Entries in Burglary (10)


Four Hofstra University Star Basketball Players Charged in Burglaries

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Four Hofstra University basketball players have been charged with stealing high-dollar electronics and cash from dorm rooms on the school’s Long Island campus.

The four defendants were arraigned on Friday in New York’s Nassau County, where they pleaded not guilty.

They were identified by police as Kentrell Washington, Jimmy Hall, Dallas Anglin and Shaquille Stokes.

“They would be in a dorm room visiting another student [and]  if there was another unoccupied room in the suite, they would take liberty and remove iPads and  laptops,” said Lt. Ray Cote of the Nassau County Police Department.

Police said the students’ star status as basketball players gave them unique access to students’ rooms, where they allegedly swiped an estimated $20,000 worth of cash and electronics over the past two months.

The stolen goods were then sold on Craigslist, at pawn shops and on the street, police said.

None of the four players have prior criminal records. Defense attorney, Frank Whelan, said they are innocent.

“The defendants are going to be found not guilty because the facts in this case are not what the prosecution wants you to believe at this time,” Whelan said.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Minnesota Teens, Shot During Break-In, Tied to Earlier Burglary

Hemera/Thinkstock(LITTLE FALLS, Minn.) -- The Minnesota teens killed on Thanksgiving Day while breaking into a home have been linked to an earlier robbery, authorities said on Wednesday.

Six bottles of prescription drugs and other items reported stolen on Sunday from a home in Little Falls, Minn., were found in a red Mitsubishi Eclipse that was being driven by Haile Kifer, 18, and Nicholas Brady, 17, according to the Morrison County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Michel Wetzel said the night before the teens were shot to death, authorities responded to a report of a red car parked suspiciously at the end of a driveway in Little Falls Township.

Officers encountered Brady, who told them Kifer had gone to get gas after the teens ran out while driving around town.  The car was left at the location and deputies gave Brady a ride to Little Falls, Wetzel said.

The next day, the teens allegedly broke into the home of Byron Smith, 64, and were shot to death.

Smith, who told police he had been burglarized in the past, admitted he fired "more shots than I needed," according to a criminal complaint.  He was charged with two counts of second degree murder on Monday and has not yet entered a plea.

Wetzel said, "A person has every right to defend themselves and their homes, even employing deadly force if necessary."

In this case, however, authorities said they believe Smith crossed the line.

Smith told police he was sitting in his basement on Nov. 22 -- Thanksgiving Day -- when he heard a window break upstairs and then footsteps, according to the complaint.

He first saw the feet, then the legs, then the hips of the intruder coming down the basement stairs.  Smith said he believed he fired twice at Brady with a Ruger Mini-14 rifle, according to the complaint.  Smith told police he then dragged the body on a tarp to his basement workshop.

Several minutes later, he told police, he heard more footsteps and waited until he saw Kifer's hips as she descended the staircase.

"After shooting the person, she tumbled down the steps," according to the complaint.  "Smith stated that he tried to shoot her again with the Mini-14 but the gun jammed."

Smith told police Kifer laughed at him, describing it as a short laugh because she was in pain.  But he said it "made him upset," the complaint said.

"If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again," he told police, according to the complaint.

As Kifer gasped for air, Smith dragged her body next to Brady's, according to the complaint, and placed a handgun under her chin and fired what he told police was a "good clean finishing shot" that went "under her chin up into the cranium."

Smith kept the bodies in his home overnight, police said, and called neighbors on Friday, asking if they knew any lawyers.  When the neighbors said they did not, Smith asked them to call authorities, according to the complaint.

Police responded to the call on Friday and Smith led them to the teens' bodies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington Girl, 10, Foils Burglary in Her Home

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A 10-year-old Washington State girl is being hailed by police as the modern day version of Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin after she dialed 911 when three burglars entered her home.

Paityn Mock of Camas, Wash., was home sick from school on Oct. 16 when the burglars cut through a window screen and entered the house.  The fifth grader hid in the pantry and dialed 911.

