TSA confiscated nearly 11 guns a day at airports in 2017

Airport security screeners found nearly 4,000 guns in passengers’ carry-on bags last year, an average of nearly 11 guns a day.

The total marked a 16% increase from 2016, according the Transportation Security Administration’s Year in Review Report. The majority of those guns — 84% — were loaded at the time.

The amount of firearms discovered at airport checkpoints has consistently climbed in the last decade, the total more than quadrupling since 2007, according to the report.

Guns were discovered at 239 airports nationwide, with Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport taking the top spot for most firearms seized. A total of 245 guns were recovered at the Georgia airport, 222 of them loaded.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston round out the top three, with 211 and 142 guns seized at each location, respectively.

Federal law allows for passengers to transport unloaded guns in a locked, hard-sided container. It must be declared, and the gun cannot be packed in a carry-on.

In addition to firearms, the TSA in 2017 recovered “thousands upon thousands” of sharp items in carry-on bags as well as other hazardous items — including live grenades and large quantities of gun powder.

While properly packed ammunition is allowed in checked bags, gun powder is prohibited altogether.

Officers also recovered scores of “inert items,” including a replica suicide vest, a realistic looking land mine and dozens of fake grenades and explosive devices.

“When being viewed on the X-ray monitor, we don’t know if these are real or inert until TSA explosive experts are called to the scene,” the TSA said in a release. “Inert grenades can lead to closed terminals and checkpoints, which can often result in costly canceled or delayed flights.”

TSA agents urged travelers to double-check their belongings as many commuters claim they’ve only brought along the prohibited items by mistake.

Read More

Super Bowl Security

On the wintry streets of downtown Minneapolis, ice crunches underfoot. The wind is whipping, and the temperature hovers in the teens. The weather will be one of the many topics under discussion inside the city’s convention center, where officials from every local, state, and federal organization involved with security at this year’s Super Bowl have gathered to put their planning and preparation to the test.

With the big game just around the corner, participants at this recent daylong exercise—the first time everyone has come together under one roof—will be asked to simulate their agency’s responses to a variety of scenarios, from an active shooter event to reuniting a missing child with a parent to keeping fans and first responders warm in the frigid Minnesota winter.

Nearly two years of planning has taken place, largely behind the scenes, to make sure that Super Bowl LII—and the 10 days of events leading up to the kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4—is safe and secure. Nothing has been left to chance, not even the weather.

“An event like this is about planning, about preparation, and about partnerships,” said Rick Thornton, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis Division. “Each organization brings its unique abilities to the table, but it requires tremendous teamwork and cooperation to pull everything together into a unified whole.”

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) is the lead agency for security at this year’s Super Bowl, and they are being supported by an impressive team that includes dozens of local police departments and public safety organizations, along with federal agencies including the FBI and multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security.

“I think we have done our best to think of just about every contingency, natural or manmade,” said MPD’s Scott Gerlicher, overall public safety coordinator for Super Bowl LII. “The Super Bowl is just a massive operation, and very complicated,” he explained, “especially in our area.”

Few northern cities play host to the Super Bowl, and dealing with the likely extreme February cold is a necessity for police officers and first responders who will have to brave the elements out of doors (warming huts will be located near the venues). Fans attending the game will be pre-screened at indoor locations, such as the Mall of America, so they won’t have to wait outside the stadium. Securing the stadium itself is challenging because, unlike in many cities, U.S. Bank Stadium is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, making the establishment of a secure perimeter difficult.

Today’s exercise, a security dry run, of sorts, is a simulated opportunity for the entire team to come together to work through these and other issues as if it is game day.

“We make sure everybody understands what their roles and responsibilities are,” Gerlicher said, “and talk through some scenarios to make sure that between now and when we go live with our full, 10-day operational period in late January, we can identify any gaps and deal with them.”

Gerlicher’s counterpart at the FBI is Joe Rivers, an assistant special agent in charge in the Minneapolis Division who for the past two years has led a dedicated team of agents and professional staff to make sure the Bureau’s piece of the Super Bowl security puzzle is complete—and fits seamlessly into MPD’s overall plan.

