Monday, January 22, 2018

Atlanta area Kroger robbery suspect fatally shot by police

Robbery suspect dies after being shot by officer, police say

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. Jan 22 2018
A robbery at a grocery store in Fulton County ended with the fatal shooting of the robbery suspect.
Police said that the man entered the Kroger store at the Winters Chapel Road Saturday armed with a gun.
Police say that the suspect in the armed robbery, which occurred at the Kroger at 8465 Holcomb Bridge Road in Johns Creek, had pulled into the parking lot and entered the store forcing his way into a register at the Kroger.
Police say that it was a witness who intially followed the suspect to the parking lot on Winters Chapel Road where Dunwoody police officers and a Johns Creek police officer located the vehicle and suspect.
When confronted by officers, police said the suspect did not obey their commands and exited the vehicle. Fearing for his safety and the safety of others, an officer fired one shot, striking the suspect, according to police.
The suspect was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for emergency care, where he was pronounced dead.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now investigating this incident.

Security officer shot during store robbery-carjacking

Linden SA Jan 22 2018
Nine suspects, armed with R4s, AK47s, pistols, and revolvers, allegedly robbed a store on corner Beatrice Street and Dukes Avenue in Windsor East shortly before 10pm last night, leaving a security guard hospitalised.
Linden police spokesperson, Captain Walter Spencer, said the suspects robbed the Windsor KwikSpar of cigarettes, money and ‘other items’.
According to private security companies, the suspects then hijacked a vehicle, fleeing towards Malanshof. They later abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.
Community Support Services and other security companies including Trojan Security, Ghost Squad and ADT, reportedly managed to chase them down and a shootout ensued.
A Community Support Services guard was shot twice, but also managed to return fire, wounding one of the suspects. Both were taken to hospital and the suspect is under police guard.
The remaining suspects fled in a double cab bakkie, Spencer said.
Greg Pearce, owner of Community Support Services, said the guard is currently in surgery and believes he will recover.
Ward 98 councillor, Beverley Weweje, said the outlet’s employees are receiving counselling.
“I really commend the team effort between all the stakeholders involved in apprehending the suspects. A great display of teamwork,” she said.
Francois Marais, CEO of Ghost Squad, agreed.
“This was a perfect example of how security companies can work together in the common interest of the community they protect.

We commend  the bravery of all officers involved and are proud of  [how] they worked hand in hand with Linden [police] in order to bring dangerous criminal to justice.”

New peacekeeper security officers to patrol northern Sask. community troubled by violent crime

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Pelican Narrows Canada Jan 22 2018 A northern Saskatchewan community dealing with violence and gang crime is employing a team of security officers to ramp up patrols — a move that's being welcomed by the local RCMP.
The community of Pelican Narrows, about 415 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, is training eight new employees to become "peacekeeper" officers.
Harold Linklater, a Pelican Narrows councillor and vice-chief of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, said it is partly a response to violence involving "wannabe gangs."
"We always seem to wait until something bad happens and then we react," said Linklater.
"Now, a lot of people have expressed, 'Well, we should try to do something. We can't keep letting this escalate and go on like this. We have to try to do something about it ourselves.'"
Last week, the Crown prosecutor in the case against seven people accused in the death of Hilliard Sewap Jr. in 2015 said there is currently a "gang war" in the community.
Fran Atkinson told The Canadian Press last week that Sewap's death had increased hostilities between two groups known in Pelican Narrows as the Wong-Streeters and Bronxers.
They're not carrying any firearms or anything to that effect. Our peacekeepers are merely there to keep the peace.
She added that the assault happened the day after government cheques arrived in the community, which she said regularly leads to a spike in alcohol consumption and subsequent violence.
Linklater also noted the connection between violence and alcohol abuse.
Although the peacekeeper officers will not be allowed to respond to incidents where their safety could be at risk, it is hoped they can help address violent crime by acting as mediators to prevent disputes from escalating.
The officers will also be patrolling the streets at night to deter criminal behaviour and act as additional eyes and ears for the police.
"That's where these peacekeepers would come in, you know, is to kind of look out for stuff like that," said Linklater.
"Because we can't depend on the RCMP all the time — they may not be around or may not be on patrol.
"If something like that were to happen at least they'll have a number where you can call and then kind of monitor the situation while they're waiting."

