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 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                                                   Issue #013 - 11/10/1996

Criminal Enterprise

More Dumb Crooks.

Hi All,
     Well, while we were out voting, they were at it again...  
the crooks were generating more of the news.  Now these aren't
the kind of crooks that will be on 'America's Ten Most Wanted'. 
They would more likely be on 'America's Funniest Home Videos'... 
Now there are probably a few of you who are thinking that doing
crooks after politicians is some kind of commentary.  Like I'm
repeating myself.  No that's too cynical - it really just sort of
happened that way...  I do have more political stuff, and I
debated about doing that theme again, but I think we all need a
break from politics for a couple of weeks.  Thanks go out this
week to Dale Frederickson and Bob Martens for their
contributions.  Take care and have a fun week!

-- Two Colombian men who stole $1,600 during a bank robbery in
Bogota were immediately robbed themselves while fleeing the
scene.  Heyne Zapata, 21, and Carlos Bedoya, 19, had their bank
job money stolen by muggers less than a block away from the bank.
Police arrested the two bank bandits and charged them with
robbery. The street crooks that robbed them got away. [Reuter]

                                  *  *  *


 - In Mexico, three armed state police officers surrounded a car
containing the oldest son of  Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo
and demanded money, apparently unaware of their victim's
identity.  They learned it soon enough when another car
containing presidential bodyguards stopped, and the guards
overpowered the police.
     [The Police Charged the police with extortion...]

 - In April, a Trenton, New Jersey, undercover police officer
named Christopher J. Kerins was arrested and charged with robbing
the Kenwood Savings Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Police say Kerins
committed the crime during a break while he was attending the
Middle Atlantic Law Enforcement convention.  (Kerins, unfamiliar
with the city, reportedly paused after collecting the money from
the teller to ask for directions to Interstate 71, and he was
spotted on his way there by a local police officer.) 

 - Last March, the police department in Nagasaki, Japan, began an
investigation of several officers for allegedly helping a suspect
get a gun while in custody.  According to a witness, the police
promised the man a lighter sentence if he would buy a gun from a
friend over the phone, have it delivered to the police station,
and then have it confiscated by the police. All of this was so
the arresting officers could improve their status by increasing
the number of weapons-charge arrests on their records.

                                  *  *  *


- In Cincinnati, Ohio, last August, Carolyn Hutchinson, 35, was
shot in the leg in a restroom when a gun she was carrying fell
out of her underpants and discharged when it hit the floor.  She
said she had forgotten that it was there. (Columbus Dispatch-AP,

- A drug user in Bend, Oregon attempted to call his dealer but
instead got the police. Thomas VanHoose, 21, mis-dialed his drug
dealer's pager number and contacted narcotics Detective Jim
Porter. Porter went along and set up a meeting with the suspect. 
"First I thought it was some of the county guys playing a joke,"
said Porter. Even after his arrest, it took VanHoose three hours
to realize he had dialed the wrong pager number. VanHoose was
charged with possession, delivery and conspiracy to deliver. (AP
25 July)

- A robber in Baltimore, Maryland ran out of a drug store with
$100 worth of stolen film and right into the arms of a number of
uniformed police officers.  At least, that's what he thought. 
The guys in uniform weren't the police, but actors playing cops
in the TV show 'Homicide: Life on the Street'.  "He ... thought
he ran into a nest of cops, but he ran into a nest of TV cops,"
said actor Clark Johnson. The TV cops held the robber until the
real cops arrived.  It was unclear whether the scene was captured
on film, but another actor noted. "...he looked like a total
jerk." (AP)

 - Chan Yiu-fai, 42, tried to rob the Kwong On Bank in Hong Kong,
but his plans were frustrated when no one in the bank would pay
attention to him.  Armed with a stick, he announced his intention
to rob the bank of 2,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$260), but was
ignored.  Rather than flee, he sat down on a couch and waited for
someone to notice him.  Eventually, someone did: police stopped
in and arrested him.  Chan has been sentenced to four months in a
psychiatric hospital. (UPI)

