Monthly Archives: April 2009

“Chin” music for sports-betting mobsters at CitiField, Yankee Stadium

mlb1A mob-run sport gambling ring operating partly out of the new Yankee Stadium and CitiField took in an estimated $1 million a week before being punched out by prosecutors and Major League Baseball.

It didn’t take long for what’s left of La Cosa Nostra to start cashing in on the New York Mets’ blown saves and the number of meatballs the Yankees would smack out of their new Bronx bandbox.

What they didn’t know was that MLB and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office had front row seats for the action.

Today, authorities announced that members of the Genovese crime family — once headed by the late Vincent “Chin” Gigante — operated the ring using code names and passwords for customers who dialed up secret phone numbers or Web sites.



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Familiar face of ID theft: Family fraud

eld1An 83-year-old Hoboken woman knew the foreclosure notices that kept coming in the mail weren’t kosher. So she made a call. Soon after, Hudson County authorities charged her granddaughter’s husband with using identity theft to filch $400,000 from her to build an addition onto his own house.

Last month, a 68-year-old North Jersey car salesman pulled a similar stunt, pocketing $150,000 of his father-in-law’s money by impersonating him, authorities said.

In both cases, the victims were sharp enough to seek help.

Sure, some people aren’t as savvy as others when it comes to scams of any kind. Or they simply aren’t willing to believe that they’ve been victimized by a devil they know, rather than some computer hacker or spammer.

Fact is: Relatives, friends and neighbors make up half of all known identity thieves, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Continue reading….

Are you savvy enough about identity theft? To find out, take this quiz:

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Obama admits terrifying flyover was a mistake

The president admitted today that flying a government jumbo jet low over lower Manhattan and Jersey City without warning the public was a mistake – and one that won’t happen again.

In the future, FAA directives about flyovers that request no public notification will go directly to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, said Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman.

Obama apparently wasn’t happy about the incident, which nearly caused widespread panic when Air Force One buzzed the area trailed by a fighter jet yesterday morning.

The objective, the government said, was to capture photos of the aircraft as it flew over the Statue of Liberty.

The Air Force reported the overall cost of the mission at $328,835, including fuel. Obama wasn’t aboard, the government said.


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3rd arrest in JC park killing

Authorities originally said they were looking for more than one person after a 17-year-old boy was murdered in a Jersey City park, yet they said only one pulled the trigger.

They now have a third man in custody, who they said was with the accused gunman when Pedro Roman Jr. was killed last Wednesday.

Markell “Sayboy” Brown, 20, was picked up on a parole violation, authorities confirmed.

Tashawn Holmes, 18, has been charged with murdering Rowan at Triangle Park off Old Bergen Road. Police said he squeezed off a half-dozen rounds, hitting Roman in the head. They said he was given the gun by 18-year-old Christopher Grant, who’s also been charged in the killing.

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NoBergen fire continues to rage

A nasty brushfire continues to burn in North Bergen, shutting down commuter and freight train service on the northeast corridor.

The fire broke out at Tonnelle Avenue just south of Route 3, near the entrance to an NJ Transit rail tunnel that goes under the Hudson River. Since then, flames have spread to Route 495, which heads to and from the Lincoln Tunnel.

Ten firefighting companies are reported out there battling the spreading blaze.

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Dunkin’ Donuts bandits getting bolder

For the third time in a little over a week, a pair of stickup artists who’ve cut a path of fear across North Jersey have hit a Dunkin Donuts in Paramus.

As in several of the other holdups, one of the thugs walked in and ordered a drink shortly after 3 a.m. As the clerk was preparing the order, the partner “walked directly behind the counter, pointed a handgun at her and demanded money from the cash register,” said Paramas Police Chief Richard Cary.survphoto

He took an undisclosed amount of cash and both left.

Area police received a report that a Dunkin’ Donuts in Rockaway was held up the same way about two hours later, Cary said.

For the full story, with a history of the other stickups, go to: North Jersey Crime Examiner.

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Buzzed and stung by Airheads

After the fact we can exhale. But what about the panic captured on video from the ground yesterday? They tell you when they’re going to close a street for a parade, but the government obviously decided against publicizing that a low-flying plane accompanied by a fighter jet would be buzzing the Statue of Liberty.airheadone

I’m sorry, but that’s plain insensitive — and stupid.

What if yesterday’s panic turned far worse? What if someone was trampled?

“We tend to get jumpy when large planes fly really low in places they are not supposed to be around here,” one Jersey City resident said.

“I could have reached up and shook the pilot’s hand,” another added.

We get plenty of low-flying craft along the waterfront, but not something as huge as Air Force Whatever Number It Was.

How many genuine 911 calls didn’t get through because switching stations were jammed?

Was it really a photo op? A movie being made?

After the fact, we can exhale. But sheesh….

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