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Crime

Catalytic converter thieves strike in Folsom

FOLSOM, CA - Thieves looking for catalytic converters stole 13 of them early Friday morning in Folsom, says the Folsom Police Department.

Targeted were Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs.

Recyclers pay $100 for the rhodium and/or plutonium in used recyclers, according to the police department.

Repairing a vehicle stripped of its catalytic converter can cost from $300 on up.

Vehicle owners were urged to park their trucks and SUVs in a garage if possible. Etching the vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number on the converter may aid in the identification of a stolen part. Welding in the converter may prevent theft but for the determined thief who tries to remove the converter anyway, the resulting damage to the vehicle can be costly.

Victims identified in fatal Folsom car wreck

FOLSOM, CA - The two men killed in Saturday's fatal wreck in Folsom were identified Tuesday morning.

Christopher Stephen Martell, 37, of Citrus Heights and Todd Robert Ohlander, 32, of Citrus Heights were named as the two men who died in the collision.

STORY: Suspect arrested in Folsom fatal DUI crash 

According to Sgt. Jason Browning of the Folsom Police Department, the wreck occurred when 21-year-old Michael Sharp was driving his Ford Explorer southbound on Folsom Boulevard and crossed the center divider into oncoming traffic. Martell and Ohlander were traveling northbound in a four-door Saturn when they were struck by Sharp's vehicle.

A third individual was in the back seat of the Saturn, but did not die in the crash.

Sacramento prison psychologist in alleged rape scheme fired

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A California prison psychologist charged with faking her own rape has been fired from the prison system.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told the Sacramento Bee on Wednesday that Laurie Ann Martinez's last day with the department was Dec. 22.

Her firing came less than a week after the state psychology board announced it was suspending the 36-year-old Martinez's license.

Martinez is accused of staging her robbery and rape in April at her home with the help of a friend and then dialing 911.

Sacramento authorities say she and her friend, 33-year-old Nicole Snyder, have acknowledged the scheme. Martinez was allegedly trying to get her husband to move to a more desirable neighborhood.

Homeless man threatens to blow up Old Folsom with BBQ parts

FOLSOM, CA - Christmas shoppers were evacuated from Old Folsom Monday afternoon police say when a transient made threats of a terrorist nature.

Officers were called to Sutter Street in response to a shop owner's complaint that a man had set up camp underneath her business and was causing a disturbance by yelling at customers and banging on the floor.

Folsom Sgt. Jason Browning said when officers tried to talk the man, identified as James Saporito, 50, into coming out, Saporito said he had propane, gasoline, dynamite and firearms.

A Sacramento County sheriff's Department K-9 unit was called out and Saporito surrendered a little after 1 p.m. No one was hurt. Browning said officers found an empty propane cookstove but no explosive devices among Saporito's belongings.

Saporito was arrested and taken to Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of making terrorist threats, Browning said.

CA State Prison, Sacramento inmate death at under investigation

FOLSOM, CA - California State Prison, Sacramento officials are investigating the death of an inmate housed in a maximum security cell.

The inmate, who was discovered at 3:10 Saturday morning, was identified as Anthony Steadham, 38. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:05 a.m.

His cell mate Maurice Woodson, 43, has been identified as the suspect.

Steadman was serving a life sentence without the possibilty for parole for murder.

Woodman is serving a 46 year 4 months sentence for attempted second degree murder.

Visitation at the prison has not been impacted.

Woman accused of faking rape to convince husband to move

SACRAMENTO -- She split her own lip with a pin, scraped her knuckles with sandpaper and had her friend punch her in the face. Investigators say she even ripped open her blouse, then
wet her pants to give the appearance she had been knocked
unconscious.

It was all part of what authorities said Friday was an elaborate hoax by the woman to convince her husband she was raped so he would want to move to a safer neighborhood.

Charges filed by the Sacramento County district attorney allege Laurie Ann Martinez, a prison psychologist, conspired with the
friend to create the appearance that she was beaten, robbed and raped by a stranger in April in her Sacramento home.

Martinez, her friend and two co-workers eventually told police
the whole thing was a setup to convince Martinez's husband that they needed to move from a blighted, high-crime area three miles north of the state Capital.

Former Correction Officer: Riot at New Folsom State Prison

FOLSOM, CA - Four of the nine inmates injured at California State Prison, Sacramento in Folsom --aka New Folsom State Prison--have been treated, released from the hospital, and sent back to prison.

The riot broke out around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon in the exercise yard of the Level 4 maximum security area. Many of the inmates are murderers and gang members and are serving a life term. At least 9 inmates were taken to area hospitals, some of them with stab wounds from inmate-on-inmate fights.

Wednesday night, officers recovered five stabbing weapons and the facility remained on lockdown.

Authorities still don't know how the riot started. But they'll be reviewing surveillance video. Prison officials said Wednesday that the riot was not planned.

Some people question if there were enough guards. The spokesman for Folsom Prison says there was adequate staffing when the riot broke out.