Sunday, May 30, 2010

USCS Researcher's brake lines cut -- Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz police are working with the FBI to investigate the vandalism of a car belonging to a University of California at Santa Cruz researcher on Sunday morning.

The spouse of the researcher, whose name is being withheld, found the car at about 11 a.m. Sunday with its brake lines and cables to the emergency braking system cut, police said. The damage had left the braking system inoperable.

Officers responded to the victim's home in the 1200 block of Laurent Street and after speaking with the 55-year-old researcher, determined the motive behind the vandalism may be related to the victim's employment at the university.

Unlike targets in the past, the researcher's work does not involve medical testing on animals, police said. The Santa Cruz Sentinel cross-referenced the home's address with a university directory and concluded the researcher works in the biology department.

The researcher was not threatened before the brake lines were cut, police said. No one has claimed responsibility for the vandalism.

The simplicity of Rolex theft -- West Des Moines, IA

West Des Moines police have an expensive mystery to solve.

On Sunday afternoon, at least three people went on a theft spree at Valley West Mall. Police said they targeted Joseph's Jewelers and took some of the best watches from inside the store while it was open.

"Someone distracted one of the employees and then two of their people were right there and cut the caulking on the case, and reached in and grabbed the three Rolex watches," said Lt. Jeff Miller, of the West Des Moines Police Department.

Police said one watch was worth more than $10,000, another was worth $16,000 and the missing Rolex ladies watch was worth a $35,000. In all, the thieves grabbed more than $60,000 in merchandise.

Police said they are trying to review the Joseph's surveillance video, but they're also looking at other stores inside the mall to see if they can help crack the case.

"There were some people that were suspicious in the area and we're trying to track those down by looking at video throughout the mall, but right now, nothing concrete," said Miller.

Owner John Joseph told KCCI that his staff thinks one of the three men may have been in the store a day earlier to plan the theft. Miller said the thieves were likely professionals.

Early morning fire for night club -- Monroe, LA

An early morning fire that damaged the Members Nite Life Club on Winnsboro Road south of Monroe was deliberately set, said Greg Thompson, chief of fire prevention for the Ouachita Parish Fire Department.

Thompson said the fire was reported at 5:37 a.m. by an employee who lives across the road. The employee heard the fire alarm and called 9-1-1.

When firefighters arrived at the scene at 5:46 a.m. they saw flames coming from the building.

Thompson said an incendiary was used to start the fire on the back outside wall. “Investigators are seeking information on the person or persons who set the fire,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the owner is Robert Sullivan and he has operated the Nite Life at 4619 Winnsboro Road for six years.

He said the building is valued at $100,000 and damages are estimated at $15,000.

Another successful liquor store smash n' grab -- Atlanta, GA

Thieves drove a vehicle through the front doors of an East Point liquor store early Tuesday in the third smash-and-grab burglary at a metro liquor store in just over a week.

Clean-up crews were busy cleaning up the mess left behind by thieves who drove a vehicle through the front doors of an East Point liquor store.
John Spink, Clean-up crews were busy cleaning up the mess left behind by thieves who drove a vehicle through the front doors of an East Point liquor store.

The latest incident happened at The Package Store in the Stanton Plaza shopping center on Stanton Road, just off Langford Parkway.

Store owner Ken Tucker told the AJC that surveillance video showed seven suspects stealing liquor, beer, cash and lottery tickets.

The suspects were spotted a short distance away but ran away after wrecking the stolen vehicle they were riding in, according to Atlanta police dispatchers.

On May 17, thieves smashed a vehicle through the front doors of the Tower Package Store on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, taking about $2,000 in liquor.

Early Saturday, a package store on Cleveland Avenue was burglarized after thieves used a minivan to smash into the store front.

Daniel A. Allen Jr. stopped by the Stanton Road store Tuesday morning to see the damage done by the thieves.

"I just wanted to see who had the audacity just to drive in, with the service station across the street open 24 hours," said Allen, 77, who formerly owned a liquor store less than a mile away at Campbellton Road and DeLowe Drive.

Allen said the rash of burglaries are "deteriorating the community. When [business owners] lose money, how can you stay?"

Allen said he was never victimized by such a break-in in his nearly 40 years in business.

"It didn't happen in my day," Allen said.

"There's no respect now," he said. "Anytime you don't respect yourself, and your pants are hanging down to the ground, and you've got a mouth full of gold and none in your pocket, you've got a problem."

