A 15-year-old girl arrested three weeks ago in St. Paul on charges that she lashed out with a knife at an undercover St. Paul police officer was arrested again on similar charges. The 15-year-old girl held a knife to the throat of a 16-year-old girl, threatened her and stole her purse. The police also charged a 20-year-old woman who was also involved in the robbery. The robbery took place outside a Super USA gas station.
The FBI reported last month that after nearly a decade in which violent-crime rates fell or stabilized throughout the US there was a 2.5% rise last year in violent crimes, which include homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults.
The reasons for rising crime among juveniles include tight local budgets, reduced federal funding for police along with new anti-terrorism duties. These have stretched police departments and led to cuts in community programs for youths. When the economy is booming crime rates are lower. However, with the economy slowing, officials in several cities are tying poverty and financial uncertainty to rising crime, particularly among juveniles. Some of these children are only 10 and 11.
The Minnesotaâ€™s Juvenile Division is ramping up their efforts to reduce a backlog of 500 juvenile arrest warrants that grew after budget cuts forced the closure of the police department’s Juvenile Division in 2001. However, more community involved is needed to keep our kids off the streets and to help prevent crime.
Fridays seem to be bad days for Minneapolis residents when it comes to burglaries. Several apartment buildings, rental units and garages in the Kingfield, East Harriet, Linden Hills, Fulton, Lynhurst and Tangletown neighborhoods have been burglarized according the the Star Tribune.
When residents of these communities go to work, so do the crooks. They enter unlocked doors and in some cases force open garage service doors and apartment doors. Chelsea Adams, a crime prevention specialist for the Minneapolis Police Department recently said, â€œWe in the fifth precinct are investigating and we take this seriously.â€
She reminds everyone to check their doors to be sure they close tightly and have good locks on them. Even if you are out in the yard or just going to pick up mail, lock your doors!
Always take precautions and be aware of what is going on around you. If you see any suspicous people hanging around the area, call police immediately. So far no on has been arrested for these burglaries.
The Minnesota Fugitive Task Force announced recently that a serial bank robber was arrested and charged with three counts of robbery. Samuel Bension Ventura age 32 was arrested in Shakopee, Minnesota. He is believed to be connected with grocery store bank robberies in Plymouth on December 3, 2007 and November 11, 2007. He is also suspected of robbing the Highland Bank inside the Mall of America.
Jeffrey Furtney, dubbed the Snow Bird bandit, was arrested recently. On October 23, 2007 Furney robbed a Bank of America in Scottsdale, Arizona and three weeks later he held up a TCF Bank in a West St. Paul Cub Foods. All in all his robberies amounted to around $12,000.
However, another bank robber is still at large. On Friday, February 29, 2008, a lone gunman robbed the Wells Fargo Bank in St. Paul, Minnesota. The robber is described as a white male, pale complexion, dark hair in his 20â€™s and approximately 6â€™ to 6â€™4â€ tall with a thin build. To see pictures of the bank robber go to the Minneapolis FBI site .
Remember if you see this suspect call police immediately. Do not attempt to detain him.
Has this happened to you? You get home from work and park your car on the street or in your driveway. At bedtime you see your car is still parked outside. But when you get up in the morning your car is gone!
Each year, on average, 3,500 cars are stolen just in the Minneapolis area. Did you know that most auto thefts occur between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.? Auto thefts can also occur in low-lighted parking lots and sometimes during the day. Thieves target certain cars for parts and others because they are simply easier to steal. Cars get stolen for use in other crimes and often just for transportation. Now with high gas prices adds one more incentive for car thefts.
The most commonly stolen cars are 1995 Honda Civic;1990 Toyota Camry;1994 Honda Accord;1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass;1994 Chevrolet Blazer.
Here are some tips to make sure that your car isnâ€™t stolen:
â€¢ Park in the best-lighted area possible.
â€¢ Keep your keys in your pocket or purse, not in your school locker.
â€¢ Lock it and pocket the key whether you leave for a minute or several hours.
â€¢ Make sure the windows are closed and the trunk is locked.
In the past arson was considered a crime committed by a person who got their jollies watching a house burn. Lately, arson investigators are concerned that homeowners searching for a way to escape from mortgages they canâ€™t pay may also be a motive for this crime.
The FBI reports that arson grew 4% in suburbs and 2.2% in cities from 2005 to 2006. The 2007 numbers arenâ€™t out yet. In most cases, consumer pressure and state laws require speedy settlements, which means insurance companies are quick to pay up and slower to complete complex arson investigations.
Recently two arson fires at homes in Taylors Falls were torched and attempts to start two other houses on fire were found. In all four cases, these homes were up for sale and not occupied. There is a $2,000 reward offered in the Taylors Falls arson cases for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible.
Minnesotaâ€™s annual statistics show that arson takes place every 4.5 hours. Arson is the third-leading cause of fires in Minnesota â€” after cooking and heating. In 2003, arsonists cost Minnesotans about $2.3 million; 278 residential arson fires represented 81 percent of that dollar amount. In the fifteen years leading up to 2003, arson fires took the lives of 38 Minnesotans.
According to the DEA drug violation arrests are slightly down from previous years. In 2005 there were 292 arrests, 2006 had 272 arrests and 2007 there were 258 drug arrests throughout Minnesota. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and small amounts of black-tar heroin are some of the drugs being sold and bought by Minnesotans.
