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A series of tubes, literally hacked.

A gang of thieves dubbed "the vacuum burglars" has struck for the fifteenth time in France, drilling a hole in the pneumatic tube that siphons money from the checkout to the strong-room. They then sucked rolls of cash totalling £60,000 from the safe without even having to break its lock. A classic exploitation of a vulnerability in a system. But is it worth it to fix? via, via [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Sep 26, 2010 - 38 comments

You just never know what you're stepping into when you hit up a random car on a random street

When a thief stole a backpack and a GPS unit from Amanda Enayati's car, he picked the wrong target to mess with. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 21, 2010 - 222 comments

What Not to Wear in the Lineup

If you see someone walking towards you late at night, on a dark street, wearing a big NY on their cap, watch out. The New York times examines a link between Yankees clothing and criminal behavior. Mets fans say we told you so. Is there a link between Jay-Z, the Yankees and criminality? "Criminologists, sports marketing analysts, consumer psychologists and Yankees fans have developed their own theories, with some attributing the trend to the popularity of the caps among gangsta rappers and others wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team's aura of money, power and success."
posted by Xurando on Sep 16, 2010 - 98 comments

Beating the Odds - Homelessness in Sydney

An ABC Investigative Unit team hit the streets of western Sydney, where young people are struggling to break a vicious cycle of unemployment and family breakdown, to find out what's being done to stop them from falling through the cracks. In a great article by ABC reporters Eleanor Bell and Ed Giles, they found that the lack of resources, infrastructure and support for families in these communities is getting worse, not better but that despite this, many locals are still proud of their community.
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 8, 2010 - 18 comments

Meet Mutt and Jeff, the Trenchcoat Robbers...

A simple tale of the biggest bank heist in U.S. history.
posted by artof.mulata on Sep 5, 2010 - 21 comments

MI6 employee murdered in London

A man believed to be a MI6 employee has been found murdered in a flat in Pimlico. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 25, 2010 - 84 comments

So straight, I'm so straight.

Arguably, DC's first punk band was the father/son duo called White Boy. The two, Mr Ott and Jake Whipp (real names: James & Glenn Kowalski) self released their records on their own label, Doodly Squat. They are also known to be the first punk record owned by Minor Threat frontman Ian Mackaye. The full story of White Boy is much darker and hasn't been fully put together in the collective recollection of the band. [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Aug 6, 2010 - 6 comments

"This human rights abuse is universal, and no one should claim immunity from its reach or from the responsibility to confront it."

This year, for the first time ever, the U.S. included itself in the State Department's annual report on human trafficking. Most Americans associate human trafficking with sexually exploited women and children, but the definition includes guest laborers who have been trapped into indentured servitude as well. "More investigations and prosecutions have taken place for sex trafficking offenses than for labor trafficking offenses, but law enforcement identified a comparatively higher number of labor trafficking victims as such cases often involve more victims.” The full report--with victim stories, "TIP Heroes," methodology, definitions, etc.--is here.
posted by availablelight on Jul 31, 2010 - 10 comments

The Big Easy To Get Away With Murder

In 2009, New Orleans, Louisiana learned that it had the unwelcome distinction of once again being the murder capital of the United States according to the FBI's homicide data. New Orleans' newspaper The Times-Picayune even has a special map for keeping track of murders (with associated twitter account). [more inside]
posted by komara on Jul 29, 2010 - 29 comments

You're a big man, but you're in bad shape

RIP Trinity Square, Gateshead - a Brutalist car park made famous for it's appearance in the classic British crime drama Get Carter is being demolished this week.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 29, 2010 - 50 comments

Rough justice in America

Too many laws, too many prisoners - Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little. [previously] (via nc)
posted by kliuless on Jul 24, 2010 - 29 comments

A lie told often enough becomes the truth

Police in Orlando, Florida, frustrated with an "epidemic" of false allegations of rape, threaten arrest for all future false reports. The problems of this Florida community reflect research that shows a disproportionately high rate of false accusations of rape relative to other crimes, though studies on the issue are far from uniform, and frequently the center of controversy. [more inside]
posted by Law Talkin' Guy on Jul 19, 2010 - 143 comments

Bail bond niche marketing

In jail? Post bail. No matter your crime, interest, or affiliation, there's a bail bond agent for you. Suspect in Snow White's demise? Grumpy's (video auto-starts); Mob? No prob. Goodfellas, Godfather's? Godfather's! [more inside]
posted by zippy on Jul 7, 2010 - 46 comments

Things Fall Apart

The City of Oakland, California, is preparing to fire more than one quarter of it's entire police force. [more inside]
posted by Avenger on Jun 22, 2010 - 101 comments

A different way of looking at crime statistics.

