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July 26th, 2010
09:38 AM ET

False 911 leads to arrest

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A Boston man was arrested over the weekend for making a false phone call that had officers rushing to his home with their guns drawn.

According to police, John M. Sullivan, 42, of Dorchester, called 911 early Sunday morning to report of an attempted home invasion. Sullivan said an armed man was trying to gain entry into his apartment, investigators said.

Uniformed officers immediately responded to the address and drew their weapons as they approached the door, the police said.

Instead of being met with an armed robbery, they were greeted by the 911 caller, who said “there is no gun, I just wanted you guys here quicker,” police said.

“During conversation with the caller turned suspect, officers noted that he was intoxicated based on the smell of alcohol and his unsteady gait. The caller then went on to tell officers that he had called 911 on someone who lives in another apartment because “…he bangs on his door and thinks that he owns the building,” police said in a statement.

Sullivan then “went on to launch a number of racial epithets about his neighbor while pointing at his officers and yelling, causing neighbors to come out their apartment,” police said.

Neighbors appeared at the scene to tell the officers Sullivan “is always drunk and causes a disturbance by banging on his ceiling and doors,” police said.

Sullivan was arrested for disturbing the peace. As he was being led to the patrol car, he allegedly threatened the officers and shouted “I’ll call the cops every day and “you $%#@ need a real job!”

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 23rd, 2010
10:09 AM ET

Pit Bulls kill child

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The owner of three pit bulls who killed a 2-year-old boy Thursday has been charged in connection with the child’s death, authorities in California said.

Steven Hayashi, 52, was arrested for child endangerment and possessing a mischievous animal that causes death or great bodily injury, the Concord Police Department said in a statement. He is being held on $120,000 bail.

According to police, the fatal attack occurred just after 8:45am on Thursday. The victim, who authorities said was the suspect’s step-grandchild, was inside the family’s home with two adult relatives and a young sibling.

The child walked into a garage where three of the family’s pit bulls were being kept, police said. The dogs mauled the boy, who was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police continue to investigate the incident.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 20th, 2010
10:40 PM ET

Update: Body found near site of teen abduction

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A body has been found near the location where a teenage girl vanished on her way home from summer school, authorities in Southern California said.

Investigators do not know if it is that of Norma Lopez, 17, who was the victim of an apparent kidnapping last Friday in Moreno Valley.

The body was discovered 3pm local time on Monday, said Deputy Melissa Nieburger of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/19/normalopez.copy.jpg caption="Norma Lopez was believed to be last seen July 15 walking home from summer school" width=292 height=320]

“We cannot confirm who it is or even the sex of the body,” Nieburger told CNN. As far as identification, that can be anywhere from a day or five days depending on what we find.”

Nieburger said the body was found about two miles from where Lopez vanished.

Investigators believe Lopez, who is a junior at Valley View High school, was abducted on the morning of July 15. “There were signs of a struggle,” Nieburger said. “We believe that she was possibly taken against her will.”

According to police, Lopez had just left class at Valley View High School and planned to meet her younger sister and a friend at home. It is believed Lopez, who will be a senior in the fall, took a short cut through a dirt field to reach the family’s residence.

Her sister contacted the police when Lopez never returned home.

Personal items belonging to Lopez that were found in the field suggest that she may have been abducted, Deputy Nieburger said. “These are items that you would not leave behind,” she added.

Extensive searches for the missing teen continued today, Nieburger said. “This is an active investigation. We have utilized all our resources,” she told CNN. “We’ve used canines, bloodhounds, numerous units and all our detectives are still working the case.”

Police are looking for a green “SUV type vehicle” that was seen driving away from the area at the time Lopez vanished.

Nieburger asked the public to help in locating Lopez. “Obviously, we just want her to be found safe,” she said.

Norma Lopez is approximately 5’7” and weighs 110lbs. She has brown eyes and brown shoulder length hair. She was last seen wearing a black and white horizontal stripe sleeveless shirt, with a floral pattern and black skinny jeans.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Moreno Valley Police at 951-247-8700 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-776-1099.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 19th, 2010
06:04 PM ET

Update: Girl likely abducted on way home from school

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A high school student who disappeared on her way home from summer school last week was likely kidnapped, authorities in Southern California said.

