Good News Blog


Thursday, Jun. 5, 2008

Accused burglar rescued after stuck in chimney 10 hours

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

Digger’s joy as stolen medals returned

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

Violin worth 2.7M returned to owner

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

Customized wheelchair returned

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

Burglary Victims Reunited With Their Stolen Goods

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

Offender finds biting police dog can really, really bite

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

Police rescue kidnapped newborn

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

Stolen ring, owner reunited

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

Girlfriend returned the loot

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

Reunited with her treasures

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

Hero, 12, beat off axe nut

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

Have-a-go hero overpowers burglar

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.

Police dog follows scent to solve burglary

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

Street hero ben is hailed

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

Cool heroes nab prolific criminal

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.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2007

Brave cop says he’s not a hero

An off-duty police officer who was shot while single-handedly nabbing two suspected Queens bank robbers threatening his family came home a humble hero yesterday.

Officer John Lopez was limping slightly and wincing a little from the pain when he arrived home after being released from Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was treated for a leg wound.

“I’m no hero,” said Lopez – and grimaced at the mention of the word.

Admiring neighbors from his Ozone Park street gathered outside with fellow cops, who slapped Lopez on the back. “Thanks for the support,” the 37-year-old Lopez said with a small wave before disappearing inside.

On Saturday, Lopez, who normally works in Manhattan, valiantly traded bullets on a Queens street with armed thugs, police said.

Shortly after noon, Lopez, his wife, Peggy, their 4-month-old son and Lopez’s mother-in-law were stopped outside a bank on Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst. They had gone to buy the officer a birthday cake.

Suddenly, masked robbers emerged from the bank with two bags stuffed with $15,000 – and picked the off-duty cop’s vehicle to try to carjack.

Lopez chased the robbers down the block before wounding one and cornering another under a parked car, cops said. “Stop him,” Lopez screamed. “You’re not going to get away with it!”

One of the suspects shot at Lopez, who fired back, shooting the armed man in the leg and stomach despite his injuries, cops said.

Other arriving police officers arrested career criminals Joseph Pennington, 43, and Dion Mines , 35. Lopez took a .38-caliber bullet in the upper left thigh during the fracas.

“I’m not surprised by what he did,” said next-door neighbor Emily Delibert, 65.

“He wouldn’t have thought of himself,” Delibert added. “He would have thought of everyone else involved.”

“He’s the best,” an older man two doors down said. “He did his job. He did what he’s supposed to do.”

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006

Stolen Nativity Returned To Owners

There’s a happy ending to a story about a stolen nativity in Greenfield.

Today, a good samaritan showed up on the Cushman family’s front porch with the statue in tow.

Tommy McBride of Hazelwood said he saw the culprit steal the nativity scene on Sunday night.

“I saw a guy climbing over the fence,” said McBride. “So, I followed him. I waited a half-hour and went back over to his porch and put a note saying my name is Tommy McBride and the nativity set you stole is back in the place where it was stolen from and if you take it again, I’m going to report you.”

McBride said he unplugged the nativity from the thief’s front porch and removed it.

When he saw the Cushmans on television, he knew he had to return it.

The Cushmans are very excited to have the nativity scene back in their yard again.

Monday, Oct. 16, 2006

Truck driver hailed as hero

Many people consider tow truck drivers scoundrels for hauling off their illegally parked and repossessed cars late at night.

But Steven Wilson, a Manteca resident and driver for Stockton’s BG and Son Auto Transport, was being called a hero Friday for chasing down a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and reporting him to arresting officers.

“Nobody ever says anything when they see these kind of things,” said Wilson, 38. “I got nieces. If it was one of them, my sister or wife, I’d want somebody to do the same thing.”

A spokesman for the Stockton Police Department said Wilson’s quick thinking may have saved the woman from unknown harm.

Police reported that a man, later identified as 46-year-old Alan McBrayer of Sacramento, and his girlfriend had visited Stockton on Thursday to help a friend stranded at a local truck stop on Charter Way near Interstate 5.

McBrayer thought his girlfriend was flirting with the friend and forced her into the camper shell, repeatedly assaulting her, police reported.

Wilson said he was gassing up his tow truck around Midnight Thursday at the Vanco Truck and Auto Plaza around midnight when he noticed McBrayer parked behind him and standing next to his pickup.

McBrayer walked to the back of his truck, Wilson said. It was then Wilson heard a woman cry “Help me, help me” from inside a pickup’s camper shell, and noticed the truck rocking.

