Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Granddad bandit" suspected in over a dozen bank robberies -- USA

A man dubbed the "Granddad Bandit," suspected in more than a dozen robberies, struck again this week, the FBI said Friday.

The latest incident was Wednesday in Huntsville, Alabama, the FBI said in a release. It offered no further details.

Authorities suspect the Granddad Bandit in 18 other robberies in a dozen states. The FBI said last year that he is a white male, believed to be 50 to 60 years old. He is about 6 feet tall and weighs between 210 and 230 pounds.

On Friday, the FBI said that he may be driving a black four-door Ford F150 or F250 pickup with an Alabama license plate.

"Typically, the man enters the victim bank, approaches the teller counter and hands the teller a note demanding money. During some of the robberies, he has threatened to have a weapon," the bureau said.

Authorities are using electronic billboards in 10 states to try to catch the bandit. The FBI said the billboards -- there are about 75 of them -- will be updated to include a photograph of the vehicle.

String of robberies by "portfolio bandit" -- Denver, CO

The FBI is looking for the so-called Portfolio Bandit, a robber who gives tellers notes he takes from a black portfolio folder.

He is suspected in 11 bank robberies in the Denver metro area from December 2008 and Feb. 3, when he is suspected of robbing the US Bank at 1560 South Pierce St. in Denver.

In three of the robberies he indicated he had a weapon, but tellers did not see one, the FBI said in a statement.

From dance party to occupation to riot -- Berkeley, CA

In Sproul Plaza of UC Berkeley, hundreds gathered for a dance party that began around 10pm on Thursday, February 25. At the peak of the party (around 12am) the 250 people dancing surrounded the loudspeakers as together they moved farther into campus. As we approached Durant Hall, a building currently being renovated, people began handing out communiques. We began to see a yellow light glow from inside the second story windows of the building, and then silhouettes of dozens of occupiers emerged. They rigged a few banners across the front of the building and descended to join the party.

The occupation continued for a little over an hour, as occupiers and outside support began barricading their surroundings. The building, Durant Hall had once been a haven for East Asian Language studies, but is now being remodeled into another administration building. The occupation had the intention to point out this gross contradiction in university spending as well as articulate the need to escalate for March 4th. The point made, the occupiers and the supporters joined together to move the dance party away from an assured arrest action as police numbers slowly increased, in order to reserve their energy for the coming week.

As the crowd reached Telegraph and Bancroft (one entrance to UCB), the disruption of business as usual continued, as a handful of masked individuals grabbed trash cans and newspaper dispensers and knocked them over. The dance party continued to move past Bancroft, down Telegraph as more people joined the march and joined the destruction of capital. Now the windows of fast food chains smashed, the party settled in the intersection of Durant and Telegraph. The Berkeley police soon arrived, wearing helmets, armor and brandishing batons. However, there were 12 police and between two to three hundred dancers. The crowd scattered for a moment, expecting imminent police arrests, but to their surprise, the massive force they represented stopped the police cold in their tracks, thus shattering their feeling of submission. Those that began to burn trash cans and those that continued to stay simply because they felt empowered to do so, showed the strength even a small crowd can have against the brutal forces they faced.

The crowd began to swell in the intersection. Some 500 people were present, a combination of observers and protesters. The dance party continued to rage on as more and more people took the intersection, by now at least three hundred. Then without a clear reason, the police began to descend on the people in the streets. Some ran to the sidewalks to observe from a distance, others stood their ground, refusing to move. The police pushed people with their batons, the protesters pushed back and some were caught in the middle. Then an officer grabbed a woman at random and smashed her head to the ground. The protesters pushing back against the police began to grab for the woman to rescue her from further abuse, while even the observers at this point were surrounding the police, aware of the brutality at hand. The crowd nearly encircled the police, shouting, “Fuck the police!” and “Police brutality!” The police began to remove themselves from the scene, and line up again between the protesters and the campus, some 30 feet away from the crowd.

The atmosphere had changed now, the police had directly assaulted a person and charged at a crowd, most of whom were only there dancing. The crowd started forming a line, dumpsters were set ablaze and in an instant a largely passive group became a group intensely aware of the police presence. They confronted them, standing together, approaching a line of police that had by now grown, yet still outnumbered greatly. Even the observers became more brazen as many of them joined the protesters to face the police line, with cameras and iphones ready to snap a shot of the next assault on the crowd.