Norma Lopez, 17, has not been seen or heard from since the morning of July 15. “We believe that she was possibly taken against her will,” Deputy Melissa Nieburger of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department told CNN.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/19/normalopez.copy.jpg caption="Norma Lopez was believed to be last seen July 15 walking home from summer school" width=292 height=320]

According to investigators, Lopez had just left class at Valley View High School and planned to meet her younger sister and a friend at home. It is believed Lopez, who will be a senior in the fall, took a short cut through a dirt field to reach the family’s residence.

Her sister contacted the police when Lopez never returned home.

Personal items belonging to Lopez that were found in the field suggest that she may have been abducted, Deputy Nieburger said. “These are items that you would not leave behind,” she added.

Extensive searches for the missing teen continued today, Nieburger said. “This is an active investigation. We have utilized all our resources,” she told CNN. “We’ve used canines, bloodhounds, numerous units and all our detectives are still working the case.”

Police are looking for a green “SUV type vehicle” that was seen driving away from the area at the time Lopez vanished.

Nieburger asked the public to help in locating Lopez. “Obviously, we just want her to be found safe,” she said.

Norma Lopez is approximately 5’7” and weighs 110lbs. She has brown eyes and brown shoulder length hair. She was last seen wearing a black and white horizontal stripe sleeveless shirt, with a floral pattern and black skinny jeans.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Moreno Valley Police at 951-247-8700 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-776-1099.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 19th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Girl likely abducted on way home from school

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Authorities in California are investigating the possible kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl.

Norma Lopez was believed to be last seen July 15 walking home from summer school, the Moreno Valley Police Department said in a statement.

“At this point the investigation suggests that the victim was taken against her will and a newer model, green, SUV-type vehicle was seen speeding from the area,” investigators said.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/19/normalopez.copy.jpg caption="Norma Lopez was believed to be last seen July 15 walking home from summer school" width=292 height=320]

According to the police, Lopez had attended summer school at Valley View High School on the 15th. She planned to meet a friend and her younger sister at the family’s home later that morning, but never arrived.

Investigators said Lopez would often take a short cut home through a dirt field and may suspect that she was abducted in that vicinity.

Norma Lopez is approximately 5’7”, 110lbs. with brown eyes and brown shoulder length hair.

She was last seen wearing a black and white horizontal stripe, sleeveless shirt with a floral pattern, and black “skinny jeans.”

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of her should call the Moreno Valley Police at 951-247-8700.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 16th, 2010
11:50 AM ET

Robbers pose as FBI agents

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Police are looking for 3 men who posed as FBI agents during an attempted home invasion in Cooper City, Florida.

Surveillance video recorded the suspects wearing shirts with the letters “FBI” on the backs.

The incident happened shortly after 4am on July 12, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.

On the videotape, two of the suspects try to enter the home by prying open the front door with a crowbar.

See the video here

They also tried to gain entry through a front window, the police said.

According to investigators, the homeowner confronted the fake FBI agents. Armed with a .40 caliber pistol, he fired the gun at the men, police said.

The suspects ran back to their SUV and drove away, police said. The vehicle is described as a newer model mid-size silver Mercedes Benz.

Police have released security tape of the attempted home invasion. Authorities

The 3 men were wearing baseball hats and t-shirts. They also had badges around their necks, police said.

Anyone with information should contact the Broward County Sheriff’s Office at 954-321-4270.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 15th, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Update: Burly Bandit captured?

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Is the search over for the serial bank robber dubbed “the burly bandit?”

Authorities said a man under arrest in Maine may be linked to a string of New England heists committed by a portly felon who weighs approximately 300lbs.

“We do have an individual in custody,” FBI Special Agent Gail A. Marcinkiewicz said in a message to CNN. “He was arrested for a bank robbery in Maine. We are looking into whether he is connected to those other bank robberies.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/burly1_web.jpg width=292 height=320]

“We have not said he is the burly bandit but are looking into whether he is connected.”
The man arrested in Maine has been identified as Robert Ferguson.

Since April, the burly bandit has been responsible for at least 10 armed hold-ups in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

FBI Special Agent Gail A. Marcinkiewicz explained to CNN why the heavy-set perpetrator was labeled the burly bandit. “When we have serial bank robbers, we kind of give them nicknames so that we can remember,” she said. “I think burly means stocky and he’s a rather stocky man.”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/burly2_web.jpg]

He’s also dangerous. “He has brandished a gun, he has threatened to kill people,” Marcinkiewicz said. “Anyone who walks into a bank, threatens tellers and threatens to kill them, that can be very traumatic to people. We just want to get him off the street.”