Linklater added that the peacekeeper officers will be first-responders who can be contacted directly for a quick response to incidents such as fires or traffic accidents.
He said the goal of creating the team is also to increase response times in situations where the peacekeepers can assist.
They will also be working to crack down on bootlegging in Pelican Narrows, which is a dry community, and supporting police with traffic incidents.
He said language was another way the peacekeepers will be able to help quell disputes.
"They can communicate better in, say, a highly tense situation, for example, to calm down people because they can speak the Cree language better," said Linklater.
He said the rules and boundaries for the peacekeeper officers, which are still being finalized, will be very clear to prevent any interference with police work.
Pelican Narrows RCMP Staff Sgt. Dean Lerat is optimistic the new program will lead to positive changes.
He said he would not want peacekeepers to be involved in any aspect of responding to violent crime because that is a police responsibility.
But he believes that an increased security presence on the streets at night could help reduce violence.
Lerat is a Cree man from the Cowessess First Nation in southeast Saskatchewan, which already has a peacekeeping program. 
"From my community, and knowing from my family all the good things that they've done there, I already have a little bias with the program knowing that it works well," said Lerat.
"So I'm going to ensure that all members in Pelican Narrows learn to appreciate the extra eyes and ears that are out on the road for us."
Onion Lake Cree Nation has been running a peacekeeper program in various forms for about 18 years.
Philip Chief, associate director of operations, said the number of people employed by the program, which encompasses security, fire services and dog control, has grown from five to 11.
Although he said police did have some reservations before the program started, there had never been any problems with peacekeepers interfering with police work.
"They've always worked collaboratively together, knowing exactly what the roles and boundaries are," said Chief.
He said the peacekeepers are able to respond to emergencies faster than police, whose dispatch process goes through 911. 
I think when you talk to people from your own community, you also have an understanding and you know who the family is, and that sets a little bit of comfort in the discussion.
He said one example of how the peacekeepers can help save lives was by arriving early to the scene of car accidents.
In one instance, peacekeepers pulled a person from a burning car before other emergency services got to the scene of the crash, Chief added.
But he said peacekeepers are not allowed to go into violent situations involving weapons.
"They're not carrying any firearms or anything to that effect. Our peacekeepers are merely there to keep the peace, in a lot of instances for domestic disputes or whatever it is that may occur," said Chief.
"Once it gets a little heavy, obviously RCMP are involved."
Chief added that there are situations where the peacekeepers can help reduce tension because they are longtime members of the community.
"I think when you talk to people from your own community, you also have an understanding and you know who the family is, and that sets a little bit of comfort in the discussion ... preventing further action by the perpetrator," said Chief. 
"Whereas the other end, you have a police officer, they don't know anything about our community members to a certain degree, especially when you get new assigned officers. You tend to have that natural fear apparently, you know — that's been common around First Nation country."
Chief said the program has not only improved public safety, but created skills training and employment opportunities at Onion Lake.
He said some peacekeeper officers have gone on to be employed as police officers because they have the relevant training.
Chief said he thinks more communities should have a youth cadet program, something he hopes Pelican Narrows will consider as it finalizes its plans for the peacekeeper program.

He said it will also be important for the community leadership to maintain positive attitudes toward the peacekeeper program, saying it should be an honour for the officers to serve their own communities.

Frequent stowaway caught again at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

 Marilyn Hartman, who has a history of sneaking aboard planes, slipped past security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this week and flew to London.
Chicago IL Jan 22 2018 A fraudulent frequent flyer was arrested again last week after she sneaked past security at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and illegally boarded a London-bound plane.
Serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman, 66, who has a history of flying without a passport or boarding pass, made it overseas before authorities realized she had taken the flight without credentials.
Hartman was flown back to Chicago Thursday night, where she was arrested upon her arrival.
She is charged with felony theft and a misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told CBS Chicago that Hartman slipped through a TSA checkpoint before taking a shuttle to an international terminal. She boarded a British Airways flight the following day.
Hartman had reportedly wandered around Chicago O’Hare for two days without being questioned.
Once on the London-bound plane, she hid in a bathroom before snagging an empty seat, CBS Chicago reported.
 Marilyn Hartman, who has a history of sneaking aboard planes, slipped past security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this week and flew to London.
She was sent back to O’Hare when she couldn’t produce a passport Monday at Heathrow Airport.
Hartman has a history of sneaking onto planes at O’Hare and Chicago Midway International Airport.
She was arrested twice in two days in July 2015 for attempting to sneak through airports without a valid ticket.
Prior to Thursday, she had been arrested six times in airplane-related incidents, most recently in February 2016.
In 2016, she was sentenced to six months of house arrest and placed on two years of mental health probation.