Students clash with police; cop's leg broken -- Lewiston, ME

An alcohol-fueled party for college seniors to blow off steam turned rowdy early Wednesday, leading to 11 arrests, an officer with a broken a leg and student complaints about police overreaction.

The gathering that began late Tuesday was part of a Bates College senior tradition called “return to your freshman dorm.”

Lewiston police were summoned by campus security after some of the 250 to 300 partiers declined to get out of the way of an ambulance that had been called to care for two injured women, police said. About half of the group cleared out, but police said some refused to obey orders.

Officers never resorted to Tasers but used pepper spray after 100 to 150 people refused to disperse, Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere said. He also said at least one officer used a baton.

“There’s a difference between use of force and excessive force,” Bussiere said.
During the frenzy of arrests, a police sergeant’s leg was broken in two places, Bussiere said. A Bates student, Samuel Guilford, was charged with aggravated assault, the chief said.

Students accused police of being overly aggressive.

Paul Chiampa, a junior from Pembroke, Mass., said officers grabbed him by the arm while trying to get the partiers to disperse. He said he told an officer to “take it easy” and the next thing he knew a half-dozen officers were wrestling him to the ground.

“It was absurdly excessive,” Chiampa said Wednesday as he sat in a dining hall with his elbow on ice. He had scrapes on his cheek and the bridge of his nose.
All told, one woman and 10 men, including Guilford and Chiampa, were arrested. Most of the charges were for failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and refusing to submit to arrest.

Wednesday morning, the ground outside the dormitory was littered with debris including beer cans and liquor bottles.

About 100 students gathered Wednesday afternoon in Bates’ quadrangle to protest officers’ actions. Organizers asked students to sign a petition expressing objections to school administrators about what the students said was unnecessary force.

“Clearly some students were out of line, but some police officers were also out of line,” said Joe Musso, a junior from Wallingford, Conn.

Tom Carey, director of security at Bates, said it was too early to say whether the criminal charges will affect any seniors’ participation in Sunday’s commencement ceremony.

The college, which has about 1,800 students, is conducting its own investigation.
into the episode, President Elaine Tuttle Hansen said in a statement. She called the incident “highly unusual” for Bates.

“As a college community, Bates has enjoyed a long history of respect between our campus and local law enforcement,” she said.

Thieves ransack middle school -- Palo Alto, CA

Continuing a rash of East Palo Alto school burglaries that began in January, thieves ransacked James Flood Magnet School for a second time Tuesday morning, a police sergeant said.

Authorities were called to the school on the 2000 block of Pulgas Avenue around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, police Sgt. Jeff Liu said. The thieves had rifled through the contents of a dozen classrooms and the school office.

An overhead projector, laptop and an iPod were stolen, Liu said, but a complete list of missing items is still being compiled. "It could grow," he said.

The thieves gained access to the rooms by forcing windows open, breaking one of them in the process, Liu said. The school does not have an alarm system, he noted.

A witness flagged down police officers at Bay Road and University Avenue after seeing two juveniles running from the direction of the school, Liu said. They were wearing dark clothing and carrying duffel bags.

James Flood and other city schools have been recent targets of thieves.

"Anybody who would steal from a school trying to educate young people who are trying to prepare for a bright future is a real lowlife," Liu said.

In mid-February, thieves broke into James Flood and stole about 30 student laptops donated by Hewlett-Packard, two projectors and a mini refrigerator, resulting in a loss of roughly $15,000, according to Principal Cammie Harris.

Harris could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Academy was burglarized three times in March. More than $11,000 in items — including laptops, projectors, and electronic aides for disabled children — were stolen.

Thieves also broke into East Palo Alto Charter School in January and March, taking projectors and document cameras in the former burglary. Police arrested one suspect in the March burglary, but the other escaped.

Flames for foreclosed condo -- Palm Bay, FL

Authorities say an arson fire forced neighbors to evacuate and while causing at least $20,000 in damage to a foreclosed condominium unit.

The fire was reported about 2 a.m. Friday at The Palms at 2190 Forrest Knoll Road, just west of Babcock Street in the northeast section of the city.

“It’s arson,” said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for Palm Bay Fire-Rescue.

Fire crews doused a burning mattress in unit 108.

No one was inside at the time, but fire investigators suspect the residence had been used by drug users.

“This apartment is not currently occupied and is known to be frequented by drug users," said Fire Inspector Ron Bailey.

“The unit had no electricity as it is in foreclosure.”

