ABC News(CARY, North Carolina) — An audacious smash and grab at a North Carolina jewelry store has been captured on surveillance video.Thieves robbed Artisan Jewelers in Cary, North Carolina, of an estimated $500,000 worth of high-end merchandise in just five minutes, owner Malik Saeed told ABC-owned station WTVD-TV.The masked thieves smashed the glass on the door of a non-operating spa to gain entry to the mall where Artisan Jewelers is located, heading straight to the jewelry store.The surveillance video showed two men using what appeared to be a rock or concrete block to smash the glass front door and enter the store. The men then used a hammer to smash open cases of valuable merchandise, such as jewelry and Rolex watches.The thieves have not yet been found, but they left behind a few clues. One of the men in the surveillance video walked with an unusual gait. Additionally, a few drops of blood were found at the scene.Saeed hypothesizes one of the thieves may have cut himself despite wearing gloves, and said police collected samples of the blood, which could provide DNA evidence for any future arrests made by police.“It’s not only me. I have five employees over here,” Saeed told WTVD-TV in regards to the impact of the robbery on his business. “How are we going to get back on track and make sure we take care of everybody the way we normally do? It’s a massive loss.”Cary police and Saeed are offering a reward for any information leading to arrests.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Obtained by ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A federal judge denied Maria Butina’s motion for bond review at a hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, ruling that the alleged Russian agent will remain in jail pending trial.Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, the federal district court judge overseeing Butina’s case, said she “cannot imagine a scenario where it is not possible” that Butina would flee the country if allowed to leave the Alexandria, Virginia, jail where she’s being held.The judge said she was unmoved by three videos Butina’s defense attorney sent her that very morning – one of which depicted Butina and conservative political operative Paul Erickson singing “Beauty and the Beast” – and noted that Butina could immediately jump into a car with diplomatic tags and be whisked away to Russia, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, making her unreachable to U.S. authorities.“Risk of flight,” she said, “is the court’s primary concern.”Butina, a 29-year-old Russian gun rights activist, was arrested in July and stands accused of developing a covert influence operation in the United States. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and failure to register as a foreign agent.Driscoll had hoped the court would agree to release his client from jail on Monday but instead walked away with a scolding from the judge in the form of a pending gag order prohibiting him from continuing to discuss the case with the media.Judge Chutkan appeared at first sympathetic to Driscoll’s arguments that the government had smeared Butina’s character with its assertion that she offered sex for access to a political organization. The judge even said she was “dismayed” when she learned that the government’s headline-making claim would have to walk back, noting that the claim must have caused Butina’s family no small amount of concern.But she ultimately applauded prosecutors for correcting the record and merely cautioned them to be more careful going forward, while Driscoll landed squarely in the judge’s crosshairs.She decided that Driscoll had “overstepped” and “crossed the line” in his recent interviews with the media, saying that he continued to give interviews “in defiance” of her earlier warnings to mind local rules.Butina is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 13, and the public might not her from Driscoll until then.“Not today,” Driscoll said as he walked away from reporters assembled outside the courthouse.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
NOAA/Getty Images(WILMINGTON, N.C.) — The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas.But there have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category 1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning. Identities of the victims have not been publicly released, but some details about the ways in which they died are available.A mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home. The woman’s husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.Another individual’s death was reported Friday in coastal Pender County, though few details are known. A local official said it was a “storm-related medical fatality,” but did not elaborate.Two people also died in Harkers Island, North Carolina, on Friday, Carteret County Director of Emergency Services Stephen Rea said Saturday. He said the cause was not drowning, and did not provide further details.Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.Mandatory evacuations were ordered in parts of North and South Carolina, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns to the need to care for pets.