What had started as a dance party and occupation quickly turned into a direct confrontation with the police, whom had been following the protesters through out the night. For the next few hours the crowd stood firm; the crowd and the police pushed back and forth. A police car approached the line of cops, stopped and waited; within a few moments the police randomly grabbed a protester, struck him and plowed him into the asphalt with three officers kneeling on top his back. Ten minutes later, another car pulled behind the line of cops, and this time the police grabbed a woman who was rightfully shouting at the police for bloodying her nose earlier. Throughout the course of these arrests, observers and press were pushed back by the police, the police stating that they had to move away. The crowd grew more enraged, as with each police abuse spurring retaliations from behind the line of protesters in the form of thrown empty bottles and empty plastic paint cans.

Eventually, as the crowd collectively realized the painfulness of each interaction with the police, they withdrew from the line and proceeded East down Durant, in the process leaving a trail of burning trash cans and dumpsters. By 3am, the BART police arrived and the marching crowd dissipated.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Well-planned" jewelry store robbery -- Paramus, NJ

Police are still investigating a "well-planned" heist, during which $3 million in jewelry was stolen from the Elite Diamond Center on Route 4.

Paramus police are still looking for the suspects who allegedly broke into a store neighboring the diamond center, knocked down a wall and removed a vault containing high-priced jewelry.

There may be a link between this robbery and another unsolved robbery that occurred on Route 4 in 2008, according to Paramus Police Chief Richard Cary.

"There’s a very good possibility that the two burglaries are linked based upon their similarities," Cary said.

On Sunday, Feb. 7, between 8 and 11 p.m., unknown suspects cut an exterior cable, disabling power to Lens Crafters, a neighboring store connected to the Elite Diamond Center, according to Cary. The suspects broke into a back door of Lens Crafters and disabled the alarm and telephone equipment inside a storage closet.

Cary said the suspects then entered a conference room in Lens Crafters and broke through sheet rock and a cinderblock wall that led into the diamond center. On the other side of the wall was a 40-inch-tall, 27-inch-wide and 29-inch-deep safe, weighing 2,046 pounds. Cary said the safe was likely moved by the suspects into Lens Crafters using a hand truck. Because the suspects never actually entered the jewelry store, no alarms were set off in that store, according to Cary.

Police said the safe had bracelets, earrings, engagement rings and watches valued at approximately $3 million.

"They had to have a formalized plan and had to have been at those locations before to know the safe was next to the conference room wall," Cary said. "They did their homework."

Cary said the fact that the Super Bowl was being played, and was the most watched program in television history, may have factored into the suspects’ plans.

"It would be one of the prime times to do something like this," Cary said. "I always alert officers to be extra vigilant during holidays."

Cary said there is no evidence at this time to suspect the burglary was an inside job.

A March 2008 burglary at the Jeweler’s Exchange was extremely similar, according to Cary. The suspects broke into a vacant store next door to the Exchange, broke through a wall, and accessed a safe that contained more than $1 million worth of jewelry.

Paramus police have been reviewing hours of surveillance videos in the vicinity of the store and highway to see if they can find any evidence. They have also been in contact with the New York Police Department and local authorities to share information.

Cigarette thief on the run -- Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City and The Village police are looking for a "smash and grab” cigarette burglar who led them on a chase Tuesday morning in a stolen vehicle.

About 3 a.m., officers received reports of break-ins at convenience stores in Oklahoma City and The Village. Cigarettes were taken from both stores.

Police said a witness saw a burglary at 2448 NW 39 in Oklahoma City and attempted to follow the burglar who was driving a 1988 red Jeep Cherokee.

Oklahoma City police received word that The Village police had surveillance video from another convenience store near Hefner and Pennsylvania.

Then they received a call from a home in the 900 block of NW 90, Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.

When they got there, police saw the Jeep that had been reported leaving the scene of both burglaries, Knight said.

Officers gave chase until the driver bailed out and ran through backyards in the 1000 block of Hoyt, near Western between Hefner and Britton, Knight said.

Police learned the vehicle had been reported stolen in Oklahoma City.

While searching for the burglar, Knight said, police heard a loud noise at 1010 NW 100. Just before police surrounded the house, a neighbor called 911 and said she saw a man run away from the house.

