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Grant awarded to help fund Internet Crimes Against Children (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 25th, 2008 @ 9:26 am by Linda 

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) recently announced that it has received $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to protect children in Minnesota against sexual predators who use the Internet to prey on them.

The money will fund the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. The task force intends to use this money to help protect children and put sexual predators behind bars. Minnesota and Ohio were the only two states that were awarded the full $500,000 grant award.

With this money, the task force will be able to enhance their efforts in investigating and prosecuting child sex offenders. The grant helps ICAC to increase forensic evidence capacity, monitor offenders on parole and probation, and expand the task force’s partnerships in Minnesota. ICAC is planning to locate and arrest at least 80 child sexual predators.

Another identity theft crime to be aware of (0)

Posted in Misc Crime November 24th, 2008 @ 11:40 am by Linda 

A young couple was paying their hospital bill for their young child’s surgery. They phoned children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado and charged the hospital bill on their credit card.

Little did they know that the person on the other line working for a third-party billing contractor, Revenue Enterprises, was stealing their identity. This employee copied down their credit card information and then took a vacation to Las Vegas where she had a good time on someone else’s money. The employee was fired.

But this is the real troubling part about this identity crime. Police in Colorado and Nevada will not be charging the thief who stole this young couple’s identity. Instead, the hotel in Nevada will be writing off the loss. Police sent a letter to the couple saying they would not pursue the case due to a backlog of similar reports and that the hotel in Nevada wasn’t pressing charges.

The scary part of this is that the employee passed a pre-employment background check and it is quite possible that in the future the employee could pass the same check, just because police won’t charge the employee with an identity theft crime.

The Children’s Hospital is planning to evaluate Revenue Enterprises’ response plan and security measures. However, once again, beware of who takes your credit card information.

State Patrol Immigration Enforcement Unit arrest illegal immigrants (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 21st, 2008 @ 12:22 pm by Linda 

In a past article on this web blog titled, “Stopping the revolving door of illegal immigrants,” I wrote about how ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and State Patrols in Colorado and Wyoming teamed to crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Recently,Colorado State Patrol and ICE once again teamed up to arrest 27 suspected illegal immigrants. State Troopers stopped two vehicles, one near Grand Junction and the other near Denver, Colorado crammed with illegal immigrants. Sixteen people were in an SVU, with only four seats in the car and of course not wearing seat belts. The other 11 suspects were stopped on I-70 in Denver and one of the males arrested had a criminal history involving sexual assault.

Now the question is if these illegal immigrants have prior convictions. If so, they may face jail time up to 20 years and then be deported. Hat’s off to Colorado State Patrol’s Immigration Unit and ICE for keeping us safe.

Did these guys think they were part of the Jesse James gang? (0)

Posted in Solving Crime November 19th, 2008 @ 4:46 pm by Linda 

You may recall Jesse James was a notorious outlaw in the Wild West. He robbed banks and killed innocent people. It was rumored that he started his crime spree when he was a teenager. Recently, Douglas County, Colorado sheriffs arrested two teenage boys for their involvement in one of the worst crime sprees in that county.

Sheriffs apprehended Brandin Kreuzer and Taylor Moudy both age 19 for a crime spree that started this summer. Both boys seemed like model students and everyday guys. But during the summer they stole cars, burglarized homes, led police on car pursuits, robbed a Circle K convenience store armed with guns and wearing military style clothing and even shot a deputy in the arm.

After their crime spree this summer, one of them went off to college and tried to blend in. However, police knew that these boys were very dangerous. They both face multiple felony charges including attempted first-degree murder.

We know how Jesse James’ life ended. At least these two boys won’t see the same fate.

Online child pornography arrests (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 14th, 2008 @ 1:00 pm by Linda 

Sadly, online child pornography has been around for many years. However, after a six-month investigation law enforcement in Cuyahoga County, Ohio busted a ring of child pornographers. Police recently arrested forty-one people suspected of trading online child pornography.

Law enforcement efforts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio dubbed “Operation SafetyNet used new software that tracks the swapping of illegal images via online file sharing networks. The bust resulted in 29 adults and 12 juveniles arrested with creating or distributing sexually oriented material involving minors. The group faces more than 1,300 counts.

Sadly many of the adults who make and distribute child pornography online are those who know their victims. Reports reveal that family members, teachers, counselors, school bus drivers and even clergy have been arrested for distribution of child pornography. Child pornography is very dangers because it results in child sexual abuse.

Because of new technology, police now have more of an advantage in catching and stopping these criminals.

