Monthly Archives: August 2010

Suspect Reaches into Woman’s bra to Steal Money

If you have not heard of this technique by now you might be interested to know that woman have been known to hide money in their bras, but it’s not often that you hear about a robber actually reaching in and grabbing the loot.  Nevertheless, here’s how the story goes –

In Florida, the Vero Beach Police Department is looking for two suspects in an armed robbery, according to a police report.  The report gives the following account (as reported by TCPalm.com):

At 11:52 p.m., a woman was sitting in her car in the 1800 block of 41st Avenue when two men approached her demanding money.

The woman told the men she didn’t have any money and one of the men opened her unlocked door car door and, pointing two guns at her demanded her purse.  When she told him her purse was in her house, he reached inside her bra and stole $70.

What can we learn?  Crime happens anywhere, whether you sitting in your car or you’re walking down the street.  That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in some self protection products like pepper spray or personal alarms.

Record-Breaking Temperatures Still Threaten Elderly

While the first day of fall is less than a month away, temperatures across the country in some parts remain dangerously high.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, global land and ocean surface temperatures for the first 6 months of 2010 were the warmest on record.  If the trend continues, extreme temperatures could persist through September, which puts elderly populations at particular risk.

Keep safety in mind for older family members, friends and fellow residents for the remainder of the summer.  Here are some tips from All Home Security.

Keep cool – Excessive heat can force the body to work harder and lead to heat stroke.  Avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day and use air conditioning when possible, even if that means leaving home to go to air-conditioned shopping malls or movie theaters.  Electric fans help in most cases but are not as effective as air conditioning.

Stay hydrated – It’s best to drink plenty of fluids before thirst sets in.  Choose beverages that are free of alcohol, caffeine and large amounts of sugar.  

Know the symptoms –Heat cramps, dizziness, excessive sweating and swelling may be signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion.  If symptoms worsen or are accompanied by weakness, confusion, flushed dry skin, rapid heartbeat or nausea, get help immediately.

Check with a doctor – Some medications can increase susceptibility to heat-related illness.  Ask health care providers about these risks and special care that should be taken.

Man’s Tattoo Identifies him as Culprit

In Florida, a burglar probably thought he was being sneaky by pulling the back of his shirt up over his head and face so he would be unrecognizable while he broke into the Moose Lodge in Charlotte County, but that was certainly not the case.

According to the Herald Tribune, the method backfired when a small, unique tattoo on the man’s back was clearly shown on images recorded during the burglary by surveillance cameras that were set up in the lodge.

In turn, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office broadcast images of the tattoo, and it paid off when someone called after recognizing the tattoo belonging to a 41-year-old Charlotte County man.

Following up on the tip, deputies arrested Thomas Kevin Pegg in connection with the burglary of the Moose Lodge.

 Pegg was jailed and charged with burglary and theft.

Photo – Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

IPhone App helps Dallas man out of state see Home Burglary

An iPhone application helped a Dallas man, while visiting relatives hundreds of miles away in suburban Hartford, Connecticut watch as two burglars broke into his home.

Vincent Hunter told WFAA-TV in Dallas that he called 911 at the same time his home security system also contacted authorities.

Hunter says “we could see it unfolding.”

Hunter says an iCam app, which he bought for less than $5, sent him a text message Friday afternoon alerting him that motion detectors sensed movement in his supposedly empty residence.

Hunter, who has surveillance in his home, watched as two men are seen trying to break into the place. They eventually threw a brick through a glass door.  The cameras, minutes later, show two police officers entering the house.

Both suspects remain at large.

Source: Associated Press

No Criminal Charges against School accused of Spying via Webcams

If you follow this blog, you may remember the news story about a school in Philadelphia which is accused of spying on their students via school issued webcams. 

Prosecutors and the FBI opened an inquiry following the February privacy lawsuit accusing Lower Merion School District officials of spying on students with webcams on the 2,300 district-issued MacBooks.  The lawyers who filed the lawsuit claim the district secretly snapped thousands of webcam images of students, including images of youths at home, in bed or even “partially dressed.”  At one point, one student apparently got into trouble after school officials said he was caught on camera “popping pills.”  His family says he was eating the candy Mike & Ikes.

Well now, according to Wired magazine, the feds have decided not to charge school administrators.  When the story first broke, the district said the tracking cameras were activated only a handful of times when a laptop was reported stolen or missing.  Meanwhile, a civil suit is ongoing.

Basic Home Security Tips

A large number of burglaries happen due to doors and windows being left unlocked.  There are a number of simple and inexpensive ways you can protect your home and yourself from becoming a victim of crime.

 1.  Always lock your doors, windows and any gates, which allow access to the back of your house, when you are out.

2.  Don’t leave the packaging from new goods, especially expensive electrical items such as flat screen TVs, outside your house.  It advertises what new items you have.

3.  If you are out in the evening, leave a light on a timer switch and a radio playing.  If possible leave a car in the driveway.  Don’t advertise the fact that you are out.

4.  Make sure that hedges and plants are not overgrown and cannot be used by burglars to hide from view.

5.  Where possible fit motion-sensor lights to the exterior of the property and regularly check if they are working.

6.  Make sure your shed is locked with a good quality padlock.  Put inside anything in your backyard that might be used by others to break in.

7.  Become a member of Neighborhood Watch – you are four times less likely to be burgled if you are in a watched area.

Prevent Choking & Suffocation

More than 2,800 people die each year from choking and many of them are children.  According to one study, nearly two-thirds of the children who choked to death during a 20-year period were 3 years old or younger.

These deaths can be prevented if parents and care givers watch their children more closely and keep dangerous toys, foods, and household items out of their reach.  Here is a brief over view to prevent choking and suffocation –

Things that can fit through a toilet paper tube can cause a young child to choke. Keep coins, latex balloons and hard round foods, such as peanuts and hard candy where children cannot see or touch them.

Place babies to sleep on their backs, alone in their crib. Don’t put pillows, blankets, comforters or toys in cribs. These things can sometimes keep a baby from breathing.

When your children are in or near water, watch them very carefully. Stay close enough to reach out and touch them. This includes bathtubs, toilets, pools and spas – even buckets of water.

Photo – Healthwise Corporation

Victim Wrestles Carjacker to the Ground

In Kansas City, a local man wrestled a carjacker to the ground and held him for police, KCTV reports.  

Police said the carjacker approached the man washing his wife’s red Pontiac with a gun drawn.  The victim wrestled the man and eventually wrested the gun from the carjacker’s hand.  A round was discharged from the gun, but did not injure anyone, police said.

“When I get over there to my stall, I see a guy over there,” victim Robert Tillman said.  “He has a weapon pointed at me, a gun, talking about, ‘Give me all your money, give me everything, empty your pockets.'”

The victim held the alleged carjacker down while the another customer called 911.

When police arrived, they said the carjacker was face down in the pavement and being held down by the victim.

Tillman used to be in the military and he said he’s not recommending everyone do the same thing he did if they were confronted with same situation.

“I’m not telling everybody do what I did,” Tillman said.  “In that particular moment, you could say what you think you’re going to do.  Until it really happens, you don’t know what you’re going to do.”

Thieves Used Breasts to Distract Victim

CNN has a story about two women who robbed a man at an ATM by distracting him with bare breasts.

In happened in Paris – That’s where a man was stripped of 300 euros when a robber distracted him with her breasts, authorities say.

Police say on August 7, the man inserted a card into a cash machine in central Paris to withdraw money when two young women approached him and asked for money.  The women waved a newspaper at the man in an attempt to distract him, but the technique didn’t work.

So the women tried another strategy – One of them bared her breasts and put her hand on the man’s genitals while the other took the opportunity to withdraw 300 euros, police said.  The women fled and have not been identified.

Spare Keys

Getting locked out of the house (simply put) is a real drag.  For most of us it has happened at least once.  When it did happen, perhaps you had to call a family member to come home, call a locksmith, or worse yet – break-in!  Of course this could have all been avoided if you hid a spare key nearby or left a key with a trusted neighbor who happened to be home, but do we really want to take that risk?

If you absolutely are set at a hiding a spare key outside your home then there is a right way to do it and a wrong way.  As a rule of thumb a key that is easy for you to find will also be easy for a potential thief to find, so the idea here is to make it hard to find.  You should avoid the obvious places, such as under the doormat, on top of the door frame, under a fake rock, or in the mailbox.

Furthermore, if you are going to put your key in a key holder then get one that does not look like a key holder.  Those fake rocks have now become mainstream and very identifiable.  Rather, you should buy a key holder with a combination lock.  That way you won’t even have to hide it.  Another option is to put a key in your garage, and set the garage to be opened only by the remote control.