Massive attack on countless corporate computer systems -- Worldwide

More than 75,000 computer systems at nearly 2,500 companies in the United States and around the world have been hacked in what appears to be one of the largest and most sophisticated attacks by cyber criminals discovered to date, according to a northern Virginia security firm.

The attack, which began in late 2008 and was discovered last month, targeted proprietary corporate data, e-mails, credit-card transaction data and login credentials at companies in the health and technology industries in 196 countries, according to Herndon-based NetWitness.

News of the attack follows reports last month that the computer networks at Google and more than 30 other large financial, energy, defense, technology and media firms had been compromised. Google said the attack on its system originated in China.

This latest attack does not appear to be linked to the Google intrusion, said Amit Yoran, NetWitness's chief executive. But it is significant, he said, in its scale and in its apparent demonstration that the criminal groups' sophistication in cyberattacks is approaching that of nation states such as China and Russia.

The attack also highlights the inability of the private sector -- including industries that would be expected to employ the most sophisticated cyber defenses -- to protect itself.

Expensive contstruction equipment destruction -- Lancaster, PA

Lancaster police are seeking the public’s help in finding the vandals who caused about $30,000 damage to some heavy equipment near a construction site over the weekend.

The vandals spray-painted messages, broke windows, cut engine wires and did other damage to a bulldozer and an excavator on Pavement Road near Nichter Road, police said.

The incident, discovered Sunday, apparently occurred some time between Friday night and Sunday.

Teenage riot at the mall -- Cleaveland Heights, OH

Six teenage girls are under arrest and a police officer is hurt after a riot at a local shopping center.

Police describe the incident at Severance Town Center in Cleveland Heights as a "major disturbance." Cleveland Heights police say they had to call in officers from three neighboring departments to bring the situation under control.

"We got about 100 teenagers up in here's crazy, we need some kind of security," the manager of the Wal-Mart store is heard telling a 911 dispatcher at 8:42 P.M. Sunday.

Officers say the disturbance began at the Wal-Mart where more than 100 teens roamed the store. They say many took bicycles off racks, and raced them up and down the aisles.

"Have you asked them to leave the store?" the dispatcher asks the manager. "There are so many of them, it's like 100 of them, I asked a couple of them to could turn into a situation, so I'm asking for police presence," the manager replies.

"Police cars responded and managed to clear the juveniles out of the store, but then they re-assembled over at the Regal Cinemas," explained Cleveland Heights police chief Martin Lentz.

Two Cleveland Heights police officers were off-duty working security at the nearby movie theater. "Send everybody you got up here!" one is heard telling dispatchers on a police recording.

That's when police say three girls started fighting, then several fights broke out in the lobby. An officer sprained his wrist when he was pushed up against a wall.

"The group from Wal-Mart joined approximately 100 waiting to get into the there was legitimate patrons trying to buy tickets, but pushed their way into the lobby area," said Chief Lentz.

Police say the crowd swelled to about 250. Cleveland Heights police were forced to call in officers from Shaker Heights, University Heights and South Euclid to help get the situation under control.

Six girls, between 14 and 16-years-old were arrested. They appeared in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Tuesday where they were charged with aggravated rioting.

"You're here for an alleged riot outside of a movie theater where people can't even go to the movies because there's groups of kids out there in packs fighting," juvenile court magistrate Valerie Bickerstaff told one of the girls.

All six girls were ordered held in juvenile detention for a varying amount of days. Then, they must remain on home detention.

According to a police report, many teens were "screaming, yelling, blocking traffic, and running in front of moving vehicles" during the melee.

"It's scary to the public too...Severance Shopping Center is very important to this city, we can't have something like this continue," said Chief Lentz.

Police say they will review security video from inside the Wal-Mart to try to identify other teens who may have been involved.,0,3261981.story?track=rss

Woman steals expensive Persian rugs -- Atlanta, GA

A 43-year-old Atlanta woman is accused of stealing five Persian rugs worth $325,759, according to police.

Stacy Spagnardi apparently stole the rugs from Bloomingdale's at Perimeter Mall over a two-month period, according to Dunwoody police. She faces felony theft by taking charges.

Spagnardi was arrested Saturday after she apparently ripped the tags off of two rugs and stuffed them under a bed in the store, according to Sgt. Mike Carlson with Dunwoody police. She apparently left and returned about an hour later, and was confronted by police and store officials.

