Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Today's Newsdesk

I'm glad that the judge threw the book at this punk!

10-20 years in prison for armed robber HE AND HIS BROTHER PLEADED GUILTY TO A SERIES OF ROBBERIES By MICHAEL P. RELLAHAN, Staff Writer

WEST CHESTER - One of two brothers who robbed gas station convenience stores in southern Chester County has been sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison.

Jonathan Ocasio, 19, of West Nottingham, drew the sentence from Judge William P. Mahon after having pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking and attempted robbery in March.

He and his brother, 22-year-old Jason Ocasio, had admitted to their involvement in three incidents after they were arrested by Oxford police in the midst of an attempted robbery at a Citgo gas station in June.

In that case - the most serious of the three - Jason Ocasio pointed a gun at a clerk, threatened to shoot him and fired a shot from a 9 mm handgun that smashed a display case.

Jonathan Ocasio stood before Mahon on Thursday with his attorney, Curt Norcini of Media. He was also ordered to spend 10 years on probation after serving his prison sentence. He has been incarcerated at Chester County Prison following his arrest last June.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Conte prosecuted the case.
The series of crimes began June 14, when Jonathan Ocasio robbed the Sunoco A-Plus Gas Station and Mini-Mart in the 300 block of Limestone Road in Lower Oxford.

Store clerk Lohit Yenimireddy told state police he was behind the counter about 9 p.m. when a man wearing a black scarf over his face entered the store, drew a knife and held it to his face, telling him to open the cash drawer and give him its contents.

When Yenimireddy did so, the man reached across the counter and took the entire drawer, which the clerk later said contained about $500. The robber then ran away.

Three days later, on June 17, two clerks were closing the Hostetter Gas Station and Mini Mart in the 400 block of Limestone Road - a few hundred feet from the Sunoco - just before 10 p.m. when they saw two masked men approach. When the would-be robbers found the doors locked, one tried to pry the door open.

The clerks, Pankaj Patel and Vilam Patel, said they shouted at the pair to leave and announced they were calling police. The intruders fled when they could not open the locked doors.

The brothers were apprehended June 18 when Oxford police interrupted them in the middle of their attempt to rob the Citgo station on South Third Street.

Two clerks who were in the store said the pair had come in shortly before 10 p.m. wearing dark bandannas over their faces and carrying guns.

One clerk said one of the robbers, later identified as Jonathan Ocasio, told him, "Give me your money or I'll shoot." He then jumped over the counter and began fighting with the clerk, punching him in the face and trying to bite him.

During the struggle, the clerk, who police did not identify in court records, knocked the gun from his assailant's hand, at which point the man told his partner, "Shoot him."

But the other robber, later identified as Jason Ocasio, was busy fighting with the other clerk, who had been in a back storage room when the robbery began and surprised the pair. Jason Ocasio bit the clerk on the arm and told him, "Leave me alone or I am going to shoot you and him," referring to the other clerk.

Just then, the gun Jason Ocasio was holding discharged and blew out a cigarette display case above the other clerk's head.

Oxford police officer Sean Gallagher was on patrol when he saw the commotion inside the Citgo and went inside. He wrested the gun from Jason Ocasio's hand and held him in custody until another officer arrived and subdued Jonathan Ocasio.

In a statement to police that night, both Jonathan and Jason Ocasio confessed to the three incidents. Jonathan Ocasio told investigators that in the first case, his brother acted as the getaway driver and the two split the robbery's haul.

Police found Jonathan Ocasio had been carrying a pellet gun and Jason Ocasio had been using a 9mm Smith & Wesson during the robberies.

Jonathan Ocasio was sentenced last Thursday; Jason Ocasio will be sentenced later.

She got beat by an old guy and a crippled guy! She needs to find another line of work.
        KINGSTON, Pa. (AP) - June 3, 2008 -- A 21-year-old robbery suspect is jailed in Luzerne County thanks to the efforts of the 71-year-old victim and his friend in a wheelchair.

        Harry Kopenis says he went to an ATM at a bank near his Kingston home Monday morning and withdrew $100 when a woman came out of nowhere. Police say the woman knocked Kopenis down, took his money and fled.

        His neighbor Kevin Lamb was nearby in his electric wheelchair. Both men chased her. Lamb says Kopenis got the woman in a headlock and he grabbed the squirming woman.

        The men weren't seriously injured.
        The young woman faces theft, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief charges. She is locked up on $10,000 bail.

I'm glad that this school district treated this as the real crime that it is and filed felony charges on this kid. I guess his hopes of college are dashed now but ohh well, don't be a criminal and you won't go to jail! It's about time that the schools start taking IT security seriously though!

After raucous meeting about computer hack, residents still uneasy DOWNINGTOWN AREA INVESTIGATION ONGOING By DANIELLE LYNCH, Staff Writer

DOWNINGTOWN - Some district residents left Downingtown Area's cyber information session still feeling uneasy about a recent computer breach by a student who accessed Social Security numbers of thousands of taxpayers.

"Our investigation into the computer breach continues, and we are asking additional questions of many of our students, teacher and our staff members," said district spokeswoman and school board secretary Pat McGlone on Monday.

Last Thursday's session at Lionville Middle School began with comments from Superintendent Sandra Griffin. She acknowledged increased security should have happened more quickly.

