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Why are judges lenient on sex criminals? (0)

Posted in Sex Offenders December 29th, 2009 @ 11:53 am by Linda 

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if someone commits a sex crime, he will probably do it again. However, lately judges seem to be the only ones who just don’t get it. Take for instance a St. Charles, Minnesota man convicted of multiple sex crimes. Even though he is a convicted criminal, a judge granted him a three-day furlough to move some furniture at his motel and residence in St. Charles. While there he assaulted another woman.

This sex criminal, Aric Vernon Wold age 39 is no stranger to sex crime charges. He was convicted of two sex crimes and is facing charges involving a 15-year-old girl. In addition he is charged in Winona County District Court with second-degree criminal sexual conduct for using force and causing injury during a sexual assault as well as fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for using force during a sexual assault. He was also charged with using a minor in a sexual performance or pornographic work. Back in 2004 he was convicted of fifth degree cirminal sexual conduct as well as in 2009 but was on probation for the 2009 conviction.

Why? Obviously, this man has a history of sexual crimes. He should be in jail, and not allowed any type of probation. Sadly, it seems that judges are the only ones who just don’t get it. How many times does it take repeat offenders to commit their crimes before a judge throws them in jail for their rest of their lives?

Are Colorado bank robberies a crime spree are signs of a bad economy? (0)

Posted in Misc Crime December 21st, 2009 @ 10:09 am by Linda 

In just one week in the Denver, Colorado area, there have been fourteen bank robberies. In just one day, four Denver area banks were robbed. There were three a day each on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and another was reported on Thursday.

So far, no one has been caught but all the suspects have stolen undisclosed sums of money. Colorado ranks 5th in the nation in per-capita bank robberies. Last year, 135 Colorado banks were robbed – that averages about two or three a week. This year the total number of robberies is nearing 200.

The FBI says there does not seem to be a pattern in the bank robberies. However, the FBI said the same man might have robbed the same bank last Friday. This man smelled of alcohol at another bank robbery. The increase of bank robberies around the holidays are concerning to the FBI and agents are afraid some could turn aggressive and result in injuries.

Law enforcement authorities say that this alarming bank robbery trend may be connected to the holiday season and a reflection of a bad economy. However, law-abiding citizens are not robbing banks at this alarming rate. These are criminals looking for money for drugs and booze, and not looking to fill Christmas stockings or buying gifts for their kids and family.

Bank robbery is a felony and a Federal crime. On the average, over sixty percent of robbers are caught within 18 months after robbing a bank. If anyone has information about the bank robberies, contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

Who is watching your kids? (0)

Posted in Sex Offenders December 17th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm by Linda 

A recent audit from the Department of Children and Families in Wisconsin found that felons and abusers were living at Wisconsin day care centers. Even though the audit couldn’t verify if they were actually living at the day care centers, just the thought of these criminals taking care of your kids is scary. Some of the cases included seven household members and one employee who either were convicted of felony battery or child abuse and neglect.

These findings show that there are gaps in Wisconsin state’s systems for conducting background checks on childcare operators. But it doesn’t stop there. In Florida, an audit found thousands of people with criminal pasts that included violent felonies, marijuana use and child abuse were also working in daycare centers.

The problem starts with hiring daycare providers. Most daycare providers are paid $8.00 an hour and in Florida, even though the law requires criminal background checks for child care employees, these people are allowed to begin work before screening is complete. Once the results are in, a process that can take months, people barred from working with children because of a criminal record can still qualify by obtaining an exemption finding that they have been rehabilitated.

As a result, many times this opens the door for rapists, pedophiles and even killers to work in childcare. In Florida, a statewide database of background screenings since 1985 showed at least 2,400 people were already employed in childcare before checks turned up their criminal records. Another 2,900 people with criminal pasts were cleared for day care work through exemptions, though some had been found guilty of crimes including child abuse, kidnapping and murder.

People with disqualifying criminal records can never be a public school teacher or even a bail bondsman in Florida. But they can still get jobs in child care, because exemptions are possible for any misdemeanor, regardless of how recent, and felonies committed more than three years earlier. Crimes committed by people granted exemptions include aggravated assault, arson, sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and domestic violence.

