Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anarchists keep up attacks on state and capital -- Portland, OR

The anonymous communique reads:

"We took to the streets yet again last night (4/26). This was an anarchist police abolition march, which meant no reformist chants and no holding back.

We went to the military recruitment center on 14th and Broadway, smashed every available window, and pelted the computers. This target is relevant because soldiers are the cops of the world. Just as the Portland Police commit racist hate crimes and enforce and oppressive social order, so to do soldiers abroad.

We also hit two Wells Fargo bank branches. Wells Fargo is the largest financial backer of G.E.O. group, which owns a majority of the privatized prisons in North America. G.E.O. group owns the northwest immigrant detention center in Tacoma, which every year kills immigrants through deplorable living conditions and denial of medical services.

A Bank of America branch was smashed as well. Their recklessness alongside other banks has caused a crisis of foreclosure and unemployment that is endemic of capitalism.

To end this laundry list, we smashed a Starbucks. We smashed it because fuck you, you fucking capitalist bastards, that's why.

This is just one description from one observer. More attacks may have occurred, and more attacks certainly will occur. Until every last cop is unemployed and in the food stamp line, we will be working to destroy them.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flames for anti-immigration lawmaker's home -- Phoenix, AZ

Police are trying to find out who threw a flammable device at the home of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's chief spokesman.

Paul Senseman's wife called police around 8 a.m. Monday to report finding a bottle that officers are describing as a molotov cocktail.

Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef says the device hit the garage door and caused minor cosmetic damage but did not ignite the house or garage.

Police are unsure whether Senseman's house was specifically targeted because of his work for Brewer.

Tellef says police have no leads or suspects and are requesting the help of the public.

Protesters attack police as anti-immigration law is enacted -- Phoenix, AZ

New aerial footage has surfaced of the violence that broke out at the Arizona state capitol building after a new illegal immigration bill was signed into law on Friday. In stark contrast to peaceful Tea Party rallies, the pro-illegal immigration protesters took to the streets pelting police with rocks and water bottles as a means to voice their discontent.

The new footage shows the riot was not quite as “small” as media reports initially indicated.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the new state immigration bill into law on Friday causing a great deal of heartburn for supporters of illegal immigration. The law forces Arizona state agencies and law enforcement to aggressively comply with federal immigration law.

HUMAN EVENTS reported on Friday some highlights of the tough new Arizona law include:

* Make it a misdemeanor for immigrants to fail to complete and carry an alien registration document.

* Allows officers to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they are in the U.S. legally.

* Bans soft immigration enforcement and sanctuary rules by local governments and allows lawsuits against policies that hinder immigration law enforcement.

* Prohibits day laborers from impeding street traffic while seeking work.

* Outlaws the transport of illegal immigrants if drivers know the passengers are in the country illegally.

A concise summary of the new law is available from the Arizona legislature online.

Flames for National Guard armory -- East Pikeland Township, PA

Arson is suspected in an early-morning blaze at the Pennsylvania National Guard armory in East Pikeland Township, state police said Thursday.

Members of the state police Fire Marshal Unit responded to the 4:30 a.m. fire in Chester County and determined that an intruder had started it while inside, a news release said.

There was significant damage to the armory, in the 1100 block of Rapps Dam Road, but all weapons inside were secured, the release said.

According to the National Guard Web site, the facility is used by Company B, Detachment 1, and the 1067th Transportation Company.

Burger King and AT&T robbed -- Frederick, MD

A Burger King employee was robbed at gunpoint about 9:20 p.m. Saturday, according to the Frederick Police Department.

The employee told police the robber ran toward the back of the building at 1302 E. Patrick St.

Officer First Class Charles Snyder and his police dog Rony followed a possible track, but it ended at a road behind the business. That caused police to believe the robber may have left in a vehicle.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday afternoon. An undisclosed amount of money was stolen.

A crime scene unit collected evidence at the scene.

The clerk, who was not injured, described the robber as a white or possibly Hispanic man with long, scruffy hair. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black sneakers. His face was partially covered.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the police agency at 301-600-2100. Anonymous calls also may be taken at 301-600-8477 or tips may sent in by text message to 240-674-8477.

Meanwhile, city police also continue to seek information on a burglary earlier Saturday at the AT&T store in the 1100 block of West Patrick Street.

At 2:45 a.m., officers responded to the store after a call about a burglary.

A review of surveillance tapes show two black men dressed in dark clothes breaking into the store and stealing merchandise, Cpl. Kirk Henneberry said.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday.

Repeated attacks on police over several monthes -- Hemet, CA

Hemet police and FBI agents served a series of search warrants throughout Riverside County this morning searching for leads on the attacks on Hemet police.

Police arrested and or detained 16 people this morning on suspicion of unspecified crimes. Police said no one arrested has been directly charged with any of the attacks that threatened officers or destroyed police and city property.

