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What was this criminal thinking? (0)

Posted in Misc Crime October 30th, 2008 @ 9:20 am by Linda 

Once again, the saying is true – criminals are stupid! I don’t make this stuff up this actually happened.

A California man was arrested after he drove a stolen SUV to his court appearance. Police arrested the man when he showed up to court on another auto theft charge.

The police and bystanders at the courthouse knew something wasn’t right when they saw several Yorkshire terries inside the SUV vehicle. When the man approached with keys in hand the stolen Lexus in front of the courthouse, the police arrested him on charges of receiving a stolen vehicle and stolen property.

The man, a 37-year old San Francisco hairstylist, was convicted in the previous auto theft case. He was also charged with possession of a $125,000 Porsche Carrera that was stolen from a San Anselmo, California home. He now faces charges on the current stolen SUV as well as animal cruelty and leaving animals in an unattended vehicle.

Now this man has at least two or is it three counts of stolen property and possession, animal cruelty and just being stupid. Too bad stupidity isn’t punishable by time in jail.

Child prostitution – a horrible crime (0)

Posted in Solving Crime October 29th, 2008 @ 9:56 am by Linda 

According to ABC news , authorities nabbed more than 500 suspects in a child prostitution sting and rescued forty-seven children as part of a three-day raid.

The FBI and police from twenty-nine cities rescued these children from seventy-three alleged pimps and more than 500 others who were exploiting them. A 12-year-old from Texas, a 10-year old from Ohio and a 14-year old from Michigan were found and rescued. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, organized crime is responsible for moving these kids from city to city. This has been a problem for many years and is happening on Main Street USA

Authorities targeted cities such as Alexandria, VA; Atlanta; Las Vegas; Miami; Dallas; Houston; Honolulu; Phoenix; and San Diego. Since 2003, the Justice Department and FBI have increased their focus on the child sex slave problem through a project known as the Innocence Lost National Initiative. The Initiative has developed 24 dedicated task forces and working groups throughout the U.S. involving federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working in tandem with U.S. Attorney’s Offices.

These dedicated groups have successfully rescued over 400 children and led to the conviction of more than 300 pimps, madams, and their associates who exploit children through prostitution. In addition, these convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences including multiple 25-year-to-life sentences and the seizure of real property, vehicles, and monetary assets.

Sad but true, the Justice Department estimates that as many as 300,000 U.S. children are engaged in prostitution, most of them runaways. If you have information contact the NCMEC hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or file a report through its CyberTipline.

Law enforcement cracks down on unregistered sex offenders (0)

Posted in Sex Offenders October 28th, 2008 @ 9:25 am by Linda 

Recently, ten of the top 100 unregistered sex offenders were found in Colorado’s first statewide crack down. The U.S. Marshals Service along with local law enforcement during this time made 53 total arrests. In addition, they found 43 other people who had failed to register and allegedly possessed child pornography or had immigrations charges against them.

The crack down started over the weekend and targeted sex offenders with outstanding warrants as well as those who didn’t give police their correct addresses or notified police when they moved.

Arrests included a sex offender who did not properly register in connection with a 1986-second degree sex assault conviction. Another arrest was of a sex offender for a 2002 conviction on attempted sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust.

During this crack down, law enforcement targeted the worst of the worst. Law enforcement is eager to arrest unregistered sex offenders because if they are not supervised or monitored they are more likely to commit new crimes.

Minnesota’s sex offender registry site gives a list of sex offenders. If you know of a sex offender who is not registered, contact your local police department.

Cold Case playing cards used to help solve crimes (0)

Posted in Solving Crime October 27th, 2008 @ 1:40 pm by Linda 

When the U.S. invaded Iraq, soldiers were given playing cards with the most wanted terrorists photograph and description to help them identify terrorists. Recently local Minnesota’s prisons received decks of playing cards using the same type of methodology.

These cards distributed by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Corrections and law enforcement agencies statewide, are using the deck of playing cards to help solve cold cases. These cards highlight 52 violent unsolved homicide, missing person, and unidentified remains cases that have occurred throughout the state in the past 50 years. These cards have been distributed to 515 police departments and sheriff offices as well as 75 countywide jails and annex facilities.

Other states such as Florida, Indiana, Missouri, New York and Washington have used similar playing cards. In Florida, at least two cold case crimes were solved. Every cold case clue has the potential to bring law enforcement one-step closer to obtaining justice for cold case victims and a sense of closure for their surviving family members.

If you have information regarding any of the cold cases featured on the playing cards call the Minnesota BCA tip line at 877-996-6222 or you can see these cards on their web site .

Copper theft still an ongoing problem in the area (0)

Posted in Misc Crime October 22nd, 2008 @ 10:53 am by Linda 

The Pioneer Press recently wrote an article about copper thieves in western Wisconsin targeting a new source for their criminal activity. Copper thieves are now targeting copper from recreational vehicles. These criminals have turned to stealing RVs’ electrical cords. The 25 to 30 foot wires cost as much as $45 to replace.

Back in July we reported that three people were caught on camera trying to sell up to $40,000 worth of copper wire that they stole from the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This isn’t a petty theft issue. Stolen copper has cost over a million dollars to utilities, distributors, contractors and various job sites throughout the Upper Midwest. Copper reached an all time high at $5 a pound two years ago. However, today copper prices have fallen to about $2.25 a pound.

This year the Minnesota Congress has passed legislation to help curb copper wire theft. Now it’s mandatory for every scrap-metal dealer buying more than $100 worth of scrap metal to obtain an ID from the seller along with their personal information. If the scrap metal that was sold to the dealer is found to be stolen the police now have a paper trail back to the thieves.

