Virginia man killed in LetGo robbery, suspect still at large

Virginia man killed in LetGo robbery, suspect still at large

Joshua Grey

It’s been a while since I posted about a craigslist-like murder. In my absence, I’ve probably missed more than a few. Unfortunately, another one has happened recently. Last week, 23-year-old Joshua Grey was shot and killed after listing his iPhone for sale on the marketplace app LetGo. Joshua was said to have met his assailant alone at a local intersection in Richmond, Virginia. The killer shot Joshua and then took his iPhone. Joshua was able to get to a nearby convenience store where he tragically died from his injuries.

Police in Richmond have released surveillance video of Joshua’s alleged killer and are looking for the public’s help in bringing the man to justice. The video can be seen at this link. Richmond Police are asking for the public’s help in finding Joshua’s killer.

Anyone with any information about this homicide to call Major Crimes Detective T. Coates at (804) 646-0729 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at http://www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Again I have to stress that if you use any classifieds site or app it’s imperative that you meet the other person involved in the transaction at a local police department. Many police stations have set up public meeting zones at their locations to better protect those buying and selling through classifieds. Some of these websites and apps have even set up listings of safe places to conduct these transactions. As I’ve said in the past, the old rules don’t apply anymore. Just meeting someone in public during the day isn’t enough anymore as the thieves and killers who inhabit sites like craigslist and apps like LetGo have stepped up their aggression in recent years leaving hundreds of bodies in their wake.

Sailor and pregnant wife shot during OfferUp sale

Sailor and pregnant wife shot during OfferUp sale

An unnamed sailor in the Navy and his pregnant wife claim they were shot in Portsmouth, Virginia, during an OfferUp meeting where they thought they were buying a cell phone. They were on the way to the alleged seller at a home when their car was surrounded by several men. By their account, one man opened fire without hesitation.

The sailor was shot in the arm, chest and temple while his wife was shot in the chest narrowly missing her heart. According to their GoFundMe page for their medical expenses, the sailor has lost his eye and his wife suffered a collapsed lung. Thankfully, if that word can be used in this instance, the baby is unharmed.

So far, no arrests have been made. Police are asking for any information on the shooting.

If you have any information, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Just because OfferUp is an app and looks a lot slicker than old man craigslist, that doesn’t mean it’s any safer than craigslist. Remember, when doing any transaction from one of these sites or apps that require face to face interaction, always insist the deal be made at a police station. That won’t guarantee there won’t be any potential harm, but it severely limits that chance.

Craigslist creeper needed help with a ‘taboo interest’

Craigslist creeper needed help with a 'taboo interest'

Steven Lee May

Back in July, 26-year-old Steven Lee May was arrested by police in Norfolk, Virginia, after allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover officer. May was said to have posted a craigslist ad that was entitled “Need help, taboo interest – m4m”, and according to reports, the ad asked anyone who knew a child between 9 and 14 to contact them.

Norfolk police responded to the ad posing as someone who had access to a 12-year-old child. Police say that May asked them to download the app Wickr, an anonymous messaging app. I’ll be getting into more detail about Wickr here. May reportedly said that he would pay $150 to ‘have sex’ with the 12-year-old. A meeting was set and May was arrested at the meeting with $160, lube and condoms.

At last report, May was released on bond, but under the bond agreement he had to move in with his parents in the western part of Virginia and could not have any access to electronic devices.

How bad is it on craigslist when the predators are just openly asking for children in their preferred age range? Better yet, why is craigslist still allowing these ads to be placed on their website? Lastly, why are people still using craigslist when it harbors potential and actual child molesters within its platform?

2nd arrest made in Va. LetGo murder

2nd arrest made in Va. LetGo murder

James McLaughlin III

Back in April, 16-year-old Jamaa Khalik Scott of Richmond, Virginia, was shot and killed after meeting someone through classifieds app LetGo. Scott was planning on stealing the phone being sold by grabbing it and running. Instead he was shot and killed by the seller who drove off.

