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In February 2021, Eric Spencer, 30, and three other suspects reportedly entered a Chanel store and ripped handbags from store security cables. When Spencer was approached by an armed store security guard, he reached into his waistband to give the impression he had a gun, prompting store personnel to back off, according to a statement released by the United States District Attorney’s office on Tuesday.
Spencer later took to social media days after the robbery boasting about his crime and even said he “could open a small boutique” based on the number of bags stolen. He even sent text messages confirming his crime.
The 30-year-old was convicted by a jury Tuesday of one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of robbery after a one-week trial. The maximum potential sentence for each count is 20 years in prison.
Spencer is scheduled to be sentenced June 30.
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Sarah Armstrong, a professor of criminology at Glasgow University, said she was surprised that concern over the safety of women in prison was “focused on this one, very exceptional case” given the “scathing” reports from the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture after previous visits to Cornton Vale.
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Protesters and some police officers protested at the official residence of Haiti’s prime minister in the capital Port-au-Prince on Thursday, decrying recent killings of police, according to one of his advisors.
Actor Julian Sands latest hiker to encounter disaster near popular LA mountain, expert weighs in on dangers
Several hikers have recently been killed or disappeared around a popular southern California peak – including missing actor Julian Sands – which should be a warning for would-be adventurers, experts said.
Mount Baldy’s breathtaking views come with real danger that can quickly turn a winter alpine trek into a nightmare, hiking expert Cris Hazzard told Fox News Digital.
“When there’s snow and ice on the mountains, it just takes one misstep to slide hundreds of feet down the slopes,” said Hazzard, of HikingGuy.com. People die on Mount Baldy every winter “like clockwork,” he added.
“Even if you survive, you could be trapped in a spot where no one can see you,” Hazzard said.
Mount Baldy, in the Angeles National Forest about 50 miles west of downtown L.A., is a magnet for hikers who travel the alpine forests and double switchbacks around its 10,000-foot summit. On a clear day, visitors to the summit can see all the way to Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean, Hazzard said.
Sands, 65, became the latest hiker to go missing there nearly two weeks ago and he remained unaccounted for as of Thursday.
While the search for Sands continued Tuesday, 75-year-old Jin Chung was rescued after he never returned from a hike days earlier. The missing cases both came after a woman was killed when she slipped down a roughly 500-foot icy hillside.
The treacherous icy hills, Hazzard told Fox News Digital, are what usually get hikers into trouble in that part of the Angeles National Forest.
“Slipping on a narrow trail when hiking up a mountain in the summer usually means a bruised ego and a scrape or two,” Hazzard said. “But one slip or misstep on that same stretch of trail in the winter can get you into real trouble.”
Some hikers “don’t have the experience” – or the gear – for the mountain’s winter terrain, he added.
“It’s easy to get lost when the trail is covered in snow or maybe even blazed incorrectly by the person before you,” he said.
“Climbing Mount Baldy right now should be done with at least a helmet, crampons, and ice axe and if you have yet to practice using tools like an ice axe, it’s just extra weight you’re carrying,” he added.
While there are areas around Mount Baldy that are more dangerous than others, including the Devil’s Backbone and the climb to Cucamonga Peak, Hazzard said trails with a lower profile can be just as dangerous in the winter.
“You don’t have to slide hundreds of feet down a slope to get hurt,” Hazzard said. “It could be the section of the trail where you think it’s relatively safe to let your concentration wane and get sloppy with your footing.”
Hazzard suggested alternative southern California hiking options where snowfall is not an issue, including Joshua Tree National Park and the lower peaks of the San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains. However, if hikers insist on Mount Baldy during the winter, Hazzard provided some basic tips to try and stay as safe as possible.
“Find a Forest Service road or flat trail and start there,” Hazzard said. “You can use your trekking poles, microspikes, or snowshoes, and it can be a great time. Bring the 10 essentials, wear layers that you can adjust to control heat and sweat, and let your family know where you’re hiking.”
“Expect to go slower than usual and enjoy the scenery; winter hiking is not about bagging the miles or summits. If you really want to bag Mount Baldy in the winter, learn how to mountaineer, practice your skills, pick the ideal conditions, and do it responsibly.”
The “extremely dangerous” conditions that claimed the life of the female hiker and another hiker in recent weeks prompted local authorities to urge hikers, including experienced ones, to avoid the area for the time being.
“Please know the current conditions on Mount Baldy are adverse and extremely dangerous. Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice, making hiking extremely dangerous,” authorities warned.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team said it has responded on 14 rescue missions in the last four weeks alone.
Search crews continue to look for Sands, known for his roles in “The Killing Fields” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” as of Thursday afternoon amid wintry conditions and avalanche warnings.
The U.S. Forest Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
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