CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2009 |
Even by the confessional standards of the "Dr. Phil" television show, it was a whopper of an admission. The nicely dressed couple said they had roamed several states as shoplifters, stealing mostly toys, selling them on the Internet and making as much as $1 million over seven years. "I'm no lawyer or a cop," said talk-show host Phil McGraw, his Texas drawl mixed with incredulity, "but isn't that a federal crime?" The wife paused a second and then said, "Yeah, it is." Last week, a federal grand jury in San Diego agreed, handing down an indictment against Matthew Allen Eaton, 34, and his wife, Laura, 26. And, just as Dr. Phil predicted, the transcript and video of last November's show are central to the prosecution's case.
July 24, 2009 |
Even a new-age reading of the 10 Commandments would seem to make it quite clear: Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's computer files and text messages. But one news story in recent days suggests it's not quite that simple. New technology has supercharged the debate over what should be in the public domain but done nothing to clarify the answers.
July 7, 2009 |
The wife of a southern Utah doctor who killed himself after his arrest on charges of stealing Native American artifacts from public lands pleaded guilty on Monday to similar charges. As part of a plea agreement, Jeanne Redd, 59, pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft of government and tribal property and trafficking in stolen artifacts. Federal prosecutors agreed to seek a lesser penalty at her September sentencing than the maximum 10 years in prison provided for under the charges.
March 20, 2009 |
A famous paleontologist who discovered the world's best preserved dinosaur will plead guilty to stealing dinosaur bones from federal land. Nathan Murphy's change-of-plea motion follows state and federal investigations into his alleged attempts to cash in on the lucrative fossil market. Murphy, 51, is a self-taught dinosaur expert who spent much of the last two decades searching for bones in central Montana's Hell Creek formation. In 2000, he discovered a mummified, 77-million-year-old duckbilled hadrosaur known as Leonardo, considered the best preserved in the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2009 |
Police arrested three people on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of unlawful firearms Thursday, in a case that came together after one suspect allegedly tried to fence the goods at the same store that reported them stolen. When the 6th Street Antiques and Toy shop in downtown Riverside was burglarized in early December; thieves got away with about $25,000 in antique guns, knives and memorabilia. For months, police were unable to crack the case. Then, they say, Annette Terriquez, 51, took an armload of baseball cards, sports collectibles and an antique firearm to the store Thursday, and a manager recognized the items as having been stolen from the shop.
February 15, 2009 |
The horses at Tom Johnson and Jim Hoff's place once had tails that hung down to their hooves. Shampooed and combed, they gleamed, flaxen-colored, when the Belgian draft horses drew wagons for children and pranced in parades. But a significant portion of their tails disappeared one recent night when a knife- or scissors-wielding intruder hopped the fence into their pasture and hacked away, leaving half a dozen horses and ponies with shredded stubs. "It's a dang shame is what it is.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2009 |
If Nancy Drew attended Malibu High School, she'd have a doozy of a deepening mystery on her hands. Call it the Case of the Purloined Palms. Two Saturdays ago, several individuals in two white trucks dug up 80 or so tropical queen palm trees that parent volunteers had planted on the campus over Thanksgiving weekend. Now, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives are investigating, and parents who planted the trees are left feeling outraged. "I'm basically heartbroken and traumatized," said parent Jill Berliner.
January 3, 2009 |
Cattle-rustling is an age-old problem on Argentina's legendary Pampas plains, but genetic testing is helping police crack down on thieves. Argentina, one of the world's top beef exporters, is famous for its free-range beef from grass-fed cattle. Experts say lax controls and the sheer scale of some ranches make life easy for rustlers.