Tag Archives: criminal

Child Pornography Investigation Stems from Alert Customer

Tanning salon owner Joseph Layland was a friend to many of his customers until  charged with using a hidden camera to record customers in the Malden, Missouri tanning spot. Formerly “DJ’s Tan and Tone” has closed while the owner waits for trial in jail and police investigate.

Local TV site KFVS reported that police officials seized approximately 500 DVDs and videos, 18-hours of surveillance footage, and two computer hard drives as evidence in what is likely to be the Show Me State’s largest pornography crime. Continue reading

Hidden Camera Catches Abuse by Babysitter

A young father, wondering why his toddler behaved perfectly around the babysitter but no one else, learned the reason was fear. The man, from Joliet, set up a hidden camera to capture the sitter’s interaction with the child later watched in shock as the woman–a family friend–used physical force to keep the child in tow. According to NBC Chicago, the father, Paul Carlos, stated, “It was the most amazing thing I ever saw in my life. It was horrible.”

The camera, disguised as a clock radio, was triggered by a motion sensor. The sitter was caught beating the 2-year-old boy because she couldn’t find the TV remote control. The sitter, Erin Denny, actually lived with Carlos’s mother. She’s been arrested and jailed on felony aggravated batter charges and parole violation.

When Carlos went to work each day, he would drop his son off at his mom’s house on the way to work. Denny would watch the boy. Carlos installed the hidden camera because he thought it was strange that the boy listened to the sitter, but didn’t listen to anyone else.

It was out of fear.

Hidden cameras, or “nanny cams” have been employed to catch suspected cases of babysitter abuse, theft, and other criminal activities. Some, like the one used by Mr. Carlos, capture video footage for later viewing. Others provide real-time footage that can be accessed from any computer–even while a parent is working.

Illegal “Dumpers” Caught with Video Surveillance

In Springfield, Mass.,  police announced that 13 people had been caught dumping household trash and furniture in a wooded area near town. The alleged illegal dumpers were recorded by hidden camera detectors placed near the area in an investigation that included aid from both state, and local officials. This, according to the Springfield Republican. Continue reading

Words from the Boss: Cloned Debit Cards Add to ATM Thefts

Technology makes our lives easier, or at least it’s supposed to; yet, as our understanding  improves and complicated processes, such as computer programming, become more user-friendly,  some decide to use these innovations to prey upon others.

ATM skimming-devices, for instance, have evolved from clunky, obvious pieces of fake auto-bank teller equipment to sleek, undetectable theft devices that are unnoticeable to untrained eyes. As the equipment becomes better, the criminals grow in sophistication, often stealing hundreds of thousands in others’ money before being discovered. Continue reading

Hidden Camera Exposes Illegal Dentists

Going to the dentist isn’t something that we usually scrutinize to ensure our chosen practitioner has the necessary schooling and degrees that prove he’s a dentist. Usually, we opt for doctors or dentists who are recommended by our social circle, or, more likely, the ones covered by an insurance plan. Usually, the expectation is that they’re qualified; after all, masquerading as a dentist wouldn’t be the easiest scam to perpetrate.

In San Antonio, WOAI-TV News 4 recently published a news story by Jaie Avila using a hidden camera that might be surprising… Continue reading

GPS Application Leads Police to Thieves

A recent rash of New Hampshire thefts caused police to investigate and warn the public not to leave valuable items inside vehicles parked in the state’s national park areas–especially at trail heads. U.S. Forest Service agents also cautioned visitors to lock their cars.

A recent investigation was launched after thieves smashed car windows to get into vehicles, stealing electronics and cash.

Unfortunately for the unwitting criminals, police were able to track down them down within hours due to quick action stemming from a victim’s GPS application on his cell phone. Most of these smash-and-grab type cases go unsolved, especially due to the remote locations, time delay between the crime and report, and absence of witnesses to the crime.

In this case, the victim went to the State Trooper barracks and borrowed a police computer to track the location of his Smartphone; the phone was in a nearby community, and appeared to be with someone walking.

State Law Enforcement officers called the community’s police department, who dispatched officer to the area; the officer spotted a group of juveniles outside the residential area. A local Forest Service special agent also assisted, helping police determine four teens as the likely suspects. Police recovered the majority of property and the teens eventually confessed they’d participated in the crime spree, or were guilty of receiving stolen goods.