She has said homelessness drove her to take “desperate measures” and she feels safer in airports than in the streets.

Fort Worth security officer shoots man at apartment complex

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FORT WORTH TX Jan 22 2018
A security guard opened fire on a man Saturday night after an altercation in an apartment laundry room in the Las Vegas trail area, police said.
The man was taken to a local hospital and his condition was not available Sunday.
The security guard was at the scene when officers arrived.
The shooting was reported shortly before 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the 8200 block of Calmont Avenue.
Officers learned that the guard approached a group of men who were in the laundry room of an apartment complex, 8225 Calmont Ave..
At some point, one man assaulted the guard, police said.
The security guard brandished a gun and shot the man in the stomach, police said.

No other injuries were reported.

Mt. Shasta Mall and Macy's security team up with police to bust identity thieves

REDDING, Calif. Jan 22 2018 — Two women were arrested after a Redding woman, with the help of Redding Police Department (RPD), tracked down two suspected wallet and ID thieves who went on a shopping spree with stolen money.
On Friday, Elisa Bearden, 44, of Redding, reported that her wallet was stolen while she was shopping at TJ Maxx. Within an hour of the theft, Bearden began receiving notifications from her credit providers that her cards were being used at multiple Redding locations.
Bearden told police that she began going to each business as soon as she received the alerts, only to find the suspects had left before she arrived.
Bearden was at the Mt. Shasta Mall checking more locations when she learned the suspects were using her credit cards at Macy’s. Bearden responded to Macy’s and worked with loss prevention to find the suspects on video surveillance. It was at this time that she contacted the Redding Police Department.
Officer Jamie Rouland responded and with the assistance of loss prevention officers from both Macy’s and Mt. Shasta Mall security, located the two woman suspects at Foot Locker.
Police say that both suspects were uncooperative and had to be detained in handcuffs.
A search of their belongings revealed they had numerous items stolen from Bearden. They also had a “booster bag” – a purse with false compartments and lined with aluminum foil, used to thwart electronic security devices. The purse also contained a powerful magnet, which is used by thieves to deactivate electronic security devices.
Both of the suspects had fake Puerto Rico ID cards, but through fingerprints one suspect was identified as Camila Fernandez, 25, of Los Angeles.
In all, Smith and Fernandez charged nearly $10,000 in credit card purchases within a two hour period. The suspects also stole approximately $6,000 in cash from Bearden’s wallet. Just over $1,200 was recovered by police. Aside from the missing cash and wallet, officers were able to recover all of the Bearden’s property.

Officers were also able to locate and search the suspect's vehicle. inside they found items used to create fake identifications as well as a large amount of recently purchased property.

DC Fire Captain Arrested for Trying to Record Video of Young Girl

Meet a Former Radio City Rockette Who Got Her Life Back

Fairfax County VA Jan 22 2018 A D.C. Fire and EMS captain has been arrested and charged for trying to record video of a girl inside a fitting room at a Virginia mall, police said.
Rudolph Doering, 50, turned himself in on Friday after seeing surveillance photos the Fairfax County Police Department released of him on social media, police said.
On Jan. 7, Doering tried to get video on his cellphone of a 13-year-old girl while she was changing in a fitting room at the Hollister Co. store at Fair Oaks Mall, police said.
The girl saw the cellphone from the stall beside hers, police said.
Doering, of Bristow, Virginia, has been charged with one felony count of attempted and unlawful filming of a minor.
D.C. Fire and EMS said Doering was immediately placed on leave when police told the department of his arrest.

