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A Florida waitress was caught adding to her own tips
A Florida waitress thought no one would notice when she started inflating her own tips on credit card checks.
A Florida waitress who figured nobody would notice if she added a dollar or two to her credit card tips was allegedly able to steal over $1,000 in a single month, before she was caught, fired, and arrested this week.
According to the New York Daily News, Florida waitress Victoria Lynn Bachman had been working at the Ozone Blue Grilling Company for just about a month, and in that time she reportedly managed to steal more than $1,075 by allegedly penciling in higher amounts on the tip lines of her credit card receipts.
Bachman allegedly increased her tips on 134 different checks during her time at the restaurant, and while she might have gotten away with adding a dollar or two, that averages out to about $8 per check, which definitely seems like enough that someone would notice at some point. That point came at the end of the month, when the credit card companies noticed the fraudulent charges and charged the refunds back to the restaurant.
Bachman was, of course, promptly fired and has been arrested for grand theft.
While living next door to a breakfast restaurant might sound like a dream come true to some, the neighbor of a Waffle House in Alabama says it was more of a nightmare, claiming grease and sewage from the business has leaked onto his property and damaged his home. [More]
Cut the Cheese
Apparently this old expression originated when someone noticed that the smell of fresh cut cheese resembled a fart…I’m not sure what kind of cheese they were cutting, but you get the point. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, cheese has been receiving a lot of media attention recently, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you in on some of cheese’s secrets.
According to the U.K’s Centre for Retail Research, over 3% of our planet’s cheese is stolen every year! Two Michigan men were caught stealing $1,000 worth of provolone, and another group from Oregon attempted to roll three large cheese wheels worth approximately $600 out of the supermarket – Wow!
“Whey” is Cheese so Expensive?!
Subway restaurants have even increased their prices to reflect the increased price of cheese…so why is cheese so expensive?
Well to start off, it takes 10 kg of milk to make 1 kg of cheese. A major byproduct is whey, which contains whey proteins, water-soluble vitamins, minerals and water. Whey disposal is a major problem for the dairy industry because of their high water and solid content. Don’t be surprised to see more whey products on the market soon—a good thing for sustainability.
Calf Stomach used for Making Cheese?!
Another interesting fact is that the enzyme used to coagulate cheese was originally from the 4th stomach of a calf—TMI? However, due to recent innovations in biotechnology, food scientists are implanting the enzyme’s genes into microorganisms, which is good for vegetarians (and us). Go check out the cheese in your fridge right now! If the ingredient says ‘rennet,’ ‘chymosin,’ or ‘rennin’ then the enzyme is from a calf. But if it says ‘microbial enzyme’, ‘microbial rennet’ or ‘rennin-like substitute’, then it’s from a microorganism.
Last but not least, just a reminder to not over indulge in cheese! I know it tastes really good, but 1 oz. of cheese (which is a serving size) contains 9 grams of fat and 6 grams of saturated fat. Unfortunately, 1 oz. of cheese is not a lot—it’s approximately the size of four game dice.
Bad day for cheese lovers.
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20 thoughts on &ldquoShould Tipping Be Abolished?&rdquo
“I’m opposed because I have no confidence that any part of that service charge will actually go to the servers.”
The same could be said for tips. There have been many high profile restaurants run by celebrity chefs who’ve been caught stealing tips from servers.
This is a bit long but I’ve found it to be the most comprehensive analysis of tipping, restaurant economics, and server-cook relationships that I’ve read. It’s fascinating.
Now, let’s say that on a typical shift, a restaurant sells $1000 in food and drink. It would be reasonable that, to make that revenue, a restaurant has 2 cooks who work 8 hours each, a dishwasher who works 8 hours, and two servers who work 6 hours each. We can extrapolate from standard industry models that, of the $1000 in sales, there will be $300 available to cover the 36 hours of labor. It just so happens that this math means that everyone in the house will make $8/hour, which is of course both minimum wage and a poverty wage. But that’s just how the pie divides.
And yet, wait! We’ve forgotten something. There are also 220 extra dollars paid by the guests as tips.
However, to give the tip money to every worker would be illegal. The law is historically very clear — the $220 in tips belongs to the two servers only, and cannot be distributed to any other employees. So, the two servers make a total of about $26/hour each, while everyone else in the restaurant is stuck at $8/hour.
From the perspective of the business, the cook and dishwasher are just as important to the guests’ experience as the server is. In fact, they may be even more important, particularly if your restaurant’s reputation is based on its food. But, now your cooks are making less than 1/3 of what the servers are making. The cooks’ wage is so low that talented cooks won’t be able to live on it, and they will probably leave the industry. Additionally, no matter what cooks you have, there will be a lot of ill will between the producers of the food, who are well below the poverty line, and the servers, who are making white-collar wages.
If I thought that part of the service charge would go to cooks and dishwashers, I’d be all for it. Maybe I’m too distrustful but I fear that the workers will see none of that money at all.
“If I thought that part of the service charge would go to cooks and dishwashers, I’d be all for it. Maybe I’m too distrustful but I fear that the workers will see none of that money at all.”
