Thursday, Jun. 5, 2008
Think it’s hot outside? Try being stuck inside a chimney from 2:00 am until noon Wednesday.
That’s what happened to a man who police believe got stuck while trying to break in to a catering business through the chimney.
The owner of the business showed up around noon and heard the man screaming for help.
The business, “The Place” on Florida Boulevard near Foster, was closed.
The owner just happened to show up to check on a few things when he heard the man’s pleas.
Baton Rouge firefighters lowered a rope down the chimney and slowly pull him out.
He was covered from head to toe with soot.
Paramedics treated the man at the scene before bringing him to a hospital for treatment.
Baton Rouge police later identified the suspect as 38-year-old Dong Nguyen.
He was transported to a Baton Rouge hospital for treatment.
Officers say he will be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison after his release from the hospital.
Monday, Jul. 9, 2007
A “FOOLISHLY brave” army veteran struggled to contain his emotion yesterday when police returned five World War II service medals stolen from his Sydney home during a robbery last month.
Alfred Tesoriero, 86, was knocked to the ground, suffering serious injuries, after he confronted a burglar inside his home in the inner-west suburb of Drummoyne.
Realising the medals had been stolen, he had given up hope of seeing them again and was delighted to hear they had been handed in at Redfern police station on Saturday.
“They’re only bits of metal but they were hard-earned,” said Mr Tesoriero, who wore them last on Anzac Day, just days before their theft.
“This means everything to me. It’s all you’ve got, the memories of the last 60 years.”
The medals were presented to Mr Tesoriero yesterday by Detective Inspector Peter Thorne, crime manager of Burwood Local Area Command, after the veteran appealed for their return.
Inspector Thorne refused to identify the man who had handed the medals in but said he claimed to have found them in a plastic bag in the garden of a house in Redfern.
While the police investigation was continuing, Inspector Thorne was unable to comment on the likelihood of an arrest.
“(It was) definitely a cowardly attack on a war veteran,” he said.
Mr Tesoriero’s wife, Grace, 84, said she and her husband had returned from their daughter-in-law’s birthday party on the night of April 29 when she realised there was someone in the house.
Her “foolishly brave” husband defied her warning not to enter the house, disturbing the man – identified as a slim, Asian man in his 30s – who ran past, knocking him to the floor, Mrs Tesoriero said.
Mr Tesoriero, who served in the Pacific with the Royal Australian Artillery between 1941 and 1946, suffered injuries to his face, shoulder and back. The signs of his injuries were still present yesterday, with his arm in a sling. He will return to hospital in two weeks for further treatment.
“Every night I go to bed I can still visualise the bloke in the house,” he said.
Mr Tesoriero said he believed it had been his duty to fight for Australia, despite the fact his Italian-born father had been imprisoned as an enemy alien after the outbreak of the war.
The medals – which included two service medals, a commemorative medal, the 1939-45 star and the Pacific Star – would have had a street value of only a few thousand dollars, police said.
“All the blokes that wear these, they’re very proud of their medals and all the functions you go to … you must have your medals,” Mr Tesoriero said.
“I’d look a fool wouldn’t I, being there amongst the RSL, without medals?”
Wednesday, Jun. 6, 2007
Austrian authorities returned a Stradivari violin worth at least $2.7 million to its owner Wednesday, more than a week after it was stolen from a safe in the musician‘s apartment.
Police said the instrument could be worth up as much as $3.38 million and was recovered unscathed in Vienna on Tuesday. Several members of a Georgian gang have been arrested in connection with the robbery.
Antonio Giacomo Stradivari is considered the world‘s master builder of violins and other string instruments, crafting more than 1,000 of them in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Friday, Apr. 13, 2007
A Plattsburgh man has his stolen wheelchair back.
Plattsburgh City Police Sgt. Mark Drollette said police Tuesday afternoon found the wheelchair that was stolen from Johnny Jones last Friday, and that it had been returned.
Police arrested Ryan Flint, 25, of Plattsburgh at around 5:30 p.m. He was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony.
