Suspected bank robber picks wrong getaway car
TOLEDO, Ohio (Court TV) -- Unable to locate his getaway car and driver, a suspected bank robber jumped into the next car he saw. Unfortunately for the suspect, the car happened to be an unmarked police car.
Officer Anthony Duncan and city employee Ray O'Rourke were sitting in the front seats of their car on May 21, when a gun-toting man stormed into the back seat and demanded that the officer drive away. Moments earlier, the man had been chased by high school students and had fallen outside his getaway car, prompting the driver to speed off, police said.
After briefly exchanging quizzical looks with each other, Duncan, who was not in uniform, climbed into the back seat and wrestled the loaded gun away. The suspect was subdued and held down until uniformed officers arrived.
Eric Davis, 31, of Detroit, was charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping. No further court dates have been set at this time, according to a Lucas County court clerk.
'Mother of all pickpockets' sentenced
PALM BEACH, Florida -- A 67-year-old woman, dubbed the "mother of all pickpockets," has been sentenced to four years in prison after admitting to masterminding a complex pickpocketing ring that targeted elderly shoppers from Miami to Atlanta.
On May 17, Palm Beach County Judge Kenneth Marra rejected defense pleas that Ernestine Williams was too frail to go to prison, saying deteriorating health and age should not spare the wheelchair-bound mother of 12 from punishment. Williams reportedly suffers from kidney failure and arthritis.
Authorities say Williams ran a 15-person operation which netted hundreds of thousands of dollars between 1998 and October 2000, when she was arrested. Williams recruited pickpockets, who she called "shoppers," as they left drug rehabilitation centers and then enticed them with offers of drug money.
While she often waited in the parking lot of the store, Williams' "shoppers" would enter, pick out elderly white people and then work together to distract and rob. The stolen credit cards and money from the loot would be used to purchase items that were later sold on the street.
Williams pleaded guilty in April to racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and two grand theft charges.
Accused carjacker is not too mechanical
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico -- A man accused of carjacking three people at gunpoint tracked down the number of one victim and called to inquire about how to hook up the car's top-notch stereo system, police said.
"I don't want there to be hard feelings," the caller reportedly said, but, "Hey, how do you hook up your amp?" The victim's cellphone captured the number and police apprehended the suspect.
The number belonged to Almadeo Salguero, 21, who lives across the street from the location of the alleged carjacking. Authorities said Salguero and a second man approached a 1991 Acura Integra on March 1 and ordered three people out of the car and then robbed a wallet, about $500 and two cellphones. The car was found later, but was missing the stereo, amplifier and numerous compact discs.
While police were conducting their investigation, Salguero allegedly called the owner of the car and asked for help with the amplifier. The owner hung up and when Salguero called again, a police sergeant answered. A phone records check was initiated and several weeks later on May 14, authorities arrested Salguero. Several stolen CDs were recovered from his house, police said.
Salguero, charged with numerous felonies, including robbery, aggravated assault and receiving stolen property, is being held at the Bernalillo County Detention Center, pending a future court date.
One-legged bandit sentenced to treatment program
KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- Sylvester Smith finally got his artificial leg back. But it cost him at least two years of freedom.
Smith lost his prosthetic leg and trousers during an attempted stick-up of an auto parts store in January, when an employee grabbed him as he attempted to flee. Smith managed to steal $50, but the heist was a net loss as the leg was reportedly worth up to $7,000.
The search for the one-legged bandit didn't take long, and Smith was arrested several days later. He pleaded guilty last week to second-degree robbery and was sentenced to a drug treatment program. He faced up to nine years in prison, but Smith could be released by mid-2004 if he successfully completes the program.
Man brings cocaine on police department visit
LaPORTE, Indiana -- A sheriff's deputy who checked on a passed-out, snoring man near the department's front desk found a mouthful of evidence when he tried to awaken him: small bags containing "rocks" of cocaine.
In plain view inside the man's mouth were two clear, plastic bags with several smaller bags inside them containing a substance that later tested positive for cocaine, the sheriff's department said.
Deputies eventually roused Edward O. Green by repeatedly shaking him and speaking loudly. The 24-year-old Calumet City, Ill., man was arrested on preliminary counts of public intoxication and possession of cocaine.
A sheriff's report said Green came to the department's front desk on Friday to post bail money for someone in jail. He was asked to take a seat until someone could help him.
Green sat down and passed out moments later, snoring loudly and slumping against a wall with his mouth open, the report said.
When Deputy Andy Hynek tried to awaken Green, he noticed alcohol on Green's breath and the bags inside his mouth, the report said.
Green was released from jail on bond.
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