Spagnardi admitted she took the tags off of the two rugs under the bed, and that she had previously stolen three other rugs.

One rug Spagnardi allegedly tried to steal was 6-by-10 feet in size and cost more than $97,000, Carlson said.

All five of the rugs have been recovered, Carlson said. Police are investigating whether Spagnardi took additional rugs, he said.

Cop killed with high-powered weapon -- Palmetto, GA

A Chattahoochee Hills police officer died Monday afternoon after being shot in south Fulton County.

Officer Mike Vogt, 60, was shot at the intersection of Vernon Grove and Rico roads in Palmetto with a high-powered weapon, said Lt. Col. Jeff Holmes of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

Sources told CBS Atlanta that the officer was able to radio for help before he collapsed. Vogt later died at Atlanta's Grady Hospital.

CBS Atlanta's Tony McNary reported that police are looking for two men in a brown 1990-1995 Chrysler.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation.

Vogt was married and had grown children, CBS Atlanta News learned. He had been with the department for about two years, Mayor Don Hayes said at a press conference at the hospital.

"It's a sad day for the entire Chattachooee Hills community. We've lost a friend, co-worker and public servant," Hayes said. "He's been with us about two years. He just recently got promoted to lieutenant was doing an excellent job, a fine officer and well respected by the whole community."

Holmes says that before joining Chattahoochee Hills, Vogt spent years working as an officer in south Fulton County, most recently with Union City.

Vogt leaves behind a wife, adult children, and a 13-year-old grandchild he and his wife were raising because his daughter died in childbirth.

The Chattahoochee Hills has 14 police officers, Hayes said. The city was incorporated in 2007.

"The exact circumstances of the incidence that has claimed the life of officer Vogt are not known. We are hopeful the investigation will lead us to those responsible for this act," Hayes said.$50700

Shoplifting prisoner escapes -- Georgetown, SC

An Andrews man who has been serving a prison sentence since September after pleading guilty to shoplifting has escaped.

Evan Lamar Gamble, 22, whose address on court documents is listed at 381 Robinson Road, Andrews, walked away from the minimum-security Coastal Pre-Release Center in North Charleston.

The escape occurred between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday. He was confirmed missing at 7:50 p.m., according to the S.C. Department of Corrections.

ATM Torched in heist attempt -- Scripps Ranch, CA

Thieves used a torch to remove an ATM Wednesday morning in Scripps Ranch.

Robbers attempted to steal the ATM from a Bank of America kiosk in Scripps Ranch but left the damaged money dispenser behind, police said.

The incident at 9970 Scripps Ranch Blvd. was reported at 4:09 a.m., said

San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick.

It was not immediately clear whether any cash was removed from the ATM before the thieves fled, according to the sergeant.,0,5934751.story?track=rss

Kitty litter bucket bank robber -- Minneapolis, MN

Man charged in kitty-litter robbery

A 44-year-old man was charged Wednesday with robbing an Inver Grove Heights credit union of more than $20,000 while wearing a surgical mask and goggles and toting a kitty-litter bucket with a handgun inside.

Herman Wilson, of Brooklyn Park, is accused of robbing the Minnesota Building Trades Credit Union at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 8. He was arrested about seven weeks later.

Monday, February 15, 2010

State trooper shot in the head -- Long Beach, WA

A state trooper was shot in the head at point-blank range while on a routine call early Saturday, and now the Washington State Patrol has launched a manhunt for the gunman.

In an afternoon update, WSP Chief John Batiste said the injured trooper's condition continues to improve, and the State Patrol announced a $26,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

The incident began shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday along Highway 103 near 12th Street in the coastal community of Long Beach.

Trooper Scott Johnson was inventorying the contents of a vehicle about to be towed when a man walked up, said WSP spokeswoman Krista D. Hedstrom.

There was a short verbal exchange between the subject, Johnson and the tow truck driver. The gunman suddenly pulled out a small-caliber handgun and fired twice.

Johnson suffered two gunshot wounds, including one to the head.

The trooper was able to return fire as the gunman fled the scene, but it is unknown if the suspect was hit.

Johnson was rushed to Ocean Beach Hospital in Long Beach, then was transferred to Oregon Health Science University in Portland.

Hedstrom later reported that Johnson is alert and conscious at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital.

And in an afternoon update, Batiste said the trooper continues to improve.