There is also that. There’s not much transparency in a restaurant, so it’s impossible to tell exactly where that money will go.
I’m sure that happens at places. But then, restaurants that cheat their cooks and dishwashers, will also cheat their servers. If a restaurant operates unethically, everyone who works there is doomed.
I tip because it’s the right thing to do but I wouldn’t mind a service charge that was distributed more evenly among the workers. As the article mentions, this tipping business can result in parallel economies that do not benefit the customer. You can have situations where a server can make more money in tips while providing shittier service to patrons.
Also funny was the reference to ‘high tipping techniques’ like squatting down to the customer’s level, touching them on the shoulder, drawing smilies on the bill, etc.
I ate at a place recently where the very attractive waitress did all of the above and I distinctly remember being turned off by her touching me. Do you think I’m a fucking mook that can be socially engineered so easily?!
These techniques can also backfire with people like me who detest being touched, crowded or offered smiley faces.
Except the servers aren’t always making white-collar wages. It fluctuates daily. Servers also often make below minimum wage and tend to work longer and more unpredictable hours than the other employees. They also tend to have the least job security out of everyone working in a particular restaurant, and they’re the one’s actually working with people (with the exception of places where the cooks will come out to deal with special allergy-free food). If I tip a server, I want that server to get that money based on my interaction with them. If I actually interact with a cook (which is very, very rare — most of the time the manager comes to deal with allergy-free orders), then I might go out of my way to tip that cook. Either way, I make the choice to give something extra to that particular person as a way of thanking them for their service. It shouldn’t be going to anyone else.
Yes, it’s true that working with people is always very hard and needs to be remunerated well. People are difficult.
Those are all good points. To clarify, I’m not saying everyone should be paid the same, but the wages could be a little less skewed towards the servers.
Somewhat related, I have to record my disgust at Europeans who don’t tip in the US. I’ve seen people who’ve been living here for YEARS get away with it by saying ‘sorry, I’m from europe, we don’t tip over there’.
Cheap assholes. If you can’t afford to tip you can’t afford to eat in a sit-down restaurant. Stay home.
I agree completely! I once had this extremely unpleasant situation with colleagues from Spain who not only didn’t tip (I was happy to tip for them just to end the nasty scene), but started making loud, angry speeches at the waiters about the unfairness of having to tip. This was beyond embarrassing.
College professors they were. One would expect a modicum of awareness on class issues or at least some cultural sensitivity but that didn’t happen.
Haha, my experience has been with spanish people too. Exactly the same as yours except these weren’t professors but grad students.
At least slink away in shame, as you should. Don’t act so righteous about your stupid choice.
I had a reversed situation where I left a tip in Spain and the waiter had to run after me for 2 blocks to give it back to me. He thought I forgot the money on the table by mistake.
“College professors… One would expect a modicum of awareness on class issues or at least some cultural sensitivity ”
From College Professors? Ha Ha Ha. At least they were from Spain and not Latin America (I once wanted to crawl under a table at lunch when a friend from SAmerica clapped to get the waitress’s attention)
I tried to explain why this wasn’t cool in the US but I’m sure it got categorized as “crazy things gringos believe” though if he stopped I was at least grateful for that.
“I once wanted to crawl under a table at lunch when a friend from SAmerica clapped to get the waitress’s attention”
- Oh yes. There was once this fellow who snapped his fingers at a waiter. It was just like a scene from a Soviet movie about the dissolute and condescending officers of the White Army. I was almost expecting the guy to yell “Garçon!”
\ It was just like a scene from a Soviet movie about the dissolute and condescending officers of the White Army
Did you have a specific good movie in mind? Which?
I’ll add I would never give a tip by credit card, that’s always in cash (in Poland, though not much of a tipping culture, it’s okay to directly hand it to the server). Then I have a little more confidence that it will go to them and not management.
” It was just like a scene from a Soviet movie about the dissolute and condescending officers of the White Army. I was almost expecting the guy to yell “Garçon!””
And then you have cruise lines where waiters are expected to fucking DANCE for their tips. Kill me now.
I knew there was a reason I detested the idea of a cruise.
I’m opposed because I have no confidence that any part of that service charge will actually go to the servers. The point of the tipping system, as far as I understand, is to supplement the low wages of the servers. With the fixed service charge, all I know for sure is that I’m supplementing the income of the restorateur when neither the amount nor the quality of food has changed.
Every time you add a percentage to a credit card, you’re taking it on faith that the charge goes to the servers. The point of the tipping system is to offload the wages of the servers directly onto the patrons and to disguise the true cost of food. A ten dollar entree is really 12 dollars if you include the tip, but people don’t register the price of a ten dollar entree with a 20% tip the same as a 12 dollar entree with no tip. People also like feeling superior.
A history lesson The book is interesting.
Virginia is for felonies? Petty theft law from 1980s sticks
Stealing a $230 pair of eyeglasses would land you a misdemeanor conviction in most states. Shoplifting the same item in Virginia could make you a felon for life.
