Crime and punishment

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Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

So here’s a question for you.

How desperate does someone have to be in order to steal quarters from coin-operated washers and dryers? And how much do you think you could get?

Ok. So that’s really two questions. And yes, I am serious. Someone really did that.

According to published reports, Alisha Russell of Syracuse, NY, allegedly stole more than $14,000 worth of quarters from machines in an apartment complex in upstate New York. Russell, who once worked as the leasing agent at the complex where the thefts occurred was recently arrested on grand larceny charges.

Russell reportedly “had a key to the machines and regularly collected money from them as part of her job.”  Police say she lost her job for unrelated reasons before the investigation into the coin thefts — which occurred over a 10-month period — began.


How much is that little doggy in the window?

In other news, a Long Island man was also arrested on several charges including grand larceny and identity theft last month.

Police caught up with Victor Franco, 23, after he allegedly used a fake credit card to buy a puppy from a Merrick, NY, pet store. And this wasn’t just any puppy. It was a French bulldog that cost more than $3,000. In fact, the grand total was $3,592.21.

At the time of Franco’s arrest, police said the dog “still hadn’t been returned” to the shop, and added that it would be returned if they found it.

Franco also stands accused of using a fake credit card to buy a cell phone worth more than $200.

What is wrong with people?

To summarize, two people in two different parts of New York were arrested on grand larceny charges after they allegedly committed two very different crimes.

In one case, someone allegedly stole $14,000 worth of quarters from coin-operated washers and dryers at an apartment complex in upstate New York. In the other case, someone allegedly used a fake credit card to buy an expensive puppy dog from a Long Island pet store.

All of which leads to yet another simple — but rhetorical — question.

What is wrong with people?

And on that note, have a great weekend everyone…

The mysterious case of the Long Island wallaby

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How did an animal native to Australia end up in a filthy, freezing, Long Island garage?

That’s the disturbing question that surfaced after authorities responding to an anonymous tip found a wallaby locked in an East Rockaway, N.Y., garage yesterday.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

“There is not adequate heat in there, there’s no food or water and there are feces all over,” Gary Rogers of the Nassau County SPCA told the New York City media. “We are in contact with the district attorney’s office about possible charges.”

For one thing, town and county laws make it illegal to keep wallabies in East Rockaway. And then there’s the matter of potential animal cruelty or neglect.

The adult male wallaby found in self-described “exotic animal expert” Larry Wallach’s garage appeared to be starving and weighed roughly 20 pounds or half of what it should if it were healthy, according to published reports.

“Wallabies are typically small to medium-sized mammals, but the largest can reach 6 feet (1.8 meters) from head to tail,” according to a description posted on “They have powerful hind legs they use to bound along at high speeds and jump great distances. When wallabies are threatened by predators, or when males battle each other, they may also use these legs to deliver powerful kicks.”

They can live for up to nine years in the wild.

The wallaby rescued from the East Rockaway garage is being treated at a local animal hospital and “the SPCA is currently looking at options for a new home for him,” according to media accounts.

Hundreds of turtles and birds rescued from Long Island home

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.
Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

For the second time in less than a month, authorities confiscated hundreds of animals from a Tri State Area home. But this time the house was on Long Island. And this time the animals weren’t dogs. This time, the animals reportedly rescued from horrid conditions were turtles and birds.

As reported by WABC-TV in New York, the Nassau County SPCA seized the animals after personnel from its law enforcement division executed a search warrant at the Bellmore home yesterday.

On a steamy hot New York morning, authorities found some of the animals didn’t have enough water and others were malnourished. They were also deprived of fresh air and lived in dirty water, according to an account provided by an agency spokesman.

One of the animals — an alligator snapping turtle found living in the basement — belongs to a species capable of hurting people.

“That turtle could take your hand off,” Nassau County SPCA spokesman Gary Rogers told Eyewitness News.

You can learn all about alligator snapping turtles on But here are a few basics:

  • You won’t find a bigger freshwater species in North America.
  • They like to live in rivers, lakes and canals in the southeastern part of the United States.
  • They can live for 50 to 100 years.
  • An adult male’s shell can be more than 2 feet long.
  • An adult male can weigh more than 170 pounds.
  • Females are much smaller.
  • They can stay under water for a long time.
  • They have no natural predators other than us.

Now perhaps you see why they don’t make great pets. And personally I really wouldn’t want to keep one in my basement. Would you?

Never mind. That was a rhetorical question. But if you do want one, there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge. You can read about them on

At the end of the day, what kind of pet you get is up to you. All I ask is the following:

  1. that you do not further the exotic pet trade
  2. that you do your research before you get any sort of pet
  3. that you engage in responsible pet ownership

If you do all of that, you probably won’t end up on the evening news.