“Honestly, I’m not sure” why some people refused to follow evacuation orders, David Cotton, county manager for North Carolina’s Onslow County, told Good Morning America on Saturday. “More than likely it’s maybe a mindset of ‘we’ve been through this before,’” he said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ESPN Images(HOUSTON) — Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has done it before, he will do it again, and he does not to be praised for it.The basketball legend, who often goes by “Shaq,” paid for the funeral of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Texas.O’Neal explained his decision to pay for the funeral in an exclusive conversation with ABC News. For him, it was a matter of right and wrong:“Funerals… ten, fifteen thousand [dollars], that’s not going to hurt me, but for people to have to try to scrum money together to bury their little, beautiful daughter… nobody should ever have to go through that. So, I didn’t want them to have to go through that… It was just the right thing to do.”A local of Houston, Shaq was disturbed by Jazmine’s death and wanted to take action.“I’m watching the news, and I saw the story, and it just touched my heart. And I saw how devastated that mom was. And then to end the story… they had to raise money for the funeral? I can’t have that.”This is not the first time Shaq has paid for the funeral of a grieving family. He says he does not want credit for his altruism. Rather, he feels he is fulfilling a duty to ease the pain of a grieving family that he has the means to help.Jazmine was riding with her mother and three sisters through northwest Houston on Dec. 30 when a gunman opened fire. Jazmine, who was sitting in the backseat of their car, was shot in the head and killed. Her mother was wounded in her left arm. Two men were charged in her death.Houston Texans’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins also pledged to donate his $29,000 game check from the team’s playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts to help pay for Jazmine’s funeral.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Coast-to-Coast(WASHINGTON) — After 35 days, shuttered parts of the U.S. government are slowly coming back to life, and tourists in Washington will once again get to see some of its most famous attractions.The longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday when President Trump signed a bill passed by Congress to temporarily open the government for three weeks. The wall on the Mexican border, a key campaign promise, remains unfunded.As lawmakers take that time to battle it out, key D.C. institutions that are managed through federal agencies are preparing to go back to business as usual.The Smithsonian, a complex of 19 different museums, which also operates the National Zoo, tweeted: “All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 29 at their regularly scheduled times.” The National Air and Space Museum, which is operated by The Smithsonian, will also re-open on Tuesday. The country’s public lands were also starting to re-open, although the National Park Service cautioned that the process may take time.“Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, the National Park Service is preparing to resume regular operations nationwide though the schedule for individual parks may vary depending on staff size and complexity of operations,” deputy director P. Daniel Smith wrote in a statement on the NPS website. Not all parks were closed during the shutdown — some were open with skeleton crews and basic services. NPS also manages the National Mall, an open-air park near the key D.C. Monuments, the White House and the U.S. Capitol.Tourists should check to make see when a particular park will open, Smith advised.“Visitors should contact individual parks or visit park websites for their opening schedules and the latest information on accessibility and visitor services. Some parks which have been closed throughout the lapse in appropriations may not reopen immediately, but we will work to open all parks as quickly as possible,” Smith added.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.) — Tears, embraces and prayers filled a candlelight vigil Thursday for a 24-year-old woman whose body was found in a suitcase along a Greenwich, Connecticut, road. Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, New York, was found Tuesday with her hands and feet bound, authorities said. The cause of death has not been confirmed, Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said Wednesday. However, homicide detectives are investigating the case. No arrests have been made. “My daughter did not deserve whatever you did to her,” Reyes’ mother, Norma Sanchez, said at Thursday’s vigil in New Rochelle, reported The Rockland/Westchester Journal News.