Late in August, 20-year-old Roger Craig Brown III, of Chesterfield County, was arrested and charged with Scott’s murder. Now, a second arrest has been made. 20-year-old James McLaughlin III, of Chesterfield, has also been charged in connection with Scott’s murder.

Police are still being quiet about how the suspects are connected to the murder and which man allegedly pulled the trigger.

As I said before, it’s one thing to defend yourself during a robbery, it’s another to shoot a 16-year-old boy over a cell phone then flee the scene.

Toddlers kept in cages, but there’s more to the story

Toddlers kept in cages, but there's more to the story

A 38-year-old mother of 5, Malista Ness-Hopkins, was released on bail September 12 after having been arrested for five felony counts of child abuse on July 28. The children, ages 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, were removed from the home by Accomack County Social Services in response to a complaint made about the home. Social workers found the 2- and 3-year-old children in cribs with makeshift tops screwed onto them. The home was said to be filthy, infested with bugs, and reeking of urine. The children were also reported to be dirty and covered with insect bites.

Usually, I would be totally unsympathetic toward any parent who treated their children this way and who lived in such deplorable conditions, but something struck me differently in this case.

First, Ms. Ness-Hopkins’ attorney told the court she was an overwhelmed single mother, which is easy to believe, with 5 children in the home ranging from 1 to 6 years old. Probably at least 3 of them were in diapers or pull-ups, which would be enough to overwhelm any parent, single or not.

Second, one sentence in the story spoke volumes to me–the young (age 33) father of some of the children died unexpectedly in May of 2016. This most likely left Ms. Ness-Hopkins depressed, grieving, alone, etc. She reportedly was a college student who made honor roll in 2010, so her issues are not due to lack of intelligence, but probably more due to depression and isolation. With no reports being made until the oldest child was 6, apparently she was able to care for them adequately until July of this year. That’s after over a year of trying to do it all on her own while dealing with the grief of losing the father to her kids. Cut her some slack, maybe.

The judge who granted bail did so on the condition she gets a mental health evaluation and follows any treatment recommendations.

The Virginia child abuse hotline number is 800-552-7096.

Thanks to Sabrina for the tip.

Arrest made in Va. LetGo murder

Arrest made in Va. LetGo murder

Roger Craig Brown III

I originally posted about the murder of 16-year-old Jamaa Khalik Scott here. He was shot and killed outside a middle school in Richmond, Virginia. Scott is said to have met up with someone who was selling a phone on LetGo, but Scott was allegedly planning on grabbing the phone and running. Instead, a struggle ensued with Scott being shot and later dying from his injuries. The suspect had been at large until now.

20-year-old Roger Craig Brown III, of Chesterfield County, was arrested and charged with the murder of Scott and is currently being held without bond. Police aren’t saying how they were able to connect Brown to the murder. However, police say the case is still currently under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this offense is asked to contact Henrico police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. Tipsters can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the keyword “iTip” followed by their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

It’s one thing to defend yourself during a crime, it’s another to shoot a 16-year-old boy over a cell phone then flee the scene.

UPDATE 9/13/2017: Brown has had his charges upgraded to first-degree murder.

Female teacher gets jail time for Snapchat sex with student

Female teacher gets jail time for Snapchat sex with student

Amelia Tat

(Story broke 5/1/2017)

27-year-old Amelia Tat was a middle school teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia. Last June, she was arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old male student after communicating with the student on Instagram, and of course Snapchat. The ‘relationship’ (child rape) went on for 8 months before the boy’s mother discovered text messages between Tat and the student.

For those of you who say things like “I wish I had a teacher like that when I was 14”, the boy has been diagnosed with PTSD. So, I hope you’re also hoping for a lifetime of mental health problems to go along with your statutory rape fantasy.

Surprisingly, Tat was sentenced to ten years in prison. Not surprisingly she had eight years suspended. So she’ll only have to spend two years in prison and I have no doubt she’ll be released early since she’s a new mother. Thankfully, not with her victim.