Doering joined the fire department in 2000.

CT security guard charged in theft of checks

NAUGATUCK CT Jan 22 2018  — A former security guard for an elderly housing complex was charged with dozens of felonies in connection to the alleged theft of more than $18,000 from a 94-year-old resident.
Nyeisha Douglas, 27, of New Haven, was arrested in her home city on Tuesday in connection to a dozen checks that were drawn on the woman’s account, which police say were fraudulently cashed.
Douglas worked at the Robert E. Hutt Congregate housing complex on Millville Avenue as a security guard, according to a police investigation by Officer James Tortora. The complex offers housing to residents who are 62 and older, as well as an around-the-clock security guard.
Bank of America, where the woman had an account, alerted her of the possible fraud with her checks, which they say were deposited between June to September. Some were in small amounts of $500, while at least one was for more than $2,100.
All of the checks were made out to Douglas, police determined.
Police learned from Securitas, the firm that employed Douglas, that guards at the complex were given keys to all apartments that are only to be used in case of emergencies.
The woman told police that she didn’t realize her checkbook was gone until she was told about the fraud on her account. Tortora compared signatures on the cashed checks, noting the differences between those and a legit check that was cashed by the woman.
Police also found some of the checks were cashed at the same ATM in New Haven, and police obtained surveillance footage that shows Douglas cashing them.
Douglas refused to meet with Tortora, according to police. She also did not return a message left for her on Thursday.

Douglas, who was convicted of reckless endangerment in 2011, was charged with a dozen counts of first-degree forgery, second-degree identity theft and multiple counts of larceny.
Republican American News

West Palm Beach police officer arrested for theft

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West Palm Beach FL Jan 22 2018 A West Palm Beach police officer has been arrested after she allegedly stole cash during a criminal investigation.
Officer Crystal Homic, 34, of Royal Palm Beach, surrendered at the Palm Beach County Jail Friday to face charges of theft and official misconduct. She was placed on administrative leave after police investigators alleged that she took $100 from a man who was arrested in December for burglary.
According to a police statement, Homic was involved in the arrest of four people Dec. 7 on burglary charges. During the ensuing investigation, one of the suspects told officers he was missing $100 from his property. The man told officers he had $600 hidden behind his cellphone case, but only $500 was found.
A detective brought the discrepancy to Homic’s attention. Unsatisfied with her response, the detective notified a supervisor. A search of Homic’s patrol vehicle yielded a property receipt she completed indicating there was $500, according to the police statement.
Subsequently, the missing $100 and the original property receipt were found inside a trash receptacle and underneath a table where Homic was seated during the investigation, police said.
Records show that she has been with the West Palm Beach Police Department since March 2007. Her personnel file shows that she was suspended twice in May for tardiness and she received a written reprimand in November for improper radio procedures.
It is the second time since December that a West Palm Beach police officer has been arrested. On Dec. 5, Officer Zachary Immler was arrested on a grand theft charge after he was accused of taking $6,520 from a home during an October narcotics raid.
Immler, the son of former Boynton Beach police chief Matthew Immler, has since been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Homic will face an administrative hearing within the next two weeks to determine whether she will remain on paid leave.
palm beach post

New Hampshire schools get $10 million safety and security upgrades

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CONCORD NH Jan 22 2018 - School buildings throughout the state will see more than $10 million in safety and security improvements soon, ranging from a $471,271 grant to Concord High School for "access control and security alerting" to a $180,000 grant to alleviate a bat infestation at a Merrimack elementary school.
It's all part of a $19 million investment in school building aid for 2018 made possible by a surplus from the 2017 state budget.
"Today is the culmination of an effort that began with my proposed budget, to give a boost to school building aid to rebuild our classroom infrastructure, especially schools with clear and imminent danger to the health and safety of students," Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday in an appeal to the joint House-Senate Fiscal Committee.
Appearing before the committee with Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut and Homeland Security Director Perry Plummer, Sununu urged the committee to approve the expenditures, which he said would deal with issues that otherwise would be unaddressed, including asbestos and lead paint removal.
"Our goal is to make our schools the safest in the nation, something we can all agree on," he said. "If we can't put our kids on the school bus and know they are safe, nothing else matters. It really has to start there."
After a few questions, the committee unanimously approved disbursement of the funds, which already had been approved by the Legislature in the governor's two-year budget.
The 170 projects funded Friday were vetted by a School Infrastructure Safety Commission, which still has another $9 million to disburse.
"The applications keep flowing in," Sununu said. "Hopefully, we can close as many as 300 individual projects across the state."
The biggest grant in the current round is $577,452 for a project at the Mast Way Elementary School in Lee, described as "main office building expansion."
Fiscal Chairman Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, pressed Plummer as to whether building expansion qualifies as a safety or security issue.
Plummer explained that construction of a new vestibule is necessary at the school to create safety locks with two doors and proper security based on an assessment by Homeland Security and public safety personnel.

