Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office The Detail Newsletter - May 2019

They're targeting your kids

We're going after them

There are so many people online trying to meet up with underage children to have sex, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) units are among the busiest in the country.

The ACSO has added more investigators this year to hit the predators harder than ever before. And it’s working. So far this year, the team has arrested more than 40 suspects.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.” - Investigator Jeff Himes

The investigators chat daily with adults, mostly male, who think they’re talking to a 14-year-old girl. The adults start talking to the 'girl' through popular websites like Minecraft and Fortnite and apps like Snapchat and Instagram. The predators pretend to be young so they can make friends with your children. And it just takes minutes.

Can I get a picture of you? Here's a picture of me,” Himes said. “And it progresses into a sexual request very, very quickly."

Investigator Mike Garnsey told KMGH-TV and KDVR-TV that recently two 14-year-old boys in Arapahoe County living with their grandmother were exploited.

At the time the ice bucket challenge was a big deal. So, the sexual predator tells the boys about a new thing: the booty challenge, where they take nude photos of their rear-ends and get gift cards in return," Garnsey said.

Investigators say the grandmother started questioning things after the boys began buying nice shoes and other things and she had no idea where they were getting the money. She then called the ACSO.

"We tracked that sexual predator down, and he was prosecuted in Seattle," Garnsey said.

"I know you want to trust your kids, but you can't. Keep an eye on them. They are vulnerable to predators online. It's a dangerous situation." - Sgt. Nick Rodriguez, ICAC Supervisor.

If you have any information regarding child predators, please email our team at ACSOTips@Arapahoegov.com.

Two ACSO public safety dispatchers named Telecommunicators of the Year

Annerly Cooper (left) and Alexis Weisberg were named ACSO's Telecommunicators of the Year

When you need urgent help, they’re there. 24/7, 365 days a year, when you call 9-1-1, an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office public safety dispatcher will answer your call. That’s why the ACSO took the time during National Telecommunicators Week to honor and thank the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving the public.

We want to thank you for showing up every day to create a better and safer world for our residents. You deal with people on some of the worst days of their lives, calm them down, and talk to them until help arrives. It’s very stressful and critical work. This week, we hope everyone will acknowledge your hard work and dedication,” said ACSO Sheriff Tyler Brown.

Thirty-six staff members work in our state-of-the-art communications center. They provide an essential service to the community. In 2018, they answered more than 322,000 phone calls, including more than 78,000 9-1-1 calls. The dispatchers receive and process those calls to get help to callers as quickly as possible. They are experts in prioritizing emergencies, coordinating resources and providing support to responding field personnel. In particular, Annerly Cooper and Alexis Weisberg, who were just named Telecommunicators of the Year.

Alexis was nominated for her thoroughness as a call taker. She is described as “rocking her role” and as an excellent mentor to trainees and newer dispatchers. Alexis is involved in many areas of the sheriff’s office. This includes being a member of the Public Education Team, a CPR instructor, and a volunteer victim advocate.

Annerly is described by her peers as “one of the most reliable and consistent workers in dispatch.” She has an outstanding work ethic, attention to detail, and is one of the best multitaskers in the business. She is highly involved in the Explorer program as an advisor, the 911 Education Team, and the Crisis Intervention team. For these reasons, and many more, we are proud to honor Annerly and Alexis as our Telecommunicators of the Year!

Just shred it!

The annual Shred-a-thon benefitting Metro Denver Crime Stoppers is Saturday, May 18th from 7:00am to 12:00pm at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

Safely get rid of your personal information (like tax returns, business documents, etc.) while also helping us catch bad guys! Your confidential information will be shredded for free by Shred-it, which will ensure your documents are destroyed securely, and your privacy is protected. Shed-it also recycles the shredded paper, which helps the environment. While the service is free, Crime Stoppers welcomes and appreciates any and all donations.

The annual Shred-a-thon benefits Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps law enforcement agencies identify and arrest criminal suspects through anonymous tips. Crime Stoppers also teaches the community about crime prevention.

When you call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 720-913-STOP (7867), you can earn cash rewards and remain anonymous. You can report information about unsolved crimes, including animal cruelty cases, or about people wanted by police.

This is the main fundraiser for Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. Donations provided by citizens at this event are used as reward money for information regarding unsolved crimes. If you attend and utilize the shredding services, please make a donation to this worthy organization!