To keep pace with inflation, at least 30 states have raised the dollar minimum for felony charges in the last two decades. Three dozen have a threshold of $1,000 or more, and Wisconsin and Texas won't charge thefts of less than $2,500 as felonies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Virginia, however, has kept its felony bar at $200 since 1980, when that money had the same buying power as nearly $600 does today. Virginia is tied with New Jersey for having the nation's lowest felony threshold.
Damien Ferebee said he was so embarrassed after he was caught stealing those eyeglasses that he paid back the store in Norfolk. Ferebee, who had a prior robbery conviction from 2004, pleaded guilty to felony larceny and was sentenced to six months in jail. He also lost his job. Now working as a cook at 31, he fears the latest felony will haunt him for years.
"You want to get back from your mistakes, but it just makes it harder," Ferebee said.
Ken Cuccinelli, a former Republican Virginia attorney general who supports raising the threshold, says Virginians and especially Republicans in the state have a long history "of only dealing with crime by making anything and everything tougher."
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's effort to make anything less than $500 a misdemeanor sailed through the Republican-controlled Senate this year, but was stymied in a GOP-led House committee last month after retail groups insisted the lower threshold deters shoplifting.
"The question is, why would we make it easier on people who steal?" said Republican Del. Rob Bell.
Critics say Virginia's policy is overly harsh on minor criminals without doing anything to prevent crime.
Prosecutors often agree to knock a first-time offender's felony larceny charge down to a misdemeanor when the stolen items are worth less than $1,000, but that depends largely on where the person is arrested, since prosecutors have wide discretion, said Michael Sprano, a northern Virginia attorney who works those cases.
Some prosecutors will only reduce a felony shoplifting charge to a misdemeanor if the accused agrees to serve jail time, Sprano said. And because judges don't typically give jail time for first-time felony offenses, some defendants must decide whether to take a felony and go home, or get a misdemeanor and serve in jail.
"I had a client once who chose the felony instead of doing a month in jail because if he did the month in jail, he would've lost his job and his apartment and his family was depending on him," Sprano said.
It is unclear how many Virginians are being locked up for stealing low-priced items. A study by the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission in 2016 found that in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, nearly 850 people were convicted of felony larceny who would have received a misdemeanor had the state's threshold been $500.
Of those, 430 people were given probation or no incarceration, about 340 served jail time and nearly 80 were sent to prison, with a median sentence of more than a year. Meanwhile, they joined the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who've been disenfranchised due to felonies and must have their voting rights restored by the governor.
Virginia retailers say the shoplifters in their stores aren't people who make just one bad decision. They're often part of organized retail crime rings and are well aware of the state's larceny threshold, said Kate Baker, a lobbyist for the Virginia Retail Federation.
If the threshold is "raised to $500 or $1,000, they're going to steal up to $499 or $999 and retailers are going to eat that," said Lori Janke, who owns three resale clothing stores.
Janke said she's had eight significant shoplifting incidents at her stores over the last six years. None involved first-time offenders and most ended up with misdemeanor convictions, she said.
California retailers reported a surge in shoplifting after the state ended the possibility of charging people who steal anything below $950 with a felony in 2014. Large retailers including Safeway, Target, Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies said last year that shoplifting had increased at least 15 percent while shoplifting reports to the Los Angeles Police Department jumped by a quarter in the law's first year.
But a report by the Pew Research Center last year found no effect on property crimes or larceny rates in 23 states that raised their thresholds between 2001 and 2011. The report found that crime decreased in those states by essentially the same amount as in states that didn't change theft laws.
When Shoplifting Is A Felony: Retailers Back Harsher Penalties For Store Theft
What exactly did Abbie Welch put in her purse before she snuck out of a Walmart in Knoxville, Tenn.? The court ruling doesn't say.
Nor does it matter. What matters is a piece of paper she'd previously received from Walmart banning her from the store. Prosecutors used it to argue she was trespassing when she shoplifted. Her crime, typically a misdemeanor, was elevated to a burglary. She became a felon with a six-year sentence.
Among the legal briefs cited by the Tennessee Supreme Court in this high-profile ruling in February is one from several retail groups — in support of the prosecution.
Retailers have long kept a close eye on shoplifting laws around the country, warning of organized retail crime rings that are costing stores a lot of money. In an era of social-justice reckoning, their support of harsher shoplifting punishments and related laws faces new scrutiny from advocates who say this lobbying goes counter to the companies' public statements promoting racial and social equity.
A new report by the consumer-interest nonprofit Public Citizen calls out major retailers — Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, Walmart and others — for donating to trade associations and campaigns promoting harsher shoplifting penalties in at least 18 states. The retailers succeeded in 11 of them, according to the report.
"Corporations that embraced criminal justice reform rhetoric have been fueling mass incarceration," the report declares. Racial justice organization Color of Change plans to join Public Citizen in writing to top retailers and industry groups to demand they reverse course.
One related measure is on the November ballot in California: Proposition 20 would toughen penalties for some theft-related crimes. Among its biggest backers is grocer Albertsons, parent of Safeway. Costco had previously donated to a campaign in favor but told NPR that the company has requested a return of its contribution and does not support the measure, without elaborating further.
"People from across the political spectrum have come to realize that it's wasteful and ineffective to just ratchet up penalties," said Rick Claypool of Public Citizen, who authored the report. "I think there is an opportunity here for the retailers to change."
