Archive for November, 2011
Wanted to do a public service announcement for the upcoming holiday season. DON”T BECOME A VICTIM! (Thanks to IACA for the info)
- A common one around Christmas is a suspect contacts someone on Craigslist or even shopping for TVs and say their relative works for a big box store and they are giving huge deals to associates on open box/close out/old model tvs. They meet up outside the store, the mark gives the suspect cash plus a bonus to go in and buy it and never comes out, taking off with the cash.
- A woman, after 9 pm takes a Taxi, leads the cab driver onto a ficticious address, and once she sees a police car, asks the cabby to stop the car, she tears her own clothes violently and treathens the cab driver with acussing him of “Rape” if he doesn´t give away all of his money to her (occurs commonly in Mexico City).
- In this case suspect “accidentally” bumps into victim, and either by quick hand or distraction steals wallet or other valuable item.
- Contacting elderly individuals and stating that they are with the police department and their grandchild has been involved in a DUI related accident and they need to send bond money so that they can be released.
- Reporting Person received an email supposedly from the IRS saying that her bank account had been cancelled by her financial institution and her payment was not received with a tax receipt ID #96717002563037. RP verified with the IRS that the email was fraudulent. The email had an IRS logo on it and looked “official”. (“AU” country code forAustralia)
- On September 15th, 2011, Reporting Person listed his address on Tucson MLS for rent. He later found his home listed for rent by an unknown person for $800 using a fake email address for the RP’s wife. The phone number on the fraudulent ad forwards to an answering service. RP believes the person looked up the property via Pima County Assessor online because his wife was still using her maiden name at the time and that is what the suspect used. RP advised his home currently has tenants and the tenants advised that people have been going to the home to inquire about renting it. The RP’s wife’s parents received a call from someone in Casa Grande who said she had sent money via Western Union to London for the first month’s rent. The woman found the parents via the RP’s wife’s maiden name.
- Reporting Person received a phone call from a “Sgt. Alan Cortez”. When the phone rang, it rang differently than usual and the word “emergency” appeared on the screen with no number. The caller advised her there would be an arrest warrant for her by 1630 this day if she didn’t pay $1636 for an online cash loan that was in collections. He gave her the phone number of (701)214-6452 and told her to call and speak with Officer Daniel Carter. Carter instructed her to get a Walmart cash card then call him back with the account number on the card and fax him a copy of her driver’s license and sign a payment authorization form. He had her full name, address, cell phone number and the last four digits of her SSN. RP didn’t comply and called police instead. When an officer called the number, the suspect spoke with a heavy Middle Eastern accent and became angry and demanded to know who was “reporting” him and eventually hung up.
- Reporting Person advertised two chairs on Craigslist for $100. She was contacted by “Thomas Axelson” email@example.com to see if she still had the chairs on 10/04. She said yes and he said he would send a check. On 10/06, he emailed that a mistake had been made and the check was for $2780 instead of $100. He asked her to take $100 for the chairs and sed the rest back to his movers. The envelope had a return address of Michael Paulik, 213 North Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203, check written by Integrated Med, Seattle Reproductive Medicine, 1505 Westlake Ave, N4th Floor, Seattle, WA 98109
Reporting Person responded to a Craigslist ad about a rental property. When asking questions, she didn’t receive replies but was told the person’s name was Charolette Arnold and was currently in West Africa for church missionary work. She was told the first month payment of $800 and a deposit of $500 was to be sent via Western Union. She didn’t send money or give banking information.
(We get quite a few
of these Craigslist-type overpayment scam attempts)
October, 2011 – Three to four months ago, a company was contacted via email and phone solicitations for an “Inaugural Counter-Narcotics & Border Control Summit” to be held in Tucson October 11-12, 2011. The company was invited to participate by presenting modern technologies for countering the international drug trade. $14,950 was wired to an unknown individual for a “silver sponsor package” which included a display of company logos, delegate passes and preferred meetings. Prior to their arrival in Tucson, RP looked for confirmations on their sponsorship but didn’t locate any. When they arrived at the Hilton on 10/11, they learned that no such “summit” was taking place and the phone number of the website had been disconnected. In addition to the package fee, the company sent $2600 in airline tickets, $900 for a hotel and $300 for a rental car. Hilton advised they had received approximately 45 calls from other potential conference attendees since April of 2011 and informed the callers there was no such event scheduled.
One of the often overlooked aspects of Crime Analysis is the ability to develop suspects. Recently there has been a deluge of news coming out about predictive policing. While this is a very cool part of Crime Analysis I believe that the bigger field of suspect development hasn’t even been scratched yet.
I don’t want to give away too much right now (I’m planning on using some of my ideas in my dissertation), but I believe that in the future police will be able to narrow down suspects based on behavior, evidence at the scene, location, and other MO factors very early on (within the first thirty minutes) after arriving at a crime scene. While this type of science will never eliminate the need for good old policing it will be able to speed up the process.
I believe that there are industries out there that are able to correctly identify people ‘s behavior based solely on their past and future tendencies. The algorithms exist, they simply need to be modified for criminal justice purposes. Law enforcement simply needs to tap into these industries and “combine forces” so to speak.
More to come in the future……..Continue Reading »
One of my fellow analyst out there seems to be utilizing a pretty cool plug-in for ESRI. If you have never heard of Bair Software or their products, then you are in for a treat. Bair Software has a free plug-in named SPACE available for all you analysts out there. This is a program that was initially built for tracking wildlife movements, but some savvy analysts out there discovered it could also track criminal movements (I’m sure that comes as a shock to some that animals and criminals have something in common). I have used this software many times to help solve several crime series I have been involved in. I find it of particular use in bank robberies and sex crimes.
Here’s the link to the article. Here’s the article itself…….
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is
using groundbreaking tactics to track and catch criminals.
Noah Fritz, the new head of the sheriff’s department’s Crime
Analysis Unit, said he’s taking normal police work several steps further. “We’re
really trying to think about the complexity of crime, not just who
it,” said Fritz.
For example, on one side of a map, police pinpointed where
cars were stolen and on the other side, they pinpointed where they were
recovered. When they cross-referenced the locations with known criminals’ home
addresses, they found a car theft ring. They simply avoided a typical mistake.
“We tend to historically look at crime as if it was an
isolated incident,” said Fritz.
Fritz is expanding this method and uses a different
mentality when thinking about criminals. His method involves using the same
models used to track predatory animals and he’s using it to track criminals.
“Humans are animals obviously… their habits, their
hunting grounds,” he said.
Fritz said criminal hunting grounds include college campuses
or even hospitals. Pedophiles may use elementary schools.
When asked if there was one particular crime he wanted to
target, Fritz responded, “No, actually not, because I think to some extent
it’s kind of all crime, all threats.”
After three weeks on the job in San Diego, Fritz is already
analyzing crime in a regional context and is working with police agencies in
Las Vegas and with federal authorities.
“The bad guys don’t care about jurisdictions.
Historically, we have,” said Fritz.
He said the bottom line is putting the deputies at the right
place at the right time.
Fritz has vast experience analyzing crime. He ran the crime
mapping analysis program for the Department of Justice, teaches criminology on
the university level and has cracked cases for several major metropolitan
Good work Fritz!Continue Reading »