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Will gang violence escalate in Minneapolis this summer? (0)

Posted in Gangs May 27th, 2010 @ 10:50 am by Linda 

According to an article in the Star Tribune, law enforcement is concern about gang violence escalating this summer in Minneapolis. So far, there have been 20 gang killings this year. This is significantly higher than last year at this time.

The latest victim of gang violence was a leader in the Taliban gang that has been around since 2005. This gang is one of the most active and violent gangs in Minneapolis but not the largest. The latest killing was caused by a longtime rivalry with the 19 Block Dipset gang and the Stick up boys. There is no single reason for this type of violence. However, law enforcement believes that when gang members leave jail they restart their old feuds. Of course, drugs have an impact on gang violence as well.

As a result, the city plans to put more resources on the street to help in deterring the violence. No one has been arrested in the latest killing.

Homegrown medical marijuana poses risks to children (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs May 26th, 2010 @ 11:12 am by Linda 

Many states have legalized growing and distributing medical marijuana but now are facing consequences that they have not counted on. Take for example in Colorado, entrepreneurs are finding that all they need are seeds, soil and a few supplies to make money in growing marijuana and selling it to legal medical marijuana dispensaries. People in nice suburban homes are jumping on the bandwagon to make money during these hard economic times.

However, there are risks in this lucrative pot growing operations. Because they are growing the marijuana in their homes, children are often at risk in these homes. According to the Denver North Metro Task Force, it’s not unusual to see hundreds of pot plants being grown in homes. Conditions in these homes where children live are exposed to chemicals necessary to grow marijuana indoors. These chemicals can trigger mold and even high carbon monoxide levels. Would you like to live and raise your children in a greenhouse day after day? That is what essentially is happening during marijuana growing operations.

Health providers have found young children sick from ingesting marijuana as well as respiratory problems in children. Some parents are even sharing smoking pot with their young children in their home.

A marijuana grow house can also require up to 10 times the electricity of a regular house making these homes a time bomb. There are fire hazards and trip hazards. In a grow house water is running through and over electrical outlets. Many growers get their power from their electrical boxes by tapping into their neighbor’s electrical boxes.

Finally, the consequence of growing marijuana in a home leads to more crime in the neighborhood. Not only are parents growing marijuana but also other drugs have been found in the home.

As long as there is a demand for marijuana whether legal or illegal, growing marijuana is an easy money-making machine. In Colorado, the legislature is trying to regulate the medical marijuana industry. A bill to be signed by the governor requires dispensaries to grow the majority of their own marijuana. However, some opponents of the bill feel that this will only fuel the black market for homegrown marijuana that will endanger children in the home.

A car is stolen every 33 seconds throughout the U.S. (0)

Posted in Crime Prevention May 25th, 2010 @ 12:50 pm by Linda 

With the summer months ahead, car thieves are gearing up to steal your car . Did you know that a car is stolen every 33 seconds throughout the U.S.? During the summer, more people are traveling or even leaving their garage doors open all day. This is the perfect opportunity for thieves to steal your car.

The most experienced thieves can get into a car in just seven seconds and most only need a screwdriver to break into a car. During the summer months is when car thieves target cars mostly for their parts. For example, catalytic converters and other material with precious metals on cars are stripped and sold for cash on the black market. A single headlight fixture goes for $150 on the black market and a complete bumper in like new condition off a Toyota or Avalon can go for $500 to $550.

This means it costs you hundreds of millions of dollars in annual insurance premiums. In addition, a car is usually worth one and a half to two times what it’s worth in pieces. As a result, your stolen car is more valuable for a thief to come and steal the parts and sell them than it is for them to steal the car and then try to sell the car.

The most commonly targeted vehicles are Hondas, Toyotas and Acuras. They are the most popular car models on the road and have higher quality parts than comparable American cars.

To avoid a break-in, always lock your car, leave the windows rolled up and valuables stowed out of sight. Also GPS devices are common targets for thieves, yet drivers frequently leave them attached to the windshield or a dashboard. If your car is stolen or broken into, call the police immediately. Most cars can be recovered within 72 hours of their theft.

Ex bank employee accused of stealing money from bank and customers (0)

Posted in Scams May 19th, 2010 @ 10:14 am by Linda 

Recently, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former First National Bank employee for several felony charges. Michael Talamantes age 43 is charged with theft by swindle, theft of corporate property, concealing criminal proceeds, engaging in the business of criminal proceeds and commercial bribery.

Mr. Talamantes was working as a bilingual officer servicing Hispanic customers. The bank noticed discrepancies in his account from October 2006 through February 2009. Huge amounts of cash deposits – $26,356 – were noticed. Talamantes claimed that he earned the money by detailing cars and doing snow removal for Isak’s Auto Sales in Cleveland, Minnesota and Camauta’s Import Auto in Shakopee.

However, both dealerships told investigators that they had not paid him for that type of work. Instead, they paid him for “referrals” that had not been approved by the bank with check payments and not cash

All of his deposits were in cash. In addition, investigators were told by his Hispanic customers to make payments directly to him for their loans. Instead of crediting the customer loans, it appears he may have kept the money for himself. In addition, several customers were told by him not to talk to any one else in the bank except for him.

In reality, he was scamming people who trusted him. All the time this low-life was stealing hard-earned money from vulnerable people and profiting from it.

Tagging suspects were quickly found (0)

Posted in Stupid Criminals May 18th, 2010 @ 12:14 pm by Linda 

Two more names can be added to the Stupid Criminals list. What were these two young men thinking when they stole paint from an elementary school and decided to tag cars in a Boulder, Colorado neighborhood?

Jarrad McKay age 21 and Matthew Baker age 20 were caught red handed or “white” handed by police. These two dumb and dumber criminals, decided to steal white paint and cover cars in their neighborhood with the paint late at night. Police easily tracked them by following the trail that lead to their home nearby. Both men had paint on them and a quick arrest was made.

They will be charged with criminal mischief and theft and will be added to the Stupid Criminals list for this year.

Supreme Court rules to hold indefinitely sexually dangerous prisoners (0)

Posted in Sex Offenders May 17th, 2010 @ 9:46 am by Linda 

According to the Associated Press the Supreme Court has ruled that federal officials can indefinitely hold inmates considered “sexually dangerous” after their prison terms are complete. The Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision that said Congress overstepped its authority in allowing indefinite detentions of offenders considered “sexually dangerous.”

What this means is that last year’s ruling of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruling that Congress overstepped its authority when it enacted a law allowing the government to hold indefinitely people who are considered “sexually dangerous.” The high court has concluded that the Constitution grants Congress legislative power sufficient to enact this law.

This ruling targeted the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. This authorized the civil commitment of sexually dangerous federal inmates. The act was named after the son of “America’s Most Wanted” television host John Walsh. However, the act was challenged by four men who served prison terms ranging from three to eight years for possession of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor. Their confinement was supposed to end more than two years ago, but prison officials said there would be a risk of sexually violent conduct or child molestation if they were released. Now these low-life sex predators can be held indefinitely.

Finally, any State laws allowing civil commitments or indenfinite detentions of sex offenders can be enforced.

Mail carrier’s home filled with undelivered mail (0)

Posted in Misc Crime May 14th, 2010 @ 1:05 pm by Linda 

If you live in or around Northeast Philadelphia and haven’t received your mail yet, you may want to check with the police. A local postal carrier was stashing over 20,000 letters including checks, bills and a college acceptance letter from 2007 in his house.

The postal service in Philadelphia thought something was unusual with this mail man didn’t show up for work for several days. They went to his house and found tubs of undelivered and unopened mail.

Some of the pieces of mail included a $900 check dated December 2007, mail from Social Security Administration, the IRS and an acceptance letter to college dated 2007 to West Chester University. The recipient, who received the letter on Thursday, is now a senior in college. In fact, there was mail dated as far back as 1997.