Claypool is typically a corporate-crime watchdog, but it was the Tennessee case that got him curious. The door he opened was to a convoluted web of state laws that decide the fate of people caught shoplifting — who gets harsher penalties and who doesn't — and the role that the stores can play when they lobby lawmakers or send security staff to testify in court.
The retailers' targets are organized crime rings and repeat offenders, looking to profit from shoplifting, said Jason Straczewski, who oversees state-level advocacy and government relations at the National Retail Federation. "Retailers are not about filling the jails with tons of people who've stolen small-dollar amounts of goods," he said.
The definition of "organized retail theft" changes by state. California's Prop 20, for example, describes it as at least two people shoplifting "in concert" at least twice in six months for a total value more than $250.
The National Retail Federation doesn't "know where to draw the line" in defining organized retail crime, Straczewski said. But the trade group has called its impact as "considerable," costing retailers $703,320 per $1 billion in sales. Almost all the retailers polled by the trade group said they'd been hit by retail-theft "gangs" in the previous year. Top stolen items were designer clothes and handbags, infant formula, razors and laundry detergent.
Home Depot made headlines last year when it said the nation's opioid epidemic was a big cause of "shrink" — a word retailers use when merchandise goes missing, whether stolen by employees or outsiders. Public defenders tend to describe shoplifting cases as crimes of poverty, drug abuse and mental illness.
Thalia Karny had just moved from the Bronx to the über-wealthy Manhattan as a public defender when she met Qulon McCain. He'd been caught stealing socks from Bloomingdale's, and like Welch in Tennessee faced a bumped-up felony charge because the store had given him a "trespass notice."
McCain told her he was homeless. That he had mental illness. That he wanted to get better. He spent almost nine months in prison, she says, before finding a place in a mental-health treatment center.
Karny had never seen such a case before. But they've cropped up in some states. A woman battling cancer was sentenced to at least 10 months in prison in Pennsylvania after stealing some $100 worth of groceries. A man in Tennessee was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he faked the return of $39 worth of items he had taken off store shelves. A man in Arizona was charged with a felony after getting caught stealing items worth less than $10.
Prosecutors point to the offenders' lengthy criminal histories as factors for their serious sentences. Public defenders say they are people trapped in the cycle of the criminal justice system.
"Shoplifting may be a problem, an issue that needs to be dealt with, but in our society, the only answer we have apparently is — let's put people in prison for long periods of time," said Jonathan Harwell, a public defender in Tennessee known for his work on "Walmart burglary" cases. "We're the only country in the world that does it on the scale that we do it. It doesn't seem to be working, and it ruins people's lives. And why are we doing that?"
The main way that retailers are pushing for harsher shoplifting punishments, according to Public Citizen, has to do with the dollar value that states use to determine whether an incident is a felony (typically punishable by over a year in prison) or a misdemeanor (typically punishable by less than a year in jail, often served on probation).
In recent years, concerns about mass incarceration have pushed most states to raise the felony threshold. Many say, for example, that theft below $1,000 should be a misdemeanor. But disputes around these amounts persist.
Retail trade groups have argued that prosecutors should be able to aggregate shoplifting incidents to crack down on repeat offenders. With the same goal, the groups in many states have lobbied in favor of lower thresholds for the value of stolen property that triggers a felony charge.
Opponents of higher felony thresholds argue they encourage more shoplifting because organized groups can simply adjust to stealing more valuable items without fear of facing stiffer charges. In recent years, the Pew Charitable Trusts studied states that raised their thresholds and reported that property crime rates were falling before the change and continued to fall afterward.
The National Retail Federation's 2020 security survey found that shoplifting apprehensions and prosecutions have fallen dramatically since 2015. Meanwhile, the average loss per each shoplifting incident declined only slightly to $270. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most insurance policies do not cover shoplifting but can cover burglaries.
Something major is getting lost in all of this, says Pew's Jake Horowitz. If the goal is to deter crime, tougher punishment is actually not the best approach.
"This may surprise some folks, but it's one of the least controversial ideas among people who study crime," Horowitz says. More severe punishments are expensive, costing taxpayers, but he says severity is "essentially meaningless" compared with the most important factor: certainty of punishment.
"Research shows clearly that the chance of being caught is a vastly more effective deterrent than even draconian punishment," says the National Institute of Justice, an agency of the U.S. Justice Department. "Prison sentences (particularly long sentences) are unlikely to deter future crime. Prisons actually may have the opposite effect."
Editor's Note: Target and Walmart are among NPR's recent financial supporters.
When should shoplifting be treated as a felony that sends people to prison? In an era of social justice reckoning, retailers are facing scrutiny from advocates for supporting harsher penalties for store theft. NPR's Alina Selyukh reports.
ALINA SELYUKH, BYLINE: Thalia Karny had been a public defender in New York for about two decades when she got the case that knocked her back on her heels - the case of Qulon McCain.
THALIA KARNY: He was a guy that was really down and out. He was homeless. He suffered from mental illness. I remember one of the first things he did say to me was, I want to get better. I want to get better.
