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Entries in NYPD (29)

Friday
Feb222013

New York Police Set Up Team to Track Stolen iPhones, iPads

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Apple has become one of the most popular gadget brands in the world — not only in sales, but in theft. With iPhones, iPads and iPods stolen so often, New York City police have teamed up with Apple Inc. to combat these crimes directly, the New York Post reports.

The NYPD has designated a special “team of cops” to pursue the theft of mobile Apple devices like iPhones and iPads. With the use of a device’s International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMSEI), it’s possible for Apple to track the whereabouts of a device and then share that information with the police.

“We’re looking for ways to find individuals who have stolen Apple products and return the products to their original owners,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Post. “It is being done to learn the pattern [of]  who is stealing.”

When reached by ABC News, Apple declined to comment on its involvement with the NYPD. The NYPD did not return ABC News’ request for comment.

In one case a stolen iPad was tracked all the way to the Dominican Republic and recovered with the help of an NYPD intelligence cop assigned to Santo Domingo, according to the Post.

The NYPD began Operation ID last September as an effort to encourage the public to register the serial numbers of their devices free of charge, ABC station WABC-TV reported.

“The theft of Apple phones and other hand-held devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny [in 2012]…Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told WABC. According to the NYPD, more criminals are targeting Apple products, and while overall crime is up four percent in New York City, Apple product crime is up 40 percent.

Because of the rising rate of theft, there is even risk involved in buying one of these devices second-hand. Police say they can and will confiscate any stolen and resold devices and return them to their rightful owners. With Apple’s tracking system, it’s even possible to find a device after it’s been reregistered with a different wireless provider.

As reported by ABC News earlier this year, one creative New York man was able to reclaim his device without the help of the police or Apple.  Nadav Nirenberg left his iPhone in a New York City cab and noticed the person who had assumed possession of the device was posting on his online dating profile. Nirenberg created a fake profile to set up a “date” with the person using his phone.  The confrontation was not violent. Nirenberg got his phone back.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan282013

NYPD Commissioner Promotes More Gun Control

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New York City's top cop says he's favors universal background checks, a key element of President Obama's wide-ranging proposal to curb gun violence in America.

Appearing on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says closing loopholes that allow criminal elements to acquire firearms is an important step in stopping violent crime.

As for New York, Kelly argues it's not assault weapons that are as prevalent as handguns, which he says are responsible for 60 percent of homicides in the city.

The commissioner also defended the proposed use of a kind of body-scanning device that would allow cops to check if someone is carrying a gun without patting them down.  Kelly acknowledged 4th Amendment concerns by civil liberties groups who oppose such an effort.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, another guest on Face the Nation, complained that an assault weapons ban would not protect children, contending that the administration should be more concerned with the root causes of violence that include mental health issues.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov012012

WATCH: Videos Show Rooftop Rescues of Storm Victims in NY

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The New York Police department has posted four videos of a helicopter rescuing people off of rooftops on Staten Island, N.Y., where entire neighborhoods are submerged under flood waters in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

Members of the Aviation and Scuba teams saved five adults and one child who were trapped in their houses, according to the NYPD.

In the videos, an officer is lowered onto the rooftops on a line to help the stranded victims into a basket that is then hoisted back up to the helicopter.

In one video, the officer helps a person holding a small child into a basket and in another video the officer helps pull someone out of an opening in the roof of a house.

The Oct. 30 rescues were performed by Helicopter 23, the chopper named after the 23 New York City police officers who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct072012

New York Officials Apologize for Billing Man Killed by Cop Car

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City officials are apologizing after sending a letter to a New York man demanding he pay $710 within 10 days for damaging the cop car that struck and killed him during a chase last spring.

Tamon Robinson was caught digging up paving stones at a housing complex in Brooklyn, N.Y., in April, and police started to chase the 23-year-old. When he was struck and killed by the police car during the chase, the front of the vehicle was dented, ABC station WABC-TV reported.

