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WEATHER IN CARSON CITY


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Crash-prone Thursday night – Injured taken to CT Regional Medical Center

Vehicle crash on South Carson Street at Clearview Thursday evening. Injuries.

Neither driver nor a passenger were injured.

CCSO Deputies say the above vehicle was involved in a three vehicle accident at South Carson and I-580. At least one person was transported to CTH. However, one of the vehicles – the one pictured above – left the crash scene northbound on Carson Street. The vehicle, with two persons inside, turned east on Clearview but quickly went out of control and smashed in to a retaining wall at Clearview and Oak Street. Neither the driver nor the passenger were injured.

Deputies say the driver, Phelon Brown, 41 of Carson City, was arrested for an outstanding arrest warrant from Sparks, along with additional charges of hit and run at the accident on South Carson Street near Highway 50, driving on a suspended license and no auto insurance. Brown was booked into the Carson City Jail on $2,500 bail.

Board of Supervisors Report: Lots going on…

CC Board of Supervisors
File photo

The Carson City Board of Supervisor had a mixed bag of issues facing them Thursday morning. Right off the bat the Supervisors got a report from their District Attorney Jason Woodbury that two incidents were dealt with requiring a monetary settlement to a minor who was lightly bitten by a police dog during a “Citizen’s Training Academy,” as well as another case where a city parks and recreation volunteer was accused of inappropriately touching a number of young participants in a summer recreation program. Between city funds and insurance coverage for both incidents the grand total of agreed-to damages is around $1.3 million.

The dog bite incident occured during a police dog training exercise when the animals were put through their paces and then paraded passed high school student trainees. One of the dogs was reportedly still emotionally “excited” from the training and nipped a student. The Sheriff’s Department has changed protocols so that during future training exercises with school kids looking on, it will be arranged in a way that dogs exhibiting their “take-down” talents in the field do not co-mingle with the students afterwards. The settlement for the family was $58,137.

After reported instances of “inappropriate touching” minor participants in a city recreation program, a volunteer instructor in the program was fired. Damages awarded to the victims amounting to $1.25 million – payments coming from both the city and the city’s insurance carrier.

In other Supervisors’ action they preliminarily approved 18 condominium airplane hanger units at the Carson City Airport. But it doesn’t mean airport officials can instantly move ahead with the project. The first in a series of final design maps must be approved by the city Supervisors within the next four years with construction to follow sometime after that. The project follows many years of complaints from the private aviation community that there hasn’t been enough airplane hangers being built to keep up with the growth in private aviation.

A much talked-about planned-unit-development just south of the airport at 1400 Old Hot Springs Road, involving large travel trailers, has been approved by the Supervisors. Although one citizen in the audience said the 227 RV lot development is too close to the airport, the Supervisors approved the project anyway indicating that the R/V Park should be okay – that there’s considerable real estate between the project and the airport itself. Amenities to the project include a sales office, gatehouse, pickleball courts, a cafe, a 9-hole golf course and open space.

206 acres of the Hamm family sold to Carson City and to be named Eagle View Open Space (Google Maps)

The Supervisors then selected a name for the newly designated open space area between Ash and Vicee Canyons. In 2018 the city purchased the land with state funds from the Gerald and Luann Hamm family which opened up public access and general use within the 206 acre boundaries of the open space which was formally renamed by the Supervisors as Eagle View Open Space.

Carson City Shooting Range. Major upgrades are being made with full installation in place by Spring.  (City photo)

And finally, thanks to a generous grant by the Nevada Department of Wildlife with additional financial help from the city, the Carson City Rifle and Pistol Range will be undergoing some major upgrades to improve the use and safety of the Range. Improvements include earthwork and improved drainage for the shooting bays, removal of of concrete target frames from the long range bays, and compliance signage. City officials say all the improvements should be up and ready for the public by Spring.

NNDA movin’ into Downtown Carson City…

NNDA
No. NV Dev’t Authority
New Headquarters at the top of the sidewalk steps

Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) today announced that its offices have been relocated to 308 North Curry Street, Suite 101, Carson City, NV 89703. The organization’s main phone number remains 775.883.4413. They’re directly across from the Cigar Bar.

Moving to 308 N. Curry St. is related to the recently established NNDA partnership with the Adams Hub of Northern Nevada and the Carson City Library to support existing companies in the region with growth and expansion. Together, they are curating the resources companies require to achieve their business objectives and financial goals. The intent is to help keep existing businesses operational by leveraging NNDA’s economic development tools, the Hub’s programs, and the Library’s resources to assist resident companies and future projects.

