Bandits steal 6,400 cans of beans while truck driver sleeps

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 4:44 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 4:44 PM

Police are looking for thieves who reportedly waited for a driver to fall asleep in the cab of his truck to nab some pretty unusual loot —

More than 6,000 cans of Heinz baked beans. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Linda Spashett)

The suspects ripped open a huge hole in the side of the truck while the driver was getting some shut eye up front, stole 6,400 cans, and went on their merry way with the magical fruit. (Via Daily Mirror)

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But apparently, the bean bandits had all the time in the world to smuggle thousands of cans away from the scene.

According to The Guardian, the burglars snatched an entire pallet and part of a second pallet sometime between 8:45 p.m. Monday and 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

But in all seriousness, police are for information about “anyone trying to sell large quantities of Heinz baked beans in suspicious circumstances” to call them immediately. Seriously. (Via Daily Star)

Oh, and just in case you were looking for another identifier to help track down the thieves — this particular type of baked beans had sausage in it too. 

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Trotwood apartment fatal shooting victim ID’d, suspect in custody

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 12:44 PM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 12:42 PM

TROTWOOD — The man shot to death at a Trotwood apartment on Monday has been identified as Charles McDonald Jr., according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

MORE CRIME NEWS:  Dayton police investigate Dennison Ave. shooting 

McDonald and the suspected gunman have children by the same woman, said Trotwood Police Chief Erik Wilson. 

The children were inside the apartment when the shooting occurred. An adult female who is related to the children’s mother was also there, according to police said.

Police are still working to determine what led to the shooting.

Further details have not been released. 


Troopers: Huber Heights man fled moving car, died in drainage pipe

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

A Huber Heights man’s vehicle was still rolling when he fled the scene of a rural southeast Ohio crash, hid in a drainage culvert and died, Ohio State Highway Patrol said Monday.

Chuck Dickens Jr., 26, of Huber Heights, died Sunday in Belmont County, Ohio, near West Virginia, after refusing to come out of the drainage culvert where police discovered him, OSP Lt. James Faunda said.

There are few details on why Dickens, who formerly attended Chaminade-Julienne High School, ran from the car. An investigation into Dickens’ social media accounts — including a series of Facebook posts made on his personal page around the time of the crash — is ongoing, Faunda said.

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“The only thing we know is his family thought he was in Cleveland for the weekend,” Faunda said. “There was no reason for him to be here.”

Dickens side-swiped another vehicle Sunday morning on Interstate 70 near mile marker 211, jumped from the vehicle before it came to a stop and ran across the highway and down a steep hill to a drainage culvert, police said.

Troopers tried to find Dickens using an airplane and additional police backup. It wasn’t until a trooper suggested calling for Dickens in a drainage culvert they discovered he crawled 200-300 feet inside. Dickens responded to police at first, but eventually stopped communicating.

MORE: Huber home linked to prosecutor’s theft

Police sent a robot with a video camera into the culvert and discovered him face down in water, Faunda said. A West Virginia dive squad removed his body and he was declared dead on scene. His body was taken to Licking County for a medical examination and toxicology screen. OSP is conducting its own blood tests, as well.

Faunda, a 24-year veteran of the state patrol, said Dickens appeared to be an “outstanding citizen” with no criminal history aside from a traffic violation.

“I’ve never seen anything like this where a person didn’t have a reason to run,” he said.

Air Force pays $140,000 to settle base sex discrimination suit

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 4:27 PM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 5:50 PM

The United States Air Force paid Bridget E. Lyons $140,000 to settle a federal job discrimination lawsuit in which she alleged she wasn’t properly promoted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to court documents obtained by this news organization.

Lyons was an attorney in the Air Force Materiel Command Law Office Acquisition Division. She worked full-time starting in 2000 on weapons systems contracts she said were worth billions of dollars.

“It was the upshot of 10 years of sex discrimination and reprisal against me by the management of the law office,” Lyons said Monday. “So I feel quite vindicated for having received the settlement and gotten the long process over with.”

Lyons claimed gender discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment stemming from her unsuccessful attempts for promotion to leadership positions, according to court documents.

Her complaint said that during two May 2007 meetings, then-supervisor Peter Ditalia told Lyons he would see her “finished in the office.” The complaint said the only witness to that statement was then Colonel Thomas Doyon, who said in a memo three years later that the statement “could have been made,” but that Doyon blamed Lyons for what occurred.

In September 2009, Col. Doyon denied Lyons a promotion, Lyons’ complaint alleges. She said Doyon “pre-selected a man, accelerated his promotion, created after-the-fact criteria, which he did not meet, and then provided varying reasons to Lyons for her non-selection.”

“I went up for promotion multiple times, five or six times in a two-year time period, and got passed over every time for men,” Lyons said. “It was a glass ceiling kind of situation. No woman had been promoted in that division in that office. Ever.”

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose granted the Air Force summary judgment in December 2014, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that there was no hostile work environment. But in 2016, the appellate court sent back the rest of the case. That led to mediation and settlement talks.

