas with scoreboards and a public address system.
FORT COLLINS, CO Jan 23 2012- Colorado police are investigating after the body of a Loveland man went unnoticed for five days in a Fort Collins, CO movie theater bathroom.
George DeGrazio’s family reported him missing on a Monday, the same day the 66-year-old went to see a movie without telling them, and the same day – according to the coroner – he had a heart attack.
It happened inside a single-person bathroom that locks from the inside, according to the Larimer County Coroner’s office.
“We didn’t have any ideas,” Dylan DeGrazio, George’s son, said on Monday.
A missing person’s report went out and days passed before police discovered George’s car in the theater parking lot.
There was still no sign of George DeGrazio.
On the following Saturday, the smell led employees to that bathroom.
“It’s stunning in the long run – the fact that the bathroom got missed,” Dylan DeGrazio said.
The coroner’s office says a theatre employee had to break open a lock to get inside, where they found George DeGrazio slumped on the floor.
“I still get these images of what it was like, sitting in that restroom – just nobody around, nobody had any idea. And those are the images that stick with me, those are the things that I have a hard time with,” Dylan DeGrazio said.
George DeGrazio had struggled with health issues for years.
“He had severe coronary artery disease,” Dylan DeGrazio said. “George was not going to survive that heart attack.”
Still, Dylan DeGrazio says no excuse can make up for what happened. He wants an apology from the movie theater.
Dylan DeGrazio wants his father to be remembered not for the circumstances surrounding his death, but for his accomplishments in life. George DeGrazio was a retired art teacher who had taught at the elementary, high school and college levels.
Late Monday afternoon, Cinemark released a statement:
“Cinemark is working closely with the Fort Collins Police and Loveland Missing Persons Department on this case. As the case is ongoing, we are not able to discuss the details of the investigation at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the DeGrazio family during this difficult period as they mourn the loss of a loved family member.”
Dublin CA Jan 23 2012 Police attempted to arrest three suspects in a high-speed chase on westbound I-580 early Thursday after they were spotted stealing merchandise from the newly-opened Target store at 2800 Dublin Boulevard.
Police Lt. Herb Walters said police rushed to the store when Target security cameras showed three unidentified subjects using crowbars to gain entry through the store’s loading dock area. The suspects were seen taking high-end electronics from the area of the store where cameras, iPads, and laptops are sold.
When Dublin police arrived, they spotted a Ford SUV leaving the rear of Target at a high rate of speed. Police attempted to stop the vehicle as it drove onto I-580 and gave chase.
While pursuing the vehicle towards Castro Valley, police saw the suspects throwing the stolen merchandise out of the windows. The pursuit continued into Castro Valley, where units lost the suspect vehicle.
Target is estimating its loss at about $15,000 worth of electronics.
Police are asking that anyone with information to contact Dublin police detectives Jared Hattaway at (925) 556-4561 or Detective Sergeant Yesenia Sanchez at (925) 833-6682.
Teen Walmart robbery suspects facing adult charges after assaulting store employee www.privateofficercom
AVON IN Jan 23 2012 - Two teenage robbery suspects caught on tape and identified on WTHR’s Facebook page will face adult charges.
Security cameras snapped the images as they fled the Avon Walmart where they attacked an elderly employee and reportedly took $600 in merchandise from Walmart’s game department.
When the 78-year-old female employee tried to verify their purchase with a receipt, a 17-year-old male reportedly knocked her to the ground, causing serious bodily injury.
Avon Police say his 16-year-old accomplice worked as the lookout and another teen drove the getaway car.
A Hendricks County deputy prosecutor says he will finalize the adult charges Friday, which are automatic because of felony Robbery Class A. The teenagers will learn directly of the adult charges during separate hearings on Monday.
The employee is still recovering from her injuries.
The Avon Police Department is using Facebook to give people a chance to earn cash through anonymous tips at 317-262-TIPS.
NEW MILFORD CT Jan 23 2012 – Local police charged a Torrington man with fifth-degree larceny this week after Home Depot security told them that he had stolen power tools from the store and tossed them over a rear fence, Lt. Larry Ash said.
The man, identified as Robin Thibodeau, was reportedly kept under observation by store security on Wednesday afternoon, but when police approached, he dashed across Route 7, Ash said.
According to Ash, after about 20 minutes, Thibodeau was cornered by several officers between a dumpster and an embankment across from Kimberly-Clark Corp. property
Houston TX Jan 23 2012 Police officers have arrested three people in connection with high-dollar shoplifting sprees at area Walmarts, KHOU reports.
Lesley Bonilla, Josselyn Espinal, and Ivan Emilio Martinez were arrested at a Walmart on Silber Road, according to KHOU:
Walmart cooperated with the investigation conducted by the regional Major Crimes Task Force and circulated a sort of wanted flyer to all area Walmart stores.