Several other residents were evacuated but were allowed to return once the fire was extinguished and the condo secured.

Retail factories looted -- Daytona Beach, FL

Professional thieves familiar with the operations of a sunglasses factory on Mason Avenue broke into the business and stole merchandise with a retail value of $500,000 to $1 million, police said.

"Somebody had a lot of knowledge about the business. The burglary was executed professionally," said Daytona Beach police Sgt. Billy Rhodes. "It was meticulously executed by people who knew exactly what to do and what not to do."

Police were called to the business, Costa Sunglasses Co., at 2361 Mason Ave., on Monday after an employee discovered the door's magnetic locks were deactivated, police said.

The sunglasses taken included some manufactured for client Cabela's Sporting Goods, said Chas McDonald, president of the company.

A police report of the burglary said Cabela retails the sunglasses between $179 and $249 each.

McDonald said Tuesday the value of the merchandise taken was less than police estimated, putting the loss at under $500,000. An inventory was still being done Tuesday, he said.

"Our workforce is deployed and we continue to produce, do quality-assurance tests and ship quality goods to our customers," McDonald said.

The suspects, at least three, cut wires disabling telephones, security cameras, the alarm and computer systems of the business Sunday night. The thieves moved a photocopier and a tree planter in the middle of the area where the sunglasses were stored, preventing their images from being recorded by cameras as they destroyed them.

The masked suspects then lined up 12 pallets of merchandise near a door, moved them with pallet jacks, secured them with packing wrap then loaded them on a semi-trailer, police said.

Investigators are not ruling out that it possibly was an inside job, Rhodes said.

"It's something we'll be looking at," Rhodes said.

McDonald said he did not believe the heist was an inside job and said he does not suspect his employees.

"I don't believe that's the case," McDonald said.

The burglary remains under investigation. In addition to the merchandise, the burglars also took a computer monitor and hard drive, said Daytona Beach police spokesman Jimmie Flynt.

Another high-dollar break-in was happening simultaneously a little more than five miles away.

Between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. burglars used forklifts inside Parker Boats, 872 N. Tomoka Farms Road, to assist in stealing more than $100,000 in boat motors. Six motors were taken by thieves who cut open a fence to the business, and covered cameras while they worked.

Police did not say whether the burglaries are connected.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Middle school trashed overnight -- Lacey, WA

Vandals smashed at least 20 windows and trashed two classrooms at Nisqually Middle School in Lacey overnight.

School officials said three vandals overturned desks, knocked books off the shelves, and tossed items around the classrooms in a portable building. A microwave oven was also destroyed, but nothing was reported stolen, said spokeswoman of North Thurston Public Schools, Courtney Schrieve.

Surveillance video released by the school late Thursday shows two vandals approach and throw a rock through the glass door at the front of the school.

The second vandal picks up the rock and throws it again only to have it bounce off.

As his accomplice on the left breaks another window he picks up his rock and throws it one last time at the glass.

The vandals then moved to a portable that contains two classrooms, trashed them and then pulled the fire alarm, school officials said.

Firefighters arrived to find the damage and deputies arrived soon after.

Crews were called out to the school at 3:30 a.m. to start cleaning up and repair the damage before school started.

Scrhieve said the crews have done a good job making repairs and getting the school ready for students today.

At this point the total cost of the damage is estimated at $15,000.

"They’re just taking away from our education, and money from our education, and supplies we could have spent that money on," said student Sierra Dabe.

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism.

Ever feel like killing your boss? -- Boulder, CO

A disgruntled employee of a Boulder flooring and fireplace store confronted the company’s owners Monday and shot them several times before apparently killing himself, Boulder Police said today.

Police Chief Mark Beckner said Robert Montgomery is the suspect in the shooting deaths of Boulder Stove and Flooring owners Staci and Sean Griffin. Montgomery worked at the business as a hearth-products specialist.

The Griffins and Montgomery were found dead in the back of the store shortly after 11 a.m. The Griffins suffered several gunshot wounds while Montgomery had one gunshot wound, Beckner said.

Police found a Smith & Wesson handgun in Montgomery’s right hand and 13 spent shellcasings. There was also one live round in Boulthe weapon’s chamber, Beckner said.

A journal found at Montgomery’s residence indicated he was angry at a change in sales compensation at the business.

A friend of Montgomery’s, who has known him since the 1980s, described him as even-tempered and slow to anger but said he was upset about work.