Wilson said McBrayer then ran around the side of the truck, got in and sped away. That prompted Wilson and another man riding with him to jot down the license plate number, call police and trail the pickup until police caught up, Wilson said.

“We stayed behind, following,” he said. The truck circled before heading north on Interstate 5, at one point hitting 90 mph. “I think he knew we were watching him. He was spooked out, you know?”

A patrol car quickly swooped in around Wilson’s tow truck and made the pickup driver pull over, arresting McBrayer on Interstate 5 near Country Club Boulevard.

Stockton police Officer Pete Smith said he applauded Wilson for helping police while making sure he didn’t put himself at harm.

“This is exactly the kind of thing we need from our citizens,” Smith said. “He got involved just enough so we could get involved.”

McBrayer was arrested and booked on charges of kidnapping, spousal battery and making terrorist threats, Stockton police officers reported. He is held at the San Joaquin County Jail in lieu of posting $183,333 bail.

The woman sustained minor injuries and was not hospitalized, Smith said.

While calling Wilson a hero, BG and Sons owner Brian Gardner credited his employee with doing his part to salvage their profession’s battered reputation. Wilson was on the job and had a lot to do rather than follow his suspicions, Gardner said.

“A lot of people these days just don’t want to get involved,” Gardner said Friday. “My driver was a hero last night.”

Friday, Sep. 29, 2006

Guardian angel picks up award

A community group leader who helped shut down a drug den has been commended by the Government for his efforts in tackling anti-social behaviour.

Lyn Davies set up the Angel Estate Neighbourhood Watch when residents became so intimidated by drug addicts and dealers using a house on Queen Street, Clay Cross, as a meeting place that they were frightened to leave their homes.

Working with police and the NE Derbyshire Community Safety Partnership, the residents helped put a stop to the problems by reporting anti-social incidents and keeping diaries, which were later used as evidence in court against the offenders.

Their actions helped shut down the house for several months and Lyn has now been honoured for his part by receiving a Respect Award for Taking a Stand – recognising the commitment and courage needed to combat anti-social behaviour.

He said: “Life has really improved. People are more relaxed and talk together, children are in the street playing. I am very pleased that those who stuck together achieved their goal.

“My name is on the award but as far as I’m concerned it’s the people of the Angel Estate working together who have won the award. We are putting the ‘neighbour’ back into ‘neighbourhood’.”

The award is the third the Neighbourhood Watch has picked up for its success and Lyn received it – plus a £1,000 community cheque – at a ceremony in Birmingham attended by the Government co-ordinator for Respect, Louise Casey.

Geoff Butler, chairman of the NE Derbyshire Community Safety Partnership, said: “This is a well deserved award. These residents were prepared to stand up and be counted for the good of the local community.

“They showed great courage and determination in taking a stand against extreme anti-social behaviour.

“It is gratifying that such courage has been recognised.”

Friday, Sep. 22, 2006

DVD pirates: Beware of the dog!

This time, Hollywood really has gone to the dogs.

The Motion Picture Association of America Thursday unveiled its latest tool in the war on movie piracy: a pair of DVD-sniffing Labrador Retrievers named Lucky and Flo.

The MPAA, which represents the major U.S. movie studios in government and legal affairs, claims the illegal copying of movies and television shows on DVDs and other media cost them more than $6.1 billion (figures U.S.) in lost revenues in 2005.

The job for Lucky and Flo will be to sniff out optical discs in luggage or other containers, and stop the discs from getting to manufacturing plants where they can be reproduced.

But before they begin their new job, Lucky and Flo travel throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Asia and even visit Dubai in the Middle East to showcase their talents to customs agents and other officials.

Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2006

Text Message Leads To Girl’s Rescue

Kidnapped Teen Uses Attacker’s Cell Phone From Underground Bunker

The text message from the missing 14-year-old South Carolina girl to her mother was a ray of hope.

“I was given some hope back that she was OK and we could get to her,” said her mother, Madeline, on CBS News’ The Early Show Monday.

It was the tech-savvy skills of the 21st century teen that kept the girl alive, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Acosta. Kidnapped from her school bus stop in remote South Carolina, police say she was in a 15-foot-deep bunker that Vinson Filyaw dug out of the ground and stocked with food. It had a hand-dug privy with toilet paper, a camp stove and shelves made with cut branches and canvas.

