Tip: Don't shoplift when store is holding 'Shop With A Cop' event

In Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Walmart was hosting a "shop with a cop" event where police officers take young people from low-income backgrounds on shopping sprees to buy gifts for their families. According to PA State Police Troop B, that was probably not the best day for Sunny Ray Firestone, 32, to "try and walk out of the store with a shopping cart full of merchandise that you did not pay for."

From KDKA:

According to a complaint Firestone told police her sick mother needed new clothes

Firestone has a history of retail theft.

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Couple got engaged at Walmart hours after armed robbery stunt with 'ornamental sword', say police

In North Carolina, a lovestruck convenience store clerk and her fiancé now have matching criminal charges. According to police, the man who performed the robbery was carrying “some sort of ornamental sword,” which you can sort of make out in the convenience store surveillance video above, courtesy of local police. Read the rest

Bank teller allegedly attempted to burglarize customer who made large withdrawal

On Monday, a 78-year-old man in Harford County, Maryland, withdrew a large sum of cash from his bank. That night, an intruder forced his way into the man's house and assaulted him until a relative interrupted the beating. As the relative called the cops the intruder ran off. Police later identified the culprit as 19-year-old Nathan Michael Newell, a teller at the victim's bank.

Newell is currently in the county jail. He was also fired, probably for lousy customer service.

"We are shocked and appalled to hear of the events that led to the assault and injury of a longtime member of our credit union," (Freedom Federal Credit Union president Michael) MacPherson said. "Our thoughts go out to him, and his family, during this difficult time."

(CNN)

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Tupac Shakur arrested in Tennessee!

Johnson City, Tennessee police arrested Tupac Shakur for assault, resisting arrest, and possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. According to News Channel 9, Shakur is being held on an $18,000 bond. In addition to being a hip hop legend, Shakur is apparently a master of disguise.

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Gentleman gives fake name to police even though real name is tattooed on his neck

When police arrested Matthew Bushman, 36, of Mansfield, Illinois on Friday, he reportedly tried to provide a fake name. Thing is, his real name is tattooed right across his neck. Police shouldn't be surprised though. After all, they were investigating Bushman for possible involvement in a forgery.

(WAND17) Read the rest

Gentleman blames shoplifting and bad hygiene on voodoo

Police arrested Joshua Allen Renfroe, 29, for shoplifting hundreds of dollars of merchandise from a Walmart in Lufkin, Texas. From KTRE:

After Renfroe was arrested, he kept telling LPD officers that the “voodoo” made him try to steal the items from Walmart, the media report stated. He also told them that the “voodoo” told him not to brush his teeth that morning.

I'm not sure which is the greater crime.

image: Mekabre Loa Voodoo Doll - Complete Kit (Amazon) Read the rest

Help FBI catch the Mummy Marauder

The FBI are seeking help in their search for the "Mummy Marauder" who robbed First Convenience Bank in Harris County, Texas on Friday the 13th. From CNN:

The suspect wrapped white gauze around his face and arms, the FBI said. He also wore a wig and baseball cap. No other information about the robbery was released.

He then fled the bank before getting into a black Mitsubishi Montero SUV with an undisclosed sum of money.

Of course the real problem is that without the gauze, he's invisible.

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Thieves attempt to sell off stolen comic book collection... at the victim's own comic shop

In Saint Louis, thieves broke into Martin Casas's storage locker and snatched his comic book collection. Then they took the comics to a local comic shop to sell them. Thing is, Casas owns the shop. From the Riverfront Times:

...A Chesterfield woman called within days of the storage locker burglary and asked if Apotheosis might want to buy a box of her comics. Encouraged by a store employee, she dropped off the box on Friday for review and left her name and phone number. Casas arrived shortly after she left to see what she had brought. As soon as he saw the box, he knew.

He had written "Cap" on the side, designating it as a box of Captain America comics. Inside, he searched for one particular comic, the third installment of the Captain America Truth series. He had gotten it years ago and knew his copy had a small red mark on the corner.

"Sure enough, there's that book," Casas says. "It's my box."

He called the cops first, and then the woman. She apparently had no idea she was trying to sell the comics back to their rightful owner, so Casas played dumb.

"This is a great collection," he told her on the phone. "You've got at least a couple hundred dollars in comics there."

He arranged a meeting for 10 a.m. the next morning, Friday. But before he hung up, he asked if she might have any more, as he was interested in buying whatever he could for the shop.

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Charles Manson's deeply dark and twisted interpretation of The Beatles' "White Album"

Fifty years ago today, the Manson Family carried out the grisly Tate-Labianca murders that essentially crushed the hippie dream with a tragic nightmare starring failed songwriter and psychopath Charles Manson. At Manson's trial, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi argued that the cult leader was inspired by his misreading of The Beatles' White Album. Indeed, "Healter Skelter” [sic] had been smeared in blood on the LaBiancas’ refrigerator. Over at Rolling Stone, Kory Grow does a track-by-track analysis of Manson's bizarre misinterpretation of The White Album. From Rolling Stone:

Although he would deny being into the Beatles years later (“I am a Bing Crosby fan,” he declared in 1985 – despite inmates at a prison Manson stayed at in the early Sixties claiming he was obsessed with the Beatles), Manson discussed the group enough with his followers that his warped reading of the Fab Four’s most adventurous album resounded throughout the trial. Bugliosi interviewed several Manson Family members, including those who were not facing criminal charges, and found consistency in their descriptions of his mythology surrounding the White Album and the garbled connections he made between it and the Book of Revelations, which depict end-times.

