Police On the Hunt For 12-Year-Old Girl Behind $4.6 Million Diamond Theft

Some thieves need a lot of impeccably skilled manpower, cutting edge gadgets, elaborate master plans and flawless thieving skills to carry out an act of theft in the wee hours of the night.

Most of them even have to risk their own lives in the same manner they are willing to take lives— just to ensure the success of their thieving mission.

Well, they’ve got nothing on a 12-year-old girl who was able to singlehandedly snatch a $4.6 million 117-karat diamond necklace— inside a mall in broad daylight.

A manhunt operation is now underway in Hong Kong as police scramble to find a young girl, whom they described as aged around 12-14 years old, after she singlehandedly pocketed the million-dollar diamond necklace from a front display at a luxury jewelry store in broad daylight on Friday.

The girl, who was wearing a hooded gray sweatshirt, was seen stealing the piece of jewelry on the store’s CCTV footage— all on her own. She was reportedly seen discreetly and singlehandedly stealing the keys to the front display of the Emperor Watch and Jewelry store inside a mall in Hong Kong while three of her adult accomplices distracted shop clerks.

An anonymous tip from a police source told local news South China Morning Post:

“The three adults posed as big spenders and demanded employees show them jewelry in an apparent move to divert staff attention”.

The adult accomplices reportedly posed as some big time spenders, insistent of seeing a number of jewelries in the store to distract the sales staff as the young girl made her way to the 117-karat diamond necklace.

According to the reports, the young thief carefully took the jewelry, slid it inside her pocket and walked confidently out of the shop and out of the mall with her hands inside the pockets of her sweatshirt.

But exactly how she managed to steal the luxurious necklace inside the busy jewelry shop is yet to be confirmed by the Hong Kong police.

Extra security measures are now being taken by the jewelry store following the robbery incident, with several additional security guards deployed just outside the shop.

A spokesman for Emperor Watch and Jewelry told CNN in an interview: “Our first and foremost priority is to comply with the police investigation, but we still have to wait for the results to see what measures can be taken to strengthen the security level.”

American Sniper Film Could ‘Hurt’ Ongoing Chris Kyle Murder Trial

With the American Sniper movie’s massive box office success and numerous Oscar nominations comes the agony of the lawyers defending Chris Kyle’s suspected murderer.

Lawyers defending Kyle’s accused murderer believe it is going to be nearly impossible to find a jury who would remain impartial on the still ongoing trial due to the film’s success.

American Sniper is a movie based on the life of the man dubbed as America’s ‘deadliest sniper’, Chris Kyle— who, in his lifetime, had 160 confirmed kills and an estimated 255 unconfirmed ones while he was stationed as a serviceman in Iraq. Kyle was later on honored with two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, five Bronze Star Medals, and two Silver Star Medals.

To the Iraqis that the U.S. forces were fighting in Iraq, he was known as the “Devil of Ramadi”— but to the comrades he protected, he was simply a “Legend”.

Despite a $20,000 bounty on his head placed by the Iraqi regime they have for years fought against, Kyle was able to leave his post unharmed, returning to the U.S. upon the request of his wife, leaving the Navy honorably.

Back at home he shifted from protecting soldiers on the battlefield to protecting them after they left it. He started a non-profit organization aimed at helping veteran servicemen deal with post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), a condition that most veterans struggle to deal with— which, in some occasions, has cost other people’s lives.

It’s what cost Chris Kyle his.

On Feb. 2, 2013, Kyle’s life, along with his friend’s, was taken by another veteran suffering from PTSD. Kyle took ex-marine Eddie Ray Routh on a target range to help him deal with PTSD, but the day ended tragically, as Routh reportedly shot Kyle and his friend at point blank range.

Nearly three years after Chris Kyle’s death, his murder trial is scheduled to resume on Feb. 11, but lawyers defending Routh fear that their client would never have the chance of an impartial trial, as the movie American Sniper has reached far and wide and with massive success.

