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February 20, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
During closing statements that were both impassioned and scornful, the prosecution presented the six former City Council members accused in the Bell corruption trial as thieves who fleeced a small, working-class town, while the defense portrayed them as hard-working public servants dedicated to their community. Deputy Dist. Atty. Edward Miller took aim at the defendants, saying that instead of serving their low-income constituents, they were more interested in fattening their wallets.
February 19, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS -- Heavily armed robbers disguised as police officers stole $50 million worth of diamonds in a spectacular raid at Brussels' international airport, authorities said Tuesday. Shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, two black cars with flashing blue lights smashed through a gate and raced up to a plane on the tarmac, Ine Van Wymersch of the Brussels prosecutor's office told reporters. The vehicles pulled up in front of an armored security van that had stopped next to the plane, which was waiting to takeoff.
January 31, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Federal investigators acting on a tip have recovered five petroglyph panels that thieves cut from an eastern Sierra site sacred to Native Americans, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said Thursday. The location of the petroglyphs, stolen last fall, was disclosed in an anonymous letter to authorities. By failing to sign the letter, its author walked away from a $9,000 reward - a sign that the tip may have come from the thieves themselves. Experts had said the petroglyphs would fetch little money from collectors and would be difficult to fence because of widespread publicity about the theft.
January 15, 2013 | By Tina Susman
New York police plan to distribute "bait bottles" of fake pain-killers equipped with invisible GPS devices in a drive to combat the scourge of pharmacy robberies by addicts and sellers looking for oxycodone tablets, which can fetch more than $80 per pill on the street. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced the novel approach at the 2013 Clinton Health Matters Conference in La Quinta on Tuesday, saying his city's cases of  oxycodone-related crime have included a retired police officer who resorted to robbing pharmacies to satisfy his craving for the highly addictive narcotic.
December 19, 2012 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Lancaster retailers that refuse to press charges against shoplifters will risk having their names publicized to entice thieves, the city's mayor, R. Rex Parris, said Tuesday. Parris said the initiative was needed because some retailers believe that the cost of apprehending and prosecuting people who steal outweighs losses from theft. "It's just a balance-sheet issue for them," Parris said in an interview. But the realization that stores won't take legal action emboldens criminals, the mayor said.
November 25, 2012 | By Sam Quinones and Jessica Garrison
One night past midnight behind Superior Supermarket in the City of Industry, a man was hard at work loading plastic containers into a white truck under the glow of streetlights. It was a sight Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Shelley Jones had observed many times while on patrol, and if it hadn't been for a call she'd received a few days before, she wouldn't have given the man a second glance. A local dairy executive had phoned to report a mysterious phenomenon: Every night, plastic pallets used to distribute goods from warehouses, dairies and farms to stores were disappearing from Southern California businesses by the tens of thousands.
October 25, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Barnes & Noble, the country's largest bookseller, said data thieves hacked into payment devices and may have stolen customer credit and debit card information at 63 of its stores nationwide, including 20 in California. Hackers planted bugs in a single card reader at each of the stores, the company said. Customers swipe their payment cards through the machines and, if using a debit card, enter their personal identification number. Those PINs may be at risk, along with other account information, potentially giving thieves access to customers' private accounts.
October 11, 2012 | By Gary Goldstein
Comparisons to such ensemble capers as "Ocean's Eleven" or "Tower Heist" are inevitable, but South Korea's "The Thieves" carves its own niche with moments of romance and stylish mayhem mixed with a more emotionally conflicted, winner-take-all sensibility than its American brethren. Director Dong-hoo Choi ("The Big Swindle"), who co-wrote the sometimes overly complex script with Gi-cheol Lee, begins by jauntily setting up the potential theft of a $30 million diamond from a Macau casino vault by an intrepid band of high-end crooks, each, of course, with a burgling specialty.
September 30, 2012 | By Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times
MARIPOSA — Armed robbers may have made off with as much as $2 million in gold and gems from the the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, a parks spokesman said. A statewide hunt was on for the robbers and the possible loot Saturday after the Friday afternoon robbery. About 4 p.m., multiple robbers dressed entirely in black and wearing face masks and night goggles broke in and threatened a museum curator and a museum guide with what were described to police as pickaxes.
September 25, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
There are a lot of strange things that get stolen out on the endless acres of American rangeland, a vast and often underguarded expanse, but Karen Gibson of rural Wyoming may have found the strangest: horsehair. Gibson recently reported to authorities in Fremont County that someone cut the hair from her horse's tail. The report is the latest in a peculiar crime spree -- authorities have more than 30 reports that people are stealing horsehair across three Wyoming counties. Investigators aren't sure of the motive, but they say that horsehair can be valuable and is often used to create belts, paintbrushes and the bows of musical instruments.
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