Va. beach Kik kreeper accused of coercing 15-year-old girl into making porn for him

Va. beach Kik kreeper accused of coercing 15-year-old girl into making porn for him

Larry Anthony Radebaugh

(Story broke 4/26/2017)

40-year-old Larry Anthony Radebaugh, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been arrested by state and federal authorities on many child porn charges. The ones we’re concerned about have to do with our favorite mobile messaging app Kik.

Radebaugh allegedly used Kik to pose as a 15-year-old girl in order to gain the confidence of real underage girls to try to get explicit images and videos from them. This practice is so common on Kik, Radebaugh is said to have run into another child porn collector using the same ploy and traded images with him. During questioning, he reportedly told investigators he had an online ‘relationship’ that lasted over two years where the girl would send Radebaugh pictures and videos. Radebaugh originally tried to claim that any child porn he received he deleted but authorities were able to recover said deleted files using instructions Radebaugh had left for himself.

When it comes to Kik’s usual horde of sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors, Radebaugh is a textbook definition of the latter.

Again, if you’re not monitoring your kids’ online activity, guys like this are.

UPDATE 9/13/2017: Radebaugh pleaded guilty to production of child pornography and possession of child pornography. He is looking at 15 to 40 years when he is sentenced in January, 2018.

Naval Kik kreeper accused of preying on children as ‘girthforu69’

Naval Kik kreeper accused of preying on children as 'girthforu69'

Scott Lee Penny

(Story broke 6/6/2017)

37-year-old Chief Petty Officer Scott Lee Penny, of Norfolk, Virginia, is accused of allegedly soliciting a 13-year-old girl for explicit pictures on mobile messaging app Kik. While using the alias Mike Smith and the oh so tasteful screen name of ‘girthforu69’, Penny was actually conversing with a Homeland Security Agent. During the conversations, Penny is said to have admitted having asked at least one other minor for pictures

U/C – Girls my age actually send naked photos?
PENNY-Yes
PENNY – Right before I started talking to you I was talking to a 14 yo, she sent lots ofpics
U/C – No way!
U/C -1 don’t believe it
PENNY-Oh yeah
PENNY – She was not shy at all
U/C-No way!
PENNY – She definitely liked to playand show offher body
U/C – I don’t believe you
PENNY – Ok, you don’t have to. It doesn’t mean it’s not true. I have no reason to lie
PENNY – I’m so homy baby
U/C – Yea?
PENNY-Yes U/C – (blushing emoticon)

I feel like I need to bleach my clipboard after copying and pasting that.

As I continue to drone on about, Kik is a minefield of sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors. While you may have a handle on your kids online behavior, other parents may not. If you know someone who might not be as tech savvy as you and has kids with mobile devices like phones and tablets, please share this website with them.

UPDATE 7/5/2017: Penny has entered a not guilty plea.

UPDATE 12/5/2017: After pleading guilty in August to federal charges of sending obscene materials to a minor, Penny was sentenced to only three years on prison and three years of parole. He must also register as a sex offender.

Va. teen murdered after trying to buy phone on LetGo

Va. teen murdered after trying to buy phone on LetGo

16-year-old Jamaa Khalik Scott of Richmond, Virginia, was shot and killed outside of a middle school after he went to meet someone who he thought he would be buying an iPhone from. Scott found the phone on the classifieds app LetGo. One witness and friend of Scott said Scott allegedly couldn’t afford the phone and planned on grabbing the phone and running. When the seller showed up, a struggle ensued, resulting in Scott being shot. The gunman was said to have picked up something off the ground before fleeing the scene. While the killing took place in Mid-April there still have been no arrests. Henrico County Police have asked LetGo for their help in finding the killer.

While there may be no good guys in this story, I have to add stealing a smart phone is not exactly a perfect crime. There are a multitude of ways smart phones can be tracked, and more than likely I doubt your average thief can think of all of them. The number of stories where cell phone thieves are caught are numerous and varied and usually end up in jail time for the thief. So the next time you think about stealing that phone, ask yourself if it’s worth the jail time, or in this case, the funeral.