Why waive rights to a $100M stolen painting?
Few people will ever be asked to sign away their rights to something worth more than $100 million. But that’s the position antique store owner David Van Auker found himself in when the FBI recently asked him to sign a single-page document that waives ownership rights to a Willem de Kooning masterpiece.
Van Auker innocently purchased the oil painting as part of an estate sale in August 2017. Once he suspected it was stolen, he made arrangements for its immediate return to the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson. More than a year after the safe return of the “Woman-Ochre” painting,
Van Auker didn’t hesitate when the FBI asked him to put pen to paper on a recent Saturday afternoon and sign the paperwork. “It was a big sense of relief and a kind of excitement,” said Van Auker, who co-owns Manzanita Ridge Furniture & Antiques in Silver City, New Mexico. [Source: AZ Central]
Shoplifting blitz collars 15 suspects
For three days, deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Floridaworked to crack down on shoplifters. They arrested 15. Deputies showed FOX 13’s Kimberly Kuizon some examples of what they look for during these busts. Surveillance cameras captured a woman walking down an aisle of Walmart. She appears to be on a shopping trip, but deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said it’s anything but that. “It’s more of a nonchalant thing. They try to keep an eye out of who is paying attention especially at the front of the stores,” explained Lt.Daniel Tutko.
“It runs the gamut, from cat food to bikes to clothing to drinks. Really, it’s all ends of the spectrum,” said Tutko. Those arrested during this sting have a combined 371 prior charges. “They’re still out on the streets and committing these crimes and they’re not getting it. They still think they can get away with it in today’s day and age,” said Lt.Tutko. Deputies said holiday or not, they’ll be keeping a close eye on customers up to no good. “We are not going to tolerate. We are out there, we are looking and we are going to put you in jail if you commit a crime,” said Lt.Tutko. [Source: Fox 13]
Police Chief talks the talk; walks the walk
After a police officer responded to a shoplifting call, he went beyond his duty by helping the woman who had shoplifted — a story of tears and thankfulness for Thanksgiving. While participating in his department’s “Thanksgiving Donation Drive,” handing out Thanksgiving meals to families, Yale Police Chief Phillip Kelly responded to a call in Payne County, Oklahoma, that someone had shoplifted at a Dollar General,
After reviewing the surveillance that showed the woman returning items before leaving the store, the police officer recognized who the woman was and set out to find her. Kelly found the woman and told her that she can’t go back there and “She started crying and that made me tear up,” Kelly told News 9, sharing that the woman is a mother who lives in a car and was trying to feed her family.
Doing the “only human thing to do,” Kelly showed up with a Thanksgiving meal for the woman and her family. The Yale Police Department serves 40 to 50 families with their “Thanksgiving Donation Drive,” according to News 9. “There is always somebody that needs help that is less fortunate than you. By gosh, we are going to help them,” Kelly said. [Source: LJR News]
Shoplifting trio busted; duo still on the lam
The Baton Rouge Police Department reported a trio tried to steal clothes and other merchandise from stores in the Siegen Marketplace. Officers arrested Brandi Bindon, 20; Ashley Knighten, 27; and Kimaijah Aclise, 17, at the TJ Maxx on Thanksgiving Day.
Bindon and Aclise were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of theft and shoplifting. Their bonds were set at $3,000 each. Bindon was released after posting bond. Aclise remains behind bars. Knighten is charged with theft and criminal conspiracy. Her bond is set at $2,500. She is also being held on a bench warrant.
Investigators did not state exactly what was stolen, but said the group stole more than $2,300 worth of stuff. Two other suspects in the group did manage to escape capture and remain on the loose. Police did not release descriptions of them.
According to detectives, it is believed the group may have possibly been stealing from stores in Livingston and Ascension parishes. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the two suspects that got away or the thefts is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 225.344.7867 and you could get a cash reward. [Source: WAFB9 News]
LP associate assaulted
An alleged shoplifter is accused of punching, kicking and spitting on loss prevention associates, Utica, New York, police said. Police on Friday responded to Target regarding a report of a shoplifter being combative with store loss prevention officers. Upon arrival, the suspect was being detained by loss prevention and was taken into custody.
The suspect, identified as Jazaria J. Henderson, 17, of Utica, loaded up a large plastic tote with over $1,300 worth of electronics and clothing and left the store after having paid for only the plastic tote. Upon being confronted by loss prevention, Henderson became physically combative, punching, kicking and spitting on them, officials said. Henderson was charged with one count of felony fourth-degree grand larceny and two counts of second-degree harassment, police said. [Source: Observer-Dispatch]
Nationwide crack down on holiday credit card skimming
US Secret Service said it is kicking off the holiday season with a nationwide initiative to crack down on credit card skimming devices installed at gas stations. The operation, called “Operation Deep Impact,” was launched on Thanksgiving Day and is set to coincide with an increased demand for fuel over the holidays.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit card skimming occurs when illegal card readers are installed to a gas pump’s payment area. Once a consumer inserts their card into the fake reader, criminals are then given access to the person’s data to use or sell online. And this type of crime is only getting worse, the Secret Service said.
The special agent said he estimates that the agency recovers about 20 to 30 skimmers a week, with the average skimmer having information from about 80 cards on it by the time its recovered by authorities. “They’re easy to create, they’re easy to deploy and they can get a lot of stolen credit card data very quickly and they [criminals] don’t even have to go back and retrieve the skimmer,” O’Neill said.