Drollette said the investigation is continuing and more charges or arrests are possible.
Jones, 25, was born with no muscle growth from the knees down and had his legs amputated at age 3. He uses the customized wheelchair to get to work at Curtis Door Systems and to travel around Plattsburgh.
Friday, Jones parked the wheelchair between two houses on Miller Street while he helped a friend clean up for a move. The wheelchair was missing when he came back outside at around 4 a.m.
After the wheelchair was stolen, Jones reported the theft to City Police. He used a spare wheelchair to go to Staples to print up fliers, then wheeled to Champlain Centre mall and along Route 3 to distribute them.
He also spent a few days searching around the city for the wheelchair.
The spare wheelchair is slightly too wide for his elevator at home and gets in the way at his job with Curtis Door, where he does electrical assembly.
Flint was arraigned before City Court Judge Penelope Clute late Tuesday afternoon, but no information about the results of that arraignment were available Tuesday night.
After running a story about the incident in Tuesday’s paper, the Press-Republican received numerous calls offering Jones assistance. Two of those calls came from Jones’s former employers, Andrew Golt and Carol Klepper, who offered reward money for the return of the wheelchair or to help with prosecution of those involved.
Thursday, Apr. 12, 2007
Tulsa burglary detectives recover thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise at an east Tulsa home on Tuesday. One person was arrested, and a second arrest will happen soon, said officials.
On Wednesday officers reunited victims with their stolen items, something the victims thought would never happen. Tulsa Police say the thieves broke into and cleaned out several storage units. But The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports police think the theft ring may be even bigger than they first suspected.
Since the recovery of the stolen items in Tulsa detectives have discovered multiple burglaries in Broken Arrow that match the same modus operandi. Andrew Wagenblatt says he first got the call that he’d been burglarized about 2 weeks ago.
“My foreman had actually called me and said, ‘Hey, did someone come by and get the tools?’ I said no, and he goes, ‘Well, they’re not here.’”
Someone had broken into his self-storage unit and taken about $5,000 worth of tools.
“My tools are my livelihood, and all the guys who work for me it’s their livelihood too, so they were pretty disgusted,” Wagenblatt said. Wagenblatt wasn’t the only victim. According to police the burglaries started in November of 2006. Police say the thieves would rent a storage space to get the gate code, then cut locks off other people’s units and wipe them out. An anonymous tip put an end to the crime spree, said officials.
“It’s a big find, it’s interesting that we’ve located one, two suspects with this amount of property from this amount of victims,” said Detective Debra Glenn with the Tulsa Police Burglary Unit. “We’ve had bigger recoveries, but this is definitely a good one.”
Wagenblatt was overjoyed at the news. He was sure the tools he’d already started shelling out money to replace, would never be returned.
“I explained what my tools looked like and they said, ‘Yeah these are your tools,’ I started jumping up and down,” Wagenblatt said.
Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2007
An Alsatian police dog named Edge cornered two suspects on a cliff side after a grocery store robbery in Napier, New Zealand.
One of the suspects leapt down the slope and landed almost directly into the hands of police officers. The other suspect, armed with a knife, took on Edge and bit the dog in the struggle.
“He bit the dog first,” Detective Sgt. John McGregor told The Associated Press.
Edge was unfazed, sinking his teeth into his attacker.
“The dog did win the fight; the offender ended up with one or two lacerations,” McGregor said. “I think he knew he was going to get bitten – so he bit the dog first.”
Monday, Mar. 12, 2007
A newborn kidnapped from a Texas hospital was found safe in a New Mexico home and returned to her mother, police said.
Four-day-old Mychael Darthard-Dawodu was found in a home in Clovis, N.M., by police following up on tips, a day after she was taken from Covenant Lakeside Hospital.
“It’s a joyous time,” Gwen Stafford, senior vice-president of Covenant Health System, said at a news conference.
“This has been a roller-coaster of emotions. Today there’s not many happy stories; this is certainly one in Lubbock, Texas.”
Rayshaun Parson, 21, of Clovis, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.
She was interviewed by Lubbock and FBI investigators, authorities said.