A letter was sent to Robinson late last month notifying him that the City of New York was seeking $710 for damage to a police car. His mother, Laverne Dobbinson, said she felt "disrespected" when she received the letter addressed to her late son.

"I was humiliated that they're sending my son a letter for the car that killed him," Dobbinson, 45, told the New York Times. "They killed him; let him rest in peace."

The city has since apologized for the collection demand.

"We regret that Mr. Robinson's family received a collection notice," a spokeswoman for the New York City Law Department said in a statement to ABCNews.com Saturday. "The notice was sent in error. We recognize that this involves a tragic case."

The letter was sent by Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, a law firm that handles the collection effort for the city and police department. After they discovered Robinson had died, they "ceased collection," the Times reported.

"We were not aware of the circumstances," Christina Gonzalez, a lawyer for the firm, told the Times. "This type of receivable is not something we pursue when the alleged debtor is deceased."

Dobbinson's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, has filed a notice that he will file a lawsuit seeking $20 million for the family because of "wrongful death."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

New York Robbers Unmasked by Grateful Note for Their Disguise

NYPD(NEW YORK) -- What could have been the perfect crime was undone when the identity of the alleged robbers was unmasked by a grateful note thanking a company for the disguise.

Police arrested Edward Byam, 24, and Akeem Monsalvatge, 37, on Monday and charged them with wearing realistic Hollywood-style masks and dressed as New York City detectives to knock over a Pay-O-Matic check cashing facility on Valentine's Day in Queens, N.Y.

The suspects, wearing NYPD badges and jackets, baseball caps, and dark sunglasses, threatened a clerk by showing her photographs of her home and made off with nearly $200,000, police said.

For months cops thought they were looking for two white suspects, when the investigation received an important tip.

One suspect bore a striking similarity to "Mac the Guy," a silicon mask manufactured by movie-makeup company CFX Composite Effects.

When investigators contacted the company, they were told Byam had recently emailed the firm in thanks for the mask.

"I'm sending this message to say I'm extremely pleased by CFX work on the mask," Byam allegedly wrote the company, as first reported by the New York Post and confirmed by the NYPD and the company. "The realism of the mask is unbelievable."

Byam and Monsalvatge are black.

According to the company's website, "Mac is designed for ultimate human realism." The company sells the silicon mask starting at $569, but it can be customized with fake hair, including the goatee the thieves allegedly used.

Byam had made another critical blunder, police said.

Cops traced the photo of the clerk's home, which was left at the scene of the crime, to a Walgreen's pharmacy where the print was made. The store was able to link a receipt for the prints to Byam's phone number, cops confirmed.

The two men were charged Wednesday with robbery and impersonating an officer and were ordered held without bond. It was unclear whether they had obtained attorneys.

Criminals have increasingly turned to realistic masks in committing crimes.

In 2010, Canadian officials called the use of a mask an "unbelievable case of concealment" when a young Asian man tried entering the country illegally disguised as an elderly white man.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

NYPD Identifies Source of Threatening Tweets

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Police Department has identified the person whose Twitter account issued threats of an attack "just like in Aurora" on the Broadway theater where Mike Tyson's one-man show is playing.

"We have identified that person and we are shortly going to be interviewing that person," NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told ABC News' New York station WABC. "That person is not in New York City. Of course, there is always the possibility of someone using someone's account, so we are conducting an investigation."

The owner of the Twitter account is out of state, but Kelly would not discuss the specifics of where the person is located.

The NYPD subpoenaed Twitter Tuesday for the user's identity after the social media giant refused authorities' emergency request for the information.

"This s**t ain't no joke yo I'm serious people are gonna die just like in aurora," the user tweeted Aug. 1.

The Twitter user's account seemed to have been suspended because an error message now appears where the account was active as recently as Tuesday evening.

Kelly said the person who tweeted the threats could face charges such as reckless statement and reckless endangerment.