Sean Hilterbrandt, who joined NNDA earlier this year, is the Business Support Specialist dedicated to Carson City, Douglas County, Storey County, and the northern half of Lyon County. He brings over 15 years of experience in customer service, logistics, and warehousing management. Sean has proven success in managing multiple projects and priorities.

According to Robert “Rob” Hooper, NNDA President and CEO, “The partnership with the Adams Hub aligns with our mission and the mission of its parent, The Hop and Mae Adams Foundation, to support economic development in Carson City, the business core of Nevada’s Sierra Region. While the Foundation is focused on Carson City, there is an understanding that also supporting the growth of our region’s economic ecosystem helps to further strengthen Carson City.” He continued, “Economic growth is not about more traffic or higher housing prices. It is about higher wages and median incomes. Raising families up is how we measure success.”

More detailed information about NNDA’s Business Support program and resources, including the partnership with the Adams Hub and Carson City Library, will be released early next year once the program development is complete.

Busy night for CC Planning Commission…new casino, new apartments, and clearing the skies over western Lyon County!

A little change in plans for those constructing a new casino at South Carson Street and Sonoma.  The developer originally planned to gut the inside of the old Grandma Hattie’s Restaurant and turn it in to a small casino.  The Carson City Planning Commission gave it their blessing for the project to move ahead but things went a little sideways.

The developers decided that the old Grandma Hattie’s was a bit too small.  So they re-applied to the city planning commission and asked to completely tear down Grandma Hattie’s and build something roughly 50% bigger.  And once again the planning commission accommodated the developers’ wishes.

The new Lucky Strike Casino will be over 9,000 square feet of restaurant, gaming floor, bar and lounge sports betting and customer service.  And of course lots of free parking.  No word yet on exactly when the Lucky Strike Casino will start coming up out of the ground.

Artist rendering of the new Lucky Strike Casino at So. Carson and Sonoma.

The Planning Commission next gave its blessing to a 126 unit apartment complex planned just east of Carson City’s main post office on Little Lane.  The apartment complex is expected to contain 42 one bedroom units and 84 two bedroom units spanning eleven buildings. Other amenities include a swimming pool, clubhouse and sport courts.  No word yet on what they’ll rent for.

Another apartment complex got the planning commission’s blessing – this one at a flat piece of ground at the corner of Silver Sage and Stafford Way.  The developer told the planning commission the two story complex will offer upstairs units with roughly 1,350 square feet and downstairs units averaging 950 square feet.  Parking will be limited.  A number of nearby residents complained to the planning commission that the surrounding homes are all single family homes and that they don’t want 2nd floor apartment residents looking down into their backyards or through their windows.  But the developer reminded the commission that there are a dwindling number of mid-rise apartment/condo complexes in the area and that lower cost housing is in short supply in the Carson City area as it is just about everywhere in the country.  Still the neighbors lamented the “intrusion” of another mid-rise apartment house in what is mainly a single family home neighborhood.  And for some, the new apartment building blocks their long-enjoyed view of the mountains to the west. There were indications from the neighbors they may appeal the planning commission’s recommended go-ahead on the project.

And finally a group of residents living just inside the Lyon County line complained loudly to the Carson City Planning Commission that an asphalt processing plant just inside the Carson City city limits has been polluting their air for a long time.  And they want it stopped.  They say they’re getting sick.  They complain that the smoke pollution has been going on for two to three years and that Carson City should put an end to it.

The planning commission took the neighbors complaints to heart and decided to inform the owner of the asphalt plant that he must stop his plant’s excessive pollution.  The planning commission gave the owner ten days to appeal the commission’s decision.  If the owner doesn’t rectify the situation the planning commission will recommend to the Carson City Board of Supervisors that they step in and revoke the plant’s license to operate.  The commission also ruled that the plant owner must buy special equipment that strips the plant’s exhaust of harmful chemicals and smoke.

Stay tuned,

 

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Camera catches a thief just before stealing an electric bicycle

Bicycle Thief
Submitted photo

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division is asking for information in a Grand Larceny of an electric bicycle on November 3, 2019.

On November 3, 2019 at approximately 3:30 pm a Grand Larceny of an Electric Bicycle was committed at CVS at 220 Fairview Drive in Carson City. The victim had left his bike in the front of the store while shopping. The victim returned to the area of the bike after shopping and found the bike had been stolen.

