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Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 12:44 PM
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — Investigators are searching for two women with “Elmo-like red hair” who pepper-sprayed employees and customers as they fled a Walmart after trying to steal $400 of cosmetics.
The women, wearing what appear to be red wigs, are seen on surveillance video Nov. 22 filling a cart with cosmetics. When a manager approached them, they pulled out the pepper spray, apparently as an escape plan, according to KTRK.
"They did spray the manager," Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constables Captain Dan Zientek told KTRK. "However, along their way to the exit, they just started spraying customers including an elderly 73-year-old."
A witness described the chaos.
"Someone kept yelling something is in the air. Something is in the air," shopper Lindsay Slott told KTRK. "(The children) had red eyes. Their noses were running. They were holding their mouths. They were holding their stomachs."
The women then left in a silver Honda Accord coupe.
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 4:17 PM
COVINGTON, La. — A Louisiana woman with a history of identity theft faces 10 years in prison after she was convicted Wednesday of stealing another woman’s background to land an executive position with a six-figure salary.
Cindy T. White, 41, of Slidell, was found guilty of identity theft over $1,000, according to a news release from the office of 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery. It took jurors just 15 minutes to find White guilty of the charges.
Montgomery said in the news release that White used information stolen from another woman’s LinkedIn profile to beef up her resume in September 2015, when she applied for an executive-level position with Diversified Foods & Seasonings. NOLA.com reported that the company, based in Covington, was founded by the late entrepreneur Al Copeland.
White also used the other woman’s Social Security number and driver’s license number when applying for the job, the news release said.
She was initially hired as a human resources manager, a position with a $95,000 annual salary, Montgomery said. Five months later, she was promoted to senior human resources director, a job with a $105,000 salary.
Company officials became suspicious a few months later when they noticed that White had trouble with duties that she should have been able to perform based on her alleged educational background. Her resume listed a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
“That’s not this person,” prosecutor Casey Dieck said in court, pointing at White. “This person stole the victim’s hard work and used it to get a six-figure salary and benefits to boot.”
Officials at Diversified Foods & Seasonings also noticed that White delegated a large number of tasks assigned to her, Montgomery said in the news release. They took a closer look at her personnel file and found discrepancies in it.
Company officials called the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in April 2016.
Investigators determined that White lifted her educational background directly from the LinkedIn profile of a woman with a similar name, Montgomery said. They also discovered that she obtained the woman’s driver’s license and Social Security numbers from an unnamed online site.
A look at White’s real background revealed that this was not the first time she had stolen someone’s identity, the news release said.
White, a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office employee, was arrested in New Orleans in 1997 on suspicion of theft, forgery and malfeasance in office after she was accused of stealing a co-worker’s identity and emptying the woman’s bank account.
She was caught when she was spotted in surveillance photos and identified, the news release said. She pleaded guilty that September to two counts of forgery and received probation.
Her probation was terminated in 1999 when the court was sent information that White had died, Montgomery said.
White also had a 1998 conviction in Jefferson Parish for attempted theft of goods.
Prosecutors argued that White, who admitted to St. Tammany Parish investigators that she used the victim’s identity to get the job, fraudulently collected $56,209 during the seven months she worked at Diversified Foods & Seasonings. Her defense attorney argued that she earned the salary she received.
Dieck denied the defense claim, Montgomery said in the news release.
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 3:15 PM
— A rose by any other name, in this case Rosie, would smell as sweet. That’s the saying right? Well when it comes to the flower about to open at the Cox Butterfly and Orchid Pavilion of the Tucson Botanical Gardens it won’t be a sweet smell that Rosie’s visitors will notice when it blossoms. It will be a pungent one.
Rosie is a corpse flower that could open at any moment.
Corpse flowers are known for the massive, beautiful flower that gives off a not so beautiful smell -- but that of a rotting corpse.
Technically, a corpse flower is called Amorphophallus titanum, and is one of the world’s largest and rarest flowers.
The entire process of a bloom can take a decade, with the flower lasting only 24-36 hours.
Because of how rare of an event of a corpse flower blooming, people are booking flights to see the big reveal in person, according to Yurview.com. The Cox Butterfly and Orchid Pavilion of the Tucson Botanical Gardens is also getting a hand with the crush of people expected to pay her a visit with the Chicago Botanic Garden lending the garden in Tucson educational interpretive signs for visitors. Botanists from Chicago’s garden also sent pollen from its corpse flowers, Sumatra and Sunshine, to help pollinate Rosie. Michael Madsen is in charge of tracking Rosie’s progression, by taking temperature measurements and then will help spread the pollen at the perfect time. Then it will be a waiting game to see if it was successful.
Rosie’s about 9 years old, about 3 feet tall and came from the University of California Fullerton. It is her first time to flower.
Rosie our Corpse plant has shed her skin, stay tuned for updates. pic.twitter.com/fthi3QFbjf— Tucson Botanical (@TucBotanical) April 17, 2018
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 12:45 PM
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A shirtless man clad in a pair of American flag shorts stole a beer delivery truck Thursday while it was making a stop at a liquor store, police said.
Matt Lane Hermsmeyer, 46, jumped in the beer truck and drove off around 11:51 a.m., according to Santa Rosa Police. Because the truck had GPS tracking, it was located within minutes.
Witnesses called police to say they saw Hermsmeyer running across Highway 101 in only the red, white and blue shorts, according to investigators. He was found hiding in some bushes about 45 minutes after the theft.
It's a beer run gone bad when you steal a beer delivery truck and then run. Luckily, the beer truck had GPS and the suspect was located quickly thanks to the help @sonomasheriff's Henry 1, SRPD officers & K9, and witnesses. Read the full story here: https://t.co/Gxn1FpSfoJ pic.twitter.com/uwJDiunBIp— Santa Rosa Police (@Santa_Rosa_PD) April 20, 2018
Hermsmeyer was arrested and charged with stealing a vehicle, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and violation of probation, according to police. He had a prior arrest for auto theft, police said.
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 1:34 PM
ALTOONA, Iowa — A man, thinking a van was involved in an Amber Alert, rammed, then fired gunshots at it Tuesday, police said.
An Amber Alert was issued at 1:18 a.m. for a 2006 Hyundai Sonata with two missing children from Toronto, Iowa, not a white panel van, which Matthew Golden saw and called police about, according to the Des Moines Register.
He followed the van then rammed it with his Toyota Sequoia, then shouted commands at the driver, investigators said.
Dispatchers told Golden to stop. However, he went into his vehicle, got a handgun and fired two shots at the driver’s side of the van, according to police.
The van’s driver, who is from Florida and was traveling alone to Illinois, also called 911, where dispatchers told him to take cover, according to the Des Moines Register.
"It's no different than what we tell police officers who aren't working: Your eyes are our best resources, not your actions," police chief Greg Stallman told the Des Moines Register. "If you see something, say something. But we don't necessarily want you to act on it."