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The Worst Criminal of the Week! (0)

Posted in Solving Crime May 7th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm by Linda 

Can you imagine being assaulted in your home not once but twice – and by the same assailant? That is what happened to a South Minneapolis woman. According to the Star Tribune, a 32-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her home less than two weeks after the first assault and beating.

Police believe it was the same man who assaulted her. The suspect is described as a 20 to 40 year old white man with gray hair, 5-foot-9 to 6-feet tall, with a medium build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and jeans. Police don’t believe the victim and the suspect are acquainted.

If you know anything about this case, please contact police at the sex crimes unit at 612-673-3049. Let’s get this worst criminal of the week put behind bars and give this poor woman some peace of mind.

Online cops patrolling social networking sites (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention May 5th, 2009 @ 10:24 am by Linda 

For the past several years, online social networking sites have exploded. Sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and Digg have escalated the need to screen content for inappropriate activity. According to a Newsweek article, Facebook as well as other social networking sites have a range of policing activity.

These companies have divisions called User Operations that police content for harassing messages, show drugs or drug use, nudity or pornography. This content is immediately deleted and sometimes users are put on a blacklist never to use the site again. These teams set guidelines and make judgment calls to keep the integrity of their site.

You could probably call them cops on a beat to undercover cops who mingle with spammers and hackers to stop illegal activity. Actually, some of these teams are involved in law enforcement. Police and FBI have learned that Facebook accounts can offer excellent information about criminal suspects. Facebook receives up to 10 to 20 police requests each day to help them find information regarding crimes that attract national media attention. In fact, Facebook has helped to find runaways. When a runaway logs onto their Facebook account the site tracks the geographic locations of their log-ons.

So enjoy the social networking sites, but understand that what you may be saying or uploading is patrolled by cops on the site.

There are criminals among us (0)

Posted in Misc Crime May 4th, 2009 @ 1:58 pm by Linda 

Who would have thought a nice looking young man would be a serial robber and a murderer? That is exactly who Philip Markoff was. He is known as the Craigslist killer and robber. He robbed and murdered a woman who he met on Craigslist. This 23 year old was a medical student accused in Boston of killing a masseuse and robbing another woman in Rhode Island.

Markoff’s friends, family and even his fiancée didn’t believe he was capable of doing this. But Markoff had a dark side that no one knew. Many of you probably never knew a criminal or murderer. But they are among us.

Take for example, Bob Spangler, a mild mannered man who killed his first wife and children and killed his third wife by pushing her into the Grand Canyon. Bob Spangler was known as the “Black Widower.” He did “normal” things anyone would do. He went to work, lived a quiet life and even refereed youth soccer teams. I remember meeting Bob Spangler in the mid 1990’s. I was in charge of assigning referees for my club soccer team and talked with him on the phone many times. I even met him and found him to be quiet and unassuming. Little did I know that he was a murderer.

In 2000, Spangler was diagnosed with cancer. He decided to come clean about his life of criminal activity. Bob Spangler died in prison at the Federal Corrections Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri on August 5, 2001.

This just shows that there are criminals and murderers living among us. Maybe that quiet neighbor or a co-worker who seems unassuming and “nice” just may have a dark side to their personality.

Do you tweet and twitter? (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention May 1st, 2009 @ 9:58 am by Linda 

For those of you who enjoy tweeting and twittering be careful that the 140 characters you are reading may have come from an imposter. Many people such as celebrities, athletes, politicians and media personalities are using this hugely popular social networking site – Twitter.

Wikipedia defines “Twitter as a freee social networking site that is used over the Internet. But when you twitter you are using SMS which may incur phone service provider fees. Since its creation in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained extensive notability and popularity worldwide. It is often described as the “SMS of Internet,” in that the site provides the functionality via its application programming interfaces for other desktop and web-based applications to send and receive short text messages, often obscuring the Twitter service itself.”

However, lately Twitter hackers have been assuming identities of personalities and are twitterjacking. According to experts who told FOXNews.com, the Twitter site does not verify identification. Anyone can set up an e-mail account, change a letter or two and then pretend to be you.

The effect of phony profiles and can be serious. For example, a twitterjacker may have hacked into Britney Spears’ profile and tweet that her upcoming concert in a city is cancelled and everyone would believe it even though it didn’t come from Britney Spears. Communicating false information from a known twitter account can be devastating to that person.

Right now twitterjacking is not a crime, but it is very frustrating to reputable twitters. So the next time you twitter, stop and think – are you really talking to the person you think you are talking to or is it a twitterjacker?

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