“I’m at my house, my mom’s at the grocery store and someone got into my house,” Mock told the dispatcher.

The dispatcher asked the little girl if she was able to safely exit the house.  Mock frantically told the dispatcher that she would try, but she heard the men talking inside the house.

“OK, now I actually know they’re planning something so I was pretty scared,” Mock told ABC News.

Following the directions of the 911 dispatcher, Mock decided to make a break for it and leave her home.  She says she wasn’t scared when she escaped because it was her only option.

“… I didn’t really care at that moment cause I was just trying to get out of the house as quickly as I could,” said Mock.

Still on the phone with 911, Mock hid behind a tree in the backyard.

“Just keep trying to hide.  You’re doing good, OK?” the dispatcher reassured her.

The dispatcher continued to stay on the phone with Mock, who was breathing heavily.  After 10 minutes of hiding in the backyard, Mock noticed her mother arrived home from the grocery store.

“Mommy!  Mommy!  No!  Don’t go in there,” yelled Mock on the 911 call.  “My mom went inside.”

“I was hoping they didn’t have guns or anything that they could have hurt my mom,” Mock said.

The police arrived at that moment arresting one of the alleged burglars while the other two got away.  Once Mock and her mother were reunited, the dispatcher said his farewells to the brave 10-year-old.

“Paityn, you did a very good job,” the dispatcher told Mock.  “You were very strong and did a very good job.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington Woman Forces 10-Year-Old Son to Burglarize Home for Drug Money

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LYNNWOOD, Wash.) -- They are a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, only with a twist.

A Lynnwood, Wash., woman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly coercing her 10-year-old son to burglarize homes so that she could buy drugs with the money.

Lynnwood Police told ABC affiliate KOMO that 33-year-old Marie Shafique forced her son to slither through an open window to try and rob a home. However, she didn’t know she was being watched by neighbors across the street and by a security camera that caught the whole incident on tape.

The homeowner, Michelle Geronimo, was inside her house when the boy allegedly tried to break in and told KOMO the boy was “peering inside” her window, which was “wide open.”

“I was just shocked that it was a little boy, and when you figure out what’s going on, it’s sad,” she said.

Shafique and her son tried to get away, but Lynnwood police apprehended her. When she was found, she was in possession of crack cocaine and a stolen computer.

She was arrested and bail was set for $25,000. Shafique is currently facing burglary and identity theft charges.

Rodeo Inn-Lynnwood manager Steve, who did not want to disclose his last name, confirmed to ABC News that Shafique had been living in a filthy motel room with her four young children and four dogs.

“It was pretty trashed. There was garbage everywhere and it was nasty,” he said.

Another hotel manager for the Rodeo Inn-Lynnwood Maria Santana told KOMO Shafique was staying at the hotel to get away from a bad relationship.

“She said, ‘I don’t have a lot of money, but I’m working for my kids,’” Santana said.

Santana said a nearby woman’s shelter paid some of the hotel costs. Steve, the hotel manager, said her boyfriend called to say he would come by sometime Friday to pay the remaining balance.

Shafique’s four children are currently in the care of their father.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Justice Breyer Is Robbed Again

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been robbed again. This time a housekeeper discovered that his Georgetown home had been burglarized while no one was home on May 4. The D.C. police is currently investigating the matter, a court spokesperson said.

It was only in February that Breyer was robbed at knifepoint in his vacation home on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

He’s not the first Supreme Court justice to become a victim of crime. In 2004, Justice David Souter was mugged while jogging, and in 1966, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had her purse snatched.

Supreme Court Justices receive government protection when outside Washington, D.C., and when traveling abroad, from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Grease-Covered Burglar Arrested in Underwear

Springfield Police Department(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) -- A greasy burglar was caught with his pants down in Massachusetts on Wednesday night when police found him stuck in a restaurant kitchen stove vent.

Robert Kuhn, 26, allegedly attempted to shimmy down a kitchen stove vent of Lido’s Restaurant in Springfield, where he was a former dishwasher, according to ABC News affiliate WGGB.