SELYUKH: McCain was caught shoplifting some socks from the department store Bloomingdale's, a petty misdemeanor Karny had seen thousands of times, except McCain's charge was a felony - up to four years in prison - all because a year earlier, after a previous shoplifting incident, the store had made him sign a piece of paper that said if McCain came back, he'd be trespassing.
KARNY: Then they can charge you with the burglary in the third degree because you're entering against the law, right? You're committing a crime by just going in.
SELYUKH: A burglary. Karny had never seen a case like this until she moved from the Bronx to Manhattan. But they crop up. In Philadelphia, a woman battling cancer was sentenced to at least 10 months in prison after stealing a hundred dollars' worth of groceries. In Arizona, a man was charged with a felony after getting caught stealing stuff worth under $10. Prosecutors would say their criminal histories set them up for these sentences.
These stories caught the eye of Rick Claypool at the consumer interest group Public Citizen. And his interest was the retailers and their role in promoting tougher laws.
RICK CLAYPOOL: This part of the industry has opposed criminal justice reforms or supported harsher anti-shoplifting laws in 18 states.
SELYUKH: Claypool's new report calls out major retailers - Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, Walmart, CVS - for donating to groups and campaigns that support harsher shoplifting penalties. These penalties come from different angles. They might prosecute repeat shoplifters as burglars, like McCain in Manhattan. Most often, they focus on the value of what's stolen. Many states, for example, draw the line at a thousand dollars. Theft below is a misdemeanor, usually up to a few months in jail. Over a thousand is a felony, typically more than a year in prison. Whenever states reconsider this line, retailers lobby for lower dollar amounts to trigger a felony, or they say someone's repeat thefts should add up over time.
JASON STRACZEWSKI: What we're trying to get after is the actual organized crime rings.
SELYUKH: Jason Straczewski is with the National Retail Federation, which says stores lost over $60 billion last year to what they call shrink - stuff getting stolen not just by strangers, but also workers. Top items were designer clothes and handbags, infant formula, razors and laundry detergent. At one point, Home Depot attributed spikes in shrink to the opioid crisis. But Straczewski kept coming back to concerns about organized crime.
STRACZEWSKI: Retailers are not about filling the jails with tons of people who've stolen small dollar amounts of goods. This is about going after the repeat offenders who are stealing property, reselling it for their own personal gain.
SELYUKH: His group even refers to retail crime gangs. But it doesn't actually define what a crime ring looks like. He says states get to decide. This election, California has a ballot measure, Proposition 20, to increase some theft penalties. And it says organized retail crime can be as few as two people shoplifting at least twice in six months, stealing $250 worth of stuff. The biggest backers of Prop 20 include grocery chain Albertsons Safeway. Critics often say harsh penalties backfire.
JONATHAN HARWELL: For particularly people whose crimes come out of social causes or mental health problems or substance abuse problems, sending them to prison doesn't solve any of it.
SELYUKH: Jonathan Harwell is a public defender in Tennessee, where the state Supreme Court this year upheld a burglary charge and a six-year sentence for a woman caught stealing from Walmart. The ruling cited briefs from retailer groups in support of prosecution. Harwell spoke in defense.
HARWELL: Shoplifting may be a problem, but our society - the only answer we have apparently is, let's put people in prison. We're the only country in the world that does it on the scale that we do it, and it doesn't seem to be working.
SELYUKH: People who study crime say something quite basic has actually gotten lost in all this, something very well-researched about deterrence, which is when people commit crimes, they worry far more about how likely they are to get caught than the severity of a potential punishment.
- Julie Souza, 25, was allegedly busted with crystal meth and 1.5 litres of GBL
- Her Australian boyfriend Jake Hudson, 30, was also arrested by detectives
- The pair were also allegedly busted with a gun and thousand dollars in cash
Published: 00:51 BST, 23 June 2019 | Updated: 01:36 BST, 23 June 2019
A Brazilian waitress allegedly caught with a haul of illicit substances in her apartment has been accused of allowing people to use her home to deal drugs.
Julie Souza, 25, who is on a student visa, was allegedly busted with two ounces of crystal meth and 1.5 litres of gamma-butyrolactone at her home in Rosebury, Sydney on Thursday.
Officers arrested Souza as well as her Australian boyfriend Jake Hudson, 30, during an investigation to track down alleged meth dealers.
Julie Souza (pictured), who is on a student visa, was allegedly busted with two ounces of crystal meth and 1.5 litres of gamma-butyrolactone in her Rosebury unit
Souza allegedly had a gun under her mattress, while the meth was allegedly found in a bedroom cupboard.
More than 3,000 Xanax tablets and $1,000 were among the other items allegedly found by police, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Hudson allegedly distributed drugs to customers organised through encrypted messaging apps.
Helping seniors fight fraud
Older Americans are the number one target of financial scam artists, losing 37 billion dollars a year nationwide.
“Seventy percent of our nations wealth is controlled by those over the age of 50. They are more likely to have savings, retirement funds, own a home and have excellent credit. All of those things make them better targets,” said Brown County Prosecuting Attorney Zac Corbin.
