Tag Archives: Technology

Griffith Police Issue Alert Regarding Scams Targeting Seniors in Their Homes

19 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

Gazette Staff

Griffith, and other neighboring communities, have experienced recent incidents in which elderly citizens are approached at their homes by “a Hispanic looking man” posing as an employee of a utility company. The suspect in these cases then asks the resident to perform a task (usually to fill a bucket of water or to watch a testing device) as a distraction. Once distracted, the suspect speaks a foreign language into a “walkie talkie” like device and leaves the view of the resident. When this occurs, one or two accomplices enter the house and look for money or other precious metals to steal from the unsuspecting resident.

These types of incidents are called “Gypsy Scams” because they are most often committed by Gypsies, a wandering group of people of Romanian, Yugoslavian, Russian, Polish and Hungarian descent. And, unfortunately for us, our nearby neighbor of Chicago has a known and substantial population of active Gypsies.

To prevent being a victim of a Gypsy Scam, please be suspicious of anyone that approaches your home and asks to come inside for any reason. If they are from a legitimate utility company they will have an official identification badge that will properly identify them as such. If you are at all suspicious lock your door and call 911.

Please pass this information along to all of your elderly family, friends and neighbors.

Dec. 3; Another Violent Day in Gary

4 Dec
by Ken Davidson

Gary Police report a shooting, a brutal battery and two armed robberies in Gary yesterday.  In a statement released by Corporal Gabrielle King, the Gary Police Department stated:

At approximately 10:00 am a 26 year old man reports he was stopped at 42nd Avenue
and Pennsylvania Street  when he was approached by a known subject who said he owed
him money. When the victim did not give the subject any money he picked up a power
tool and began to beat the victim about the head and face, then ran off with the
victims cell phone and glasses. The victim was treated at a local for the injuries
he sustained.

At approximately 6:30 pm 20 year Rollen Smith pulled up to a residence in the 2200
block of Delaware Street and was talking to some guys who were outside when shots
rang out. At that point Mr. Smith and the others fled on foot, but the shooter kept
firing and he was shot, and fell down. He was then helped up by a friend and they
went to a store on 21st and Virginia Street, where they called for help, two cars
that were parked on Delaware Street were also damaged. Mr Smith was transported to
the emergency room for treatment for his injuries.

At 6:30 pm an armed male subject entered a store in the 2200 block of W 11th Avenue
and demanded cash from the register, while pointing a gun at the cashier. Another
employee walked up and startled the gunman who then fled from the store before he
could steal anything.

Between 11:45 pm and 12:00 am a 54 year old man was given a ride to an ATM in the
2700 block of West 5th Avenue. Once they arrived at the ATM the known party demanded
that the victim withdraw some money, after doing so the suspect took the money and
fled in his vehicle and the victim ran from the area.

There were no reports of any arrests as a result of these incidents.  The Gazette will keep you updated.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gary Police Department at 219-881-1210.


Schererville Crime Watch Offers Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

21 Nov

A special thank you to Schererville Crime Watch for these great tips:

With the Christmas Shopping season upon us it is important to remembe the following tips:
1. Shop during daylight hours when possible.
2. Avoid wearing jewelry.
3. Do not carry a purse or wallet if possible.
4.Carry your identification and credit cards in a front pocket.
5. Stay Alert to your surroundings.
6. Avoid carrying cash.
7. Avoid overloading yourself with packages.
8. Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Con-artists may
try to distract you with intentions of taking your money or belongings.
9. Before entering a parking lot prepare yourself to take action if need be. Have your keys out and survey the area around your vehicle. If possible let a loved one know that you are leaving the store and heading home.

Do You Tweet?

20 Nov

by Ken Davidson

I was reminded again of the importance of using twitter. Speaking with another reporter, he commented on the great input he gets on twitter. I thought I would take this opportunity to ask everyone that sees this to tweet for us. Share this post on twitter and follow us @nwigazette We report what you give us and we greatly appreciate all the input.

Semi Loses Load of Lumber on Top of Car

24 Oct

user29390-1382654296-media1Lake County-A semi-flat bed loaded with lumber took the I-65 north bound to I-80/94 west bound ramp too fast losing his load of lumber on top of a passenger car traveling in the lane next to it.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Josh Roa revealed that at approximately 2:59 p.m., this Thursday, October 24, 2013, afternoon, a 2004 International semi pulling a flat bed loaded with lumber, driven by James Reynolds, 61 of Salem, Indiana was on the I-65 north bound to I-80/94 west bound ramp in the middle lane when he tookthe curve too fast. This caused his load of lumber to shift and his semi-flat bed to start to roll-over.

A 2009 Nissan, driven by Katrina Reillo, 31 of East Chicago, was in the right lane next to Reynolds’s semi when she realized the semi was losing its load and beginning to roll-over. Reillo was able to lie across her Nissan’s console toward the passenger side when part of the load of lumber landed on the driver’s side top crushing it. Reillo was taken to Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Hobart with non-life threatening injuries. She was wearing a seat belt. The semi was owned by Stonebelt Freight Lines out of Bloomington, Indiana.
Reynolds was treated and released at the scene for complaint of pain. He was wearing a seat belt.
Reynolds was cited for Speed Too Fast to Avoid a Collision and an Unsecure Load.

Cell Phone Thefts May Not Be About Phones

21 Oct

by Ken Davidson

It appears that organized rings of criminals are perpetrating armed robberies for cell phones in northwest Indiana. First, we had the 5 Hessville armed robberies which appear to be gang related. At that time, Chief Brian Miller suggested there were similar robberies in East Chicago and Merrillville. Now an armed robbery in Schererville and reports of one in Dyer are causing great concern. According to a report issues by computer security giant Symantec, up to 50% of smart phones are lost or stolen in some major cities. The number is rising rapidly. The real question is why are these thefts on the rise and the answer may be personal information.

While there is a tremendous danger involved in the vicious armed robberies, the thefts may not be about the phones at all. Symantec reports that users are storing more data on their portable devices and are protecting it less. Bank accounts, credit cards, addresses and passwords and other personal information call all be retrieved by the savvy criminal after stealing a cell phone.

“If this was a test, mobile consumers would be failing,” said Marian Merritt, Internet Safety Advocate, Symantec. “While consumers are protecting their computers, there is a general lack of awareness to safeguard their smartphones and tablets. It’s as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they’re leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open.”

Those perpetrating the robberies may not be computer geniuses but a nationwide spike in thefts of electronic devices indicates that there is a thriving market for stolen devices. You can bet the street gangs have gotten into this lucrative market and are selling phones internationally.

Experts advise using security software such as Symantec’s Norton Mobile Security 3.0 The Software allows you to erase your data remotely if your portable device is lost or stolen.

Symantec also suggests additional security tips for a smartphone or tablet:

General Security Principles for PDAs and Smartphones
• PDAs and Smartphones must be password protected, preferably with a strong password (eight digits,
• Devices must not be left unattended (while charging, for instance) – unless secured in a locked device or
room, or with an appropriate alarm6
• The wireless port on PDAs and smartphones must be disabled (to prevent transmission of confidential
data to unauthorized individuals)
• Appropriate anti-malware software must be installed and kept up to date
• Device operating systems must have the latest patches installed (which means keeping in touch with
your supplier’s Web site(s), as automatic updating is not yet a big feature of PDA and smartphone
operating system support)
• Any confidential (including corporate) information stored on a device must be encrypted, perhaps stored
in an encrypted database
• Back up regularly – by synchronizing the device with a linked computer