Co-worker Jason Arthur said the change in the company’s compensation involved requiring employees to reach sales goals in order to earn bonuses.

A rock for a jewelry store -- Burlington, VT

Burlington Police are looking for a vandal who damaged a downtown jewelry store early Thursday morning.

Police say Perrywinkle's surveillance cameras captured video of the man hurling a rock through the store's front window.

The vandal has a medium build and brown hair.

Nothing was taken from the Main Street store.

"It appears from the video that (Thursday at 2:17 a.m.)-- probably filtering crowds walking from downtown closing, the bar establishments-- it looks like a male, probably in his 20s, mid-20s, basically picked up a large round rock-- a foot in diameter-- and threw it into the glass," Burlington Police Cpl. Paul Fabiani said.

Police say it's clear from the video that others witnessed the crime.

An analysis on the relative ease of art theft

Excuse the anti-theft sentiment expressed in the article--it's still an interesting piece on some of the ins and outs of art theft, which is relevant in light of recent events across the pond.

Several popular myths endure about art thieves. In our imaginations they are either gentlemen aesthetes whose taste far outstrips their pockets, or nimble cat burglars in black jumpsuits leaping with the surefootedness of Darcey Bussell from balcony to ledge.

These charming fantasies are remote from reality. The epicurean collector who has masterpieces stolen to order is a fiction of the Hollywood producer and the desperate news editor. Most art thieves are opportunist muttonheads, some of whom actually believe they can sell a famous painting when it’s still hot off the wall.

You don’t need to be bright or ingenious to steal from museums. It’s so easy I could do it. The only astonishing thing is that it doesn’t happen more often. The hooded chap who broke into the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris this week forced a padlock and removed a window. The alarms were helpfully switched off; you’d be surprised how often they are in art thefts. You’d also be surprised at the number of small museums that can afford neither alarms nor surveillance. Even in leading galleries bristling with state-of-the-art gizmos we are not dealing with Fort Knox.

Art theft is only slightly more demanding than a smash-and-grab heist, for smashed windows also are the passe-partout of the art thief: ask the directors of the Ashmolean and the National Galleries of London, Norway, Vienna and many more. In the Ashmolean the cover of new year celebrations was used to climb on to a roof, force a window and steal a Cézanne. In the 1960s Kempton Bunton, a pensioner angry about the increase in TV licences, broke a lavatory window at our own National Gallery, and stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington recently acquired for what he considered an obscene sum.

But pride of place on the “broken window” lists must go to the Dulwich Picture Gallery with its so-called “takeaway Rembrandt”. Snatched four times in 35 years it has been found in a graveyard in Streatham, strapped to the back of a bicycle, in the back of a London taxi and in the left luggage office of Munster railway station.

If you really want to know how easy art theft is ask Stéphane Breitwieser, a Swiss waiter. Until he was stopped in 2005 he had stolen in a decade 239 objects from scores of museums in six countries. He then set himself up as a security consultant from his cell.

More often thieves don’t even need to break in. They mingle and await their opportunity. When Leonardo’s The Madonna of the Yarnwinder was taken from Drumlanrig Castle five years ago it was lifted by two thieves posing as visitors who strong-armed several Scottish gentlefolk before lobbing it into a car and driving off.

The very practice of placing great masterpieces where people can get close enough to see them means we must accept the inevitability of major thefts. Unfortunately, theft will become more attractive as the art market rockets. Three of the four most expensive paintings at auction are by Picasso and more than 300 works by him missing are because of theft. Perhaps these facts are related.

Art is an increasingly easy option for the criminal underworld. Four years ago thieves raided a security warehouse in Tonbridge, Kent, containing £150 million in cash. They left two thirds of it behind because they could transport only£50 million.

The lone Paris thief walked off with about £85 million under his arm. If he’s clever he’ll realise a decent fraction of that by extortion. Apart perhaps from jewels and Cristiano Ronaldo, no other commodity exists where such vast value is condensed into something so small and portable.

But why steal a Picasso, a Matisse and a Modigliani that can’t be sold? The answer is ransom. In theory ransoms are illegal in Britain: rewards, however, can be offered that lead to the return of the loot and the apprehension of those responsible.

But ransoms, which are legal in parts of the Continent, are paid here and the police turn a blind eye. Five years ago when the Tate paid more than £3 million for the return of two Turners stolen in Frankfurt ten years before, the transactions were described as a reward, but many think the distinction hazy. A similar case was the Longleat Titian, for which a “reward” of £100,000 in cash was left in a supermarket bag at a bus stop.