Phone scam alert in Minnesota (0)

Posted in Misc Crime October 21st, 2008 @ 12:00 pm by Linda 

Recently the Minnesota State Patrol has issued a warning about a phone scam that can cost you a lot of money.

Here’s how it works:

An individual identifying themselves as a state trooper calls you and leaves a phone message that someone in your family has been hurt in an accident. They instruct you to cal *72 followed by a 1-800 number. This should be the first indication that this phone call is bogus. The number they give you allows the caller to hook into your phone number and charge long distance calls and maybe even International calls.

If State Patrol needs to contact you, they will come to your house or call back to talk to you or leave the number to the State Patrol office 601-201-7100.

This type of phone scam is really horrific. A bogus phone call telling you that a family member has been hurt in an accident is mean and despicable. If you receive this type of phone call, contact your local law enforcement agency to report these criminals.

21st Century Cyber Cops fight crime everyday (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention October 16th, 2008 @ 10:54 am by Linda 

In today’s world, many sex predators are using the Internet to find their next victim. With chat rooms such as MySpace and Face Book many of these predators surf the Internet preying on young victims.

Who can stop these criminals?

Cyber Cops to the rescue!

No these cops aren’t made of steel or have super-human powers, they are everyday human beings who dedicate their time in fighting crime. Many of them keep strange hours. Take for instance the Cyber Cops at the Jefferson/Gilpin Counties District Attorney’s Office Child Sex Offender Unit in Colorado. You will find these Cyber Cops at two in the morning texting and talking in the lingo children use online. Recently, this investigative unit made an historical 200th arrest in the four years of their existence.

However, Cyber Cops have a never-ending task in keeping up with fighting online predators. With so many online sexual predators, the investigation unit decided to develop an educational video that takes their message to hundreds of schools and community groups. The unit brings in their favorite crime fighter – Cheezo - a fuzzy yellow lion mascot to presentations at elementary schools. He helps teach younger kids Internet safety messages. The kids draw pictures of Cheezo with safety messages they learned from the presentation. The Unit also provides Internet safety tips, understanding Internet lingo, and an Internet Safety Video that educates parents and children.

As long as there are online predators, Cyber Cops are here to fight crime and to keep our kids safe.

Another Stupid Criminal(s) Case (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs October 15th, 2008 @ 9:49 am by Linda 

The Pioneer Press reported on an arrest made on three criminals who were dealing in drugs that ended up with aggravated robbery and kidnapping charges. Here’s how it went down.

Three West St. Paul men – Kenneth Charles Scott age 41, Sean Robert Norton age 28 and Jeffery Dwayne Williams age 48 paid $2,100 for three pounds of marijuana but instead got gerbil food. When they found out it wasn’t marijuana they assaulted one of the dealers by hitting him over the head with a baseball bat, hitting him with their fists, and threatening to kill him. Then these three guys got the bright idea to hold the dealer for ransom because the dealer’s friends took off with their money. These three guys wanted their money back. They told the dealer to call someone to get them their money and that’s when they held the man until the transaction was completed.

The dealer called his stepfather to wire him $3,000 and to make the check out the Sean Norton one of the stupid criminals. The stepfather called police and helped set up a sting. When Sean Norton showed up to collect the money, the police arrested him.

If convicted each man faces up to forty years in prison for their stupidity!

Catching criminals through DNA evidence is faster today. (0)

Posted in Solving Crime October 13th, 2008 @ 1:55 pm by Linda 

Recently the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has acquired three automated DNA analyzers that will shorten the time it takes to process samples from crime scenes. In the past, analyzing DNA samples would take up to six months. However, with the new DNA analyzer 100 samples can be analyzed in just a few hours.

All of this was made possible through the President’s DNA Initiative of 2006. The National Institute of Justice has provided more than $107 million in funding that covers a 5-year plan to ensure forensic DNA reaches its full potential to solve crimes, protect the innocent and identify missing persons.

CBI received a $1.2 million in grants from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for these machines and was part of a DNA Field Experiment. In collaboration between NIJ and local law enforcement in five communities, Los Angeles, Topeka, Denver, Phoenix and Orange County, CA, were targeted in this effort. In June 2008, NIJ released the results of this study that showed that suspect identifications and arrests doubled, prosecutions doubled, suspects were arrested through DNA identifications were more dangerous because of the number of prior arrests, and that DNA was twice as effective in identifying suspects as compared to fingerprints.

From property crimes to violent crimes, law enforcement now has a very important tool to help solve crimes faster and ensure accuracy for better prosecutions.

Do you really need a “night cap”? (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention October 9th, 2008 @ 10:54 am by Linda 

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recently released a press release about its September enforcement efforts called “NightCAP” (nighttime concentrated alcohol patrol). The press release said that more than 112 impaired drivers in St. Paul were arrested for DWI – 74 were in five Twin Cities’ metro counties. During the month of September, officers stopped more than 1,999 vehicles and cited more than 583 drivers for traffic and equipment related violations.

NightCAP enforcement targets Minnesota’s fifteen deadliest counties for impaired driving. These counties are Anoka, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Cass, Crow Wing, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Rice, St. Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright. Why these counties? Because during 2004 through 2006 these counties accounted for more than half of the state’s alcohol related deaths at 272 and serious injuries at 762.

In fact, in August of this year, NightCAP generated 202 DWI arrest. In the Twin Cities metro area, there were 128 arrests. During August, more than 3,598 vehicles were stopped and 1,159 drivers were cited for traffic and equipment related violations. Historically, August is one of the deadliest months for alcohol-related crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds NightCAP and coordinates with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety and the Minnesota State Patrol. The program uses city, county and state law enforcement agencies to saturate specific roadways where impaired driving is likely.

With this type of “night cap” enforcement, drivers and the public can feel safe on the highways.

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