The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Public Safety

Signpost CArtoon c. Rudi Klimpert

Nature of incident: Bernalillo Police activity April 2007

—SUBMITTED BY FRED RADOSEVICH, CHIEF, BERNALILLO POLICE DEPARTMENT
Following are the monthly statistics for the Bernalillo Police Department for the month of April 2007:

100 OFFENSE INCIDENT REPORTS
• 11 domestic violence
(assaults)
• 2 burglaries
• 5 thefts
• 8 vandalism
• 15 DWI
78 ARRESTS
• 7 domestic violence
• 7 drug offenses
• 15 DWI
• 36 warrants
550 TRAFFIC CITATIONS
• 217 speeding
• 28 stop sign
• 29 suspended/
revoked
• 34 no insurance
• 54 seatbelt violations
41 CRASH REPORTS (ACCIDENTS)
• 21 on Highway 550
• 4 on Highway 313

SCHOOL’S OUT

The Bernalillo Police Department would like to remind everyone that school is out for the summer. We would like to remind the driving public to slow down and watch for children. Some things to remember:

• Slow down when driving in residential neighborhoods. The speed limit is reduced in some areas to fifteen mph.

• Watch for children darting out between parked vehicles.

• Slow down around playgrounds and parks.

• With temperatures increasing, don’t leave children or animals unattended in parked cars, even for a few minutes.

• Always drive defensively.

The Bernalillo Police Department will also be participating in the following traffic safety programs throughout the summer:

• DWI Superblitz

• Sandoval County DWI enforcement

• Seat belt enforcement

• Selective Traffic Enforcement Program

• One Hundred Days and Nights of Summer Program

To contact the Bernalillo Police Department, you may use the following numbers:

• Emergencies—911

• Non-emergency Dispatch—891-7226

• Police Records—771-5872

• Police Chief—771-5877

• Citizen Concern Line—771-5888


Rio Rancho releases “Dangers of Meth” video

A new methamphetamine (meth) education and awareness video is now available as a community resource. Supported by discretionary funding from District 6 City Councilor Marilyn Salzman, this ten-minute video uses the insight and knowledge of the Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety (DPS) to highlight the dangers of meth.

The video provides community members with tips on how to detect the use and production of meth, and also serves to educate and warn youngsters about the destructive and life-shattering effects of this highly-addictive substance. “Meth destroys lives and communities,” said Councilor Salzman. “I encourage all citizens to watch this video to be better prepared to spot this drug in our community. It is imperative that all school-age children learn about the hazards of meth as early as possible so that they are deterred from ever trying this illegal substance.”

Residents and educators can view the video online via the City of Rio Rancho’s website (www.ci.rio-rancho.nm.us/methvideo), on RioVision cable channel 15 (check local program listings), or as a DVD available for checkout from the Loma Colorado Main Library in Rio Rancho. The video is also available for purchase from Edit House Productions, LLC, for a $20 fee plus tax. Edit House produced the video and can be contacted at (505) 896-3388 or at 4200 Meadowlark Lane SE, Suite 1A, Rio Rancho, NM 87124.


Food Bank hosts Hunger Awareness events

On Tuesday, June 5, thousands of people will be commemorating National Hunger Awareness Day. Hunger is a significant problem in the United States, with thirty-five million people nationwide seeking help from one of the America’s Second Harvest Food Banks. Over nine million of those needing help are children.

Here in New Mexico, the Road Runner Food Bank will host a number of activities, including a hunger tour for the media and public officials, a Food Boxing Olympics, and a Dine Out Help Out event on June 5. Proceeds will be donated from restaurants statewide.

For information about activities in the weeks leading up to Hunger Awareness Day, as well as a complete list of participating restaurants, visit www.rrfb.org or email jasmin@rrfb.org.


Sandoval Hams cover for 911 service

Emergency 911 service in parts of Sandoval County was knocked out on May 14 by an apparent lightning strike to the phone lines servicing the area. At the request of Jess Lewis, Sandoval County Emergency Manager, members of the Sandoval County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (SCARES) were requested to man the Sandoval County Mobile Communications Van to Cuba to provide 911 backup services to the area. Other SCARES members are monitoring in Bernalillo and Albuquerque for emergency messages.