Topographical Representation of Crime in San Francisco
posted by terrirodriguez on Jun 15, 2010 - 36 comments

“People are not going to befriend you unless there is something in it for them”

Bernie Madoff - Free At Last While incarcerated for 150 years for a $65 Billion dollar Ponzi scheme, Berine Madoff creates his own version of the events that led to his arrest and becomes a local celebrity at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex. (via metachat)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 7, 2010 - 31 comments

The Art of Making Money

For almost 20 years, Art Williams, Jr. was one of the country's eminent currency counterfeiters. His greatest achievement: counterfeiting the new (at the time) $100 bill (PDF link). [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 4, 2010 - 22 comments

Rosa Lee's Story

In 1994, Leon Dash, while still at the Washington Post, wrote a Pulitzer winning series of articles about a woman named Rosa Lee Cunningham. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 27, 2010 - 12 comments

Norway's modern prisons

Norway's penal system has gathered some attention recently, as the new Halden prison just opened. The $217 million facility will house 252 prisoners, some long-term and some short. The new prison is notable for, among other things, use of armoured glass instead of bars on windows, natural lighting and single-inmate cells with private showers, TVs and access to a gym and a sound studio. There was also an art budget, and Norwegian street artist Dolk was commisioned to decorate some of the walls. The Norwegian penal system is similar to the other Scandinavian countries', with no death penalty, and a "life" sentence of 21 years. In Norway there are no privately run incarceration facilities, and the opening of the rather plush-seeming Halden prison spurred some discussion, but garnered no big controversy. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on May 27, 2010 - 111 comments

1) “But there are other lives to be saved, of people who haven’t done horrible things, who haven’t actually hurt anyone.” 2) "Fix it or lose it."

Arguing Three Strikes. A defense lawyer (and co-founder of Stanford's unique Criminal Defense Clinic), and a tough-on-crime Republican D.A. make for unusual allies in the move to reform California's Three Strikes law. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on May 22, 2010 - 53 comments

My Name is Todd Davis. This is my social security number...

Anti-Identity-Theft Firm Lifelock was fined $12 Million in March for deceptive business practices by the FTC. More bad news: their CEO had his identity stolen 13 times after posting his own social security number in company ads as proof they could protect him. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 19, 2010 - 56 comments

Dirty Old Women

Dirty Old Women is an attempt to figure out why older female teachers sleep with younger boys. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 13, 2010 - 102 comments

Money money money must be funny in the rich man's world

Who would have thought it? The UK has withdrawn the 500 Euro note after an investigation by SOCA discovered that 90% of the notes in circulation were linked to crime. Nicknames the ‘Bin Laden’ (you know its out there somewhere) the purple note worth $630 is a favourite of the criminally minded due to its ultra-portability and acceptance throughout mainland Europe. Drug investigations in Latin America time and time again turn up large amounts of currency in this form. According to Columbian financial regulators 234K Euros was legally imported and declared into the country but trails of 600M Euros being exported were discovered. Whilst money laundering and fraud relating to the Euro is nothing new the decision to put into circulation such a high note must now be being questioned at the highest levels.
posted by numberstation on May 13, 2010 - 95 comments

Here's Howe and Here's Hummel

New York city in the 19th century was famous for it's corruption, criminals and "Gangs of New York." All of them knew exactly who to call when they were in trouble, the law firm of Howe and Hummel. [more inside]
posted by interplanetjanet on May 1, 2010 - 9 comments

A special kind of person with special weird things they go to...

China Miéville has won his third Arthur C Clarke award for his crime/weird fiction novel The City and The City - making him the first person to win the prize three times. Somewhat emotional video of him accepting the prize, where he thanks one special crime reader in particular, his mum, who passed away before it's publication. 10 Questions about China Miéville. An A-Z of China Miéville - 1, 2. An extract from his next novel, Kraken. A Bas Lag Wiki. A discussion of the best genre crossovers. An out of season Christmas tale.
posted by Artw on Apr 30, 2010 - 71 comments

Can a person disappear in surveillance Britain?

