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Alleged Alameda Bank Robbers Arrested

ALAMEDA, CA Two brothers with criminal records have been charged with multiple felony counts for a string of five armed robberies at banks in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley and Fremont, police said.

Russell Bartlow, 53, and Jerron Bartlow, 36, who live together in the 2000 block of 100th Avenue in East Oakland, were arrested in Oakland last Wednesday and were charged last Friday. They’re scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on April 10 to enter pleas. Berkeley police Officer Mike Parsons wrote in a probable cause statement that the Bartlow brothers were arrested for robberies at a Chase Bank branch in Oakland on Nov. 19, a Citibank branch in Alameda on Dec. 19, a Bank of the West branch in Oakland on Jan. 23, a Chase Bank branch at 1870 Solano Ave. in Berkeley on Feb. 9 and at a bank in Fremont on March 18. A total of at least $40,000 was taken in the robberies, Parsons said.

Security camera footage and motor vehicle records connected the Bartlow brothers to the series of crimes, Parsons said. One of the suspects wore a security guard jacket and was armed with a small-framed black revolver, according to Parsons. In addition, a records check indicated that Russell Bartlow was on probation for a conviction in federal court for a bank robbery, Parsons wrote.

When officers searched the brothers’ home they found a security guard jacket, black cargo pants, black Nike shoes and a small black revolver that were all consistent with what authorities believe Russell Bartlow wore
or used during the bank robberies, Parsons said. Russell Bartlow ultimately confessed to four of the five robberies, including both incidents in Oakland and the incidents in Berkeley and Fremont, according to Parsons.

He also admitted to wearing the security guard uniform and being armed with a revolver during the robberies, Parsons said. Russell Bartlow is charged with nine counts of second-degree robbery and one count each of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm and possession for sale
of a controlled substance.

Jerron Bartlow is charged with two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. Prosecutors say Russell Bartlow has seven prior felony convictions dating back to 1985. They say he has three convictions for armed robbery, two for second-degree robbery, one for second-degree commercial burglary and one for possession for sale of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors say Jerron Bartlow has a prior conviction for possession for sale of cocaine base.

Russell Bartlow is being held in custody in lieu of $1.2 million bail and Jerron Bartlow is being held in lieu of $410,000 bail.

Bay City News; Image by Renee Schiavone, Patch

Sculpture Tour Eau Claire art stolen, recovered

Farm Fireball one of more than 30 pieces of art making up the 2016 Sculpture Tour Eau Claire that was reported stolen has been recovered.

The steel piece, by artist Eva Asplin of Fargo, N.D., was recovered early Tuesday in a downtown parking lot by Eau Claire police, according to Julie Pagallo, executive director of Sculpture Tour Eau Claire. Eau Claire police said the sculpture was found at 12:30 a.m. by a security guard in front of Building 12 at Banbury Place, 800 Wisconsin St. Paggallo reported there was no further damage to the scuplture when recovered.

The piece was the fifth sculpture to be stolen since the Sculpture Tour began in 2011. Pangallo reported the theft to Eau Claire police at 10:18 a.m. Friday, according to the department s dispatch log. The sculpture had been on display at the corner of East Grand Avenue and South Barstow Street but had been taken down after it had been damaged, said Pangallo, noting it was the seventh piece to be damaged in the 2016-17 season.

Pangallo and Asplin discovered the theft Friday when they went to pick Farm Fireball up from where it was being stored so the artist, who was in town to deliver a commissioned piece, could repair it. Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is working with the Eau Claire Police Department on ideas to better protect sculptures, said police spokesman Kyle Roder. One of the suggestions included Sculpture Tour Eau Claire partnering with businesses along the tour route to put up cameras dedicated to the pieces of art.

Vandalism and theft are huge issues, and they make artists think twice about being part of the tour, Pangallo said. These are one-of-a-kind pieces and need to be protected. The artwork making up the 2016 tour range in price from $1,850 to $66,000, according to the Sculpture Tour Eau Claire website.