Investigators obtained video surveillance from the CVS Store. One female suspect and one male suspect were located on camera. The female was wearing a black/grey and white sweat suit carrying a black purse. The male was wearing a black t shirt with blue jeans and a blue hat with a goatee.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office reminds the public to not leave valuables/bikes unattended or not properly locked up.

Suspected burglar falls through roof of hair salon on So. Carson – dies on the floor.

Update from Caron City Sheriff’s Office:

On Sunday, November 17, 2019 at approximately 1000 am a burglary suspect was located inside the Cutting Edge Salon (So. Carson @ Koontz) on the ground.  He was unresponsive.  The Carson City Fire Department responded and pronounced the man deceased. Information gathered on the scene revealed that the suspect entered the Cutting Edge Salon by cutting through the roof.  The suspect fell from the roof, through the ceiling and struck the ground.  Burglary tools were located in a bag that was carried by the suspect.

The suspect was later identified as Ronald Edward Kidd of Tracy, California.  Mr. Kidd has an extensive record for theft and robbery.  Mr. Kidd appears to have conducted this burglary alone. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Dispatch (775) 887-2008, Investigation Division, Detective Christopher Rivera (775) 283-7855, Investigations Captain Brian Humphrey (775) 283-7850 or Secret Witness (775) 322-4900.

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Firefighters and Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a hair salon on Koontz near South Carson Street Sunday morning on a report that there was a dead body on the floor inside the salon. 

At first it was thought that a contractor worker associated with fixing the salon’s roof accidentally fell through a hole, or a weakened area of the roof, and died on the floor below.  But deputies quickly concluded that the fall victim was probably not a roofer but rather possibly a burglar who saw an opportunity to enter a closed business. 

There was a large roofing contractor’s truck parked up against the salon’s east wall which would have enabled easy access to the roof.  No name yet released on the name of of the deceased male.

Nevada joins other states in opposing “unreasonable” immigration restrictions on abused children

Aaron Ford
Nevada AG

Attorney General Ford Pushes Back Against Federal Move to Weaken Immigration Protections for Abused Children

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford has joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general who are opposing a pending federal that would undermine children’s access to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ). SIJ protects abused, neglected and abandoned children by allowing them to become legal residents and eventually U.S. citizens. The newly proposed federal rule requires individuals seeking protection under SIJ to needlessly repeat steps with the federal government that would have already been lawfully handled by state juvenile courts.

In a comment letter to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the coalition calls on the Trump Administration to overhaul this proposed rule, which risks inflicting additional trauma on thousands of already vulnerable children. In the 2018 fiscal year alone, there were 21,917 SIJ applications nationwide. Between October 2013 and September 2019, adult sponsors in Nevada welcomed 1,331 unaccompanied children, many of whom are eligible for SIJ.

“Protecting the health, safety and well-being of immigrant children in our communities who have been abused or abandoned is not a one-size-fits-all determination that can be made by the federal government,” said AG Ford. “Circumstances beyond their control have left these children vulnerable, and I’m urging the federal government to reconsider this proposal that weakens much-needed protections for this young population.”

The Trump Administration’s proposal threatens to undercut SIJ protections that have existed for decades. Under the current process, state juvenile courts have the authority to issue orders that can enable a child to be eligible for SIJ if a child is unable to reunify with a parent because of abuse, neglect or abandonment as outlined under state law. Once an order has been issued, the child can apply for SIJ. Then USCIS has 180 days to make a decision on the application.

Regrettably, the proposed rule on SIJ creates new layers of red tape that increase the burden on children. The federal government is now asking for the submission of additional evidence to USCIS that reunification is not viable under state law, despite the fact that a state court would have already made that determination in a court order. Furthermore, it is unclear how USCIS’ personnel would be equipped to interpret and make decisions on the multitude of laws across 50 states, as well as the laws of tribal organizations or territories under the administrative control of the U.S. government. In their comment letter, the coalition notes that it is not USCIS’ role to second-guess determinations already lawfully made by state courts.

In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states and territory also participated in today’s comment letter: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Reno man arrested on I-580 for sexual assault

Jonathon Graves
CCJ photo

A Reno man, accused of sexual assault, was spotted northbound on I-580 Thursday evening in Carson City.  Because there was a warrant issued for Jonathan Graves for sexual assault and other crimes, deputies turned on their lights and sirens.  Graves pulled over onto the freeway shoulder.

Graves was ordered out of his vehicle, handcuffed and placed into a patrol car.  He was transported to the Carson City Jail where he was booked for sexual assault and for using an electronic device to unlawfully enter a dwelling.  The sexual assault allegedly occurred back in mid-September.  Graves is being held on $250,000 bail.

