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Police Massacre in Lakewood, Washington (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News, Solving Crime November 30th, 2009 @ 4:20 pm by Linda 

It was a horrific scene. Four police officers were massacred while sitting in a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington. They were preparing for their shift when Maurice Clemmons walked into the coffee shop. He went to the counter as if to order coffee but then turned and opened fire on the police officers.

The officers were in full uniform and wearing bulletproof vests but it appeared that Clemmons planned the shooting and executed the police officers. However, the motive is unknown as to why Clemmons shot the police officers.

Currently, the police may have a location for Clemmons. He may be injured and seeking medical assistance. Clemmons’ criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. However, he has been released numerous times from custody despite the danger he poses to the community.

Recently, Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child. Six days ago, he was released from custody even though he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Arkansas and has felony charges in Washington State.

If you have information on Clemmons please contact your local police department. This low-scum criminal has to be caught and put in jail.

Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities? (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News November 24th, 2009 @ 3:22 pm by Linda 

Recently, Forbes listed the most dangerous cities in the U.S. They used violent crime statistics from the FBI’s 2008 latest uniform crime report to determine which cities were most dangerous.

According to the FBI, the violent crime category is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Forbes used federal statistics of cities with more than 500,000 residents. Although nationwide crime was down 3.5% in the first six months of 2008, their top ten most dangerous cities were among those identified by the Department of Justice as transit points for Mexican drug cartels.

Run by crime lords like Joaquin Guzman Lorea, these drug gangs and their violent turf wars are spreading into the American Southwest and beyond. Stockton, California listed as number 5 is 500 miles from Tijuana and has seen an uptick in related violent crime. Stockton is a major transit point along the I-5 corridor on the way to Seattle and Vancouver. Most of the crime is drug gangs fighting other drug gangs.

However, the number one most dangerous city is Detroit, Michigan. There have been 1,220 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people. The reason is that this city has a lot of local crime syndicates along with small gangs who tend to compete over territory. Memphis, Tennessee is listed as number two; Miami, Florida is number three and Las Vegas, Nevada is number four.

What all of these cities have in common is the bad economy and lower housing prices. There are many areas that have vacant homes as well as vacant businesses.

High Tech Surveillance Cameras catch criminals (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 23rd, 2009 @ 11:34 am by Linda 

Pictures on surveillance camera videos today have advanced so much, criminals are now being caught easier and faster than before. According to an article in the Star Tribune, these advancements in video surveillance technology has helped in crime fighting in Minesota.

Videos have assisted police in the speed of catching suspects accused of robbery, theft, assault and other crimes. The new high resolution images caught on video has contributed to successful prosecutions and has lead to personal stories about speedy identifications of suspects.

For example, because of the quality of the still frames from the videos, police received dozens of calls after photos of Dawn Marie Rassett, the woman charged in Washington County with stealing credit cards from teachers’ purses, were published. Additional charges came last week in Ramsey County after police found more video allegedly showing Rassett, also known as Dawn Marie Scott, using stolen credit cards at businesses in Roseville, White Bear Lake, Maplewood, Vadnais Heights and North St. Paul.

The digital technology of surveillance cameras now allows crisp quality and timely clues that videotapes never did. Images are clear – almost portrait like – and makes it clear who committed the crime. Many of these cameras are computer driven digital cameras that now record images for months. If a store is robbed. a few clicks on a computer takes them to the precise time of the holdup and shows clear pictures of the would be robber. Nearly 80 percent of all Minneapolis metro business owners now have these type of camera installed.

The next time you go into a store, remember to smile – you’re on Candid Camera!

A Bonnie and Clyde type bank robbery (0)

Posted in Misc Crime November 20th, 2009 @ 1:49 pm by Linda 

The other day, a quiet suburb of Denver, Colorado experienced a Bonnie and Clyde type of bank robbery. A couple walked into a 1st Bank branch in the Denver area and demanded money. The male bank robber was not polite and a heated verbal exchange developed. They made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Shortly afterwards, police spotted their vehicle and chased the robbers. Both the man and woman robber were shooting at police officers during the chase. However, the police were able to disable their car and shots were fired between the robbers’ car and police. Police say the male suspect, who was driving the car, was killed and pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, who was the passenger, was pronounced dead later at a hospital. Two police officers were injured during the gun battle.