The sculptures that are part of the current tour are scheduled to come down in mid-April, Pangallo said, and the three dozen pieces making up the 2017 Sculpture Tour are set to be put up May 10.

We are really excited about the new season, Pangallo said. We have a lot of fun pieces coming.

Since 2011, several sculptures have been damaged, and five, including Farm Fireball, have been stolen. The four others were taken between August 2012 and July 2014. They were:

All in the Same Boat, a mixed-media sculpture featuring various types of civilian, government and religious buildings on a listing, off-balance oil tanker, was taken from its mounting outside Mayo Clinic Health System s downtown campus in July 2014 and was found a day later in a backyard near where it was taken.

Rock-N-Roll, a bronze sculpture of a monkey on a skateboard, was reported missing in June 2014 from its base outside Mogie s Pub & Restaurant, 436 Water St. It turned up later that evening in the alley behind the business and was put back on display.

Mother and Child was stolen in May 2013 from a granite welded pedestal in front of Stella Blues, 306 E. Madison St. It was recovered on Dec. 10, 2015, by a county employee, who found it in a wooded area in the eastern part of Eau Claire County.

Rain Coat Kids, a statue of two children splashing in puddles, was broken free from its base in front of Acoustic Cafe, at the intersection of Gray and South Barstow streets, in August 2012 and put into the trunk of a car. Police recovered it within 15 minutes of a call from a witness.

Contact: 715-830-5838,

ICE OTTP Operations Altoona, Pennsylvania: Armory Operations …

The Pennsylvania Railroad built a stop at Altoona in 1849 and founded a town that is now home to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Armory Operations. ICE Armory Operations handles the acquisition, testing, issuance and maintenance of all ICE-owned firearms, law enforcement equipment and ammunition. In addition to ICE components Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the armory services Department of Homeland Security components such as the Federal Protective Service (FPS), United States Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The armory is part of ICE s newly integrated Office of Training and Tactical Programs (OTTP) and has two primary components: the ballistics laboratory and the armory section.

The ballistics laboratory is responsible for the technical evaluation of firearms, optics, firearms accessories and law enforcement equipment issued to ICE agents and officers. The personnel in the ballistics laboratory test weapons and approximately 100 lots of ammunition per year to ensure that all weaponry and supplies used by ICE are in excellent working condition. Armory Operations Supervisory Special Agent Robert L. Burgess explained: We make sure everything that goes out to the field is safe, performs well and does what it is supposed to do. Lowell Johnson, supervisory engineer of the testing laboratory, finds it easy to stay motivated and excited about his work: Many of us here are former military and combat veterans. With our prior service comes a certain urgency we have in doing our job and doing it to the best of our ability to support the people in the field.

The personnel in the armory are equipment specialist ordinants. They receive weapons directly from the manufacturer, log them into inventory, dismantle weapons and check them for defects. They also receive damaged or end-of-life weapons from the field and re-condition or retire each one as needed. The armory section conducts hundreds of firearms examinations and repairs or rebuilds thousands of firearms each year. James Carmany, special agent and armory supervisor, enjoys the technical aspects of the firearm program including testing, evaluating and preparing different guns. He said, I especially like studying what went wrong with a particular weapon to figure out how to prevent mishaps in the future. In a typical month, armory operations will receive and field 320 new weapons, receive, repair and return to the field 289 weapons, receive and process more than 728 parcels containing law enforcement equipment, weapon replacement parts and cleaning kits, receive 397,000 rounds of ammunition, and ship to the field 279,000 rounds of ammunition. The total weight of products shipped in and out of ICE Armory Operations per month usually exceeds 15,500 pounds.

Carmany has confidence in the armory personnel: They all know they may be working with a gun that may save someone s life someday. They don t know which gun it is, so they treat each one impeccably.

They understand that someday a person s life may depend on the firearm they hold in their hands, he said.

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