Items tagged with crime

You might think that a criminal planning a bank robbery would at least do a little research beforehand; rule numero uno is that you never rent the getaway vehicle in your own name. An alleged bank robber named Luca Mangiarano clearly didn't do his research. Police allege that 19-year-old Mangiarano robbed a BBVA Compas bank located in downtown Austin, Texas on December 18th. According to a bank teller, a young man in a black hoodie walked up to her station and handed her a note that demanded cash. She gave the man the money he asked for, and the man turned and walked out of the bank. Another bank employee saw a person fitting that description exit the bank and climb aboard an Uber Jump scooter... Read more...
An iPad prototype was among the loot taken in a house break-in robbery that took place in Cupertino earlier this month, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. The victim of the crime, a 20-year-old man, was also taken from the house, though he was fortunately released by the perpetrators less than a mile from the event scene. Along with the iPad the robbers also took other electronics, prescription drugs, and $7,500 in cash. Authorities have arrested two people, in connection with the theft, charging them with four felony counts, including kidnapping and first-degree robbery.  Both suspects had been arrested in connection with a similar offense that took place in Pleasanton,... Read more...
It should come as a surprise to no one that video games often get the blame when certain crimes are committed - much more so than movies or TV shows ever do. A child beat up another child? Video games. A man go on a massacre in a shopping center? Of course, video games. While most logically thinking people are likely to realize that it takes a lot more than just inspiration to decide to commit a crime, the media and other groups sure don't want to believe it. Last week, an anonymous game store employee wrote an editorial at Kotaku which stated that 10% of the games he sold (of about 1,000) went to parents accompanied by a young child. This sort of thing clearly doesn't help with the goal of having... Read more...
The Internet is an amazing place. But, increasingly, it's a place filled with peril and pitfalls, particularly if you're hosting something of value. International cybercrime has found itself in the spotlight of late, and now Microsoft is making a concerted effort to help curb it. Microsoft has just announced that it is working lockstep with leaders in the financial services industry, including the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association, the American Bankers Association (ABA) – Agari, and other technology industry partners, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Why? Glad you asked. It has successfully... Read more...
It's the second such "pocket dialing leads to arrest" story in less than a month, and you have to admit, it makes one wonder a) what kind of cell phones these criminals are using, and b) why they don't use a belt holster. Authorities say a Georgia man "pocket-dialed" 911. The dispatcher on the other end of the line overheard people discussing a drug deal. The call was made around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Col. Jeff Strickland said the dispatcher could overhear several people speaking about a drug deal involving prescription drugs. A deputy was sent to a Gainesville Waffle House restaurant, from where the police determined the call originated. The deputy eventually found the cell phone in... Read more...
It is cool enough that the authorities can match DNA or fingerprints in national databases, but here is something just as cool. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a set of algorithms and software that can automatically match police sketches to mug shots in law enforcement databases. MSU doctoral student Brendan Klare, who was one of the leaders of the research team, said, “We’re dealing with the worst of the worst here. Police sketch artists aren’t called in because someone stole a pack of gum. A lot of time is spent generating these facial sketches so it only makes sense that they are matched with the available technology to catch these criminals.”... Read more...
Gross. Just gross. And depressing. Those feelings aren't typically associated with new tablet PCs, and definitely not with new Apple products. But each time a new, hot product hits the market, some level of crime usually surrounds it. A few years back, someone actually implemented a drive-by shooting in order to secure a PlayStation 3. People were robbed blind on eBay after the Wii launch. And now, a Denver-area man is missing most of his pinky finger thanks to two knuckleheads who'd rather steal an iPad than earn their keep and buy one.According to various reports out of Colorado, a 59-year old male went to a nearby Apple store in order to procure an iPad for a co-worker. Someone he knew in... Read more...
Google Earth has been a huge addition to the navigation and technological world, but we haven't really seen it used for anything other than TED demonstrations and at-home tinkering. But now, the cops are onto the software, and they're using it to track down the bad boys we hear about so often.According to a new report from Florida, the virtual globe has been used to track down an illegally dumped boat. Deputy Gregory Barnes is the man deserving the praise, as he used Google Earth in order to assist him in discovering who owners a 1-ton boat that was dumped in an area he oversees. A 57 year old male was arrested this past weekend on a "felony charge of littering more than 500 pounds of waste."Upon... Read more...
Identity theft has been in the news for some time now. It’s certainly not something any of us want to deal with, but it seems more and more people are becoming victims. In 2008, the Federal Trade Commission reported a surge in the number of cases. In fact, 26% of all complaints received by the FTC involved identity theft. This category involved the largest number of complaints to the FTC in 2008. The next biggest complaint was third party and creditor debt collection scams, which represented 9% of complaints. According to the FTC’s annual Consumer Sentinel Network report (PDF link), there were 313,982 identity theft complaints in 2008, compared to 259,266 in 2007. The Consumer Sentinel Network... Read more...