“You know, you think you have seen it all and when you see something like this, it’s hard to describe, it’s hard to imagine,” Capt. David Thomley of the Kershaw Co. Sheriff’s Office said on The Early Show. “And I have tried many times to describe it but it’s difficult. It’s nothing I have ever seen before.”

Later Monday, Kershaw County Magistrate Roderick Todd denied bond for Filyaw, saying the suspect was a flight risk and “significant threat” to the community.

The hideout was booby-trapped. But police say when Filyaw fell asleep the girl was able to grab his cell phone. She text-messaged her mother, “Hey, Mom, I’m being held in a hole.”

“I was scared. I knew it was her. I was thankful,” Madeline told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Filyaw surrendered Sunday morning to police as he walked along Interstate 20 near Columbia, about five miles from where investigators found the teenager a day earlier.

He was armed with a hunting knife, an air pistol and a taser gun, reports Acosta. Investigators say he had just tried to carjack a woman.

He was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, possession of an incendiary device and impersonating an officer, and was being held at the Kershaw County jail.

The text message was the break in the case, Thomley said.

“We asked for assistance from the United States Marshals Services that provided us services that tracked the tower, where the text message was sent from, and through triangulation, they were able to put us in a spot consistent with where the text message said she would be located,” Thomley said.

The searchers heard her calling for help, and it then took them only a few minutes to find her.

The driveway in front of the teenager’s home was decorated with “Welcome Home” balloons.

“It’s just amazing. I am just happy to have her home and safe,” Madeline said.

Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2006

Police say father rescues daughter in abduction

A father rescued his 9-year-old daughter from an alleged abductor minutes after a man dragged her from her backyard, police said.

James Stephens, 44, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault. He was being held Saturday for lack of $100,000 bail.

“While in custody, Stephens made statements to investigating officers as to a sexual nature regarding his intentions,” police said in a news release.

Only the suspect’s name has been released. Police said Stephens is a transient who came to Vermont five months ago from Arkansas, police said. He has a South Burlington address.

The alleged attack happened around 7 p.m. Saturday at the South Meadow Apartments off of Home Avenue. The girl was outside playing with friends when Stephens pulled her from a backyard to a hidden place nearby behind the Price Chopper shopping plaza on Shelburne Road, police said.

One of the other girls told the girl’s father, who called 911 and ran looking for her.

He found her a minute later, pushed Stephens against a wall, and held him until police arrived, police said.

Stephens was treated at Fletcher Allen Health Care for head injuries and then jailed. The girl was not injured.

Lt. Tim Charland praised the father for helping with the arrest and for his “restraint” once he found the suspect.

Friday, Aug. 25, 2006

Man gives false name; technology to rescue

Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies used facial recognition technology Wednesday to identify a St. Petersburg man who was then arrested and charged with violating his parole on drug charges.

A female employee at Bay Area Bail Bonds in the 3300 block of Ulmerton Road called police after Anthony John Malacow, 27, pointed a rolled-up shirt at her in the parking lot, authorities said.

A little while later, deputies saw the man running on Ulmerton not far from the business, officials said. Malacow jumped a ditch while fleeing and tried to break into passing cars, authorities said.

A sheriff’s helicopter and tracking dog helped catch Malacow, who had run more than a mile from where deputies first saw him, authorities said. Deputies realized Malacow had given them a false last name because he could not spell it.

But deputies were able to identify him thanks to the mobile facial recognition technology installed in 50 patrol cars that has helped identify nearly 300 people in the past two years, officials said.

Malacow also was charged with loitering and prowling. He was being held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday.

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006

Attracta dog helps FBI to track killer

The sniffer dog that helped detectives jail evil killer Trevor Hamilton has just returned from assisting the FBI with a murder probe in America.

Six-year-old English springer spaniel Eddie’s career took off internationally shortly after he returned to Ulster for a third time to help in the hunt for missing Arlene Arkinson.

Eddie helped police nail Hamilton after the victim-recovery dog found blood from Attracta Harron (63) on a mat from Hamilton’s burnt-out Hyundai car.

He burned it the day that he murdered the retired librarian.

Eddie found her body in a shallow grave in April 2003.

Martin Grime, Eddie’s handler at the Dog Unit attached to South Yorkshire Police Station, today told how he has returned to Tyrone to search for Arlene (15).

She went missing after leaving a disco in Bundoran, Co Donegal, on August 13 1994.

