Monthly Archives: February 2010

  • Think Twice About a Face Tattoo

    If you're going to lead a life of crime, don't get a tattoo on your face...it could be what's known as an identifying mark.

    A transient in San Francisco, replete with the words "Why Try" tattooed on the front of his melon has been charged with carjacking; he forced an elderly man from his car, choked him, and then drove away. He returned minutes later to choke the man again.

    The carjacker reportedly swung the older man around like a rag doll until a resident who witnessed the crime stopped the attack. The elderly many survived, but was hospitalized. According to police, he was just moments away from death.

    Police in Oakland police spotted the tattooed transient driving the stolen car, and he was identified by...you guessed it: "Why Try," a tattoo over the carjackers eyes. He was arrested and positively chosen out of a lineup.

    Now "Why Try" is trying to figure out "Why Me," an answer obvious to the rest of us. He is in jail now, being held without bail on attempted murder, robbery, carjacking, and elderly abuse charges. He also has a prior record...I guess the tattoo doesn't work to well during burglaries, either.

    To all you kids out there, take this down as a lesson...

  • All About U-Spy Store

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  • Illinois Attorney General to Stop Sexual Predator's Release

    The office of Illinois' Attorney General (IAG) is working to stop the release of a serial child molester and pedophile who is scheduled to be released at the end of February, filing a petition to halt Danny Schwab from leaving prison.

    Schwab, known as "Dancing Danny" is in prison following a string of sexual assaults in the Belleville area. He was imprisoned in 2002. The nickname "Dancing Danny" stems from his modus operandi of meeting young people at parties and using alcohol and drugs to lower their defenses before assaulting them. His victims were young boys.

    The IAG is using the Sexually Violent Persons Act as the basis for their petition. This act was enacted to keep offenders that are likely to continue committing violent sexual acts in treatment facilities after they've served their time in prison. The act is designed to keep offenders away from the public until it is deemed that they're no longer a threat.

    On Friday, prosecutors head to court to present a case that there is definite evidence pointing to the fact that "Dancing Danny" will re-offend if released. The IAG's office will present significant mental reasons behind their petition to hold Schwab.  According to BND.com;

    Dr. M. Bellew Smith, a state psychiatrist, conducted an evaluation on Feb. 2 that was attached to the petition that found Schwab was a homosexual pedophile with anti-social and narcissistic personality defects.

    Schwab was supposed to spend 40 years in prison but the sentence was reduced to 14 years.

     

  • Police Seize More Weapons...Including Rocket Launcher

    Once we worried that terrorists were able to access high-tech military equipment, often made by the United States, to use against armed forces. In the past decade, we've worried that criminals were better armed than the police.

    The Chicago Police Department turned up a weapons cache last week that highlighted both those worries as they uncovered another large stockpile of weapons;  the third in three weeks. The first, you may remember, was confiscated after a man shot a dog from his window in a northern Chicagoland suburb. The second was the result of a raid on Chicago's south side.

    The latest took place on the west side, the Organized Crime Division recovering 13 weapons and an anti-tank weapon after searching several properties.

    The man charged in the case is a allegedly a member of the 4-Corner Hustlers, one of Chicago's many street gangs. He was charged with 11 counts of misdemeanor firearms possession and one count of  misdemeanor possession of ammunition.

    The police did not elaborate as to why the crimes were no felonies. The weapons recovered included shotguns, rifles, semi-auto handguns and a disposable Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW), or rocket launcher.

    Andre Tatum, 41, of the 800 block of North Lawler is being held on bond for the possession crimes.

  • Chicago Reopens Murder Linked to Capone

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Police will reopen the unsolved 1939 murder of the Chicago lawyer who put the finger on gangster Al Capone for tax evasion, a city politician said on Tuesday.

    The Chicago Police Department's "cold case squad" will look for fresh clues to the gangland-style slaying of Edward O'Hare in the newly published book "Get Capone" by Jonathan Eig.

    Alderman Edward Burke, who asked for the case review in part to get O'Hare the credit he deserves, and the Chicago Tribune newspaper said the police had agreed to look into it.

    "Most of us ... think it was (federal agent) Eliot Ness and the Untouchables that got Capone. Nothing could be further from the truth," Burke said.

