Sunday, June 21, 2009

Google street scene solves Dutch crime

Dutch muggers caught on Google street view camera
June 19, 2009

Dutch twin brothers who mugged a teenager in the northern town of Groningen were arrested after being caught on camera by a car gathering images for Google's online photo map service, police said.

The pair stole the 14-year-old boy's mobile phone and 165 euros ($230) in cash last September.

"The picture was taken just a moment before the crime," a police spokesman said.

In March, the victim recognized himself and the two robbers while surfing Google Maps, which has a "Street View" feature allowing users to see images of buildings. The images are usually taken by a camera mounted on a car.

After an investigation by the police, one of the 24-year-old twins confessed to robbing the boy. ($1=.7183 Euro) (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cops made up false accusations about brothers selling cocaine in Queens: who's in jail now?

Brothers Prove Cops Wrong With Video
June 13, 2009

When undercover detectives busted Jose and Maximo Colon last year for selling cocaine at a seedy club in Queens, there was a glaring problem: The brothers hadn't done anything wrong.

But proclaiming innocence wasn't going to be good enough. The Dominican immigrants needed proof.

The Story: Undercover police arrested two brothers for dealing cocaine at a New York night club. The officers claimed Maximo Colon, left, and his brother Jose sold two bags of cocaine to them. - The Truth: The brothers proved their innocence -- and laid the groundwork for a multimillion dollar lawsuit -- with a video from the club's security cameras.

"I sat in the jail and thought ... how could I prove this? What could I do?" Jose, 24, recalled in Spanish during a recent interview.

As he glanced around a holding cell, the answer came to him: Security cameras. Since then, a vindicating video from the club's cameras has spared the brothers a possible prison term, resulted in two officers' arrest and become the basis for a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

The officers, who are due back in court June 26, have pleaded not guilty, and New York Police Department officials have downplayed their case.
But the drug corruption case isn't alone.

On May 13, another NYPD officer was arrested for plotting to invade a Manhattan apartment where he hoped to steal $900,000 in drug money. In another pending case, prosecutors in Brooklyn say officers were caught in a 2007 sting using seized drugs to reward a snitch for information. And in the Bronx, prosecutors have charged a detective with lying about a drug bust captured on a surveillance tape that contradicts her story.

Elsewhere, Philadelphia prosecutors dismissed more than a dozen drug and gun charges against a man last month when a narcotics officer was accused of making up information on search warrants...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

LAPD detective charged 23 years after being named a suspect in slaying

Nels Rasmussen says he told LAPD detectives in 1986 that a jealous ex-girlfriend had broken into his daughter's condo and told her 'If I can't have John, nobody can,' in the days before her slaying.

Detective stalked slaying victim, father says

By Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin
June 10, 2009

Nels Rasmussen says he vividly remembers the calls from his daughter 23 years ago when she confided her fears that a jealous LAPD officer was out to harm her. She told him the young female officer had shown up in uniform at the hospital where she worked and issued a chilling warning about her husband, "If I can't have John, nobody can."

He remembers the call when his daughter told him that she had found the officer, again in uniform, standing in the Van Nuys condo she shared with her new husband, John Ruetten. Then there was the call, days before she was beaten and shot to death in 1986, when Sherri Rasmussen said she believed the officer had been following her on city streets.

All of this, Nels Rasmussen says, he told Los Angeles Police Department detectives in the days, months and years after his daughter's slaying. His information was ignored by police until this year when cold-case detectives reopened the homicide investigation. Last week his suspicions were validated when Det. Stephanie Lazarus was arrested and charged with capital murder. Police say Lazarus, who had dated Ruetten, killed Sherri Rasmussen in a crime of passion.

On Tuesday, as Lazarus made her first court appearance, Nels Rasmussen and his wife held a news conference, calling on the LAPD to investigate their belief that detectives overlooked glaring leads that pointed to Lazarus...

LA Police Detective Charged With Murder

LOS ANGELES (June 8, 2009) - A veteran detective was charged with murder Monday in the slaying of her ex-boyfriend's wife in 1986 — a crime that went unsolved for more than two decades as she rose through the Los Angeles Police Department ranks.

Detective Stephanie Lazarus, 49, could be sentenced to death if convicted of breaking into the victim's condominium on Feb. 24, 1986, and repeatedly biting, beating and shooting the woman.

Police in Los Angeles charged a veteran detective in the 1986 murder of her ex-boyfriend's wife Monday. Stephanie Lazarus, here in court Tuesday, could face the death penalty if convicted of repeatedly biting, beating and shooting the woman. Lazarus was identified as a suspect through a recent DNA match of saliva taken from bite marks on the victim's body.

Lazarus, who joined the force in 1983, was identified as a suspect through a recent DNA match of saliva taken from bite marks on Sherri Rasmussen's body, said Deputy Chief Charlie Beck.

Lazarus' husband, Scott Young, who works as a detective in the San Fernando Valley, knew nothing about the slaying, Beck said.

"None of us blames him. I don't know if he's been interviewed yet, but he will be, as will a lot of people," he said.

Lazarus was not a suspect at the time of Rasmussen's death because detectives believed that two robbers who had attacked another woman in the victim's Van Nuys neighborhood were to blame.

The case file mentioned Lazarus because she had once dated the victim's husband, John Ruetten, but investigators did not pursue her as a suspect until DNA tests recently showed the attacker was a woman...