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16Dec/110

Walnut Creek Nordstrom Robbed, One Suspect Captured

Bryan Black

Two Good Samaritans ran down one of three robbers who allegedly tried to steal over $10,000 worth of high-end goods from Nordstrom in Walnut Creek on the third of December, 2011.

Officers went to 1200 Broadway Plaza after several calls were placed to 911 reporting a robbery and possible suspects running out of Nordstrom at around 8:30 p.m., according to Walnut Creek police.

Witnesses told arriving officers that a male and female suspect, the male identified as Bryan Black of Oakland, age 42, had entered the store and proceeded to grab armloads of purses and handbags.

After the security sensor alarms were activated, the two suspects began to push customers out of the way in their attempt to escape the Nordstrom store.

One customer tried to grab the male suspect’s arm and was sprayed with pepper spray.
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While running towards the alleged escape vehicle, Black was tackled by a second customer, who he attempted to pepper spray. Despite this, the man was able to restrain Black after striking him several times in self defense until security and police arrived to take the suspect into custody.

The female accomplice managed to escape to the getaway car, a beige Ford Fusion with paper license plates, driven by a third accomplice. Neither of these suspects have been identified as of yet.

Black was arrested for robbery, burglary, assault, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, and violating parole. He was then sent to Martinez County Jail after being treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

Two of the customers who had assisted in the apprehension of the suspect were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

The handbags, worth around $10,000, were returned to Nordstrom.

(Sources: CBSClaycord)

11Oct/110

Richmond Costco and Kaiser Employees Busted for Insurance Fraud

CostcoSixteen of 22 total defendants were arraigned Thursday as part of a suspected Contra Costa County insurance fraud ring case resulting in a 289-count felony indictment. The case is thought to be the largest such case in county history.

The indictment charges defendants who defrauded 11 insurance companies of at least $345,000 and attempted to defraud more than $1 million more through staged residential and auto burglaries, motor vehicle accidents, and personal injury and wage-loss claims, according to Contra Costa County deputy district attorney Alison Chandler.

Most of the defendants are Contra Costa County residents, but some are from Solano County and two currently live in New York and Nebraska. The defendants are employees of the Richmond Costco and Richmond Kaiser Permanente hospital, their friends, family members and associates. The presentation by the DA's office consisted of three weeks of evidence given to a Contra Costa grand jury to wrap up a two-year investigation lead by the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division. The indictments were handed down Sept. 22; arrest and search warrants were executed Wednesday.

"There was dozens of insurance claims that include tens of thousands of pages of documents and span over 10 years," Chandler said.

No one arraigned Thursday in Martinez entered a plea to the charges; they return to court to do so Thursday. The group's collective bail is set at more than $18 million. Each of them is charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, while additional charges include insurance fraud, attempted and actual grand theft, and commercial burglary, plus charge enhancements.
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The three most "heavily involved" parties who recruited others into the ring are Hercules resident and former Kaiser employee Kelechi Charles Chukwueke , and former Costco employees Paul Onwuvuariri, formerly of Antioch, and his brother Bede Onwuvuariri, of Hercules, Chandler said.

According to the prosecutor, some of the Costco employees would buy high-priced items at their employer's store, such as a $10,000 diamond ring, then alter and photocopy the receipt and return the item. The fraudulent receipt would then be used for multiple bogus residential burglary loss claims in Contra Costa County, Chandler said. She added that employees at Kaiser and Costco would pretend to be injured in a traffic accident and then make wage-loss claims, but continue to work.
Personal Accident Insurance

Authorities launched an investigation into the ring in July 2009 after companies noticed "red flags" such as large claims by recent policy holders and numerous suspect claims within the same time period.

(Source: Contra Costa Times)

16Jul/100

San Francisco Crime Out of Control

San Francisco Crime Out of Control

It's been a rough week for the citizens and police of San Francisco, and an active one for the criminals.

On Monday evening at around 6:30 p.m. a Hispanic male was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As occupants of two vehicles nearby got into a gun battle, he was hit by a stray bullet from the fight. The shoot out occurred in the Bayview, on the 1400 block of Palou Avenue.

At 9:30 that same evening on the 600 block of Webster Avenue, a 22-year-old African American male was stabbed multiple times. 6 hours later on the 400 block of Minna Street, and argument escalated to sword-play as a 39-year-old white male was sliced in the forearm.
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Tuesday evening brought increased crime an violence in the city of San Francisco. Six people were robbed at gunpoint and assaulted in separate incidents across the city from the Richmond to the Bayview neighborhoods.

First, at around 7 in the evening, a 29-year-woman walking on Rose Street in Hayes Valley was robbed by two African American males in their 20s. After resisting their initial attempt to grab here purse, she was forced up against the wall and robbed at gunpoint.

At around 11 PM that same evening, another woman walking on 18th Avenue near Anza Street in the Richmond District had her cell phone stolen by two men in their late teens or early 20s. The victim was 28 years old.

Next, only a few minutes later in the Bayview, a man was robbed at gunpoint by another criminal in his early 20s while opening the gate to his home in the 1600 block of Quesada Avenue. The thief took cash and fled in a car.

Less then and hour later a 52-year-old man and 41-year-old woman who were walking in the 400 block of Pacific Avenue in the Financial District were robbed at gunpoint. The suspects were men in their 30s, and fled by car.

And that's not all. At the same time two African American men in their 20s pulled up in a van next to a 34-year-old man and asked if the he had drugs. After the victim said he did not, one man exited the van, and pistol whipped him. He then stole money from his person before escaping in the van.

None of the victims of these crimes were seriously injured, but no arrests have been made. I think I'll avoid San Francisco for a while.

(Source: 1 2 )

3May/100

Police Identify iPhone Prototype Finder/Keeper

Police have identified the person who found the prototype iPhone lost by an Apple engineer in a Silicon Valley bar last month. Investigators have interviewed the person who sold the prototype to Gizmodo for $5,000, Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, said in a telephone interview. He did not disclose the name of the person, and it wasn't clear if whoever found the "4G" phone was responsible for selling it or how police found the person.

The phone has been the subject of massive media attention since April 18, when the blog Engadget posted photos of the device. Two days later, Gizmodo, an arch rival, said it had paid $5,000 to someone who found it at the Gourmet Haus Straudt. Apple lawyers requested that Gizmodo return the phone to the company, which it did.
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Source: CNET