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Crime

Former Sacramento web producer charged with conspiracy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Justice Department is charging a former web producer for Sacramento-based FOX station KTXL of conspiring with members of the hacker group "Anonymous" to hack into and alter a Tribune Company website. 

Matthew Keys was named Thursday in an indictment filed in federal court in Sacramento. The 26-year-old from New Jersey faces one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, as well transmitting and attempting to transmit that information. (See sidebar for indictment.)

The government alleges that Keys gave Anonymous members a login and password for a computer server belonging to FOX40's corporate parent, the Tribune Company. Prosecutors say Keys encouraged the hackers to disrupt the website, and at least one hacker used the credentials to change the online version of a Los Angeles Times story.

Detectives seek ID of suspected credit union robber

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA - Sheriff robbery detectives released a security camera photo of a man they say is wanted in the robbery of a credit union last Thursday.

The man went into Heritage Community Credit Union at 10339 Folsom Boulevard at about 10:20 that morning, handed a note demanding money to a teller and left on foot with money in a white cloth bag, said Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

No weapon was displayed and no one was hurt.

The suspected robber was described as black, in his 30s, about 6 feet 5 inches tall with a muscular build. There was a birthmark or tattoo on his forehead between his eyebrows. He had a moustache and hair on his chin. He wore a black, hoodie sweatshirt and black jeans.

Safety advice for when a stranger knocks at your door

There's an unexpected knock from a stranger at the front door. What to do?

1. Be cautious when opening the door. Do not blindly open the door to see who it is or what it is that they want.

2. Ignore the knock on the door . You may want to go about your normal business and NOT pretend that you are not home, but instead continue to do what you were doing, or even make some noise or turn on a light so that the person knows that someone IS home (possibly avoiding a burglary).

3. Look out a window first to see who it is - Avoid looking out a door window, but instead go and look through another window away from the door if possible. If you don't recognize them, you could shout through the door and ask what they want, or you could choose to ignore them.

4. Set the door chain. Be sure that your door chain is set well with LONG screws into the door frame to help resist a "push in." Crack open the door to speak to the person through the gap.

Man, woman sought in Folsom attempted murder

FOLSOM, CA - A Folsom police detective working an attempted murder case has asked for help identifying two individuals who may have information about the case.

Police department spokesman Officer Andrew Bates says one person was stabbed multiple times in a fight at a party held at the Forestwood at Folsom Apartments at 9483 Greenback Lane Friday, Feb. 15. The victim remained in critical condition.

The fight was captured on apartment security camera video. Two individuals seen on the tape are wanted for questioning about the stabbing as well as a separate robbery committed that night, said Bates.

Investigators think the fight may have been gang-related.

Anyone who recognizes the man and woman shown in the security camera image accompanying this story was asked to contact Det. Rick Olson at Rick Olson at (916) 351-3323 or by email at rolson@folsom.ca.us.

Suspect at large in Folsom armed bank robbery

FOLSOM, CA - Folsom police report a man stuck up the Wells Fargo Bank at 13389 Folsom Boulevard just after 4 Wednesday afternoon.

The robber brandished a gun at bank employees and took cash before fleeing, according to Det. Tim Galovich. No one was injured in the crime.

Witnesses described the man as black and in his early to mid 20s. He was about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build and no facial hair. He wore a blue denim jacket over a gray sweatshirt with a hood and blue jeans.

Anyone who recognizes the man from the accompanying bank surveillance camera photos was urged to contact investigator Galovich at (916) 355-7241 or tgalovich@folsom.ca.us.

Arden Fair Mall car burglary suspects arrested

Arden Fair Mall car burglary suspects arrested

SACRAMENTO, CA - Two men police investigators suspect of committing hundreds of car burglaries in the Sacramento area over the last year have been arrested, says a police spokeswoman.

The pair, identified as Javier Garcia, 25, and Dominic Eales, 19, were found when Arden Fair Mall security officers scanned surveillance camera tapes following reports of multiple car break-ins in their lots on Jan. 30. Mall security saw two men and a suspect vehicle in the camera images and informed Sacramento police.

Police were able to find the vehicle in question as well as locate property reported stolen in burglaries, Gigante said.

Garcia and Eales are accused of burglary and conspiracy, Gigante said. They are being investigated in connection with other similar crimes.

Folsom man pleads guilty in $80 million Ponzi scam

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The president of a Northern California financial firm has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in an investment scam that bilked more than 300 people out of millions of dollars. 

Federal prosecutors in Sacramento say Anthony Vassallo and his associates collected about $80 million, returning half to clients to lull them into thinking they were getting a good return on their investment. 

The 33-year-old Folsom man pleaded guilty Friday. He could face 16 years in prison under a plea agreement when he is sentenced May 3. 

Vassallo also faces mandatory restitution and fines up to twice the value of the victim's losses, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Vassallo's Equity Investment Management and Trading Inc. promised investors risk-free, 36 percent annual returns, but he put their money into high-risk investments and personal luxuries, including a $103,000 Lexus for his wife.