Move Accidents Out of Traffic

We have all been there…stuck in a traffic jam, no idea why traffic is not moving. Then traffic starts crawling along and eventually you pass a fender bender blocking a lane of traffic, and you say to yourself, “That little accident is why I’ve been stuck in traffic for 10 minutes?”

The two most common reasons I hear from people about why they are reluctant to move minor accidents out of traffic:

“The police need to see where my car is, so they can determine who is at fault.” Deputies can look at damage on vehicles and take statements from drivers and witnesses to understand how the accident happened, but deputies do not have to see where the cars came to rest after the collision to figure out how the crash happened. If a driver believes that there is something a deputy must see, my suggestion would be to take a quick photo and then move.

“I might cause more damage to my vehicle if I try to move it.” The vehicle is going to have to be moved at some point, so if any additional damage occurs from moving the vehicle, it was inevitable. Secondly, any damage is still part of the accident and therefore will be covered by insurance.

Reasons why we want you to move minor accidents out of traffic:

  1. The most important reason is SAFETY for everyone involved--your own safety, the safety of first responders (Police, Fire, EMS & tow truck drivers), and other drivers.
  2. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep traffic moving. Everybody that is out driving has somewhere to be, and most people need to be there on time. Not to mention the monetary cost of traffic jams such as fuel and late delivery charges.
  3. Colorado State law requires drivers to move vehicles out of traffic.

So please, if you are involved in a minor accident think about your own safety, the safety of everyone else, the convenience of other drivers, and follow the law…move to the nearest parking lot or side street.

Cold Case: 28-year anniversary of murder of young Centennial mom

COLD CASE: Marie Bazzinotti-Nicholaides was murdered in 1991.

Marie Bazzinotti-Nicholaides was described by her friends as a “quiet, sincere, intelligent girl” who graduated cum laude from Emmanuel College in Boston. She met her husband, George Nicholaides, after graduation and they moved to Colorado. In 1990, they became parents of a healthy baby boy. But Marie would not get to see the child she was so proud of grow up, and a son would never know his mother. On a stormy afternoon, May 23, 1991, Marie left work early because she wasn’t feeling well. She arrived at her Centennial home and immediately upon entering her home she was brutally bludgeoned to death. When her husband arrived home around 5:00 p.m., he found Marie’s body. She was still clutching her purse and car keys. Despite numerous witness statements, Marie’s senseless murder remains unsolved.

If you have any information regarding this case, you are encouraged to contact Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office at 303-795-4711, or email Coldcase@arapahoegov.com.

First child born to a female officer in the Greenwood Village Police Department graduates

Top: Baby Samantha and Samantha with her mom Suzanne Bottom: Samantha gets sworn in by Sheriff Tyler Brown

As Samantha Wheaton swore to serve and protect, then looked down as her mom pinned a badge on her uniform today during a graduation ceremony, she became a deputy at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and a paradigm for women in law enforcement. That’s because Samantha was the first child born to a female officer in the Greenwood Village Police Department 29 years ago.

Her mom, Suzanne Beckstrom, was a patrol officer at the time. When she became pregnant in 1989, she kept working as long as she could. Samantha remembers hearing stories about it.

My mom had morning sickness so bad, she would pull over in her police car, open the door, barf, then go right back on patrol,” laughed Samantha."

Now, a young woman herself with a desire to have children one day, Samantha sees how her mom paved the way for other female officers.

It’s a huge milestone. There haven’t been many other children born to female officers in that department since me. My mom helped change how departments look at maternity leave and understand that female deputies may want to have children.”

Her mom Suzanne has been an officer at the Greenwood Village Police Department since 1988 and is still on the job. Her husband was also a cop at the time in the Denver Police Department.

The fact that my parents were in law enforcement played a big part in my becoming an officer. It’s how I grew up and is very familiar to me.”

Now that Samantha is part of the ACSO team, she will head out on patrol, just like her mom, wondering what it will be like when the time comes for her to carry a child on duty.

19 graduate from Non-Certified Deputy Sheriff Academy

On March 28, 2019, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office held a graduation ceremony for 19 cadets graduating from our Non-Certified Deputy Sheriff Academy who are now officially deputies working at the Arapahoe County Detention Facility.

Younus Mohammed & his proud daughters having fun after the graduation ceremony (lower left). Chase Quimby's son pins on his badge during the ceremony (upper right).

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