Perpetual scams and frauds reported to Attorney General’s office

The following is a summary of some of the frauds and scams reported to Attorney General Gary King’s office. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a sampling of what has been reported to the Attorney General’s Office.

LETTERS AND CHECKS FROM CANADA
Just as Nigeria has become synonymous with a particular type of fraud, Canada is fast becoming associated with another type, the fraudulent lottery check scam. In March, fraudulent checks totaling almost $12,000 were forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office by consumers. Each check was included in envelopes sent to New Mexicans from various cities in Canada with a letter stating the recipient had won drawings of a sweepstakes or lottery. The fraudulent checks, as the letters instruct, are to help offset the “taxes and fees” that must first be paid before the supposed “winner” can claim their winnings. Consumers should never deposit these checks without first asking their bank teller to research the check for fraud. The Attorney General’s Office cautions that consumers should be extremely suspicious of checks they unexpectedly receive from an unknown sender. Always remember that you cannot win a lottery or sweepstakes you did not enter, and Americans cannot legally play foreign lotteries. Legitimate lotteries also never require the winner to make upfront payments before claiming their winnings.

FOREIGN LOTTERY EMAILS
A perpetual scam littering New Mexicans’ Inboxes involves messages claiming the email recipient has won an overseas lottery or sweepstakes. The lotteries in these forwarded messages are from around the world, claiming to be in London, Liverpool, Dublin, Madrid, the Netherlands, and France. A majority of these fraudulent lottery notifications involve free email domain addresses such as “@yahoo.com” or “@yahoo.co.uk.” Scammers use free email accounts because they can always get another free address very easily once the former address is deleted by the domain’s administrator. As obvious as these messages may seem, one New Mexican reported being the victim of a foreign lottery scam and lost more than $4,000 to a scammer apparently from Costa Rica. In the last conversation with the scammer after realizing she had been duped, the consumer asked how he sleeps at night. The scammer’s response before hanging up: “Quite well, thank you, on your money. God bless you.”

MORE NIGERIAN/ADVANCE FEE SCAMS
A scam so common it has been estimated that at one time eighty percent of Nigeria’s Gross National Product came from this form of fraud. New Mexicans continue to be plagued by this common email annoyance. Even though the method is always the same, scammers have tried to vary their messages. One forwarded message claims to be from Oprah Winfrey herself, notifying recipients they have won a monetary prize on the “Oprah Winfrey Gameshow,” which is supposedly headquartered in Fredericksburg, Texas, has a phone number that can be traced to the United Kingdom, and a satellite cell phone that can be traced to Nigeria. Another Nigerian scam ironically acknowledges people’s suspicion of Nigerian scams by announcing a compensation fund for Nigerian scam victims.

“PIGEON DROP” SCAMS
This is a variation on the Nigerian scam, but often involves identity theft rings. Rather than sending money to the scammer, a victim agrees to be a middleman (the “pigeon”) who accepts deliveries of merchandise (the “drop”) and then ships that merchandise overseas. Because most online retailers will not ship merchandise overseas, the scammer needs an American address where merchandise bought with stolen credit cards can be “dropped” for re-shipment. The scammer sends out “job offers” stating that the recipient will be paid for every shipment that is later re-shipped overseas. Of course the victim who accepts the “job offer” does not know the merchandise is paid with stolen credit cards and is simply acting as a “patsy” in an identity theft game. The victim believes he or she will be paid for each piece of merchandise or delivery that gets forwarded to the overseas recipient. Often the victim, not realizing it’s a scam, will divulge bank account numbers so they can be “paid” with a money transfer from the scammer. The victim often doesn’t realize what’s happened until discovering that his or her bank account has been drained by the scammer.

To file a written complaint reporting a scam or fraud, call the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 678-1508. The Consumer Complaint Form is also available online at www.ago.state.nm.us.

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