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Man pretends not to speak English, robs mother in grocery store

Investigators in Florida believe thieves might be targeting women in local grocery stores by pretending they don’t speak English and asking for help. 

According to, a woman in St. Johns County told police she was shopping at Publix when she noticed that she kept running into the same woman in the shopping aisles. 

A few minutes later, she said, a man asked her for for help with tortillas.

>> Read more trending news 

“He gets me to turn away from my cart. He’s pointing to it and acting like he doesn’t speak English,” said the victim, who asked not to be identified.

She told that when she went to pay for her groceries, her wallet was gone. Within 45 minutes, police said someone charged $4,000 to her card at a Best Buy store in Jacksonville. 

According to the police report, the suspects were captured on surveillance video approaching several women before targeting the victim.

“As I’m watching on camera, they’re basically following me through the store, but I didn’t know that because I’m focusing on getting the things I need,” she said. 

Ken Jefferson, a crime and safety expert told WJAX that shoppers, especially women, should strap their bags to their shopping carts to protect their valuables. 

“They’re looking at you, looking at what type of bag you have,” Jefferson said. “They’re looking to see if you have children with you, or (if you’re) alone.”

Deputies arrest 6 'tomb raiders' accused of stealing homes in Florida

Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies have arrested six people who they are calling “tomb raiders,” saying they fraudulently took ownership of 44 homes in Weston, Lauderhill, Tamarac and other places in the county.

>> Read more trending news

Catherine Lichtman, Mircho Murdjeff, Gillian Solomon, Illya Tinker, Patricia Tinker and Darren Tinker face more than 600 felony charges that include grand theft, identity theft, organized scheme to defraud and unlawful filing of false documents, deputies said. 

Detectives started their investigation when a seventh person suspected in the alleged scheme, Compton Maycock-Beckles, was arrested in 2016 on grand theft and fraud charges after he was caught living in a foreclosed home in Weston, according to the arrest report.

The original owner of the home told detectives that he did not give permission to Maycock-Beckles either to live in or sell the home. 

Deputies said the six suspects operated under different company names such as Global Homebuyers, Prestige Home Buyers and Global Management Consulting Group. They used quit claim deeds and attorney authorizations to take ownership of homes, according to deputies.

Detectives said the suspects also would then sell, rent or live in the homes, or also sell the same home to more than one person and collect money from both people at the same time.

The suspects also used power of attorney to access deceased homeowners’ bank accounts and Social Security checks so it appeared as if the victims had given the six permission, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Solomon and Illya, Patricia and Darren Tinker remain at the Broward County Jail on $3 million bond each. Lichtman and Murdjeff are being held at the jail on $900,000 bond each, according to jail records. 

White man hires undercover FBI agent to hang black neighbor, burn cross on lawn

A South Carolina man has been charged with attempting to hire a hit man to kill his black neighbor, hang the man’s body from a tree and burn a cross on the man’s lawn. 

Brandon Cory Lecroy, 25, of Hodges, was indicted Tuesday on federal charges of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities in commission of murder-for-hire, according to court documents. 

The case against Lecroy is laid out in an affidavit written by a Lexington County deputy, who also serves on the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI’s Columbia Division. 

>> Read more trending news

The affidavit states that Lecroy reached out to a white supremacist organization in March seeking help killing his black neighbor. The FBI learned of Lecroy’s plea through a confidential informant. 

In a March 20 telephone conversation recorded by the task force, Lecroy made an arrangement with a man to kill the neighbor, identified in the affidavit only by his initials. Unbeknownst to Lecroy, the supposed hit man was an undercover FBI agent. 

In the call, Lecroy told the undercover agent that he wanted his neighbor dead and hanging from a tree, the document said. He also wanted a “flaming cross” left on the front yard.

“$500 and he’s a ghost,” Lecroy told the agent, according to the affidavit.

The agent told Lecroy that he was in Virginia, but Lecroy texted him photos of two intended targets, including the neighbor. He also gave the “hit man” the targets’ names, as well as the address of his neighbor. 

Two days later, Lecroy reaffirmed the agreement in another recorded phone call, the affidavit said. 

Read the affidavit laying out Lecroy’s alleged crimes below. 

“Lecroy also provides (the agent) with further intelligence on when to best commit the murder, as well as plans to take over the victim’s property,” the affidavit said. “Lecroy also expresses to (the agent) that he wishes to obtain an 9mm handgun with two ‘clips.’ Lecroy stated that he wants a ‘ghost gun’ that is untraceable and not stolen.