Corbin and Michelle Hopkins of the Brown County Public Library are working together to present fraud fighting tips directly to seniors.
The first presentation will be Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Sardinia Methodist Church. Another will be held at the St. Martin Church in Fayetteville at 11 a.m. on Oct. 22.
Corbin said that it’s important for seniors to realize that some people view them as a target.
“Criminals don’t want to hack into someone’s account that only has $27 in it, they want to go after someone who has thousands of dollars. You don’t want to steal someone’s identity if they have bad credit,” he said.
Corbin discussed some of the more common ways that seniors are scammed with The Brown County Press.
“Sadly, in about 60 percent of elder exploitation cases, the perpetrator is a family member or someone who is close to the senior citizen. That’s what we see here in Brown County all the time,” Corbin said.
He said one of the reasons that senior fraud is so prevalent is that it is rarely reported to authorities.
“The statistics show that for every incident of elder financial fraud that is reported, there are probably 40 that are not,” Corbin said.
He said the reasons that seniors don’t come forward can vary, but shame is at the top of the list.
”Many seniors are embarrassed. They feel like if they admit that they have been taken advantage of then their family might think that they can no longer take care of themselves.”
Corbin added that keeping an eye on who is in the lives of seniors is a good place to start.
“The family and caregiver scams are done by people who have access,” he said.
“All of a sudden if you have new best friends or relatives that suddenly show up that haven’t been around for a while, you need to keep an eye on that.”
The next step is securing and monitoring financial information.
“People have to be very careful about who they trust with their banking information. Don’t let people use your credit cards. Watch out for pressure to sign forms like powers of attorney,” Corbin said.
And don’t forget about credit card and bank statements and the credit and debit cards themselves.
“Keep all of those things secure. Make sure you are monitoring your bank account activity and make sure the transactions that are showing are in fact transactions that you made,” Corbin advised.
The telephone is another way that criminals try to work their way into the bank accounts of seniors.
“Watch out for phone calls where people are asking for any sort of personal information. Never take a call where someone is asking for credit card or personal identifying information. Never give that information out over the phone unless you know who you are talking to,” Corbin said.
Pressure to act quickly is a red flag that seniors are being scammed on the telephone. Typically, they will be told to purchase a gift card or send cash to pay a debt or help a family member in trouble.
Scammers are also known to walk right up and knock on the front door.
“A lot of them are home improvement type scams where they offer to resurface your driveway, repair your roof or the siding on your home. They will ask for the payment up front and then never do the work,” Corbin said.
Ohio Law has harsher penalties in store for anyone caught stealing from an elderly person, which is defined as anyone over 65 years of age.
“As an example, a normal petty theft under $1000 would normally be a misdemeanor. However, any theft against an elderly person is a felony, regardless of the amount. So the penalties are more serious if they are committed against an elderly victim,” Corbin said.
Finally, many elderly people fall victim to computer fraud each year.
“If they are venturing into the world of e-mail, they may not be quite as knowledgeable about scams, so they might be more likely to respond to e-mails where people are telling them that they have won a prize or contest and asking for banking information so they can get their winnings,” Corbin said.
Other typical e-mail scams are again, relatives asking for help or telling seniors they have a debt to pay to the IRS or other government agencies.
More information on current scams and how to protect yourself can be found at www.ohioprotects.org, which is maintained by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The website also allows visitors to research a business or file a complaint.
Police Arrest 20-Year-Old Woman Who Allegedly Tried To Steal Packages From Alhambra Home
ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) &mdash Police in Alhambra have announced the arrest of a woman they said tried to steal packages from a man’s porch.
Rianna Medina, 20, of Montebello was arrested about 1 p.m. at a Motel 6 in Rosemead.
The arrest came about from tips and social media messages and “old-fashioned police work,” according to the Alhambra Police Department.
CBS2’s Tom Wait spoke to the homeowner Thursday evening. He caught the woman in the act and talked to her while recording their confrontation on a cellphone.
(credit: Alhambra Police Department/Facebook)
The homeowner said the woman identified as Medina told him it was her mother’s house. He also said she not only showed no remorse, she flipped him the bird as she walked away.
“On Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at approximately 4:40 p.m., a homeowner in the southeast portion of Alhambra had just arrived home when he saw a woman approach the front of his house,” according to a police statement. “The female suspect picked up two packages that had been delivered and left near the front door. The homeowner exited his car and started recording the suspect with his cell phone. The homeowner confronted the suspect, who tried to convince the
man that her mother lived at the house and the packages were hers. When the homeowner threatened to call the police the suspect dropped the packages and fled on foot.”
Medina was booked on suspicion of one felony count of grand theft, with bail set at $25,000. She is due in court in Alhambra on Tuesday, police said.
“The public’s cooperation greatly assisted our detectives in identifying and locating this suspect,” police said. “It is oftentimes difficult to find people who are willing to come forward and share information. We appreciate everyone’s contribution.”
Police said part of their investigation included matching tattoos that Medina is known to have had with those with the woman who appeared on the homeowner’s video.
The unidentified homeowner told Wait that the packages were filled with about $1,000 worth of tools he needed for his appliance repair business.