In an effort to catch criminals and kidnappers, Mexico plans to start a national register of all mobile phone users. Under a new law published today, mobile phone companies will have a year to build up a database of their customers, complete with fingerprints. The law is due to be in force in April. Sadly, hundreds of people are kidnapped in Mexico each year. As the army cracks down on drug gangs, these gangs are increasingly using kidnappings as a source of income, causing the number of kidnappings to increase. The idea behind the law is to match calls and messages with the owner of a phone. According to lawmakers who pushed the bill through Congress last year, there are about 700 criminal bands... Read more...
What do providing secret service protection for former vice presidents and going after cyber criminals have in common? (And no, Al Gore did not have his identity stolen--at least not as far as we know). They are both part of the same bill that was just passed by the Senate. Current legislation lacks the necessary breadth to go after and punish how cyber criminals do their dirty work these days. A cyber-crime bill, the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act, was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) last October and it was unanimously passed by the Senate in November. However, it "has been stalled in the House [of Representatives ]" ever since. So as politicians... Read more...
It was only a month ago that we reported how various police departments are setting up systems for receiving anonymous tips via text messaging to help solve crimes. Now the New York City Police Department's (NYPD) Commissioner, Ray Kelly, is embracing another social media technology to help police solve crimes: asking people upload "video or photo evidence directly to the New York Police Department." "It's a fact of life," Kelly said. "Everybody has a camera in their telephones. When people can record an event taking place that helps us during an investigation, it's helpful." The NYPD's motivation, however, might actually be founded not so much in trying to fight crime as to save face over a... Read more...
While it appears there certainly is an ad for this particular, er, subject, the question of how legitimate it is remains.In one of the more unbelievable media twists to come in the aftermath of last week’s Byron Review, a national newspaper is offering readers 'hundreds of pounds' to confess that games pushed them into a life of crime.An advert encouraging readers to ‘pitch’ their story to the newspaper has appeared on an 'online talent community’ – which promotes opportunities for aspiring actors and models to raise their profile.The Byron Review piece discussed above is about a piece in the UK paper The Review that said that Tanya Byron wanted laws changed so that retailers faced a stiffer... Read more...
Security firm Finjan has uncovered a criminal online supermarket of usable FTP security credentials for some of the largest and most prominent companies in the world. Oh yes -- and some government agencies. The crime ring that holds the information is selling the information to DIY malware entrepreneurs who can upload all sorts of exploits to what users would expect to be the most secure destinations on the Internet. In a sense, this crimeware as a service (CAAS) was inevitable. According to an earlier report from Finjan, more than 51 percent of websites that pushed malicious content in the second half of 2007 were legitimate destinations that had been commandeered by bad guys. The service is... Read more...
Considering solar panels?  How is your relationship with your neighbors?  You might want to look around you and see if any neighbors have trees which may in the future shade your planned panel locations.  Technically, if they eventually do, it will be a crime.Richard Treanor planted the trees in his yard 11 years ago, but neighbor Mark Vargas says they reduce the amount of electricity the panels can generate."Trees do a lot of good," says Richard. "Solar does a lot of good, too.""Some people say they're for solar power, and some people do something about it," says Mark.Vargas says his panels produce enough power to sell back to the utility company. His yearly bill is only $60.Both... Read more...
Who could have imagined?  Free shipping is a crime?  In France, it is.Amazon.com said on Monday that it would rather pay €1000 a day in fines than abolish its free shipping on books in France.Free shipping from Amazon.fr is apparently a violation of a 1981 law that was passed to ensure the French public receives equal access to all forms of literature.The Lang Law (81-766 August 10, 1981) says that the selling price of books must be indicated by the editor on the cover, and that any retailer is required to sell the work at a price ranging between 95% and 100% of the price indicated. This provision was intended to keep the selling price of books homogenous between points of sale,... Read more...
Radiohead recently broke away from not only their record label, but from the entire recording label paradigm and decided to release their new album, In Rainbows, over the Internet for the very fair price of whatever you wanted to pay, including nothing at all.With a price like 'free', you'd figure that piracy would be virtually eliminated.  Think again:“But for hard-core music pirates, even free hasn’t been enough of a draw. According to music industry analysts, hundreds of thousands of Web users who frequent copyright-infringing file-sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay and TorrentSpy, have chosen to download In Rainbows illegally, distributing their contraband around the Internet just... Read more...
No, not those kind of games, we're talking about online gambling here. A recent bill that aims to ban online gambling may sound like a good idea to some, but John J. Farmer, New Jersey's attorney general, says the ban has the potential to drive folks to unregulated web sites for their gambling needs. Farmer not only feels that the bill is a bad idea, but will also be short lived. "Farmer, now a partner in law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, said he studied the legality of online gaming in 1999, when the State of New Jersey was concerned about criminal operators. "In 1999, there were operators taking bets and not paying... Read more...