Read More

Restricted banking access spell a boom for security business

Industry reaction has been mixed since Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidelines on enforcing marijuana laws Jan. 4. Some entrepreneurs express concern and fear, while others carry on with business as usual.

But one thing insiders agree on is the move will make it more difficult for cannabis companies to find and secure banking relationships, without which businesses are left with a ton of cash on hand.

Despite being legal for recreational or medicinal use in more than half the country, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug and therefore illegal at the federal level. In 2013, Barack Obama’s administration issued the Cole Memorandum, which essentially directed federal law enforcement to allow businesses that are legal under state laws to operate. The memo also signaled banks could do business with these companies so long as they were in compliance with federal guidelines, although many have been hesitant.

In rescinding this policy, Sessions said future prosecutions of businesses and individuals who sell pot in states where it has been legalized will be left up to individual U.S. attorneys.

“The real sticking point here will be banking. Before, banks were very reluctant to do business based on the loosely defined Cole Memo,” said Matt Karnes, founder of industry analyst firm GreenWave Advisors. “This raises more uncertainty, and I think there is going to be a pullback.”

In a November 2017 report, GreenWave found that about 5 percent, or 368, of all financial institutions in the U.S. are on record with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), but only 1 percent are actually servicing these businesses. Many are credit unions and local and community banks. Karnes also said many marijuana businesses conceal the true nature of their business when establishing relationships, and once they are found out, the account is shut down.

“In the last report from FinCEN, 3,800 accounts were opened, but 3,700 were shut down. It’s very short-lived,” he said.

A report from Reuters Wednesday also indicated the action taken by Sessions came as a surprise to FinCEN, which was flooded with calls from banks on how to proceed. CNBC reached out to both the Department of Justice and FinCEN for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Read More

Alert nurses, hospital security leads to drug arrest

ABINGDON, Va. Dec 30 2017 — A woman was arrested after Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies found illegal drugs and a large amount of money in a Johnston Memorial Hospital patient’s room.

Willie Mae Jane Berry, 40, of Pennington Gap, Virginia, was arrested after deputies recovered crystal methamphetamine, numerous pills and approximately $3,000 from an unnamed patient’s room, according to a written statement.

The Sheriff’s Office had received a call from the hospital in reference to illegal drugs being present in the room at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Upon arrival, hospital security and nurses showed the deputies a powdery substance on the sink in the room. The substance was found to be cocaine from a field test, according to the statement.

Berry was charged with six felonies and a misdemeanor, including possession of cocaine, possession of dilaudid, possession of clonazepam and two counts possession of hydrocodone. Berry was also charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute clonazepam, according to the statement.

Berry was transported to the Abingdon Facility of the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail. She is being held without bond.

Charges against the patient of the room are pending.

View Source

Serial Salem burglar captured with alert security officer’ help

Salem OR Dec 27 2017 A man suspected of breaking into at least 18 local businesses, churches and non-profits was arrested Christmas Eve by Salem police.

Roberto Baney-Mateos, 26, was wanted by Salem police in connection with a series of burglaries, including a break-in at La Bonita Bakery on Portland Road, where thousands of dollars were stolen on Nov. 25.

On Dec. 1, investigators asked for the public’s help with locating Baney-Mateos, a transient with a warrant out for his arrest for violating his probation for a methamphetamine possession conviction.

Security guards spotted Baney-Mateos inside a business complex yard around 8:20 p.m. Sunday. Salem police spokesman Lt. Dave Okada said officers quickly responded and spotted Baney-Mateos in front of one business in the 3100 block of Kantz Court NE.

As officers closed in on him, Baney-Mateos fled into an adjoining business yard. A Salem police K-9 dog found him hiding in the back of a utility truck.
He was taken into custody without further incident.

Okada said as the investigation continued, officers determined Baney-Mateos also burglarized Garten Services three times and was possibly connected to several other break-ins. Baney-Mateos was eventually charged with 22 counts of burglary dating back to Nov. 20.