Since Dec. 31, the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force has been targeted at least three times. On New Year's Eve, a gas line at the Gang Task Force building was rerouted, rigging it to possibly explode. On Feb 23, a gun was attached to a gate at the same building and fired a single shot, missing an officer. On March 5th, a deadly device was attached to an officer's vehicle, but fell off in a parking lot.

Two fires are also under investigation and may be related to the attacks. Four city code enforcement vehicles were set ablaze last month just before midnight at City Hall. Last week, the Police Department's firing range was nearly destroyed in an overnight blaze. Firefighters are investigating it as suspicious.

Police said the multiple search warrants were served at 35 homes before dawn to obtain evidence related to the attacks on police.

Police seized a variety of contraband and evidence, including 16 guns.

Thieves dress up to steal ATM -- Garden Grove, CA

Two thieves casually strolled into an upscale Garden Grove hotel and made off with an ATM and all of the cash inside.

Investigators believe that the two suspects in this case had been targeting a specific ATM inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The two men made off with approximately $15,000 in cash in less than five minutes.

The crime occurred around 5:10 a.m. Monday when the two men walked through the main entrance to the hotel on Harbor Boulevard. They loaded an ATM onto a dolly and wheeled it out the same door through which they entered.

The men were wearing what's described as work attire, and they got away easily because it was so early in the morning.

"There's not a lot of traffic in the hotel at the time. There was one of the clerks I believe at the desk that saw the subjects pick up the ATM, but the way she described it was that they were just two employees. She figured they were from the ATM company," said Garden Grove Police Department Lt. Robert Fowler.

Authorities say that the machine itself is worth about $5,000, and there was approximately $15,000 inside the machine at the time of the crime. The machines are not always bolted or securely chained to the floors, and police say the suspects took advantage of the situation.

"I think it was a crime of opportunity and the subjects just decided to take it," said Fowler.

Thrift store arson -- Seattle, WA

The Seattle Fire Department says the fire that caused $40,000 damage to a Value Village store in the Lake City neighborhood was arson.

It was set in a trash bin near the loading dock behind the building and spread to the roof.

Spokesman Dana Vander Houwen (HOW'-en) says firefighters responded at 12:45 a.m. Friday and prevented flames from spreading inside the building.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Anarchist ladies take back the night in style -- Brooklyn, NY

Dressed in matching black skirts and masks, dozens of women gathered on Saturday evening for an anti-capitalist Take Back the Night march, stopping traffic on Bedford Avenue, overturning trashcans, and breaking windows. Tired of tamely shouting slogans on campus sidewalks, we took the night back by taking it, refusing the structural mechanisms that create rapists and their victims.

Although in recent years Take Back the Night has been co-opted by liberal feminists, it has its roots in the widespread unrest of Italy in the late seventies. In 1976, a seventeen-year-old was gang-raped in Rome. A year later, when her case went to trial, she was gang-raped again by the same men: and this time, her whole body was slashed with razors in an attempt to keep her silent. Within hours, fifteen thousand women mobilized, uniformly dressed like the sex workers common to the district; “NO MORE MOTHERS, WIVES AND DAUGHTERS: LET’S DESTROY THE FAMILIES!” was the cry heard in the street. They came just short of burning the neighborhood to the ground.

Forty years later, we marched again, to refuse the violence that continues to force us to be housewives and fuck-toys and mothers and daddy’s girls, to refuse to understand women’s oppression in the private sphere as a simple cultural or ideological matter. We address capitalism and patriarchy as one intrinsically interconnected system. We are not asking for rights: we are demanding something else entirely.

A woman on the street stopped and attempted to begin an argument: “Why are you doing this?” A swift reply: “Because we have grown tired of rape and makeup.” The woman responds: “Just get drunk and get laid – deal with it.” But this is no longer enough for us. We are not asking for a right to the streets, we are taking them; we are not asking for advertisements that do not objectify women, we’re destroying the commercial mechanisms that objectify women; we are not appealing to male power for an end to rape, but threatening: “If you touch me, I will fucking kill you.”

For once, the mechanisms that create and maintain identities of womanhood were refused, and our desires were our own, our bodies were our own, and our violence was our own.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The occupations (attempt to) continue -- San Francisco, CA

Two women were arrested at San Francisco State University early today after a group of protesters broke into a campus building, angered by sanctions handed down to demonstrators at a December building takeover, authorities said.

The two women, who are not San Francisco State students, were among 19 people who broke into the Cesar Chavez Student Center at about 4 a.m., said university spokeswoman Ellen Griffin.

University police responded, pepper-sprayed the two protesters when they resisted and arrested them, Griffin said. Their names were not immediately released. The other protesters dispersed but remained on campus, Griffin said.

The protest was in response to fines that were leveled as part of misconduct charges against 11 students involved in a two-day protest in December in which activists barricaded themselves inside the business school to protest fee hikes.

In that incident, 25 protesters were arrested after officers broke windows to get into the building.

The 11 students had apparently believed that each would be fined about $50 and had signed agreements with the university, but they became upset when the bills amounted to about $750 each, Griffin said.

They may not be able to register for fall classes if they don't pay by July, Griffin said.