Local “couple” busted for vehicle burglary and credit card theft/fraud

Suspects in vehicle burglaries around Carson City, including parking lot at CTH

Carson City Sheriff’s Deputies say they finally caught up those who they suspect are responsible for several vehicle  burglaries around Carson City and then using stolen credit cards from those vehicles to go on a shopping spree.  Investigators say Sean Conley and Amy Rodriguez are believed responsible for several overnight vehicle burglaries involving vehicles parked at Carson Tahoe Hospital at the north end of town and elsewhere.  Deputies say Conley and Rodriguez were apprehended in a local casino and taken to jail.  Both are no strangers to law enforcement.

Sheriff’s Deputies remind everyone that just because they can lock their vehicle doors doesn’t mean everything inside is safe.  Talented thieves know every trick in the book when it comes to vehicle burglary and they love to go after cash and credit cards.  So when you’re going to be away from your vehicle for any period of time, make sure you take your valuables (including your wallet) with you.

 

Man who nearly beat his ex-wife to death lands in Carson City Jail

Richard Pura, Attempted Murder
Fled to Arizona, brought back to CC
CCSO photo

A man accused of nearly beating ex-wife to death in Carson City last month has been captured in northern Arizona and was returned to Carson City over the weekend. 

Richard Pura was booked into the Carson City Jail on charges of Attempted Murder with a Deadly Weapon as well as Domestic Battery.  Reports say Pura’s ex-wife was very severely injured and was left basically to die in the hills off Sierra Vista Lane on the east side of Prison Hill.

Authorities say the victim crawled out to a road where she was discovered by a passer-by.  The victim was quickly transported to Carson Tahoe Hospital where she’ll need considerable care including possibly facial reconstruction. 

Reports say Pura was arrested four other times for domestic battery on his ex-wife.  His bail was set at $150,000.

New restaurant downtown dedicated at 308 Curry….at Telegraph

Grand Opening of Cucina Lupo Restaurant at 308 North Curry, Tuesday afternoon!

Mayor Bob Crowell and restaurant owner do the cut-the-ribbon honors.

A conservatively elegant dining area greets hungry customers…

Comfy bench seating…

And a very nice watering hole for those after dinner drinks…

Mayor Bob Crowell and Cucina Lupo restaurant owners and employees formally dedicated downtown Carson City’s newest culinary venue for Carson City residents (and others) to dine, have a few drinks and enjoy each other’s company there at Curry and Telegraph Streets. The owner also owns the Union Brewery just across Curry to the east.

The lunch menu is quite eclectic with Bruschettas, Frito Misto, Calamari, Shrimp and Seasonal Vegetables to Tomatoes & Burrata (and lots more) and a full range of pastas and sandwiches. For dinner it’ll take at least six months to get through the entire menu, it’s so varied from delightful variations of soups and salads, to pastas – including Beef Short Rib Ravioli, Fettuccine Alfredo, Brown Butter Gnocci to more entrees including Chicken Parmigiana, Veal Piccata and from the grill Bently Ranch New York Steak, Sirloin Steak, Chef’s Nightly Fish and a good ole Lupo Burger.

The owners say they serve Italian cuisine created with a focus on the flavors of Northern Nevada. Local farmers and ranchers all play a major role in the food and beverages they serve. “On behalf of our entire staff we welcome you to Cucina Lupo and hope to see you time and time again.” Once you experience their cuisine, there will be “times and times again.”

Cucina Lupo: 308 No. Curry (at Telegraph), Carson City, 775-461-0441
Mon: Closed
Tue: 11am – 9pm
Wed: 11am – 9pm
Thu: 11am – 9pm
Fri: 11am – 9pm
Sat: 11am – 9:45pm
Sun: Closed

Sheriff’s Office looking for these two burglars…


Get away car…

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division is asking for information in several vehicle burglaries in Carson City for the month of October.

On October 8 2019, a vehicle burglary occurred at a trailhead on Golf Club Drive and US Highway 50 West in Carson City. The victim had parked their car at the trailhead and went on a bike ride. Upon returning to their vehicle, they discovered it had been broken into. The victim’s credit cards were used at the Chevron gas station on Mica Drive and Target in Douglas County.