The owner lives above the restaurant and called police when he saw the vent roof moved around 10 p.m.

Officers first rescued Kuhn, dressed in only boxers, an undershirt and covered in grease.  Half his body was in the shaft and half was out.  Police then arrested him.

“I guess the guy missed the place or something,” Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department told WGGB.  “Not sure what he was going to try and steal.  But whatever he was doing, he was trying desperately to do so.”

The greasy burglar is charged with breaking and entering, as well as attempt to commit a felony.

Springfield District Court confirmed Kuhn is currently in jail and has not yet posted bond.  He is set for pre-trial April 26.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scared Teen Calls 911 as Burglar Invades Home

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(OAKLAND PARK, Fla.) – “I don’t want to die please.” Chilling words from a 14-year-old Florida teen to a 911 operator as a burglar rummaged through her home.

Kaylia Watson and her 12-year-old sister hid in one bedroom while their 11-year-old brother hid in another part of their Oakland Park home. Their mother, who was on her way to work, listened from a cell phone as Kaylia told her to calm down and simultaneously spoke with operators on the home landline.

The burglary occurred last Friday and the tapes of the calls were publicly released Wednesday. 

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“Somebody broke into our house. Somebody please come,” Kaylia whispers calmly, telling the operator she could hear him in her mother’s bedroom. “He’s inside the house. Please hurry.”

“What did you see or hear that made you think somebody broke into the house,” asks the 911 operator. “The window crash and then someone climbed into the window,” responds the calm yet frightened teen.

She said she saw a male who she did not recognize knocking on the door and she and her siblings hid in the bedroom.

“Does the bedroom have a closet in it?” asks the operator. “Go into the closet. Stay on the phone. Be real quiet.”

For 13 minutes Kaylia remained on the phone giving police a detailed description of the suspect and his clothes until police arrived. When the 911 operator told the scared teen that police were surrounding the house and that she could come out, the girl was hesitant.

“Can they come in and get me please,” Kaylia responded.

A minute later, police entered the house and found 18-year-old Robert James hiding in the closet of the children’s mother, authorities said. Police say he at some point was bitten by a dog and was taken for treatment. When he was released, he was charged with three counts including burglary.

“They did a great job. The call taker did an excellent job of keeping the kids calm and allowing enough time for deputies, helicopter and K-9 to surround the house,” said Keyla Concepcion, spokeswoman for Broward County Sheriff’s Office. “The kids did a remarkable job considering how scared they must have been. She [Kaylia] was focused enough to give deputies all the info they needed to arrest the suspect and take him out the house.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arkansas Grandmother Bomb Plot: Suspect Knew Victims

ABC News(FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.) -- Investigators have learned that the Arkansas man being held on suspicion of strapping what he called a bomb to a 73-year-old grandmother and forcing take money from her account is a longtime acquaintance of the woman's husband.

Betty Davis, 73, walked into the local Arvest Bank in Fayetteville, Ark., around 10:30 a.m. Monday while her husband was tied up and held captive at their home.  She told employees she had an explosive device strapped around her ankle.

Employees at the bank called 911 and police were soon able to remove the device from Davis without incident.

Paul Bradley was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the incident, according to Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor.  Police say Bradley, 60, is a longtime casual acquaintance of Dean Davis; the two met at a local restaurant, Rick's Iron Skillet.

According to investigators, Bradley waited for Dean Davis to leave his home for his morning coffee -- part of the man's daily routine -- before approaching the couple's home.

"The suspect who we know as Mr. Bradley feigned injury to get Mrs. Davis to open her door, and that's how this all begun," Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said.

Bradley was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping and aggravated burglary, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Fayetteville police.

"I was thinking it was someone I know from the way he talked.  He'd have to know some things about me that I used to raise cattle, and to know when I left the café," Dean Davis said as the couple appeared on ABC's Good Morning America Friday.

Bradley tied up Dean Davis after he returned to the home, according to police.  He then took a weapon from the home and strapped a fake bomb to Betty Davis' leg, drove her to the Arvest bank and demanded she take $10,000 from her account.