"They were all offered payment plans as well," Griffin said. "So far, none has taken advantage of the payment plan."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Anarchists attack "community corrections" center -- Portland, OR

The anonymous communique reads:


We smashed your "community corrections" center. We smashed it to send a message. Our message is that all cops are murderers and all prison is torture.

Allow us to elaborate: though the anti-police movement may use individual instances of murder with guns, tasers, and pepper spray as catalysts for revolution, we hold every cop or cop-supporter culpable. This is because on a daily basis cops are killing people slowly, with handcuffs and pens; killing them 5, 10, 20 years at a time but killing them still the same. We believe that a life in prison doesn't even come close to anything resembling a decent human life. Humans are a social animal, and forced isolation (whether that isolation is from ones peers, friends, family, or trees, grass sunlight, and the natural world) is an abominable act that must be forbidden by any society which held justice in any regard.

We believe this movement will be successful, and that the key to its success will be cooperation. Currently you're being argued down in city hall, protested against in the streets, and, if we may say so ourselves, taking a pretty serious thrashing after the sun sets. We are strong together because our actions work well together, and we support one another.

We would also like to take this moment to encourage day-activists to try their hand at some nighttime missions. You'll find protests aren't always necessary to strike a blow, and you'll feel more refreshed and invigorated in your day-time endeavors.

For a free and equitable society.
For anarchy."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Church arson leaves nothing but ash and ruin -- Houston, TX

Pauline Kwang wanted to scream Friday after she saw what was left of the southeast Houston church where she has worshipped for 20 years.

An arsonist late Thursday torched the Community of the Servant-Savior Presbyterian Church. On Friday, all that remained was charred wood and brick that had been pushed into piles and surrounded by a long stream of safety tape after the last sections of the ruined building were leveled.

“It's an empty feeling,” Kwang said. “It's like you're losing someone you really love.”

The fire was intentionally set, said Patrick Trahan, a spokesman for the Houston Fire Department, but authorities have not determined the motive or found a suspect.

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out about 11 p.m. Thursday at the church at 11303 Hughes. The arsonist apparently set off the fire in a breezeway near the middle of the church.

“It started there and spread very quickly in both directions,” Trahan said.

The intense fire was brought under control in about an hour. A section of a wall fell on an electrical worker who was cutting off power to the building, injuring his leg, Trahan said.

Church elder Jerry Beetz was among a handful of members who came by on Friday to console each other, shed a few tears and plan the next step for the congregation.

“This was our house. This is where we came together,” Beetz said.

Beetz learned about the fire early Friday after noticing that he had missed a late-night call on his cell phone from another church member.

“He was saying, ‘The building is fully involved in flames. It's going to the ground,' ” Beetz said. “I thought, ‘Good Lord. Did I hear him right?' ”

The heavy percentage of wood in the structure, which is believed to be about 40 years old, caused the fire to burn extremely hot, HFD officials said.

“They had to water down the fire trucks while they were putting water on the fire,” Trahan said.

Millions stolen through faked tax returns -- United States

A group of sophisticated identity thieves managed to steal millions of dollars by filing bogus tax returns using the names and Social Security numbers of other people, many of them deceased, according to a 74-count indictment unsealed in Arizona Thursday.

The thieves operated their scheme for at least three years from January 2005 to April 2008, allegedly filing more than 1,900 fraudulent tax returns involving about $4 million in refunds directed to more than 170 bank accounts. The conspirators used numerous fake IDs to open internet and phone accounts, and also used more than 175 different IP addresses around the United States to file the fake returns, which were often filed in bulk as if through an automated process.

According to authorities a Californian, 29-year-old self-described hacker named Daniel David Rigmaiden, aka Steven Travis Brawner, was the ringleader of the group. He conspired with Ransom Marion Carter, III, 43 of Arizona and at least one other conspirator who was arrested in Utah in 2008 but has not been identified in court records.

Rigmaiden has been in custody since May 2008, but Carter is still at large. The two are charged with 35 counts of wire fraud, 35 counts of identify theft, one count of unauthorized computer access and two counts of mail fraud. Authorities are also seeking a monetary judgment in the amount of $5.5 million.

Rigmaiden is representing himself after firing three attorneys, and could not be reached in prison for comment.

The IRS allows taxpayers to file their returns electronically and obtain their refunds through direct deposit to a bank account or to a pre-paid debit card account, which lets them withdraw the funds from an ATM.

The scam took advantage of the IRS’ quick turnaround in processing refunds for electronically filed returns. The IRS typically processes a refund request without verifying the taxpayer’s information — such as whether the taxpayer is alive — or confirming that the taxpayer is legitimately owed money. The crooks just needed names and Social Security numbers of victims, which they acquired from various sources, and a company’s name and tax-ID number to list as an employer.

