Tag Archives: police

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

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!

Hotels Top Identity Theft List

Identity theft is the new watchword; hackers, thieves and criminals are continually discovering new methods to twist technology in an effort to steal personal information. Social media networks, cell phones, discarded utility bills and outright theft of personal property are all means employed by thieves to hijack your personal information.

Trustwave, a security and compliance company, provides security information services and end-to-end solutions for businesses in an effort to protect confidential information systems. A recent report shows that hotels are now the top source for credit card data theft, surpassing restaurants for the top spot; nearly 40% of all personal data in 2009 came from hotels/motels compared to just 13% of thefts from restaurants.

Hackers target hotel/motel booking and reservation centers due to the high-number of credit card numbers these entities keep “on-file.” Like the Internet, once a credit card is in the system, it’s available. A successful hacker can steal thousands of credit card numbers and, in essence, thousands–or millions–of dollars. Credit card numbers are used for numerous hotel services, such as bars, beaches, golf courses, swimming pools, gift shops, spas, and other recreational areas; however, they’re all processed through one main database.

Since hotels use proprietary systems, they’re easy for hackers to exploit: a computer system at one hotel is similar, if not exactly the same, as the computer system at a competing hotel.

The other unavoidable fact of hotels and motels are the number of employees who have access to the computer system and your personal data. According to an ABC News Report; “You have so many different employees going through the system that it allows them to either skim cards or put in malware that lets the bad guys hack into the system.”

In June 2010, Destination Hotels & Resorts had its computer system hacked and the credit card data of more than 700 guests from across the country was stolen; in January, Wyndham reported that their computer systems were breached and hackers accessed information from 31 hotels between November 2009 and January 2o1o. They never reported how many cards were compromised.

Credit card companies usually don’t require consumers to pay for unauthorized charges, but credit card users must report the theft in a timely manner to ensure their identity remains safe; the best method to is to check statements regularly and keep tabs on credit reports.

Is Your Cell Phone Safe from Prying Eyes?

It’s a given that your computer’s been exposed to Spyware or Malware, attacks that have hopefully been thwarted by anti-virus software. However, what about your cell phone?

According to police detectives, cell phones are infected with both spy- and mal- ware.  Aware of the danger of computer viruses, most users, for the most part, are not familiar with similar threats that can infect cell phones. Detective Ernest Ward (Jonesboro Police Department) stated that cell phones are “infected with spyware and malware and they [users] don’t even know about it.”

Searching the Internet will reveal numerous websites that offer downloads that will track and record text messages, phone numbers, pictures, and call logs. The general assumption–and manufacturer’s sales information–is that these applications are to be used for practical purposes. Parents tracking their children, or corporations ensuring the proper use of company resources.

However, many such programs can replicate themselves and are difficult to detect to those not familiar with cell phone operating systems. The spyware programs often run “below” areas where users operate their smart phones.

Some of the applications send reports in real-time, displaying information on a parent’s phone as a child  receives the call, allowing the parent to record the number and listen to the call.

Since many smart phones have the same capabilities as laptops, the risk is heightened because phones don’t have in-depth defense programs. Some of the viruses on cell phones can activate micro-phones or cameras, allowing other parties to eavesdrop on conversations or view areas captured by the phone’s camera.

Recently, spying via technology was boosted into the national spotlight when it was reported that a Pennsylvania school district school that provided students from two high schools with free Macbooks was sued in federal court. A theft-tracking program on the laptops, allegedly used to track missing units, was deemed to be invasive because of a feature that activated computer webcams on the laptops.

Users were never informed of the software, and district officials concede that their monitoring of students had gone too far. The original intent of the software was to capture images of the “desktop and whatever is in front of the screen for law enforcement to help track down a missing computer.”

CPD Officer Charged in Shooting

File this one under “Hmm.”

A CPD Officer, whose identity is being withheld due to union restrictions, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on other officers following a shooting in his home. The Chicago Police Department has not released much information regarding the case, and it’s unclear whether Officer “Johnathon Doe”  committed, or witnessed, the crime. The off-duty officer was reportedly intoxicated when police arrived. The officer’s home is located in a Southwest Side neighborhood called Mount Greenwood.  Police responded to the call at 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

The officer has been removed from duty, but is free on a $100 cash bond for assaulting fellow officers.

A female police sergeant, the first responder, cited that the off-duty policeman was drunk, agitated, and combative. According to police, he allegedly  began to swing his arms in the sergeant’s direction. Fearful that she’d be assaulted, other officers who’d arrived on scene tackled the drunk man and placed him under arrest.

The police were alerted when the off-duty officer called 911 to report a man had been shot in the head inside his home.

The victim was rushed to the Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He’s reported to be in critical condition. Although not confirmed, there are rumors that the victim may have shot himself in an attempted suicide. Police officials indicated that the officer’s weapon was used discharged in the shooting.

Calumet detectives and the Independent Police Review Authority are conducting an investigation into the matter.

Calumet City Police Kill Chicago Man

During an arrest in Calumet City, police officers shot and killed a Chicago man when he attacked the officers during the arrest.

Prince Alim Bantu Akbar, a Chicago performance artist, was running in and out of a school district building yelling and screaming, and then running back out. When the officers arrived on the scene, the 265-pound Akbar began to beat the first officer. They tried non-lethal force, including tasers, and were unable to subdue the 6’1″ suspect.

While the second officer was trying to subdue the officer, he was nearly knocked unconscious. Akbar returned to beating the first officer around the head and face. The second officer, regaining his senses, fired two shots at the assailant, mortally wounding him. Akbar died at the scene.

The two officers were sedated and remain in the hospital with severe head and facial injuries, including possible broken bones.

Crime Does Not Discriminate: Chicago PD’s #3 Man is Burglarized

How would you like to find out via the news that the house you burgled last night happens to be that of a Chicago Police Officer? To a thief, I think that this would be rather, er, trying. In the same situation, what would you do if you found out the Police Officer was actually a CPD Official, namely Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson, two steps down from the top position at the Chicago Police Department?

If it were me, I’d move. Forever. I understand that out of fairness, all cases should be treated with equal weight, but we are all human; thus, crime hits us harder if we, or those close to us,  are the victims. People…like our boss. Even more unfortunate for the crooks is the fact that Peterson is in-charge of the detective’s division… Do you think that they’ll be motivated to solve this case?

A note to those trafficking in stolen goods: Avoid 50-inch flat screen TVs and .357 Magnums like H1N1…they’re two items reported missing from Peterson’s home.

U-Spy Store has worked with law enforcement on numerous investigations over our twenty-plus years, and THE best lesson we’ve learned is: Crime Never Discriminates, it is an equal opportunity destroyer. Thus, we always advise our clients that it’s better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best;  in the long-run, it saves time, money, and, at times, lives.

If you need recommendations on increasing security at your home or place of business, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We provide free-estimates and carry a variety of home/business protection equipment. Our phone number is 773-529-2779. Or, feel free to drop us an Email