“The film will be an issue. I think any case with significant publicity has an issue with picking a jury. I’ve had them in the past, and anything that has significant national attention makes it hard to pick a jury,” said lawyer J. Warren St. John, one of Routh’s representatives, in an interview with People Magazine.

Prosecutors assured, however, that they are not seeking the death penalty against the accused.

Lazy Postman Failed to Deliver Nearly 1,000 Pieces of Mail

If you still haven’t heard from Santa Claus by now, it’s probably because the postman was feeling, well, a bit lazy.

You’re probably mad. The postmaster was, too.

Alex Douglas Douma, a now-former postman from Eugene, failed to deliver about 1,000 pieces of mail between late April to early July of last year. And intentionally so, because he said he felt lazy.

Although most of the mail he intentionally failed to deliver were junk mails, 27 of them were voter ballots for the primary elections in May 2014— and about 200 of the mails were standard and first-class mail.

The lazy postman was found out after police discovered two bin-fuls of mail on his front porch in July.

He was charged with mail obstruction by federal prosecutors.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty before the federal court, but insisted that he did not intend to keep the undelivered pieces of mail. The lazy postman admitted that he failed to do his rounds on numerous occasions during the months of April, May, June, and July of last year— but asserted that he had no intention whatsoever of keeping them for himself.

“I wasn’t intending on keeping,” he told U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin, as he apologized for his neglectful actions during the hearing.

Federal Prosecutor William Fitzgerald backed Douma’s claim, telling Judge Coffin that the lazy postman committed “a crime of failing to do something he should have done.”

A mail obstruction charge has a maximum sentence of up to six months of incarceration upon conviction— but the lazy postman was given one year probation and a $500 fine instead.

And the postmaster wasn’t too happy about it.

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General said that it considers the crime committed by its lazy postman a “very serious matter”.

“Mr. Douma was required to protect the sanctity and security of U.S. mail entrusted to him,” stated John Masters, an agent under the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

Agents from the Inspector General’s office worked with local authorities on the investigation of Douma’s mail obstruction case, but Masters declined to comment on whether or not the agency fired Douma from the U.S. Postal Service— citing agency policy and federal law that prohibit them from disclosing that information.

The lazy postman, however, has already moved on and found a new job.

His lawyer, Clayton Tullos, said that they found the resolution on his criminal case ‘appropriate': “Given the facts, we feel this was an appropriate resolution,” he said.

Eating and Driving is Illegal… in Georgia

While many are aware that drinking and driving is always a bad combination that could lead to a number of disasters on the road and nearly inevitable DUIs; not many are aware that eating and driving could be just as bad and is in fact deemed illegal… In Georgia.

Or so, a man named Madison Turner claims.

According to Turner, he went to McDonald’s to order a double quarter pounder with cheese and then drove off thinking he could enjoy his giant burger guilt-free. Little did he know that an officer would flag him down as he passed by Canton Road in Marietta.

“The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for 2 miles,” said Turner, who is from Alabama. “He said specifically three times, you can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.”

Then he was issued a ticket.

Gulp.

It appears that the officer wrote Turner up under a certain ‘distracted driving law’ which is being enforced in the state of Georgia. The comments section on Turner’s ticket said “eating while driving”.

It remains unclear whether Turner was cited by the officer for eating his sumptuous burger the whole two miles that he was driving, or if it was okay to munch on a burger while driving a quarter of that distance. But the law does exist— and in part, it reads: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

Confused, Turner said of the incident: “Maybe I was enjoying the burger too much I needed to tone it down. I was certainly willing to do so but I didn’t expect to be fined or punished”.

Of course the violation deserves a scratch on the head.

William Head, an experienced traffic and DUI attorney, found himself stunned by the violation Turner has been slammed with. “If this was the law, I’d have to hire more attorneys because everybody does it including me,” said Head, who isn’t representing the eating and driving offender.

“I’ve only seen something like this charge when there’s an accident. There was no accident here so the fact that this man was charged with eating and driving is a first for me.”

“Maybe if you had a giant pizza in both hands and you weren’t holding the wheel or maybe if you had a watermelon, half watermelon and you were just diving into it holding it with both hands, maybe that would be something,” he added.