Hell of arrests and some attacks on days of anti-cop activity -- WA

Olympia, WA:

Around 7:30 to 8:00 PM, around 35-40 people met up in a parking lot on the West Side of Olympia. People entered the streets and proceeded to head downtown, taking up two lanes of traffic. The usual anti-police chants were shouted and people passed out literature and fliers related to state violence specifically centered around the West Coast and in general. As we headed through a roundabout, a photographer for the Olympian (local major newspaper) was rightfully harassed after attempting to take pictures of people doing graffiti. He quickly slinked away from the scene while shouting threats of assault and theft. After marching for some time, the first police car showed up in response to the photographer's call. And yet, the car eventually drove off and the police presence remained minimal as we proceeded to the downtown area.

As we headed down 4th Ave, people continued to pass out information and shout chants. The march veered towards 5th Ave and someone took advantage of the low police presence to attempt an attack on US Bank—unfortunately missing their target. A street later, someone successfully smashed a different bank window. The general sentiment of the bloc was noticeably unenthused by this attack, as the purpose of the march was to remain fairly unrowdy. However, beyond a couple police cars passing us by occasionally, the police response was remained unusually minimal. Some people pulled dumpsters into the street as the march turned around a corner and headed back down 5th Ave. Notably less people are on this street, but police activity is still relegated to sneaking around the side streets of downtown as we passed by the new city hall and jail that is currently under construction in the middle of downtown.

A rock is thrown through a construction building on the site of the new city hall. Shortly thereafter, two motorcycle cops begin to trail the march, but take some time to follow us as we turn. Someone attacks the Manium, a venue owned by a notorious Olympia slumlord and we proceed to head towards State Ave. We barely make it half way up the block before the two motorcycle cops behind us transform into a significant number and several police cars drive down the street in front of us to block us in. People lock arms and attempt to move to the sidewalk in a futile attempt to minimize police aggression, but this does not stop them from pepperspraying a couple of us and beating everyone to the ground.

The 29 of us are slowly all arrested and taken to the city jail. Everyone is charged with riot and a few of us get charged with malicious mischief and felony assault on an officer. Almost everyone is released over the next 10-11 hours. Realistically, the riot charges will most likely not hold up in court. However, while sitting on the ground with my hands on my head, I didn't spend time considering how miserable of an action the night was, but instead reflected upon the fact that while the majority of the police's on duty unit surrounded us, the metropolis elsewhere was left wide open and unguarded. And here we were being arrested.

Seattle, WA:

On April 9th at approximately Noon a demonstration began on Capitol Hill. This was an apparent anarchist event. Uniformed patrol officers, bicycle patrol officers, and mounted patrol officers staffed the event. The event was peaceful at first.

At about 1:00 p.m. an unknown person in the crowd threw a light bulb filled with red paint at a mounted patrol officer. It struck the officer on the back of his helmet. The bulb broke when it hit the ground. Neither the officer nor the horse was injured.

A group of suspects then began to roll nearby dumpsters towards a police line. Officers quickly arrested two adult males and one adult female (all three in their early twenties) that were involved in this activity. Two juvenile male suspects, both 17 years old, were stopped after they attempted to hide a backpack. In that backpack were at least six more paint-filled light bulbs. Both juvenile suspects were placed under arrest and later released when the Youth Service Center declined them. A request for Investigation of Assault charges will be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

The crowd dispersed fairly quickly after the arrests were made. One adult male suspect and the adult female suspect were booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Assault, a felony charge. The other adult male suspect was booked into the King County Jail for Obstruction and Resisting Arrest.

The incident was completely finished around 3:30 p.m. There were no reported injuries or property destruction due to this event.

Another college party turns into a riot -- Harrisonburg, VA

Police used pepper spray and tear gas to break up a crowd of as many as 8,000 college-aged adults Saturday, as partygoers at an annual off-campus block party refused orders to disperse and pelted officers with beer bottles.

A few dozen people were seen being arrested and several were injured by flying glass during the afternoon and early evening just blocks from James Madison University. A number of fires also were started in trash bins.

"This today was just outlandish," said Lt. Kurt Boshart of the Harrisonburg Police Department, who added many of the problems were most likely started by people who come to the party from out of town and not JMU students.

Harrisonburg police were on standby starting Friday evening in anticipation of the large crowds that flock each year to the off-campus housing area for Springfest - a three-day party known to draw thousands of JMU students.

The Fox Hill Townhomes on Devon Lane typically serves as ground zero for the block party, but the crowds usually spill out to other student-housing complexes along Port Republic Road.

By Friday night, property managers shut down Fox Hill, so the partygoers were forced to find somewhere else to go.

Police say the party headed to Village Lane, where things started to get out of hand.

By Saturday afternoon, the crowd swelled to 8,000 people, police say.

Andrew Reese, a 20-year-old JMU sophomore, said the party just got too wild. He said he had a few friends at his home on Forest Hill Road but several uninvited guests started to flood the area.

"It definitely got to the point where it got out of control," said Reese, who added partygoers started to throw beer bottles at police officers, cars and at home windows.

Around 4 p.m., police declared the scene an unlawful assembly.

Boshart said officers first went in and asked people to leave the area but were pelted with beer bottles. At that point, he said, police pulled out to regroup.

