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September 25, 2022

Actor Sentenced to Life in Prison for Matricide

Actor Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life in prison for the fatal shooting of his mother, CBC reported.

Grantham, known for his brief roles in the 2010 movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and the popular CW show “Riverdale,” had pled guilty to second-degree murder for the 2020 shooting of his mother, Barbara Waite.

On March 31, 2020, Grantham shot his 64-year-old mother in the back of her head while she played piano in their British Columbia home. The then-21-year-old recorded a GoPro video shortly after the murder, in which he confesses to the killing and films his mother’s body. The video was shown in the courtroom.

Prosecutors said Grantham left the crime scene with Molotov cocktails and firearms, planning to kill Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He also considered committing a mass shooting before surrendering to police, CBC reported.

Grantham, 24, will be eligible for parole in 14 years. Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence under Canadian law.


Source: CBC

September 21, 2022

TikTok Theft Challenge Has Car Owners on High Alert

Police are warning Kia and Hyundai owners to remain on high alert.

A viral TikTok challenge has thieves stealing certain 2010-2021 makes and models of vehicles from both manufacturers.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) says car thieves are targeting these vehicles because they use a mechanical key — rather than a push-button or key fob — and use a USB cord to hot wire the car.

The car thieves, mostly consisting of young teenagers, post videos of themselves stealing the vehicles and driving around on TikTok under the hashtag “Kia Boys.” The videos garner millions of views.

“While all of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, unfortunately, our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media. Criminals are targeting our vehicles without engine immobilizers. Immobilizers became standard on all vehicles produced after Nov. 1, 2021,” a Hyundai Motor America spokesperson said in a statement.

The LASD has a few tips for vulnerable car owners to avoid being the TikTok challenge’s next victim:

  • Install a steering wheel locking device
  • Install a battery disconnect switch
  • Install a kill switch (requires professional installation)
  • Install an aftermarket car alarm (requires professional installation)
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Park in a well-lit area
  • Park in a secured location (i.e., garage, parking structure, etc.)
  • Install GPS device

Source: Fox 11

September 20, 2022

Watch: Axe-Wielding Man Goes on Rampage in McDonald’s

A man wielding an axe was arrested after going on a rampage inside a New York City McDonald’s and “menacing” customers.

A video of the incident circulated on social media, garnering more than 14 million views on Twitter. The graphic video depicted several fights and the destruction of property.

In the video, the man, Michael Palacios, is seen removing an axe from his bag. He then smashes a table and a glass barrier. Then, he approaches several customers but doesn’t appear to inflict any injuries using the axe.

He punches a patron and approaches several other people with the axe. As the video ends, he appears to leave with his bicycle. Authorities said no victims reported injuries.

A witness told the New York Post that the incident occurred after a woman at McDonald’s “rejected” Palacios after he repeatedly tried to talk to her.

“So, basically, he got into an argument with a girl, and then the girl rejected him,” the witness, an UberEats delivery driver, told the outlet. “She didn’t want to talk to him. He kept going at her.”

Officials said Palacios, 31, was released without bail at his arraignment. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and possession of weapons. Neither charge requires bail under New York’s reformed crime laws.


Sources: NBC News | New York Post | The Independent

September 12, 2022

Horrified Bystanders Witness Brutal Attack on California Mom

California authorities say a 25-year-old mother was decapitated outside her home in broad daylight.

According to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, a mother of two was beheaded by a man with a sword. The man has since been arrested and charged with murder.

The attack occurred shortly before noon on Thursday in San Carlos, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

“The head was underneath the car, and she was laying in the back of the car — just severed,” said Chapel Thorborne, the woman’s neighbor. “And they covered her up.”

The victim’s daughters, ages 7 and 1, were reportedly inside the house and did not witness the brutal murder. Child Protective Services took the children into custody.

Lt. Eamonn Allen said law enforcement “arrived within minutes and found an obviously deceased female in the street in that area.” Allen said that shortly after officers began to work, the suspect returned to the scene “and was quickly detained by sheriff’s deputies. He was later placed under arrest for homicide.”

Authorities say the suspect and victim were known to each other, and the horrifying incident is believed to be isolated.

“We can confirm that a stabbing instrument was used in the commission of the crime and that the weapon is outstanding,” the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “The suspect is known to the victim, and this is believed to be an isolated incident.”


Sources: Fox5 | Fox News

August 28, 2022

Texas Store Owner Confronts Alleged Shoplifter on Bus [Video]

A store owner fed up with thieves went viral for confronting an alleged shoplifter on the city bus.

Sophia Romo, who owns Erotic Cabaret in Houston, Texas, says her employees spotted a woman stealing from her lingerie store. Romo then chased after her, followed the woman onto the bus, sat down next to her, and confronted her in a now-viral TikTok video.

Romo told Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo that it was actually her day off, but “one of my employees had texted me and told me to check the cameras from my phone because they thought maybe this lady was in here stealing stuff.”

“And so I checked my phone and she was stealing stuff,” Romo continued.

“I always tell my staff, nothing’s ever worth your life. So, like, handle the situations how you want to handle it,” she said. “She wasn’t like a dangerous threat, but she was taking from us, so [one of my employees] decided to follow her until I got there.”

Once the alleged thief realized she was being followed, she boarded a city bus, Romo said. The store owner and her employee also hopped on.

Romo called the police, who apprehended and arrested the suspected shoplifter when the bus came to a stop.

Romo told Inside Edition that the other passengers “definitely had a full-blown entertaining bus ride.”