As she spoke, Griffin was interrupted several times by angry, frustrated residents, prompting school board President Robert Eldredge to repeatedly interject that the meeting would be discontinued unless order was restored.

Similarly, 15 minutes into a panel discussion with guest speakers, residents yelled that they had heard enough and wanted to hear from district administrators.

On Monday, Eldredge said the meeting was a sincere attempt to give answers and make it known that the school board and administration's highest priority is to "recognize we had a problem" and resolve it.

Eldredge said some people wanted information about the risks of identity theft and others wanted answers to make them feel better.

Borough police arrested a 15-year-old Downingtown West High School freshman on May 21 and charged him with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, computer theft, unlawful duplication and computer trespass.

District administrators learned about the intrusion on May 9, when a student told Downingtown West's principal that another student might have personal information, Griffin said. But 71 school employees did not learn their 2005 W-2 forms were copied until May 16, and Griffin said this was because district officials had to first perform "due diligence."

According to police, the data files contained more than 41,000 adult taxpayers' names and personal information, including Social Security numbers, and more than 15,000 students' names and personal information. The school district sent out letters to 16,595 residences about the incident.

Eldredge said he received the school district's letter but believes it's a dead issue.
"For me, I'm comfortable that nothing was done with the information," Eldredge said.
Eldredge said most of the audience Thursday responded to his calls to restore order but a group of teenagers sitting in front of the auditorium were disruptive and disrespectful to speakers and administrators on stage throughout the meeting.

After two hours, Eldredge said, he reached a point where he needed to hold the teenagers to the same level of accountability as the rest of the audience. But while he was making his initial comments, he said, the students became disrespectful and he was unable to put his words into context. As a result, the students walked out of the auditorium, he said.

He said he has heard criticism and support from audience members about how he handled the situation.
A Downingtown West junior who asked to remain anonymous said he and seven other students at the meeting "were not being disruptive, in my point of view."

The student said he and his friends are interested in computer science and submitted questions to the panel about how the security would be boosted. He said they whispered among themselves during the meeting but "we were no more disruptive than anyone else."

Some Downingtown Area residents said remain uneasy about the security breach.
"If this was the private sector, people have lost jobs over this kind of performance," said district resident Michael Markowski of Uwchlan.

Griffin said actions, if any, against district administrators would not be made public. Similarly, she said, information regarding the discipline of any student would not be discussed in public.

Markowski did not attend Thursday's meeting. He said he is troubled because a similar intrusion happened to the district in December. "It's like Pearl Harbor happened once but then it happened again," he said.

In December, a student used illegal hacking and password retrieval software to open an encrypted file he had illegally downloaded. That student was arrested and has been charged with a felony, McGlone said. But she noted the December breach was a folder permission issue that was addressed immediately upon notification.

Folder permissions have been tightened, and discussions between two computer firms, Canon Business Solutions and CommSolutions, have taken place, McGlone said. With the help of these firms, the district is taking steps to consolidate 70 servers into seven though server virtualization. The district's central office server will be segregated from the network, McGlone said.

Additionally, at a May 14 school board meeting, the board approved the instructional technology department's request for authorization for a complete overhaul of the active directory file structures dealing with log-in, password security and folder access permissions.

Markowski said it's also troubling to know that administrators found out about this problem because another student told the principal about it.

West Bradford resident Phil Duffy attended the meeting Thursday and said he was particularly troubled by the conduct of Eldredge.

"Respect is a two-way street," said Duffy, a database expert who had his own firm since 1984 and previously worked for two other firms. Duffy said he believes Eldredge's threat to discontinue the meeting unless the audience showed respect for the speakers reflected a disrespect for the audience.

The lecture on identity theft was a way to avoid the real issues, Duffy said. He said comments from the technology department were also very troubling. But he said there also appears to be some "innocent ineptitude on the part of the district officials."

"I can't fault their strategy; they appear to be trying to communicate openly with the residents. But some of their tactics seem to be working against them," Duffy said.

During the meeting, district technology director Buck Jones cited the district's growth and human error as reasons for the breaches. He said the district did not have a good reporting system to determine cyber security incidents.

In addition to the Social Security numbers, the first and last names and dates of birth of taxpayers were included on this file, McGlone said. The district had used Social Security numbers as key indicators in the resident database prior to 2006. McGlone said the file that the student accessed was a copy of a report that had been issued in 2005. She said the district uses another key indicator now, and the new database does not include Social Security numbers.

"I have a tremendous objection to anyone but the county having this information," West Bradford resident Susan Singer said. And if there are instances of identity theft, "I will be more than outraged," she said.

Singer, a parent of two students who have been out of the school district for more than five years, said she doesn't understand why she received the letter from the district. She said district administrators should have made every effort to identify students and taxpayers in another way besides their Social Security numbers.

The computers and flash drives of the arrested student and another student who may have received information have been confiscated by police. The computers are now in forensic examination by the Chester County Detectives Computer Crime Unit, which will attempt to determine if the files have been disseminated to other people.

Chester County Detectives Chief Al DiGiacomo said the ongoing analysis is incomplete, and therefore he cannot comment about it.

To contact staff writer Danielle Lynch, send an e-mail to dlynch@dailylocal.com




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