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October 2010 Archives

Operators of SCOPE Payee Services Charged With Fraud

Many senior citizens in Arizona might be familiar with the suspicious activity of SCOPE Payee Services in Tucson. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the company has been accused of criminal activity by allegedly defrauding over 750 elderly and disabled people while operating a representative payee business. Federal prosecutors say that the fraud scam cost some elderly people in Tucson $1.3 million.

Police Arrest Suspect In Solano Elementary School Burglary

A man that allegedly burglarized a central Phoenix elementary school several times last week is now in a great deal of legal trouble, since authorities are saying that the burglary charges violate his probation.

ABC News reports that 21-year-old Louis Elmer Epperson now faces three counts of burglary and one count of probation violation in connection with the string of burglaries that occurred at Solano Elementary School. The school, located near 15th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, was apparently burglarized three times last week. The burglary suspect was caught early Friday morning when the school's burglary alarm sounded.

Tempe Sees Increase In Murders In 2010

The Phoenix New Times reports that Tempe's murder rate has skyrocketed in 2010, where there have been 12 reported murders in the city so far this year. This number compares to only two people murdered in Tempe during the entire year of 2009.

The Tempe Police Department reportedly announced that there is an average of five murders per year within the city and that the 2010 murder rate is the second highest murder rate that the city has seen in 20 years. But perhaps what Tempe residents are most concerned about is not the number of murders in Tempe but the number of unsolved murders that take place in the town. Apparently, six of the 12 murders this year are still unsolved.

Vampire Enthusiast Arrested in Chandler Stabbing Case

It seems that the Phoenix vampire scene might be getting a bit out of hand. ABC News reports that 25-year-old Aaron Homer, of Chandler, allegedly stabbed his roommate after the roommate refused to let Aaron Homer drink his blood. The "vampire" has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false reporting.

Phoenix Police Officer Arrested After Allegedly Choking Girlfriend

A Phoenix police officer with the Squaw Peak Precinct was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of assault and resisting arrest, a surprising story for many people in the Phoenix community. The Arizona Republic reported that Officer Sutton Wohlman was booked at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office jail after he allegedly choked his girlfriend and hit another police officer while he was off duty. Maricopa County Superior Court documents say that the suspect had been drinking before the domestic violence incident.

Mesa Looking to Pass Policy That Could Discourage Prostitution

The city of Mesa is advancing a hotel-motel ordinance that police say could push crime out of the city's hotels.

The East Valley Tribune reports that Mesa hotels will soon likely need to ask for a person's ID before a guest checks into a hotel. The hotel will also be required to keep information about of their guests for a year. Police say that this new policy could drive away prostitutes, drug dealers, and other criminals that typically only pay for a room with cash and don't provide their name when checking into a room.

Aiming A Laser Pointer At A Police Officer

Did you know that it's illegal to point a laser pointer at a police officer in Arizona? Such conduct might seem obviously inappropriate to some people, but many people might not realize that pointing a laser at such an authority figure is actually a misdemeanor offense in the state.

According to Arizona Revised Statute 12-1213, a person cannot aim a laser pointer at any peace officer if the person intentionally or knowingly directs the beam of light from an operating laser pointer at another person and the person knows or reasonably should know that the other person is a peace officer. Under Arizona law, the definition of a peace officer includes both local authorities and federal law enforcement officers that have the power to make arrests.

Arizona's Most Wanted

Did you know that the Arizona Department of Public Safety developed a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional statewide plan in 2008 to identify and arrest individuals  with outstanding felony warrants? At www.azdps.gov/Services/Most_Wanted/, the Department lists the state's "most wanted" fugitives. Most of the people with outstanding felony warrants are located in Maricopa County, many of which are wanted for crimes that include assault, aggravated DUI, probation violation, and sex crimes.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon Becomes Victim of Burglary

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has a security team of four detectives and a sergeant overseeing his day-to-day personal security. Yet this team was no match for a burglar who broke into the mayor's home on Friday night.

The Arizona Republic reports that the mayor's personal security is not monitored 24-hours a day or seven days a week. Perhaps the details of his day-to-day security will change because of the recent incident. The burglar reportedly entered Phil Gordon's home through the back door while he was asleep. On Saturday morning, the mayor was unharmed, but found that his personal home computer was missing and that there was about $1,000 worth of damage to his house.

An officer with the Phoenix Police Department is now facing a heap of legal trouble after fatally shooting a domestic violence suspect. It looks like Officer Richard Chrisman will likely need a Phoenix criminal lawyer to defend him of the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge after the controversial incident.

Michael Sprouse Arrested For Alleged Business Scam

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A man has been accused of scamming several businesses in the Valley, including nine businesses in the city of Mesa. Police, who say that Michael Sprouse collected about $1,622 from East Valley businesses in a scam, arrested the 41-year-old on suspicion of fraudulent schemes last week.

The East Valley Tribune reports that victims of the scam included In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Mesa, a Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Scottsdale, and an Edible Arrangements in Tempe. Michael Spouse would allegedly call these businesses and pretend to be a corporate employee or legal consultant of the company. He would then give a story of how his niece or nephew had a car break down in Mesa and would ask the business to deliver between $60 and $207 for a towing bill, claiming that he would pay back the money the next day.

Christopher Jones Sentenced in Chase that Killed Journalists

Three years after Christopher Jermaine Jones was accused of leading Phoenix police officers on a high speed chase, the man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime. ABC News reports that Judge Cari Harrison gave out the sentence last week after the defendant pleaded guilty to more than 30 charges.

The chase was a big story in the media in the summer of 2007 because two television news helicopters that were covering the incident collided, which killed four men. Perhaps Christopher Jermaine Jones is somewhat lucky that he wasn't charged with the deaths of the journalists.

Murder Charges Dropped for David Gorosave

The 26-year-old man that was arrested last January on suspicion of murder in the death of Manuel DeJesus Nunley may not need any more help from his criminal defense attorney. David Gorosave was accused of shooting the Tucson man on New Year's Day, but the Arizona Daily Star reported that the case was dismissed last week after the Pima County Attorney's Office said that a further investigation is needed.