"I am incredibly relieved to see Scott doing so well," Batiste said. "Despite having been shot in the head, he was laughing and joking with those around him. His behavior today sets a new standard for professionalism and heroism."

Johnson is a 25-year veteran of the State Patrol. He has worked in the Pacific County area his entire career.

The tow truck driver was not hurt.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Man robs banks to pay off mortgage -- Tampa, FL

A 73-year-old Florida man who was arrested for robbing three banks -- unarmed and taking $600 in each heist -- said he needed the money to pay his home mortgage, police said on Friday.

James Bruce of Tampa was arrested on Thursday. He admitted robbing the banks but said he planned to pay back the money, Tampa Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

"He called it a repayable loan," she added.

Bruce was unarmed in each of the three robberies. At all three banks, he handed a note to a teller which said he was carrying out a robbery and demanded six $100 bills.

Police said they believed the tellers gave up the money because it was bank policy not to have staff resist robbers in case they were armed. The robberies took place on January 15, February 1 and February 10 in Tampa.

Bruce owns a garden store in Tampa, where he sells pots.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Third bank robbery from unarmed individual -- Frederick, MD

A man believed to be involved in a robbery and an attempted robbery last week has struck again, according to the Frederick Police Department.

The PNC Bank on West Patrick Street was robbed shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sgt. Jason Keckler said.

The same heavy-set white man in his 30s with a beard and mustache is believed to have robbed the PNC Bank on West Seventh Street on Feb. 2. He also tried to rob the BB&T bank on Rosemont Avenue on Feb. 1, but left before getting any cash.

No one was injured in any of the three robberies and no weapon was ever displayed, Keckler said. The robber took an undisclosed amount of cash in the PNC robberies. Police did not release details of the exchange between the suspect and the tellers.

On Tuesday, the robber was wearing a dark zippered jacket and a red Washington Nationals baseball cap.

The first two robberies happened about noon, while this one was two hours later, Keckler said. The robber wore a white baseball cap last week.

Firebomb spree -- Temecula, CA

A man who police say threw Molotov cocktails at five targets over a 36-hour period was chased up Interstate 15 and arrested.

26-year-old Edward Batties is accused of throwing burning objects at two police parking lots, a school, a house and a truck. He was arrested near the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 15 near Temecula. Batties is jailed on suspicion of firebombing, arson, burglary,attempted burglary and evading officers charges.
Officers say Batties threw Molotov cocktails, a gas can and other objects out of his car during the high-speed pursuit, which started at Del Mar Heights.
The San Diego man allegedly began his rampage Friday night when a Molotov cocktail was tossed into the parking lot of the San Diego police Mid-City Division station in City Heights, Luque said.

A San Diego police officer responding to a reported vehicle burglary in Del Mar Heights spotted a vehicle matching the suspect's description and started to chase it along with the CHP. The chase ended shortly after Batties drove over a spike strip at the inspection station near Rainbow, at the Riverside County line. No word on the motive for the attacks.

Legit art heist -- New London, CT

Detectives are investigating the theft of five pieces of art with a total value of more than $10,000.

The theft was reported by a local art collector on Feb. 1. The paintings were from his personal collection, Deputy Chief Marshall Segar said.

Police did not identify the art collector or say where the paintings were stolen from.

The collector did not know when the paintings were stolen, Segar said.

The paintings, some dating back to the 16th century, are by various artists and are either pastels or oils.

Man smashes 29 TVs at Wal-Mart -- Atlanta, GA

A man walked into a Wal-Mart and used a bat to smash 29 TVs.

The TV's were valued at more than $22,000.

In Atlanta, surveillance video shows a man grabbing a metal baseball bat and smashing flat screen televisions on display at a Wal-Mart store. Officials say the man destroyed 29 televisions valued at more than $22,000 before finally throwing down the bat, which he reportedly took from the sporting good section.

He was arrested and police are still trying to figure out what sparked the incident.

Molotov attack on school -- Greely, MN

Butte law enforcement officials are investigating an attempted arson fire at the old Greely School on Silver Bow Boulevard.

The incident occurred Wednesday night around 10 p.m. Three suspects wearing dark colored clothing were seen on the south side of the building. They ran from the area at the time that a witness saw flames shooting up the side of the building.

The suspects were last seen running east and then south from the school. An investigation revealed that the suspects used a Molotov cocktail device which was ignited and thrown against the side of the school.