Investigators obtained video surveillance from Chevron and Target. Two male suspects, one African American and the other either a white or Hispanic male were observed using the victim’s credit cards. They were driving what appeared to be a newer black Volkswagen Jetta.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office reminds the public to not leave valuables in their vehicles such as wallets, purses, credit card and firearms in vehicles while especially at park and rides and trailheads

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Dispatch
(775) 887-2677, Investigation Division, Detective Sam Hatley (775)283-7852, Investigations Captain Brian Humphrey (775)283-7850 or Secret Witness (775)322-4900

Case # 2019-6983

NV AG takes federal government to the woodshed over immigration work permit issues

Attorney General Ford Wants Trump Administration to Withdraw Proposal Preventing Asylum-Seekers’ Ability to Access Work Permits

Carson City, NV Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford has joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing a comment letter opposing a Trump Administration proposal that would significantly hinder the ability of asylum-seekers to access work permits. Currently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has 30 days to review asylum-seekers’ work permit applications following their submission. However, under the proposed rule, USCIS would completely eliminate that timeframe, forcing asylum-seekers to potentially wait indefinitely to find out if they will be authorized to work. The Trump Administration’s proposal would directly harm Nevada’s communities and ignores the vital economic contributions of immigrants throughout the country.

“Those seeking asylum in Nevada and around the country are already faced with many challenges and obstacles,” said AG Ford. “Delaying decisions on their work permits only makes their adjustment to life in the United States that much more difficult. Here in Nevada, we welcome new members of our community, especially those in dire need of assistance.”

Under the current system, asylum-seekers can apply for a work permit or Employment Authorization Document if their asylum application has been pending for 150 days. Once they file their application for employment authorization, USCIS must act on it within 30 days. Currently, 96 percent of work permit applications are handled within the regulatory timeframe. Nevertheless, USCIS is seeking to create further delays in the existing system. In fact, the proposed rule would result in a 21 percent drop in timely adjudications, which according to USCIS’ own estimates would result in up to nearly $775 million in lost compensation annually. Forcing asylum-seekers to wait even longer than they currently do before being able to legally work will negatively affect Nevada’s economy. Immigrant households contribute billions of dollars in state and local taxes every year and play an integral role in ensuring the successes of Nevada’s economy.

The proposed rule also threatens asylum-seekers and their families by making them more likely to seek work through exploitative employers in the underground economy. Moreover, asylum-seekers without a stable income source are less likely to be able to hire an attorney, which can disrupt their ability to successfully establish a legitimate asylum claim.

In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states are also included in today’s comment letter: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Merchandise Theft Ring Operation Busted by Carson City Sheriff’s Deputies

Carson City Sheriff Deputies and Investigators have broken up a store theft operation that saw merchandise stolen from local merchants and then sold on the black market for up to 50% of their sales price.

According to Carson City Sheriff’s Deputies, suspect Angela Bowman, 28, of Carson City, would go into local hardware stores and place small power tools in her carrying case. She had a way to trick the store’s theft-detection system which allowed her to walk right out with hundreds of dollars worth of power tools which she would later sell to her “black market dealer” for either money or drugs. The “dealer” was later identified as Ryan Riggs, 31, of Carson City.

Reports say this went on for some time. But eventually sheriff’s deputies caught up with both of them and they were arrested and jailed: Riggs for running a burglary ring, possession of stolen property, theft, drug sales and paraphernalia. He was jailed on $80,000 bail. Bowman was arrested for theft, burglary, petit larceny, possession of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set to just under $70,000. Authorities prefer that the news media does not reveal Angela Bowman’s little “trick” to get merchandise out of the store without out setting off shoplifting alarms.  Merchants, heads-up out there.

 

Detached garage on South Edmonds all but destroyed – No injuries

Detached garage fire breaks out Friday afternoon at 4920 So. Edmonds

Owner inside the house unharmed. Garage goes up in flames with auto inside.

Firefighters knock down the fire – building appears to be a total loss – probably the vehicle as well.

Firefighters kept an adjacent travel trailer cool and no damage to the adjacent home across the driveway. Cause is under investigation.

Celebrating Veterans Day in our schools…

LCDR Robert Bledsaw, Retired

Carson City Schools Salute Veterans with Events and Displays 

Carson City (Nov. 7) — Carson City students a recognizing and honoring military men and women this week with Veteran’s Day displays and events. Veterans from all branches of military service, as well as families of students, have been encouraged to attend events today, tomorrow and Tuesday. Campus visitors should check in at the front office at each school site.