The use of diverted controlled substances in Minnesota also continues to be a problem. The most commonly diverted controlled substances from the licit market are NubainÂ®, DilaudidÂ®, RitalinÂ®, VicodinÂ® (hydrocodone), OxyContinÂ®, codeine combination products, the benzodiazepines, and the anorectic drugs phentermine and phendimetrazie.
Nubain is a prescription narcotic that has recently emerged in the Minneapolis area. Body builders are using this narcotic because they mistakenly believe it acts as a steroid. However, four deaths have occurred in the Minneapolis area because of NubainÂ® being taken with MDMA and OxyContinÂ® being mixed with cocaine. According to local addicts, KlonopinÂ® is more readily available than in the past from illegal sources and prescriptions are easily obtained from some doctors.
In rural Minnesota, KlonopinÂ® has also appeared under its international, non-United States trade name, “RivotrilÂ®,” which suggests its importation from foreign sources. Flunitrazepam, trade name “RohypnolÂ®,” is a long-acting benzodiapine that is typically combined with alcohol or other drugs to produce incapacitation and memory loss similar to an alcohol-induced blackout. Its use as a “date rape” drug is not widespread in Minnesota and law enforcement agencies encountered only small amounts of the drug.
According to a 2004 FBI homicide data analysis, Minnesota is rated 8th in the Nation in per capita rate of Black Homicide Victimization. Minnesotaâ€™s Black Homicide rate is 24.45 per 100,000 and is five times the national overall homicide rate of 4.86 per 100,000.
The study warns that “the toll that homicide exacts on black teens and young adults in America, both male and female, is disproportionate, disturbing, and undeniable” and concludes, “As efforts are made to reduce America’s black homicide victimization toll, the unique facilitating role of firearms cannot be ignored.”
The results from 2004 showed 80% of the victims were shot and killed with guns, 91% of those with handguns. Two victims were under 18 years of age and 84% of the victims were male.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death for all persons 15 to 24 years of age. It is the leading cause of death for African Americans in this age group. Nine out of 10 African Americans ages 15 to 24 homicide victims were killed with a firearm according to a Center for Disease Control study in 1999. Sadly, suicide is the third leading cause of death among African American youth ages 10 to 19 with 66% committed with firearms.
On March 16, 2008 Colorado State Troopers arrested four men after a traffic stop for animal fighting, a Class 5 felony in the state of Colorado. Authorities in Colorado said that the roosters were intended for cockfighting in Minnesota.
The men were transporting 27 live roosters from California to Minnesota. The four men from St. Paul were 23-year-old Dang Vang, 21-year-old Billy Thao, 24-year-old Sieng Vang and 24-year-old Ma Vang. A Minneapolis animal welfare advocate said that this arrest is a sign that the illegal blood sport remains alive and well in the Twin Cities.
Cockfighting is legal in many countries including Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Asia and Central America, however, cockfighting is not legal in the U S. Immigrants from those countries who live in the U.S. bring this underground contest in which roosters often fed aggression-enhancing drugs and outfitted with metal spurs, fight, sometimes to the death.
Under Minnesota law, participating in cockfights and possessing birds to do so are felonies, but possessing the implements for a fight, such as a ring, is legal. The Humane Society of the United States ranks Minnesota the 17th toughest state for laws against cockfighting
Over 37,000 people in 2007 were arrested for DWI in Minnesota. In the month of December 2007 more than 3,300 drivers were arrested. These drivers had an average alcohol concentration of .17 â€“ more than twice the legal limit of .08. Most of the arrests were in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis with 110 and St. Paul with 78 DWIs.
Statistics show that more than 470,000 Minnesotans have a DUI on their driving record and more than 200,000 have multiple DUIs. This amounts to about one in eight current or formally licensed drivers have at least one DUI on their record.
Minnesotans are still not getting the message about the dangers of drinking and driving. When you are arrested for DWI or DUI the Minnesota DWI/DUI law triggers two separate cases: a criminal court case where the driver receives a variety of drunk driving punishment and a Minnesota Department of Public Safety case where driving privileges are affected.
One difference to Minnesota law is that when you are arrested for violating Minnesota DWI law you have the right to speak to a DWI/DUI defense attorney before taking a chemical test â€“ breath test or blood test – to determine alcohol content. However if you refuse to take a chemical test following an arrest for drunk driving you may be charged with a separate criminal offense.
So wise up Minnesotans, donâ€™t drink and drive!
At some time in our life, a police officer has stopped us for some type of driving infraction. Or you may have encountered a police officer investigating a crime near your place of business or home. However, lately, criminals are getting their jollies impersonating a police officer.
What motivates them to do this? According to Dr. William Fisher, professor of clinical psychology at Duquesne University, impersonating a police officer gives a criminal a feeling of status. It may be temporary but the feeling of power and authority gives a criminal that rush. However, there are many instances of underlining ulterior motives. It may provide the opportunity to rob, rape, beat, or steal.
Police impersonators are more common than most people think. These incidents are not reported unless some type of crime occurs. For example, there have been several incidents throughout Minnesota of police impersonators committing crimes.
In a Como neighborhood, two people impersonating police officers entered a home and stole a bicycle, clothing, cassette tapes and cash. In southern Minnesota, police are looking for an impersonator pulling over cars in Fillmore and Dodge counties. This may be the same person seen in Lake City where he tried to lure a 15-year-old girl into his car.
What can you do if you encounter a police impersonator? If you are in your car, slow down and activate your hazard lights. Call 911 immediately to verify the vehicle stopping you is a police car and driven by a police officer. Go to a well-lit area before stopping. Always ask for the officerâ€™s badge and identification if you are not sure. The point is always to be cautious and aware.