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December 2011 Archives

Facebook May Help Foil Another Chicago Crime

Facebook is becoming a Chicago police officer's best friend. In the past, it has been used to identify battery suspects and has provided potentially self-incriminating evidence.

Now, Chicago woman Theresa Unkrur says the thieves who broke into her home four days before Christmas and stole several items, including a MacBook computer, may have unintentionally posted their photo on her daughter's Facebook page, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Ex-Chicago Army Major Sentenced for Taking Bribes in Afghanistan

A former Army National Guard major from Chicago has been sentenced to five years in prison after admitting to taking bribes from military defense contractors in Afghanistan, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Christopher P. West pleaded guilty to eight counts of bribery, conspiracy and fraud in 2009.

The charges stemmed from allegations that West had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from military defense contractors while deployed in Afghanistan. The contractors allegedly paid him to sign off on bogus approvals for supplies that were never delivered to the U.S. military's Bagram Air Base, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dad Charged with Battery for Bound, Gagged Facebook Photo of Child

A Facebook photo of a bound and gagged 22-month-old girl was no laughing matter for Chicago police. Her South Side father was charged with aggravated domestic battery after he turned himself in on Tuesday, despite his protests that the photo was a joke, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Twenty-one-year-old Andre Curry faces significant jail time for the felony. He was also ordered to stay away from his daughter, other children and the Internet while his case is pending.

Rockford, Springfield Two of the Most Dangerous Cities in America?

The city of Rockford, IL has received the distinction of being one of the most dangerous cities in America, reports Forbes.

Primarily based on the FBI’s 2010 uniform crime report, the rankings analyzed the numbers for four categories of violent crimes - murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault - of cities with a population of 200,000 or more.

Rockford’s high crime rate is said to be based on a number of complex factors. One of these factors includes its recent switch to a more accurate crime reporting system which can result in higher reported rates of crime than other cities with less sophisticated measures.

Bears Receiver Sam Hurd Arrested on Federal Drug Charges

Winning a playoff spot may be a longshot for the Chicago Bears, but their odds may be better than their former wide receiver's chance at avoiding jail.

Sam Hurd was arrested Wednesday on federal drug charges after he allegedly tried to buy massive amounts of drugs from a federal agent for distribution in the Chicago area, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hurd is accused of agreeing to pay an undercover federal agent who posed as a drug supplier $25,000 per kilogram for five to 10 kilos of cocaine and $450 per pound of 1,000 pounds of marijuana. The agreement would have cost him up to $2.8 million a month, according to the Sun-Times.

Kevin Taylor Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Dog Fighting

It’s not hard to argue that Americans love their dogs. Look at the temporary fall of NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who was convicted of dog fighting and sentenced to 23 months in prison.

Vick would eventually serve 21 of those months, which doesn’t bode well for South Holland resident Kevin Taylor. Taylor was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a massive dog fighting operation, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Lexus Theft, Joyride Leaves Teen with Critical Injuries

A 16-year-old is in critical condition after police say she and her two friends went on a joyride in a stolen Lexus SUV and crashed the car, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The alleged joyride occurred Tuesday morning when the owner of the Lexus reported seeing one of the girls driving his stolen car. The vehicle had already gone through a bumpy ride, reportedly crashing into a parked Bentley. During the police pursuit, officers say they saw the 24-year-old man get behind the wheel sometime before the vehicle crashed into a pole in River North.

Buffalo Grove Pizzeria: Slice of Pepperoni with a Side of Heroin?

If you have eaten at DeLuca’s Pizzeria and Catering in Buffalo Grove and felt a little funny, it may not have been the anchovies. Police suspect the Arlington Heights couple who own the pizzeria have been using it as a front for a drug-trafficking operation, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Maria Garza and Carmelo Rios were arrested with four other people on suspicion of criminal drug conspiracy, according to the Cook County state attorney’s office. Police have reportedly been investigating DeLuca’s for six months, which ended with the recovery of approximately $900,000 worth of drugs and their arrests.

Bad Idea: Man Tries to Mug Ultimate Fighter

Choosing to commit a crime is risky. Choosing to commit a crime against a mixed martial artist is just plain stupid.

Anthony Mirada’s face is now a testament to what happens if you try to rob a 6 foot 2 inch, 250-pound MMA fighter. Miranda reportedly tried to steal money from the fighter, identified only as “Justin,” while he was parked in his car, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Miranda is currently in jail on $350,000 bail for charges of armed robbery and aggravated discharge of a firearm. His mug shot, complete with bright purple bruises and two black eyes, has also been circulating as a warning to criminals who try to attack the wrong victim.

Rod Blagojevich Sentencing: Disgraced Gov. Gets 14 Years

Has the Rod Blagojevich corruption fiasco come to an end? In possibly the worst birthday present ever, U.S. District Judge James Zagel sentenced the disgraced former governor to 14 years in prison on Wednesday, four days before his 55th birthday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Despite Blago's last-minute plea for leniency, Zagel looked toward the lasting consequences of his crimes in determining his sentence. During a sentencing hearing, a judge will consider several factors to determine the appropriate sentence. The judge can consider factors such as if the person is a repeat offender or those injured by the crime.

"When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily or quickly repaired," Zagel said.

Do-Gooding South Side Priest Beaten, Robbed

A South Side church priest known for his work battling violence and poverty in the community was beaten and robbed in his own rectory, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Reverend Daniel Mallette was attacked around midnight on Tuesday by two robbers reportedly dressed as ninjas. The 80-year-old priest was allegedly dragged out of his bed and beaten with a blunt instrument.

The robbers eventually fled with $600 after Mallette told them the location of a safe in his bedroom closet, leaving the elderly priest with broken bones and a swollen face, according to Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff and a parishioner of Mallette’s church.

Michael Myers Robberies: Masked Freaks Rob Tow Trucks

In the movie The Town, the bank robbers wore nun masks. In Point Break, they were the former Presidents. Now in Chicago, we have masked horror movie villains robbing tow truck drivers.

There have been two reported Michael Myers robberies this month in South Side’s Englewood neighborhood, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. If you don’t know, Michael Myers is the masked serial killer from the Halloween movies.