Police Investigating ‘Thumbs Up’ Robber

Finally, a robber with a conscience.

A man who is suspected of intending to rob a convenience store in a northwestern suburb near Denver, Colorado is currently being hunted by local police. Not because he almost robbed a convenience store, but because he did.

The man, who was dressed in a blue hoodie and jeans and wore a blue bandana as a mask to cover up his face, walked inside a convenience store called Quick Save in Arvada. The hooded man looked like he intended to rob the store as seen on the CCTV footage— but stopped as soon as he saw the clerk inside the convenience store. Not because he hesitated. But because he recognized the clerk inside the store.

According to a statement by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, “The suspect looked at the clerk and said, ‘(Expletive), I was going to rob this place but I know you'”. The hooded man then reportedly proceeded to inquire if the store clerk recognized him, to which the clerk answered that he didn’t. “The suspect then stated, ‘Good,’ and walked out of the store while giving a ‘thumbs up’ sign to the clerk,” said the statement from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released on Wednesday.

The whole encounter between the hooded man and the Quick Save store clerk was recorded via CCTV footage inside the convenience store.

According to the police, the hooded man then went to his car and drove off.

But a few minutes later, a man whose description fitted that of the hooded man robbed a 7-Eleven store, about just a mile away from the Quick Save convenience store that the hooded man originally intended to rob.

The same hooded man became the suspect for the robbery, naturally, not just because he almost attempted to rob another convenience store about a mile away, but because he was wearing the exact same thing the 7-Eleven robber was wearing— blue hoodie, blue bandana, jeans, and the exact same distinctive red and yellow shoes.

Local authorities are now hunting the hooded man, asking the public to approach them if they had any information about the suspect.

Obviously they tried to question the Quick Save store clerk whom the robber recognized, but unfortunately the clerk didn’t recognize what the media dubbed as the thumbs up robber. But you can’t blame the guy for not recognizing a hooded man with a mask around his mouth.

New Yorkers Warned of Virtual Kidnapping Scam

Just like in the movies.

A new scam has been on the rise in New York City since the past year, where numerous victims fell prey to scams being pulled off by yet-unnamed criminals who torment New Yorkers with fake kidnapping to try to exploit huge sums of money out of them.

FBI and New York Police warned residents of the virtual kidnapping scam as hundreds of cases were reported from last year alone, many of them involving Hispanics— officials said Tuesday.

In the scam, one of the virtual kidnappers place a call to their victim, claiming that a relative of the victim has just been abducted; and then lays out their demands for ransom money. To make their story credible, they sometimes employ the help of a fellow scammer to pretend to be the victim’s relative.

If they’ve called to inform the victim that they have their daughter, for example, one of the female colleagues of the virtual kidnapper would scream in the background and ask for help— to try to make their claim as realistic as possible.

“While no actual kidnapping has taken place, the callers often use co-conspirators to convince their victims of the legitimacy of the threat,” said New York officials in a statement.

Aside from virtual kidnapping, the scammers also use another scheme to try to deceive their potential victims. Instead of pretending that they’ve kidnapped one of the victim’s relatives, they would lead their victims to believe that a relative of theirs has been injured in an accident where a gang member was involved— and that the supposed gang member would not let their relative be transported to a hospital unless damages to his vehicle has been paid.

“Most schemes use various techniques to instill a sense of fear, panic and urgency in an effort to rush the victim into making a very hasty decision,” said officials.

In both the virtual kidnapping and vehicular accident scams, the victims are ordered to stay on the phone with the scammers until the former is able to complete a wire transfer of the money demanded by the latter. Authorities say that the scammers generally ask for the wire transfers to be sent to an accomplice in Puerto Rico, using money transfer services such as Western Union.

According to New York officials, the suspects from the virtual kidnapping scams are mostly Hispanics or individuals with heavy Spanish accents.

Flight Attendants Refuse to Fly After Seeing These Drawings

They saw a smiley, a devilish face, and the words “BYE BYE” scribbled on a part of the aircraft’s tail cone, so they refused to fly.