Federal charges also could be pursued, Lubbock police Lt. Scott Hudgens said.
Phone numbers at Parson’s address had been disconnected yesterday.
Before being flown back to Texas and her parents, Caisha Darthard and Michael Dawodu, Mychael was checked at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis and found to be in good health, Clovis police Lt. James Schoeffel said.
The infant was kidnapped early Saturday by a woman posing as a medical worker who walked out of Covenant Lakeside with the baby hidden in her purse, police said. Authorities said they received tips from more than one source that the baby was in Clovis.
Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2007
A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Academy class ring that was stolen along with thousands of dollars worth of lamps, curtain rods and jewelry during what police allege was a one-woman burglary spree has been reunited with its owner.
Ernest “Barry” Sharp, 69, of Canyon Lake, claimed the gold ring engraved with his initials, EBS, along with a jewelry box and several watches that were stolen from his Riverside County home, Newport Beach police Sgt. Evan Sailor said.
Sharp called police to report that someone had tried to break into his home in early February but did not notice the missing ring and other items.
Police say the ring is just the beginning of a cross-county burglary wave by Michelle Lorraine Hughes, 29, of Canyon Lake. Hughes is charged with breaking into 17 homes in Newport Beach, wriggling through unlocked windows to steal more than $90,000 in household goods, jewelry and cash.
She is also suspected in burglaries in Temecula, Murrieta and Canyon Lake.
Hughes, who is being held at the Orange County jail in lieu of $1 million bail, is expected to be arraigned today.
Hughes had the ring Feb. 7 when police picked her up on a warrant on suspicion of breaking into a Seashore Drive home last year, Sailor said. The ring was recovered. She posted bail and was released from the Orange County Jail.
Hughes was arrested again Feb. 20 in Corona del Mar after a neighbor saw a woman breaking into a home in the 300 block of Larkspur Avenue and called police.
Officers waited outside the house until Hughes came out carrying a blanket full of stolen goods, Sailor said.
Hughes put real estate magnetic strips on her grey 2007 Chevrolet Equinox to make it look like she belonged in the neighborhood.
Monday, Mar. 5, 2007
A woman whose boyfriend was accused of robbing a convenience store made him return the money before he was arrested, police said.
Tony E. Perry, 30, is in the Jackson County Jail on $50,000 bond on robbery and other charges.
Brownstown Town Marshal Paul Starr said Perry told an attendant at the Circle K convenience store that he had a loaded weapon and demanded cash. Perry did not show a weapon, police said.
The attendant gave Perry cash, according to a police report.
When Perry’s girlfriend, 34-year-old Keila Kocsis, entered the store about 75 miles south of Indianapolis and learned what Perry had done, she made him return the money, police said.
”I think she even paid for the Coke he took,” Starr said.
Perry then allegedly grabbed Kocsis and fled the store. They were stopped after a police chase, authorities said.
Monday, Feb. 26, 2007
Medals and jewellery with great sentimental value have been returned to their delighted owner more than a year after they were stolen.
Isabel Paterson lost a number of prized possessions when her home was burgled in September 2005.
But when the connected court case was over and the items were cleared as evidence, the police had another case to solve – trying to trace their rightful owners through the initials and dates on them.
Constable Helen Chiell of the Glen Innes police inquiry unit says Mrs Paterson’s home was one of three units in St Johns that were broken into on the same day and her items were kept with a hoard of other stolen goods.
“We really wanted to find the rightful owner of all the goods but these medals stood out,” she says.
“It was clear they would be of great sentimental value.”
Mrs Paterson says: “I am so grateful to the East & Bays Courier for running an article with photographs of the jewellery.
“A friend called me and suggested I take a look at the piece.
“During a visit to my hairdresser I flipped through a copy of the paper and saw my mother’s and husband’s medals. Nearly everything in the picture was mine.”
A visit to the police station confirmed this and the items retrieved each have a story woven into the 84-year-old’s life, including:
A brooch she bought for her mother Jenny Campbell while living in Fiji
Her mother’s Red Cross pin and her own Girl Guides badge
Her husband Campbell’s and her mother’s Member of the British Empire medals
And her father Archie Campbell’s lapel badges from an international bowling trip he took in 1921.