Approved projects fall into three categories - imminent dangers and health risks, security enhancements and fiber-optic internet access.
Other large grants include $450,000 to re-roof the Milan Elementary School; $336,000 to the Franklin school district for safety improvements in the elementary, middle and high schools; $300,000 for a new sprinkler system at Alvirne High School in Hudson; and $400,000 to add sprinklers and a fire wall at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Keene.
Many grants are much smaller, such as $3,272 for bullet-proof reception glass at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook.
"Without this funding, there's no doubt the vast majority of these projects wouldn't go ahead, or if they did, would be solely on local taxpayer dollars," Sununu said.
A robust budget surplus in fiscal 2017, which ended on June 30, made the grant program possible.
The state was able to fill the Rainy Day Fund to its maximum $100 million, with money left over for the school building aid in addition to more than $30 million for one-time grants for local road and bridge projects.
The state grants, however appreciated, are no replacement for the annual school building aid the state once offered, though.
In 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession, the Legislature approved a moratorium on state funding for new school projects, leaving local districts to their own devices. That moratorium remains in place.
"These are one-time funds that will be spent on one-time projects," Sununu said.
In Nashua, the school district received $83,525, which will be used for various projects at five city schools.
"The majority of the funds will be used for exterior cameras just to provide another level of security," Superintendent Jahmal Mosley said.
Security improvements will be made to the entrances at Fairgrounds Elementary and Charlotte Avenue Elementary and additional exterior security cameras will be installed at Amherst Street Elementary, Birch Hill Elementary, Charlotte Avenue Elementary, Fairgrounds Elementary and Nashua High School North.

"As soon as we get the funding we will certainly try to set a work schedule to make sure these funds are utilized immediately," said Mosley, thanking the governor and state officials for approving the funds.
Without the newly approved funding, Mosley said, the district simply doesn't have the cash in its budget to complete the projects all at once.
Instead, the work would have been prioritized and performed in increments.
In Hollis, the Hollis-Brookline Middle School was awarded $30,000 for security improvements - the second phase of its safety and security initiative.
"I think, obviously, our first task as educators is to ensure the safety and the well-being of our staff and students that come through the door every day," said Principal Bob Thompson. "For us, safety is paramount."
The funds will be used for video surveillance and window tints for shatterproof windows, Thompson said.
Two years ago, the school received a $20,000 grant to implement a controlled-access key-fob system.
"This new funding enables us to check off a whole punch-list of items we have been hoping to do for a while," he added.
Berlin High School and its school district are receiving $79,200 for surveillance upgrades and other security enhancements.
"This is quite a gift," Superintendent Corinne Cascadden said. "We have a lot of hardware that needs to be standardized. It will also be used to increase security in our office."
Overall, the funding will replace 98 cameras inside and outside Berlin schools, including panic buttons. It also will help switch the technology from analogue to digital throughout the four buildings.
In Goffstown and New Boston, several projects were approved, including $47,823 for improvements to Goffstown High School's digital video security system and $94,217 for other security upgrades.