“My daughter was pure. My daughter was a good soul,” Sanchez said. She added, to whoever did this to her daughter: “You will get caught.” Reyes was last seen on Jan. 29 and was later reported missing to the New Rochelle Police, Berry said. Sanchez told ABC New York station WABC-TV on Thursday that Reyes, who occasionally suffered from anxiety and depression, had been fearing for her life. “She didn’t mention no one specific, she just mentioned, ‘I’m really really scared. I’m paranoid, Mommy, I’m getting anxiety attacks,’” Sanchez told WABC. Reyes recently had a boyfriend and Sanchez said they broke up days before she went missing. Sanchez asked her daughter if someone threatened her, and asked about her ex, but Reyes said no, Sanchez told WABC. In a statement Wednesday, Barry did not mention any persons of interest. He did say, however, that Greenwich investigators “have received a multitude of tips.” The detectives are “are asking the public for any information they may possess concerning Valerie and/or her disappearance.” Angelica Reyes said she believed Valerie Reyes, her cousin, was in New York City. “So we thought she was looking for help,” said Angelica Reyes, according to WABC-TV. Greenwich sits along the New York-Connecticut state border. New Rochelle is about 12 miles south of Greenwich. Anyone with information is asked to call the Greenwich Police tip line at (203) 622-3333.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock(DENVER) — A shortcut to the Denver International Airport turned into a “muddy mess” on Sunday for dozens of drivers who were following directions from Google Maps.Connie Monsees of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, was on her way to pick up her husband when she hit a traffic jam on Pena Boulevard. She pulled out her phone and used the app to find an alternate route that would get her to the airport in half the time, but didn’t realize how off-road she would be.“It eventually took me to a road that … became dirt,” Monsees said on ABC News’ Start Here podcast. “I was not the only one. There was probably a hundred cars out there.”The route was “a muddy mess of a field,” she said, because it had been raining all weekend, and cars were getting stuck in ditches slick from Colorado’s clay soil.As Monsees bypassed some of the really slippery spots with her all-wheel drive, other people started asking her for a lift.“This man walked by my car and said, ‘Are you going to the airport?’ And I said, ‘I am,’” she recounted to the podcast. “He got in the car with me because the car he was in was not going to make it.”After picking up an Uber passenger who was also hoping to catch a flight, Monsees eventually emerged from the mud and got back on pavement. “We made it out and they both made their flights. It was just incredible though.”Although the ride took her 3 1/2 hours, when normally she said it would take about 1 1/2 hours round-trip, Monsees doesn’t blame Google, “They, as far as they knew, they took us to a good spot. But I think, as a society, we … are too wrapped up in trying to just do things quick.”“We take many factors into account when determining driving routes, including the size of the road and the directness of the route,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News. “While we always work to provide the best directions, issues can arise due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. We encourage all drivers to follow local laws, stay attentive, and use their best judgment while driving.”This story is featured in Wednesday’s edition of ABC News’ Start Here podcast.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — The coldest air of the season is heading to the Northeast after at least three people were killed from rough storms in the South.A husband and wife died in Lawrence County, Ala., according to the coroner, and a 59-year-old woman was killed in her mobile home in Vernon Parish, La., according to the sheriff, when reported tornadoes struck the region.Up to 27 tornadoes were reported in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana on Monday and at least one tornado was confirmed in Georgia on Tuesday.A tornado watch remains in effect in Florida and Georgia through Tuesday night.That storm is now stretching from the Gulf Coast to New England, and 17 states from Illinois to Maine are under snow, ice and flood alerts.On Tuesday, freezing rain is hitting Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York’s Hudson Valley and Boston.Ice accumulation is possible on trees and power lines, and the icy mess will make driving treacherous throughout the day.Some snow is going to fall north of the freezing rain in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.As the storm moves out of the Northeast by late Tuesday night, an arctic cold front will move in on Wednesday afternoon, which will send temperatures plunging Wednesday night.Thursday morning will bring the coldest air of the season for the Northeast. Wind chills are forecast to fall to minus 8 degrees in Syracuse, minus 4 degrees in Boston, 0 degrees in New York City and 11 degrees in Washington, D.C.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