Surprising quantities of stolen art never resurface. Where does it all go? From court cases involving supergrasses it has been revealed that paintings are used as sweeteners and gifts in underworld drug and arms deals. Producing an important stolen work of art is a way for a gang to establish its professional bona fides. Some gang leaders, eager to insure against capture, are said to hold stolen art in reserve for the moment that they require chip in a plea bargain: a couple of Picassos suddenly discovered in exchange for a reduced sentence.

It is estimated that £500 million worth of art is stolen in Britain every year. So if your pension pot’s looking depressed, your mind might wander to the unknown person who in 2003 entered the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and removed works by Gauguin, Picasso and Van Gogh. They were found in a nearby public lavatory accompanied by a note of apology stating that the crime had been committed only to show how easy it is to steal from art galleries.

Convenience store smash n' grab -- Houston, TX

An automatic teller machine was stolen out of a north Houston convenience store early Friday, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Houston police said four men in a pickup truck smashed their way into the Union Food Store on Nordling Road near Rosamond Street shortly after midnight.

The group used a chain to pull the ATM down the street before loading it into a vehicle, investigators said.

The store owner said he thinks there was about $2,000 inside the ATM.

The thieves left a hole in the store's brick wall. Some merchandise and shelving inside the store was also damaged.

Police have not released descriptions of the men.

Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office attacked -- Colorado Springs, OH

Le anonymous communique:

"The entrance to an undisclosed/pseudo-secret ICE office in downtown Colorado Springs was attacked Saturday night.

The office, ironically, is located within a bank building.

No Deportations! No Borders!"

Over $120,000 worth of cigarettes stolen -- Vandalia, OH

Police are searching for two thieves who stole $120,000 worth of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco products from a local warehouse on two early morning heists.

The first burglary was May 11 at a Poe Avenue warehouse and involved more than $90,000 worth of tobacco products. The second break-in was five days later, on May 16, where they stole another $30,000 in products, said police Sgt. Dave Steinbrunner.

Surveillance footage from the second break in shows the culprits dressed in dark-colored hooded sweatshirts and their faces covered.

They used a black SUV as a getaway.

Steinbrunner said the thieves were selective in which brands they chose to steal, though he declined to release the brand names.

Bourgeoisie restaurant attacked -- Sandusky, OH

A vandal smashed the windows of The Zinc Brasserie, Cesare Avallone's restaurant, over the weekend.

The Zinc is an upscale restaurant on Columbus Avenue.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Anarchists continue to step up their game -- Portland, OR

Yet another fucking anonymous communique reads:

"Yesterday the police killed another person. We don't know many details but we don't need to know more details to be seething over this (though frankly we will probably never be told the full account). We aren't going to wait to watch the police demonize another person that would still be alive if there were no cops.

Last night a few individuals tired of people being murdered, set out to break all the windows of the "community" police station at N Denver and N Killpatrick.

We hope by this only to send a message "as long as you are around, killing, beating and threatening people there will be people working to destroy you"

Cops that killed Chasse, Campell, Colins and many others still threaten our communities with weapons and badges. Nothing changes, a new chief, another death. Write all the childrens books that you want, we still see the dead piling up.

Nothing changes, except windows in police stations.

With love,

Anarchists Against Windows"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Attacks on several banks and Starbucks -- Portland, OR

The communique is as follows:

"The Following targets were attacked this weekend:

Starbucks had their locks glued for their union busting, environmental policies, indigenous exploitation
Key Bank and US Bank had locks glued for involvement in the capitalist system of oppression
Balzar Pacific had locks glued for being intimately involved in earth raping industries
Wells Fargo got a new paint job and had an ATM vandalized for funding private prisons

ALL Comrades are encouraged to take action. It is fun, easy, and effective. Action is resistance and resistance will continue.

Much love"

Police officer's car and home torched -- Atlanta, GA

Authorities said they suspect an arsonist set fire to a Watkinsville police officer's home and car as the officer and his girlfriend slept in the middle of the night.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine said the fire was reported around 3:47 a.m. Sunday. The officer, William Horton, was awakened by the sound of a tire on his car exploding from the heat of the fire. Oxendine said the officer and his girlfriend escaped unharmed.

Oxendine said it was well-known that Horton was a police officer, and he believes that may be why the officer was targeted.

Horton's Chevy Trail Blazer and a golf cart were destroyed, though there was only minor damage to the home.

