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Can A Mathematician Predict Future Santa Cruz Crime?

CBS television used to air a drama called Numb3rs. The television series involved a fictional character that was college professor and mathematician named Charlie Eppes. He assisted the FBI in investigating crime. Now the Santa Cruz Police has announced an idea strikingly reminiscent of the TV series. The agency says it will team up with a college professor of mathematics who says he can mathematically predict future crimes.

Santa Clara University assistant professor Dr. George Mohler says that offenders tend to return to places where they have been successful in the past. Taking algorithms developed for predicting aftershocks after an earthquake the mathematician says he can forecast future crimes. He says he used data from several years of California burglary cases to test his theory.

Police say they hope the algorithms in Dr. Mohler's theory will help to predict what KSBW-TV calls "after-crimes" are likely to occur in the future. Dr. Mohler's theory reportedly is derived from data created in sociological and criminological research.

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A 56-year-old man, who authorities describe as a transient, was arrested on suspicion of burglary after an alleged incident at the home of rapper and actor LL Cool J. Authorities say that the man broke into LL Cool J's home, where the musician/actor discovered the alleged intruder. A "knock-down, drag out" fight followed and LL cool J reportedly broke the alleged intruder's nose and jaw, according to UPI.

Police say that LL Cool J acted in self-defense and will not face any charges related to the fight. However, the other man is accused of first-degree burglary, and UPI reports that the man may also face a battery charge. Prosecutors have also brought the charges against the man under California's three strikes law, which could expose the man to a life sentence, with a mandatory minimum of 25-years.

Authorities say that the man broke into LL Cool J's home late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. The actor/rapper says that he heard a noise, and went downstairs to investigate. LL Cool J says that as he looked for the source of the noise, a man approached him and a fight broke out between the two men. Police reportedly arrived around 1:00 Wednesday morning at the Studio City home, and law enforcement says that LL Cool J had detained the alleged intruder.

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Among the items police say the 35-year-old stole, are thousands of dollars worth of Tiffany jewelry, a soda-maker, a blender, numerous Apple products and the driver's license of the late Steve Jobs. Authorities claim that the alleged burglar found the driver's license in a wallet that also contained a single one dollar bill.

It was an Apple product that authorities say led to the arrest of the man. Law enforcement says that the man used a stolen Apple product to log on to his iTunes account. Investigators from Apple say that they traced the Internet use to an IP address. Authorities reportedly narrowed in on the Alameda, California, man through the Internet trace.

Authorities say that the alleged theft crime was merely a crime of opportunity. Police do not think the man knew that the resdidence was that of the late Steve Jobs.

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Prosecutors had claimed that the defendant climbed onto a second floor balcony outside an apartment. Two bicycles were reportedly stored on the balcony. However, a dog inside the building began barking and the resident of the apartment came out to confront the man who was allegedly on the balcony. Prosecutors claimed that the man fled the balcony without taking anything.

Police later arrested a man and claim that he was the one on the balcony. The trial court judge ruled that the second floor balcony was a part of the residence. The case went before a jury, and the panel returned a guilty verdict.

On appeal, a California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles held that the balcony was not an enclosed area of the apartment and threw out the burglary conviction. Prosecutors brought the case to the California Supreme Court, and the high court reinstated the burglary conviction.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

The media says that reporters appear to be the targets of people in a string of recent alleged California robberies. The latest alleged incident was reported last week, when a KTVU reporter was covering a bike accident in the Oakland Hills. The reporter says that several men approached her and her cameraman and stole equipment from the company van.

The TV reporter radioed the station, who called police after the alleged robbery. The media personnel say that one of the men who approached the media truck yelled that the reporter should be shot as the men pushed their way into the van. Neither media worker was injured. The alleged robbery of media personnel is apparently not the first in Oakland in recent months.

An Oakland Tribune photographer reported earlier in the week that she too was robbed while covering a story. She says that she was photographing a mural when someone reportedly stole her laptop and camera.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

Some business owners in an upscale Stockton, California neighborhood joked that an alleged burglar did some remodeling at their stores recently. Officials claim someone broke into a vacant store front and then used that access to break through walls into existing neighboring businesses. A dry cleaner, a Mexican restaurant and a pizza place were among those broken into in the alleged string of commercial burglaries.

Business owners quipped that the walls may have to be left alone. If a customer wanted an enchilada while at the pizza joint, the hole in the wall could help to accommodate the customer, the business owners reportedly said to News 10 in Sacramento. However, the business owners did reportedly scramble to repair the damage from the incident.

Authorities say the alleged burglar first entered an unoccupied storefront business and then broke through the drywall separating the other businesses. Police claim that the California burglar went from store to store taking a variety of items. The owner of one of the businesses was shocked and amazed that the alleged burglar was so sophisticated, according to News 10.

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Roughly two years ago deputies arrested a Sacramento man on suspicion of burglary. Before trial, the case boiled up through the appellate courts. The man's criminal defense lawyer argued that the man could not be charged with a completed burglary because there was no evidence the man ever entered the building. The trial court disagreed, and reportedly bound the accused over for trial.