Mrs Paterson’s mother was involved in music and arts all her life and helped set up the first Auckland Musical Festival.
“There was also my badge for completing kindergarten training, which was awarded to me in 1942,” she says.
Mrs Paterson married late in life, travelled a lot and never did use that kindergarten training.
“I did travel to a sugar plantation in Fiji to work at a local school but had to wait for the position, so I took a job with the Bank of New Zealand in the meantime.”
She intended to be there only a few months but ended up staying seven years, working at the Newmarket branch.
Her husband and parents have both since died and having the stolen items back restores a little of their presence to her life.
“I’m so very impressed with Helen Chiell from Glen Innes police station and the effort and care she took to trace me,” says Mrs Paterson.
“She was kind enough to actually bring my goods home to me so I wouldn’t have to make another trip out to the station.”
Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007
A boy of 12 has been praised by a judge after saving his family from a crazed attacker with a meat cleaver.
Brave Robert Dunn held an unlocked door shut as Michael Green tried to hack it down.
He kept Green at bay for 20 minutes as mum Samantha, 43, pregnant sister Riana, 24, and her baby cowered behind him.
Robert, of Cheltenham, Gloucs, dodged the blade as it crashed through the wood and just missed his head, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
He said: “I wanted to cry, but I felt I had to stay strong for my mum and sister.”
Samantha managed to call cops and Green, 43, was arrested.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: “The lad was very brave to do what he did. This was like one of the worst scenes from a Hollywood film.”
The court heard Green was angry with ex Riana, who would not let him see their son, 16 month-old son Jaden.
Green, of Cheltenham, admitted burglary, criminal damage and affray and was jailed for three years.
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007
A brave have-a-go hero overpowered an armed burglar after waking in the middle of the night to discover the man crouching by his bed.
Joseph Green, 53, pinned the intruder down and forced a pair of scissors from his hand.
After disarming 20-year-old Steven Jones Mr Green then detained him until police arrived.
Jones, of Beverley Road, Marsh Green, was sentenced to three years and four months in jail for burglary at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting the offence.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, said there were aggravating features in the case and it was the fourth time Jones had been sentenced for breaking into homes.
The court was told Mr Green’s partner, Gaynor Tabb, had witnessed the terrifying incident and had been greatly alarmed.
Judge Aubrey said that sadly 58-year-old Mrs Tabb had died since the break-in in the early hours of June 3 last year and Mr Green said in a statement that the trauma of the burglary had not assisted her illness.
He said: “Those who commit burglaries at night cause fear and terror.”
The court earlier heard that Jones was able to creep into the couple’s home, also in Beverly Road, Marsh Green, in the early hours of June 3 last year because they had left the front door unlocked when they went to bed.
But when they later let police in they discovered Jones had secured the door after entering the house by putting the security chain across.
When Mr Green disarmed Jones he recognised him as a neighbour who lived in a flat in the same block.
Andrew Carney said that when Mr Green asked Jones what he was doing there he replied: “hiding from some lads who want to kill me.”
When arrested Jones, who was on licence from a jail sentence for a similar offence, made no comment.
Amiot Vollenweider, defending, said the defendant had picked up a pair of scissors in Mr Green’s kitchen not intending to frighten the occupants, but to protect himself from the people from whom he was fleeing.
Just hours after a South Haven woman’s home was burglarized, a police dog followed the burglars’ scent and led officers to a nearby home where the stolen items were being stored, police said.
A 17-year-old boy at the home was arrested on felony burglary and possession of stolen property charges. The boy denied any involvement in the burglary, stating a 15-year-old boy he knows stopped by and gave him the items.
Police spoke to the 15-year-old boy and he stated he and the older boy both committed the burglary, then the older boy kept the property. The younger boy was also arrested on a burglary charge.
The burglary occurred during a four-hour span Sunday night at Vara Brindisi’s home on Oxbow Road.