A second device was recovered near the building but had not been ignited.

The school sustained minor damage.

37 Thousand worth of computers stolen from university -- Spartanburg, SC

Fifty-eight computers missing from classrooms and USC Upstate, and police say the criminal is like a “ghost”. Investigators say computers have disappeared from eight buildings since August.

As student cadet John MacDonald patrols the hallways at USC Upstate, he is taking a closer look at everything, because he and university police know whoever is responsible for stealing dozens of computers doesn’t stand-out, eluding video cameras and beefed up patrols. Chief of Police Klay Peterson says, “He has been lucky, and he’s very good. He is professional.“ Law enforcement believes he or she is someone in the community, maybe a student or perhaps someone who works at the university. Whoever it is, he or she has in intimate knowledge of how things operate on this college campus. Peterson says, “We have consulted with local law enforcement, SLED, FBI, USC Columbia, and they all tell us the same thing: we are doing the right things.” The University is installing a card access system and other electronic measures, and classrooms and buildings are locked up as often as possible.

The estimated value of the computers is about -37- thousand dollars. None of the tracking software has been triggered, so law enforcement believes they are being sold for parts or overseas. “To think that no one has seen anything… Sometimes we feel like we are chasing a ghost,” says Peterson. He says the culprits luck will run out. “I think they see this as a challenge, a cat and mouse game, and feel that they won’t get caught, and they are mistaken. They will.“ Until they do, John MacDonald will be watching, saying, “There are plenty of us out here.“

Juvenile detention officer beaten to death -- Fort Smith, AR

Fort Smith police are working with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department to track 18-year-old Brandon Henderson.

Maj. Greg Bolin, an operations commander at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Henderson escaped from the county's juvenile detention center Saturday with 15-year-old Nicolas Dismuke and 16-year-old Christopher Beverage.

Bolin said because of the nature of the crimes the men are accused of committing his office has released their names and pictures to the media.

Bolin said the men escaped from the detention center when guard Leonard Wall was doing a routine bed check of the facility.

"One of the juveniles pushed him into a cell with two other juveniles (and) they commenced a beating," Bolin said.

Bolin said Wall died Sunday afternoon at a Little Rock hospital. He said before escaping from the detention center Henderson, Beverage and Dismuke also beat a female guard who was treated and released from a Jefferson County hospital.

Bolin said the men obtained keys from Wall after the beating, which helped them in their escape. He said the men later ran to a convenience store not far from the detention center and stole a car from a woman.

Bolin said a state wide alert was issued and around three p.m. Sunday authorities located the stolen vehicle in Conway County.

Bolin said from there information led his deputies as well as the Arkansas State Police and local authorities to Dismuke and Beverage who were arrested in Van Buren.

As of Sunday night, Brandon Henderson remains at large. Bolin said investigators believe Henderson is in the Fort Smith are because of connections with family and friends. He said deputies from his office will be on the ground working with local police until information leads them elsewhere or Henderson is caught.

Bolin said the two juveniles that were re-captured were on their way back to Jefferson County.

He said all three men face a murder, first degree battery and escape charges.$50464

Monday, February 8, 2010

Evictee boards himself up in foreclosed home -- Aptos, CA

Sheriff's deputies broke down several blockaded doors to arrest a renter Thursday who had refused to comply to eviction orders at a Vienna Drive home earlier in the week.

Brian Wayne Tomasso, 39, was arrested on suspicion of violating a court order and resisting police, both misdemeanors, and booked into County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail, jail records showed.

Tomasso had lived at the house for several years but the landlord went through a civil eviction process with the Sheriff's Office and court system this winter to force him out of the home, according to Lt. Fred Plageman. A deputy posted a notice to vacate at the property Jan. 19, then returned Tuesday with the landlord and a locksmith to change the locks at the house.

But Tomasso allegedly had drilled screws into the door and frame and was on the other side of the door pushing against it to prevent people from coming in, Plageman said.

Patrol deputies surrounded the house and shut down streets in the neighborhood, a hilly area above Soquel Drive not far from Cabrillo College, but Tomasso still refused to leave, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"The thing that complicated this whole thing is in 2006 the same resident had been arrested for reckless discharge of a firearm from that residence," Plageman said.

Eventually, deputies gave up the standoff and left Tomasso in the home.

Thursday, a judge signed the arrest warrant and deputies served it around 11 a.m.

