Posted on

Dumb Tucson criminals make cop job easier: Bumbling burglars and naive bank robber arrested in separate crimes

Law enforcement is a tough job, but sometimes a few dimwitted criminals come along that make a cop’s job a tad easier.

Bank suspect Brian Sallee/TPD photo

Such was the case this week with an afternoon bank robbery from a suspect who appears to have taken hairstyling tips from pop sensation Justin Bieber, and a brazen yet bumbling burglary attempt by suspects who perhaps could use some of those hairstyling tips.

Tucson police arrested the afternoon bank robber Oct. 27 while Pima County sheriff deputies nabbed a trio of brazen burglars Oct. 24, one of whom drove a forklift through a wall to enter a business and another who fought with a sheriff canine, according to news releases from the respective agencies.

The robbery suspect, a Bieber-banged young man, evidently didn’t have much sense when he decided to rob a bank.

In the middle of the afternoon.
In the middle of town.
With no weapons but a demand note – and very slow reflexes coupled with few observational skills.

The would-be robber also picked a branch of the Pima County Federal Credit Union at 3730 N. Stone Ave, a scant 4 miles north of Tucson Police headquarters.

As with many banks, the credit union was equipped with a hold-up alarm, which sends out a 911 to police that a robbery is in progress.

Police were on the scene within one minute to find the suspect still standing there at a teller window.

Brian Maxwell Sallee, 21, was arrested without incident and charged with one count of robbery.

Wesley Wallace/PCSD photo

At least Sallee’s alleged robbery attempt was a bit more subtle than an attempted burglary that went down days earlier when thieves blasted through walls with hammers and a forklift.

Pima County Sheriff deputies were called to the bumbling burglary in progress around 10 p.m. Oct. 24 at a strip of buildings in the industrial area of 3100 block of South Dodge Boulevard.

The exact location of the burglary must have been fairly evident when deputies arrived to find a hole cut through a roll up door.

Randall Gray/PCSD photo

The burglars entered the first business through the hole, went on to drive a forklift through an interior wall to get into a second business and then used hammers to bust through more interior walls to get into a third and fourth business.

“Extensive damage was done to the businesses and warehouse structure,” the release duly noted.

While the Tasmanian-devil approach to burglary may be absurd enough, one of the suspects made the arrest even more absurd by tangling with the sheriff’s canine when the dog found them hiding in crates.

Michael Fink/PCSD photo

Since all three were arrested, his tangling evidently did not pay off.

Arrested were Wesley Wallace, 46; Michael Fink, 48; and Randall Gray, 40. All three were charged with first degree burglary, felony criminal damage, felony theft and possession of burglary tools. The release did not note if they brought their own forklift.

Gray had the addition charge of harming a working animal tacked on for fighting with the sheriff’s K-9.

Best wishes for the canine’s speedy recovery – and the criminals’ speedy prosecution.


What do you think?

Are criminals getting dumber?

Posted on

Traffic camera scam: Fake support of photo enforcement red light and speed cameras

We hate to say it, but you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet – especially when it comes to comments supporting traffic photo enforcement cameras.

Fewer people dig traffic cameras than we may think/Thinkstock image

Although the red light and speed cameras are despised for a number of reasons, with one of the best likening them to crack cocaine and cities getting addicted to the money they bring in, batches of comments always seem to crop up in support of them.

These supportive comments, seemingly written by real-life citizens with real-life concerns, pop up like buffelgrass on traffic camera articles throughout cyberspace.

Love them or hate them red light cameras work and the more they are debated the more people are aware of them. They should be at every intersection.

“Jane Smith,” who may or may not be related to John Doe, left that particular comment on the article entitled “Two more photo enforcement cameras mean two more Tucson traffic nightmares.”

Her exact belief is shared so exactly by others that they just happen to use her exact wording in their own comments supporting the cameras.

Love them or hate them red light cameras work and the more they are debated the more people are aware of them. They should be at every intersection.

The same comment also appears on traffic camera articles at: in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., comment from “dq1153” (which is part of Jane Smith’s e-mail address, by the way) in Rochester, NY, comment from “giggley”, comment from giggley in Lynnwood, Wash., there goes giggley again

A commenter called “yogilives,” has been as busy as giggley leaving supportive comments about the cameras around cyberspace.

Yogilives’ comment on the Citizen article reads:

What a bunch of baloney, somehow drivers being overly cautious about going through an intersection is more dangerous than some reckless driver blowing through a red light into traffic? I think not. Enforcing our traffic laws deters reckless driving and the more coverage the more deterrence. No number of street cops can match the 24/7 coverage red light cameras provide so let’s use them, the life they save might be your own!

Yogilives’ comment at, on the article “LA’s Arizona Boycott Makes Exception For Red-Light Camera Operator,” reads:

That anyone would be surprised that LA officials hadn’t thought through the implications of their boneheaded political grandstanding is ridiculous. How exactly would the endangering the lives of Californian’s by refusing to properly and fully enforce our traffic laws benefit ANYONE, Arizonans, Californians Mexicans or Martians? Stay in your lane people, you’re barely qualified to represent the people of LA, let’s not have you muddle things up by getting into Arizona’s business.

In an attempt to perhaps keep spam suspicions at bay, yogilives throws in some local references, colloquial language and even personal details. In one of 18 comments left on sites affiliated with, yogilives claims to be the father of two school age girls who, of course, will be kept safe for the rest of their lives if only more photo enforcement cameras would be installed at every single intersection across the nation.

What is this, a conspiracy?

You bet – or at least a movement known as “Astroturf lobbying,” which creates “fake grass roots” campaigns full of phony supporters with an ulterior motive in mind.

Money. Money. Money.

While the traffic camera comments may seem silly at best and annoying at worst, they sometimes morph into larger concerns in areas where traffic cameras are still up for discussion – and persuasion.

A November ballot initiative in Mukilteo, Wash., will let voters weigh in on its local traffic camera issues, a Washington State Wire article says.

The initiative lets folks decide if the city should reverse the City Council’s decision to install traffic cameras around town, have public votes on future traffic camera installations, and limit traffic camera fines to $20.

There goes the money, money, money.

A loud, yet mysterious organization, called the Mukilteo Citizens for Simple Government, filed a lawsuit to keep the initiative off the ballot.

“Backers of the initiative say it sure looks like the Arizona company that supplies the town with traffic cameras is behind the whole thing,” the article noted.

In making the charge, the red-light opponents have put Google to work, uncovering a motherlode of websites tailored for every city where a red-light camera initiative has made the ballot, or where automated cameras have come in for serious public scrutiny. In Mukilteo and 17 other cities, each website appears to be sponsored by a citizens’ group; each one uses identical wording on its content pages; each web domain name is owned by the same company, Advarion, Inc., of Houston, TX.

In other states, campaign disclosure documents reveal that Advarion is one of the contractors providing services to pro-camera campaigns financed by American Traffic Solutions of Scottsdale, Ariz. And the main reason these facts must be mentioned in such a roundabout way is that Mukilteo Citizens for Simple Government still hasn’t gotten around to filing campaign disclosure documents with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, which presumably would make its backing clear.

Love them or hate them, scammers and spammers are everywhere.


Thanks to reader Sam Jennings, who sent me an e-mail noting,”I found it hard to believe that many people LOVE these cameras so I dug a bit, and that’s what I find happening everywhere. I feel people should know it’s not genuine.”

What do you think?

Have you fallen for any Internet scams?

Would you admit it if you did?

Do you think Jane Smith, yogilives or giggley will comment on this article?

Do you think traffic cameras should be at every intersection?

Posted on

Armed robbery goes equal opportunity: Women latest suspects in Tucson-area bank thefts

Burn those bras and shred those aprons – women continue to enter fields where mainly men have only tread before, right here in good ole Pima County.

Bank of the West robbery suspect July 21/submitted photo

If heading companies, kicking butt in tennis and running for Vice President is not enough, women have now entered yet another field traditionally dominated by males:

Armed robbery.

Two recent, unrelated Tucson-area bank robberies were both pulled off by women, according to news releases from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

The first went down around 3 p.m. on July 21, when a woman, aged 60 to 70, walked into the Bank of the West, 3041 S. Kinney Road. Rather than a withdrawal slip, the gal pulled out a gun and demanded money from the teller.

The woman, described as white and about 5-feet, 6-inches tall, then took off in a white, early 2000s Hyundai Tiburon 2-door coupe with a spoiler and dark tinted windows.

Bank of America robbery suspect July 23/submitted photo

The second robbery was around 2 p.m. on July 23 when another female, between the ages of 20 and 25, hit a Bank of America at 7130 N. Oracle Road.

She, too, forwent the withdrawal slip and instead handed the teller a note demanding money, noting she had a gun, although she never presented the weapon.

This gal is described as white or Hispanic, aged 20 to 25 and between 5-feet 2-inches and 5-feet 4-inches tall. She fled in a red sedan that resembled a Mazda 3.

Photos show her coyly covering her face with what could be a dainty doily – or a dirty diaper. At least she’s keeping her womanly charms.

Neither suspect had a man present, not even driving the get-away car. Maybe any boyfriend or hubby was home doing the dishes.

Out of the roughly 175,000 people arrested nationwide for criminal behavior in 2008, about 152,000 of them were men, leaving only 23,000 as women, according to the Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center.

Sorry, ladies, we still have miles to go if we really want to catch up in the criminal field.

While we jest about armed robbery becoming EOE, it’s not really funny. When women aspire to get into fields traditionally dominated by men, we’re usually thinking more like CEO or officers of the law – not people who defy it.

Guys can keep their lives of crime. Heck, they can even keep roles like garbage man and sewer worker if they want them.

Rather than illustrating the strength of modern women, perhaps female armed robbers instead exhibit the desperation of the current economy – for either gender.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is looking for leads, additional details and two women who fit the descriptions buying copious amounts of shoes using crisp, clean bills.

PCSD urges anyone with information regarding the bank robberies or possible identities of the suspects to contact Det. Burns at 351-4592, 247-4050 or 88-CRIME.


What do you think?

What other fields would you like to see more women enter?

Women – What fields would you rather never enter?

Guys – What fields are you sick of dominating?

NOTE: PCSD sent a third news release on another recent bank robbery, but it was a traditional man suspect. CLICK HERE to read it in Hot Off the Press (Release) section.

Posted on

10 things every job seeker needs does NOT include sense of entitlement

The job market is already flooded with plenty of folks seeking work, and more will be on the way with the new slate of upcoming college graduates.

The new American work ethic/Ryn Gargulinski
The new American work ethic/Ryn Gargulinski

Ford Myers, a career coach, author and speaker, was kind enough to compile a list of his top 10 tools every new college grad needs to land a first job, a list that could be helpful for any job seeker.

While his tools are well and good, they seem to be jumping the gun – kind of like giving a power saw to someone who has yet to master a pair of scissors.

Based on my own observations of new hires throughout the years, and actually doing some of the hiring – and firing – myself, I’ve noted some folks are certainly not ready for that power saw.

A list of 10 fundamental job-seeking tools should come first:

1. Persistence. Many companies are not going to call you back. Call them. Many are going to brush you off. Call them again.

2. Attitude. Kill off the sense of entitlement. The world does not “owe you a living” just because you exist. Nor should you get a paycheck just because you walk in the door. Alas, you may have to actually do some work.

3. Work ethic. Yes, working can be tiring. Yes, it can be boring. No, you can’t go to lunch at 9:30 a.m.

4. Basic office skills. Then there’s the story of the young employee who was asked to file some paid invoices. Rather than file them alphabetically under the company names, she filed them all under “P,” for paid. You should also not freak out in confusion when asked to use a copy machine.

5. Basic computer skills. We’re not talking about advanced computer programming here. One guy applied at a newspaper office – but didn’t know how to type.

6. Basic willingness. Don’t think certain tasks are “beneath you.” Sure, you may have been hired with a lofty title like “sales associate” but that doesn’t mean you may not have to take out the trash.

7. Common courtesy. Don’t chomp and crack gum while sitting at your desk or talking to clients on the phone. Don’t stick that chewed gum beneath the meeting room’s conference table.

8. Common sense. Don’t try to unjam the paper shredder while it’s plugged in and running, especially by sticking your hand between the blades.

9. Extended vocabulary. Every other word should not be “like.” Every other phrase should not be “You know,” you know?

10. Initiative. When you finish one task, don’t just sit there. Move on to the next. Look around and see what needs to be done. Then do it.

10 1/2. Ability to work without iPod stuck to head.

Oh yeah, you’ll also need a resume. Please don’t scribble it out on the back of a cereal box.

Once you’ve mastered these basics, check out Myers’s list:

10 tools every new college grad needs to land a first job – by Ford Myers

1. Accomplishment stories. Write five or six compelling stories about school or work-related tasks that made you proud.

2. Positioning statement. Prepare and practice a “15-second commercial” about who you are, what you’ve done in the past (academically and professionally, if applicable, and the particular strengths you can contribute to an employer.

3. Professional biography. Write a one-page narrative of your career in the “third person” – as though someone else wrote it about you.

4. Target company list. Make a “wish list” of adjectives that would describe your ideal employer, such as size, location, industry, culture, environment, etc. Then research specific organizations that meet those criteria, and put them on a list of 35 to 50 “target companies.”

5. Contact list. Compile a list of all the people you know personally and professionally. Remember that approximately 80 percent of new opportunities are secured through networking.

6. Professional/academic references. List colleagues or professors who would “sing your praises” if asked about you. Contact each of them, and get approval to use their names on your list of references.

7. Letters of Recommendation. Request letters from four or five respected business colleagues or academic associates which will be printed on their professional letterhead.

8. Networking Agenda. Write out a full networking discussion or script so you will know exactly how to manage the networking discussion – how it flows, what to expect, how to react to the other person’s comments, etc.

9. Tracking System. Keep a detailed record of your job search activities, including phone calls, meeting notes and correspondence. This is essential to keeping your process organized and productive.

10. Resume. It’s the last on the list, but still indispensable. And, it has to be GREAT. Be sure your final resume is carefully edited and succinct (no more than two pages) with a layout that is easy for the eye to follow.

And please don’t wear flip-flops to your interview.



What do you think?

What’s the most ridiculous work behavior you’ve seen in new hires?

Are too many people riddled with a sense of entitlement when it comes to work?

Are too many lazy?

Have work ethics crumbled to dust?