While the case remains under investigation, police expect charges to be filed shortly. Ah, technology!

Social Media Results in Thief Bust

Jacob Stone was having some bad luck last week.  His car was burglarized outside of a Seattle-area convenience store. The items stolen included high-end camera equipment and, of all things, his pants and a belt.

One of the store’s employees recognized the man who broke into Stone’s car as a man who had stolen items from the store previously during the week. Stone–obviously knowledgeable about photography and videography, retrieved copies of the store’s video surveillance footage and retrieved still images from the video footage.

Stone created “wanted” posters of the thief and the car he used to flee the scene and posted them around the neighborhood. Then, he went a step further and posted the flyers on Facebook. Anyone recognizing the now hunted man were given a dedicated Hotmail address so that they could submit tips.

In just a few days, he received the tip that local police used to nail the suspected shoplifter-cum-burglar. Someone in the area saw the man and emailed Stone. Stone called him back and later met with the tipster to give the man a reward of $250.  Plus, he got his equipment back, although he had to remove the images that the thief had taken of random items, like scenery in Seattle, a dog, and the perpetrators messy bedroom.

Stone is thankful that his idea for using social media paid off, and appreciates everyone who helped him during the investigation. Stone will be much more careful where he leaves his car, and it’s our opinion that he should invest in some automotive security if he’s going to keep expensive equipment in his car. Just saying…

And you thought Facebook just kept tabs on your friends…

U.S. & Russian Spy Rings Mimic Hollywood

If you’ve been reading or watching the news lately, you undoubtedly know that the United States and Russia are in the midst of a so-called spy swap.  On June 27, the FBI arrested 10 people on charges that they were deep-cover spies working for the Russian government but living for years in the United States. Their job, according to the DOJ, was to determine U.S. “secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials.” Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Secure the Garage!

Securing a home is something with which most of us are familiar, even if we don’t own one. Security bars, electronic locks, home security systems, video cameras, and motion-sensor lighting are all tools that help deter crime. Too often, however, the focus is on the home’s living areas, leave a “weak link” in home security that’s easy to exploit. Continue reading

Another Brainiac: Points Gun at Police, Rams Car into Cruiser

I think that we do a pretty good job of pointing out that often the best way to avoid crime is to outwit the criminal. While this probably isn’t the first thought that comes to mind if you’re involved in an altercation as a victim, being aware of your situation and location at all times will help you at least prepare your mental reaction. The biggest thing to overcome when the victim of a crime is the shock; however, if you’ve prepared yourself by at least knowing your surroundings, location, and any possible problems you may encounter, that shock will be lessened.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the desperate, soon-to-be-convicted felon. His name is Jason Shelley, age 29, from the far South Side of Chicago; he pointed a gun at officers and then took his vehicle and smashed it into their police car. This happened in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Shelley was fleeing from, of all things, a traffic stop. Nice.

The chase and arrest began about 1 a.m. in the Pullman neighborhood when the officers pulled the suspect’s vehicle over for a traffic violation. As the officers got out of the cruiser, the driver stomped on the gas and fled. The officers gave chase. During the flight and subsequent chase, the fleeing car hit a light pole, and as officers neared, the suspect pointed a gun at the officers. Shelly then put his car in reverse and rammed the officers’ squad car, jumped out and ran. He was arrested a short time later.

The traffic stop has turned into a felony charge plus a couple misdemeanors for Shelly, who once lived on West 111th Street. He is being charged with felony criminal damage for the police car crash as well as two misdemeanor chargers of aggravated assault. One for pointing the weapon at the officers, and the other for hitting their car. He was also given tickets for driving on a suspended license and without insurance.

The chase and arrest began about 1 a.m. in the Pullman neighborhood when the officers pulled the suspect’s vehicle over for a traffic violation. As the officers got out of the cruiser, the driver stomped on the gas and fled. The officers gave chase. During the flight and subsequent chase, the fleeing car hit a light pole, and as officers neared, the suspect pointed a gun at the officers. Shelly then put his car in reverse and rammed the officers’ squad car, jumped out and ran. He was arrested a short time later.