Determined Dog Sniffs Out a Wanted Fugitive

Sophisticated investigation techniques were useless in the effort to track down Kevin Patrick Stoeser, a wanted fugitive who escaped from a Texas detention facility in October 2013.

But what proved difficult to accomplish by high-tech, up-to-date methods was a snap for a family’s dog.

A skull dug up by the pooch in Del Valle, Texas, a few miles from the Austin Transitional Center, where Stoeser was serving out a 156-month sentence for child sex assault and possession of child porn, was sent to the department of forensic and investigative genetics at the University of North Texas for DNA testing.

On November 5, 2014, based on the university’s results, the Travis County medical examiner concluded the skull was Stoeser’s.

Thanks to the alert golden retriever, a mystery was cleared up and a potential danger to society was scratched off the list. The Austin Police Department continues to investigate the cause of Stoeser’s death.

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Pair Plead Guilty in ATM Robbery Spree

They were using power tools and a truck to get at the cash inside drive-up automatic teller machines at JP Morgan Chase Bank branches in central California. In all, the robberies yielded almost half a million dollars.

The string of crimes came to an apparent conclusion on September 22, 2014, when the burglars made an unsuccessful attempt to rob an ATM in Murrieta. They first attempted to cut the hinges on the cash box doors, and then tried to pull the door off with a truck. The caper failed when the bumper came off the truck.

David Joseph Silva Jr., 25, of Fontana, and James William Costilow, 38, of Riverside, both pleaded guilty to bank larceny, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. They will be sentenced in 2015.

Silva and Costilow admitted that they tried to break into Chase Bank ATMs in three counties 15 times over a six-month period. They successfully got into the safes inside ATMs on four occasions and made off with $462,093 in cash. In some of the thefts, the pair stole the entire ATM device, while in later attempts they used power saws or a “jaws of life” device to gain access to the safe inside the ATMs.

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