 - A thief in Hampshire, England committed the biggest theft in
the history of the city when he stole $7 million worth of parts
for gas turbine aircraft engines.  But by the time the police
caught up with the crook, he had melted the pieces down and sold
them as scrap metal.  Unfortunately for the crooks, the scrap was
only worth $1500.  "He was out of his league," one of the
suspects' lawyers said. "He had the fright of his life when he
found out the real value." (Reuter)

- In July Robert Meier, 55, was arrested for fraud and theft in
Tampa, Florida., for a faked marriage to a comatose woman.  But
it wasn't the fake marriage that got him into trouble with the
law.  After marrying the unconscious woman, Meier made purchases
of almost $20,000 using her credit cards. According to a
sheriff's detective, Meier said the woman's dog told him that his
girlfriend would want him to use her credit cards to live a
better life after she died. When investigators searched the
couple's home the dog was present, but according to a police
officer "didn't say anything". (North Florida Daily News-
AP, 8-2-96)

- In April in Bedford, Virginia, John M. Kirby decided to show
off to his passengers as he drove by a group of police officers
demonstrating drug arrest techniques to reporters.  Kirby yelled
insults at the officers as he drove by, and the officers, seeing
Kirby's truck faulty taillight, chased him.  According to police,
Kirby had marijuana in the truck and a suspended driver's
license. (Roanoke Times, 4-26-96)

- William Keith Fortner, 35, whom a judge put on probation last
year for sending three nude photos of himself to a nurse, pleaded
guilty in St. Louis, Missouri., in July to sending another
one--to the  judge who gave him the probation. After the
probation ended in February, Fortner left a message on the female
judge's voice mail that said:  "I really like you.  I hope you
don't get upset with the picture I [am sending].  I hope you
remember me." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7-26-96)

- When Richard Gallagher lost his job as a high school janitor
last spring, he planned to get revenge.  One of his friends said
that he might get some help from Peter King.  Gallagher called
King and tried to get him to help in a plot to blow up the high
school.  Unknown to Gallagher, Peter King is a U. S. Congressman,
who notified police of the plot.  Gallagher told police, "I
thought he was one of the boys." (New York Times, 7-17-96)

                                  *  *  *

 - In April, Reginald Currie, 36, and Dwight Lewter, 37, were
sentenced to prison for robbing the Hudson City Savings Bank in
Newark, New Jersey, of $1,500.  According to federal prosecutors,
Currie pulled off the robbery by himself but was captured within
24 hours because he had accidentally left a picture ID card in a
bag at the bank.  Later, prosecutors discovered that Currie had
promised Lewter a cut of the proceeds if he would compose a
holdup note for Currie to use. (Newark Star-Ledger, 4-12-95)

                                  *  *  *


- Daniel Paul Sabel, 47, and Richard Michael Barker, 38, were
arrested in Lake Oswego, Oregon, in October after their plan to
steal a safe from a grocery store backfired.  They had looped a
chain around the 900-pound (450kg) safe and attached it to their
truck, planning to pull it out of the wall.  Unfortunately, when
the safe broke loose, it spun around wildly on the end of the
chain, flying around to land under the wheels of the truck.  A
passing police officer arrested the pair less then 100 feet from
the store, still trying to get the safe out from under the truck.
(The Oregonian, 10-20-95)

- A man apparently tried to steal a 600-pound (300kg) safe from a
second-floor insurance office in Huntington, New York.  Police
found the man crushed to death underneath the safe at the base of
a flight of stairs. The safe contained no money, only insurance
forms. (AP)

                                  *  *  *

     Two days after director Jiri Klumpar was assigned as bank
manager at a troubled bank in Prague, the bank was robbed. While
Klumpar didn't exactly like losing the money, he did find it a
good sign. "It shows that the thief was confident that money is
there," a happy Klumpar said. The robber got 200,000 Czech crowns
(about US$8,000). (AP)

© 1996 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.