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Monday, April 14, 2014

Recent Thefts

Three Lethbridge Residents Charged in Recent West Side Car Prowlings

[CJOC News] Three people are facing charges after a number of thefts from unlocked vehicles on the west side last week. Lethbridge Regional Police say they arrested two men and a woman in Paradise Canyon last Friday after receiving a report about car prowlers in the area. Officers found a number of unlocked vehicles that had been entered and recovered stolen property. Police also allege that the two men had stolen items from vehicles in Sun Ridge prior to their arrest. 23 year old Jeffrey David Bobinec, 25 year old Mitchell Ryan Foxcroft, and 25 year old Mereanda Sorensen have all been charged.

Lethbridge Man Arrested After Restaurant & Convenience Store Thefts

[CJOC News] Lethbridge Regional Police have arrested a 29 year old local man after thefts and robberies at two restaurants and a convenience store, all in just four hours. Police say it started at 9:00 pm Saturday (Apr. 12) when a man walked into the A & W on Scenic Drive and asked staff if he could make change for a loonie. When the cash register was opened, the man grab some money and took off on a bike. The employee tried to stop the suspect from taking the cash, but he still managed to get away. Two hours after that, the same suspect stole money from the Pita Pit on 3rd Avenue South and then early Sunday morning (Apr. 13) another theft took place, this time at the Petro Canada gas station on 6th Avenue South. Lethbridge Police say these were all drug-fueled crimes and money was the target. Jeffery Daniel Foster of Lethbridge was arrested without incident. He'll appear in court May 21st.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Southern Alberta man charged with $10 million investment scheme

[Global News] Lethbridge Regional Police have charged a southern Alberta man with fraud in connection with a multi-million dollar investment scheme.
The investigation stems back to 2012 when police received a complaint of an investment scam.
During their investigation, members of the Economic Crimes Section found between 2008 and 2011, Nature Zone Environment Solutions worked in partnership with a Diamond City man and solicited investments up to $15 million from a number of investors across Canada.
The scheme was based on false claims that the man had secured patents in relation to water and soil remediation technology, and in 2011 Nature Zone Environment Solutions went bankrupt.
On March 24th, a man attended the LRPS police station and was arrested and charged.
Alan Lloyd Kirby is now charged with one global count of fraud over $5, 000.
The 56-year-old made his first court appearance March 25th.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Video: Miami Crime Stoppers official defies judge, eats anonymous tip

For disobeying the order, Richard Masten was found in contempt of court Friday by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Victoria R. Brennan

By Charles Rabin
The Miami Herald

MIAMI — The man who oversees the popular Crime Stoppers tip line took its privacy pledge to the extreme — defying a judge's order to turn over information and swallowing a piece of paper with details he believed could lead to the tipster.

For disobeying the order — even as he chewed up potential evidence — Richard Masten was found in contempt of court Friday by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Victoria R. Brennan. He has until next Thursday to turn over the information, or turn himself in and serve a 14-day sentence. He was fined $500.

"The court would be remiss to turn a blind eye to a flagrant refusal to honor a court order, and give more value to an individual's opinion on what is right, than to the dictates of the laws enacted by the people of Florida," Brennan wrote in her three-page order.

Masten said he was unwilling to release any information because even though the name isn't actually on the tip sheet, "the narrative that goes along with it can lead to the identity."

The executive director of the nonprofit Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers was sanctioned by Brennan for not releasing information about a drug possession case in Coral Gables last year.

The charge stems from a 2013 case in which a Hialeah woman named Lissette Alvarez, 45, was arrested on a cocaine possession charge.

Her attorney, Jean Michel D'Escoubet, said Coral Gables police got a tip that his client was dealing cocaine and apprehended her at Hillstone restaurant on Miracle Mile. He said a search of her purse found residue and Alvarez was arrested and charged with possession. The police report said they found a small plastic bag of suspected cocaine.

"The information against the accused within a tip is very important to the accused," D'Escoubet said. "What I seek and what I've been waiting for is information within the tip, not the identity of the tipster."

Masten's attorney, Ed O'Donnell, said that his client, a former police chief in Miami Shores who has led Crime Stoppers since 2008, believes it would set a terrible precedent for future tipsters who have made Crime Stoppers so successful.

"He was just unwilling to compromise his principles," O'Donnell said.

So unwilling that he intensified what had already been legal theater by eating the paper alleged to have had information that could have led to the identity of the tipster — in front of television cameras, but while the judge was out of the courtroom.

Masten said the judge asked to see the information in her chambers, but he refused when she said she couldn't promise it wouldn't be turned over to the defense. He said he swallowed the information because he expected to be arrested and believed all his possessions would be turned over to the court.

"I make a promise to tipsters out there. It isn't going to happen on my watch. If you want to put me in jail, fine," Masten said.

Crime Stoppers is not afforded protection under Florida's Shield Law, which protects "professional journalists" from having to identify sources. But the nonprofit doesn't need it because people who supply tips to Crime Stoppers don't give their names; they are assigned a number instead.

Still, confidentiality is the key to the popularity of the hotline and website.

Crime Stoppers has proven to be an effective tool used by Miami-Dade police and other agencies. It's often referred to in crime stories or by officers seeking help. The nonprofit's website calls a tipster "the most important partner in our program," and says he or she "is guaranteed anonymity" and cash rewards up to $3,000 for a tip that leads to a conviction.

This "allows members of the community to offer information to law enforcement without the fear of reprisals," the website says.

Anthawn Ragan Jr., accused of killing 10-year-old Aaron Vu in a high-profile robbery last November in North Miami-Dade, was captured after a tipster contacted Crime Stoppers.

Brennan's order said Crime Stoppers was first ordered to turn over the information on Dec. 5, 2013. The order says the court never asked for personal information on who supplied the tip that led to Alvarez's arrest.

Two weeks ago, the defense requested that Masten show cause why he shouldn't be found in contempt for failing to provide the information.

"Based on the foregoing facts, the court finds that the respondent is in direct criminal contempt, and that the contemptuous behavior has had an adverse impact on judicial function," Brennan wrote.

Copyright 2014 The Miami Herald

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lethbridge Police Investigating Early Morning Store Robberies

Surveillance footage of robbery at Green's Pop Shop
[CJOC News] Lethbridge Regional Police are investigating a pair of early morning robberies on the north side. 
Around 5:00 am Friday (Mar. 7) a woman walked into the Mac's Convenience store on Bluefox Boulevard, confronted the clerk and then stole an undisclosed amount of cash. 
Police say just 10 minutes later, a female walked into Green's Pop Shop on 13th Street North and made off with a number of scratch lottery tickets. 
It's believed the same person is responsible for both robberies. The suspect is described as a white female, around 5 feet 8 inches tall. She was wearing a blue hoodie, dark pants, and a white bandana pulled over her face.