It's been estimated that the average UK adult is now registered on more than 700 databases and is caught many times each day by nearly five million CCTV cameras. So how hard would it be for an average citizen to disappear completely? That’s the subject of a new documentary film: Erasing David, (Trailer: YouTube, Vimeo) which premieres this evening in the UK on More4. It's also now available worldwide online at the iTunes store and through several Video On Demand services, as well as through Good Screenings. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 29, 2010 - 17 comments

The Disturbing Gallery Of Rodney Alcala

The Daily News has posted a 215 image gallery of photos by serial killer Rodney Acala 66, convicted of the murders of 4 women and a girl in California. Authorities suspect there may be many more victims; possibly up to 20, killed between the years of 1971 to `79. The NYPD has released the photos in hopes of identifying possible victims & closing a bunch of cold cases. Thus informed, I find these photos deeply haunting; most are basic, boilerplate snapshots typical of their era, while others have a bizarre dreamlike quality (i.e.- in #3 in the posted series a young woman appears unfocused & wraithlike, her raised arms framed by trees, in #9 a subject bending over backwards at first appears to hung upside down, mouth vanished by foliage) several subjects in the series appear again & again. Alcala's photos reveal him as a pretentious manipulative hack, whose unintended best are evidence of the beast within. 21 women featured in a previous series of 120 shots have been found alive.
posted by vurnt22 on Apr 24, 2010 - 92 comments

Moral: Don't Do Your Heroin Supplier Any Favors

The Rise and Fall of Frank Ma, Last of New York's Asian Godfathers: How a Chinese immigrant became a crime lord, ordered a hit that left the wrong men dead, sparked a 16-year international investigation and finally landed in prison for the rest of his life.
posted by zarq on Apr 18, 2010 - 43 comments

Elle est partie!

“But I decided on the Mona Lisa, which was the smallest painting and the easiest to transport.” “So there was no chance,” asked the court, “that you decided on it because it was the most valuable painting?” - From Vanity Fair, the twisting, engaging story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen in broad daylight in 1911. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 8, 2010 - 13 comments

Childhood cruelties

Andrew O’Hagan writes in the London Review of Books on the James Bulger murder. It really should be read in conjunction with his earlier piece from 1993 to fully appreciate his stance. Previously [1] [2] [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Mar 25, 2010 - 25 comments

To Kill a Predator

A year ago, Aaron Vargas walked into Darrell McNeil's trailer and shot him in the chest with a .44 caliber black powder revolver. For the next half hour, Vargas prevented McNeil's bewildered and horrified wife from calling the police while he watched McNeil die. Jury selection for Vargas's trial begins April 12th; the D.A. is seeking 50 years to life. Meanwhile, the citizens of Vargas's and McNeil's hometown - including McNeil's daughter, son, stepson, and aforementioned widow - have rallied together in support of justice for the victim. But he's not who you might think. (Some links may be NSFW.)
posted by granted on Mar 25, 2010 - 77 comments

The Elegant Thief

Parachuting through the Austrian night sky to land on the roof of an castle to steal the Star of Empress Sisi is just the start of the adventures depicted in a fantastic article in Wired on the exploits of one Gerald Blanchard, Criminal Mastermind.
posted by Cobalt on Mar 24, 2010 - 13 comments

A new low.

Last November 23rd, upwards of 64 people (including at least 34 journalists) were killed in the Philippines. It has become known as the Maguindanao Massacre. [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese on Mar 15, 2010 - 21 comments

DNA’s Dirty Little Secret

DNA’s Dirty Little Secret: A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison.
posted by homunculus on Mar 6, 2010 - 40 comments

A new kind of civil disobedience?

Boston College sociology professor Lisa Dodson does research on poverty, public policy, and low-income work and family life. Recently her research took a different turn, as she discovered through interviews with U.S. managers in charge of low-income workers that some of them feel "(a) sense of unfairness (...) as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs." Professor Dobson talks about this phenomenon, and how it plays out in that some managers undermine the system, in interviews in the Boston Globe and on public radio. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on Mar 2, 2010 - 35 comments

Your body is now a crime scene

"Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution." A new Utah law now makes intentional behavior leading to miscarriage or "reckless" behavior leading to miscarriage a crime punishable by life in prison.
posted by Avenger on Feb 24, 2010 - 88 comments

30 Minutes or Less

Heroin can now be delivered to your house like a pizza. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Feb 21, 2010 - 81 comments

Everyday I Take The Bus...

Trending Now: Bus Thievery On The rise.
posted by Xurando on Feb 19, 2010 - 42 comments

Africa, the New Carribbian - For Cocaine, That Is.

So what is an enterprising cocaine cartel to do when tight airport and border security threaten to cause one to miss out on a massive boom in european cocaine use? Well, for starters one sets up shop on Africa's west coast where the police often aren't paid for months and the 4 cars of some country's police force can mostly sit idle due to a lack of gas money. Oh, and in Guinea Bissau - no coast guard! In addition to bringing even more corruption and violence to Africa, the status of being the transhipment point of about 3/4 of all cocaine heading to Europe brings a Miami-style economic stimulus. And as colombian cartels are generally more concerned with getting cocaine out of Colombia at a profit than getting it all the way to its destination, we're probably only a few years away from a senegalese Scarface.
posted by jake1 on Feb 12, 2010 - 26 comments

Saddle rash is the best thing will happen to you, fucker!

Some bike messengers last month took justice into their own hands when they caught two suspected thieves, teenage boys who attended a local Catholic high school. According to police, the messengers stripped down the teens to their boxer shorts before taking their cellphones, backpacks and clothes. But there have been countless other incidents, of real and desired vengeance [more inside]
posted by Danf on Feb 11, 2010 - 129 comments

Wow, I didn't know he was in Beastmaster. . .

78 year-old American actor Rip Torn got drunk and tried to rob a bank last night. [more inside]
posted by bardic on Jan 31, 2010 - 107 comments

A Crime of Shadows

A Crime of Shadows: Mark Bowden shows both sides of a police sting of Internet child predators. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 27, 2010 - 76 comments

Bondsmen vs. Pretrial Release

Pretrial release is an alternative to a cash or surety bond that allows some criminal defendants to avoid jail while awaiting trial; allowing defendants to continue to work or care for children. [more inside]
posted by electroboy on Jan 26, 2010 - 27 comments

You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out.

Magician, actor & Scientologist Larry Anderson wants his money back. Although he had modest success in Hollywood, he was known to millions as the narrator of Scientology's introductory film Orientation; certainly his most famous line was said for that movie:
"If you leave this room after seeing this film and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid. But you can do it. You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out. That is your choice."
Listen in as Larry negotiates with Church officials to recover $120,000 he deposited with the church in anticipation of receiving services from it.

In related news, Adams County, CO DA is charging Scientology OT7 Rev. Rex Fowler, owner of Scientology-run Fowler Software with murder and attempted murder for shooting ex-partner Tommy Ciancio three times in the head as he attempted to collect his severance pay, then turning the gun on himself, firing one shot up through his chin. Authorities initially believed Fowler was the victim based on witness testimony, but forensics showed that Ciancio could not have fired the three shots that killed him.
posted by scalefree on Jan 26, 2010 - 59 comments

World Government Data

Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 25, 2010 - 13 comments

21st century executions.

10 executions that defined the 2000s. Ten executions that most palpably captured the decade’s Zeitgeist. Some clips may be NSFW.
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 23, 2010 - 30 comments

I ain't seen nothin'.

The Dirtiest Player. Was it only last season that Marvin Harrison was still catching TD passes for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts? Now, in the wake of a brazen but mysterious Philadelphia gunfight - many details of which are reported here for the first time - the man who holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season may yet find himself with a permanent record of a different sort. (SLGQ) [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on Jan 16, 2010 - 37 comments

Avon Barksdale Lives Among Us

Nathan Avon "Bodie" Barksdale is a real life Baltimore gangster upon whom the character from "The Wire" was based. Now, Nathan Barksdale has a chance to tell his side of the story in this upcoming documentary. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 13, 2010 - 31 comments

Craigslist Sexual Assault

James Stipe, a Marine, allegedly posed as his ex-girlfriend to post an ad on Craigslist seeking an “aggressive man with no concern for women.” The woman was later raped in her home. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jan 11, 2010 - 168 comments

A break with tradition: trial without jury in England

The first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales in more than 400 years begins tomorrow. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Jan 11, 2010 - 52 comments

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