In each instance, the suspect wears a disguise or attempts to conceal his face. “He has used sunglasses, a wig, and a variety of hats,” the FBI said in a statement. “After receiving cash, he flees the bank on foot in an unknown direction.”

The burly bandit is believed to have robbed the Ocean Bank in Merrimack, New Hampshire on July 2.

A $25,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to his arrest and conviction, authorities said.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 14th, 2010
02:53 PM ET

Meet the Burly Bandit

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The barefoot bandit and the geezer bandit will have to make room for the burly bandit, a portly felon accused of holding up a string of banks in New England.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/burly1_web.jpg width=292 height=320]
The suspect, who weighs about 300 lbs., is wanted in connection with at least 10 armed bank robberies, authorities said.

FBI Special Agent Gail A. Marcinkiewicz explained to CNN why the heavy-set perpetrator was labeled the burly bandit. “When we have serial bank robbers, we kind of give them nicknames so that we can remember,” she said. “I think burly means stocky and he’s a rather stocky man.”

He’s also dangerous. “He has brandished a gun, he has threatened to kill people,” Marcinkiewicz said. “Anyone who walks into a bank, threatens tellers and threatens to kill them, that can be very traumatic to people. We just want to get him off the street.”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/burly2_web.jpg]

Since April, the burly bandit has been linked to bank heists in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

In each instance, the suspect wears a disguise or attempts to conceal his face. “He has used sunglasses, a wig, and a variety of hats,” the FBI said in a statement. “After receiving cash, he flees the bank on foot in an unknown direction.”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/burly3_web.jpg]

The burly bandit is believed to have robbed the Ocean Bank in Merrimack, New Hampshire on July 2.

A $25,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to his arrest and conviction, authorities said.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/burly4_web.jpg]

The burly bandit is described as a white man in his late 40s or early 50s. He is approximately 6’ with short brown hair.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 13th, 2010
12:59 PM ET

Police: Families turn suspected bank robbers in

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The parents of two suspected bank robbers are being credited with turning their sons in, police in Florida said.

Andrew Wright, 18, and Michael Jeczalik, 24, are in federal custody awaiting charges connected to the July 9 robbery of a Bank of America, said Stephanie Slater, spokeswoman for the Boynton Beach Police Department.

Authorities said it didn't take long for the families to identify the alleged perpetrators.

“When Gary Wright saw photos of a bank robbery suspect on an internet news site, he immediately recognized the man in the pinstriped suit,” Slater said in a statement. “It was his 18-year-old son.”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/13/robber.copy.jpg]

Mr. Wright confronted his son about the hold up, police said. The teenage suspect surrendered on Sunday, according to Slater.

“At the same time,” Slater said, “the parents of Michael Jeczalik called Boynton Beach Police and said they saw their son and Andrew Wright writing a note for a bank robbery at their home in Boynton Beach on Friday.”

Slater said the Jeczalik’s parents saw Wright leaving their house shortly before the robbery and noticed he was wearing a pinstriped suit and hat.

According to investigators, Jeczalik implicated himself, telling detectives how he gave Wright the suit and a gun to commit the robbery.

“Jeczalik told detectives that the gun used in the robbery was under the living room couch in his house,” Slater said.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 13th, 2010
09:58 AM ET

Barefoot Bandit: Folk hero or crook?

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Ashley Fantz and Gabriel Falcon
CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/18/colton.facebook.jpg
caption="A Facebook fan page for Colton Harris-Moore. He is suspected of stealing planes, boats, and luxury automobiles."]

The Barefoot Bandit has more than 80,000 Facebook fans who see him as a folk hero, a modern-day Jesse James. But police say Colton Harris-Moore is a brazen 19-year-old criminal, pure and simple.

The beginning and end of Harris-Moore's two-year run as a wanted fugitive is the stuff of Hollywood. Indeed, one studio has optioned his story. But police and some of his victims don't think he should be glamorized as he makes his first court appearance Tuesday.

"They can never imprison a mind like yours Colton," wrote one admirer on Harris-Moore's Facebook fan page Monday, a day after he was captured during a high-speed boat chase in the Bahamas.

Keep Reading...

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
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