On Friday, CBS2’s Dave Lopez talked to Medina’s grandmother who said her granddaughter had been living with her up until about two weeks ago in a Montebello apartment.
The grandmother did not want to go on camera. Neighbors also declined.
Police told Lopez that even though Medina left empty-handed, she still committed a crime.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)
153 Fun Questions To Ask A Girl
If you’re looking for the best funny questions to ask a girl, then get your pen and pad ready because you’re on your way to becoming a funny guy.
You may have wondered why that funny guy you know always seems to be getting the best girls .
But each time you try the same tactics, you fall like a sack of potatoes.
Just like any other skill, humor can be learned by knowing the right things to say to get the toughest girl all soft with laughter.
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How to INSTANTLY attract ANY woman in less than a minute.
Here are 153 funny questions to ask a girl to make her laugh.
1) If you had to choose between having a horn or tail, what would it be?
Just thinking about the two weird choices would have her cackling.
2) Would you rather have your fart smell like roses or a rotten egg?
This might look like a yucky question but it is great at breaking the ice.
3) Which food would you rather smell like for the rest of your life?
It might take some thought but her answers would crack her up.
4) If you lost your speech and could only choose an animal sound to communicate, what animal would it be?
You could have fun trying out different animal sounds.
5) Tell me what you think your Dog thinks about you?
She might look at you as a loon head but that would surely make her laugh.
6) Would you rather lick or eat?
This might sound vague but it’s one of the funny questions to ask a girl over text.
7) Are there Daddies in the Pyramids of Egypt?
Sometimes playing dumb can get you into a girl’s heart.
8) Would you like to be a bird so you can poop on the heads of annoying people?
This is one of the funny questions to ask a girl you like that would get you past any awkwardness.
9) Would you eat a gold-glazed burger?
That’s not a condiment. It is one of the fun questions to ask a girl that could get her thinking.
10) You can only choose one Daddy – Kevin Hart or Mr. Bean?
Relating it to you will help her forget her previous embarrassment and make her loosen up around you.
10) Have you ever tasted your stomach?
She might think you are out of your mind but it would give her something to think about.
11) What’s the wackiest pick-up line that has been used on you?
This is a risky one as she could parrot your words back at you. It is worth the try though.
12) Do you think sleeping should be added as a hobby on your resume?
This question could help you get to know her better outside casual engagements.
13) What is the stupidest thing you have done to get a crush to notice you?
This could be self-preservation at its best because you can get to know if she would be a dangerous stalker.
14) Where you ever caught stealing candy as a child?
She would laugh at the memory and you could get closer through the sharing of that experience.
15) Have you ever let out a smelly fart in a public place?
Well, who hasn’t? She would laugh or pretend to be alarmed.
16) I’m Neil’s brother. Will you like to go to the moon and back with me?
Sounds a bit corny but it might just work for you.
17) Why is Jack a short form for John when they are the same length?
18) Do you think I am goofy?
This question can help you to avoid wasting time on a girl that doesn’t find you funny.
19) If you were a man, how would you serenade a girl?
You would not only make her laugh but also get pointers on how to treat her right.
20) If you work in a diner and a customer is nasty, would you spit in their food?
This could let you know how vindictive she can get when slighted.
21) What would you be found doing if the world were to end to today?
This is on the deeper end but it can unearth very funny responses.
22) What is the funniest nickname people call you?
If she tells you this, it means she truly likes you.
23) Can you tell me something you find funny about me?
Turning the joke on yourself is the best way to get a girl to like you.
24) What animal do you think I bear a resemblance to?
Her answer would have you poking fun at each other in no time.
25) Choose a new fruit shape for your head – watermelon or coconut?
Tell me the driest joke you have ever heard.
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Extra Funny Questions to Ask a Girl
26) What’s your worst gaffe ever?
28) Would you give a dying snake mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?
29) Tell me the strangest name you could give your child?
30) Do you talk to imaginary people?
31) What has been your most ridiculous lie to skip work?
32) Who would you choose to be stuck in an elevator with? A skunk or a friend with body odor?
33) If you had to live the rest of your life as a vegetable, would rather be lettuce or cabbage?
34) When did you find out Santa Claus was fake?
35) Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
36) Choose between two superpowers – to make things disappear or make food appear?
37) Can you walk with your head between your legs?
38) Do you still believe in the tooth fairy?
39) Can you lick your elbow?
40) Why is an uncle not an unctie?
41) Are false eyelashes made from horse’s hair?
42) What is the silliest fear you have?
43) If your family hears that you have been arrested, what offense would they assume you might have committed?
44) If you had to choose between purple and red as your skin tone, which would it be?
45) How will you scratch your back if your hands were tied?
46) Can you communicate through hand signals only for a whole day?
47) Would you scrape off your eyebrows and leave it bald?
48) Would you eat worms for $1000?
49) Can you eat while hanging upside down?
50) Who is your favorite cartoon character?
51) What funny joke would you tell God, if you see him?
52) If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
53) If you could control space and time, who would you choose to place under freeze forever?
54) What is a funny story your family likes to tell about you?
55) What is your best “bad first date” story?
56) What was your most memorable birthday?
57) What happened at your middle school dance?
