Thief breaks into ABC7 News bait car during smash-and-grab in Northwest D.C., Tuesday, May 23, 2017 (ABC7 photo)
Investigator Scott Taylor caught not one — but two — pairs of criminals, breaking into our bait cars. So far this year, there have been 621 reported thefts from vehicles in the 2nd District. People who live in the area want it to stop. Jane Perkins, who lives in Northwest, can t believe the thefts numbers are so high.
600? I’m shocked. Can’t they catch these people?” Perkins asked.
In 2017, the 3rd District leads the way in reported thefts from autos with more than 1,000. The ABC7 News bait car worked so well, the I-Team caught a second pair on video breaking in. After we spotted them driving down the street, D.C. Police arrested them. The I-Team wants to know why D.C. Police aren’t using bait cars to put a stop to all these smash and grabs?
“It’s just not worth it,” D.C. Police Union Chairman Matt Mahl told ABC7 News.
DC Police tell the I-Team it’s a legal issue but Mahl says it’s all about risk and reward.
“In this case, the labor intensiveness and the monetary intensiveness of a bait car to get a small award just isn t feasible,” Mahl added. The small reward turns out to be just a citation for thieves, which is exactly what the two suspects received after the they were arrested. Both were back on the street within hours and the I-Team witnessed right smash-and-grab thieves like to return to the scene of the crime.
If convicted, smash-and-grab suspects face up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group)
As British authorities investigate the bombing at Manchester Arena that left at least 22 people dead following an Ariana Grande concert Monday, experts say the attack underscores the vulnerability of exit points of soft targets to terrorism and the difficulty of securing them. Investigators now believe 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device as concertgoers streamed out of the arena following Grande s last song. Although ISIS has claimed responsibility, investigators are still looking for evidence of a motive and trying to determine whether Abedi received any training or assistance. The explosion occurred in a foyer near the area where the arena connects to the adjacent Victoria Station. In addition to young fans leaving the concert, there were parents there waiting to pick up kids who attended. One of the identified victims of the blast was an 8-year-old girl.
We now know that a single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately, she said in a statement early Tuesday.
He chose a perfect spot to detonate that device, said Fred Burton, chief security officer for global intelligence firm Stratfor.
According to Burton, a former State Department counterterrorism official, the exit of an arena at the end of a concert attended by children presented a perfect storm of events that maximized the potential casualties and minimized the opportunity to stop the attack. There are inherent challenges in securing the type of arena where stars like Grande often perform.
Most of them are in some type of oval or circular pattern, and as a result of that, large numbers of people are funneled in very particular ways, said Anthony Roman, president of Roman & Associates, an international investigation and risk management firm. Within the arena, there are typically long corridors with multiple entrances to the seating area where crowds cannot move in or out quickly.
That creates a large number of choke points, Roman said.
Past terrorist plots have involved detonating one explosive inside an event and a second attack at an exit. That possibility is always a concern in assessing risk and security needs. In recent years, security professionals have gotten better at hardening event venues themselves with more aggressive screening and other measures.
Now the softer target is on the outside of the venue, said Richard Morman, a certified sports security professional and former deputy chief of the Ohio State University Police Division. Searching ticketholders at the gates does nothing to protect the people in the parking lot coming and going or tailgating.
Security should not end at the conclusion of the event, he added. Your event security should remain in place until the spectators and other individuals are clear from the event and the area. In Manchester on Monday night, it is unclear how thorough security measures were.
Several attendees have complained in interviews and on social media that security at the concert was lax and ticketholders were not sufficiently screened. Manchester college student Joe Ryan wrote in a Washington Post blog post that the bag check he underwent was ridiculous.
Their exam consisted of opening the bag, having a three-second glance, then feeling the exterior of the bag before allowing people to enter, he said.