“This music is bringing on the revolution, the unorganized overthrow of the establishment,” Manson told Rolling Stone in 1970. “The Beatles know [what’s happening] in the sense that the subconscious knows.”

“From the beginning, Charlie believed the Beatles’ music carried an important message – to us,” Manson Family member Paul Watkins wrote in his book, My Life With Charles Manson.

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Brazil prisoner who almost escaped in 'teen girl' disguise is found hanged to death

A Brazilian prison inmate whose attempt to escape jail dressed as his own teen daughter went internet-viral has been found dead in his cell of an apparent hanging. Read the rest

Inmate attempts prison escape disguised as his teenage daughter

Brazilian drug lord Clauvino da Silva attempted to escape a Rio de Janeiro prison on Saturday by impersonating his teenage daughter. From The Guardian:

hen Silva – AKA Baixinho (“Shorty”) – requested the return of his daughter’s ID card at the prison entrance, officers saw through his low-budget disguise and asked him to strip in front of the cameras.

Reports on Monday said the 42-year-old drug trafficker had been moved to solitary confinement but was unlikely to face extra prison time since his unsuccessful bid for freedom had not involved violence.

His daughter, Ana Gabriele Leandro da Silva, who had remained behind in the prison as part of the ruse, seemed to have been less lucky.

According to Rio newspaper Extra she will be charged with abetting prison escape, a crime punishable with up to two years in prison. Seven other visitors – including a pregnant woman suspected of smuggling the disguise into the jail – are also being investigated.

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A true crime book for every US state

If you appreciate the true crime genre, this New York Times feature is a fantastic checklist of books to read. Tina Jordan and Ross MacDonald selected one true crime book to represent each of the fifty United States. I live in California and really enjoyed Jeffrey Toobin's “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst." But even having grown up in Ohio, I hadn't heard of the heinous crimes of Billy Mulligan who “became the first person in this country’s history to be declared not guilty by reason of insanity on the grounds of a psychiatric diagnosis of ‘multiple personality.’” Here are a few more from the article that I've now added to my reading list:

Utah

Mikal Gilmore, “Shot in the Heart”

“A compelling volume that traces the sad, violent history of the Gilmore family and shows, in its author’s words, ‘how its webwork of dark secrets and failed hopes helped create the legacy that, in part, became my brother’s impetus to murder.’”

Louisiana

Ethan Brown, “Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?”

The women — “all prostitutes and drug addicts, which made them vulnerable and defenseless, expendable in a jurisdiction that’s centrally positioned along the route of the Gulf Coast drug trade” — were killed between 2005 and 2009.

Oklahoma

David Grann, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”

“Grann’s book, about how dozens of members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s were shot, poisoned or blown to bits by rapacious whites who coveted the oil under their land, is close to impeccable.

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Two people arrested in stolen car containing rattlesnake, gun, booze, and uranium

Police in Guthrie, Oklahoma arrested Stephen Jennings and Rachael Rivera after pulling them over due to an expired license tag. Turns out, the car was reported stolen. Also turns out that inside the car, the pair had a pet rattlesnake, a gun, open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe, and "a canister of radioactive powdered uranium." From KFOR:

"When that happens of course, we call in a company that deals with that specifically and it`s taken safely into possession," (Guthrie Police Sgt. Anthony) Gibbs said. "The uranium is the wild card in that situation."

The uranium hasn't resulted in charges. Guthrie police are still trying to figure out exactly what the suspects were going to use it for. There are no charges from the rattlesnake either.

"It happens to be rattlesnake season at the time, so he can be in possession of this rattlesnake because he has a valid lifetime hunting and fishing license," Sgt. Gibbs said.

"Logan Co. man allegedly driving stolen vehicle filled with uranium, a rattlesnake, and Kentucky Deluxe" (KFOR via Fark)

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Man bought Jaws of Life on eBay to, er, access ATMs

Police in Southington, Connecticut arrested Joshua Moore who is accused of robbing numerous ATMs of $200,000-$300,000 in cash. How would Moore have accessed the machines? He got the right tool for the job.

According to the investigators, "the suspect utilized a battery powered hydraulic spreader similar to what is used by firefighters during vehicle extrications (Jaws of Life) to gain access into the ATM machine."

And where would Moore have gotten such a thing? eBay, 'natch.

(Fox61) Read the rest

Watch this glamorous group of pickpockets caught on camera

Even though these Thai tourists in London's Cambridge Circus were recording themselves on video, a glamorous group of pickpockets went for it anyway. Read the rest

Watch this motorcycle thief evade the fuzz

This is some artful cop dodgery. The low-key curb sit is a perfect touch.

(r/videos) Read the rest

Prolific "porn blackmailer" jailed for six years

Zain Qaiser, from Barking in London, scammed millions of pounds out of website visitors and is off to jail. He may be the world's most prolific ransomware distributor, reports the BBC, exposed in a trial that focused on easy-to-blackmail porn site visitors.

Qaiser, 24, was jailed for more than six years at Kingston Crown Court. The court heard he is the most prolific cyber criminal to be sentenced in the UK. Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "The harm caused by your offending was extensive - so extensive that there does not appear to be a reported case involving anything comparable." ...

Qaiser was first arrested almost five years ago - but the case has been delayed because of the complexity of the investigation and mental health concerns. Initially working from his bedroom at his family home in Barking, Qaiser began to make money through "ransomware" attacks when he was only 17 years old.

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