Commanders on the scene called in HPD's Civil Disturbance Unit and additional riot teams from the Virginia State Police and Staunton Police Department.

Boshart said officers were determined to regain control.

"We will restore order," he said as police began to take action. "We will make sure the neighborhood is safe."

For about two hours, dozens of officers showed up to the command center set up near the Days Inn off Port Republic Road, near the Interstate 81 overpass.

Around 6 p.m., about 200 officers were on the scene, many of them in full riot gear, and headed into the crowd.

They began using a public address system to notify people that they were assembling unlawfully and needed to leave or be arrested.

Many partygoers left, but about 1,000 refused. They began pelting the officers with beer bottles, pieces of wood and coolers.

Officers began using pepper spray, which can be effective as far as 20 feet away. The civil disturbance unit then used tear gas to disperse the remaining partygoers.

Many ran out, covering their faces, and shouting obscenities at the officers.

Reese said he was pleased to see police take control of the party.

"At some point, you have to put your foot down," he said.

Shortly after the crowd dispersed, many partygoers began to head to Sully Drive off Devon Lane and regrouped. Several began lighting multiple Dumpsters on fire.

Several Cadillac smash n' grabs -- Manhattan, NY

Someone's driving around lower Manhattan in a big old Cadillac and smashing into ATMs, cracking them open and stealing whatever cash is inside, law enforcement sources say.


Talk about a novel crime idea. That's what happens, I guess, when you start plopping electronic boxes full of cash on sidewalks. Why didn't anyone think of it sooner?

The last incident was on March 31, at about 1:50 a.m., and the take was $13,200. Sources say there are two heavyset men involved. They drive a 18-year-old Cadillac Brougham with fancy hubcaps.

It's unclear how many of these thefts have happened, but the NYPD has identified it as a pattern in both the 7th Precinct and the 1st Precinct. Detetectives have asked for a block-by-block search for the car.

The car could not be reached for comment.

At least 50 cars left with punctured tires -- Ross Valley, CA

A vandalism spree in the Ross Valley left at least 50 cars with flats this weekend as a vandal punctured tires along a route stretching from Pine Drive in Fairfax to Humboldt Avenue in San Anselmo.

Vehicles parked along the roadside were targeted late Friday night, including at least 39 in Fairfax, but the tally continued to mount as officers fielded reports from angry residents Saturday afternoon.

"We're still tallying it up," said Fairfax Sgt. Stuart Baker. "We've been taking reports all day."

Baker said a "person of interest" was questioned in the area Friday night, but no arrest was made. "We are analyzing evidence and statements," he said.

Cars were vandalized on a number of Fairfax streets, including Pine Drive, Laurel Avenue, Creek Road, Blackberry Lane and Forrest Avenue, which leads to San Anselmo - where more cars along Forrest, as well as Humboldt Avenue and Foothill Road were hit.

"I'm frustrated with it," said Marc McSweeney of Pine Drive, who walked outside late Friday night to find two tires punctured, following a similar incident two months ago in which he also lost two tires. "It makes you wonder what the motivation is," he said. "It's a little weird."

McSweeney, saying he watched as Fairfax police questioned a man walking down the street, said neighbors should get together and post a reward for information.

Estimates of damage in the two towns exceeded $7,000.

San Anselmo Sgt. Rob Schneider said police there found the first of 11 cars with punctured tires at 11:55 p.m. Friday, and added authorities are "conducting an ongoing investigation in an attempt to identify suspects."

Schneider said police "don't have any evidence to tie anybody to it," and joined Fairfax authorities in asking anyone with information to step forward.

Damage was limited to a tire or two on each car, officials said, recalling that a spate of rear-view mirror smashing incidents plagued area neighborhoods last year.

Clerk steals over half-million dollars from school district -- Cedar Rapids, IA

How do you steal $587,000?

Hindsight is 20-20.

That was Steve Graham’s conclusion when asked how former accounting clerk Jamie May could siphon more than a half-million dollars from the Cedar Rapids school district between 2002 and 2009. Graham is the district’s executive director of business services.

A state audit found that May, who died in November, disguised withdrawals from district accounts as “change requests,” for use when schools have functions that need cash, such as bake sales. She replaced the money she took — between 2002 and 2009 — by depositing payments for student registration, transportation and other fees into the district’s account without recording the payments.

“It is a classic case where the complete lack of segregation of duties would allow someone to do something like that,” said Kevin Den Adel, director of the University of Iowa’s accounting undergraduate program.

State Auditor David Vaudt said May had the authority to collect cash, make deposits and record the balance. No one questioned the numbers.

In fact, district records showed certain fee accounts consistently came in under budget, according to the report. The shortfalls were never investigated. Instead, school officials trimmed the following year’s budget.

Graham said that won’t happen again.

“Everything is on the table,” he said after a news conference last week.

School board members will discuss the state audit findings — which concluded May took at least $587,784 — at Monday night’s board meeting. Superintendent Dave Benson, who started his new job shortly before the embezzlement was discovered, said board input will determine steps the district will take to regain public trust.