Whether that anecdotal evidence is representative of the arena s security efforts overall may prove irrelevant. Manchester Arena claimed in a statement on Monday that the incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Experts say exits to soft target locations can make enticing targets for terrorists. During the 2015 Paris attacks, two suicide bombers struck near the gates of the Stade de France while thousands watched the French and German soccer teams play inside. One had been turned away by a security guard moments before he detonated. A third bomber blew himself up outside a nearby McDonald s.
It s a perfect target area because you have people funneling out into a location, Burton said.
There are similar problems at the entry and exit points of airports where people and vehicles are unscreened and crowds of potential victims are gathered.
In January, a gunman killed five people in the baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. In 2016, terrorists struck outside the terminal security checkpoints at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. The danger extends beyond the terminal or the arena. Roman observed that cars are often allowed to park within the fertilizer bomb blast zone of a venue without any screening. An explosion in the parking lot could still damage the facility and cause casualties.
There are always points where all of us will be vulnerable, he said. According to Jeffrey Slotnick, an enterprise security risk consultant, the risk assessment process is similar for any venue and it must account for manmade, natural, and technological dangers. Once threats are identified, steps are taken to mitigate them.
If you have a high-threat environment, then you want layers of security, he said.
Morman described concentric circles of protection around a venue as an ideal scenario.
Think of it as an outer perimeter, middle perimeter, and an inner perimeter, he said, Each perimeter has different layers of security within it, such as CCTV cameras, security and/or police officers, and even counter surveillance teams. An outer perimeter would be the area around the arena that is easier to access. The middle perimeter would start at a door or gate that one needs credentials to enter. Then the inner perimeter is the stage, field, and dressing rooms. The security perimeters can be extended to keep unscreened people away from the arena, but that alone does not eliminate the problem because there is eventually a point where the screening ends.
You ve still got a location where you re going to have a gaggling of people waiting to pick up loved ones, Burton said.
While it is inevitable that there will be people unprotected outside the perimeter, there is often more that can be done to guard those within it.
What we need to get better at is pretty much a human factor element that can be done virtually overnight, Roman said. Better screening procedures, stricter supervision of private security staff, and more effective training for screeners are all important steps that can be taken. It is also necessary to stay on top of technological advances and new methods used by terrorists.
Changing security tactics, locations, technology always keeps the attackers off balance and re-planning, Roman said.
Just ensuring that screening is occurring everywhere would be a step forward.
In a perfect world, you would have bag check and security screening of people going into the arena, Burton said. However, he added that people leaving a concert and those waiting outside the venue would still be unscreened. In Manchester, that meant the bomber was able to attack in a crowded, confined space where he could easily lurk without scrutiny until the right moment.
It provides perfect cover for action, Burton said.
One point experts emphasized is that the responsibility for keeping concertgoers safe does not rest solely on the venue itself. People attending these events need to stay alert as well.
They have a responsibility to be observant, they have a responsibility to identify what is suspicious, Slotnick said. Too many people are afraid to say something if they see something, though.
He also suggested making an emergency plan with your group, knowing where the exits are, and being prepared to communicate with each other if cellular networks do not work.
There s all kinds of precursor things that people can do to take responsibility for themselves, he said. People tend to let their guard down when they are having fun, and they can easily miss warning signs.
You re watching the entertaining event, not watching your surroundings, Roman said. As always, though, security experts warn that it is impossible to protect the egress points of every soft target in the U.S. and to prevent every attempt to perpetrate an attack like the Manchester bombing.
I know people like solutions to problems, Burton said, but this is not an easy one to fix.
- ^ the bombing at Manchester Arena (wjla.com)
- ^ 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device (wjla.com)
- ^ ISIS has claimed responsibility (wjla.com)
- ^ was an 8-year-old girl (wjla.com)
- ^ attended by families and young children (wjla.com)
- ^ in a statement early Tuesday (wjla.com)
- ^ when and where to strike (wjla.com)
- ^ wrote in a Washington Post blog post (www.washingtonpost.com)
- ^ like the Manchester bombing (wjla.com)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) The Tennessee Department of Health has denied the mass gathering license for Superflow Entertainment, which is doing business as Nashville Bike Week. In a letter to the organization s attorney dated May 17, the department cited several reasons for denying the request. Without the mass gathering permit, Nashville Bike Week cannot lawfully sell tickets to its event scheduled for September 14 to 24 in Humphreys County.