An appellate court later handed down a split decision reversing the trial court ruling. The California Supreme Court has now unanimously agreed that prosecutors cannot proceed with burglary charges against the Sacramento area man.

The case arose from allegations arising on July 24, 2010. Law enforcement claims that the man had stood on a driveway and used a remote control to open a garage door. The homeowner claims to have heard the garage open and ran into the garage. He says that he saw a man standing in the driveway who then ran away from the home.

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The California three strikes law provides authority for prosecutors to seek, and for judges to impose, a prison sentence that is doubled for an adult convicted of any felony if the defendant has a first strike on his or her record. A strike is associated with serious or violent felony convictions, and the law recognizes serious or violent felony convictions of 16 or 17-year-old defendants in juvenile court.

Cases in juvenile court are tried before a judge without a jury. Supreme Court precedent says that a criminal defendant has the right to a jury trial on any fact that is used to increase a jail or prison sentence.

A San Jose man pled guilty to residential burglary in 2010. Prosecutors pulled out a prior robbery conviction that was rendered in juvenile court when the man was 16. That conviction involved allegations that the juvenile took $117 in a robbery of an ice cream vendor. The case in juvenile court was not presented to a jury. Prosecutors used the juvenile conviction as a first strike in seeking a doubled sentence for the 2010 adult conviction.

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In light of the football star's recent and tragic death, neighbors are outraged that the burglary occurred. Law enforcement says that someone apparently rummaged through cabinets inside the garage before taking a bicycle valued at around $500. The theft is believed to have occurred May 7.

News of the event spread across the country. Wednesday, a woman who had heard of the bicycle theft was riding her own bike in Oceanside and spotted a bicycle outside a thrift store that she believed matched the description of the stolen bike. Police say that they recovered the bike thanks to that woman. No arrests have been made in the case, as investigators continue to look into the event.

The bicycle has been returned to its owner-a friend of Seau. The friend of the late football star reportedly is happy to have the bicycle back.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery theft

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department says that the trio may face dozens of counts of conspiracy and California burglary charges in relation to an investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Bureau.

Authorities claim that an off-duty Sheriff's deputy spotted a Nissan Murano drive past his home around 4:00 in the morning one day in March. The off-duty deputy says that he noticed a bike rack on the vehicle and became suspicious of the sight. He decided to take down its license plate number of the vehicle.

Several days after the alleged sighting of the SUV, the deputy claims a neighbor told deputy that two of his bikes had recently been stolen. The deputy apparently pulled out the license number and tracked the SUV to the three men who are now accused of stealing nearly 200 bikes over a two-year-period spanning six different counties.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

A man who law enforcement describes as a parolee was arrested around 7:00 Monday morning behind the former Capitola Theater on serious felony charges. Police claim that they spotted the man sitting with two women in a small compact car around 1:00 Monday and believe he was involved in a series of alleged incidents involving a separate vehicle in Watsonville and Soquel more than twelve hours earlier.

Police claim the man was driving a blue Ford truck in Watsonville around 11:45 a.m. Sunday when he allegedly asked some people who apparently were standing in an alley for gas money. Law enforcement claims the man later ran the Ford into a car and, after displaying a gun to the driver, stole the driver's cellphone and money, before fleeing from the area. Police later concluded that the blue Ford had been stolen from near San Mateo.

While searching for the alleged stolen Ford and the man law enforcement suspected of the alleged robbery in Watsonville, authorities fielded a report that a vehicle struck a fence and propane tank in Soquel around 1:00 Sunday afternoon. Police claim the man again brandished a gun to witnesses before fleeing on foot. It was roughly twelve hours later that law enforcement claims to have spotted the man in the compact car with two women.

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Santa Cruz Police say that three men were arrested early Monday morning after some sort of encounter with law enforcement. Police claim to have spotted a car around 1:20 a.m. Monday near South Branciforte and Broadway, but an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel does not indicate why spotting the vehicle drew the attention of police.

Apparently, an officer claims that he smelled marijuana and saw a pipe and decided to search the vehicle.

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The Los Angeles Times has called the phenomenon a "nationwide wave of Tide laundry detergent thefts," based upon allegations in the Midwest against an unemployed man who says he could not afford the detergent and a separate case from the East Coast.

Some retailers reportedly have placed anti-theft devices as publications are calling the detergent "liquid gold." Sources suggest people are stealing the detergent to sell at flea markets. A spokesperson for the retailer that has begun placing anti-theft devices on some bottles downplays the issue saying it is not new and is also not a chain-wide issue for that retailer. Nonetheless, the recent California case involves allegations against a man accusing him of commercial burglary.

Authorities say the man walked through the store, put nine bottles of the detergent in a grocery cart and left the store. A store manager says that he confronted the accused in the parking lot before the man left in a Ford Explorer.