The best advice for parents is to do your homework. Ask for references for all childcare centers and check the Internet for pedophiles and sex abusers in your community. Because, maybe one of them may be living with your daycare provider or working as a daycare provider and you don’t want to take the chance that your child may be in danger.

Operation Holiday Hoax (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention December 15th, 2009 @ 10:27 am by Linda 

During the holiday season, everyone is looking for “good deals” on name brand products. However, some of those “good deals” may be fakes. DVDs, Gucci purses, sports jerseys, Donna Karan perfume, Louis Vuitton purses, Calvin Klein clothing, Air Jordan shoes and even batteries can be counterfeit products.

According to a Star Tribune article, shoddy copies of your favorite presents, many from China, may be selling to you at one-third the price. As a result, Federal agents have taken down counterfeiters in the Minnesota area. The sting hit Minnesota vendors for the second time just before Thanksgiving.

Officials with the local office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have seized items with a street value of $136,000, but would be worth more than $450,000 if they were genuine and had been sold at the manufacturers’ suggested retail price. A similar operation before Thanksgiving seized more than 17,000 counterfeit items at 21 metro area stores. The latest initiative seized more than 708,000 items in 41 locations across the U.S. in the past week. Recently, local agents seized nearly 22,000 bogus goods at 12 businesses in Minneapolis and St. Cloud. In all, the national sting netted items such as ornaments, toys, clothing and perfume with a retail value of more than $26 million.

John Morton, assistant secretary for ICE recently said, “This is the season these criminals lure in unwitting holiday shoppers and sell them substandard and sometimes dangerous goods. Besides putting a dent in the criminals’ holiday profits, we are getting out the word to consumers that counterfeits are everywhere.”

More stings are planned during the rest of the holiday season.

More police officers killed in 2009 (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News December 14th, 2009 @ 2:38 pm by Linda 

The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008 according to statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. So far, forty-seven police officers have died nationwide this year, up from 38 for the same time in 2008.

Police officers are always under the threat of being shot by criminals but the spike in the death toll is overwhelming. What makes this statistics so difficult is that criminals have specifically targeted police officers. From a police officer gunned down in his patrol car in Penn Hills, PA while waiting for backup, to four officer shot to death in Oakland, California after a traffic stop, to the most recent incident in Seattle where four officers starting their day at a coffee shop being ambushed by an ex-con with a hand gun.

Times are tough these days with high unemployment, foreclosed homes and state budget cuts. However, law enforcement experts can’t really explain this increase in shootings.

Don’t be a “puffer” this winter (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention December 10th, 2009 @ 10:58 am by Linda 

As winter is fast approaching, many drivers think it is okay to warm up their car before driving off. As long as you are inside the car, you are okay, but once you turn on the ignition and go back into your house, you may receive a citation from police. In Minnesota the law is known as “open ignition law”, in other states such as Colorado, it’s known as “puffing” and you will be ticketed by police.

Any law that prohibits a driver leaving their car running unattended is not intended to punish the driver but to make them aware that this is a direct invitation to criminals to steal your car.

Police will tell you that auto theft is a crime of opportunity just like many other crimes. If a criminal sees your car running and no one in the car, he will steal your car. Some cars are found; some cars are used for another type of crime and yet others are taken to a “chop shop” for parts and never found.

Even though it is cold out, be smart and never leave your car running even for a moment. You never know when a car thief is waiting to steal your car.

Minnesota will enforce DWI during the holiday season (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News December 9th, 2009 @ 12:43 pm by Linda 

The Minnesota State Patrol plans to team up with about 400 local law enforcement agencies statewide to conduct DWI enforcement for the holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is typically the most deadly time on Minnesota roads. From 2006-2008, alcohol related crashes in the month of December accounted for 44 traffic deaths and 76 serious injuries. In addition, during this period, 9,903 motorists were arrested for DWI.

While most people think that being arrested for a DWI is no big deal, think again. The results of being arrested results in loss of license for at least 90 days and fines up to $20,000 when factoring increased insurance rates, court and lawyer costs, driver reinstatement fees and more. This can really turn your life upside down for a long time.

