A pair of teenage boys from Florida came up with a cunning plan to shoplift items from Walmart.
A 17-year-old boy posed as an plainclothes cop and “arrested” his underage buddy for supposedly shoplifting $20 worth of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards from their local Walmart.
The young perps–who hatched the “fake arrest” plot as a cover for swiping four decks of trading cards–were arrested after a suspicious store manager, Laura Dougherty, followed them from the Port St. Lucie retailer and watched as Brandon Rhoads, 17, unlocked a set of toy handcuffs from the wrists of his 14-year-old cohort.
According to a police report, the bizarre incident occurred Monday at around 3 AM. Rhoads entered the Walmart with a “gun in a holster on his hip” and “quickly opened and closed his wallet, showing the 52-year-old Dougherty a badge,” noted investigators.
The teen then approached his friend and “placed handcuffs on him” before walking him out of the store (with the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards). When the duo realized that Dougherty was following them, they fled on foot.
Cops nabbed the duo as they ran through a nearby parking complex. Rhoads was carrying a “black bi fold wallet with a badge” and “a set of ‘toy handcuffs’ silver in color.” Police also retrieved a pellet gun that Rhoads threw while being pursued by officers. The Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were recovered during post-arrest searches of Rhoads and his buddy.
Both suspects copped to stealing the cards and “planning a ‘fake arrest’ in order to ‘not get caught.’”
Rhoads was charged with impersonating a police officer, a felony, and resisting an officer. His friend was charged with retail theft and resisting an officer, both misdemeanors.
Four Bavarian boys who cried “Tiger” and sparked a huge police hunt for an escaped big cat have been told off by a judge.
Three of the four will spend time in youth detention.
The teenagers from Augsburg called the police one after another, reporting an escaped tiger in the Siebentischwald forest area.
One even told officers he was calling while sitting in a tree while the tiger prowled around underneath. Another said he was with his children, watching the tiger.
Police launched a massive hunt for the animal, sending teams of volunteers into the woods, and using a helicopter with heat-detecting camera to try to track the tiger.
Police even took to the radio to warn people living nearby to stay indoors while the hunt continued.
The prank was discovered when one of the police officers called back one of the teenagers – and he admitted there was no tiger.
The boys, aged between 16 and 19, appeared before an Augsburg youth court on Thursday and apologised, admitting they invented the story and made the calls.
“They had got up to a lot of mischief”, said Roland Fink, spokesman for the court.
“You do such things when you are young – and you have to then take [the punishment] on the chin,” he said.
The 19-year-old was given two weeks in a youth detention centre, the 17-year-old will join him for a week, and the 16-year-old will spend a weekend there.
A second 16-year-old was given a warning and instructed to spend 40 hours taking part in a media project to “improve his sense of responsibility and social competence.”
The cost of the hunt, estimated to be between €5,000 and €7,000, was not part of this court hearing, but could be part of another one.
A North Carolina man is facing multiple sex charges after police say that he molested young teen girls while giving them tattoos.
Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged 44-year-old Michael Wayne Smith with four felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and three felony counts of statutory rape.
He was taken into custody in lieu of a $720,000 bond.
Smith said that investigators have identified four victims, who were in their early teens when the crimes reportedly occurred.
“He would give them free tattoos on their private areas and sexually assault the victims in the process,” the captain stated.
All of the victims were acquaintances of Smith and allegedly occurred over the past two years.
A rather stupid woman lost $2,000 in Palo Alto after she threw her purse at a passing car filled with teenagers who allegedly threw a milkshake in her face.
The woman was walking across University Avenue near Rudy’s Pub Sunday when a white Range Rover full of teenagers drove by and allegedly threw a milkshake in her face.
Police said the woman tried to get revenge by throwing her alligator skin purse at the passing vehicle.
A window was open on the Range Rover and the purse landed in the car. The purse had several of the woman’s personal items and $2,000 in cash.
Police are looking for the stylish purse and the teenagers, who are facing charges ranging from battery to possession of stolen property or misappropriation of property.