58) What was your funniest-looking haircut?
59) What is an inside joke that makes you laugh but that nobody else understands?
60) What do you look like in your most embarrassing school picture?
61) What is one word you would use to describe your first kiss?
62) What is your craziest travel mishap story?
63) Did you have any silly quirks as a child?
64) What is your weirdest hidden talent?
65) Can you do any silly tricks with your tongue?
66) Can you touch your pinkie and pointer finger together?
67) What would be your ultimate random trivia category?
68) Can you do a handstand?
69) What is something you’re terrible at?
70) What is your wackiest dance move?
71) Can you wink both eyes?
72) Are you able to wiggle your ears?
73) If you could develop any skill overnight, what would you pick?
74) If you could replace your hands with anything, what would you choose?
75) Have you ever used a pick-up line on someone?
76) What is an unpopular opinion you have?
77) What is the funniest conversation starter you have ever heard?
78) How would you survive in a zombie apocalypse?
79) Which emoji best describes your soul?
80) What vegetable fits your personality?
81) Do you like your laugh?
82) What’s a silly school subject you think should exist?
83) How do you feel about sporks?
84) What is your best knock-knock joke?
85) Do you think our senses of humor are compatible?
86) When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
87) What would your pirate name be?
88) What is your favorite bird sound?
89) What movie sound effect would you like to play on command?
90) If you could be any kind of tree, what would you be?
91) What is the best prank you have ever pulled?
92) What is the closest you have come to a celebrity encounter?
93) What is your best accent?
94) What is a strange alternative to rock, paper, scissors?
95) In which fictional world would you most like to live?
96) If you discovered a new fish, what would you call it?
97) What animal would look the strangest without hair?
98) How do you react to practical jokes?
99) What ice cream flavor describes you?
100) What would you do if you could only walk backward?
101) Do you consider yourself lucky?
102) What genre would a movie about your life be?
103) Do you believe that banana peels are slippery?
104) Do you ever wear sunglasses at night?
105) How would you tell your life story using only emojis?
106) If you were on a magazine cover, what would the headline be?
107) Which world record would you most like to win?
108) Are you similar to any funny TV show characters?
109) What shape is your belly button?
110) Are any of your senses unusually powerful?
111) Which Crayola color fits your personality?
112) Which Disney villain do you think has the most stylish outfit?
113) Would you want your life to have a laugh track?
Questions About Music to Make a Girl Laugh
Music can foster connections between people. These funny musical questions will have a girl marching to the beat of your drum.
114) Do you know all the lyrics to any embarrassing songs?
115) Do you sing to yourself in the car?
116) What is your go-to karaoke song?
117) Can you hum while plugging your nose?
118) If you could play a musical instrument with your feet, which would you choose?
119) Did you have any posters of pop stars or boy bands in your bedroom when you were in middle school? If so, who?
120) What musical instrument do you think has the silliest name?
121) Would you guess that I have a good voice or sing off-key?
122) Have you ever performed in a talent show?
123) Can you sing the alphabet song backward?
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Hilarious “Would You Rather” Questions to Ask A Girl
Would you rather questions can help a girl imagine some pretty ridiculous scenarios to crack her up.
124) Would you rather have a dog brain in your human body or your human brain in a dog’s body?
125) Would you rather wear all your clothes backward or inside out?
126) Would you rather eat only cold spaghetti or drink only warm lemonade?
127) Would you rather be covered in tattoos or piercings?
128) Would you rather swim in jello or maple syrup?
129) Would you rather have gills or a prehensile tail?
130) Would you rather be a weak superhero or a powerful supervillain?
131) Would you rather only be able to eat sugar or salt?
132) Would you rather be a worm or a dung beetle?
133) Would you rather eat a rotting fish or moldy cheese?
Silly Questions About Food to Ask a Girl
People say that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and maybe that’s also how to find a girl’s funny bone.
134) If you could only have potatoes in one form for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
135) What is your favorite kind of chicken nugget?
136) If you discovered a new berry, what would you name it?
137) Which breakfast cereal mascot do you think would be the most fun to have at a party?
138) What is always in your refrigerator?
139) Have you ever made a catastrophic mistake while cooking a recipe?
140) If you were required to put the same condiment on everything, what would you pick?
141) Which fruit would you choose to replace your nose?
142) What would be on the menu if you combine your two favorite restaurants?
143) What pizza topping best aligns with your personality?
Gross But Funny Questions to Ask a Girl
She may roll her eyes at these questions, but research has proven that disgusting things are often humorous.
144) Do you have the ability to burp on command?
145) Have you ever laughed so hard you peed yourself?
146) Can you make a convincing fake fart noise?
147) If your friend got stung by a jellyfish, would you be willing to pee on them?
148) Has anyone ever walked in on you while you were using the bathroom?
149) What is the nastiest thing you have ever eaten?
150) What would you do if you were a vampire?
151) Do you re-wear dirty clothes?
152) Have you ever used the bathroom in the woods?
153) Would you let a dog kiss your mouth?
Also Read: Preggophilia – All You Need to Know
THIS Psychological Loophole MAKES ANY GIRL Desire You