The break-in at La Bonita Bakery was just one of many break-ins to hit the Salem area in recent months.

According to restaurant owners and police, at least 10 restaurants reported burglaries in the Salem-Keizer area since August.

Romano’s Mexican Restaurant closed for business after a burglar stole thousands of dollars from the company safe.

Salem police spokesman Okada told the Statesman Journal he believed a small number of prolific offenders were behind the break-ins.

Bentley’s Coffee and a Keizer Dutch Bros. also experienced multiple burglaries. After Keizer police released a photo of the suspected burglar, John Herriges, 40, of Salem, was arrested and charged with breaking into the coffee shops.

Following his arrest, Baney-Mateos was taken to Marion County jail. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment on Tuesday.

Read More

Slidell Police arrest 4 following fight in Walmart

The Slidell Police Department has arrested four women following a large fight inside of a Walmart.

Police say the fight happened around 1 p.m. Saturday at the Walmart located at 39142 Natchez Drive.

According to police, they received several calls about the large fight in the produce section. Callers also told police that some of the people were using pepper spray.

The fight involved more than 10 people and two of the people involved in the fight were taken to a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

Police later arrested four women in connection with the fight. Police have charged 19-year-old Alexis Neal of Slidell, 38-year-old Majara Walker of Slidell, 17-year-old Seanice Warren of St. Louis, MO and 22-year-old Morgan Walker of Slidell with disturbing the peace by fighting.

Investigators say the fight began due to a previous conflict between two different families. By chance, the two groups encountered each other in Walmart.

Videos of the fight quickly went viral Saturday afternoon following the incident.

Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal released a statement saying, “This type of behavior is disgusting and unacceptable. This does not portray the character of the majority of our citizens here in Slidell. These women should be ashamed of themselves for doing this in the middle of one of the busiest retail stores in our city. Let this be a clear message that this will not be tolerated.”

View Source

Security agents capture woman who stole clothing at Victoria secret’s store

Norridge IL Dec 24 2017 A 47-year-old Chicago woman was charged Dec. 13 with felony retail theft at the Harlem Irving Plaza Victoria’s Secret store, according to police.

Bond was set at $75,000 for Shavelle Robison, of the 4900 block of Quincy Street. Robison also had outstanding warrants.

She is to appear in court Jan. 11.

A Norridge police officer responded at 9 p.m., Dec. 13 to the second-floor parking garage, where Robison was detained by security officers.

Victoria Secret sales employees told police they saw her select clothing from store shelves, stuffing three bags full of merchandise.

After one employee approached her , she exited the store, they said. The employees told police they flagged down a mall security officer near the entrance of the store. The security officer attempted to approach Robison, who continued walking up an escalator to the second floor, police said.

The security officer continued to follow her to the second floor, where she walked outside, holding her three bags, to a vehicle, police said.

The security guard followed her to the vehicle, where Robison walked to the passenger side of the car, dropped the three bags on the ground, and continued walking away, police said.
Other mall officers arrived on the scene to assist. Robison was detained after getting on another escalator.

One of the police officers followed store employees back to Victoria’s Secret with the recovered merchandise. The merchandise, when laid out and counted, amounted to 67 pieces of clothing, police said.

The total value came to $1,063.25, police said.

Robison was arrested and taken to the Norridge Police Station.

While at the station, she underwent a fingerprint check, which revealed she has active warrants for criminal damage to property and retail theft, out of the village of Rosemont, police said.

View Source

San Antonio security officer helps nab burglary suspect

Police on Friday arrested a 28-year-old man after an apartment security guard caught him stealing three boxes of shoes from his girlfriend, according to court records.

The alleged shoe thief, Brandon De La Rosa of San Antonio, now faces charges of theft, drunk driving and burglary of a habitation. He remains in the Bexar County Jail on a $55,000 bond.

According to his affidavit, De La Rosa was known to the staff members of his girlfriend’s apartment complex because he had been causing problems in the past.

On Dec. 13, a guard saw him drive through the front gate of the complex. Concerned, the guard notified their supervisor and went to check on the victim. He saw De La Rosa’s car on the way and photographed his license plate number. He then went up to the victim’s apartment. Her door was locked and everything appeared to be okay, authorities said.