Friday after trying unsuccessfully to negotiate Tomasso's peaceful surrender over the phone and via e-mail, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Friday, "the doors were in fact fortified or barricaded," Plageman said.

Deputies broke down the exterior door and at least two interior doors before finding Tomasso, who "was not cooperative but did not physically resist," Plageman said.

Tomasso was arrested. Because of a pre-existing medical condition, which the Sheriff's Office did not disclose, he was taken by ambulance to Dominican Hospital for medical clearance before being booked into jail.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Prison riot bestows injuries upon guards -- Augusta, GA

An update to breaking news we brought you Friday night. Felony charges could be on the way for up to 31 Rrichmond Ccounty inmates. Investigators say a riot started on the 6th floor of the Law Enforcement Center. They say several officers caught the inmates gambling, and when they were told to stop, they attacked the officers. 3 deputy jailers were taken to MCG with non-life threatening injuries. One was stabbed in the face with a pencil, one has a broken nose, another a broken rib.

Naval ROTC attacked -- Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Naval ROTC, housed in a Carnegie Mellon University building along Forbes Ave got a couple windows smashed and tagged Sunday night. It wasn't much, but this is how we practice.

CMU is the largest receiver of Department of Defense contracts in the country for any university, or something outrageous like that. Their robotics lab produces automatic killing machines, the Mellon Institute (smashed during the G20) tortures monkeys in animal vivisection tests, and they now understand that their property isn't safe as long as it is facilitating murderous, imperialist activities like the ROTC. Especially along Forbes Ave, where thousands of riot police beat, gassed, humiliated, and arrested hundreds of folks during the G20.

Tuition should not have to be paid for by indenturing loans and military bribes to students. It should be abolished.

Here's a shattered pane toast to an END TO MILITARIZATION in our schools, and FREE AND EMANCIPATING EDUCATION FOR ALL.

And to CMU Administration: This economic sabotage of your property will continue until yinz end all DOD contracting and ROTC programs at your school. Enjoy! Hope you spend a ton on beefed up security, you're going to need it. We are going to make your War on Terror as expensive for you as it is for the poor communities yinz help destroy.

Oh, and this act is not violence, it's sabotage. Violence cannot be applied to inanimate panes of glass you installed around your war-making labs. It can be applied to living things, however, something you've mastered in your research and ROTC. We are breaking the tools and apparatus used for mass murder: your war research budget. Thus, our property destruction is in defense of the people at the end of your robotic automatic gun turrets, or in the sights of the war planes Rotsie kids will be flying/repairing.

If we wanted to commit violence, we could be cops, soldiers, or weapons engineers and do it legally and thoroughly. There's no strategy for us to hurt anybody at this point.

Our universities will not be a haven for the products of blood-lusting generals, greedy CEOs, and corrupt politicians. Our universities are not corporations for your Monopoly game. Our young minds will not be gears of war.

You're welcome to join us on the side of justice.

In solidarity with the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who have been ripped to shreds by U.S. arms.
In solidarity with the Iranian student resistance, resist regimes from Tehran to Washington.
In solidarity with the COP15 Resistance, war is the most environmentally destructive institution on the planet and must be abolished to stop climate change, one ROTC at a time.
In solidarity with the Greece uprising and university occupations, universities are not for the violence inherent in the state.
In solidarity with Occupy CA, the struggle must be generalized, take back our schools.
In solidarity with Palestine, one year ago, Operation Cast Lead was launched by the US-Israeli military establishment. Never again.

Smash n' grab getting popular -- Sulphur, LA

The culprits behind the smash and grab robberies in Calcasieu Parish have struck again. This time they hit the B & O Grocery off Old Spanish Trail in Sulphur around ten o'clock Friday night.

Using the same method, the suspects smashed into the front of the store and stole the register, which was found Saturday afternoon in a ditch a couple of blocks away. The owner of the store says it didn't have in money in it, but the damage has been done.

"We already knew things like this were happening in the area. And it really makes you nervous because you don't know if somebody is going to do something like that what else they are capable of. So for small businesses it makes us nervous," said Jeff Benoit, owner of B & O Grocery.

This is the tenth smash and grab in Calcasieu Parish since December 24th.

String of Best Buy burglaries -- Braintree, MA

A group of fast-moving thieves made off with some high-end electronics from the Best Buy store on Grossman Drive early Thursday morning.