"This money will go toward a number of very important security projects," said Superintendent Brian Balke, adding the district is grateful that the Legislature created the fund, which will help keep students and staff safe throughout the district and statewide.
Union Leader

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Biloxi nightclub security officer=2 others- injured in shoot-out

Wayna Scott, 21 of Gautier, is charged in an overnight shooting Friday at a Biloxi nightclub. (Source: Biloxi Police Dept)

BILOXI, MS January 21 2018
A Gautier man is now behind bars after a nightclub shooting in Biloxi left three people injured overnight Friday.
It happened shortly after midnight at the Horseshoe Lounge on Veterans Boulevard, a gentleman's club located just off Highway 90 behind Big Play Family Fun Center.
Police say an altercation began inside the club. Police say the suspect, Wanya Scott, then went out to a vehicle in the club's parking lot and retrieved a firearm. He then reportedly fired numerous shots at the building, where multiple people were standing.
An armed security guard returned fire.
The security guard and two other individuals - all employees at the club did sustain minor injuries which are believed to be from bullets or shrapnel.
A woman who works at the club is among those who were injured.
Scott then fled the scene in a vehicle. He was later located at an apartment complex not far from the club. He is now charged with three counts of aggravated assault and is being held in Harrison County Jail on a $300,000 bond - $100,000 for each count.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact Biloxi Police Department at 228-392-0641.

Houma Louisiana man charged with flashing gun at hospital security

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Houma LA Jan 21 2018
A 47-year-old Houma man arguing with medical staff over a doctor’s appointment was arrested Tuesday after flashing a handgun, Houma police said.
According to Sgt. Travis Theriot, Joseph Charles Grimm Jr., of West Park Avenue, demanded to see a doctor Tuesday in an office at Terrebonne General Medical Center.
When doctor’s office employees told the suspect his appointment wasn’t until Wednesday, he didn’t take it very well, Theriot said.
“He was wanting to see the doctor at that time but his appointment wasn’t until the following day,” Theriot said. “It wasn’t an emergency. He just didn’t want to wait the extra day. He became irate and started arguing with the office personnel.”
Security officers were alerted to the disturbance and asked Grimm to leave the facility and come back on the day of his scheduled appointment, police said.
Houma resident Mona Hall, who said she witnessed the incident, said the suspect became irate when medical staff told him he couldn’t refill his medication.
“It got really ugly,” Hall said. “He started cursing out the staff and saying he was a combat veteran who would have died for all of us.”
As the suspect was escorted out of the building, he lifted his shirt to show he was armed with a handgun that was tucked into the waist band of his pants, authorities said.
“I was fearful because it was a little bitty security guard that was with him,” Hall said. “I’m freaking out thinking he was going to get away from him and start shooting because he was very upset. I was hysterical by this point.”

Houma police were called to investigate the incident and searched for the suspect as they patrolled the area.
“I saw a bunch of cops and an ambulance heading toward the medical center and that freaked me out because I didn’t know if he went back up there to start shooting people,” Hall said. “Something just wasn’t right about him. My concern was the staff and for my sister who was still in the office.”
After police located Grimm, they took the suspect into custody without incident and found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun tucked into his pants, Theriot said.
Grimm was charged with illegal carrying of a firearm and was transported to the Terrebonne Parish jail. No injuries were reported.

His bond was set at $500.

Vallejo Kohl's store shoplifter pulls gun on loss prevention agent

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Vallejo CA Jan 21 2018 A suspect who was confronted by a security guard at Kohl’s for allegedly stealing merchandise brandished a weapon and fled, according to Vallejo police.
At approximately 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the Kohl’s on Admiral Callaghan Lane, a loss prevention officer said he witnessed a man putting “numerous pairs of jeans” into a black bag. The man is described as being a black male, bald, 6-foot, 260 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt.
As the suspect approached the front of the store, the security guard confronted him and he put down the bag. According to police, the suspect began to “bait” the security guard by taunting him to take it outside.
As the security guard called the police, the suspect grabbed the bag and ran out of the store and got into a white Ford Fusion with dealer plates. The guard approached the car in order to take a picture and the suspect allegedly pointed a semi-automatic pistol at him through an open window.
The guard retreated and suspect was last seen heading toward Columbus Parkway.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call the Vallejo Police Department, (707) 648-4321.