"Portfolio bandit" strikes again -- Westminster, CO

Federal agents say a man who robbed a bank on Saturday is believed to be the suspect known as the "Portfolio Bandit" who has been linked to as many as a dozen bank robberies.

The FBI says the suspect is described as a light-skinned man, between 25 and 35 years old, between 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 5-feet, 9-inches tall with a thin build and dark curly hair.

Authorities say the suspect entered the US Bank at 3454 W. 72nd Ave. just before 10 a.m. on Saturday and handed the teller a note.

Airplanes grounded after bomb threat -- Hyannis, MA

Planes at Cape Air were grounded briefly on Sunday after a bomb threat was phoned in and later found to be a hoax.

Michelle Haynes, a spokeswoman for the Cape Cod airline, said Sunday the call came in on the airline's 800 number Saturday and was taken by an employee in Maine.

Haynes says the airline's Cessna 402 planes are small, with 10 seats, making inspections relatively easy. No explosives were found.

She called it a rather quick event to take care of and disruptions were minimal.

Haynes says the call came in at 5:25 p.m. and planes were back in the air by 7 p.m.

The FBI is investigating.

The commuter airline has flights along the East Coast, Virgin Islands, Guam and elsewhere.

Thieves steal art trailer -- Baton Rouge, LA

Sheriff's detectives are looking for a stolen trailer with thousands of dollars worth of art inside.

Investigators believe the trailer, containing paintings and displays, was taken on April 29th around 10:15 a.m. from a home in the 10000 block of Jefferson Highway.

The trailer is a white, 16 foot long, dual axle Transport Utility Trailer. It is missing both fenders, has a dent in the side and the word "Transport" on the back in blue.

Former elementary school is ignited -- Elizabethtown, OH

The fire that destroyed Elizabethtown Elementary School in Whitewater Township last month has been ruled an arson.

State Fire Marshals released their findings on Monday.

Investigators say the fire started in the main hallway of the school in the 3400 block of Wayne Avenue on April 11.

Neighbors told 9 News they saw teens running from the fire.

With the smoke visible for miles and flames raging, hundreds of people decided to watch. Many spectators said it was hard to see a piece of history burn to the ground.

One firefighter suffered an arm injury.

Bash Back! Strikes queer-hating church -- Fort Wayne, IN

A Fort Wayne church’s van and garage were vandalized Saturday.

Pastor Joe Gutierrez said the head trustee of the Church on Fire, at 9019 Stellhorn Road, discovered it around 7:00 a.m. when he saw the front garage door partially open and the back door completely open.

Several tools, including air tools, framing and finishing nailers and hand tools were missing from the garage and the vandals poured oil all over the ground, on the push mower and on boxes filled with library books.

The words “Bash Back, 6-6-6″ and an upside down cross were spray painted on the inside of the garage door. The van was also graffitied.

Gutierrez explained that ‘Bash Back’ refers to pushing for rights of same-sex marriage and homosexuality through the constitution. Same-sex marriage and homosexuality are two topics the Church on Fire does not support.

“We are a very conservative church, Pentecostal church, where we believe same-sex marriage is an abomination of God and one that clearly states it’s wrong in the eyes of God. We do teach against that and we do admonish people in our church to refrain from homosexuality,” said Gutierrez.

Pastor Guiterrez thinks the vandals could either just be kids or someone taking an issue with the church’s beliefs.

“It lets me know that the individual(s) that have done this have too much free time. They aren’t involved in the community and it lets me know one of two things: 1. that just some kids have come through and did it or 2. that they are individuals that actually support this group that want to scare tactic me and so on to try and get us from the viewpoints that we hold that or and (sic) they just don’t like anybody that’s against it. I really don’t know,” said Guiterrez.

Pastor Guiterrez not only preaches at the Church on Fire, he is involved in ministry at the county jail. He said he is looking on the bright side if the vandals ever get caught. He said if they go to jail, he’ll have an opportunity to teach and study with them.

The damage is estimated at more than $3,000.

Man successfully robs bank -- Detroit, MI

A man with a note demanding money robbed the Best Bank inside Kroger at Van Dyke and 30 Mile in Washington Township today, Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said.

He said the robber came into the bank just before 1 p.m. with the note and walked out with an undisclosed amount of money.

Authorities are investigating whether he may be involved in other bank robberies, Hackel said.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

$500,000 Sheepskin factory arson -- Denver, CO

More news and photos emerge from mysterious fire that destroyed a sheep skin merchant in Denver.

