HomeFeaturedLock your cars! Vehicle theft spikes during COVID-19 pandemic May. 25, 2020 at 4:32 pmFeaturedNewsLock your cars! Vehicle theft spikes during COVID-19 pandemicAssociated Press1 year agocoronaviruscovidcrimepolice STEFANIE DAZIO, Associated PressThe coronavirus hasn’t been kind to car owners.With more people than ever staying home to lessen the spread of COVID-19, their sedans, pickup trucks and SUVs are parked unattended on the streets, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.Despite silent streets and nearly nonexistent traffic, vehicle larcenies shot up 63% in New York and nearly 17% in Los Angeles from Jan. 1 through mid-May, compared with the same period last year.And many other law enforcement agencies around the U.S. are reporting an increase in stolen cars and vehicle burglaries, even as violent crime has dropped dramatically nationwide in the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a low-risk crime with a potentially high reward, police say, especially when many drivers leave their doors unlocked or their keys inside.“You might as well put a sticker on the window that says ‘come take my stuff,’” said an exasperated Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff.In Austin, Texas, last month, a whopping 72% of the 322 stolen vehicles had their keys nearby. The total number of auto thefts in April spiked about 50%, and burglaries to vehicles were up 2% from April 2019.The virus has created a “perfect storm,” said Austin police Sgt. Chris Vetrano, a supervisor in the 11-detective auto theft unit that investigates stolen vehicle cases.The elements for that storm: Drivers are at home and not using or checking their cars regularly. School’s out, so teenagers are trying their luck. Criminals are out of work and have more time on their hands or need fast money to support a drug habit.“You can get on the internet nowadays and learn how to break into vehicles just searching YouTube,” Vetrano said.(He should know: Someone broke into his locked Ford F-150 pickup truck, one of the most commonly stolen vehicles, about a year ago.)Salt Lake City police Detective Greg Wilking said a 22% spike in vehicle burglaries there could be from a few criminals working quickly on “car prowls.”“It’s really 10 seconds,” he said. “They’re not spending a lot of time in your car. It’s a smash-and-grab-and-go,” sometimes in broad daylight.Wilking worries the numbers will keep rising because “people get more desperate as time goes on.”In Baltimore, though, a push to reduce the city’s historically high numbers of vehicle thefts and burglaries appears to have paid off. Thefts from autos plunged 24% and stolen vehicles dropped 19% from January to May compared with the same period last year.Col. Richard Worley, the chief of patrol, in part credits aggressive efforts to remind residents to lock their cars, take their keys home and park in well-lit areas. In this case, however, the pandemic has actually helped police: Residents are home, driving less and keeping an eye on the neighborhood, and officers now have time for proactive patrols because calls for service and violent crime have decreased. A thief was recently arrested with 13 stolen catalytic converters during a motor vehicle stop.Sometimes, however, it’s just a matter of luck. Like for Lindsey Eldridge, the police department’s community outreach coordinator, who left her keys in her car’s cupholder. She realized her mistake just before falling asleep.As Worley said: “She could have been a statistic.”Tags :coronaviruscovidcrimepoliceshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCalifornia issues guidelines for church reopeningsSanta Monica College to Distribute $6.1 Million in Direct Aid to StudentsYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoBriefsLos Angeles Sheriff’s deputy accused of destroying evidence of 2019 assaultAssociated Press10 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press17 hours ago
Gary Barnett, Central Park Tower, and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Bull (Credit: Wikipedia, iStock)Another New York real estate developer is attracting concerned looks from the Israeli bond market, as the coronavirus epidemic has brought construction and sales in the city to a near halt.A week after Related Companies’ bonds were downgraded, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development saw its bonds given a negative projection by rating agency Midroog, according to a disclosure published Sunday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.“The rating has been placed under credit review as a result of the spread of coronavirus around the world and particularly in New York, which is expected to impact the company’s pace of sales, its cash flows, and the progress of development projects,” the agency’s announcement states.Read moreRelated tries to calm Israeli investors after market panic2018: Gary Barnett facing rising backlash in Israel over $75M payoutExtell bonds downgraded in Israel, but remain low risk Extell did not respond to a request for comment.Statewide orders by the Cuomo administration have forced the developer to close sales offices at all of its projects and work has stopped at the Central Park Tower, which topped out in September. The ultra-luxury sector is particularly vulnerable to deterioration in this macroeconomic environment, Midroog notes.Extell’s bonds are rated A3. Any further downgrade would bring the rating into B territory, characteristic of “speculative” investments.Midroog previously downgraded Extell’s bonds