35-year-old Danielle Harkins convinced the Florida teens that they needed to rid their bodies of demons as the group gathered before dusk Saturday around a small fire near the St. Petersburg Pier.
She told them that they should cut their skin to let the evil spirits out, then, they needed to burn the wounds to ensure that those spirits would not return.
Some kids got cut, police said. Some kids got burned. Harkins got arrested.
Harkins, a literacy teacher at Lealman and Asian Neighborhood Family Center, was booked in jail Tuesday morning on child abuse charges in connection with the bizarre ritual. She was held in jail Tuesday night on $55,000 bail.
The ritual was attended by seven teenagers, all of Asian ethnic background, whom Harkins had taught a few years ago in her job at the center. At least two were injured, police said.
“Obviously, it’s very strange,” said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz. “The motivations for the ritual are very unknown to us.”
None of the teens told their parents about the incident. Police investigated after one of the teens, a 16-year-old boy, sent a text message about the incident to a friend. The friend told the boy’s parents, who notified police.
In interviews with detectives, the teens were reluctant to talk about the ritual beyond the basic facts of what happened. They did reveal a few things.
When Harkins held a lighter to one teen’s hand, wind blew the flame out, police said. That prompted her to douse his hand in perfume before setting it on fire. The boy suffered second-degree burns, police said.
Another teen was cut on the neck with a broken bottle, police said. Harkins used a flame to heat a small key, which she then used to cauterize the wound.
Steven Chanthalima, 17, one of the teens who attended the gathering, declined Tuesday evening to discuss what happened.
“I’m okay,” he said. “I’m fine. All I know is she’s in custody.”
Harkins was suspended without pay from her job at the family center, where she has worked for about 41/2 years, said Carolyn Chance, the center’s administrator.
“We had no suspicion of any of this,” Chance said. “We do everything we can to know our employees.”
None of the teens was currently taking part in any of the center’s programs, Chance said. As a literacy specialist, Harkins taught reading and writing skills to the center’s clients.
Though the motives behind the ritual remain unclear, court records and those who know Harkins offer a few clues.
Harkins recently divorced her husband, George. They had two children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.
Records show that Harkins was the defendant in a sexual violence injunction that was dismissed in January. In August, she filed a domestic violence injunction against her husband, which was also dismissed.
The divorce was finalized June 1. About a month before, Harkins began acting strangely.
Lisa Cope, Harkins’ next-door neighbor for the past four years, said the last time she saw her, Harkins had taken an interest in extreme religious beliefs.
“She was my friend,” Cope said. “She cried on my shoulder when she and her husband were getting a divorce.”
Cope didn’t know what to make of her neighbor’s newfound religious interest.
“She told me I was okay,” Cope said. “She said I didn’t have any demons.”
In the past few days, Harkins disappeared. Cope picked up her mail. She phoned George Harkins and learned that the couple’s children were fine. On Tuesday, she saw the story on the news.
“I don’t know where she got the whole demon idea,” she said. “Who knows what makes people think those things?”
Two 15-year-old girls have been arrested and Ottowa police are hunting for a 17-year-old girl accused of forcing other teens into prostitution.
Police said that they were laying charges of human trafficking, procuring, forcible confinement and sexual assault after a number of teen girls, between the ages of 13 and 17 were lured to a residence in late May and early June only to be abducted and delivered up to adult clients.
The most astounding aspect of the case is that the three chief suspects are all teen girls themselves.
The two 15-year-olds face almost a dozen charges. The third suspect is the wanted 17-year-old.
Staff Sgt. John McGetrick said police believe the trio were not acting on behalf of an adult organizer, but committed the alleged crimes on their own initiative.
“It’s shocking, quite frankly,” McGetrick said. “We asked the RCMP, who take the lead on human-trafficking, and they didn’t know of any similar case in Canada.”
The Ottawa Police Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Section investigated three incidents in late May and early June in which individual female victims were asked to meet at the Walkley Road residence “for social reasons” before being driven to other parts of Ottawa and forced into sex acts.
Investigators found connections between the three incidents, McGetrick said, and quickly identified the three suspects.
The two minors now in custody were arrested on June 8 and June 9 and face almost a dozen charges each, which also include abduction and robbery, assault and uttering threats.
One of the accused is further charged with administering a noxious substance.
They can’t be named because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, but McGetrick said the department may apply to release more information in the future.
Regardless of their age, he said, they would be brought to justice.
“The actions that lead to the offence are the same whether you’re 12 or 60,” McGetrick said. “It’s still an offence, and they still need to be held accountable.”
Charges against the johns may follow, McGetrick said, but the investigation has not yet reached that point.
Natasha Albert has been living in the 2400 Block of Walkley Road for the past 19 years. Albert had initially assumed one of the accused minors was in trouble with the police because of a petty crime.
She was shocked to hear the arrest had to do with an alleged prostitution ring — one based out of her neighbourhood.
“This is insane,” said Albert. “I cannot believe that such young girls would be the ones responsible for something like this.”
She said she did not know the girls well, but had seen them in the neighbourhood before. She was extremely surprised by the idea that they might be capable of the alleged crimes.
Police in southwest China have arrested a man suspected of murdering more than a dozen boys and young men, chopping up their bodies and selling the flesh to unsuspecting consumers.
Zhang Yongming, 56, was detained two weeks ago in Nanmen village in Yunnan province and is being investigated over the murder of a 19-year-old man in late April, the Guangxi News website reported.
Police searching Zhang’s home found the young man’s cellphone, bank card and other evidence, according to the website, which said more than a dozen other teenagers had gone missing from the village over the years.
It said Zhang had previously served almost 20 years in jail for murder.
Zhang was known in the village as the “cannibal monster,” the site reported, quoting residents as saying they had seen green plastic bags hanging from his home, with what appeared to be white bones protruding from the top.
Local police declined comment when contacted by AFP Friday, saying information would be made available “at an appropriate time”, and other reports on the gruesome case appeared to have been removed from Chinese websites.
But Hong Kong newspaper The Standard said Friday that police entering Zhang’s home discovered human eyeballs preserved inside wine bottles and pieces of what appeared to be human flesh hanging in the house to dry.
Police feared that Zhang had fed human flesh to his three dogs, while selling other parts on the market, calling it “ostrich meat”, according to The Standard.
Beijing has dispatched a team of experts to Yunnan to supervise the investigation into the missing teenagers and two local police chiefs have been dismissed from their positions, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Families of the missing suspected that they had been kidnapped and forced to work in illegal brick kilns, Xinhua said, adding that the government had urged a swift resolution to the case.
A jury in Philadelphia heard about Catholic schoolboys who said they had to strip before a priest and endure whippings as they played Christ in a Passion play.
Prosecutors pursuing a child-endangerment case against a church official said the now 64-year-old Rev. Thomas J. Smith remained in ministry despite those 2002 accusations.
Church officials and an in-house review board didn’t think Smith was seeking sexual gratification when he allegedly had boys undress or get naked with him in a hot tub.
Smith was removed in 2005, after another accuser said Smith had taken several boys to a motel in the late 1970s, put ice down their pants and made them remove their underwear so it would dry. The accuser said he awoke to find a naked Smith rubbing his body against the naked boy.
Smith was defrocked in 2007.
Smith had put on the Passion play at several parishes over nine years. He would take the lead actor to a room and have him strip while Smith pinned a loincloth on the boy, several accusers said.
The boys said he then had other children whip them, to the point of pain, during the crucifixion story. Asked by church officials why he had them naked, Smith later said, “for authenticity,” while he conceded it was poor judgment.
At least one boy wanted to quit, but his proud, unsuspecting parents wouldn’t let him.
Cardinal Justin Rigali approved an “educational sabbatical” in 2004, after the loincloth allegations surfaced. But Smith continued living at his Springfield parish for at least another year, until a man came forward to complain about the ice-cube antics.
Smith had been taking several teens on a retreat when his car supposedly broke down in Valley Forge, leading him to bunk with the boys at the hotel, the accuser said. Another priest picked them up the next day.
