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Cops, Courts & Fire -Penndel Borough

Lower Bucks Woman Charged for Bilking Elderly Doylestown Couple out of Thousand’s

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A Penndel woman was jailed last week accused of  stealing money from a elderly Doylestown couple she was providing home care services to. 

Holly Hughes, 59, and a co-defendant, have been charged with six felony counts of fraud and theft related charges for stealing at least $ 4,890 in goods and cash, police say from the couple. 

Doylestown Police, in response  to a fraud complaint called in by the couple’s son in September interviewed him and the two victims. The son told police when reviewing his parents bank statements he noticed purchases and “cash back withdrawals” made at area retailers that his parents were unaware of and did not approve.

A list of the “unauthorized transactions” were provided to investigators. The victims told police Hughes and her co-defendant had been provided debit cards by the couple for household purchases and food. the criminal complaint says.

The senior couples daughter upon learning of the alleged fraudulent activity on her parents bank account sat down with her mother and father to review the transaction history of a Navy Federal Credit Union account, police say, identifying numerous transactions from June to September of last year on that account too, according to the criminal complaint. 

Police reviewed video surveillance of the alleged fraudulent transactions made at Home Depot, the Giant Company in Warrington and Acme Supermarket in Doylestown showing Hughes purchasing food and requesting cash back at the end of each transaction, receiving money from the victims account.

Neither victim was not present were the withdrawals were made, the probable cause affidavit says.

Investigators interviewed the *co-defendant in the case in late October and she told police the two had previously discussed using the victims debit card for cash back purposes during a transaction in which she received funds from the victims debit card and giving some of the proceeds to Hughes.

According to the *co-defendants statement, she said Hughes admitted to making furniture purchases for herself at a Central Bucks outlet also. 

Police through further investigative methods obtained information about other “numerous fraudulent transactions” that left an electronic trail for investigators to discover. 

Investigators requested Hughes to come in for a interview.  She “refused to make a statement,” police said. 

Hughes was arraigned last week by District Judge Mark D. Douple who set bail at $25,000 unsecured with her scheduled to appear on August 17 to answer to the charges in Doylestown District Court. 

The woman co-defendant in this case has yet to be taken into custody a Tuesday review court records showed. An active warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Editors Note: Its this publications policy not to identify wanted subjects unless law enforcement releases that information for public purposes.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Local Lawmakers Want to Expand DNA Sampling in Criminal Cases

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Last week a group of Bucks County Republican lawmakers with local authorities held a press conference to discuss changes they said need to be put in place regarding the collection of DNA from potential criminals.

State Senator Frank Farry state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson, Rep. Joe Hogan, Rep. Kristin Marcell, Rep Labs, joined First Assistant District Attorney Ed Louka, Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran, Chief of Lower Southampton Police Department Ted Krimmel, and local law enforcement officials at Comic Collection, in Feasterville to discuss the importance of DNA technology in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System.

Specifically legislation the legislators  are working on would expand the number of DNA samples in the criminal justice system by requiring post-arrest testing of anyone charged with a felony or certain misdemeanors.  This sample-taking would be much like the established process of taking an arrestee’s fingerprints.  Nineteen states currently collect post-arrest DNA samples.

The press conference highlighted the impressive work by the Lower Southampton Police Department in an investigation of a violent robbery at Comic Collection in September 2022, where a DNA match led to the charging of two Michigan men 18 months after the crime.

It will also in mind the importance of conviction integrity served by advanced use of DNA identification. A sample can prove the innocence of someone else who has been incorrectly accused or convicted and imprisoned for a crime when the DNA ends up matching someone.

SB988, and its companion bill HB2030, would also expand the collection of DNA samples for those offenders convicted of criminal homicide, which under Pennsylvania law are their own classification of crime and technically not classified as felonies. This legislation would close that loophole and require collection of DNA samples from these offenders to solve other cold case murders and crimes.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Fire Crews Douse Trash Compactor Fire at Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Levittown area fire crews knocked back a trash compactor fire at Dick’s Sporting Goods Tuesday.

According to a video released by Ron Roberts, firefighters from Fairless Hills, William Penn, Falls Township, Penndel and Levittown #2 and Yardley-Makefield Fire Companies.

Flames were contained to and around the trash compactor, the video shows

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Updated: Bucks 9-1-1 Call Center Under Cyber Attack, Investigation launched

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Updated: 7:15 am Tuesday January 23: 

In response to a request for comment Bucks County Spokesperson James O’Malley included a message sent out to police, fire and EMS chiefs, as well as local Emergency Management Coordinators, adding that the county has no further comment at this time. The message is below in its entirety in italics:

The Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications is investigating a cybersecurity incident affecting the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.
 
All phone systems and radio systems remain operational, and all calls for service from the public are being received and dispatched to first responders without delay. All incidents are being documented using a backup system.
 
The CAD system has been offline since Sunday afternoon, and there is currently no projected timeframe for restoration. County IT is working to assess the issue and restore CAD service. The County has engaged state and federal partner agencies to assist in our response and investigation.
 
Automated resources powered by the CAD system will be unavailable for the duration of the outage.
 
Additionally, the County’s access to CLEAN and NCIC databases has been temporarily disconnected.  
 
We are requesting that radio communication be kept to essential transmissions only. We cannot field requests for incident times and suggest that responders attempt to maintain their times as best they can.
 
Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

 

Original Story 

The Bucks County Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD) has been down for more than 24 hours, multiple sources told Lower Bucks Source.

Sources said the reason for the system going offline is due to a cyber attack.

An email to county officials was not immediately returned late Monday night.

The CAD system went down, sources said, late Sunday afternoon.

911 Dispatchers use CAD, a source familiar with its inner workings said, to input and broadcast specific location information on incidents. The information goes to first responders helping to facilitate the  units dispatched to a given incident.  Part of the CAD network in Bucks County is linked to License Plate Reader (LPR) system which police departments use to check on motorists, sources told LBS Monday.

Officers are now taking down information with pen and paper.

A source with knowledge of the system being down said so far there have been no major issues in terms of communications, and it’s been “relatively quiet” in terms of major incidents in the county.

But how long can this keep, the source was asked, and they couldn’t respond with a concrete answer.

What is apparent is first responder services are being held hostage by cyber attackers, two sources said, and little to no information about the downed system is out there.

Versaterm’s Computer Aided Dispatch system (vCAD) for Police, Fire & Emergency Medical Services went live approximately two years ago.

Bucks County 911 Pennsylvania now supports more than 130 independent agencies, together responding to more than 600,000 calls for services each year, including 40 individual law enforcement entities, 60 volunteer and combination fire departments, and 17 emergency medical services, as well as a number of County-based and State-based agencies, says a Versaterm press release.

According to Diamond IT,  attacks of 911 call centers have been a growing and emerging problem over the last 10 years. 911 call centers have become a symbol of rescue and hope. But since 2014, that very symbol of safety has come under attack in cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Seattle, says one report from the cyber security firm.

Sources did say the full weight of the Federal Government is part of the cyber attack investigation, as of early Monday morning.

The  9-1-1 operations center is based in Ivyland Borough, and handles calls for municipal police departments, fire companies, and EMS squads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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