“Lecroy also advised (the agent) that he has more jobs for him in the future.”

According to the court document, Lecroy met with the undercover agent April 9 in Greenwood. During that meeting, Lecroy pointed out the neighbor’s home and talked about his future targets. 

He also gave the agent a $100 cash down payment on the neighbor’s murder, the affidavit said. 

Lecroy was arrested the following day, court records show. 

Ex-CIA officer accused of spying for China

A former CIA officer is facing charges after authorities said he worked to gather sensitive national security information for China.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities initially arrested Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, in January on suspicion of unlawfully retaining national defense information. He was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

About six years earlier, in August 2012, authorities executed search warrants on hotel rooms used by Lee and his family as they relocated back to the U.S. from Hong Kong, Justice Department officials said. In the rooms, investigators said they found classified information written by hand in a pair of small books.

The notes included the true names of covert CIA employees and the locations of covert facilities, among other classified information, authorities said. A thumb drive containing information classified as Secret was also recovered, officials said.

Authorities believe the information was used by Beijing in its efforts to dismantle American spy operations and to identify informants in China, The New York Times reported.

Lee, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, worked as a case officer for the CIA from 1994 to 2007. Authorities said he was approached by a pair of Chinese intelligence officers in April 2010 and offered money in exchange for information. Officials allege that Lee worked for the foreign officers, providing them with documents related to America’s national defense, until at least 2011.

“Lee’s alleged actions betrayed the American people and his former colleagues at the CIA,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said Tuesday in a statement.

Authorities claim Lee “prepared documents responsive to the taskings (from the Chinese intelligence officers), made numerous unexplained cash deposits and repeatedly lied to the U.S. government during voluntary interviews when asked about travel to China and his actions overseas.”

Lee’s attorney, Edward MacMahon, denied after a court appearance in February that his client spied for China, NPR reported.

“Mr. Lee is not a Chinese spy,” MacMahon said. “He is a loyal American who loves his country.”

Teacher charged with attempted murder kept teaching while out on bond

An Illinois teacher charged with attempted murder last summer managed to work as a substitute in a middle school for several months before his past was found out. 

The Chicago Tribune reported that Andres R. Rodriguez, who also goes by Andrew Rodriguez, was serving as a substitute teacher and after-school detention proctor at Unity Junior High, a school in the Cicero School District 99. Cicero is a suburb of Chicago. 

At the time an eighth-grade language arts teacher in the Joliet School District 86, he was hired by the Cicero district last summer.

>> Read more trending news

Less than a month after Cicero hired him, Rodriguez was involved in a July 18 traffic skirmish with a driver after Rodriguez, who was a pedestrian, struck the other man’s car, the Tribune said. The argument devolved into a physical fight. 

Rodriguez, 39, of Tinley Park, shot the man seven times with a .380-caliber handgun, including firing multiple rounds after the victim was already on the ground, prosecutors said at the time of the shooting. Despite suffering gunshot wounds to the head, back, side and arm, the man survived. 

Rodriguez, whose attorneys argue he acted in self-defense, left the scene, but returned after police arrived. He had blood on him, the Tribune reported

The longtime teacher was booked on a charge of attempted murder and released the following day on bail of $500,000, the newspaper said. 

The Joliet school district, which was still technically his employer, placed Rodriguez on paid leave. Less than two weeks later, he began his new job in the Cicero district. 

Cicero schools Superintendent Rodolfo Hernandez said in a statement to CBS Chicago that his office took action immediately upon learning of Rodriguez’s pending charges. 

“District 99 performed all necessary due diligence and administered proper employment action within the legal limits of the law, which included immediately placing the employee on leave from the district,” Hernandez said. “This employee has been on leave and has not been on district grounds since February 16, 2018. Since such time, this employee has had no contact with any students, staff, or parents of District 99.”

Because of the ongoing criminal proceedings, no additional information was released by Cicero school officials. 

The Tribune reported that records show Rodriguez was initially slated to serve as a full-time fifth-grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, but was moved to his more limited role as an internal substitute. He continued to be paid the full-time salary, however. 

The newspaper found no evidence that the Cicero school district notified state education officials of Rodriguez’s pending criminal case. There was also no evidence that parents, students or staff were notified.

Rodriguez was apparently receiving payment from both the Cicero and Joliet school districts simultaneously, the Tribune said. An agenda for the Joliet district’s board of school inspectors’ meeting this week includes a proposed resolution that, if approved, would authorize district lawyers to “pursue reimbursement of all compensation paid to Teacher during the 2017-2018 school year through any reasonably necessary means, including litigation.”