from A2 to A3 in 2017, citing New York City’s softening luxury market as a primary factor. In 2018, Extell faced a bondholder lawsuit and an investigation from the Israel Securities Authority amid concerns about the firm’s liquidity.Last week, Related Companies’ Israeli bonds were downgraded from A+ to BBB by Standard & Poor’s after an annual earnings report revealed concerns about its ability to repay maturing bonds during a financial crisis.Extell’s bonds are now trading at about 76 cents on the dollar, down nearly 25 percent from the start of the year. That is even worse than the 16 percent decline of the Tel Bond Global index — which tracks foreign bond issuers, including many New York-based real estate firms — over the same period.Extell Series B bond price over the past three months (Credit: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange) This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Vermont Land Trust and the Intervale Center received a three-year, $546,000 grant from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to help Vermont’s next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs access land and grow viable businesses. VHCB’s Viability Program is a nationally-recognized provider of comprehensive, one-on-one business and transfer planning services for established farm, food and forestry sector businesses. The Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access Program connects farmers with affordable farmland, helping 62 new and beginning farmers make the transition to farm ownership since 2009. The Intervale Center provides one-on-one business planning and technical assistance to about 80 farms throughout Vermont each year as well as specialized assistance in the areas of land access.These three organizations have been working together for over a decade on issues related to beginning farmers and land access and are excited to increase their impact together with these funds. Over the next three years, VHCB, VLT and the Intervale Center will provide business planning to 150 new and beginning farmers, help 70 farmers find affordable land that is suitable for their business model, and work with 70 retiring farmers to acquire the tools and assistance they need to transition their farmland to farmers, rather than non-farmers.Ela Chapin of VHCB explained, “We believe in the power of direct service as the most effective approach for improving farm viability. Farming is a complicated business that requires operators develop diverse skillsets. With one-on-one technical assistance, we are able to meet farmers where they are and leverage the specific resources they need.”The average age of a farmer in Vermont is 57 years old, which means that a significant amount of the state’s farmland will transfer hands in the next ten years. This grant will help transfer that land to new and beginning farmers who are the future of Vermont’s agricultural economy. For more information about the services provided by the Viability Program, Farmland Access Program and the Intervale Center, visit http://www.vhcb.org/Farm-Forest-Viability/(link is external).Source: Intervale Center, i(link is external)ntervale.org(link sends e-mail) 12.20.2017
JAPAN: Thanking railwaymen and women from around the world for their messages of condolence and encouragement, on March 14 East Japan Railway Vice-Chairman Yoshio Ishida and President & CEO Satoshi Seino gave an update on the effects of the disastrous March 11 earthquake and tsunami.JR East understands that no customers or employees were casualties of the disaster. Three regional trains were washed off the track, but the passengers had been successfully evacuated. However there are fears that off-duty staff and their families may not have survived. Following checks, JR East was ready to resume normal services in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area on the morning of March 14, but several nuclear and thermal power plants were heavily damaged and the resulting power shortages led to the reduction or suspension of services. It is not known when the shortages will be over, but JR East has a thermal and a hydro power plant of its own, and through careful management of power requirements expects to be able to increase the number of services operated. Train services have mostly resumed in the western part of northern Japan, however there is ‘absolutely no way’ for JR East to predict when Shinkansen and conventional services will be able to be resumed on the Pacific Coast which bore the brunt of the damage. Destruction of the Senseki line has forced JR East to put on hold its plans to switch the route to the ATACS moving block signalling system which was described in the March 2011 issue of Railway Gazette International.
QPR are one of several British clubs interested in Brazilian winger Wamberto, according to Sky Sports.Celtic, Swansea, West Ham, Sunderland and Aston Villa are also said to be monitoring the 20-year-old, who is currently with Lierse SK.His contract at the Belgian club reportedly expires in the summer and he has yet to agree a new deal.AdChoices广告It is claimed that a number of clubs are looking to capture him in January or sign him before then on a pre-contract agreement.Meanwhile, Spanish media reports continue to suggest that Real Madrid are keen to sign goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea.There is speculation that Cech could go to Spain as part of an exchange deal involving Real’s German midfielder Sami Khedira.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook