Sunday, November 29, 2009

Four cops killed at cafe -- Parkland, WA

A gunman burst into a coffeehouse Sunday and opened fire on four police officers as they sat working on their laptops, killing the three men and one woman in what an official described as a targeted ambush.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said officers were looking for one male suspect who fled the scene and haven't ruled out an accomplice, possibly a getaway driver.

It wasn't clear whether the officers even had time to draw their weapons to return fire, Troyer said.

''This was more of an execution. Walk in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers,'' Troyer said.

Troyer said the officers -- all from the Lakewood Police Department -- were catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts when they were attacked at 8:15 a.m. Sunday.

Troyer said the attack was clearly targeted at the officers, not a robbery gone bad.

''There were marked patrol cars outside and they were all in uniform,'' Troyer said.

With no known suspects, there was no indication of any connection with the Halloween night shooting of a Seattle police officer. The suspect in that shooting remains hospitalized.

''We won't know if it's a copycat effect or what it was until we get the case solved,'' Troyer said. ''We don't even have a suspect ID right now.''

Hammer time for Target -- Winona, MN

A hammer-wielding man left a wake of destruction in Winona’s Target Store Saturday evening, then fought police and led them on a chase through the store before they apprehended him.

Officers entered the Target Store at 5:15 p.m. Saturday to find a bloody-faced Jerome Charles Eberle, 39, waving a hammer. Customers were streaming out the front doors, according to police reports.

Police had been notified by a shopper inside the store who reported a man using a hammer to smash big-screen televisions while saying “hammer, hammer, hammer” in a monotone voice. Police chased Eberle through the store and he swung the hammer at one officer before police subdued him with a taser.

Eberle, of Chicago, is charged with two counts of assault on police officers, obstruction of justice with force, first-degree property damage and disorderly conduct. After the incident he was transported to Winona Health for a behavioral evaluation, and remained there on Sunday afternoon.

A Target Store manager on Sunday declined to speak about the incident.

ATM scammin' worth 70 grand -- Buffalo Grove, IL

Thieves stole more than $70,000 from an ATM after installing a camera that recorded customers' transactions, Buffalo Grove, Ill., police said.

The camera and another recording device were installed by two people in the lobby of a Chase Bank branch between 3:40 a.m. Nov. 14 and 5:15 a.m. Nov. 16, the Chicago Sun-times reported Saturday.

The two thieves then returned and used information from the recordings to withdraw more than $70,000 from various accounts, police said.

Jewelry store smash n' grab -- South Windsor, CT

Police are searching for four thieves who smashed into a mall jewelry store about 5 a.m. Saturday and fled with an unspecified amount of valuables.

An officer responding to a burglar alarm at the Ultra Diamonds store in the Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk saw that a glass window had been shattered, as had the jewelry display cases inside the shop, police said. Backup was called, including a state police canine unit from Hartford, but no suspects were found during a search of the area.

The break-in was captured on surveillance video, which has not been released. Police said the burglars may have left in a waiting vehicle.,0,5344375.story

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Expensive school fire ruled arson -- Naperville, IL

Investigators say last week's fire at Scott Elementary School in Naperville was arson and the school is implementing new safety procedures.

According to a notification sent to parents tonight, Scott School officials say both the Naperville Police and Fire Departments have determined the fire was deliberately set in a boy's bathroom.

The fire started at about 9:53 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, and caused about $100,000 in smoke damage at the school. Everyone was evacuated safely.

The investigation is being called "active" and no one has been charged yet.

University tensions rising -- Los Angeles, CA

The windows of the Covel Commons building pounded in sync with the impassioned chanting of the crowd. Inside, 26 individuals pondered a decision that will deeply impact the lives of over two hundred thousand students in the UC system. The indirect results of the decision may ultimately affect millions of Californians.

Over 300 students, workers, faculty and community members converged in solidarity at the entrance of Covel Commons on the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus yesterday to make one last stand against UC Regents proposed 32 percent fee hikes. To keep the crowd from forcing entry into the Regents meeting taking place inside, UC Police Department had a strong presence in the course of events. In a police clash with the crowd, batons and Tasers were used leading to several student injuries. Fourteen arrests were made.

Imari Thomas, a third-year UCLA student, was among those arrested.

“All of us who got arrested had totally clean records, we were willing to get a police record to show the regents how serious we are,” Thomas said.

The 14 students were arrested in two phases, after they stood singing “We Shall Overcome” with linked arms. The first group was cited with Penal Code Section 409, or failure to disperse from a space deemed unlawful. The second group was cited with disturbing the peace. Both groups were later released.

Officers, who were previously providing support in the arrests during the Committee of Finance, ran down the four flights of stairs geared up in the lobby with Tasers, helmets with facemasks, and some with compressed paintball guns.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bank robbery without capture -- Nashville, TN

Metro Police are asking for your help identifying the man who robbing the Regions Bank branch at 315 Deaderick Street Monday morning.

Police say he approached the teller and presented a robbery demand note at 9:50 a.m.

The teller complied and the suspect fled on foot.

Animal research vehicles sabotaged -- Salt Lake City, UT

Numerous tailpipes of vehicles associated with the University of Utah Animal Research Center were stuffed with unmentioned objects yesterday. The anonymous communique is as follows:

"Although it may be cold and snowy outside, University of Utah staff will be in for a warm surprise when they start their vehicles this morning. This evening we placed dozens of surprises deep within the tailpipes of faculty vehicles and shuttles near the Animal Research Center. The same Animal Research Center that unnecessarily tests on a large variety of animals ranging from mice, rats, rabbits and non-human primates to homeless dogs and cats purchased from nearby shelters. Something in which we have just become informed. These tests do nothing more than give the so-called 'researchers' more money in grants by changing small variables in tests that have been going on for years and years with no successful scientific progress at all. The surprises left today are not meant to harm nor hurt anyone. They are simply left as a reminder that we are serious. Seriousness comes at a cost, and unfortunately the cost this time will only be a few thousand in auto-repairs. But DO take this as a warning. We will be back and next time it won't be a couple of small repairs. WE ARE WATCHING!

Students for Animal Liberation."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend vandalism spree -- Boulder, CO

Residents in a University Hill neighborhood say vandals who left a path of destruction this weekend went way beyond typical mischief.

Boulder police received at least seven reports of vandalism Saturday morning.

Police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said someone, or a group of people, pulled out a parking sign from the First Congregational Church, 1128 Pine St., and threw it through the church's front glass doors.

No one went into the church, Huntley said, and it appears the damage was done just for the fun of it.

Elsewhere, a motorcycle was intentionally tipped over in the 1000 block of 14th Street, and a huge boulder weighing 60 to 70 pounds was lobbed at a parked car in the 1000 block of 10th Street.

Rocks also damaged the hoods and windows of vehicles in the 900 and 1000 blocks of Lincoln Place and in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

One homeowner's lawn furniture was stolen in the 1000 block of Ninth Street.

The estimated damage to vehicles ranges from $500 to $1,500, Huntley said.

Investigators think the incidents happened sometime overnight Friday or early Saturday morning.

"Based on the timing and the proximity of the incidents, investigators believe this was probably a spree" by the same person or people, Huntley said.

Turf war -- Naperville, IL

The artificial turf cost a cool $750,000 dollars. Now, school officials in Naperville are trying to figure out how much it will cost to clean up the mess made by vandals armed with spray paint.

CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reports that police say the person or people responsible, accomplished their crime under the cover of darkness vandalizing the newly installed synthetic turf field at Naperville North High School.

The mascot of Naperville North, a husky, is defaced with various colors of spray paint. Nearly half of the field has obscenities scrawled on it.


The vandals created thousands of dollars in damage to the taxpayer supported project. School workers have been on their hands and knees trying to get some of the graffiti to fade. Right now, the school is looking at three options: trying to clean the spray paint using a professional company, painting over the graffiti, or replacing the damaged parts of the field.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aluminum heist worth 80k -- Niles, MI

Police suspect three men of planning heist of trailer full of aluminum. Thieves use their own semi to take off with $80,000 worth of product.

A bold heist is under investigation and police believe it is pulled off by a semi-truck driver.

This past weekend, a trailer full of aluminum was stolen by a few thieves.

It happened at a company that makes aluminum extrusions in Niles.

The trailer was packed and ready for a delivery on Monday morning. On Sunday night it was taken from the company's lot. The company says it happened while no one was working but typically the business is manned 24-7.

Police believe the three suspects involved had a plan.

Monday morning workers at Aacoa aluminum in Niles realized a trailer full of aluminum was missing. The trailer was taken by thieves who used their own semi to haul if off.

"It was sitting there. It was staged like it was waiting to be picked up by our driver, who would be bringing his own driver in just like the theft occurred," says Aacoa Extrusions Vice President Jeff Teeple.

It's estimated the trailer and aluminum are worth a total of 80-thousand-dollars.

200 Cars smashed up by two brothers -- Ross Township, PA

Two brothers have been arrested after vandalizing more than 200 cars in several Allegheny County communities, racking up a bill that police estimate to be at least $50,000 in damages.

"I'm pretty disgusted over it," said one man who had the back window of his mini-van completely smashed out. "I don't know what our deductible is, I think $500, and $232 to get fixed. We are stuck paying for that."

Police said Matthew Snyder, 25, and Scott Snyder, 24, of Bellevue, damaged at least 70 of the vehicles in West View, with others being vandalized in Ross Township, Avalon, Ben Avon and Bellevue at about 5:30 a.m.

Early morning bank robbery -- Indianapolis, IN

Police are looking for three men involved in a bank robbery early Thursday morning on Indianapolis' west side.

The robbery happened at the National City Bank in the 1200 block of South High School Road just before 9:30 a.m.

Witnesses told police that three black men wearing black clothing, black ski caps and black gloves came into the bank with handguns and demanded money from a teller.

The men were given money and left in a red minivan, Indianapolis police Sgt. Matt Mount said.

The van was later found still running behind a church in the 700 block of South High School road. Police think the men jumped out of the van and into another vehicle before leaving.

$24,000 Worth of jewelry and laptops stolen -- Rock Hill, SC

A Rock Hill jewelry store was burglarized this week, police say.

Thieves got away with more than $20,000 worth of jewelry and two laptop computers valued at $4,000 after breaking into Angela Woods Interiors and Antiques on India Hook Road after hours, according to a report from the York County Sheriff’s Office.

The lock on the back door had been broken sometime between 5 p.m. last Friday and 10 a.m. Monday, the store’s owner told police.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hackers steal $9.4 million from ATMs -- Worldwide

A federal grand jury has indicted one Russian and six Eastern Europeans for hacking into the computer system of Atlanta-based RBS WorldPay and stealing, in less than 12 hours, $9.4 million from automated teller machines in 280 cities across the world.

“This investigation has broken the back of one of the most sophisticated hacking rings in the world,” Sally Yates, acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said in a statement.

The grand jury in Atlanta indicted Viktor Pleshchuk, 28, of St. Petersburg, Russia; Oleg Covelin, 28, of Chisinau, Moldova; and five Estonians: Sergei Tsurikov, 25, Igor Grudijev, 31, Ronald Tsoi, 31, Evelin Tsoi, 20, and Mihhail Jevgenov, 33. Another person, identified only as "Hacker 3," was also indicted.

In November 2008, Mr. Pleshchuk, Mr. Tsurikov and Mr. Covelin hacked into the RBS WorldPay computer network, according to the indictment. RBS WorldPay is the U.S. payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The three alleged hackers decoded the encryption on debit cards used by companies to pay their employees. They then allegedly raised the amount of funds available on the cards and issued 44 counterfeit cards to a network of “cashers” who withdrew more than $9.4 million from 2,100 ATMs in Canada, Estonia, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

$128,000 Stolen from beauty school -- Carlstadt, NJ

A state grand jury indicted a Carlstadt man Friday on a charge of second-degree theft by deception for misusing $128,209 from a Fort Lee cosmetology school where he worked, the state Attorney General's Office said.

William J. Reilley, 56, allegedly misled the owner of the Onyx Beauty Academy to believe that he was using the money to pay business creditors when it actually went for personal expenses, such as $25,000 in rental car fees and a $1,000 deposit on a catering hall for a family function, a press release from the attorney general said.

Reilley was hired in 2004 to teach, assist with financial management and apply for government loans and grants, the release said. No grants or loans were obtained.

Near-riot after man Tasered -- Lake Wales, FL

Police in Lake Wales, Florida are investigating a weekend traffic stop that nearly ended in a riot.

Dozens of neighborhood residents swarmed police as they worked to take three suspects into custody during the stop.

Multiple cameras, including the dashboard units mounted in patrol cars and others on one police officers TASER captured the melee.

Two of the three suspects were able to escape because of the crowd's actions.

$156,000 Scammed from gov't welfare -- Monsey, NY

A 58-year-old Monsey man has been accused of stealing $156,000 from welfare programs by the county as part of its continuing investigation into fraud.

Benjamin Ruttner is accused of filing false information to illegally obtain $89,000 in federal rental subsidies from November 2004 to November 2009. He is accused of stealing $67,000 in food stamps and Medicaid benefits from May 2006 to August 2009.

Through his attorney, Kenneth Gribetz of New City, Ruttner denied the Rockland District attorney’s charges of second-degree grand larceny and second-degree welfare fraud.

The charges carry a prison sentence of four to 14 years, and the judge could order the repayment of the benefits.

Ruttner has been released on $5,000 bail. He is the father of 12 children and works as a custodian at a local synagogue, Gribetz said Friday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flames for a judge's office -- McKeesport, PA

Police say a Molotov cocktail or similar fire bomb was thrown through the window of a district judge's office near Pittsburgh causing a small fire.

Police in McKeesport haven't made an arrest in the incident, reported after 7 a.m. Thursday at the office of District Judge Eugene Riazzi (ree-AH'-zee) Jr.

Riazzi is a former police captain in McKeesport, a city about 15 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, but say he doesn't know what could have prompted the attack.

Firefighters extinguished some burning carpet in the office, but an Allegheny County fire marshal says damage was minimal.

Mom robs four banks -- San Diego, CA

A Poway mother is in jail after being accused of robbing four banks, 10News reported.

Roxanne Pennock, 37, is married, has a daughter and has at least two stepchildren, authorities told 10News. However, authorities said Pennock has also filed for bankruptcy at least once.

"It's the sign of the times," said Tom Leete, whose daughter's school was placed on lockdown last week. "The first robbery was about a block and a half away from her school."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Police station attacked -- Eugene, OR

A Eugene police substation has been struck by vandalism for the second time in the past year.

Just before 5 a.m. Friday, police said they received a call that a "large guy on a bike" was breaking windows at the substation.

Officers arrived to find two windows cracked, while a police van and an officer's cruiser in the parking lot had been damaged.

The substation is 1 of 2 in the downtown area open during the day for information about crime prevention or to report minor crimes.

In January, someone painted a police van parked at the substation with graffiti.

Molotov'n attempt on courthouse -- Boston, MA

Police are investigating an apparent attempt to set fire to a Boston courthouse.

Officers were called to Dorchester District Court at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday by a security guard.

There they found a broken window and a charred carpet inside a court room.

Police also found a glass bottle containing an unknown gelatin-like substance with a wick protruding from it near the scorched floor. Damage was minimal.

$225,000 stolen from Boy Scouts -- Worcester, MA

A Millbury woman pleaded not guilty Monday to charges she stole $225,000 from the Boy Scouts.

44-year-old Cheryl Allen was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on four counts of larceny.

Allen was a bookkeeper with a company that was contracted by the Mohegan Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Prosecutors say between December 2006 and March of this year, Allen wrote checks totaling more than $225,000 to another company that she was affiliated with.

Allen did not have the authority to write checks for the Boy Scouts.