Police have recently been concentrating their search in her native Castlederg in Tyrone, where it is thought she was murdered.

Mr Grime said today: “We were over earlier this year and three times in total since the Attracta Harron case.

“With the Attracta investigation we came over for a week and on the last day, before we came back to the UK, we decided we would search the car. The stuff Eddie found was then taken away for forensic examination.

“Then when a search area was identified Eddie found the body as well. As far as the Arlene case goes, however, there has been nothing to date.”

Eddie has just returned from the US where he has been helping the FBI in a murder case.

Mr Grime said: “Dogs like Eddie are very, very good at what they do and he has lots of operational experience.

“I do some training with him every day.”

Hamilton (23) received Ulster’s longest prison sentence after he was jailed for life for the murder of Mrs Harron.

Monday, Aug. 21, 2006

Dog Nabs Alleged Bank Robber

An alleged bank robber is now behind bars, thanks in part to Drack the dog.

Robert John Lewis is in police custody after allegedly robbing a Webster Bank in New Britain around 11 a.m. Thursday.

The man passed the bank’s teller a note demanding cash. After his request was met, the man left the bank, according to police.

Police said that once outside the bank, witnesses chased the man. During the chase, the paint bag inside the bag of cash exploded and Lewis dropped the money in the parking lot. Lewis ran into the woods, getting away from his pursuers, police said.

According to police, Drack found the man in the woods and bit him in the leg.

“We deployed the dog and the dog was able to find him hiding in the wood line,” said Joe Capodiferro of the Farmington Police Department.

Lewis is currently at the hospital recovering from the bite wounds and is expected to appear in court Friday.

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006

Night Out Against Crime a success here

From all reports, the recent National Night Out Against Crime was a huge success in our communities, with larger crowds than usual and on one of the warmest August days on record.

Neighborhood watch groups working closely with police departments and members of the county sheriff’s offices as well as a dedicated group of volunteers are to be applauded. So are the adults who took the children.

At the Middletown event in Festival Square, the busiest table was manned by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. For the full three hours that the event took place, there was a line waiting to get children’s photos and fingerprints taken for family records. Deputy Sheriff Brian Manning was one of the officers involved, and although being very warm, he found the time passed quickly. Like other members of the law enforcement community wearing uniforms, he enjoyed interacting with the people, especially the youngsters.

During the Middletown event, Danielle Lowe, who is a part-time civilian dispatcher, was honored by Police Chief Matt Byrne for her loyalty and dedicated service.

– The Orange County Veterans Coalition will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the Veterans Service Agency off Craigville Road in the Town of Goshen. The meeting will include voting for new officers and discussion for annual awards, including the Lenny Rifkin Award and the Coalition Award. For information, call Tony Zippo at 291-2470.

– Registration is being accepted for the Potter’s Clay Christian Preschool located in the Walker Valley United Methodist Church on Route 52. The Bible-based curriculum is taught by a state-certified school teacher with more than 25 years experience at the early childhood level. There are half-day programs three days a week, Monday-Wednesday from 9-11:30 a.m.

– The Montgomery Food Pantry will benefit from a car wash from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Walden Savings Bank, 2 Bank St. It is co-hosted by the bank and St. John Bosco Child and Family Services.

– During the Court of Honor when Kevin Patterson was awarded an Eagle badge recently, he was congratulated by a host of community leaders including state Sen. Bill Larkin and Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois. Kevin, who works at Price Chopper in Newburgh, is the son of Jim and Barbara Patterson. He is a member of the recently chartered Boy Scout Troop 444 sponsored by the Monsignor Henry O’Carroll Knights of Columbus, Council 444 in Newburgh. Past Grand Knight Greg Gaetano said: “Kevin has been a great role model to the other Scouts in the troop, including his two brothers.” Kevin’s project was constructing a sidewalk of patio stone in front of the K of C building in memory of Pat deGeorgio, who was an active member of the council until he died.

– The Starlight Chaper 74, Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation, recently hosted a tea to award scholarships to several students. They were Marisol Trujillo and Megan Williams, who were graduated from Fallsburg High School, and Angelica Crandell, who was graduated from Monticello High School.

Friday, Jul. 14, 2006

Watches, crucifixes stolen 25 years ago from convent returned

It took a quarter-century, but his conscience finally got the best of a thief.

Several crucifixes, pocket watches and a wristwatch were stolen from Maria Convent in Newton in 1981. Just last week, the Rev. Joseph Keil at Our Lady’s Help of Christians parish received a package shipped from San Jose, Calif., containing the stolen items, and a letter.

“The note said the person who took them was sorry, that the jewelry was taken many years ago and if it could be returned to the owner, that would be great,” Keil told the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham.

The Maria Convent is not affiliated with Our Lady Help of Christians. The convent is run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. Sister Joanne Gallagher, a spokeswoman for the order, said it’s still unknown whether the returned items were actually stolen from the Maria Convent.

“All I know it was 25 years ago and we really don’t have any accurate information right now,” she said.

Newton police Lt. Bruce Apotheker said a person has been interviewed who remembered the convent being burglarized over Labor Day weekend in 1981, but could not remember what was stolen.

The letter, dated July 2, 2006, seemed to be written by someone close to the thief instead of the actual culprit, Keil said.

“Please help return these items to the Sisters that they were stolen from, if possible,” the anonymous letter reads in part. “The person who stole them asks for their forgiveness, as he has asked for God’s forgiveness, and is extremely sorry for the pain that their theft caused.”

Thursday, Jul. 13, 2006

Birthday siege girl reunited with riot police party pals

LITTLE Phoebe Piltz thought she’d never smile again, after her sixth birthday was ruined when her family were thrust into the middle of a nine-hour rooftop siege in Cheadle.

She was opening her presents at her Shakespeare Drive home and looking forward to going on holiday later that day, when Nicky Hadfield climbed on the roof of her house and threw tiles at police.

And instead of jetting-off to Minorca she – alongside parents Nigel and Lois – were trapped inside and, unable to travel to the airport, missed their summer break.

But Phoebe was all smiles after when the police, who protected her during the ordeal, presented her with a box of chocolates.

It was a belated birthday gift and a thank you to Phoebe for sharing her sweets with hungry officers during the siege.

Dad Nigel, 52, said: “It was early in the morning and we were just getting ready to go on holiday when this guy came bounding on our roof and we were stuck until about 1pm.

“It was harrowing for my wife and daughter, as he was throwing tiles through the skylight. I kept telling Phoebe she was safe, she was with her dad.

“She was torn-up for a while afterward and was very nervous of anyone being near her. But she really enjoyed the chocolates and having her photo taken with the police, who she trusted.”

Hadfield, 27, was this week sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment at Minshull Street Crown Court, following the rooftop seige drama last year, which cause a total of £50,000 damage to houses.

The Piltz family got out of a back door when other officers drove a van into the front gates as a decoy.

Phoebe handed out the chocolates, which had been a present, shortly after unwrapping them. And she eventually enjoyed a family holiday in Crete.

Nigel added: “We went earlier this year and had a fantastic time.”

Stolen rare baseball returned to kids’ club

Just one day after a shocking robbery members of the boys and girls club in Camas are enjoying the return of one of their most prized possessions.

“Why would somebody break in?” asks 9-year-old Marie Thomas.

On Tuesday someone broke into the Jack, Will and Rob Boys and Girls Club and stole a signed Mickey Mantle baseball, a baseball glove and some electronic equipment.

The club is named after three brothers who died in a plane crash along with their father, businessman Tiger Warren.

The baseball was a gift given to the boy’s mother by author David James Duncan who wanted her to have it for the club.

The baseball glove belonged to one of the boys killed in the plane crash.

Now the ball and the glove are back at the club where they belong. And as for the thieves, police have arrested several suspects.

“We had a tip from a resident who overheard the boys talking about their burglary and we ended up making an arrest of three juvenile boys and one adult,” said Detective Carol Buck of the Camas Police Department.

Police say one of the boys has confessed to the crime and that their ring leader, Robert L. Drake, 25, may have been planning to sell the stolen items.

The stolen electronic equipment has not yet been found.

Friday, May. 26, 2006

Saliva Sniffing Dog To Help Find Missing Kids

Police, lawmakers, and dentists from Massachusetts will get together at the State House Thursday to unveil 2 new tools to track missing children.

One of them is actually a dog from the Dracut Police Department named Mason. He can trace missing kids from the scent of human saliva left on dental toothprints.

State senator Jarrett Barrios says the second tool will expand a program that would allow more children to get their toothprints taken through public schools.

Thursday is National Missing Children’s Day.

There are currently 22 missing children in Massachusetts.

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