Firefighters had to come to the rescue of two police officers who were totally outnumbered in Mariners Harbor.
The situation became so tense that local firefighters eventually deloyed a truck-mounted deluge gun — a water cannon — to fend off the marauding group of teens.
A large group of teenagers had amassed to confront a teenage girl who lives in a local residence.
“It was chaos,” said one neighbor, who lives across the street but declined to give his name, stating that he feared retaliation.
“The yelling got louder and louder and louder… There was probably 50 to 55 kids out here, and they were challenging one girl.”
The group was threatening the girl, yelling at her to come out and fight, witnesses told the Advance. That sparked calls to 911, and two officers, one male, the other female, arrived at the scene.
The male officer attempted to arrest a member of the crowd, and the teens turned on him, knocking him to the ground.
“The kids were on top of the cop while the cop was arresting the first person,” the neighbor said.
When his female partner tried to intervene, witnesses said, she was knocked down as well. As she was being attacked, she shouted for assistance on her police radio.
“Both police officers were on the ground,” said another neighbor, who also requested anonymity. “The kids were attacking them.”
The scene happened just a few houses down from the FDNY’s Mariners Harbor-based Engine Co. 158. The truck got to the street within moments, witnesses said, and blasted the teens with the engine’s cannon-shaped deluge gun to disperse the crowd, according to witnesses.
A large police presence, including an NYPD helicopter, soon followed, chasing the teens down to make several arrests.
Denesopolis praised the quick response of the firefighters, saying that he thanked the firehouse brass personally.
“They were very helpful,” he said. “They were the closest emergency unit on the scene.”
The crowd went to the girl’s house because her mother had kept her home from Port Richmond High School for the past five days because of a bullying situation, according to Denesopolis.
“It escalated today when they came to her,” he said.
The girl, who identified herself as a sophomore at the school, said the incident escalated from a “he-said, she-said” over picking sides in a gang dispute at school.
“They were waiting for me since Thursday. They wanted to get me for a he-said, she-said. They kept on calling,” she said, and when the group arrived at her doorstep, they were carrying “guns, blades and knives.”
The girl has a heart condition, relatives said, and at one point, one of the teens taunted her by saying, “We’re gonna punch you in the chest. We’re gonna fix your heart condition.”
As of this afternoon, police had not released the names of the nine arrested, though they’ll likely face weapon and felony assault charges, police said.
A mob of teenagers found that there really is power in numbers when they formed a flash mob and robbed a 7-Eleven store Saturday night.
A group of about 50 teenagers stormed the convenience store in Silver Spring, Maryland at around 11.20pm this past Saturday, and because of their numbers the cashier was overpowered.
The large group all walked in at once, dispersing to take drinks and snacks without paying for them, before exiting and fleeing the scene.
Police found six of the suspects milling around the area after the incident was reported. All were between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.
These teens were considered suspicious because they all had 7-Eleven snacks or drinks and no receipts. Their names and addresses were taken down but they were not arrested.
‘The detectives are working to identify the students or teenagers involved,’ one Montgomery County police officer told NBC Washington.
In recent years, flash mobs have had more of a light-hearted tone, as it became trendy for groups to participate in seemingly-random dance performances.
Clearly, Saturday’s mob used their power for evil instead of good. And this wasn’t the first time police have seen the tactic used.
A similar incident happened in August at a nearby 7-Eleven in Germantown, Maryland, when dozens of teenagers took items without paying.
Two solutions put forth by county officials are county-wide bills that would enforce a curfew and attempt to curb suspicious loitering.
Supporters think that the use of a curfew would be an effective way to keep teens from causing mayhem or misbehaving in the evening, suggesting that people under the age of 17 be off the streets by 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
The loitering bill would prohibit people from remaining ‘in a public place or establishment at a time or in a manner not usual for law-abiding persons under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons in the vicinity’.
‘You just want them to understand, as in the Germantown event,’ that this is not going to be passed off and taken lightly,’ the police officer said.