Two inmates escape prison -- Warren, ME

Authorities say two inmates, 36-year-old Arden Shaw and 28-year-old Robert Fogg, escaped from Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren Saturday night. According to prison officials, Shaw and Fogg were last seen around 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Both men were in prison for burglary and were due to be released in 2013. Officials say Fogg has a tattoo on his neck that says "white trash."

Shaw and Fogg were still at large as of Sunday afternoon.

Church arson -- East Point, GA

East Point officials said they were investigating a fire at a church. Police said the fire was the work of arson.

According to investigators, someone threw a brick into the window of the East Point First Mallalieu United Methodist Church on Church Street Friday afternoon.

Investigators said an accelerant was used to start the fire inside the church. Fire investigators said the fire eventually went out on its own.

The fire remains under investigation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cyber sabotage still an exciting possibility

(CBS) Nothing has ever changed the world as quickly as the Internet has. Less than a decade ago, "60 Minutes" went to the Pentagon to do a story on something called information warfare, or cyber war as some people called it. It involved using computers and the Internet as weapons.

Much of it was still theory, but we were told that before too long it might be possible for a hacker with a computer to disable critical infrastructure in a major city and disrupt essential services, to steal millions of dollars from banks all over the world, infiltrate defense systems, extort millions from public companies, and even sabotage our weapons systems.

Today it's not only possible, all of that has actually happened, plus a lot more we don't even know about.

It's why President Obama has made cyber war defense a top national priority and why some people are already saying that the next big war is less likely to begin with a bang than a blackout.

"Can you imagine your life without electric power?" Retired Admiral Mike McConnell asked correspondent Steve Kroft.

Until February of this year, McConnell was the nation's top spy. As chief of national intelligence, he oversaw the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. Few people know as much about cyber warfare, and our dependency on the power grid, and the computer networks that deliver our oil and gas, pump and purify our water, keep track of our money, and operate our transportation systems.

"If I were an attacker and I wanted to do strategic damage to the United States, I would either take the cold of winter or the heat of summer, I probably would sack electric power on the U.S. East Cost, maybe the West Coast, and attempt to cause a cascading effect. All of those things are in the art of the possible from a sophisticated attacker," McConnell explained.

"Do you believe our adversaries have the capability of bringing down a power grid?" Kroft asked.

"I do," McConnell replied.

Asked if the U.S. is prepared for such an attack, McConnell told Kroft, "No. The United States is not prepared for such an attack."

"It is now clear this cyber threat is one [of] the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation," President Obama said during a speech.

Anti-Christmas hooliganism -- Cuero, TX

Christmas will be a bit darker this year after vandals destroyed nearly $150,000 worth of lighted scenes in Cuero's annual Christmas in the Park Saturday night.

"It was pretty devastating to us," said Kay Lewis, president of the Cuero Development Corporation December Events Committee. "We all stood out there and cried because that's our baby."

Early-morning golfers discovered the vandalized scenes Sunday in the Cuero Municipal Park. A 30-foot lighted steel steamboat fixture was contorted; a 37-foot steel American flag fixture was submerged in nearby Cuero Lake; and a separate fixture, Sally the Sea Serpent, was in pieces. Her tail and a center piece were also found in the lake.

High school vandalism -- Clarkesville, TN

Vandals broke bus windows and destroyed equipment at Rossview High School late Saturday or early Sunday, said Officer Jim Knoll, Clarksville Police Department spokesman.

The damage was valued at around $20,000.

Knoll said the perpetrators broke into a room containing equipment used to operate the football field’s scoreboard. The equipment, he said, was “destroyed.”

John Miller, the school’s athletic director, said the bus, one used to transport athletes to wrestling meets, had its windows broken and seats cut.

Flames for new houses -- Clayton, NC

Clayton police said fires that burned two newly constructed homes in an unfinished subdivision Saturday night were likely intentionally set.

Firefighters found two homes on fire on Cameo Court in the Chandler's Ridge subdivision, off Glen Laurel Road, shortly before 10 p.m.

Flames had engulfed the house at 47 Cameo Court, police said. It was essentially destroyed.

The other home at 12 Cameo Court received significant fire, smoke and water damage, police said.

A monetary estimate of the damage to the houses has not been completed.