Already the district has tightened internal controls. After the theft was discovered in August 2009, the district restructured the accounting department to segregate duties. It hired an internal auditor and an accounting supervisor.

“The person who receives the checks shouldn’t be the person who deposits checks, too,” said John Musso, executive director at Association of School Business Officials International in Virginia.

Vaudt called the district’s response “proactive.” But is it enough?

Musso said embezzlement is a common issue in school districts — even ones with controls in place to spot suspicious action.

“The fact of the matter is, no matter what types of checks and balances you have in place, if somebody wants to (steal), they’re going to do it,” he said.

May, however, had access to the fraud “trifecta” — opportunity, incentive and the ability to rationalize.

In May’s case, the lack of control and oversight gave her opportunity. The incentive was financial, with May using the money to buy high-end electronics and new furniture, according to the Cedar Rapids police investigation.

The rationalization is evident by the amount of money May deposited in her personal bank account. The amounts were small at first and increased over time.

“If you can get away with it in the beginning, you rationalize that you are not going to get caught,” the UI’s Den Adel said.

While there’s no way of knowing why May took the money — she died Nov. 1 of cardiac arrhythmia after battling breast cancer — she could have told herself it was OK because she needed the money or that what she took balanced the work she did. She might have even told herself she’d pay it back eventually.

According to the auditor’s report, May was the only employee involved in the theft. The accounting department reports to Graham. District officials said any disciplinary action taken about the theft is a confidential personnel matter.

Windows broken and doors kicked down at city hall -- Bridgeport, WA

The man who kicked out two doors and two windows at the Bridgeport City Hall and attached sheriff's office flashed gang signs at the surveillance camera that recorded the vandalism.

The Douglas County sheriff's office says the suspect fled Tuesday when a patrol car approached.

Nothing was reported missing from the building which also houses a court.

The Wenatchee World reports blood at the scene indicates the young man may have cut himself.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Partygoers burn couches and attack cops after power goes out -- Seattle, WA

Police in riot gear responded to Seattle's University District early Tuesday morning after hundreds of students blocked a street and started a fire.

The incident happened after the power went out around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Hundreds of students in the Greek Row area decided to throw a spontaneous party in the street on 17th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 47th Street.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Rick Price said someone built a bonfire on the island in the middle of 17th Avenue Northeast.

The fire grew bigger after people in the crowd threw a couch into the flames, which reached 12 to 14 feet.

About two dozen Seattle police and University of Washington police officers dressed in riot gear responded to the scene.

The initial order for the crowd to disperse was ignored, causing the police to surround the crowd while providing room for exit.

In response, students threw bottles and cans at police.

Two officers were hit but not injured.

Police pushed back the crowd so that firefighters could reach the fire and put out the flames.

The crowd began to dissipate after 1 a.m. and the scene was cleared by 1:30 a.m.

UW police told KIRO 7 they had no reports of arrests or injuries.

Seattle City Light said all power was restored around 12:15 a.m.

Thieves smash parking meters and steal money -- Bethesda, MD

Police are trying to find who has been smashing open dozens of parking meters in Bethesda and Silver Spring to steal the coins inside.

Montgomery County Police say at least 69 meters were cracked open.

Most of the thefts took place between last Sunday and Thursday during the overnight hours.

Officials haven't released details on how much money was taken.

Some meters held as little as $2.

Each meter costs about $250 to repair, so the damage could total more than $15,000.

Teenagers steal riot gear from cop car -- Lehigh Acres, FL

Two teenagers were arrested for stealing a corrections deputy's riot gear out of his SUV in Lehigh Acres.

The theft was discovered March 29th, when James Wilson got into his 2003 Ford Explorer to go to work.

He told deputies the SUV was unlocked, and someone had stolen his radio, sunglasses and Corrections Emergency Response Team gear.

A tip to Crime Stoppers on Easter Sunday led deputies to 16-year-old Thomas Jeffrey Ogle.

The caller said Ogle saw the items in the vehicle and saw the black bag with the riot gear inside sitting in the back of the SUV.

According to the tip, Ogle lifted the door handle and the door opened. He closed it and left, but the caller said he came back later and took all the items out of the vehicle.

The caller also told deputies they could find Ogle at 634 Tarapin Avenue in Lehigh Acres.

A detective went to the address and met with the homeowner, who said her son, 16-year-old Angelo Gonzales, was in the house, and Ogle might be as well.

She said she'd seen Ogle with a bulletproof vest over the weekend.

The detective asked to talk to Gonzales, who allegedly said he knew a little about the crime and had seen Ogle with a ballistic helmet over the weekend.

He also told deputies he thought the riot gear was hidden in Ogle's room, according to the arrest report.

Deputies got permission to search the home and found the room Ogle was supposed to be staying in was locked.

They got him to come out, and he allegedly told them he knew why they were there and the riot gear was in his closet.

Investigators found a portion of the gear in the bedroom, then found a broken police baton in the garage and part of the radio faceplate in the backyard, according to the report.