The FBI said that this was the first time that these bank robbers tried to rob a bank in Colorado. They were not residents of Colorado but from another state. According to FBI statistics, this year in Colorado, there have been 158 bank robberies. Last year, there were 150 bank robberies, most of them in the metro area of Denver. Current statistics also show that Michigan as well as Colorado has the most bank robberies throughout the country.

DWI offenders can continue driving in Minnesota (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 17th, 2009 @ 1:59 pm by Linda 

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is offering 400 DWI offenders to participate in the State’s Ignition Interlock Program. This program makes sure that certain DWI offenders can drive again by having an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles.

The ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle from being started if the device detects an alcohol concentration level of 0.02. The driver needs to blow into a tube before starting the car. To make sure that the device is working correctly, the driver needs to re-test after the initial test. In addition, the device restricts others from starting the car and then allowing the offender to drive impaired.

Research from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation reports interlock devices can reduce repeat DWI offenses by 45 percent to 90 percent. Currently, about 13 states have laws that require interlock use after a first-time DWI arrest. MADD nationally supports interlock for all DWI offenders.

A DWI conviction is costly. In order to drive again, you pay for the interlock program that costs $3 to $4 a day depending on the ignition interlock device. You also pay for the installation of the interlock that costs $90–$100 and removal fee of $50. Then you need to pay for your license reinstatement at a cost of $680, or for DWI driver’s exam fees that varies. Even if you don’t go along with the interlock program, DWI offenders still pay the reinstatement and related license fees once they are permitted to regain their license.

Best advice if you want to continue driving in Minnesota, don’t drive drunk.

Road Rage still haunting our highways (0)

Posted in Misc Crime November 16th, 2009 @ 12:26 pm by Linda 

At some time, all of us have experienced some type of road rage when driving. Whether you are the victim or the aggressor, road rage on our highways is not a pretty thing. AAA reported that at least 1,500 people a year are seriously injured or killed in senseless traffic disputes.

We have all experienced drivers following too closely, driving at excessive speeds, weaving through traffic, and even people running stop signs and stoplights. Road rage may even escalate into drivers gesturing in anger or yelling at another motorist. When road rage turns into physical assault and even murder, this is when it is a crime.

Recently the Denver Post reported such a confrontation that turned into a motorist shooting another motorist due to road rage. In Westminster, Colorado, Travis Smith, a 26-year-old man, shot and killed a 21-year-old man. He is being held in the Adams County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder.

Several witnesses saw Travis Smith driving a blue GMC Jimmy beside a tan 1992 Toyota Corolla eastbound on West 120th Avenue just before the intersection at Huron Street. Something happened between the two vehicles and Smith pulled out a gun and shot the 21-year-old man.

The reason for this cold-blooded murder is unknown. Police don’t think it was gang related. Just another road rage incident that is senseless and unwarranted.

Minnesota hunter is facing criminal charges (0)

Posted in Misc Crime November 12th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm by Linda 

With hunting season ending, news about illegal poaching is starting to surface. The Pioneer Press recently ran an article about a Cannon Falls man charged with poaching a white-tailed buck. This buck was a trophy buck with the largest set of eight point antlers ever recorded.

According to reports, Troy Alan Reinke age 32 of Cannon Falls, claimed that he killed three deer within weeks of each other. One was a smaller buck he shot with a bow and arrow. He claims that he couldn’t find the buck until the next day, but took the antlers and meat. The other was a small doe that he took the meat and the third was a trophy buck that he did tag with his license and registered in Cannon Falls. Unfortunately, he possessed only one license and no bonus tags.

The trophy buck’s antlers are considered the biggest eight-pointer ever shot. It has extremely large mass and is very symmetrical. The Department of National Resources (DNR) has confiscated the deer and antlers and officially scored the antlers. The eight-point gross score was 190 5/8 inches on the Boone & Crockett scale, with a net score of 185 inches. DNR officials say the biggest eight-pointer ever shot was a Michigan deer with a score of 180.

As a result, Reinke is a poacher who hunted illegally. He is no stranger to law enforcement. He has previous convictions for domestic assault, theft and fishing with too many fishing lines. He has served 120 days in jail recently for his second domestic assault charge.

