Vigilance Needed to Reduce the Odds of Halloween Crime

There’s some debate as to whether or not crime actually increases on Halloween. While no one can be quite sure, police and neighborhood watch groups nonetheless are apt to make their presence known in an effort to keep everyone safe.

One of the things that make police officers nervous this time of year involves people in costume. While the majority of them are just having fun, it’s difficult to tell whether some of them may have ulterior motives in mind. Some costumes also make it easier for perpetrators to hide drugs, weapons or other contraband items and then use them in sinister ways.

The fact that youth sometimes play pranks is also cause for concern. While many of these pranks are harmless, others involve vandalism, and could result in serious property damage. Teenagers are much less likely to damage property if they know they are being watched, which is why private security guards are often out in full force on Halloween.

Alcohol use is also up on Halloween, which means officers have to worry more about domestic violence, underage drinking, and public disturbance calls than they would any other time of the year. In many areas, this leads to an increase in DUI arrests as well.

While an increased presence is necessary, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recognizes it may not be as easy as they would like due to a shortage in the number of officers. Instead, they are counting on private security officers and the public at large to remain watchful and report crime as it occurs.

Has Your Kid Been on the Naughty List?

Don’t Get Your Identity Stolen

Plan now to Avoid Identity Theft this Christmas Season

It won’t be long until the Christmas shopping season is underway. With so many reports of major retailers suffering security breaches, now is a good time to think about preventing identity theft while buying gifts for your loved ones this year.

Check scanners carefully before running your card through, as thieves sometimes attach skimmers to them in an effort to steal your information. Some signs a skimmer might be present include residue from glue, loose parts, or what seem to be additional parts to the machine. There may also be small cameras that are about ¾ inch in diameter on or near the keypad.

Always cover your hand when typing in your PIN. Even if no cameras are nearby, you never know who might be watching you and subsequently take note of your PIN. After learning your PIN, another individual could lift your credit or debit card and make unauthorized purchases before you were aware.

Never let your card out of your sight. If a store clerk must take your card to swipe it, insist on paying with cash or a personal check instead. After making a purchase, check your receipt carefully for cash back authorizations you didn’t request. Dishonest store clerks sometimes ring up these charges, hoping you won’t notice so they can pocket the money instead.

With due diligence, the Christmas shopping season doesn’t have to result in identity theft. As an added precaution, you should know what fraud protection your credit cards offer so you can take advantage of it if an incident does occur.

“Smoking” Alcohol a Growing Trend Among Young People

It seems that teens are always looking for new ways to abuse alcohol. One of the latest involves using a bicycle pump to “smoke” it rather than drinking it. It’s a practice that has a lot of doctors concerned due to the potential for some severe health consequences.

The way it works is that alcohol is poured into a bottle and then corked shut. The needle of a bicycle pump is then inserted through the cork, and then the pump is used to push air through the bottle. This results in the alcohol turning into a vapor, which is then inhaled by the user.

The practice is popular for a number of reasons, one of which involves weight loss. Teens who are worried about the empty calories alcohol contains prefer this practice, as it allows them to enjoy the effects of liquor, while keeping their caloric intake relatively low. Those who are not concerned with weight loss may smoke alcohol to prevent the smell on their breath, or because it is new and exciting.

Doctors claim that people who smoke alcohol are more likely to develop alcohol poisoning, since they are not inclined to vomit. It’s also difficult for people to determine exactly how much alcohol they are consuming, since the amount left after it has vaporized remains in the bottle. They also caution that the vapor is harmful for the lungs and nasal passages, since alcohol in the lungs could turn back to liquid form, which is something that is associated with drowning.

There may be interesting ways this practice will affect DUI cases as normally measurements are done by breath and the vapor method may give falsely high readings when pertaining to BAC levels.  If you have a case pending involving alcohol charges, it is always best to discuss the details with an attorney in Las Vegas

Nevada Joins other States in Cracking down on Voter Fraud 

With the election right around the corner, Nevada’s Secretary of State is ramping up efforts to prevent voter fraud. One of the newest ways the state is doing this is by teaming with other states to compare voter registration records in an effort to catch people who vote in more than one state.

In all, half the states in the union currently participate in the Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which is designed to find multi-state voters. The program is a relatively new one, having begun in 2005 with Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska coming together to share records. Those four states initially shared approximately 9 million records, but the coalition now will collectively share more than 90 million records.

Thus far, the program has been extremely successful at catching multi-state voters. In 2012, more than 35,750 voters in North Carolina alone had exact matches for first name, last name, and date of birth with voters in another participating state. Even so, officials caution that not all of them indicate fraud. It’s possible for people to have the same first name, last name and date of birth, particularly if they have very common names. Clerical error could also result in the wrong person’s name being marked on voting records.

To determine fraud, officials will assess the likelihood of errors and will also look at whether people voted in person or via absentee ballot. When all the facts are considered, this could be a very effective tool at preventing duplicate voting, which is prohibited under Sections 293.780 and 293.810 of the Nevada Revised Statute.

North Las Vegas Police on the Lookout for High Speed Chase Suspect

Police have arrested a man who allegedly shot at officers during a high speed chase, and are now on the lookout for his accomplice. Christopher Young, 22, was arrested on several counts, including attempted murder and evading a police officer, and his being held at the Las Vegas Detention Center. His passenger escaped and has yet to be apprehended.The high speed chase ensued after a traffic officer who was on patrol in North Las Vegas heard gunshots and then saw a blue Saturn speeding away from the scene. The car then drove directly past the officer, at which time someone inside it fired several rounds at him. The officer followed the vehicle and attempted to stop it near the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and Commerce Street.During the high speed chase that followed, rounds were fired at the pursuing officer several more times. It ended when the Saturn crashed into a utility pole in the 1200 block of West Alexander Road. Young was arrested at that time, but his passenger was unable to be located. The officer was not injured at all during the incident.

The suspect at large faces charges of evading a police officer, a violation of Section 484B.550 of the Nevada Revised Statute, in addition to other possible charges. This crime is a Class B felony punishable by one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact the North Las Vegas Police Department at 702-633-9111 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555. Callers may remain anonymous.

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