When asked where the rest of the stolen items were, Ogle reportedly said he no longer wanted to talk to deputies about it.

The interviewed Gonzales again, who told of Ogle and another person brining the items back to the house the week before, and the group trying the gear on.

But he said he had nothing to do with the vehicle burglary.

At some point, detectives say the ballistic helmet, gas mask and some other items were traded to another person for an iPod. That person told deputies they did not know the items were stolen.

Investigators determined that Ogle and Gonzales were both involved in the crime. They are charged with car burglary and grand theft. Ogle faces an addition charge of criminal mischief.

Window smashed at Democratic Party HQ -- Anchorage, AK

A vandal smashed a window at the Alaska headquarters of the Alaska Democratic Party.

Executive Director Deborah Williams said Anchorage police initially suspected someone took a crowbar to the window Saturday night. By Monday afternoon police said it was a medium-to-large rock. The damage was discovered Sunday.

Dave Metheny, the statewide organizer for the party, says he left Friday night and came back on Sunday morning to find one of the windows smashed.

Williams says the vandalism is consistent with the recent string of violence against Democratic offices that followed the health care vote. She says they don't have evidence to really say it was an act of political violence, but the headquarters has also been receiving more aggressive phone calls this past week.

Police can't say for sure if the broken window was a targeted act because there were no witnesses, but they say it could be a possibility.

"It could have been targeted or it could have been just someone looking to break a window. The fact that it was the Democratic Party office would lead us to believe that probably this was a focused attack," said Lt. Dave Parker.

And it is similar to attacks on democratic headquarters across the nation in the wake of last week's health care reform vote.

Some say Republicans, including Sarah Palin, incited the violence, using words like "re-load," and, as she campaigns, using cross hairs for targeted congressional districts.

Campaigning this week, Palin defended her words.

"When we talk about fighting for our country, we're talking about our vote. Our vote is our arms," Palin said.

"We would certainly never advocate anybody using violence and vandalism. We want people to be a part of the democratic process and when they feel their values aren't being reflected in their leadership they need to organize with their family, their neighbors and other citizens in their community to take back those seats through the electoral process," said Casey Reynolds with the Republican Party of Alaska.

Reynolds says his office has also been vandalized in the past, and that it's not uncommon.

Williams says the Democratic Party of Alaska will now install security cameras to ensure the safety of its employees and property. She says they're not going to let the incident intimidate them.

Democrats are calling on all Alaskans to stop using inflammatory words and to engage in civil discourse, Williams said.

Damage to the office was estimated to be about $600.

Alleged burglar shoots cop -- Woodburn, OR

A suspect and a Woodburn police sergeant were wounded in a shooting late Tuesday night, police said.

It happened as six Woodburn officers were searching for 'person of interest' in a burglary investigation just after 11 p.m.

The officers were looking for Billy Jack Gray at the Cambridge Apartment Complex, when all of the sudden, Gray opened fire, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police.

Gray came out of a second-story unit firing multiple rounds from a handgun as he came down the narrow stairwell toward the parking lot, Hastings said.

Sgt. John Mikkola was hit by "more than one round," according to Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers. But he still managed to fire several rounds toward Gray.

Vandalism and arson on the rise -- Clayton, NC

Pamela Palazzolo awoke to the sound of screaming sirens racing past her quiet subdivision early Monday as firefighters rushed to a burning day care center that was under construction on Vinson Road.

It has becoming a familiar if scary sound in this growing part of eastern Clayton, where more and more developments have cropped up in the Glen Laurel area. Since October, authorities have investigated four other fires at sites under construction less than two miles from the scene of the blaze Monday.

The fires, along with a string of vandalism cases, have some residents worried about the safety of their neighborhood.

"I'm just keeping an eye out," said Palazzolo, who lives in the Summerlyn subdivision off of Glen Laurel Road. "It's a concern. You just wonder what's going on."

Monday morning, a fire destroyed the Building Blocks Child Care and Development Center in the 3100 block of Vinson Road. Clayton Police Chief Glen Allen described the fire as "very suspicious" and said investigators will determine if the blaze was the result of arson.

Firefighters arrived about 3:50 a.m. Monday to find flames shooting through the roof of the day care center. Allen said the fire consumed the building, leaving only the walls standing.

Allen said the blaze could be linked to recent arson cases. In January, Clayton police investigated suspected arson at homes under construction less than two miles from the Building Blocks center that burned Monday. One home at 102 Rolling Meadows Drive, off Glen Laurel Road, was severely damaged. Police said they discovered someone had entered a second house at 116 Rolling Meadows Drive and tried to start a fire there, causing light damage.

On Halloween, one house was destroyed and another burned in the nearby Chandler's Ridge subdivision.

"Obviously it is a very disturbing trend," Allen said.

Riot for county jail -- Seattle, WA

The King County Jail in Seattle, Wash. was placed on lockdown Sunday after reports of a riot inside the facility, KCPQ reported.

The Seattle Police Department has been called to the jail to provide backup, according to local reports.