    O'Hare provided key evidence to Treasury Department agents that helped to convict Capone in 1931 of income tax evasion.

    The new book argues O'Hare was gunned down because he refused the ruined mobster's demand that he share earnings from a horse racing track he operated.

    Other historians argue O'Hare's murder was a "gift" from fellow mobsters to Capone, who was coming out of prison at the time, according to Burke.

  • Assault Rifles, Drugs, and $406,000

    Two men were arrested and charged after the Chicago Police Department found weapons, drugs, and and $406K. Nothing like drugs and guns to make the city feel safe.

    Police arrested the men after retrieving AK-47's, a Tec 9 with silencer, and an SKS Assault rifle guns, drugs, and cash in their homes. Officers recovered $406,000 dollars and guns including AK-47's, an SKS Assault Rifle, a Tec 9 with silencer, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and 65 grams of cocaine. There were also several handguns.

    Manuel-Antonio Soto, age 35, was charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a weapon with a silencer, eight counts of failure to register a firearm, no firearms ID card, and drug possession.
    The second man, Juan Ramon Resparado-Ramirez, age 29, was booked for drug possession, two charges of failure to register firearms, and no firearms ID card.

     

    Both men were held on bond, Soto for $250,000 and Resparado-Ramirez on $100,000 bail. The men are believed to be members of, or have connections with, a street gang.

  • Drew Peterson Hearing Update

    On  March 1, 2004, neighbors discovered the lifeless body of  Kathleen Savio in an empty bathtub. According to reports from the Peterson hearing on Chicago Breaking News. Neighbor Mary Pontarelli found Kathleen Savio and, upon seeing her lifeless body, threw herself on a bed and beat it with her fists. Savio and Pontarelli were close, their families traveling and spending holidays with one another. In confidence, Savio told her friend that her ex-husband, Drew Peterson, would kill her.

    Other witnesses stated that Savio made sure that the doors were locked and the house secure, fearing that Peterson would eventually attempt to take her life. A locksmith testified that only one of three locks on the door was in use the night of Savio's death.

    Pontarelli's son backed his mom's testimony, stating that Savio had stated that Peterson would attempt to kill her. Savio's death occurred two weeks prior to the property settlement hearing in her divorce from Peterson.

    Pontarelli's son also stated that, according to Savio, Drew Peterson had bugged the home and was recording conversations. She showed the then 14-year old a box attached to a phone extension in the basement.

    Mary Pontarelli stated in court that years earlier Savio had phoned her, stating that Peterson was trying to kill her. Pontarelli went outside and a terrified Savio ran to her, stuffing a letter for an attorney down her blouse. Ptold the court that one day in 2001, Savio called her to say Peterson was trying to kill her. When she went outside, Savio ran out and shoved a letter that she had been trying to fax to an attorney down Pontarelli's blouse. The letter, written anonymously, stated that Peterson was having an affair, and warned Savio to; "Protect yourself and your family."

    An EMT testified that a towel from the crime scene photos had not been there upon arrival. The defense countered by asking him if he had seen towels and a bathrobe behind the door to the bathroom. The EMT stated that he had not.

    Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson's fourth wife who is missing and presumed dead, confided to her pastor that Peterson had disappeared the night of Savio's death and had coached her to lie about his whereabouts. The Pastor's testimony was taken last Friday.

  • Notorious Bank Robber Continues To Elude FBI

    TCF Bandit Has Robbed 12 Banks In Chicago And Western Suburbs
    Reporting Jay Levine CHICAGO (CBS) ―

    The 'TCF Bandit' has been on a three-year rampage robbing banks and escaping every time. If you have any information, call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.
    Chicago FBI

    Cold Case Minute: TCF Bandit
    (11/3/2009)
    He doesn't change much about his appearance: same cap, same glasses. Each time, it's the same technique as he hits his favorite bank at your local grocery store. So, why can't they catch this guy? CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

    He's got a three-year winning streak. Only one Chicago bank robber has hit more banks: 30 between the two of them. The other guy has apparently retired.

    But not the TCF Bandit, so-called because 10 of his 12 jobs were at TCF branches inside Jewel supermarkets; including the latest this week in Countryside.

    Each time, security cameras snap his picture. He's wearing his usual ball cap and sunglasses.

