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Monthly Archives: May 2010

  • Twin Cities Teacher Snagged By FBI for Child Porn

    Gregg Alan Larsen, a former St. Paul Central High high school teacher in the Twin cities has been indicted on child pornography charges. Federal agents snagged Larsen, age 49, with over 100,000 child-pornography images and videos on his home computer.

    The indictment stemmed from a raid of the man's Minneapolis home last year. A former special-needs teacher, Larsen allegedly used a hidden camera to film children in the bathroom of the foster home he ran. He was accused Wednesday under a sealed indictment that became public record yesterday afternoon after he appeared before a judge. Larsen taught special education at the Minneapolis high school when school administrators found out he was under Federal investigation. This information comes to us courtesy of the online version of the Pioneer Press.

    Larsen faces a possible 90-year sentence for two charges of child pornography production, one charge each for child porn distributionand possession. Larsen was licensed in April 2000 as foster care provider, using his Minneapolis home as a childcare facility. Child protection and privacy laws prevent state officials from announcing whether any children are being cared for in the foster home, but the state indicated that endangered children would be immediately removed.

    The FBI caught Larsen during a Maryland child pornography investigation in May 2009. Agents linked Larsen to 20 images/ movies of child pornography that were recovered from a network user's folder. The images mainly involved boys who had not yet reached puberty. Five images involved victims of child exploitation.

    On July 1, 2009, FBI agents raided the man's home. According to the FBI, the charges that Larsen produced child pornography resulted from two incidents in 2006; the events took place in April, June, and July. Larsen knowingly persuaded two minors to commit explicit sexual acts so that he could record them. The Press does not mention why the indictment took place a year after Larsen was caught.

    Surveillance cameras, whether small enough to be a key chain, or a full-sized video camera mounted as part of a home security for  video surveillance purposes, provide documentation on video for private investigators, large and small businesses, and also home security systems. U-Spy Store strives to sell high-quality products to reputable people. If you suspect that some one is using a hidden surveillance camera, please do not hesitate to notify us either by phone or email.

  • Do You Need a Nanny Cam?

    Adding a nanny cam, or in-home surveillance system, used to be for detecting cases of child abuse or endangerment. However, even if you don't have any concerns over abuse, an indoor surveillance camera and DVR may provide information on your sitter's, or children's, accountability.

    As technology's gotten better, the price for in-home surveillance has actually leveled out, or in some cases, prices have lowered. Nanny cams provide piece of mind for parents who work long hours; often, the wireless recorders can be accessed from a work computer, allowing a parent that misses their child to remain in contact with their child's life.

    Child neglect, or abuse, can happen. Some of the warning signs include unexplained bruises or cuts and fear when the sitter, or nanny, arrives. Fussy, or abnormal outbursts are also cause for concern. A child whose disposition has changed drastically may be a child who is being neglected. If you suspect that something is going on that you are not aware of, no price is too much to pay to ensure your loved-ones safety.

    Wireless surveillance, and DVR systems, are easy to set up, and are virtually undetectable.  Even if you don't expect any foul play, an in-home surveillance system is a way to ensure that your child is safe and those who are in your home while you're away are accountable for their actions. Even if it means feeding the dog while you're away on vacation.

    In most cases, you'll find that most people act with responsibility and have good intentions. Yet, a casual view, or review, of home activities while away may lead to behaviors that need to be rewarded or addressed. First-hand knowledge of an activity is always the best evidence, and is much more satisfying than conjecture or second-guessing.

  • Shoplifter Pays With His Life

    Saturday morning came and went, mostly quiet. Mostly. However, in Chicago's Little Village, a man stole tubes of toothpaste at a CVS Pharmacy and was caught. He paid the ultimate price for his theft; he died after the struggle.

    The death, resulting from a CVS employee who chased the shoplifter and held him in a choke-hold, has been ruled an accident. A medical examiner ruled the man's death death a homicide, stating the shoplifter had been strangled. Chicago police, however, are not charging the employee.

    "Why would you kill someone over toothpaste?" exclaimed the man's ex-wife, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The shoplifter, who had served prison time for drug convictions, was still battling substance abuse according to sources. The man's family requested a full investigation into the incident, including statements made by witnesses that an off-duty police officer was on the scene.

    Chicago Police deny claims that an off-duty officer was identified in witness statements. Other witnesses, asking to remain anonymous, stated that an officer identified themselves and drew a sidearm, pointing it at the downed man, warning him to stop resisting the CVS employee and other men who were holding the struggling shoplifter.

    Chicago Police spokesperson stated that by the time officers arrived, the man was unconscious and that there was no evidence of officer involvement. However, surveillance video from a recorder is being reviewed to identify the participants to identify any actions that may have led to the man's death. The CPD also asked for any other witnesses to step forward and contact detectives.

    Initially described as being in serious condition, the shoplifter was declared dead 45-minutes after police arrived.

    A CVS spokesman stated that the company was also reviewing video footage.

    While security is a problem for many stores in Chicago, causing them to raise the price on various items, toothpaste doesn't seem to warrant the harsh outcome of this tragic situation. Retailers, outfitted with surveillance equipment and DVRs, still aren't able to identify, and catch, those that feel the need to steal from the stores.

  • Facebook Glitch Allows Eavesdropping

    Facebook admitted yesterday that reports of a bug in its software, allowing users to electronically eavesdrop on others by allowing users to view their friend's chats and messages was true.

    Although Facebook announced that they had discovered, then repaired, the problem, it was actually discovered by TechCrunch's European offices.

    Once reported, Facebook shutdown their chat service and repaired the security hole within hours. The statement from Facebook reads:
    “For a limited period of time, a bug permitted some users’ chat messages and pending friend requests to be made visible to their friends by manipulating the “preview my profile” feature of Facebook privacy settings..."

    Notice that Facebook didn't define the amount of time that  constituted a "limited period."  Thus, the eavesdropping could have taken place since the beginning of the year. However, users began complaining on Wednesday morning, so it is assumed the problem is a recent one.

    Safety and security have plagued Facebook, and it was reported that the CEO of the social site "did not believe privacy." Unless, of course, it has to do with the company he founded.  Unfortunately, there are no electronic countermeasures; users should, however, lock down their privacy settings.


    Facebook's security-related mistakes weren't over. Once again, TechCrunch Europe reported a second security breach, this time concerned with the Prime Minister elections in England. TechCrunch EU noticed that a poll asking users who they wanted as Prime Minister - set to end Tuesday - was still up today. Voting rules in England state that both intention and exit polls are illegal on election day. Facebook's position was that the poll did not ask how people voted, but who'd they like to see as Prime Minister.  Although Facebook denies wrongdoing, the poll disappeared from the site.  Again, no countermeasures on that one.

    If you believe that you're being monitored without your knowledge, send us an email or give us a call at U-Spy Store. We'll provide you with the advice, and equipment, you need to flush out privacy invaders.

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