Mom hears brutal slaying of 15-year-old daughter through phone call

A 15-year-old Utah girl checking in with her mother after school on Monday was violently assaulted and killed while her mom listened helplessly on the phone. 

Salt Lake City police investigators are searching for Shaun French, 24, as a person of interest in the slaying of Baleigh Bagshaw. According to the department, officers were called to Bagshaw’s home just after 3 p.m. Monday for a welfare check, at which time they found her body. 

Sgt. Brandon Shearer, a Salt Lake City Police Department spokesman, said Tuesday that Bagshaw, a student at West High School, arrived home from school and called her mother to check in, which was her usual routine. That’s when her killer attacked. 

“While she was on the phone with her mother, she was brutally attacked while inside of her home,” Shearer said. “Her mother heard the attack going on and then the phone went dead.” 

Bagshaw’s mother called a neighbor to check on her daughter, who also called 911, Shearer said. When officers arrived, they found her dead. 

“I can’t even guess what the mother would be going through right now. Our hearts and thoughts are with her and the whole family through this horrible ordeal,” Shearer said

>> Read more trending news

The sergeant said the street around Bagshaw’s home remained cordoned off Tuesday as detectives and crime scene technicians continued to gather evidence. 

“It was a very violent attack, so there’s quite a bit of evidence and it’s widely spread throughout the home and throughout the area,” Shearer said. “We’re just making sure we’re taking our time and collecting all the necessary evidence to continue to investigate the case.” 

French, the person of interest, had an active warrant issued for his arrest on Tuesday for three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, charges that stem from a relationship he had with Bagshaw, Shearer said. Investigators confirmed Tuesday that French at one point lived at the Bagshaw home, but said he was not living there at the time of the homicide. 

Photos show that French is a white male with reddish-blonde facial hair and glasses. He is believed to be driving a 1991 Daihatsu Rocky with camouflage paint.

The vehicle has Wyoming tag number 19-13974.

He has ties to Ogden, Utah, as well as Wyoming, Colorado and Cleveland, police officials said. He may be traveling along Interstate 80 through Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. 

French is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who spots him should call the nearest law enforcement agency. 

Bagshaw was remembered Tuesday at the ice cream parlor where she worked as a hard worker who always had a smile on her face. 

“She was really sweet,” Gwendolyn Robinson, co-owner of Leatherby’s Family Creamery, told the Deseret News. “She worked very hard. She was a good girl.”

Robinson and her sister and business partner, Diana Ngyeun, said that Bagshaw’s mother called Monday to tell them Baleigh would not be in due to a “family emergency.” Only the following day did they learn what that emergency was. 

“I found out the news this morning and I’m devastated,” a teary Robinson said. “I expect her to be walking into work, still. It’s not computing.”

Scott Arnold, a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, described the slain teen as a “joy to be around” at youth activities.

“She was just a fun person and just had a great smile and a great attitude, and not a mean bone on her,” Arnold told the News

Bagshaw’s Facebook page was filled with photos of animals. She and her mother, Shawna, were also involved in the dog show community.

School friends of Bagshaw’s spent a portion of Tuesday with grief counselors as they tried to process their loss. 

“She was incredibly smart and talented and she always got along with people around her,” Talia Zamir told the newspaper. “She was really friendly and nice, and that’s what makes everything so heartbreaking, honestly.”

Another classmate, Nura Omer, wrote on Facebook that she remembers Bagshaw as the “shy new girl” at a former school. 

“Your smile was contagious and even if you didn’t know me, you were so nice to me,” Omer wrote. “I hope they catch whoever did this. Justice will be served. Rest easy, love.”

Florida middle school teacher accused of 'foot fetish' loses teaching license

For six years, suspicions persisted about Kenneth Phillips’ relationship with his adolescent students at a South Florida middle school and his seeming infatuation with bare feet. 

>> On Jupiter Middle teacher accused of ‘foot fetish’ loses teaching license

Nearly a decade after the first concerns were documented, the 60-year-old former teacher at Jupiter Middle has now been compelled to give up his teaching license

His co-workers began worrying about his behavior as early as 2009, when a school technician told police he walked into the English teacher’s classroom unannounced and spotted him with a student in his classroom, the lights dimmed and Phillips’ shoes off. 

>> Read more trending news 

In 2012, a teacher concerned about Phillips’ overly friendly relations with students reported him to police, saying she had seen him with a student’s bare feet in his lap. 