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Law enforcement cordoned off an area near a multi-use building on Prospect Street in Watsonville Tuesday afternoon. Authorities were apparently suspicious that a gun allegedly taken during a recent burglary may have been in the building. Law enforcement says that they also thought a 30-year-old parolee may have been in the building. The man is on parole for domestic violence.

Two men apparently were inside the building and denied entry to the police. Law enforcement says that they had information that one of the men would be heavily armed. It appears in that the parolee police believed was inside, in fact was not. After a four hour standoff, police entered the building and a search revealed that no guns were inside the building.

It is unclear what information led police to believe the parolee or any weapons--including the gun allegedly taken in a California burglary that officials were looking for-were inside the Watsonville building.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

Police and prosecutors claim the man committed two California robberies and attempted a third within a four-day period beginning Dec. 5. Law enforcement says the man robbed a check cashing store in San Mateo around 11:00 a.m. Dec. 5.

The next day, police claim the same man attempted to rob a second check cashing store at the same time of day. However, police claim the clerk, who was behind bulletproof glass at the store, tripped an alarm and fled to a safe room in defeating the alleged robbery attempt.

Law enforcement says the Sacramento man turned to a pawn shop in his alleged robbery spree, stealing a laptop and getting an undisclosed amount of cash during the pawn shop robbery. Law enforcement says the Sacramento man used a handgun in each of the alleged crimes.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies claim a Vista man stole an iPad on Christmas morning from a Westlake Village home. The resident of the home says he awoke Christmas morning and thought he saw someone near his bed. The resident claims he chased the man down the stairs, but the alleged burglary suspect got away.

Deputies claim that they pinged an iPad that the Westlake Village man says was stolen from his home. The iPad device apparently had a location-based app that deputies say led them to a nearby home. In addition to the iPad, deputies claim that Lakers season tickets, a play station and an autographed NBA jersey were taken in the burglary.

Authorities descended on the home where they believed the stolen iPad was located. Deputies arrested a 20-year-old man at that residence on suspicion of burglary. Law enforcement claims they found two flat-screen television sets, a laptop and more than 40 presents deputies say are linked to an alleged burglary in Vista on Dec. 22.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

Police claim four people, who were arrested recently on suspicion of operating a burglary ring, used the Internet and police scanners as part of their operation. Law enforcement believes the group can be linked to 20 or more residential burglaries spanning across three Southern California communities.

Law enforcement claims that one of the accused was inside a Covina home while the residents were away on vacation. A relative of the residents stopped by to feed the pets and saw an unfamiliar vehicle in the driveway and believed the door had been forced open. That relative reportedly called 911 to report a suspected burglary.

The relative reportedly headed toward the police station and saw two Sheriff's deputies while en route. The relative spoke to the deputies who reportedly arrested a 32-year-old Pomona man after allegedly leaving the Covina residence. Officers from the Covina Police were called in and reportedly took custody of the Pomona man.

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Authorities say that a law enforcement investigation into a string of California burglaries led to a number of recent arrests on a variety of charges, including allegations of gang involvement. One man was arrested on attempted burglary and conspiracy charges. Three other men reportedly were later arrested on weapons charges with allegations of gang enhancements.

Apparently, Visalia police responded to a call reporting suspicious activity. Police say the report claimed four men were attempting to break in to a backyard in Visalia. Law enforcement claims a medical marijuana grow was located on the property. News reports do not suggest the marijuana grow was illegal under California law.

A parole agent reportedly was in the same area around the same time. The parole agent claims to have seen the men drive away from the Visalia property. The parole agent claims the men stopped, but fled when the parole agent confronted the four men.

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Law enforcement says the three men fled from the scene and disappeared into a nearby canyon. Police brought in dogs to search for the three men. The California Highway Patrol dispatched an airplane to provide air surveillance of the area. The massive manhunt apparently proved unsuccessful, and the search was called off by around 12:30 p.m.

Despite not being able to locate any of the alleged burglars, police claim they have suspects in mind. Law enforcement believes one of the men allegedly involved in the purported burglary is an East Palo Alto man. A second person that police think was involved is a San Carlos man who is on parole.

Authorities apparently found a car at, or near, the residence that they believe is linked to the alleged burglary. Law enforcement is relying on the presence of the car to support their suspicions on who may have been involved in the alleged incident.

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Tagged in: burglary/robbery

It certainly is common to see signs posted in stores proclaiming "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," across the country. However, now law enforcement agencies in some California communities seem to be chiming in to create a new policy. The Los Angeles Police Department has reportedly proclaimed that consumers will be required to remove their hats and hoodies when entering stores.

Officials with the LAPD reportedly met with community leaders and officials in Studio City and North Hollywood last week to announce the new initiative aimed at reducing the number of thefts and robberies at area businesses.

LAPD officials claim that people attempting to steal from businesses often use hats and hoodies to shield their features from video surveillance and potential witnesses during alleged crimes. The California law enforcement officials cited what the Los Angeles Times characterized as a rash of recent jewelry heists, where hoodie-wearing men allegedly used the hoods on their sweatshirts to hide from security video.

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