The store was one of three local Best Buys hit by burglars on Thursday. The others were in Brockton and Dedham, where the thieves drove a vehicle through the doors of the store.

“We believe they are linked, obviously, and that’s what we’re investigating at this time,” said Dedham police Lt. Robert Nedder.

The Brockton store was hit at about 3:45 a.m. Thursday, the one in Dedham at about 5:15 a.m., and the one in Braintree at about 6:45 a.m.

Braintree Deputy Police Chief Russell Jenkins said a half-dozen Apple computers, a flat-screen TV, cell phones and video game systems were taken from the store.

Jenkins said the thieves, described as three men in hooded sweatshirts, were familiar with the layout of the store.

“They came in, and they were off and running,” Jenkins said. “They were in and gone very quickly.”

The burglars entered through the front doors of the store, which were open for an employee meeting.

To get through the inner doors, one of the burglars scaled a partition; he then let the others in, Jenkins said.

As the thieves left the store, “they were confronted by some of the employees,” but they were able to push past to make their escape in a white van, Jenkins said.

None of the employees were injured, he said.

The plate on the van had been reported stolen, Jenkins said.

Dedham police responded to an alarm from the Best Buy on Route 1.

Nedder said the thieves used a white Ford E-250 van to ram their way into the store. Afterward, the van’s two rear doors were pushed in, and its back windows were smashed.

Police also recovered a stolen box truck that had been left running in the parking lot of Sleepy’s, another store on Route 1.

Nedder said investigators believe the truck was part of the burglary scheme.

The license plates on the van and the truck had been taken from other vehicles, Nedder said.

Corrosive chemicals for McDonalds windows -- Anywhere, UT

From an anonymous communique:

"Tried out our new extremely corrosive ammonium bifloride/sulfuric acid bomb on a McDonalds in Utah.

Ammonium Bifloride is corrosive when applied to glass. It is easy to come by via internet or craft store. Sulfuric acid is water soluble and corrosive as well.

You can put the mixture in glass bottles and throw it at windows. If the window doesn't break then the contents inside will be sure to make the window unusable.

Other uses: put in glass spray bottles and simply spray 'paint' windows which will then become ruined completely.

The options are endless. If you are not comfortable with making your own. They sell glass etching solutions ready to go on the internet and in craft store. A lot of these are like paint and meant to stencil designs on windows. When the windows are sprayed with water, the chemicals react and they corrode the glass. So make your own stencils. When they come to clean off the 'graffiti' with water they will actually be doing your work for you.

We have a lot of this stuff. The window replacement companies are going to be really happy this year.

Chemists for Animals"

All-out vandalism on church -- Nixa, MO

Nixa police are investigating vandalism at the Calvary Baptist Church in Nixa that did an estimated $10,000 damage.

Pastor Carl Curtis says the vandals entered the church sometime during the weekend and trashed the two-story building. The damage includes holes in drywall and ceiling, broken windows and spray paint on the walls.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the vandals also emptied the church's food pantry and discharged fire extinguishers into the carpet.

The church didn't have services Sunday because of snow, so the damage wasn't discovered until Tuesday.

Nixa Police Detective Jason Hartsell says police believe the vandals were kids. He estimated the damage at $10,000.

$130 Thousand stolen from sheriff's office -- Penascola, FL

A woman who helped keep the Sheriff's office serving Pensacola financially sound has been arrested, charged with looting the department of more than $130 thousand over the last 2 years.

Cathy Lister has been charged with felony larceny. She was released on $25,000 bond on Thursday.

The 58-year-old accounting associate worked for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, where she made sure money coming into the department, including cash seized as part of investigations, was deposited into an evidence trust fund.

Lt. Ray Briggs says Lister had taken cash from some of those transactions.

The charges were filed about a week after she retired from the department.

Expensive and deadly jewelry store robbery -- New York, NY

Police say an armed robber who fatally shot a Madison Avenue jewelry store worker made off with nearly $1 million worth of sapphires, diamonds, emeralds and other jewels.

A sketch has been released of the suspect, who fired once and killed 71-year-old Henry Menahem in the brazen robbery Wednesday. The gunman remains on the loose. Police also recovered a box on Thursday with a Faberge-style egg, though not one of the original famous eggs.

Menahem was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead after the robbery at R.S. Durant.