“Their lookouts worked. They put them out to the stores and those employees recognized the suspects when they came into the store and knew that they were involved in other crimes,” said Sgt. Scott Atwood with the Houston Police Major Offenders Unit.
The thieves knew exactly what to target—high dollar but small items, nearly all from the beauty section or pharmacy. Items like 71 boxes of Prilosec valued at $25 a piece, total value $1,700, or Fusion razor cartridges, 142 of them at $14 with a retail value of nearly $2,000.
Other popular items include, Rogaine, Whitestrips and Claritin—all high-value items.
In one incident, thieves took $16,000 worth of goods, KHOU says. The thieves filled plastic bins for sale in the store with other items and then smuggled them out through the home-and-garden centers in the stores.
Coral Springs Florida 11-year-old arrested for setting fire to Kohl’s store twice www.privateofficer.com
Coral Springs Fla Jan 23 2012 An 11-year-old was arrested Thursday after police say he set a fire inside a Coral Springs, Florida Kohl’s.
Police say the boy is responsible for another fire set at the same store last week as well.
“He actually grabbed clothing off the shelves in the women’s department and put the accelerant and lit the clothing on fire,” Lt. Joe McHugh said of the latest fire.
There were no reported injuries.
Kohl’s is reporting property damage of about $1 million from the blazes, including the sprinkler system being set off, which damaged other store items.
Last Monday, January 9th, the Coral Springs Fire Department rushed to the same location and police were able to get a surveillance photo of the preteen.
The second time around, they knew who to look for.
“An employee actually witnessed him running from the scene. Once we realized it was connected, we overwhelmed the mall with officers,” McHugh said.
Police spotted the child sitting on the curb and arrested him on the scene.
McHugh says it’s often the thrill of not getting caught that can motivate kids to play with flames.
“Sometimes if they get away with fires they develop into greater crimes, sometimes burning larger buildings and larger buildings,” he said. “Somebody could get hurt or killed.”
One person was treated for smoke inhalation in the January 9th fire.
Authorities have not released the boy’s identity.
The 11-year-old faces two felony counts of arson and has been sent to a juvenile detention center.
It is up to the state attorney’s office to decide whether or not to charge him as an adult.
HOUSTON TX Jan 23 2012 – A man who was caught shoplifting at a local electronics store has been arrested for violating his parole on a nearly 29-year-old murder.
According to authorities, Ruben Mendiola, 50, was caught shoplifting at the Best Buy in Gulfgate Shopping Center, located in the 3000 block of Woodbridge, around 11:15 a.m.
Police arrived to the scene and detained Mendiola, who had stolen about $270 worth of merchandise.
That’s when Mendiola admitted to be being wanted on a parole violation for a 1983 murder in Montgomery County.
Authorities investigated and discovered Mendiola had been convicted of murder in October, 1983 and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was released on parole in 1999.
Mendiola was taken to the Harris County jail and booked for the parole violation.
Milford Police charged man in felony theft while wearing coat modified to hide stolen items www.privateofficer.com
Milford, Del. Jan 23 2012— Milford Police responded to a call from the local Walmart Department Store Wednesday morning just before noon in reference to a shoplifting in progress.
Upon arriving, the Milford Police Department arrested Umaru Williams, 28, of Middltown with several shoplifting charges including one count of felony shoplifting, and two counts of possession of shoplifting tools.
An investigation at the scene revealved that Wiliams had removed 13 computer programs valued at a total of $1,943 by concealing the items in a coat that was modified to hide stolen items.
Williams was also in possession of a device that unlocked store security equipment, which is how he was removing items from security cases.
Williams was arraigned through JP2 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution for lack of a $3,000 secured bond.
Burbank CA Jan 23 2012 A woman suspected of shoplifting at a Burbank store fired pepper spray Thursday evening after she was detained by security personnel, police said.
The woman was spotted about 5:30 p.m. by security at the Burlington Coat Factory and taken into an office for questioning, Burbank police said.
She grabbed pepper spray from her purse and fired it in the direction of the security personnel, according to police. It was unclear whether anyone was injured or treated at scene.
The woman was restrained and handcuffed while the Burbank Police Department was called. Officers were at the store Thursday evening talking to witnesses.
The store manager declined to comment when contacted by the The Times. No other details were immediately available.
In late November, a woman who authorities say was “competitive shopping” fired pepper spray at a Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch as customers jostled for low-priced video games during a Black Friday sale. That case is under review by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.
Tigard CA Jan 23 2012 A California man last month was sentenced to more than two years in prison for his role in an organized retail theft operation that ended in Tigard last fall, according to the Tigard Police Department.