"It sounds like there was a problem with a situation at the jail on the 10th floor," a Seattle police department spokeswoman told the Seattle Times.

Police have closed streets around the jail and traffic is being diverted away from the scene.

KIRO Radio reported that the disturbance began at around 2pm local time and that homemade weapons may have been involved.

There are reports that A SWAT team has entered the building to respond to the riot.

ALF Strikes homes of vivisectors -- Salt Lake City, UT

The anonymous communique reads:

"It may be april fools day, but the last thing we were doing was fooling around.

On the morning of april 1st, our cell visited the homes of three vivisectors from the University of Utah who have been known to test, torture, and kill many animals from local shelters in unjustified 'scientific' experiments. Unlike their drunken, wife abusing colleague Audie Levanthal who decided to quit vivisecting at the U of U after pressure from underground activists, these vivisectors decided to stay, praying that the new laws & legislation's against Above Ground Activists would help protect them. Well we aren't above ground activists & laws won't stop us from doing what is right & helping animals.

In a well executed plan our cell split up.

Our first group visited Robert H. Lane at:
4552 Jupiter Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84124

Where we vandalized nearby cars & left a 'cocktail' on his doorstep.

Our second group reported visiting Jennifer Ichida at:
422 1st Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

They reported also leaving a 'cocktail' on the front porch. They glued her front door, and sliced her screen door. They also reported vandalizing near-by cars.

The 3rd group of our cell reported visiting Alessandra Angelucci & Paul Bressloff at:
2705 E. Eagle Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Angelucci does the killing while her partner Paul co-publishes her data. They both received a 'cocktail' on the doorstep. a 2 for 1 special.

We were quick in executing the attacks. We didn't stay to see if the doorstop surprises worked. But nevertheless the intent is still there.

We will not back down until you stop the killing.

This action is dedicated to all the heroes in jail & out that are still awaiting trial. Our love & strength is with you.

The ALF"

Grocery store employee embezzles tons of money -- New Castle, DE

Delaware State police say a 20-year employee of a New Castle grocery has been charged with stealing more than $300,000 from the business.

Forty-seven-year-old Allan Finlaw of Carney's Point, N.J., has been charged with eight counts of falsifying business records. He was released on $13,000.00 unsecured bond.

Troopers say Finlaw was responsible for making bank deposits for Griscillo's Thriftway. Authorities say last year, Finlaw started keeping some of the proceeds from the deposits and used the next day's deposit to cover his tracks.

The grocery eventually closed.

Man attacks several police cars -- Oakland, CA

A man who damaged at least a half-dozen Oakland police cars with a hatchet and shotgun blasts behind police headquarters was shot by an officer early Sunday after he refused to drop the gun and appeared as if he was going to fire again, investigators said.

The suspect was identified as Nathaniel Riddick, 25, whose last known address was in Sacramento.

Riddick, who was wearing bandoleers of shotgun shells, was in stable condition this morning at Highland Hospital and is expected to recover from his wound.

Investigators said they could only find one prior drug arrest for Riddick, which was in 2001 in Sacramento. They have not been able to interview him yet to see what motivated him.

The bizarre incident began about 11:20 p.m. Saturday in the 450 block of Sixth Street, which runs behind police headquarters between Broadway and Washington Street below Interstate 880 where marked police cars are routinely parked. There were no officers in any of the cars.

Police said Riddick first embedded a hatchet into the windshield of a car parked a few feet up from Broadway. He then began walking up the street firing shotgun rounds into several of the parked police vehicles.

Sgt. Todd Crutchfield said the rounds were fired into the cars' sides, windshields and other windows.

The shots were heard by officers in an office at the Washington Street end of the street.

Several officers confronted Riddick and urged him to drop the shotgun, police said. But he refused and when it appeared he was going to fire at the officers, two officers shot at him with one of them wounding him, investigators said. Police did not immediately say where Riddick was hit.

Another ATM smash n' grab -- San Diego, CA

Thieves smashed the door of a downtown San Diego deli early Tuesday and hauled away an automated teller machine, police said.

The ATM was taken from BB's Deli in the 1300 block of Fifth Avenue just after 5:30 a.m., according to police.

The suspects reportedly hauled the ATM away in a rented Penske truck.

Store owner Al Kazzazi says he is unsure how much money was in the machine, but he believed it was under $1,000

"How much money can you get from an ATM really? How many of them do you have to steal to make a living? We're a small operation. Anybody who's going to break into a deli is really a desperate person," he said.

Kazzazi said the business would be open despite the theft.

Destruction for fitness center -- Houston, TX

Fort Bend County Sheriff's investigators say burglars broke into the L.A. Fitness Center on SH-6 early Sunday morning and wrecked the place to the tune of about $200,000.

Deputies beleive the burglar or burglars cut the power to the building and spent a considerable length of time inside creating havoc on the building and equipment inside.

Several fire extinguisers were emptied and four 1-gallon cans of paint were strewn around. A fire was started inside which set off the sprinkler system causing considerable water damage.