Delaying mail and stealing mail are both federal offenses. Investigators have yet to question the mail man because they have not been able to locate him.

Twenty-two year old man poises as teenager to play on basketball team (0)

Posted in Scams May 13th, 2010 @ 10:44 am by Linda 

This is a bizarre story from Odessa, Texas. A West Texas student named Jerry Joseph led his high school basketball team to the state playoffs last season. He was actually a twenty-two year old man and not a teenager. The basketball star was really Guerdwich Montimere, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti. A Florida coach recognized the man who played as a basketball player in his high school a few years ago.

Not only did the man pose as a teenager but he also claimed he was homeless. The basketball coach felt sorry for him and let him live in his house for the season. Sounds like the story line from “The Blind Side” starring Sandra Bullock. However, the ending to this story was not what Montimere expected.

Montimere enrolled at the local junior high school as a 15-year-old in February 2009 and then moved on to high school. High school officials became suspicious about his identity when three Florida basketball coaches recognized him at an amateur tournament. The coaches said that he was Montimere and not Jerry Joseph. Montimere graduated their high school in Fort Lauderdale in 2007.

School officials contacted U.S. immigration officials and found that his fingerprints matched on his original immigration papers. He was Jerry Joseph and not Guerdwich Montimere.

Montimere was arrested and booked into Ector County jail on a charge of presenting false identification to a peace officer. He was released from jail after posting a $500 bond.

If convicted of the misdemeanor, Montimere could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The sad part of this scam is that the high school in Texas will have to forfeit the 2009 basketball season.

Stupid criminal’s simple shoplifting case turns into a pot bust (0)

Posted in Stupid Criminals May 11th, 2010 @ 12:58 pm by Linda 

Another stupid criminal turns a simple shoplifting case into a pot bust. His crime started out as a $20 of stolen merchandise from Shopko in Winona County, Minnesota. Patrick Julius Walker, 20, of Winona returned to Shopko and pleaded with store security to let him pay for the items he took. He took a pair of boxer shorts valued at $7.99 and a pair of earring, valued at $12.99.

However, Shopko refused to let the man pay for the items and called police. When the police arrived, Mr. Walker claimed that he didn’t have the earrings and to prove it he emptied his pockets.

In his pockets he had change, candy, candy wrappers, tissue, a wad of cash with a black clip, and a small bag of marijuana. The police asked about the pot and Walker said that he smokes a little dope. He continued to empty his pockets and revealed a larger bag with 10 smaller bags of marijuana weighing 16.8 grams. As he continued to empty his pockets he brought out another bag of pot weighing 7.57 grams and a small scale. He must have had deep pockets to hold all of this stuff!

The police asked Walker about the bags of pot and he said, “Who cares? I smoke a little dope.” It seems that he wasn’t concerned about the dope in his pocket but was more concerned about the shoplifing charges.

However, the police arrested Walker after a scuffle broke out and took him to jail. He is cited for obstructing justice with force, theft by shoplifting and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

A nice, friendly volunteer census worker beats and rapes young woman (0)

Posted in Misc Crime May 10th, 2010 @ 9:33 am by Linda 

In a small town of Pekin, Indiana, a volunteer census worker is accused of beating and raping a physically handicapped woman in her home. Earlier that week he was making his rounds for the census bureau but came back to a house he previously interviewed. There he broke in and beat and raped a physically handicapped young woman.

The people at the house agreed that he was a friendly person and seemed nice. Daniel Miller, a self-employed tile-layer and volunteer Census worker is accused of this crime. After his crime, he drove around the house several times as if he was drunk. According to Miller’s friends, he had been drinking that night. They too can’t believe that he would be involved in this type of crime. Miller has been married for 13 years and has two daughters.

Miller is incarcerated at the Washington County Detention Center. He is being held with no bond and will appear in court soon. It just goes to show you, you really can’t trust anyone today.

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