On Sept. 23, Tigard police responded to a reported shoplifting call at Washington Square Mall, said Jim Wolf, Tigard police spokesman. An employee at a store, Wolf said, noticed a man with a fragrance bottle under his shirt and called police.
Tigard officers, Wolf said, located the man and a woman in a parked rental vehicle in the mall’s parking lot, Wolf said. Officers contacted the pair, and identified them as 30-year-old Curtis Shingo Fujimoto, of San Leandro, Calif., and 20-year-old Maree Briones, of Las Vegas.
Police reportedly observed that several bags, containing clothing and other items, were inside the vehicle. The officers could see, Wolf said, that much of the merchandise still had tags on it.
Through their investigation, police determined that most of the items were stolen earlier or purchased with gift cards that were obtained through returns of stolen merchandise, Wolf said. The items reportedly were “from scores of retailers,” including Pottery Barn, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Eddie Bauer and Nordstrom.
Wolf said the items police seized from the vehicle totaled about $15,000. Officers, Wolf said, also found gift cards and receipts that totaled nearly $1,800, and multiple airline travel documents, hotel receipts and notes about stores in Oregon and Washington.
“Police do not know the depth of where all the merchandise originated,” Wolf wrote in an email. “However, the volume…indicates there was extensive prior thefts.”
In November, Fujimoto was convicted of one count of organized retail theft and eight counts of first-degree theft in Washington County Circuit Court, Wolf said. He reportedly will spend two years and two months in prison.
Briones pleaded guilty to one count of organized retail theft and three counts of first degree theft in October, according to court records. She was sentenced to two years formal probation, according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
Wolf said the FBI has announced that organized retail theft and related crimes amount to a $30 billion industry. Tigard police has a commercial crimes unit that works to thwart organized retail theft operations.
Former Billings Police Department employee charged with embezzling more than $26,000 www.privateofficer.com
Billings MT Jan 23 2012 A former Billings Police Department employee has been charged with embezzling more than $26,000 with a city-issued credit card.
In a complaint filed Thursday afternoon, Deanna Anthony is charged with one count of theft of property by embezzlement, common scheme. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
The complaint was filed by Assistant Attorney General Daniel Guzynski following a nearly two-year probe by the state Division of Criminal Investigation.
The case has been assigned to Judge Gregory Todd. It was not clear Thursday when Anthony would make her first court appearance.
Anthony was a 16-year city employee who worked as the Police Department’s senior administrative coordinator when questions arose in May 2010 about her use of a city credit card. Anthony was placed on paid leave while the city began an internal investigation.
City officials also asked the state agency to conduct a separate criminal investigation.
The city’s internal investigation concluded in October 2010, when the city determined that Anthony had made about 40 unauthorized purchases totaling about $21,000 with the city credit card.
Disciplinary steps against Anthony were started on Oct. 29, 2010, when the city gave her a letter outlining the allegations that she had made numerous unauthorized purchases for items ranging from computers and cameras to a gazebo and a queen-sized mattress. Most of the purchases were made at Billings retail stores, including Lowe’s and Best Buy.
A meeting with Anthony to discuss the city’s findings was scheduled on Nov. 12, 2010, but Anthony resigned two days before the meeting date.
Disciplinary records regarding the allegations against Anthony became the subject of a yearlong legal case between the city and The Billings Gazette that reached the Montana Supreme Court. At the order of the court, the documents were released to the newspaper in December.
City officials previously have declined to comment on the matter, citing the ongoing criminal investigation. City Administrator Tina Volek did say that steps have been taken to ensure the proper use of city-issued credit cards.
The state’s criminal investigation uncovered significantly more unauthorized purchases, totaling $26,173, according to the charging documents. The court records indicate that investigators identified 206 suspicious purchases by Anthony.
The charging documents also reveal how city officials became suspicious of Anthony’s purchases. According to the court records, another administrative assistant, Denise Hice, found a receipt for a retractable leash and other dog-related items purchased by Anthony.
“Hice did not believe that dog handlers used retractable leashes and questioned the purchase,” the charging affidavit states.
Hice asked a police officer involved in the department’s K-9 program if the leash had been given as a gift at a retirement party held for his dog. The officer said he had not received the leash or some of the other items also on the receipt.
The officer also said the department’s canine handlers purchased items they need on their own and submit their receipts to the city for reimbursement.
Hice reported her suspicions to a police captain, Joel Slade, who launched the internal affairs probe.
CORPUS CHRISTI TX Jan 23 2012 — Police have their sights on the people doing bad deeds against Goodwill.
The past week alone, police and Goodwill thrift store officials in Corpus Christi contacted 21 people found snooping around donation sites after-hours. And it’s not just Goodwill; police have caught thieves stealing from several area nonprofits, even catching some inside of donation containers.