What were they thinking? Another stupid criminal story. (0)

Posted in Misc Crime November 13th, 2008 @ 11:44 am by Linda 

A couple in Pennsylvania called police when their house was burglarized. Fair enough, a crime was committed and they wanted to report it to police.


When the police arrived and started searching for clues, they found drugs, guns (AK-47) and knives inside the house. Police also found suspicious police badges and uniforms from Los Angeles and Philadelphia. A search warrant was issued and low and behold, they found marijuana plants in the basement.

When the homeowner was asked why he called police, he said that he didn’t want to call police but his wife did. I guess even stupid criminals have rights too.

How important are criminal background checks? (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 12th, 2008 @ 11:32 am by Linda 

Would you hire a baby sitter for your kids if you never met or even checked out their references? Probably not. However, today background checks may be the last thing an employer thinks is important to do. They may think doing criminal background checks or pre-screening is too costly.

How costly is it really? What is the cost to a young victim in a sexual assault case? Recently, a guidance councilor at a middle school was arrested for sexual assault on a child. Where was his pre-screening or criminal background check? Was this the first time he committed this crime or did he have any prior criminal history? If the school district spent the money to do a criminal pre-screening background check, maybe he wouldn’t have been hired.

Public, private as well as non-profit organizations need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. In an article titled Background-Screening Services and Your Bottom Line discusses the real cost in not doing background screening. The risks involved in hiring a wrong employee can put your company into the one out of every six crimes category occurring in the workplace. Can a company really put a price on the potential liability of sending a sexual predator to work at a client’s home? How much money would you really save if you didn’t do a pre-screening on a potential employee who had a record of domestic violence, drunk driving or theft? Did you know that the average workplace violence lawsuit exceeds $1million per case?

There are many pre-screening and background check companies out there. Here are just a few ideas on what you need from a background check.

– Social Security Number Validation
– Address History Search
– Reference check
– National Criminal Search – including national sex offender registry search
– County Criminal Search
– Federal District Criminal Search

Criminal background checks on all potential employees needs to be part of the cost of doing business. Companies should not only be looking out for themselves but also looking out for you.

Italian police arrest criminal in hospital (0)

Posted in Misc Crime November 7th, 2008 @ 9:58 am by Linda 

This is truly a bizarre way to catch a criminal, but it worked. Thanks to the efforts of Italian police, an alleged criminal mobster was arrested in a private Italian clinic following liposuction surgery.

Domenico Magnoli age 27 went to the hospital to have this procedure done so he could loose more weight. But when he awoke from the anesthesia, police disguised as doctors, nurses and visitors arrested him. He was arrested on a French warrant issued back in February 2007 for allegedly trafficking in cocaine.

Magnoli who was born in Cannes, France has links to the Piromalli crime clan in the ‘ndrangheta syndicate. This criminal organization based in Calabria operates in drug trafficking rings between South America and Western Europe. It is considered one of the more powerful mafia organizations – more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia.

What a bizarre way to make an arrest. At least there is one more drug trafficker off the streets.

Stopping the revolving door of illegal immigrants (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 6th, 2008 @ 3:15 pm by Linda 

Federal agents with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) recently reported that from November 2007 through June 2008 it conducted a crackdown on illegal immigrants with criminal records that resulted in more than 3,800 prosecutions for felony reentry. The crackdown initially focused on San Diego, El Paso, Houston and Phoenix, however, in June, the program was expanded to all of ICE’s Detention and Removal offices nationwide and resulted in 349,000 illegal immigrants deported during that time – a 20 percent increase over the previous 12 months.

In Minnesota ICE criminal investigations section also targeted the worst offenders such as gang members and drug dealers. Illegal immigrants who have been deported and who have reentered the U.S. illegally face felony reentry prosecution and a prison sentence of up to 20 years. However, people who illegally return to the United States and who do not have other criminal convictions are more likely to be deported but not imprisoned.

The issue of people illegally in the country committing serious crime has gained greater attention locally. In August, ICE nabbed dozens of foreign-born gang members in the Twin Cities two-week crackdown. This resulted in a Richfield gang member being charged with murder in connection to a Minneapolis drive-by shooting. There seems to be more of a prioritization when it comes to targeting illegal immigrants with criminal records. ICE is combing through county jails for such criminals.

In Colorado and Wyoming Federal agents reported more than 6,000 illegal immigrants were deported a 7 percent increase from the previous year. With longer prison sentencing for re-entry cases, ICE is hoping that this will eventually keep out criminal illegal immigrants.

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