Daily Archives: February 8, 2021

A Brief Look at Crime 02/01 – 02/07

Why has Las Vegas experienced a surge in homicides?

There have been 81 murders in Metro Police’s jurisdiction in 2020 to represent a 12.5% increase in comparison to the same time last year. They include: Two teenage brothers gunned down by their drunken father, a boy slain during a fight about video games and two young men killed at illegal house parties. Additionally, two babies were dropped to their death from staircases in separate incidents. And there’s the unsolved case of Lesly Palacio a young woman who went out for a drink with a family friend and never returned home. Her remains were found in a desert area north of Las Vegas.

In what’s already been a volatile and unpredictable year marked by a global pandemic and an eruption of social justice protests, major cities across the U.S. are seeing an uptick in slayings and aggravated assaults. In Las Vegas, police have investigated 1,931 aggravated assaults with a gun, which is about 230 more than last year, according to department figures. At least 10 fights or shootings have happened on the Las Vegas Strip. Additionally, the 21 justified homicides Metro has probed from January to Nov. 7 represent a 133% increase from the nine investigated last year, figures show. Those are killings deemed self-defense. The North Las Vegas Police Department has publicly reported 13 slayings this year, compared to nine last year, while Henderson Police have probed 11, which is two more than 2019. The numbers in Henderson include a recent triple murder in which a man shot four of his downstairs neighbors on Nov. 3.

Dr. William Sousa, professor at UNLV’s Department of Criminal Justice and director of the Center from Crime and Justice Policy, says there could be more than one explanation for the spike in crime. But a common theory being explored is that police departments diverted their resources to manage the social unrest to leave behind certain levels of preventive community policing, he said. Policing is more effective when officers are proactive in the communities they patrol as opposed to having to respond to calls for service, Sousa said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise if mechanisms helping to manage those problems … are no longer there,” Sousa said.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey Casinos Get 16K in Counterfeit Currency, Three Arrests Made 

Several Pennsylvania gaming properties and one in Atlantic City wound up getting fake bills last year, leading to the recent arrest of three suspects, with another person still on the loose. In total, $16,000 worth of 150 fake bills were passed at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem — now called Wind Creek Bethlehem — as well as Parx Casino, Valley Forge Casino Resort, Harrah’s casinos, and SugarHouse Casino — now Rivers Casino Philadelphia, reported /Lehigh Valley Live.com/, a local online news site. Three of the suspects were shown on casino surveillance cameras allegedly using the altered money at gaming tables, sometimes while playing blackjack, the report said. Also, the inquiry revealed a printing operation in a Philadelphia hotel room. Police claim the printing scheme made $1 bills look like $100 bills. They were bleached and then altered through a printing process. But each of the bills had the same serial number.

Belterra Park sued for more than $2.7M for allegedly withholding video gaming revenues from racehorse owners and trainers

A Cincinnati-area racino is being sued for withholding more than $2.7 million in video lottery gaming revenues from the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The association of racehorse owners and trainers filed the federal lawsuit Friday against Belterra Park in U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus.

The suit alleges Belterra, located at 6301 Kellogg Road on the site of the old River Downs racetrack in suburban Anderson Twp., failed to pay the association its full share of video lottery proceeds from 2014 to 2018. According to the complaint, when Ohio legalized video lottery terminals in 2009, it required racinos like Belterra to split revenues between the track, the Ohio Lottery Commission, and the horsemen’s association, which was to receive between 9% and 11% of the proceeds.

Shootout that killed two in 2019 started as robbery of gambling in Sycamore Township hotel room

A shootout inside a Sycamore Township hotel room that killed two people started as a robbery of an illegal gambling night, according to a release from Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph T. Deters. Taymar Jones, 20, and Ja’Quan Howard, 15 were both killed Nov. 1, 2019, in a shooting at the Hampton Inn and Suites. Gambling on the dice game craps and a Madden video game went on for several hours with thousands of dollars changing hands before the attempted robbery, according to the release. Jones has been accused of being one of three robbers who entered the hotel room with a gun, according to Deters’ release. Howard was inside the room, and caught in the crossfire when the shooting started, according to the release. “This was a shoot-out situation,” Deters said in the release. On Monday, a Hamilton County grand jury indicted three men on murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths.

North Texas Cockfighting Operation Busted: 60 Live Roosters And Hens Recovered, 3 Men Arrested

A search warrant for a property in Hickory Creek Thursday morning, December 10, resulted in the arrest of three men for cockfighting and the recovery of 60 live birds and several deceased ones. It happened around 7:00 a.m. in the 1600 block of Turbeville Road. Lake Dallas Police and the Texas Highway Patrol assisted. Officers found several items typically used in cockfighting operations, including artificial spurs, along with documents indicating betting/gambling on the animals’ lives. Officers also found approximately 40 cages of various sizes, some not big enough for the animals to move around in freely. Many of the birds in cages did not have access to food or water. With the assistance of the Humane Society of North Texas Cruelty Investigations Division, Hickory Creek Police were able to recover 42 roosters and 18 hens.

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