Bradley allegedly told Davis that the device was a bomb, and even showed her a detonator.  The bomb squad later determined the device was not an explosive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Killer Taunted Mom of Slain Teen, Cops Say

Comstock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- At nearly the same hour Kelli O’Laughlin’s parents buried their 14-year-old daughter Friday morning, police in Illinois announced an arrest in the teen’s brutal killing.

They also revealed that they believe the suspect had sent “taunting and disturbing” text messages to the girl’s mother, using her dead daughter’s cell phone.

John L. Wilson, Jr., whose last known address was in Chicago, was charged with first degree murder and residential burglary.  He is being held without bond.

According to prosecutors, Wilson, 38, attacked Kelli with a knife from the O’Laughlin’s kitchen butcher block after the high school freshman came home from school and walked in on a burglary.  She was stabbed repeatedly in the back, neck and chest.

“It was obviously a very horrific crime that was committed, and then to have the mother of the victim to be subjected to taunts from someone who did this … words can’t describe this,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

“There are no words to really describe how horrific this is,” said Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez, who said this case brought veteran investigators and prosecutors to tears.  “All of us who have teenagers are haunted by the sickness of this crime and the total disregard for life displayed by this defendant.”

Kelli O’Laughlin got off her school bus at 3:40 p.m. last Thursday, and walked in on Wilson, who had broken into her family’s home, Alvarez said. Wilson allegedly stabbed the teen, and fled with a bowl of foreign coins, the girl’s iPod Touch and her cell phone. Investigators say three witnesses saw Wilson leave the house, and were able to later identify him in a police line-up.

Detectives had tracked Wilson down using a key piece of evidence left at the scene.  A wool cap with a rock inside had reportedly been used to break a window in the home. DNA tests conducted on the hat led investigators to Wilson, who has a long criminal history, including a conviction for armed robbery.   

Then, investigators zeroed in on Wilson using Kelli’s stolen phone, authorities said. ”Using cell phone technology, law enforcement agents were able to track victim’s cell phone and the accused’s cell phone,” Alvarez said. “They were tracking in tandem together.” Police, the F.B.I and Secret Service all took part in the search.

If convicted, Wilson cannot face the death penalty. Illinois abolished the state’s most serious punishment earlier this year.

“This is a case that definitely would have qualified for the seeking of the death penalty,” said Alvarez. “It’s felony murder. It’s a case that would have qualified and we would have sought it.”

Kelli O’Laughlin’s murder was the first ever in the bedroom community of Indian Head Park, a quiet suburb of about 3,700 people. The violent and seemingly random act rattled neighbors and shattered the comfort of many who regarded their town as safe. Friday, hundreds of those neighbors lined the route of Kelli’s funeral procession, releasing white and purple balloons in her memory.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Courthouse Suspects: Sombrero Wearing, Dancing Drunks

Bexar Co. Sheriff's Dept.(BEXAR COUNTY, Texas) -- Authorities investigating a break-in at a Texas courthouse overnight now believe the incident was little more than a "prank" by drunken 20-somethings, officials said.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff told ABC News the three men arrested in what the FBI initially considered a "high-priority" situation were spotted on the court's surveillance tapes dancing in the hallways and waving the court's gavel, all while wearing sombreros.

Wolff said they appeared to be "having a good time" and "could just be some guys on a prank."

The men, who a senior FBI official said appear to be of Moroccan descent, reportedly forced their way into the courthouse around 1 a.m. Two other men, who were outside the courthouse, were also arrested, Bexar County Sheriff's Department spokesman Louis Antu said.

In the course of their investigation, authorities uncovered pictures of courthouses and water systems from around the U.S. in the van used by the men, law enforcement officials said. Bomb-sniffing dogs were called to the scene as a precautionary measure but no explosives were found, Antu said. One FBI official said there did not appear to be an immediate threat to public safety.

An official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who is also assisting in the investigation, told ABC News that two of the men had names similar to two that appear on an FBI watchlist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio