Archive for July, 2011

Models: Landlord hid cameras in bathroom

Tiny hidden cameras may mean big legal problems for a Florida landlord who rented an apartment to two Bulgarian women he’d hired as models.

Police are not sure what motive exists for secretly filming the women. (From Bay 9 TV)

Police are not sure what motive exists for secretly filming the women. (From Bay 9 TV)

The St. Petersburg Times reports the two women, Vanya Samokovareva, 22, and Ralitsa Dzhambazova, 23, lived in a Tampa apartment for two months and joked about the bathroom and bedroom smoke detectors being cameras, but were shocked when a male visitor Googled serial codes on the devices and learned they were indeed high-tech peepholes.

Wires led to a locked closet which contained an electronic box and something that appeared to be a WiFi device.

Now, the women think videos of them showering are on the Internet.

No suspect has been named, but the women say their landlord has a key to the apartment.

Hillsborough County investigators have recovered some of the electronic equipment, but after a local TV station reported the news, some devices were removed …

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Police (Off)Beat | Phones now smarter than criminals

  • A 20-year-old Atlanta man reported his cell phone stolen. The victim said he’d used the phone’s tracking program and it indicated the purloined phone was near the intersection of Peachtree and Decatur streets in downtown Atlanta. Police arrived and saw a group of men hanging out. Police asked the theft victim to use another phone to call his stolen phone. The man who answered the stolen phone was arrested.

    Revenge of the Smartphone Nerds.

    Revenge of the Smartphone Nerds.

  • A juvenile in Tucker told police he let a 19-year-old borrow his smartphone to make a call, but the older teen refused to give it back. When the victim protested, he was forced to turn over all his cash.
  • Alpharetta police found a man slumped over the wheel of his car in a Kroger parking lot. Further investigation revealed a “needle filled with heroin” in his possession.
  • The owner of a BMW told police she stole a car tag because she “couldn’t afford” to buy one. She said she took the tag from a Honda parked at the Cobb County …

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Nude animal hoarder arrested in Philly

Philadelphia police charged a man with animal cruelty after the mummified remains of several pets were found inside his garbage-filled home.

The "collection of rats" felt right at home.

The "collection of rats" felt right at home.

Police arrived at the scene after neighbors called to report a naked man walking around the house, according to an article in the New York Daily News.

The homeowner, who has not been identified, told police he was with the CIA, but had locked himself out.

While helping him break in, police observed a dead iguana, and must have been alarmed by the stench, which neighbors had complained about for years.

Police returned, armed with a warrant. Officers soon uncovered mistreated living dogs, eight dead dogs, two dead iguanas, a living 4-foot alligator, at least three living turtles, frogs, cats, rats, roosters, tarantulas and a collection of rats.

Some of the animals were mummified.

After two hours of searching, they found a dead gator under some junk, according to NBC’s Philadelphia …

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Technology helping cemeteries spring to life

Tombstones haven’t advanced much since someone figured out how to carve granite with a sharp pointy thing.

These kids have been enjoying Oakland since 1913.

These kids, who've been enjoying Oakland since 1913, use the technology of their day to keep dry.

But technology has a way of eventually improving — or destroying — everything.

QR codes, those black and white boxes of computerized gibberish on almost everything that can be scanned with smartphones, are now popping up in cemeteries.

Scanning a code takes taphophiles to a website that details the life and times of the dearly departed. The trend may be catching on, according to a story in U.S.A. Today.

Edouard Garneau, 78, of Washington, died last year. But today, if you visit his grave near Seattle, you can scan a code and read about his life and view a photo gallery of his exploits.

Garneau’s wife of 53 years said “I think it’s a neat deal. It kind of keeps people alive a little longer, down through the generations.”

Will the high-tech trend worm its way to Atlanta? I gave …

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Police (Off)Beat | Honest man’s love of beer leads to jail

  • A man holding a “Why lie? I need beer” sign was arrested for darting into traffic after less-than-amused policemen approached on the Lee Street exit of I-20 in downtown Atlanta.

    A sign similar to this one was proffered by a thirsty gentleman posted alongside an I-20 exit.

    A sign similar to this one was proffered by a thirsty gentleman posted alongside an I-20 exit.

  • It’s so hot in Atlanta that the cards police use to obtain fingerprints are melting on car dashboards.
  • What’s the street price of marijuana? The price varies, according to reports by undercover police officers, who paid as much as $10 for 1.4 grams on Candler Road (enough for three joints) and as little as $25 for 8.4 grams at a South DeKalb Mall kiosk (enough for 17 joints).
  • A 21-year-old Stone Mountain man caught kicking in a BMW dashboard to steal a GPS unit screamed “I live for this [bleep]!” before charging a DeKalb police officer and punching him in the eye.
  • A man driving a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am crossed the center line on Franklin Road in Cobb County “several times” while …

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It’s in the tea leaves: Atlantans among America’s most honest

Atlanta, a city that has in recent years clearly lost its ability to successfully cheat, is among our proud nation’s most honest cities, according to a company that sells tea.

A wad of cash similar to this one was not stolen in Atlanta.

A wad of cash similar to this one was not stolen in Atlanta.

Honest Tea conducted a “social experiment” wherein it asked denizens of 12 large municipalities to voluntarily donate $1 for a bottle of tea or lemonade.

Unexpectedly, the “transparent but securely mounted” cash box in Atlanta was not ripped off the wall and immediately hustled to a strip club. The Atlanta experiment was conducted Tuesday in Centennial Park, which must be full of honest tourists.

Hidden camera video, viewable at honestcities.com, indicates people are mostly honest.

“We wanted to challenge people to think about how honest Americans are as a whole, particularly when no one is watching,” said Seth Goldman, president and TeaEO of Honest Tea. “It was refreshing to see that most cities were in the 90 percent …

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Police (Off)Beat | Heat wave makes victim of ice cream truck

  • It’s so hot in Atlanta they’re carjacking ice cream trucks. One such vehicle was recovered, sans frigid treats, off Cascade Road.

    It's hot out there.

    It's hot out there.

  • A man who received a free box fan from the City of Atlanta was robbed of it on Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard by a man with a “Southern” accent.
  • An off-duty Atlanta police officer called police to report a homeless man stole his drink.
  • A 27-year-old Winder woman visiting a Lawrenceville Highway hotel to smoke crack was punched in the face by a “friend” and robbed of her Honda Accord and purse.
  • A juvenile at a Cobb drug rehab center told police she fears for her life after a roommate used a hair straightener and paper clips to forcibly tattoo her.
  • A convicted child molester continues to pick on people not his own age. This time he’s in jail on charges of repeatedly forcing a Decatur couple, ages 87 and 88, to give him cash.
  • Crime must pay pretty well. An alleged pot dealer who hit two cars at the intersection of Ponce de …

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Woman keeps captured burglar as sex slave

Crime and punishment has been turned on its head in Russia, where a burglar was tied up and used as a sex slave by his intended victim.

She owns a hair salon, but could use some help with her makeup.

She owns a hair salon, but could use some help with her makeup.

The Daily Mail reports Viktor Jasinski, 32, admitted to police he entered the hair salon of Olga Zajac, 28, and received a single debilitating blow to the head  by the blonde black belt karate expert.

Zajac dragged her semi-conscious prey to a back room, stripped him, tied him up with hair dryer cable, force fed him nothing but water and Viagra while using him as a sex slave for three days.

She released him after he “learned his lesson,” the Daily Mail writes.

“Yes, we had sex a couple of times. But I bought him new jeans, gave him food and even gave him 1,000 roubles when he left,” Zajac said of her captive.

Both now face charges in Meshchovsk, Russia.

Something tells me this man will burgle again.

UPDATE: Alert readers and co-workers tell me this is not exactly a “breaking” …

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Website seeks to out cheating lovers

The Internet, a legendary aid for those who cheat on their significant others, may now be used to out noted philanderers.

AshleyMadison and Cheaterville users issue a joint statement.

AshleyMadison and Cheaterville users issue a joint statement.

For those who’ve been burned, Cheaterville.com offers oven mitts for the broken heart.

“Don’t be the last to know,” the site says, without finishing the sentence with “your current lover is a rat.”

Time.com says the site is geared toward the “paranoid,” and I tend to agree.

But, being the curious sort, I searched my own name and I’m proud to report no George Mathis has ever done somebody wrong, to paraphrase the oft-forgotten B.J. Thomas.

The database contains the misdeeds of society’s most infamous skirt-chasers, but anonymous tattletales will have to get busy uploading dirt to make the site useful for regular Joes and Josephines.

The “Cheaters of the Day” list lists lesser-known sexual scofflaws. I’d hate to be Andrew Shappy of Virginia Beach, but if he’s a trial lawyer he may have the makings …

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Jobless man offers hunters human prey

It’s tough finding even an odd job these days.

You'll have to be a good shot to bag this wily woodsman.

You'll have to be a good shot to bag this wily woodsman.

That’s why Utah-area resident Mork Encino, who swears this is his real name, created the oddest job for himself.

Encino, 28, on his website, advertises he’ll be human prey for marksmen with $10,000 to spare.

It’ll cost you an extra $2k to hunt him in the nude.

He’s not worried about the steep price driving off customers.

“I’m looking for a true god[bleep] Money Bags, okay? 10K is nothing to these boys. They leave tips on restaurant checks like that. They drop that type of scratch just because. They’ll pay that money just to rub it in my FACE and show me how meaningless it truly is to the likes of them,” he writes on huntme4sport.com.

On Twitter, Encino says he’s “pro prey looking for a change,” but admits he’s not willing to die for the cash. Instead, he wants the website, which he calls “a product of my desperation,” to land him a normal job.

“I’m hoping someone will …

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