Immigration detainee at private detention center claims guard sexually assaulted her

Williamson County TX Jan 21 2018

A woman being held at an immigration detention center in Taylor who has accused a guard of sexually assaulting her   recently tried to commit suicide, immigration advocates said this week.
Laura Monterrosa, a woman from El Salvador who has been held at the T. Don Hutto detention center since May, tried to take her life on Jan. 11, according to the Austin-based immigrant advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.
“I feel very desperate because I tried to report the abuse from ICE and facility officials, but they continue to psychologically abuse me through intimidation,” Monterrosa said in a statement released Monday by Grassroots Leadership. “I do not feel safe or secure. I am not receiving the medical treatment or help I need.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts with CoreCivic to operate the detention center. CoreCivic referred questions to ICE. Officials with ICE did not confirm or deny that Monterrosa tried to take her life, but did confirm that Monterrosa did have a medical situation Jan. 12.
Medical staff immediately referred her to the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Round Rock, where she was further evaluated, ICE officials said.
“After a hospital physician determined her to be stable, she was discharged from the hospital and returned to ICE custody at (the T. Don Hutto detention center),” ICE said in a statement
ICE medical staff at the center are keeping her under observation, ICE officials said.
According to a letter written by Monterrosa last year, a female guard assaulted her and another woman. Grassroots Leadership has said they have received letters from three women accusing guards at the detention center of sexual misconduct.
The guard accused of assaulting Monterrosa, who was not named by Grassroots Leadership, “harassed me, telling me threatening words and forcing me to have unwanted relations with her, which I did not want, but I had to do what she wanted," Monterrosa's letter said. "She looked for or took advantage of every moment she could to touch my breasts or my legs, she knew where and when she did it. I don't remember the dates because there are many."
The Williamson County sheriff's office has said it opened an investigation in connection to Monterrosa's report.
Monterrosa entered the U.S. in May and sought asylum to escape violence in her home country, according to Grassroots Leadership. The immigration court system denied her request and she has appealed, said Bethany Carson, immigration policy researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership.
Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said Monterrosa’s case is heart-wrenching.

“It’s just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again,” Muñoz said. “Laura can’t escape this pain, she can’t get the treatment she needs.”

Security firms under scrutiny over plague of violence and death at complex

Durban South Africa Jan 21 2018 Residents of the violence-plagued Glebelands Hostel in Durban told amaBhungane that they have felt less safe since guards employed by Secureco Metsu began patrolling the hostel in 2014.
The allegations come against the backdrop of ongoing violence at Glebelands. On Sunday a resident was shot dead and another critically wounded. At least 21 residents have been murdered over the past year.
Local activist Vanessa Burger alleges that since Secureco was contracted by the eThekwini municipality to secure the hostel, about 70 residents have been murdered on hostel premises.
According to a police source, 103 police dockets relating to violence at Glebelands remain open.
Secureco, a subsidiary of Fidelity Security Services, is one of a number of politically connected companies that have controversially benefited from the repeated extension of security contracts by eThekwini.
Burger said another Secureco guard, Sivuyile Luna, has been arrested and charged with fatally shooting a Glebelands resident in an alleged crime of passion.
Last week police issued a “wanted” notice for Bongani Mbhele, a man wanted in connection with two attempted murders and a murder at the hostel.
Various sources, including hostel residents and the police, say that Mbhele is a former Secureco guard. An online record last updated in 2011 lists him as an employee of Fidelity Security Services.
Fidelity’s general manager, Kriben Moodley, said he could not answer a list of questions emailed to him by amaBhungane relating to the violence and the company’s performance, citing the confidential nature of Secureco’s contract with the municipality.
The municipality said it was satisfied with Secureco’s performance “so far”.
The hiring of Secureco was one of a battery of measures adopted by the government in 2014 in the face of increasing violence at Glebelands. Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu announced a security upgrade that included the installation of a R10-million CCTV system, floodlighting, a perimeter fence and private security patrols.
Municipal spokesperson Mandla Nsele confirmed that Secureco’s Glebelands contract had been extended by the recent judgment in the Durban High Court that overturned the re-awarding of municipal security contracts last year.