"Irrespective of that, this is information that we have to know," he said. "When we get a message like that, we have to react to it and find out where it came from and certainly deploy -- as we did -- additional resources."

A few days before the Aug. 1 tweet, the unidentified person posted that he or she knew that the theater left its exit doors unlocked and was going to plan the shooting "step by step."

The NYPD Intelligence Division learned of the threat late Aug. 3 and used Twitter's system for emergencies to request the identity of the account holder, according to police officials.

"Twitter turned us down, so we dispatched police to cover the theater while we sought a subpoena to force Twitter to disclose the identity of the account holder," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

Police officers were dispatched to New York's Longacre Theater, where Mike Tyson's one-man show, Undisputed Truth, is playing.

"We take the threat seriously, especially in light of recent attacks in Wisconsin and Colorado," Browne said.

Alleged shooter Wade Michael Page killed six people Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page, an Army veteran, was shot dead by police. Two weeks earlier, on July 20, suspected shooter James Holmes opened fire in a packed midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring 58.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Twitter Gives Police Info on Source of Threatening Tweet

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Twitter has now turned over information it had initially denied to the New York Police Department about the user whose account issued threats of an attack "just like in Aurora" on the Broadway theater where Mike Tyson's one-man show is playing.

NYPD subpoenaed Twitter Tuesday for the user's identity after the social media giant refused authorities' emergency request for the information.

"This s**t ain't no joke yo I'm serious people are gonna die just like in aurora," the user tweeted Aug. 1.

Police officials won't comment on whether they have spoken to the account's owner or the potential for any attack. Police said they have some indication of the direction their investigation might take, based on the information Twitter provided, but would not disclose it at this time.

The Twitter user's account seems to have been suspended because an error message now appears where the account was active as recently as Tuesday evening.

A few days before the Aug. 1 tweet, the unidentified person posted that he or she knew that the theater left its exit doors unlocked and was going to plan the shooting "step by step."

The NYPD Intelligence Division learned of the threat late Aug. 3 and used Twitter's system for emergencies to request the identity of the account holder, according to police officials.

"Twitter turned us down, so we dispatched police to cover the theater while we sought a subpoena to force Twitter to disclose the identity of the account holder," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

Police officers were dispatched to New York's Longacre Theater where Mike Tyson's one-man show, Undisputed Truth, is playing.

"We take the threat seriously, especially in light of recent attacks in Wisconsin and Colorado," Browne said.

Alleged shooter Wade Michael Page killed six people Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page, an Army veteran, was shot dead by police. Two weeks earlier, on July 20, suspected shooter James Holmes opened fire in a packed midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring 58.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug072012

NYPD to Subpoena Twitter for 'Just Like in Aurora' Tweet

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The New York Police Department has demanded that Twitter release the name of a user who threatened an attack "just like in Aurora" on the Broadway theater where Mike Tyson's one-man show is playing.

The NYPD plans to subpoena Twitter today for the user's identity after the social media giant refused authorities' emergency request for the information.

"This s**t ain't no joke yo I'm serious people are gonna die just like in aurora," the user tweeted Aug. 1.

A few days earlier, the unidentified person tweeted that he or she knew that the theater left its exit doors unlocked and was going to plan the shooting "step by step."

The NYPD Intelligence Division learned of the threat late Aug. 3 and used Twitter's system for emergencies to request the identity of the account holder, according to police officials.

"Twitter turned us down, so we dispatched police to cover the theater while we sought a subpoena to force Twitter to disclose the identity of the account holder," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in an emailed statement.

Police officers were dispatched to New York's Longacre Theater where Mike Tyson's one-man show, Undisputed Truth, is playing.

"We take the threat seriously, especially in light of recent attacks in Wisconsin and Colorado," Browne said.

Alleged shooter Wade Michael Page killed six people Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page, an Army veteran, was shot dead by police. Two weeks earlier, on July 20, suspected shooter James Holmes opened fire in a packed midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring 58.