The suspect is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 29.


Sources: Fox Business | Inside Edition

August 22, 2022

Government Warns Americans of “Kidnapping Risk”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1945: Vietnam conflict begins as Ho Chi Minh leads a successful coup.

Americans planning a trip to Mexico may want to reconsider.

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory warning U.S. citizens that some areas of Mexico “have increased risk of crime and kidnapping.”

According to the State Department: “Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.”

“U.S. citizens are advised to adhere to restrictions on U.S. government employee travel. State-specific restrictions are included in the individual state advisories below. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas.”

The State Department included specific warnings for each state in Mexico. Six states were designated as “Do Not Travel”: Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Guerrero, and Zacatecas “due to crime and kidnapping.”

Officials advise U.S. citizens to reconsider traveling to another seven states for the same reasons: Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, and Sonora.

Last weekend, the State Department issued a shelter-in-place advisory across five cities in Baja California due to gang activity.

“Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes,” the department said. “Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed.”


Sources: The Hill | U.S. Department of State

July 26, 2022

Former Congressman Charged with Insider Trading

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1945: Declaration of Potsdam – US, Britain, and China demand the unconditional surrender of Japan during WWII.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed insider trading charges against former Rep. Stephen Buyer (R-IN).

At a Monday press conference, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the criminal charges against Buyer and eight others, including a former FBI agent trainee and an investment banker.

In the complaint, the SEC alleges that Buyer, a former U.S. representative for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, made illegal stock purchases in at least two instances.

According to an SEC press release:

In March 2018, Buyer attended a golf outing with a T-Mobile executive, from whom he learned about the company’s then nonpublic plan to acquire Sprint. Buyer began purchasing Sprint securities the next day, and, ahead of the merger announcement, he acquired a total of $568,000 of Sprint common stock in his own personal accounts, a joint account with his cousin, and an acquaintance’s account. After news of the merger leaked in April 2018, Buyer saw an immediate profit of more than $107,000.

In 2019, according to the SEC’s complaint, Buyer purchased more than $1 million of Navigant Consulting, Inc. securities ahead of the public announcement that it would be acquired by another one of Buyer’s consulting clients, Guidehouse LLP. Buyer again spread the purchases across several accounts, including his own accounts, joint accounts with his wife and son, his wife’s personal account, and the same acquaintance’s account involved in the Sprint trading. The complaint alleges that, in August 2019, on the day that the Navigant acquisition was publicly announced, Buyer sold nearly all of the shares he had acquired across the various accounts and profited more than $227,000.

Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division, said insider trading undermines the public’s trust in a fair market.

“When insiders like Buyer – an attorney, a former prosecutor, and a retired Congressman – monetize their access to material, nonpublic information, as alleged in this case, they not only violate the federal securities laws, but also undermine public trust and confidence in the fairness of our markets,” Grewal said.

“We are committed to doing all we can to maintain and enhance public trust by leveling the playing field and holding Buyer accountable for illegally profiting from his access,” he added.

July 6, 2022

Police: Gunman Wore Women’s Clothing to Blend In With Crowd

Police say that the suspect in the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, wore women’s clothing during the shooting to blend in.

The suspect, 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, is accused of injuring more than two dozen and killing seven. Police said the shooter accessed the roof from a fire escape ladder.

According to authorities, Crimo wore women’s clothing during the shooting to hide his facial tattoos and blend in with the crowd to flee the scene.

“Following the attack, Crimo exited the roof, he dropped his rifle, and he blended in with the crowd, and he escaped,” police said Tuesday. “He walked to his mother’s home, who lived in the area, and he blended right in with everybody else.”

ABC News reported that police said the motive is unknown. When reporters asked the authorities if the gunman had any particular target, police said the “shooting appears to be completely random.”

The suspect was at large for hours after the shooting. Crimo was spotted driving and led officers on a brief pursuit, police said.

Police said Crimo was stopped at U.S. Highway 41 and Westleigh Road in Lake Forest, Illinois, where he surrendered. Authorities say they found a second weapon in the car.

June 26, 2022

Chicago’s Richest Man Moves $22B to Miami Following Crime Complaints

Chicago’s wealthiest man is moving his $22 billion company from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s (D) city to Miami over complaints about crime.

Ken Griffin is moving his hedge fund, Citadel Securities, to Florida, citing the state’s business environment.

“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” Griffin told the Wall Street Journal.

“I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work, countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”

Griffin’s relocation will negatively impact the finances of both Chicago and Illinois as a whole. According to spokesman Zia Ahmed, he had donated hundreds of millions of dollars to local charities while living in the Windy City.

Crime in Chicago has jumped since the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing by 36% in 2021.

June 26, 2022

‘Professional’ Shoplifter Arrested for 99th Time

A self-proclaimed “professional booster” has been arrested for at least the 99th time, police said.

Police in New York City arrested Michelle McKelley, 42, at a Duane Reade store at approximately 8 p.m. on Wednesday after being observed filling a bag with items and trying to leave.

The 42-year-old allegedly struck the store security guard repeatedly in the arm with a shopping basket.

Police said McKelley was charged with robbery, attempted petit larceny, and criminal possession of a weapon.

McKelley was also arrested in February after allegedly stealing from a Target store. Prosecutors said she told cops, “I haven’t been caught in a long time.”

“I’m a professional booster. Y’all are stopping my hustle,” she allegedly said to police officers.

A Manhattan police officer told the New York Post that the revolving-door justice was “making a mockery of the system.”

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