The organizers may resubmit their application for the permit once all of the cited reasons for the initial denial are addressed. The letter also pointed out, However, please note that by law anyone seeking a mass gathering license must procure the licences sixty (60) days before the event and the department has twenty (20) days from the receipt of an application for review. The Department of Health said the organizers needed to provide a signed lease for the property the event would use. According to analysis in the letter, NBW should have provided the name, residence and current mailing addresses of the owners of all the event properties.
However, the department wrote that NBW provided unsigned lease agreements between the property owners and Superflow Entertainment. The state said that is not adequate enough to prove the group has permission to use the land. The application also stated that 20,000 people would be using the campgrounds, but that 30,000 day tickets would be available for a maximum of 50,000 people per day. The department said the application should be updated to reflect the additional 30,000 day ticket holder for a maximum number of 50,000 attendees. Also, the state said the organizers did not show proof that enough drinking water would available for the 50,000 people who could assemble. According to the letter, state law requires one gallon of water per day, per person, and at least 10 gallons of water per day for bathing. The letter said the application did not include information on maps about how the water would be provided other than to mark spots with water access.
The letter from Porta Kleen is not adequate to establish that the portable water requirement will be met. Specific information about the potable water supply must include the following: plans for supplying potable water; source of the potable water, including contract(s) with any and all potable water provider(s); amount available; location of outlets; retrieval and disposal of resultant graywater; and any pertinent information, the health department s letter says.
NBW also failed to show proof it would provide separate enclosed toilets for males and females, meeting all state and local specifications. It reads, The contract between B&B Septic Service and Superflow Entertainment provided in the application indicated the services will be provided to Nashville Bike Week at Loretta Lynn s Ranch. The application indicates that this assembly is to be held at DDD Ranch, 12213 Highway 12 South, Hurricane Mills, Tennessee,
The letter continues, The contract between B&B Septic Service and Superflow Entertainment provided in the application was signed on September 16, 2016 by a representative of B&B Septic, but was signed on September 16, 2017 by a representative of Superflow Entertainment. This is a date that has yet to occur. Health department officials say they also found that NBW did not have enough doctors and nurses in place for the event. State law requires Tennessee licensed physicians and nurses to be available to provide the average medical care enjoyed by residents of Tennessee for the maximum number of people to be assembled.
The state requires one physician for every 10,000 people and one nurse for every 5,000 people.
NBW did not proved specific plans for how the services would be provided. Furthermore, the letter said, It is imperative that local emergency response and management agencies including, but not limited to, fire response and ambulance services in Humphreys County, Tennessee are aware and involved in the planning of this proposed event. The Humphreys County Sheriff s Offices previously said the organizers of NBW have failed to properly include them in planning for the event.
The state also said NBW s security plan should include at least on security guard per 750 people. Based on the maximum number of people possible, that would require 67 security guards. According to the letter, NBW said it contracted with a security company and would provide a mobile command unit for the sheriff s office as well as any other law enforcement agency on site. But according to the department of health, NBW did not provide the names, addresses, license numbers, and schedule availabilities of the security guards who would be at the event.
Signed contracts with any agencies providing security services should also be included for review by the Department of Health, the letter says. When it comes to fire protection, the state found NBW did not have documentation to show that all proposed fire protection, alarms, extinguishing devices, fire lanes, and escape routes meet all state and local requirements, and have been approved by all required state and local agencies.
NBW can resubmit its application but must do so 60 days prior to the event and allow for 20 days for the department of health to review the application. That would be in June.
News 2 reached out to NBW s attorney, Casey Long of Franklin, and we are waiting to hear back.
- ^ Nashville Bike Week, Application for Mass Gathering Permit (mgtvwkrn.files.wordpress.com)