Goodwill officials said most thieves take the items to resell at flea markets or their own garage sale, not because they actually need the goods.
“When they’re stealing from Goodwill, they’re stealing from the clients we serve, people who are homeless, disabled or ex-offenders trying to earn a living,” said Marjorie Boudreaux, Goodwill Industries of South Texas spokeswoman.
After a spike in thefts, Goodwill Industries of South Texas hired Carlos Garica as a loss prevention supervisor last fall. He’s a former law enforcement agent who spent the last decade supervising loss prevention for Walgreen’s in Lubbock.
It’s his job to find a solution to the thefts and stop would-be thieves. When the sun sets and Goodwill store employees lock up for the day, local thieves are just getting started.
Garcia staked out a back lot of a Southside Goodwill late Thursday, hoping to deter those who prey on donations left out overnight.
“They’re ransacking our stuff,” he said looking over items with his flashlight. “They actually open up bags and pull out all the contents to find what they want.”
The first week this year, Garcia met with police and county officials to brainstorm.
“It’s been a problem for years,” said Lt. James Garrett of the Corpus Christi Police Department. “People think they can go behind the stores and just pick up whatever they want.”
Officers have been put on alert and are stepping up patrols near area thrift stores, he said.
Officer David Saldaña checks on the Southside Goodwill periodically throughout the night.
He’ll sit across the street and watch people sift through items left beside the large metal donation container. Often, when he rolls up, thieves will act like they are unloading the items instead of putting them in their vehicles.
“I’ll tell them that I was watching the whole time,” he said.
In a recent case, a 66-year-old man was arrested after being caught stealing two tires and a mirror from a Goodwill store on South Staples Street. Last week, officers broke up a group of more than a dozen people fighting over items behind a Goodwill.
Officers also have issued 19 criminal trespassing warnings this month. Seven people questioned last week were found to have outstanding warrants and were arrested, Garcia said.
“It’s getting bad. They’re used to stealing now because they’ve been getting away with it for so long,” Saldaña said.
Garcia sits nights in his truck, getting out in his dark jacket and cowboy boots to greet people who drop off donations. He helps them unload their stuff and encourages them to come back during business hours.
Linda Sorsby and another man dropped off several computers, a chair and a mattress Thursday. They typically donate about five times a year, she said. Sorsby is glad Garcia is there now to watch the donations.
“I think it’s a great idea. This is how Goodwill helps support the community,” she said.
Sorsby thinks stealing from the nonprofit is a low thing to do.
“It’s a gross display of greed,” she said.Stealing from a nonprofit like Goodwill increases potential sentences for thieves.That means if someone steals enough merchandise to warrant a Class A misdemeanor it will automatically increase to a state jail felony, police said.
“We will be actively filing those cases,” Garrett said.
It’s a sentiment shared by Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka, who also has met with Garcia. Skurka said his office plans to prosecute those caught stealing from nonprofits.
To make sure a donation reaches its intended recipient, Goodwill staff recommend dropping off items during the day while stores are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Donate live, in person to a person,” Boudreaux said. “It’s a better, safer practice and you get a receipt for your taxes too.”
On Thursday, Garcia sat outside the Goodwill store on Saratoga Boulevard until 1 a.m. before heading home. That location sees the most thefts, he said, because it gets higher-end donations. A flat-screen television sat outside the donation box next to a near-new set of golf clubs — a potential cache of goods for thieves.
It’s a cat-and-mouse game Garcia and Saldaña think will continue for the foreseeable future.
“I’ve never seen so much blatant theft,” Saldaña said.
CRESTVIEW Fla Jan 23 2012 —A woman ended up in jail after she slapped a security escorting her out of a bar for causing a scene.
Crestview Police were called to the bar around 2:30 a.m. about the incident, according to the arrest report.
When they arrived at the bar, the security guard said he had escorted the 27-year-old out of the bar, but she had returned and was “bothering customers requesting them to purchase cigarettes and alcohol for her.”
The security guard said he asked her to leave the bar and walked her to the door. As they reached it, she began cursing. The security guard asked her several more times to leave and said he would call police if she didn’t, but she still refused.
The man said the women then started yelling at him and slapped him in the face before finally walking out of the bar.
When police interviewed the women, they noted she “appeared to be intoxicated and had slurred speech.” She also had to lean against the patrol car “to maintain balance.”
She declined to comment on the incident and was subsequently arrested and charged with battery and trespassing.
Clatsop County OR Jan 23 2012 A Seaside High School teacher and soccer coach is in the Clatsop County jail tonight- charged with sex abuse.
Jon Broderick was arrested this week on three counts of child sex abuse and two counts of misconduct.
He is listed as a French and Language Arts teacher, as well as the boys soccer coach, at Seaside High School.