“Providing students with opportunities to recognize the sacrifices others make is highly beneficial at both school and at home,” said Richard Stokes, superintendent. “Appreciation is not a difficult skill to execute. Patriotic events and displays like these fill many with gratitude, which in turn makes us happier, more likeable and healthier.”

Carson Middle School celebrated Veteran’s Day earlier this morning with a special ‘Veteran’s Salute Concert’ where the school choir and marching band performed a selection of patriotic songs to thank all of the brave men and woman who have formerly or currently served in the U.S. military. Among other planned events, below are listed start times and locations:

Fritsch Elementary School, 504 Bath Street

Veteran’s Day Ceremony, tonight, Thursday, Nov. 7, at 5:10 p.m., in the multipurpose room. The Salute to Veterans will feature a music program offered by first grade students. Students are encouraged to wear red, white and blue.

Eagle Valley Middle School, 4151 East Fifth Street

Vet Star Wall display, Friday through Tuesday, Nov. 8-12, in the main corridor of the school. Submitted and displayed on stars, the names of students’ family and friends who served in the armed forces will shine bright at Eagle Valley Middle School.  

Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, 110 Thompson Street

Veteran’s Day Ceremony, Friday, Nov. 8, 8:35 a.m., in the back of the school by the flagpole. Students are encouraged to wear red, white, blue or camouflage. 

Fremont Elementary School, 1511 Firebox Road

Veteran’s Day Assembly, Friday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m., in the multipurpose room. The event will be hosted by the fifth grade leadership team. 

Mark Twain Elementary School, 2111 Carriage Crest Drive

Veteran’s Day Ceremony, Friday, Nov. 8, 8:35 a.m., out front by the flagpole.

Seeliger Elementary School, 2800 South Saliman Road

Veteran’s Day Concert, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m., in the multipurpose room. The event will feature an all-school choir, snacks and more.

 

Virtual Kidnapping Phone SCAM!

Virtual Kidnapping Phone Scam

Captain Brian Humphrey
Carson City Sheriff’s Office

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office has recently seen an increase in what is known as a “Virtual Kidnapping Scheme”. This is where criminals call unsuspecting people on their cell phone, based on research, and convince them they have kidnapped a family member, demanding a ransom be paid quickly.

The caller will use deception and threats of violence to convince the victim they are holding a family member hostage. Then the caller will demand the victim to electronically pay funds for the release of the family member. The caller will go to great lengths to keep the victim on the phone insisting they remain on the line the entire time of the transaction. They will also instruct the victim not to notify law enforcement or harm will be done to their family member.

The caller uses a method known as “spoofing” which is a technique to disguise their real phone number and make it look like any number they want. The caller will demand the victim respond to a nearby financial institution to withdraw a large amount of money. They will then instruct the victim to transfer money to them in some fashion.

Carson City Sheriff’s Deputies have responded to several of these calls during the past few weeks while the victims were still at the banks. Thankfully, the banks reacted quickly and reported this to our agency. When deputies arrived they learned the victim was still talking with the suspects on the phone. The victims were convinced the caller had their family member due to someone screaming/yelling/crying in the background. The suspect also knew personal information including names of family members. In each incident deputies were able to calm the situation down, obtain information on the alleged kidnapped victim, and then make contact, verifying they were safe and not being held against their will.

These types of scams have been around for a long time. Similar scams involve the caller stating your loved one has been involved in a terrible accident or is in jail needing money right away. In all of these situations the public should notify law enforcement immediately for assistance. Do not send money! First find a way to contact the family member in question. While we will never say never, we have found in all of the incidents reported to us the family member has been safe and was not being harmed.

If you receive a call from someone demanding money for a ransom, the following are some actions to consider:

* Stay calm.
* Slow the situation down.
* Avoid sharing information about you or your family during the call.
* Listen carefully to the voice of the “kidnapped” victim.
* Attempt to call or determine the location of the “kidnapped” victim.
* Request to speak to the victim.
* Ask questions for which only the victim would know answers; have a family code word.
* Request the kidnapped victim call back from his/her cell phone.
* Try to use another means of contacting the family member that has allegedly been kidnapped.

Also, consider:

* Avoid placing personal information on social media
* Promptly update computers and mobile devices
* Have strong passwords for websites and change them frequently
* Use only trusted website and apps
* Allow unknown telephone numbers to go to voicemail (and set a password for your voicemail account)
* Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device

The majority of these calls are originating from outside of the country. With the ability to spoof phone numbers it makes it nearly impossible to investigate or prosecute these types of scams on the local law enforcement level. Prevention and proactively protecting your personal information is critical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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