Boing Boing 

$17 radio amp lets thieves steal Priuses

If your car has a proximity-based ignition fob that lets you start the engine without inserting a key, thieves on the street in front of your house can use an amp to detect its signal from your house and relay it to the car, getting away clean.

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Arkansas cops send malware to whistleblowers' lawyers

An Arkansas lawyer representing ex-cops who blew the whistle on corruption in the Fort Smith Police Department says that when he gave the police brass a blank hard-drive for discovery documents, they returned it laden with sneaky malware, including a password-sniffing keylogger and a backdoor that would let the police department spy on their legal opponents.

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DEA and Secret Service agent charged in Silk Road fraud schemes

silkroad-unsealed

Former DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV and former Secret Service agent Shaun W. Bridges were charged this week with money laundering and wire fraud stemming from their involvement in the Silk Road dark web undercover investigation.

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San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy ring accused of pit-fighting inmates

San Francisco sheriff's deputy Scott Neu is accused of leading a ring of corrupt jail guards who coerced prisoners into gladiatorial combat with threats of rape and violence.

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Tonka criminals attempt to crack ATM with backhoe

It takes certain hubris to commit a crime with a 7-ton, 20 mph max speed vehicle. On January 4 in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, unknown suspects tried to smash open a Bank of America ATM with a Caterpillar 420D. A similar incident happened a few days prior in Bessemer City, NC. (They should probably design the ATMs to look like giant pigs.)

In late February, a Rochester, New York, man was arrested after he dug a 40-foot-long, 12-foot-deep hole in a rural road at night using an excavator, apparently for fun.

Improving the estimate of US police killings


Patrick Ball and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group applied the same statistical rigor that he uses in estimating the scale of atrocities and genocides for Truth and Reconciliation panels in countries like Syria and Guatemala to the problem of estimating killing by US cops, and came up with horrific conclusions.

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Judge who invented Ferguson's debtor's prisons owes $170K in tax


Judge Ronald J Brockmeyer -- who filled Ferguson's coffers by fining its poorest residents and sent them to inhumane, overcrowded prisons when they couldn't pay a few hundred dollars -- stands accused of fixing fines for his cronies, and owes $170K in unpaid taxes.

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Justice Department issues "scorching" report on Ferguson's Police Department


The police department "routinely" blocks citizens from recording their activities under a bizarre rubric of "officer safety," according to the Justice Department's investigation.

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The book thieves of 1990s London


In the 1990s, London was home to notorious book-thieves who stole to order for the shops of Charing Cross road, who paid a fraction of cover-price for them -- meaning that each thief would have to steal £50,000/year worth of books (and often stole more).

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Police questioning techniques make it easy to elicit false accusations


Horrified psychologists discontinued a study into how police interrogation tactics can create unshakable false memories of crimes; but it turns out that police questioning tactics are even better at elicting false accusations of crimes that never even occurred.

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Police interrogation techniques generate false memories of committing crimes


Psychologists terminated a study that showed the ease of implanting false memories of committing terrible, violent crimes in the recent past in their subjects -- the experiment was terminated because some subjects couldn't be convinced that they hadn't committed the crime after they were told the truth.

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Cop who switched off traffic cam in order to make illegal threats will keep his job


Niles, OH Patrolman Todd Mobley followed an acquaintance home in his cruiser and yanked him out of the car and threatened his life; when another cop arrived, Mobley had the cop turn off his dashcam and continued his illegal behavior; he has served a 30 day suspension and is back on the job.

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Family fake-kidnapped 6-year-old to teach him to mistrust strangers

The Troy, MO family of a six-year-old boy staged a kidnapping in which they terrorized him and made him believe that he would be sold into sex slavery, because they wanted to convince him not to be so "nice" to strangers.

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License Expired: an unauthorized James Bond anthology

Now that the James Bond novels and character have entered the public domain in most of the world (but not the USA), David Nickle and Madeline Ashby teamed up to edit "License Expired," an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for the Canadian press Chizine.

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The cops who shot a homeless man have been charged with murder

Two Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a mentally ill homeless camper last year have been charged with murder.

The encounter was caught on video that appears to show disproportionate use of force, although the Albuquerque Police Department continued to insist the shooting was justified for months following the incident.

Now the APD's luck appears to have run out. Prosecutors have announced that two officers who fired lethal rounds into Boyd's body, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, will be charged with murder.

Blackmail paradoxes

From Futility Closet:

We covered one paradox regarding blackmail in 2010: If it’s legal for me to reveal your secret, and it’s legal for me to ask you for money, why is it illegal for me to demand payment to keep your secret? In the words of Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren, “Why do two rights make a wrong?”

Here’s a second paradox: If you had initiated the same transaction — if you had offered to pay me for my silence, and I’d agreed — then we’d have the same outcome, but this time it’s legal. “It is considered paradoxical that the sale of secrecy is legal if it takes the form of a bribe, yet is illegal where the sale of secrecy takes the form of blackmail,” writes Loyola University economist Walter Block. “Why should the legality of a sale of secrecy depend entirely upon who initiates the transaction? Why is bribery legal but blackmail not?”

TX SWAT team beats, deafens nude man in his own home, lies about arrest; judge declines to punish cops or DA


A well-meaning friend of Chad Chadwick called the Missouri City, TX police to say that he was afraid that Chadwick was having emotional difficulties; the cops lied to a judge to say that they had reason to believe Chadwick was heavily armed, then they sent a SWAT-team to his house (where he was asleep in the tub), beat 11 kinds of shit out of him, gave him permanent hearing loss, held him in solitary confinement, fraudulently accused him of resisting arrest, and tried to have him imprisoned -- he was acquitted, but a judge wouldn't punish the cops or the DA, because "There is no freestanding constitutional right to be free from malicious prosecution."

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