    "I have a gun," he says, as usual, but has never even shown it. Not in Countryside, or at any of the other eight locations.

    Bank jobs which began in February of 2007, and have continued in Chicago and its western suburbs for 36 months; until Monday's heist which was his12th hit.

    There's now a $20,000 price on his head. It's posted on FBI flyers and his picture is all over the FBI's website: Bandit Tracker Chicago.

    At what point does it become personal?

    "I don't think it ever becomes personal with the investigators, from my own experience," said Chicago FBI spokesman Ross Rice. "It can become frustrating. It can make you more focused and want to solve the case."

    Neither Rice nor TCF will discuss security issues of supermarket banks.

    But security consultant Perry Myers showed CBS 2 new technology available to them, questioning the positioning of their cameras.

    "I notice they're coming from the top down, which his baseball cap helps protect his face somewhat," Myers said. "If they threw a few different angles in there, maybe a camera that was down on the counter shooting up, for a better look at face."

    Before the TCF bandit, there was the Wheaton Bandit, who pulled off 18 similar heists without getting caught. But he suddenly disappeared after someone saw him without a mask and the FBI widely circulated a sketch.

    "Some people, including myself, think that he saw that sketch of himself," Rice said. "He recognized how close he came to being caught and he stopped."

    The TCF bandit even went back to the same Franklin Park branch three times, another twice. So why hasn't he been caught?

    "The only thing we really have that's a good lead is the photograph itself," Rice said. "If you know this person and you see that photograph, you're gonna recognize him."

    Ross Rice may say it never gets personal, and it is true, this guy hasn't done anything to taunt his pursuers.

    But the fact is, the FBI was created for and made its name catching bank robbers. Even though its main responsibility now is national security, seeing a guy rip off bank after bank and get away scot-free can't be fun.

    CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.
    (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Protect Loved Ones in Nursing Homes

    The Chicago Tribune has been running an ongoing investigation into abuse allegations stemming from nursing homes. That's right, the people that many everyday Chicagoans trust to take care of their loved ones are taking that trust and tearing it right from our beating hearts.

    Since 2006, Chicago authorities have investigated 86 cases of sexual abuse against the disable and elderly nursing home residents in the Chicagoland area. A single case resulted in a single arrest, meaning that the rest of the predators in nursing homes are still roaming free.

    Statistically, this reflects 25% of the city's nursing homes, or 30 homes. Out of those 30, that's 3 sexual assaults in each over a 2 1/2 year period.

    Sexual predators are able to access unlocked doors in nursing homes, able to choose their victims with little fear of being caught. The Tribune reported that of those 86 cases, only 9 were reported at or near the time they occurred, and one was reported months afterwards.

    The sexual attacks are mainly a result of  residents attacking other residents; the one prosecution was an orderly. Police report that a small percent involve visitors or strangers. The high incidence of attacks between residents is due to the fact that Illinois houses younger psychiatric patients in nursing homes, many of them with criminal records; according to the Tribune:

    Government records show that the 30 Chicago facilities where rapes were reported were roughly twice as likely to house convicted felons and mentally ill patients as the 89 city nursing homes without a sexual assault allegation.

    While increasing staff levels will help abate the nursing home abuse, you can take steps to protect elderly patients that cannot protect themselves.  If you fear that some sort of abuse is taking place, whether it's over-medication, physical violence, negligent care, or sexual abuse, U-Spy Store carries a variety of products to help the elderly.

    For instance, you could purchase a personal panic alarm. They're low-cost and extremely loud, drawing attention from the staff or other patients that someone is in trouble. Another method is to install a motion-activated door alarm that can be turned on at night or when a resident does not want to, or is incapable of, receiving visitors. There are also numerous ways to monitor activity when patients are asleep or alone. Discrete audio recording devices will document any conversation that happen in a patients room. Further, hidden cameras are able to be installed anywhere, capturing video of the resident's room. The cameras can activate on motion or sound. Finally, there are cameras pre-installed in normal household items:

    • Clocks
    • Clock Radios
    • Smoke Detectors
    • Air Purifiers
    • A common ink pen
    • Watches
    • Key Chains
    • Personal Radios
    • Coke Cans

    If you need help with any of these items, please contact U-Spy Store. Our email address is info@uspystore.com, or give us a call: (773) 529-2779.

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