Photo: Columbus Dispatch
I don’t always find relevant news from Ohio to share with you all, but this story is:
Six people are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a credit-card scam that recruited fast-food workers to skim card numbers with an electronic reading device.
Central Ohio law officers and the Secret Service hope they put an end to the scheme by arresting the six yesterday and raiding two Columbus houses….
Seth Nyamekye, 30; Prince Dahome, 20; Kwabena M. Bonsu, 25; and Jaimee M. Mukama, 26, were arrested at the Hampstead Drive address. Jacques GK Daboni, 22, and Ayeshia A. Johnson, 19, were arrested in the Kemper Road house.
The six people are charged with felony theft or conspiracy to commit theft, said Lt. Paul Scowden of the Westerville police. They are immigrants from the African countries of Rwanda, Ghana and Guinea and are free while authorities decide whether to prosecute them in state or federal court, Scowden said.
He also said that more-serious charges are expected once investigators sift through the evidence seized from the two houses, including computers, gift cards, encoders and electronic reading devices known as “skimmers.”
This appears to be a follow-up on a story the Dispatch published last June:
Last week, a Columbus man was charged in U.S. District Court with having 51 altered gift cards, stolen from a Westerville business. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
A West Virginia deputy stopped the man for speeding on April 24 and found the cards in the vehicle. Suspecting that the gift cards were stolen, the Secret Service did a forensic examination several days later, revealing that the cards were encoded with stolen credit-card numbers from across the country.
Reports of similar frauds in New Jersey earlier this month:
BURLINGTON TWP., N.J. – April 12, 2013 (WPVI) — Police say at least 25 people fell victim to a credit card skimming scam at a Wawa gas station in Burlington Township, New Jersey….
The woman, who did not want to be identified, says her company is one of several victims of an identity theft scheme carried out by a gas station attendant.
Police say Christopher Williams of Burlington Township is accused of using a skimming device to swipe credit card information from several customers over the last four to six weeks.
Three of his accomplices, who do not work at Wawa, are also charged….
Detective Marc Carnivale says investigators know of 25 victims so far but they expect more.
“You hand your card over to the attendant, while their backs to you they swipe it in the skimmer,” said Det. Carnivale.
Police say it’s an easy crime to commit and often goes undetected.
In New Jersey, customers paying at the pump have to hand to an attendant because there is no self service.
“They’re small, easily concealable, you wouldn’t even know your gas attendant has one,” said Det. Carnivale.
The entire thing will probably make more sense after you watch this nifty video.
Image Credit: Mindbloom.com
There’s big news in the Lowering the Boom laptop hunt… and since many of you have decided to support me and to support this blog, it’s your news, too.
Last night, one of those supporters told me that my new laptop will be arriving later this week. And it’s not a “back-up” computer (which was what I’d been expecting), but one that’s more than capable of being my primary computer. It’s something that will be reliable. In fact, I won’t have to do anything more to it than (at some point) buy a camera for it.
In the weeks since I first spoke with you about this situation (or Liz Harrison did), I learned some unsettling realities. I learned that the computer I’d been depending on for my work was about ten years old when I bought it a little over a year ago. I also learned that I was sorely uneducated about computers. That’s how you get ripped off. I needed to learn how not to buy a computer. When I say that I appreciate the advice that people have given me, I’m not saying that lightly. You’ve saved my life!
Stacy McCain and a few others wrote late last week about the lack of collaboration among bloggers these days. This was news to me, since most of the people I come in contact with reach out and try to help us newbies out. Over the weekend, I transcribed an interview that was published at Breitbart News. To me, that’s just an amazing development!
John Hoge linked me a few days back, which was extremely generous of him. And I promise to begin the series of posts about Tolstoy and Chechnya as soon as humanly possible. And of course, “Everybody Share a ‘Weiner’ Photo” Day is fast approaching– Friday!
Update: I forgot to include this link about conservatives and collaboration in the blogosphere.
The first short story that Leo Tolstoy ever published was based on his experiences as a Russian soldier in the region near the Caucasus Mountains. He wrote “The Raid” in 1852, about a battle in Chechnya.
It may just be a coincidence, but Tolstoy’s final long work, a novella called Hadji Marat, has a Muslim hero. And is again set in Chechnya. Could any story or author seem more relevant, more contemporary?
We’ll find out together. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing excerpts from the novella, and giving you my impressions of what I’m reading.
President George W. Bush’s Statement on Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001.
I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude.
This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.
After I wrote you all yesterday about Aaron Walker‘s brilliant idea to greet former NY congressman and prospective New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner‘s return to Twitter with photos of weiner-shaped objects, I received this comment:
“Everybody Send A #Weiner Photo” Day! — 2 Comments
Really? There is not enough real life to keep the conservatives happy? How stupid do you think YOU will look with this little stunt? Juvenile is not what the country is looking for from conservatives!
The first thing you notice, of course, is his unfortunate surname (if that’s really his name). Then there’s a question of motive. Reading for context, I think it’s possible that he’s a conservative. But as someone else suggested, he might just be a concern troll.
Here’s a response from our friend from Virginia:
My hope is that Aaron will get a chance to defend his idea against this grievous attack. Or he could keep making typos in his tweets about Anthony Weiner. Like this person might:
There’s no way to tell if she is in any way related to RD Calk (who I couldn’t find on Twitter). But the sentiment seemed fitting somehow.
Don’t forget: “Everybody Send a #Weiner Photo” Day is next Friday, May 2. Start gathering up those pictures now, and we’ll make sure that Congressman Weiner knows we’re watching his TL for anything that comes up.
People might say a lot of things about Aaron Walker, but they cannot say that he is a man without ideas.
As you may have read, Anthony Weiner recently returned to Twitter. His new handle, @AnthonyWeiner, appears to be in anticipation of a New York City mayoral run. He finally followed someone today, too.
Next Friday, May 3rd, I think it would be a friendly gesture to the former New York congressman if the denizens of Twitter take the gentleman from Virginia’s advice. Let’s send some welcoming tweets to @AnthonyWeiner… in the form of weiner photos. Any graphical representation of an object with an oblong, compact shape. Now, as Aaron stipulates above, we’re not talking about anything adult in nature here– think G-rated: dachshunds, ballpark franks, certain types of fruit… you get the idea.
Expect further details on Friday’s event in the coming days…
Besides, Congressman Weiner’s already way ahead of us here.
Thanks for the linkage, Bob Belvedere at The Camp of the Saints! AND Daleygator gives a couple of nods!
Guess the Obama Administration will have to get their hopes up in some other way. The Boston bomber brothers had illegal guns (emphasis mine):
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police official say the brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon before having shootouts with authorities didn’t have gun permits.
Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas tells The Associated Press in an interview Sunday that neither Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) nor his brother Dzhokhar had permission to carry firearms.
He says it’s unclear whether either ever applied and the applications aren’t considered public records.
But he says the 19-year-old Dzhokhar (joh-KHAR’) would have been denied a permit because of his age. Only people 21 or older are allowed gun licenses in Massachusetts.
(Hat tip Sarah Palin News via Red State )
Well, this is interesting:
But with the Senate vote seemingly taking gun control off the table and talks making little progress so far on deficit reduction, White House allies concede they must win the battle on immigration reform to prevent the second term from being in danger.
They have expressed trepidation that it could be slowed or stopped by opponents who will use the Tsarnaevs as an example of why comprehensive reform would be harmful to the nation….
Administration officials see some opportunities for Obama’s agenda because of the events in Boston: they say the use of guns by the two suspects, who killed a security officer while fleeing police, could strengthen Obama’s calls for stricter gun control.
I wish I were making this stuff up. What the hell is wrong with them? These are the same sort of people who’re trying to tell us that we shouldn’t speculate about why the Tsarnaev brothers did this heinous act. As I said yesterday, they might need to look at photos like these a bit longer. Others concur.
There’s other news besides what’s happening in and around Boston and the investigation surrounding the bombings.
I wanted to focus your attention on one point, though: visit the second link above, which has a tweet with a photo of the evil coward Dzhokhar A Tsarnaev (aka Suspect #2) placing the bomb near 8-year old Martin Richard. (Warning: it’s a tough photo to look at.)
A lot of this has been like that, hasn’t it? Like pulling the scab off of a still-healing wound. But we need to see this. We need to see who these people are and what they’re willing to do. We need to see the physical damage they’ve done.
Why? As a commenter at The Other McCain said:
The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.
Burn in Hell,Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
EDIT: My blog challenge still stands. Get your entries in before 5pm ET Saturday! I’ll share the most intriguing one on a post here and on a tweet.
Here’s some news that you might have missed… and I’m glad to see it myself.
Otherwise, I’d like to issue a challenge to you. Check out a new blog today. Pick any blogroll on a blog that you read, and randomly choose two or three places. Concentrate on getting to one that takes the time to cover more than just politics. I’m learning that most of the best ones do that, and write about music or movies or… astronomy. You get what I’m saying. (And I know that I need to do this more often here.)
Drop me a comment about what you find!