Kitsap Crime and Justice

The Kitsap Sun staff writes about crime and criminal justice issues.
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Archive for June, 2006

Seven

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Seven bank robberies — five in East Bremerton and two in South Kitsap — have gone unsolved, and authorities believe the same suspect is responsible for at least the last four.

Does anything tie the robberies together? Take a peek for yourself. I’ve listed each of them below.

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BREAKING NEWS: WaMu Robbed Again

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies are again chasing a bank robber today from
the Washington Mutual Bank at Mile Hill Drive.

The robbery occurred at about 2:15 p.m. The sheriff’s office is forming a
containment around the bank while a K-9 is called in to search.

The suspect has been preliminarily described as a dark-skinned white male or
a light-skinned black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a somewhat stocky
build a mustache. He reportedly was carrying a white grocery bag.

His description roughly matches that of a robber of the same bank last
Friday at the same Washington Mutual and at the Kitsap Bank in East
Bremerton on June 22.

Stay with www.kitsapsun.com for more details.


Crime and Justice Week in Review: June 19-25

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Local prosecutors and police officers I’ve talked with agree that this past week was probably the busiest of the year in Kitsap’s crime and justice world.

I’ve rounded all of the stories up below.

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Violence in Venezuela

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

As we’ve reported, Bremerton bears the dubious distinction of the highest violent crime per capita city in Washington.

Nothing, however, could compare it to the world’s most dangerous country, however, according to a new report from the Washington Post.

In the article by Monte Reel, the post declares Venezuela the world’s “capital” of violent crime.

“Bullets fly so often in Caracas that even the white truck that ferries dead bodies from the barrios to the forensics building has a bullet hole in its driver’s-side door,” Reel declares in the story.

The BBC reports that violence in the country has a lot to do with its controversial leader, Hugo Chavez, who has the country polarized for him and against him.

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A ‘Disturbing Benchmark’

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Could our nation handle another Columbine?

USA Today broke a tragic yet insightful story June 4 about some misguided students who could indeed be the next to enter a school with plans of killing peers and staff.

We know that recent events, even in Kitsap County, have led misdirected teens to draw up plans of some form. Thankfully, they’ve been averted by law enforcement.

One plan, talked of by a female student at Kingston Junior High on MySpace.com, led to her expulsion. Another plan, formulated by a Central Kitsap Junior High School student, was not only foiled but he accidently shot a peer while apparently teaching him how to shoot a gun – one they’d planned to use to kill the principal, according to county court documents.

As the USA Today article winds to a close, its implication is that we need to focus on more than math and reading at school.

“… Mark Greenberg, a researcher at Penn State University, says … schools’ “intensive and single-minded focus” on basic skills is pushing out time to work on social and emotional well-being.

“Many teachers we work with around the country feel under such enormous pressure to spend all their time on reading and math. I’m sure we’re going to see more children who are disaffected and feel school is not a warm and friendly place for them.”


Meth in Maryland: Another “Sun” Reporting

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Though it has been rooted in the Pacific Northwest for many years, meth appears to just be taking its horrible hold on the east coast. In Maryland, for instance, law enforcement have just recently been taught how to detect the drug.

A fascinating article by Baltimore Sun writer Matthew Dolan will be a blast from the past for readers out here in Washington.

In the story, Dolan examines a pair of sheriff’s deputies that are themselves learning to cook meth so they know what to look for when patroling for meth labs.

Amazingly, officers in Maryland discovered only nine meth labs in the entire state, the article says.

Don’t forget that the Kitsap Sun was a harbinger in reporting meth abuse. To read our award-winning series, “The Meth Toll,” click here.


Death Penalty in Washington

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court is leaning toward inmates’ rights to challenge leathal injection, according to an Associated Press story.

Eight inmates in Washington currently are on death row, according to the Department of Corrections.

In Washington, an inmate chooses leathal injection or hanging as the means of death.

Just like the rest of the country, Washington’s death penalty laws have come under fire of late. To read more about a campaign to abolish the death penalty in Washington, click here.

The debate is polarized. Where do you stand?


Identity Theft in Arizona

Monday, June 19th, 2006

The New York Times reported May 30 that 1 in 30 people in the United States will have their identities stolen from them each year.

The financial loss to the overall economy adds up quickly: an estimated $48 billion.

There’s no worse place for ID theft, according to the federal government, than Arizona. And the Times reports that law enforcement there are having difficulty keeping up with ID thieves, particularly meth users.

A follow-up critique to the story ran on Slate.com, slamming the Times for not explaining how these criminals are staying ahead of law enforcement.

In any case, both stories are good reads, and ID theft is a serious problem. In my readings of police reports around Kitsap, too often are people reporting their mail stolen, the receipts taken, their garbage rummaged through.

Have your own tale of identity theft?


A Short Break

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

I will be out of the Kitsap Sun’s world headquarters this week, so in my stead, I have been doing some research on some fascinating crime and justice stories written or broadcasted around the country. I will post them here each day, and provide a link where you can get the full text.

Call it a “best of” blog week while I’m off.

Click below to find out the topics for each day.

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Crime and Justice Week in Review: June 12-18

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

For all the latest crime and justice news in Kitsap for the week of June 12-18, click below.

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