Investigators have estimated damages from the arson fire that destroyed a sheep skin seller at $500,000. The building is being called a “total loss”.

Also revealed is that the owners of Sheepskin Factory had no insurance. While they claim to be reopening, they must absorb all costs from the arson fire which destroyed the building, equipment, and all inventory.

Police released photos of a person they say “may” have set the fire, taken from security camera footage around the time of the fire. The images show only a person with a backpack and hood, with no face or other identifiable features visible.

As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the fire. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is still investigating.

View photos of the burned down building here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Anarchists throw down on May Day -- United States

Santa Cruz, CA

Tons of windows smashed and Cafe Pergolesi, which supplied information to the government concerning those being charged with the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (see: Support the AETA4,) had their porch set on fire. Only one arrest. Well done, Santa Cruz!

A large group of protesters demonstrating at a May Day rally for worker's and immigrant rights downtown broke off into a riot vandalizing about a dozen businesses around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Many in the group were carrying makeshift torches as they marched, breaking storefront windows and writing "anarchist graffiti" on buildings, according to Capt. Steve Clark. Many businesses sustained multiple broken windows including very large storefront windows at Urban Outfitters and The Rittenhouse building. Police believe at least 15 businesses suffered damage.

The violence was initiated from a group holding a rally at the town clock for May Day. Windows at Jamba Juice and Velvet Underground were left shattered and graffiti including anarchy signs were tagged onto buildings.

Because of the size and violent demeanor of the crowd, Santa Cruz police asked for help from all agencies in the county to break up the riot. At one point, protesters lit a fire on the porch of Caffe Pergolesi and blocked access to firefighters, officers said. Police were able to clear out the demonstrators before more damage was caused.

A large rock sat outside Verizon Wireless on the 100 block of Cooper Street, where vandals tried to break the window twice, according to Clark.
"The damage that was caused was without purpose," Clark said. "It was senseless violence that victimized a community who cannot afford to be victimized in this manner. This did nothing to add credit to whatever they believed their cause was."

One person, 24-year-old Jimi Haynes, a transient from Fresno County, was arrested for felony vandalism for damaging a window. Haynes is also wanted on a parole violation, Clark said. Police are searching for others responsible for the damage. Protesters cleared the downtown area around midnight.

"Our entire team of investigators are processing the scene of violence for evidence," Clark said. "We will be looking at video available to try to ID who's responsible."

Haynes was observed traveling with this group and breaking windows at the Dell Williams Jewelry store. Haynes broke two large display windows in the front of the store. The witnesses followed him and called police. Haynes was located by arriving Watsonville PD officers who detained Haynes, Clark said.

Haynes is on parole out of Fresno County for burglary. He has been in Santa Cruz for the past several weeks where he has established an arrest history, Clark said. Haynes admitted to participating in the rally after receiving a flyer at a local anarchist café. Haynes was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail.

Once order was restored, police detectives worked throughout the night to collect evidence and document the damage to each of the businesses, Clark said. The police department guarded exposed storefronts, and arranged for private security to watch the businesses until windows could be boarded, and responsible persons contacted.

Asheville, NC

Multiple stores, luxury cars, and an ATM all attacked. Unfortunately, there were eleven arrests, as well. Find out how to support them here.

Most of those arrested for a rash of vandalism Saturday night in downtown Asheville listed addresses in Eastern North Carolina and out of state, according to arrest warrants.

Only two listed an Asheville address. At least five of the suspects appear to be students at colleges and universities. The suspects ages ranged from 17-26.

All but one of the 11 suspects arrested were each charged with seven counts of misdemeanor injury to personal property and three counts of injury to real property. Each was being held under $10,000 bond. One man was charged with 11 counts and had an $11,000 bond. All are scheduled to appear in court on the charges Monday morning.

Those charged include:
- Randall Duncan Stezer, 17, of Graham, N.C.
- Wyatt Sherman Allgeier, 19, of Mount Pleasant, N.C.
- Karen Leigh Alderser, 19, of Carrboro.
-Alissa Marie Batzold, 18, of Carrboro.
-Havely Carolyn Carsky, 23, of Meadow Lake Road, Asheville.
-Nicholas Ryan Entwistle, 19, of Kansas City, Mo.
-Naomi Rachel Ullian, 26, of West Chestnut St., Asheville.
-Marshall Rogers Tingler, 24, of Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Daniel Heinz Regenfcheit, 26, of Carrboro.
-Cailin Elizabeth Major, 25, of Milwaukee, Wis.
-Jordan M. Ferrand-Sapsis, 24, of Oklahoma City, Okla.