They got fired for that.

Thirteen of United Airlines flight attendants were relieved from their jobs after refusing to fly on a United Airlines flight bound for Hong Kong last July, 2014.

The flight attendants, who were considered as ‘veteran’ employees of the airline company, made the decision after seeing the drawings in picture scribbled on an oil slick on one of the Boeing 747’s auxiliary engines located at the plane’s tail cone.

According to Katz, Marshall & Banks, the firm representing the relieved flight attendants, United Airlines refused to do a security sweep on the plane even after they were informed of the drawings scribbled on the aircraft’s tail cone. This, said the firm, prompted the flight attendants’ refusal to fly. The United Airlines flight was supposed to depart from San Francisco with about 400 passengers.

The flight attendants said that they were not ready to risk the lives of the passengers and the crew members on board the aircraft so they made the decision to refuse to do their jobs— in an effort to stop the plane from departing.

United Airlines, on the other hand, claims that additional security measures were taken by the company after receiving information of the sinister drawings on the aircraft’s tail cone. A statement by the company was later on released to CNN, saying:

“There was no credible security threat. All of FAA’s and United’s own safety procedures were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, and the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders deemed the aircraft entirely safe to fly.”

Meanwhile, the flight attendants who refused to fly in protest were accused of insubordination and were eventually laid off their jobs in United. The move by United prompted the flight attendants, in turn, to file a federal lawsuit.

“Our clients are entitled to legal protection for doing what was right. United needs to be told in no uncertain terms that ordering conscientious employees, who are the eyes and ears of the public in these situations, to ignore federal law because it is more profitable for the Airline to maintain scheduled flights, will not be tolerated,” said Katz, Marshall & Banks partner David J. Marshall.

The firm filed a whistleblower complaint Tuesday at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor (DOL).

“You have to be careful about drinking around me” — Bill Cosby

After months of silence amid sexual harassment accusations against him, controversial comedian Bill Cosby referred to the allegations— telling a woman in the audience at his comedy show, “you have to be careful about drinking around me.”

The sarcastic joke came after a woman in the audience seated near the front row in his stand-up comedy show in London, Ontario, stood up to grab a drink. When Cosby noticed the woman leaving her seat, the 77-year-old comedian asked her where she was headed. Finding out that the woman was about to get herself a drink, Cosby let out the sarcastic joke— in one of the very rare occasions (if not the ONLY occasion) he referred to the piling number of sexual harassment allegations that several female personalities from the entertainment industry have been claiming against him.

The sarcastic remark is expected to anger Cosby’s accusers and the people who stand by them, as more and more people show support for the women he allegedly victimized. Hundreds of protesters braved the Canadian cold outside of the Thursday show’s venue just to express their disgust over Cosby.

The women who claimed that the famous stand-up comedian sexually abused them have long demanded for Cosby to respond to their allegations, but he remained mum amid the accusations, despite the fact that the issue has become increasingly controversial.

Just minutes after Cosby made his sarcastic remark at his Ontario stand-up show Thursday, a heckler has been plucked out by Canadian police from the audience after shouting “Bill Cosby you’re a rapist”. Cosby remained composed despite the disturbance, encouraging his audience to remain patient and calm, resuming his comedy show within just a few minutes after the incident.

Cosby’s public relations firm issued a statement on the Thursday incident, saying: “One outburst but over 2600 loyal, patient and courageous fans enjoyed the most wonderful medicine that exist for human-kind. Laughter. I thank you, the theatre staff (Budweiser Gardens), the event organizers and the London, ON Community for your continued honor and support. I’m Far From Finished.”

Although Bill Cosby chose to remain silent amid the sexual abuse accusations against him, his lawyers repeatedly and directly denied all the accusations against their client. No charges were filed against Cosby despite the fact that quite a number of women have already came forward to accuse him of the crime.

Bill Cosby has three scheduled stand-up shows in Canada, and his Thursday night performance was the second in the series.

Why Posting that Facebook Privacy Statement is Funny

[Writer’s note: I tried to share the original article on my Facebook page but amazingly, it vanished soon after I posted it— only to re-appear a few minutes later.]