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Following email requests for comment from ABC News, a spokeswoman for Twitter wrote, "We don't have a comment on this." She also sent a link to Twitter's guidelines for law enforcement.

"Twitter evaluates emergency disclosure requests on a case-by-case basis," the guidelines say. "If we receive information that gives us a good faith belief that there is an emergency involving the death or serious physical injury to a person, we may provide information necessary to prevent that harm, if we have it."

The guidelines also say that the release of private information "requires a subpoena or court order."

If Twitter were to turn over the user's identity at the first request, it could be liable for any mistake or potential invasion of privacy, according to Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties for Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.

"The law prohibits providers from turning certain information over voluntarily and, if they do, they can be sued," Granick said. "But the government can compel the information from the provider with varying degrees of legal process depending on what the information is. When it's the name associated with the account, the government can get that with just the subpoena."

The federal law is part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed in 1986. There are exceptions to the law, Granick said. Exceptions can be made if there's a threat of serious bodily injury or death. But that first decision is up to the provider.

When another Twitter user asked the threatening tweeter on Aug. 3 whether he or she had undergone a change of heart about the prospective shooting at the Midtown Manhattan theater, the person replied, "no I had last minute plans and I'm in Florida rite now but it'll happen I promise I'm just finishing up my hit list."

The Twitter user makes frequent references to his or her "hit list," making threats against many celebrities, including Ellen Page, Perez Hilton, Wendy Williams and several members of the Kardashian family.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

NYPD Officer Talks Man from His Hometown Down from Bridge

ABC(NEW YORK) -- A minor miracle on the upper deck of New York City's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge may have helped save the life of a suicidal Chinese-American man.

Soon after police responded Monday afternoon to a report of a man who had parked his car on the bridge and gone "over the edge," they learned that the man spoke only Cantonese. They then summoned Officer Yi Huang, a Cantonese-speaking Chinese-American, to communicate with him.

Huang, who patrols the Fifth Precinct in Chinatown, quickly arrived at the scene and began speaking with the man, who he learned hailed from his hometown, Taishan village in China's southern Guangdong province.

Huang learned that the man, shown in photographs clinging to a bridge cable at mid-span wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, was "despondent over arguments he had been having with his 18-year-old daughter, and also was upset over finances," according to a statement from the New York Police Department.

"Officer Huang … spoke of his own family's experience and asked him to think about seeing his daughter at her wedding, or meeting his grandchildren," according to the statement.

Huang, who immigrated to Chinatown with his family when he was 4 years old, had to shout to the man from a distance of 10 to 15 feet — if he came any closer, the man threatened to jump, he said. An ominous thunderstorm approached and winds gathered force as the men negotiated for hours, severely backing up traffic to the bridge, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, a group of visitors to Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, at the bridge's western end, had a clear view of the drama as it unfolded.

At about 4:30 p.m., a streak of lightning flashed above the bridge. Shortly afterward, witnesses said, the man finally walked over the railing to safety.

The man, whose name was not released, was transported to Staten Island University Hospital in good condition, the NYPD said in the release.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun222012

47 Pit Bulls Rescued From Alleged Fighting Ring

NYPD(NEW YORK) -- New York City police rescued 47 pit bulls from a Bronx basement and arrested a man for allegedly operating a dog-fighting ring.

Police arrested Raul Sanchez for animal fighting and cruelty in the basement of a six-story apartment building in the Bronx. The pit bulls ranged in age from 12 weeks to five years, and had various injuries indicative of dog fighting, said police.

Police also seized a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 wooden cages, dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

The basement of the apartment building included a makeshift arena with an estimated capacity of 100 spectators, said police.

Along with Sanchez, a second man is being sought in the investigation for allegedly breeding dogs, according to police. Detectives have reportedly been looking into the duo since October for illegally breading and selling the dogs for fighting, according to ABC News affiliate WABC.

Despite a few scars and visible wounds, all the dogs were responsive and in good condition before the ASPCA moved them to a local animal shelter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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