School district police learned that Phillips permitted students to remove their socks in class and store them in his mini-refrigerator.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ohio man killed by officer interviewed with police chief for job

The man killed in a deadly shooting with Kettering, Ohio, police was in the process of interviewing to become a law enforcement officer in the city, authorities said Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Mitchell Simmons had last week met with the police chief and captains as part of the interview process, said Kettering Lt. Michael Gabrielson.

>> On New details emerge after Kettering man fatally shot by police

Simmons, 24, was fatally shot Saturday night in his Chatham Village apartment by an unidentified Kettering officer. It was the second police-involved shooting in the city since August and the 10th in the region in the past year.

>> On Kettering police shooting: 911 dispatchers praised for work under pressure

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office officially ruled Simmons’ death a homicide Monday afternoon, saying he died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

The unnamed officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in cases of officer-involved shootings.

>> On Kettering police shooting: 911 caller describes violent encounter

DoorDash delivery driver allegedly attacked with own head scarf by man claiming to be Jesus

A food delivery driver is speaking out after she said a man grabbed her by her head scarf and tried to strangle her

>> Watch the news report here

Sonya King told WSB-TV that she feared for her life the day she was making a delivery in northwest Atlanta. She was delivering food for DoorDash at a house on South Grand Avenue.

The door was open when she said a 54-year-old man inside told her to leave the food on the counter.

>> Uber Eats driver shoots would-be robbers; 1 critically injured

"He seemed normal. Anybody would have went in," King said.

The woman was headed for the door when she said he told her he wanted to give her a cash tip.

"In the process of him going through his wallet, he said, 'Oh, and by the way, I'm Jesus,'" King said. 

She kept walking to the door when she said she felt him come from behind and grab her head scarf.

>> Uber Eats driver accused of killing customer was convicted of battery in 2010

"He's grabbing me and trying to choke me with my own niqab. I kept telling that man I've got kids. In the midst of me fighting him, he's grabbing my head," King said. "He thought he was Jesus, but Jesus wouldn't do that to nobody."

She said she used her finger to poke his eye and her car keys to fight back.

"In the midst of me stabbing this man, he's saying, 'Aw, this feels good,'" King said.

>> Uber-style service delivers hot meals to inmates at Georgia county jail

Police arrested Rick Painter after King got away and called 911.

When medics were done treating his injuries, authorities charged him with battery and booked him into jail. WSB-TV did some digging and discovered Painter has been in and out of jail on numerous violent charges.

Meanwhile, King said her faith is the reason she made it home to her husband and four children.

"By the love of Allah, I knew he was not going to allow that man to kill a believer," the woman said.

>> Read more trending news 

WSB-TV reached out to DoorDash about the incident. A spokesperson sent  WSB-TV the following statement: 

"DoorDash takes the safety of its community extremely seriously for Dashers, consumers, and merchants. We do not tolerate violence in any form. After learning of this incident, DoorDash took action to deactivate the consumer’s account pending a full investigation. DoorDash is prepared to cooperate with law enforcement to enable them to take swift, appropriate action."

Pit bull attacks Jehovah's Witnesses at front door, police say

Just five hours after four people were injured in a dog attack in Washington state, the animal was euthanized.

>> Watch the news report here

It happened around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday off Cemetery Road in Arlington

Police say four Jehovah’s Witnesses parked in front of a house and as soon as one of them – a 70-year-old woman – got out of the vehicle, a pit bull attacked her.

“I just heard the screaming – I heard some screaming and I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I was on my phone and I just thought it was kids. It sounded like a little girl screaming,” said neighbor Bryant Christy.

>> 4-year-old nearly loses eye after family's newly adopted dog attacks

He was horrified to learn that it was a woman screaming for help. Two people inside the house and the three people who had been inside the car did what they could.

Four of them were taken to a hospital; the most severely injured woman was rushed to Providence in Everett.

“It looks like the dog just escaped through the fence and was protecting its territory and we had very unfortunate results to that. The owner has done everything in terms of surrendering the animal to the police department; he even offered to do that,” said Kristin Banfield with the city of Arlington.

>> Read more trending news 

Banfield says the owner went as far as to ask that the dog be immediately put down – and it was.

“He was genuinely concerned; he wanted to make sure the safety of his family and the public was protected,” she said.

“It was a good move on his part. What else can you do?” Christy said.

Neighbors say they have never seen the dog out, and police say they’ve never had any incidents with this owner or this dog. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, there was no information available about the victims' condition.

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