Law enforcement also will be enforcing seat belt laws enacted in June 2009. A major factor in many alcohol-related deaths is seat belt use. Each year, 75 percent of the impaired drivers killed are also not belted. By partnering seat belt and DWI enforcement, law enforcement will provide better results for traffic safety. This means that law enforcement will stop and ticket drivers and passengers for seat belt violations that can total more than $100.

Don’t drive drunk during this holiday season and always buckle up before you drive.

Are your kids sexting? (0)

Posted in Misc Crime December 8th, 2009 @ 11:22 am by Linda 

According to the Associated Press, sexting among your kids is more prevalent than you think. Sexting is sharing sexually explicit photos, videos and chat by cell phone or online. More than a quarter of young people are involved in sexting in some form. Many young people don’t see a problem with sexting. They think it is nothing but a joke and they laugh about it.

What they don’t understand is sexting is serious because of the dire consequences. Criminal charges can be charged to kids who send out nude pictures. Then there is digital bullying that can occur. The worst consequence in at least two cases is suicide. An eighteen year old girl hung herself after weeks of ridicule at school. She sent a nude picture of herself over her cell phone and when she broke up with her boyfriend he forwarded the picture to other girls.

That’s why parents need to be aware of what their kids are sending over their cell phone. Also, sexting messages that kids send can also be very graphic. A local Denver TV station broke the sexting code text and printed it so parents can be aware of what their kids are texting. For example, a text message of “Code 9” means parents are around. “GNOC” means get naked on camera and “FOL” means found of leather.

Thirteen year olds up to twenty-five year olds are sexting messages to their friends. Unfortunately, about half of all young people say they have been targets of digital bullying.That means someone wrote something about them on the Internet that was mean or a lie, or someone shared an e-mail or instant message that was supposed to be private. Less often, it can be more serious, such as taking pictures or video of someone in a sexual situation and sharing it with others.

Young people need to understand that sexting is not only a crime but also can make their lives miserable. Adults, talk with your kids and let them know that “sexting” is dangerous and can change their lives forever.

U.S. Census count coming next year (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention December 7th, 2009 @ 3:27 pm by Linda 

The 2010 Census is due next year. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing a warning to be cautious with giving out too much information. Don’t become a victim of fraud or identity theft.

The first phase of the 2010 U.S. census is gathering and verifying addresses of households across the country. Eventually more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the U.S. and gather information about them. The census includes information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race and other relevant data.

If you receive an in-home visit from a U.S. Census worker, make sure he/she has a badge, a handheld device, a U.S. Census Bureau canvas bag and a confidentiality notice. Always ask to see identification and badge before answering any questions. In addition, census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone even if they insist they need it for the U.S. Census. They do not need this information and chances are they are con artists looking to steal your identity.

The Census Bureau may ask for basic financial information, but they will only ask for a salary range and you don’t need to answer any questions about your financial situation. Remember, no matter what a census worker is asking you, you only need to tell them how many people live at your address and nothing more.

In addition, if the Census worker is working with Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN), tell them to get lost. No ACORN worker is working for the Census Bureau next year. Finally, census workers may contact you by telephone, mail or in person at home. If you receive an email – delete the email because it is a scam to steal your identity or harm your computer. For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud visit www.bbb.org.

H1N1 e-mail scam alert! (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention December 4th, 2009 @ 2:44 pm by Linda 

It’s always amazing what thieves will do to steal your identity. A new e-mail scam is going around that you should be aware of. Recently, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is warning about the latest H1N1 scam asking for personal information.

Health officials are now considering offering H1N1 flue vaccines to the general population in many states such as Colorado. The e-mail asks you to create your personal H1N1 vaccination profile on a phony government site. Here they ask for personal information in an attempt to steal your identity.

Whatever you do, don’t click on the link in the e-mail because there may be software on the site that can embed into your computer and steal any passwords you may use for other sites. Don’t open the e-mail and delete the e-mail immediately.

If you want information about H1N1 vaccine availability, visit the CDC site or your State Health Department’s web site directly. These sites will never ask for any personal information or have you enter passwords.

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