crime

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Several local politicians, including Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman appeared at city hall in downtown Syracuse to throw their support behind the federal Smartphone Theft Prevention Act.

The act would require smartphone makers to install a “kill switch” on their devices that would allow customers to delete data and deactivate their phone remotely.

Schneiderman says the major manufactures have the technology to do this but are choosing not to.

Syracuse homicide rate at recent high in 2013

Feb 11, 2014
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO

The homicide rate in Syracuse was at a recent high in 2013. The city had 22 homicides in 2013, a 60 percent increase from the 13 homicides in 2012.

Sargent Tom Connellan, the public information officer for the Syracuse Police Department, said it is very difficult to predict a homicide.

"We can target gun violence, we can target a lot of other crimes, but sometimes these are just crimes of opportunity or crimes of passion. Some involved domestic related incidents. I don't want to trivialize any of these homicides because one is one too many," he said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The trial of Hancock drone war crimes resisters continues later today in a town of DeWitt courtroom. The men and women, mostly from upstate New York, are defending themselves from trespass charges, after an October protest of the use of unmanned aerial drones at the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Mattydale.

The 16 defendants contend their blockade of the entrance to the air base is not a crime.

“The actual crime is the killing of civilians, the war of aggression, the violation of national sovereignty,” said Clare Grady, of Ithaca.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The state attorney general’s recently created animal protection initiative has led to the shutdown of two illegal puppy sale operations.

The state’s top prosecutor says two dog sellers bought puppies for cheap or got them for free and then “flipped” the dogs for a profit.

One seller from central New York, Carissa Seaman of Cleveland, N.Y., agreed to stop selling dogs. The attorney general says he got a court order to stop a separate puppy-flipping operation, run by Stephanie Arcara, near Buffalo. Neither woman had a license to sell dogs.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse police have cracked an almost 30-year-old murder case using a combination of high tech DNA and intensive police work. The arrest of a Georgia man who had long been a suspect in the investigation of the death of his estranged wife, is the latest success in the Syracuse Police Department’s cold case unit.

Authorities say Ronald Meadow will be arraigned on second-degree murder charges in Syracuse later this month, in connection with the death of his estranged wife, Colleen Meadow, who was found strangled to death in her northside apartment in March 1985.  

Vandals tag several Syracuse University buildings

Dec 9, 2013
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Maintenance workers at Syracuse University today were going around campus trying to clean up a spree of vandalism.

Eight messages were spray-painted on five buildings at the school, according a spokesperson in Syracuse University's Department of Public Safety.

A tag on the side of the school’s communications complex read “#1 in communication. LAST in free speech.” Another message read: “liars live here. Are you one?” On Maxwell Hall, the Latin words "cui bono?" and "war" were sprayed, which translates to "for whose benefit."

A Syracuse man and two women were arrested and charged Tuesday with operating a sex ring that prosecutors say stretched from Watertown to Ithaca.

The state Attorney General's office says Eric Oliver, 30, of Syracuse, was the ring leader of the operation. They say he was assisted by two women: Tirra Pate of Syracuse and Jessico Moro of Cicero, both 19 years old.

They're accused of coercing women and girls as young as 15 years old into becoming prostitutes. Prosecutors allege the trio would use physical force or gave the girls drugs to keep them on the job.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The city of Syracuse is joining forces with a company that turns the remnants of guns and bullets into jewelry, and turns the profits towards helping reduce gun violence.

At a press conference in Syracuse Wednesday, Peter Thum, founder of Liberty United, showed off some of the jewelry that's been created from the remnants of melted-down guns and bullets confiscated by police -- some of them from Syracuse.

Oswego Police Department steps up patrols

Sep 10, 2013


While students attending SUNY Oswego continue to get settled this school year, the Oswego Police Department is using more officers and patrolmen to keep the city's quality of life high. Lt. Charles Searor says the department is also trying out a new proactive method of enforcing the law and teaching students the proper way to live in residential neighborhoods.

Daniel Lobo/flickr

The September 10 Democratic primary for two city-wide councilor-at-large seats in Syracuse puts the spotlight on crime and the economy.

The four-way race pits two incumbents, Lance Denno and Jean Kessner, who were not endorsed by the city's Democratic Committee and who have been at odds with the administration of Mayor Stephanie Miner at times, are running against two party favorites, Pam Hunter and Jeff Wright. Three of the four joined Grant Reeher for a forum on the Campbell Conversations.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A brutal murder and rape case that shocked central New York earlier this year is closed. In a plea deal with prosecutors, David Renz, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first degree murder and sexual assault charges in the death of Lori Bresnahan and the rape of a 10-year-old girl in a mall parking lot in Clay last March.  

The deal basically assures that Renz will spend the rest of his life in prison, said Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

In the wake of the David Renz case, there would be more oversight over federal probation offices if legislation proposed by Rep. Dan Maffei is approved.  The Syracuse-area Democrat is crafting legislation that would keep a tighter reign on suspects being monitored by electronic ankle bracelets.

Syracuse-area Congressman Dan Maffei says he is waiting for a response to letters he wrote to three federal agencies, calling for an investigation into Syracuse federal probation department policies, that allowed accused killer David Renz to allegedly disable his electronic ankle monitor. Rep. Maffei says the case illustrates a lack of oversight in certain federal agencies.

Nine more names of state Senators and others potentially involved in corruption were made public Wednesday, when a judge ordered prosecutors in the case of convicted former Sen. Shirley Huntley to make public the names of her colleagues that she secretly recorded.

File photo/Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson turned himself in to federal authorities Monday, after being accused in a nine-count indictment of embezzling nearly half a million dollars from mortgage foreclosure accounts, and then trying to cover it up.

Juvenile records are automatically sealed in New York state, so they don't prejudice a prosecutor or judge, but state Sen. John DeFrancisco is proposing an exception. He wants those records be available to court officials if they involve sex crimes.

An Onondaga County grand jury has returned a 37-count indictment against the Cicero man accused of raping a 10-year old girl and stabbing a Liverpool woman to death last month. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s district attorneys are pushing for laws to make it easier to prosecute bribery and public corruption cases, in the wake of recent scandals in Albany.

Two days after a state senator was arrested for trying to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot, a state assemblyman has been accused of accepting payments to sponsor legislation that would benefit developers of an adult day care center in the Bronx.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

It'll be easier for police to recover stolen goods from pawn shops and second-hand stores throughout Onondaga County, if a law approved by the county legislature goes into effect. The legislation is aimed at closing a loophole that pushes criminals outside Syracuse city limits to sell stolen goods.

New York State Police

Updated, Thursday 5:50 p.m.: Local police officers were "overwhelmed" as they raced from scene to scene yesterday morning in pursuit of a shooter who first set his home on fire and then killed four people and wounded two others at two different locations in Herkimer County.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It's been ten years since Syracuse-area oncologist Dr. Rafil Dhafir was arrested for crimes involving the Muslim charity Help the Needy.  Dhafir continues to serve a 22-year prison sentence after he was convicted of violating U.S. sanctions against his native Iraq by sending money there. In 2005, a federal jury convicted him of 59 felonies, including fraud and tax evasion, among other things. But Dhafir's conviction and incarceration still has some central New Yorker's crying foul.

Despite well-publicized shootings, crime rate is down

Feb 11, 2013

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting and the contentious push for new gun control laws in both Washington and Albany, it’s often easy to forget that the United States has been experiencing what some have called the "Great American Crime Decline."

The city of Syracuse is asking Onondaga County to help crack down down on burglaries. Syracuse officials want to make it harder for burglars to sell stolen items to second hand shops throughout the county.

Tuned to Yesterday

Jan 17, 2013

#720, Crime, The Whistler “Quadrangle” 8/29/54 CBS Pat Novak For Hire 6/18/49 ABC

Tuned To Yesterday features programs from radio's golden era. Drama, Comedy, Western, Sci-Fi and more. Produced by Mark Lavonier.

Reaction to New York's new gun control law from prosecutors is generally positive. For one central New York District attorney it closes some loopholes, but leaves others open.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A former Syracuse television sportscaster, and Syracuse University employee stands accused of unlawfully recording video of male student-athletes in a locker room, without their knowledge. 

The United as One Coalition is taking its case for an Onondaga County jail oversight board to county lawmakers.  Coalition members want the Onondaga County Legislature to create a board that they say could ultimately save lives.

The city of Syracuse is taking some new steps in the fight against gun crime and gang violence. "Syracuse Truce" will bring police and community organizations together to deter crime.

This summer, the synthetic drugs known as bath salts alarmed emergency responders all over upstate New York, including in Jefferson County. In Watertown, they dealt with unstable, violent users several times a day. But lawmakers and law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels have been responding with crackdowns on the drugs. Now, both police and hospital officials in Watertown say cases are down sharply. 

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