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Articles Posted in Theft

Illinois prosecutors have charged six individuals in conjunction with a luxury vehicle theft ring. Authorities say that the culprits targeted luxury dealerships around the state using stolen or fraudulent identities and fraudulent bank information. Two ringleaders are believed to have recruited four others in the scheme. 

Officials have said that the theft of luxury vehicles using identity theft is becoming a bigger problem for luxury car dealerships. This high-profile bust will help Chicago police reassure car dealerships that the matter is being taken seriously. 

The bust was part of Operation Free Ride, which is a multi-state investigation into seemingly unrelated car thefts. While each of these cases appear on the surface to be an individual event, authorities believe that the same culprits are targeting multiple dealerships and then selling the vehicles on the black market, or shipping them overseas where they can charge thousands more. 

Authorities say that 22-year-old Kiar Evans shot into one vehicle, then carjacked another all over the course of a single week. The carjacking charge is punishable by up to a 15-year sentence. He is being held without bond after his initial appearance. 

Evans was caught after someone phoned in a reckless driver. A police helicopter was able to catch up with Evans and follow his stolen vehicle off of the Eisenhower Expressway. After Evans exited the vehicle, he walked up to another vehicle, knocked on the window, and attempted to pull open the door, but the door was locked and the window was up. Evans then pulled a handgun with an extended magazine and fired two shots into the passenger-side window. The driver sped off before Evans could hijack the vehicle.

Evans then approached another vehicle with his gun out and ordered the driver to exit the car. The driver complied, and Evans had another vehicle. Meanwhile, the police helicopter stayed on Evans before the stolen vehicle was found in a multi-vehicle crash about two miles from the scene of the carjacking. Evans was arrested there.

Strange headline, but nonetheless, true. A Gary Councilman (Ronald G. Brewer), who had his Lexus stolen, tracked the thieves back to Chicago where he caught up with them. He was accused of discharging his weapon at the teens, confining them against their will, and taking one of the teens back to Gary with him. The charges against him have all been dismissed after the former councilman completed a pretrial diversion program. It is unclear what that pretrial diversion was, but it very easily could have been an anger management program.

At the time of the incident, Brewer was the president of the Gary city council.

Where is the Crime?

A Chicago woman is facing 11 counts of misdemeanors and felonies after she crashed a stolen Jeep during a police chase that crossed state lines. She was initially noticed when her Jeep was spotted doing 83 in a 70mph zone. Police pulled the vehicle over, initially without incident, but the arresting officer recognized that the vehicle was never placed in park and that the driver had her foot on the brakes. The trooper smartly did not approach the vehicle and instead issued verbal commands to place the vehicle into park and lower her window. Instead of doing that, the woman took off in her stolen Jeep.

Another trooper down the road was alerted to the woman approaching in the Jeep. The trooper was retrieving stop sticks from the road when the Jeep approached. The woman swerved to avoid the parked police cruiser but ended up crashing into a Kia Optima anyway. The driver continued after the crash, but the Jeep was damaged. Eventually, the woman was forced to stop the Jeep. That is when she was arrested.

Tallying Up the Charges

A Texas woman is being charged with felony embezzlement after returning a VHS tape of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, 20 years after its due date. The woman told authorities that she had never rented the tape, but at the time, she was seeing a young man with two young daughters. The tape was never returned, and now the woman is facing felony charges

In March of 2000, the woman was charged with felony embezzlement of a rental property. However, no one went out looking for the major criminal. So 21 years later, the woman was trying to get her name changed after a recent marriage, and that is when she found out she was a wanted felon.

What is Embezzlement?

File this one under Crime in the 21st Century. A teen live-streamed himself smoking pot with a gun in his lap after eluding police during a traffic stop. Antonio Butler has been charged with five counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, and more. Prosecutors also hinted that the crime spree was still under investigation, and that the teen may face additional charges. Since Butler is 18 years of age, he will be tried as an adult. 

The Spree

The Audi was stolen on March 25. It was then reported in an armed robbery, but Butler was able to get away. Later that day, the Audi was reported in two gas station robberies, a carjacking, and another armed robbery. Police eventually caught up with the vehicle and found Butler asleep inside. They tapped on the window to wake him up and then broke through the window to get him out. Butler hit the gas and drove the Audi into police vehicles, before successfully fleeing the scene. He then posted a video to Instagram showing him smoking marijuana with a gun in his lap while bragging about losing the police.

Two Chicago teens have been charged with carjacking and threatening to shoot the woman whose vehicle they stole. The incident occurred on the Southwest side of Chicago. The teens are accused of pulling a 58-year-old woman from her vehicle, threatening to shoot her, and then driving away with her car. Police were able to track down the vehicle less than two hours later. They arrested one of the teens at that time. 

While both assailants are under the age of 18, the older of the two, a 17-year-old, is facing charges for vehicular hijacking and aggravated robbery. The 15-year-old is facing one count of criminal trespass to a vehicle. Both teens will make their first appearance in juvenile court, but the 17-year-old is likely to be charged as an adult for violently depriving someone else of their property.

What is Vehicular Hijacking?

More defendants have been added to an ongoing prosecution in which several key stakeholders managed to tank a Chicago bank by embezzling millions in funds. The Washington Federal Bank for Savings failed in 2017 after the Office of the Comptroller determined that the bank was insolvent. Four new defendants have been added to the case for the theft of over $23 million in bank money. Do they face the same sorts of penalties as those who rob banks by force? No. In this article, we will discuss the charges they are likely to face.

Why Was the Bank Shut Down?

The bank was shut down after the Office of the Comptroller determined that the bank had $66 million in nonperforming loans. What is a nonperforming loan? Essentially, it is a loan in which the borrower has not made a payment in some time. Hence, the loan has been in default for a while. It is believed that the executives, including the CFO and treasurer, floated themselves major loans and transferred bank funds without the required documentation. Those who were on the receiving end of these funds are facing charges. Those who were in charge of overseeing the bank funds are also facing charges. Those who falsified bank records to ensure that the embezzlement was not discovered are also facing charges.

A Chicago man is facing federal charges after police allege he hijacked a car at gunpoint, crashed it on the South Side of Chicago, and fired a shot at police before being apprehended. In 2018, the feds announced that they planned on trying more carjacking cases in federal court. David Johnson is the lucky beneficiary of that initiative. He is the first man to face charges under the federal initiative. 

At the time of the carjacking, David Johnson was on supervised release after he was found guilty of weapons charges. The US Attorney told the press that would-be carjackers had better watch out, “Committing a senseless act of violence like carjacking will earn you a home in federal prison for a long time.”

The Carjacking

Many of those who engaged in the violent protest that ended the life of one D.C. officer and several protesters are facing federal charges right now. Their faces and names are appearing all over social media and their identities are being revealed. In cases in which the federal government refuses to file charges, the individuals are being held accountable by the companies for which they work. One Chicago-area CEO discovered this the hard way.

Bradley Rukstales is one of the protesters who are facing federal charges stemming from the Capitol riot. He has also lost his job as CEO of the tech company Cogensia. A spokesperson for the company said Rukstales was terminated on Friday, effective immediately. The Vice President and COO of the company will take over Rukstales’ duties.

The company issued a statement that said that Rukstales’ actions were not consistent with the core values of the company. Rukstales is also facing federal charges for unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

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