 

Some Facebook users felt a little disturbed when a supposed message passed around through friends started telling them that they had to post a privacy statement on their wall, telling Facebook that they are not giving it the permission to use any of their pictures or posts.

Many fell prey to the trap and posted the exact same message on their pages.

Little do they know that posting the messages meant nothing at all.

The unsuspecting Facebook users were encouraged to copy and paste the fraudulent document on their Facebook walls, leading them to believe that the post would give them further protection from the supposedly thieving monster that is Facebook.

Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Facebook users succumbed and unknowingly made a fool of themselves by reposting the fraudulent ‘legal’ statement, encouraging all their other friends on Facebook to do the same— making the hoax viral in the process.

One of the fraudulent Facebook Privacy Statement read:

“Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I state: at this date of January 4, 2015, in response to the new guidelines of Facebook, pursuant to articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data drawings, paintings, photos, video, texts etc. published on my profile and my page. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.”

But Facebook users agree to the terms and conditions laid upon by Facebook itself through the mere use of the site. The terms and conditions on the site have already been agreed upon by both the users and Facebook when they signed up on the site, and nothing that a Facebook user could post can have any legal impact on that binding agreement.

Graham Cluley, a security expert from Britain, says, “Posting this status message to your Facebook account doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.

“When you created your Facebook account you agreed to the site’s privacy policy, terms and conditions.

“In short – don’t believe everything you read on the internet, and do your research before you cut-and-paste messages like this to your family and friends. It’s possible that you are just helping a hoax to perpetuate.

“If you don’t like how Facebook uses your data, then you can adjust your privacy settings and… if that’s not enough… you should perhaps permanently delete your account before more of your data is used in a way that you’re not comfortable with.”

It appears that the fraudulent ‘legal’ document circling about Facebook was masterminded by internet hoax site Snopes.

Children Aged 2 and Others Below 8 Responsible for Wave of Crimes in England

Toddlers just barely old enough to walk had been held for questioning by police officers in Britain.

Amid the controversy that accuses Prince Andrew of sexually abusing a minor comes news that minors in the kingdom where his family rules are not as innocent as they normally should be, given their young age.

A myriad of children under eight years of age appears to be responsible for a number of crimes in the UK. The crimes the children have allegedly committed range from theft, assault, vandalism, and even rape— according to recent reports. Of these crimes, one four-year-old is being accused of rape in London, while another aged five is also accused of the same crime in Surrey. Another five-year-old is accused of committing incest in Cheshire while two three-year-old boys were accused of sexual offenses in Durham. It now appears that 5,665 of the crimes committed in the UK since 2011 were by young children below eight years old.

And police officers could not do anything about the surging underage crimes.

The age of criminal liability for children in the UK is 10, which means that authorities can’t really do much about the rising number of child criminals in the country. The highest number of child-committed crimes in England was recorded at 1,713 crimes— which was from last year alone. Some campaigners in the country wish to raise the age of criminal liability to 14, but criminal lawyer Laurence Lee disagrees.

Lee has previously represented Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who were both 10 years old at the time they were charged with the murder of a toddler. In an interview with British tabloid MailOnline, Lee said: “I think there is a growing case to lower the age of criminal responsibility as children crime is increasing.

“Teenagers recruit young children to commit crime for them as they know they cannot be prosecuted.
“The other problem is the rise of social networking means young children are more aware of what is going on in the world.
“The age rate should be lowered. As a criminal lawyer, I sit in court and see what goes on in society. Youths are much savvier than they have ever been. That is down to parental upbringing and because schools cannot deal with children as they should. It is a problem that is getting worse.”

There is no doubt that the growing number of child-committed crimes need to be addressed promptly, but the English Ministry of Justice does not believe that lowering the age of criminal responsibility is the answer. According to a spokesman from the ministry,

“The Government has no plans to lower the age of criminal responsibility, which in England and Wales is currently set at the age of 10, because we believe that children under that age are unable to weigh up right and wrong in the same way that older children or adults are.”