With this illegal poaching, he is charged with thirteen counts of illegally taking deer. If convicted he faces $19,000 in fines, up to a year in jail and revocation of his hunting license. This is one of Minnesota’s highest profile cases in recent years.

Clerical error causes warrants cancelled for criminals in Colorado (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News November 10th, 2009 @ 12:12 pm by Linda 

According to a local news station in Denver, Colorado, the 18th Judicial District, Colorado’s largest by population, including Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, accidentally purged hundreds of unresolved misdemeanor cases years before they were due to be reviewed for dismissal.

This represented many criminals who skipped court appearances and included 1,109 similar cases in 2007. One in four of those cases or at least 285 warrants were cancelled by mistake and were not eligible for dismissal under rules established by the 18th Judicial District and District Attorney Carol Chambers.

The Colorado Supreme Court requires unresolved misdemeanor cases be held for no less than four years before documents can be destroyed to save space. An agreement between the 18th Judicial District and District Attorney Chambers required that the most minor traffic offenses with active failure to appear warrants be held for five years. The deal outlined a sliding scale where the most serious misdemeanor cases including DUI, child abuse and drugs charges would be individually reviewed after 10 years. However, because of a “clerical error” these cases were purged out of the system.

The result was that a known criminal who was also an illegal immigrant charged with vehicular homicide was out on the streets. He was known to drive drunk and in September 2009 killed a sixty-nine year old grandmother.

This is what happens when a “clerical” error occurs. Criminals are out on the street and innocent people die. Because of this error, a judge has reissued warrants in some of the 285 prematurely dismissed cases, but other cases appear to be lost forever.

Can a virus download child porn on your computer? (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 9th, 2009 @ 11:01 am by Linda 

Most everyone who uses a computer to surf the Internet needs to be aware that whether intentionally or unintentionally your computer may become infected by a virus or malicious program that may download child porn sites to your computer. According to an Associated Press article, several child porn cases have been dismissed because of a claim that a virus infected computers and downloaded child porn sites.

How can this type of virus infect your computer? Software maker F-Secure Corp claims that about 20 million of the estimated 1 billion Internet-connected PCs worldwide are infected with viruses that could give hackers full control. Computers often get infected when people open e-mail attachments from unknown sources, visit a malicious Web page. Even those annoying pop-ups can infect your compunter.

Pedophiles can exploit a virus infected PC by remotely storing and viewing their stash on someone else’s computer. Pedophiles can also tap viruses in several ways. The simplest is to force someone else’s computer to surf child porn sites, collecting images along the way. Or a computer can be made into a warehouse for pictures and videos that can be viewed remotely when the PC is online.

Unfortunately, pranksters or someone trying to frame you can also tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal web sites. Child porn can land on a computer because of a sick prank or an attempt to frame the PC’s owner. The cost to prove your innocence can amount to over $250,000 and if you can’t prove your innocence you will go to jail.

Bottom line is to make sure that your computer has the right antivirus software, never open up an email you don’t know where it came from and never go to web sites that have not been verified. The cost of prevention is very little when compared to the cost of proving your innocence. Time, money and your reputation will be at stake.

Human trafficking is a crime against humanity (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention November 5th, 2009 @ 11:16 am by Linda 

The Minnesota Criminals blog has written several blogs in the past about the hideous crime of human trafficking. Criminals transport women, girls, boys and men for sex trade and other forced labor. An estimated 800,000 people are forced into commercial sex trade each year according to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency).

Now ICE is bringing this crime to the attention to everyone with its new ad campaign, “Hidden in Plain Sight.” This campaign seeks to encourage community members to report human trafficking if they observe it. Through posters, billboards and transit signs the message is on display in several major cities that include St. Paul, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio.

Some victims may be lured by the false promise of prosperity. However, once committed to the trafficker they are forced to work as sex slaves, sweat-shop employees, domestic servants or fruit pickers, according to ICE. These victims do not speak the language of the country where they are taken and traffickers conceal victims’ travel and identity documents. Criminal traffickers may also threaten to harm their victims and families if they try to escape.

That is why ICE needs your help to stop human trafficking. If you see a situation that may not be right, contact your local police or ICE immediately.

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