Upon leaving the victim’s apartment, however, De La Rosa confronted him, asked a few questions and then walked off. “Moments later,” the guard saw De La Rosa walking to his car with three shoe boxes in his hands, according to the arrest affidavit.

The guard went back up to the victim’s apartment and found the door had been kicked in. Police responded to the apartment, and the guard gave responding officers De La Rosa’s license plate number, which came back as belonging to a stolen vehicle, officials said.

Officers with the San Antonio Police Department Vehicle Crime’s Unit went to De La Rosa’s listed address, saw him leave his apartment and then pulled him over and arrested him.

The guard later identified De La Rosa in a line up. It’s unclear if he will face charges in connection to the stolen vehicle as well as the alleged burglary and theft.

The alleged shoe thief, Brandon De La Rosa of San Antonio, now faces charges of theft, drunken driving and burglary of a habitation. He remains in the Bexar County Jail on a $55,000 bond.

View Source

Robot Security guard freaks out homeless people

The San Francisco SPCA, a non-profit whose mission is “to save and protect animals … and enhance the human-animal bond,” is reportedly doing just the opposite with its latest robot security guard.

It is terrifying homeless people that hang out near the SPCA building in the Mission section of the city, which was part of its objective, but it is freaking out residents as well.

According to San Francisco Business Times, the robot ─ dubbed K9 ─ was put into place to try and deal with the number of needles, car break-ins and other crimes that have reportedly come from a nearby encampment of homeless people.

“We weren’t able to use the sidewalks at all when there’s needles and tents and bikes, so from a walking standpoint I find the robot much easier to navigate than an encampment,” Jennifer Scarlett, the SPCA’s president, said in an interview with the San Francisco Business Times. 

After the SPCA implemented the robot, Scarlett said homeless encampments disappeared and fewer cars were broken into. She added that it was not clear whether the robot was the cause of the decrease in crime, but that there was a correlation.

Upon seeing the robot, some of the people in the encampment expressed their annoyance, putting barbecue sauce on its sensors, knocking it over and putting a tarp on it, Scarlett said. 

The people in the homeless encampment were not the only ones who were freaked out by the robot.

San Francisco resident Fran Taylor, who lives near the SPCA location, said the robot approached her and her dog while she was out for a walk. The dog began barking and attempted to go near it, while she yelled at it to stop. The robot eventually stopped 10 feet away from her.

Taylor wound up writing a letter to the SPCA, expressing her displeasure after her run-in with the robot. The SPCA responded saying it had security concerns and that the robot was part of its solution.

Last week, the city of San Francisco ordered the SPCA to keep its robot off the sidewalks or it would face a $1,000-a-day penalty for operating it in the public right-of-way without a permit.

Read More

Four College Students Arrested In Alleged Shoplifting Ring

SCOTT COUNTY, Ky.- Four Georgetown College students face charges after they allegedly participated in a shoplifting ring that tried to steal more than $500 in merchandise from a store.

Police reports show officers responded to a call about 4:50 p.m. Monday from Kohl’s when a security officer allegedly saw four women choose merchandise and take the items into the same fitting room. The security officer said the women removed inventory-control tags from the items, and hid the items in a backpack that one of the women carried. Store employees found the tags in the fitting room but no clothing left there, the reports said.

The security guard stopped the women in the parking lot, searched the backpack and found several unpurchased items, the report said. The guard escorted the women back into the store.

The total value of the stolen items was $577, one report said.

Mariah Mackenzie Bolasina, Ariana J. Garner, London R. Polk and Shelby Briannon Webster, all 19 and all of Georgetown, were charged with theft by unlawful taking-shoplifting more than $500 but less than $10,000 and engaging in organized crime.

Georgetown College Associate Vice President for College Relations Jim Allison confirmed the four are students.

Officials say the women had been previously identified as suspects in shoplifting that occurred Nov. 30, but no charge had been filed regarding those allegations.

All four were lodged without bond in the detention center.

View Source