Porter County police Officer Matt Edwards and his canine, Bandit, tracked a scent to the older juvenile’s home on Newscastle Drive. There, police recovered jewelry, video games, a DVD player and a camera belonging to Brindisi. The younger juvenile was arrested at his Norfolk Road home.
Both boys were taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. Police said the only stolen item not recovered is a gold necklace with a gold cross.
Friday, Jan. 12, 2007
An Oxford student has received a police bravery award after he put himself in danger by rugby tackling two female robbers who had attacked two girls.
Ben Smiley, 21, of Taston, near Charlbury, had been out with his girlfriend Camilla Burdett in Oxford when he was approached by two distressed 16-year-old girls.
They told him they had been attacked, assaulted and robbed of their handbags by two older females, in a street off Cowley Road.
As the girls were talking to Mr Smiley, they pointed out the robbers to him and he bravely gave chase. He followed them into Princes Street where he rugby tackled them to the ground.
One of the women hit him around the head with an umbrella, while the other one pulled a large clump of hair from the back of his head.
He suffered a nose bleed, bleeding gums and grazed hands in the incident on November 8, 2005.
Acting Chief Constable Sara Thornton, of Thames Valley Police, presented Mr Smiley with his commendation at the force’s awards ceremony at Drayton Park Golf Club, near Abingdon, yesterday. A number of officers were also recognised for their bravery.
Mr Smiley, who is studying politics and philosophy at Oxford University, said: “At the time I didn’t know what I was thinking when I ran after the offenders. I knew that I wanted to help the poor girls and try and get their stuff back for them.
“They were both in floods of tears and as I hadn’t done anything heroic before, I thought I would do my best.
“Today feels strange to be here among all these officers who have helped so many people and done so much more than I have. I have enjoyed listening to their stories and I feel very proud to have been commended for what I did that night.”
During the incident, another member of public had stopped to lend a hand, until the police arrived. Both girls were caught, all property was recovered and the offenders were charged with robbery and common assault.
Supt Jim Trotman, commander for Oxford police, said: “It gives me great pride to see these officers commended for their hard work and brave actions. We are also able to thank Ben Smiley for his brave actions at the scene of a vicious street robbery. It’s the actions of people like Ben that has led to a fall in street crime in the city.”
Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007
A FATHER and son who caught a violent burglar and his accomplice during a robbery at a Meriden house last night received police bravery awards.
The have-a-go heroes, Keith Pettifor, aged 59, and his 38-year-old son Martin, were honoured with Good Citizenship awards at a ceremony at the Tally Ho! centre at Edgbaston.
Last July, Mr Pettifor snr, coowner of a haulage firm in Berkswell Road, Meriden, noticed a vehicle parked on the drive of his daughter’s bungalow next door. His suspicions were aroused as he knew the house was empty at the time.
He approached and found a young woman sitting in the car. Asked why it was parked there, she said her friend had gone to the back of the house because he needed the toilet.
Mr Pettifor went to investigate and found the patio doors had been forced and a man was inside, piling CDs into a bag.
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“I challenged him and he tried to get away,” said Mr Pettifor yesterday. “We struggled and he kept banging me in the face with his elbow.
“We moved outside to the garden and fell into the paddling pool and sandpit. I was determined not to let him escape.”
Mr Pettifor cried out for help and his son Martin rushed to his assistance. Together, they held the burglar, Robert Riddell, until the police arrived.
“The girl was hitting and kicking my son all the time,” said Mr Pettifor. “She was like a little vixen.”
Mr Pettifor snr suffered a cut lip and three of his teeth were loosened. His son had facial injuries and bruises to his body.
Chief Superintendent Gordon Scobbie, commander of Solihull police operational command unit, said: “Mr Pettifor and his son were injured as they detained a violent and prolific criminal. Without doubt their selfless actions have brought an end to offending by this pair.”
At Warwick Crown Court last Thursday, Riddell, 34, of Kitts Green, Birmingham, was jailed for 19 months for burglary and assault. The girl, who is 16, was given a referral order for assault at Solihull Youth Court.