The settlement “shall not be in any way construed as an admission by the AF that it has acted wrongfully with respect to (Lyons),” according to the 4-page agreement filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

The Air Force Public Affairs office did not respond to a message seeking comment. A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesman referred to the public affairs office in Washington, D.C.

Lyons said she worked in the biggest division (30 to 40 employees) out of the 70-person law office. She said she was surprised to see sexism at the base: “The very lawyers that are supposed to be making sure that the military doesn’t do this kind of stuff are the very people doing it.”

Lyons continued to work there until January 2016 because she loved the work and didn’t want to leave her family. She now commutes during the week to Washington, D.C. and returns on weekends.

Lyons and her husband Ed — a Huber Heights city council member — said they wanted to go public to make a point.

“I think, in that office, all the women are in the same situation,” Lyons said. “People need to know that sex discrimination and reprisal is happening right here, and it’s in the local area.

“It’s not just some pie-in-the-sky thing. It happens to your very neighbor. It happens to the woman down the street or the woman that you see in the grocery store.”

The Air Force has another lawsuit against it alleging discrimination at Wright-Patt. Dr. Margaret C. DePalma said in a complaint that she was discriminated against in her job as a historian in the Air Force Research Laboratory History Office.

Couple sentenced to prison for hate crime involving Confederate flags, shotgun

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 6:38 PM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 6:38 PM

            Couple sentenced to prison for hate crime involving Confederate flags, shotgun

As the two defendants wept, a Douglas County judge on Monday sentenced them to lengthy prison terms for their part in disrupting an African-American birthday party with Confederate flags, racial slurs and armed threats in 2015.

Superior Court Judge William McClain castigated the two -- Kayla Rae Norton, 25, and Jose Ismael Torres, 26 -- for perpetrating what he called a hate crime.

He sentenced Torres to 20 years, with 13 to serve in prison; Norton was given 15 years, with six to serve. Upon their release, McClain ordered them to be permanently banished from Douglas County.

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"Their actions were motivated by racial hatred," said McClain.

Torres did not address the court during the proceedings, and cried when three of his family members took the stand to describe him as a hardworking plumber, volunteer football coach and devoted father of three. Norton, who is the mother of Torres' children, addressed several people who'd attended the birthday party and had come to witness the sentencing.

"I do accept responsibility for what I've done," Norton said, often choking on her words as she spoke directly to the group. "What happened to you is absolutely awful. From mother to mother, I cannot imagine having to explain what that word means."

Norton was referring to a racial epithet her group, "Respect the Flag," repeatedly hurled at the party attendees, which included adults and small children. 

Assistant District Attorney David Emadi detailed how the group had gone on a drunken, two-county rampage in pick-up trucks laden with Confederate battle flags through Paulding and Douglas counties on July 24 - 25, 2015.

Emadi said the group threatened African-American motorists, yelled at them and walked up to one of their cars with a gun. They also threatened African-American shoppers at a Paulding County Walmart and at a convenience store.

"Many good people in Paulding County saw you for what you are," McClain said before he handed down the sentence. "Everywhere you went 911 call centers were flooded with calls."

McClain then quoted one of the callers.

'"I want to report a hate crime,'" he said.

Norton and her children's father continued to cry. The two are not married.

As she addressed the victims, Norton said she and Torres made a choice to attend both days of her group's frenzy. She now regretted the choice, she said.

"The worst decision I've ever made in my life was to not walk away when I had the chance," Norton said.

McClain noted that Torres and Norton acted with the full knowledge that, less than a month earlier, white supremacist Dylann Roof had massacred nine African-Americans at a Charleston church. And just as several members of the victims' families in that case publicly forgave Roof in a South Carolina courtroom, Hyesha Bryant, 34, offered forgiveness to Norton and Torres. She had attended the party, which was a celebration for an 8-year-oldcomplete with a bouncy castle and a snow cone machine. She also reminded them of the choices they made over two days that ultimately led them to McClain's packed Douglas County courtroom.

"I never thought this would be something I'd have to endure in 2017," Bryant began. "As adults and parents, we have to instill in our children the values of right and wrong. That moment you had to choose to leave, you stayed."

Then Bryant clutched her chest, leaned forward toward Torres and Norton and looked them in the eyes.

"I forgive all of you," she said. "I don't have any hate in my heart. Life is too short for that."

Torres and Norton, who earlier had been found guilty of violating the state's street gang terrorism law, continued to tremble and cry.

Their attorneys pleaded for lighter sentencing, saying that two other defendants, Thomas Charles Summers and Lacey Paul Henderson II, had pleaded guilty to terroristic threat and battery charges and received lighter sentences that Norton and Torres were facing. Summers is serving four years in prison and Henderson is serving two.

McClain, however, said Torres and Norton would have to answer for their behavior. He also called into question the Douglasville Police Department's decision not to arrest any of the Respect the Flag group that day. He called it "inexplicable" and "a very bad mistake."