However, the effectiveness of the government’s 2014 security regime has been disputed. Burger said CCTV footage has not been used in evidence in the prosecution of any murder since the cameras were installed.
In late 2016, the eThekwini exco set aside another R3-million to upgrade the cameras.
Residents also told amaBhungane that fencing serves no purpose because the killers are hostel residents.
In a visit to the hostel in December 2017, amaBhungane spoke to Glebelands Block R residents, who asked not to be named. All said they felt more unsafe since private security started patrolling the hostel blocks. They accused the guards of spying for hit men and said they did nothing to apprehend those responsible for the violence.
Referring to the June 3 2017 murder of Msizi Makhobo, several witnesses told amaBhungane that they saw the killer run past a parked Secureco vehicle into the Block O building. They alleged that the guard sitting in the vehicle did not give chase or try to apprehend him.
Mawethu Maquthu, another resident, was reportedly arrested for Makhobo’s murder two weeks later.
Residents who spoke to amaBhungane also alleged that Secureco officers watch the movement of targets and inform criminals of their whereabouts.
“You see their security vans circle, then disappear completely from an area. That’s when you know a hit is going to take place,” said one resident.
Both Burger and residents said that the security company’s vans are most often seen parked outside Block O, Block 52 and the surrounding “old blocks”, where hit men are alleged to reside. They claimed that the guards fraternise with suspected perpetrators of violence.
An amaBhungane reporter who visited Glebelands witnessed a Secureco vehicle park outside Block 57 and a Secureco officer enter Block 52, on the other side of a road. The empty vehicle was parked outside Block 57 for at least 30 minutes.
Secureco’s Moodley would not comment on what the officer was doing inside Block 52, or whether the guards are allowed to fraternise with residents.
Residents who spoke to amaBhungane said they feel especially unsafe since Luna, a Secureco officer who lived at Glebelands, was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a fellow resident, Akona Ngxokana, in January 2017. He is awaiting trial.

They also complained that Luna was compromised as a hostel guard by the fact that he lives in Block 52.
A block 52 resident who cannot be identified, because he says his life is in imminent danger, called the Secureco guards “useless”. He added that he had witnessed Secureco guards fraternising with the residents of Block 57 and 52.
Nsele said the municipality “was assured by Secureco management that officers deployed in Glebelands … do not live in the area. However, they do have officers who live in the CRUs [communal residential units] in general.”
Police sources closely involved with murder investigations at Glebelands also alleged that Secureco has not offered support to the police in their investigations, and that the company does not file incident reports or communicate with police about murders and other violence at the hostel.
Nsele said that “all incidences [of violence] are reported to the South African Police Service operational centre”.
He said the safety of Glebelands residents is “[one] of the municipality’s utmost priorities” and that eThekwini monitors Secureco’s performance. However, he did not answer specific questions about how the company has improved security at the hostel or why the municipality is satisfied with the way it has operated.
In September 2017 Police Minister Fikile Mbalula visited Glebelands to open a satellite SAPS station. Although he did not name Secureco, he reportedly lambasted private security companies at a media conference held at the hostel.
“These companies pose a danger to society and their strong regulation is required,” African News Agency quoted him as saying.
Mbalula was apparently reacting to a social media video that allegedly shows private security guards contracted to the municipality brandishing automatic weapons and threatening to “kill the dog”. The subject of the threats was unclear.
The minister also called for a nationwide audit of private security firms, warning that those that were not compliant would lose their operating licences. His spokesperson did not respond to an amaBhungane request for clarification.
SAPS officers from around KwaZulu-Natal have been stationed at Glebelands since 2014, after residents and activists repeatedly accused local policeman based at the Umlazi police station of corruption and the use of torture.

Last month, seven suspects allegedly linked to multiple murders at the hostel, including Sergeant Bhekukwazi Mdweshu from the Umlazi police station, appeared in the Umlazi Magistrate’s court.
According to media reports, Mdweshu lived at Glebelands, and activists and residents have long fingered him as a perpetrator linked to multiple murders.
Numerous witnesses testified against him and co-accused Wonderboy Hlophe at the Moerane Commission hearings on political murders in KwaZulu-Natal.
Residents have bemoaned the low arrest and conviction rate for crimes linked to the hostel. However, the hostel dwellers who spoke to amaBhungane said there had been a wave of arrests connected to the Glebelands violence during December.

They said they were not sure whether they were linked to new satellite police stations launched by Mbalula, the Moerane Commission or other factors.