Carsky is listed as a senior biology student at UNCA, according to the school directory. Allgeier is a sophomore studying women’s studies and art in Chapel Hill, the student directory shows. Stezer attends Alamance Community College in Graham, and Ullian goes to Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., arrest warrants show.

About 10:45 p.m. Saturday, a group of between 20-30 people wearing dark clothing, some wearing masks and carrying backpacks, threw items, including newspaper boxes, through windows of several businesses along O'Henry Avenue. A front window of the Asheville Citizen-Times was shattered, as were multiple storefronts at the Grove Arcade. An ATM was smashed at the RBC on O'Henry.

Multiple cars parked on Battery Park had their windows smashed.

The violence is likely linked to the observance of May Day, a day for marking worker solidarity that has been seized upon for anti-capitalism displays of violence, especially by self-proclaimed anarchist groups in Europe.

Several in the group yelled unintelligably as they vandalized. The group walked south on O'Henry Avenue and turned left on Battery Park Avenue. Some walked through the alley beside the Citizen-Times, where several employees of the paper had rushed to ensure the safety of their cars.

Carmel's chef Mary Scherger said she was having a shift drink at the Page Avenue restaurant when she saw the group smash out a window on a BMW parked along Battery Park Avenue.

"That's when I yelled for my manager to come out," she said.

Scherger said she saw some of them run toward Haywood Street and a few run up the stairwell from Wall Street parking garage ditching their garb as police moved in.

Scherger said she recalled a similar act of group vandalism last year, but the group did far less damage.

Denver, CO

Anarchists get all Plan B up on a Wells Fargo at night. No arrests!

The communique:

"In the latest hours of May Day, a gang of masked anarchists and anti-authoritarians attacked a Wells Fargo in Denver. This rage-fueled rupture took place for a number of reasons, including blah blah blah blah blah GEO group blah blah blah blah prisonocracy blah blah blah corporate pieces of shit sucking the blood of the human race blah blah blah blah blah... Fuck Wells Fargo.

A whole bunch of windows were shattered with a wide variety of stones procured from the lovely landscaping areas around the bank. In a true display of diversity of tactics, larger rocks were thrown through doors and first floor windows, while smaller rocks knocked out panes thought to be out of reach. All participants dissolved safely into the night, a May Day properly celebrated.

Solidarity with all those that got wild for May Day, the fighters in Greece, our comrades in struggle in Oaxaca and all seeking total liberation from capitalist totality blah blah blah blah blah blah blah


some anarchists"

New York City, NY

A bunch of objects of capital are negated and five of our team are arrested. Anyone have any more info?

Around noon, several Banks, ATMs, and American Apparel, and several other corporate storefronts on Broadway were attacked by a breakaway march dozens strong. Police swarmed the rally as it approached Union Square, arresting 5 individuals at random while the rest dispersed safely.

San Francisco, CA

Anarchists reclaim the streets, smash a Wells Fargo, and occupy a building, if only for a hot minute. YouTube comments make it seem like more was attacked, but info on this all is scarce. Eleven arrests.

Last night a San Francisco May Day demonstration by Black Bloc anarchists turned into an occupation when they took over an abandoned school to claim it for the homeless of the City.

After a few hundred Black Bloc anarchists marched around different parts of the city to commemorate May Day, a.k.a. International Workers' Day, some of them broke into an abandoned school near the intersection of 16th and Mission streets and occupied it.

"This school is sitting empty, they're not using it while we have so many homeless people on the streets. Why doesn't the city let the homeless stay here?" said one anarchists, who refused to give his name.

San Francisco police, who'd been tracking the march from the beginning, responded by closing off Mission Street between 15th and 16th streets, then clearing the sidewalks of both bystanders and anarchists.

The anarchists locked the gates behind them. They'd come with various items that clearly showed this was not a spur-of-the-moment action but instead had some amount of planning behind it.

After a stand-off and negotiations between them and the police that lasted about two hours, the anarchists either voluntarily removed themselves from the property or were arrested and forcibly removed.

A police commander at the scene said 11 people were arrested.



One of the protesters apparently used a bike lock to break a window at a Wells Fargo bank near the intersection of 16th and Wiese streets, and what appeared to be smoke bombs were also thrown nearby.