iStock/f11photo(LAS VEGAS) — As many Americans are told to shelter at home during the coronavirus pandemic, a striking image showing Las Vegas’ homeless lying on the ground of an outdoor parking lot designated as a “temporary shelter” has drawn swift criticism online.The photo shows several homeless people outside the city’s multi-use Cashman Center, positioned inside marked white boxes and covered in blankets as they lie on the concrete.The temporary shelter, managed by the city of Las Vegas and Clark County, opened this past weekend after an overnight homeless shelter, run by Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, was forced to close its doors after a man tested positive for COVID-19. The move sent about 500 people back onto the streets as temperatures in the area dipped into the 40s.The image created a backlash on social media, with some wondering why the city didn’t place the homeless inside the Cashman Center or even in some of Las Vegas’ now mostly-vacant hotel rooms.David Riggleman, Communications Director for the City of Las Vegas, told ABC News that a previous decision had been made to reserve the space inside the Cashman Center for overflow from area hospitals in case they became overwhelmed.“The estimate was we could house about 1,000 hospital patients in there if need be,” Riggleman said. “So certainly if there were homeless people who needed to go to the hospital they could use the facility, but that’s why we didn’t move all the homeless into the interior portions of Cashman because we’re holding that in reserve in case we need it as hospital space.”Former HUD Secretary and 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted the image Monday afternoon and pointed out the number of available hotel rooms where the homeless could be housed. Riggleman said that although the city isn’t working on that, county officials are discussing such a solution. However, he said he’s unaware of how those talks are going or what stage those discussions are in.Riggleman said the city initially laid down 24,000 square feet of padded carpet across the parking lot and had everything spaced six feet apart for social distancing. He said it was working well, until officials determined that they couldn’t properly sanitize the carpet.“It creates a problem because we don’t have enough sleeping mats to provide for everyone at the temporary shelter — we just don’t have enough,” Rigggleman said. “And so some people were just putting their bed rolls down on the pavement and staying on that.”The city expects to keep the outdoor shelter area open until at least Friday, when the Catholic Charities shelter is expected to reopen.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
polybutmono/iStock(DETROIT) — At a community event in Detroit earlier this month in which a number of Detroit Police Department officers were present, the moderator of that event later tested positive for COVID-19.Although it isn’t certain, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said of members of the department getting the virus from that event — it is certainly cause for concern.“I don’t think anybody can definitively say how,” Craig told ABC News.DPD has had two deaths since the start of the global pandemic and the disease hits close to Craig — he has tested positive for the coronavirus.The chief is working and leading the department from at home and said police chiefs “aren’t invincible” and that they have to have a plan when they are down for the count.The department, which operates in the most populous city in the state that has the third most COVID-19 cases in the country, has a total of over 500 officers quarantined and 114 civilians and officers test positive for the virus.“The department has taken a very aggressive posture and keeping its members safe. Early on, when we started quarantining some of the officers, some might have thought that maybe we’re a little bit over the top,” Craig said. “I’ve always believed that we’re doing the right thing and trying to keep our members safe. And doing so meant that we can’t change the number of officers.”In order to put up with the triage of losing officers to testing positive for the virus or the mass number of officers quarantined, Craig deployed some of the department’s specialized units to the hardest hit precincts.Craig told ABC News that response times have been lower across the city, but that doesn’t mean policing doesn’t stop because the department has been hit hard by the virus.“We haven’t seen a disruption in service, but the idea is quickly responding instead of waiting,” Craig said.He said the city has acquired a rapid COVD-19 test for first responders, so that way they can quickly test and get officers back into service.Craig said in addition to losing an officer, they’ve also lost a dispatcher, to COVID-19 — and fortunately, when that dispatcher got sick, the department had a plan for the rest of the dispatch staff.“When we had the one 9-1-1 call taker become ill, it impacted our entire call center. So much so that we had to shut it down. And the good news was that we had a fallback location that we put in operation while we. Began to do very surgical cleaning of the place to get it back operational again. But the idea of having a backup center plus has shown its value,” he said.Craig said his men and women who are quarantined are wanting to come back to work and are wanting to serve the community.“Despite the numbers that have been quarantined in numbers that have tested positive. Police officers are courageous. They’re resilient,” he said. “Many of those have been quarantined or eager to get back to work, support their colleagues. And so really, that’s a testament to the kind of police officer we recognize. And I’m not saying it’s unique to Detroit because this is happening all across America. But these young men and women, these American police officers, despite this unknown enemy, are still going out and keeping our city safe, despite not knowing that they’re confronting.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.