The ambiguity of theft and failure of enforcement

ElkFever2

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Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
4,051
Location
Iowa
1. I was working from home and through the trees saw a car in the driveway of my parent's house. It's a second home for them and they are rarely there, so I walk over to check it out. I see a guy backing his car up to the garage, walk around to the side, and come back carrying one of their big tool boxes. I yell and start running towards him.
Call 9-1-1 and report a crime
Takes me a minute to get back to my house, unhook the boat from my truck, get my phone, then head out after him. I saw the way he went and know I'd never catch up to him, but know if he hit the main road and turned left I can catch him by taking a short cut. Turns out I guessed right and see him pass through the intersection in front of me. I follow at a distance and call my son who lives in the town he's heading towards to have him sit at the first stoplight to help keep track while I call and coordinate with the cops.
Many of these folks are strung out on dope, have done hard time, and have nothing to lose. What happens when you miscalculate and the guy realizes he is being pursued? You could be having a funeral for your son, or vice versa. Over tools.
I keep relaying the location to the police, knowing that he has to be getting suspicious of me now. He gets to a stop sign at a 4-way and I see a police car pulling up to the intersection on the left. I think, "Thank goodness! They're here! They're gonna catch him!" The guy makes a left right in front of the cop and I roll down my window and point that he's who they're looking for. What does the cop do? Never turns lights on. Does the slowest 3-point turn in history of the world. Heads back up the street after the car at a normal pace. Gets to the next stop sign and lets several cars pass. Then turns and the guy is gone. Imagine that. WTF!?
To him you are probably a good citizen making an honest report. But what if you are a part of a set up to ambush a cop? This is a real concern these days. My employer has advised all employees to remove all LE/public safety identifiers from our homes, private vehicles, etc. to avoid being assaulted, vandalized, targeted by the antis.
The cop also got a good look when he drove past. Anyway, a few weeks pass and I never hear back, even after several voicemails left with the officer in charge of the case.
At the very least they could return your call and explain the status of the case. It costs nothing but a little time, and helps build public trust.

Been there several times myself. One was a home burglary - called police and made a report. Found a family “friend” selling all the stuff on FB a week later. Called the officer back who took the report multiple times and could never get them to respond.

Another time I was held at gunpoint by a masked home invader. Initial report to police was made that night. After a few days and a little sleuthing of my own I figured out who the perp was (17 y.o. kid). Called back several times with the info, but it was a lost cause. I was pissed…for years. Finally, just had to let it go and move on with my life. Anger wasn’t helping me.

What if I had woken up when he was breaking in? I’d have had a 12 gauge at the ready. I might have (justifiably) killed a high schooler. In hindsight, I’m actually glad he got the jump on me and made off with a few of my belongings.

And response from the police? I don’t know their workload, political pressures, directions from their chief, etc. Easy to make assumptions when they “could have, should have” solved a case with ample evidence, and put a troubled kid behind bars. I’d guess he probably got caught doing something else eventually.
Anyway, frustrating for several reasons. One is the difficulty in holding criminals accountable.
Criminals are overwhelmingly not held accountable. Maybe 3% of serious crimes result in a conviction. The number is FAR smaller for petty crimes like trespassing or criminal mischief like the ones you described.
The other is the difficulty on holding those accountable whose job it is to hold those criminals accountable.
You have a vast sea of crime you can pluck one perp out of at a time. If you get 20 crime reports in x period of time and have enough time to arrest 2, you’re going to pick the 2 with ample evidence, and ones you anticipate you can book and the County Attorney is actually going to prosecute. If the crimes you report are among the other 18/20 that go nowhere, does that mean LE isn’t doing their job?

Public support and funding of public safety is welcome! I serve many persons who are rallying for my job to be defunded. There are still a fair # of supporters out there, but a lot more folks these days are on the fence. I’d encourage you to reach out to your local gov entity that appoints your police chief and share your concerns. The police dept might not operate in the manner you think it should, but better communication between LE and the public can go a long way.
 

blueridge

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Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
993
Location
Blue Ridge Mtns, VA
Call 9-1-1 and report a crime

Many of these folks are strung out on dope, have done hard time, and have nothing to lose. What happens when you miscalculate and the guy realizes he is being pursued? You could be having a funeral for your son, or vice versa. Over tools.

To him you are probably a good citizen making an honest report. But what if you are a part of a set up to ambush a cop? This is a real concern these days. My employer has advised all employees to remove all LE/public safety identifiers from our homes, private vehicles, etc. to avoid being assaulted, vandalized, targeted by the antis.

At the very least they could return your call and explain the status of the case. It costs nothing but a little time, and helps build public trust.

Been there several times myself. One was a home burglary - called police and made a report. Found a family “friend” selling all the stuff on FB a week later. Called the officer back who took the report multiple times and could never get them to respond.

Another time I was held at gunpoint by a masked home invader. Initial report to police was made that night. After a few days and a little sleuthing of my own I figured out who the perp was (17 y.o. kid). Called back several times with the info, but it was a lost cause. I was pissed…for years. Finally, just had to let it go and move on with my life. Anger wasn’t helping me.

What if I had woken up when he was breaking in? I’d have had a 12 gauge at the ready. I might have (justifiably) killed a high schooler. In hindsight, I’m actually glad he got the jump on me and made off with a few of my belongings.

And response from the police? I don’t know their workload, political pressures, directions from their chief, etc. Easy to make assumptions when they “could have, should have” solved a case with ample evidence, and put a troubled kid behind bars. I’d guess he probably got caught doing something else eventually.

Criminals are overwhelmingly not held accountable. Maybe 3% of serious crimes result in a conviction. The number is FAR smaller for petty crimes like trespassing or criminal mischief like the ones you described.

You have a vast sea of crime you can pluck one perp out of at a time. If you get 20 crime reports in x period of time and have enough time to arrest 2, you’re going to pick the 2 with ample evidence, and ones you anticipate you can book and the County Attorney is actually going to prosecute. If the crimes you report are among the other 18/20 that go nowhere, does that mean LE isn’t doing their job?

Public support and funding of public safety is welcome! I serve many persons who are rallying for my job to be defunded. There are still a fair # of supporters out there, but a lot more folks these days are on the fence. I’d encourage you to reach out to your local gov entity that appoints your police chief and share your concerns. The police dept might not operate in the manner you think it should, but better communication between LE and the public can go a long way.
I appreciate your post, @ElkFever2 . Lots of good stuff there to think about.
 

bucdoego

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
164
Location
Upper Midwest
Where I live, law enforcement is represented by the Sherriff's Office. They report through the city and interact with the county government as well. If my questions or concerns with anything related to law enforcement is more than cursory, I engage either a city or county politico, because I know them and they will actually listen and act on my reasoned and documented concern.

If you call dispatch with a complaint, you will be directed to some internal departmental complaint process. I've always found it humorous that they think I would register a complaint with the offending governmental body that I disagree with. It never made sense to me.
 

R.K.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
627
Location
MT
Call 9-1-1 and report a crime

Many of these folks are strung out on dope, have done hard time, and have nothing to lose. What happens when you miscalculate and the guy realizes he is being pursued? You could be having a funeral for your son, or vice versa. Over tools.

To him you are probably a good citizen making an honest report. But what if you are a part of a set up to ambush a cop? This is a real concern these days. My employer has advised all employees to remove all LE/public safety identifiers from our homes, private vehicles, etc. to avoid being assaulted, vandalized, targeted by the antis.

At the very least they could return your call and explain the status of the case. It costs nothing but a little time, and helps build public trust.

Been there several times myself. One was a home burglary - called police and made a report. Found a family “friend” selling all the stuff on FB a week later. Called the officer back who took the report multiple times and could never get them to respond.

Another time I was held at gunpoint by a masked home invader. Initial report to police was made that night. After a few days and a little sleuthing of my own I figured out who the perp was (17 y.o. kid). Called back several times with the info, but it was a lost cause. I was pissed…for years. Finally, just had to let it go and move on with my life. Anger wasn’t helping me.

What if I had woken up when he was breaking in? I’d have had a 12 gauge at the ready. I might have (justifiably) killed a high schooler. In hindsight, I’m actually glad he got the jump on me and made off with a few of my belongings.

And response from the police? I don’t know their workload, political pressures, directions from their chief, etc. Easy to make assumptions when they “could have, should have” solved a case with ample evidence, and put a troubled kid behind bars. I’d guess he probably got caught doing something else eventually.

Criminals are overwhelmingly not held accountable. Maybe 3% of serious crimes result in a conviction. The number is FAR smaller for petty crimes like trespassing or criminal mischief like the ones you described.

You have a vast sea of crime you can pluck one perp out of at a time. If you get 20 crime reports in x period of time and have enough time to arrest 2, you’re going to pick the 2 with ample evidence, and ones you anticipate you can book and the County Attorney is actually going to prosecute. If the crimes you report are among the other 18/20 that go nowhere, does that mean LE isn’t doing their job?

Public support and funding of public safety is welcome! I serve many persons who are rallying for my job to be defunded. There are still a fair # of supporters out there, but a lot more folks these days are on the fence. I’d encourage you to reach out to your local gov entity that appoints your police chief and share your concerns. The police dept might not operate in the manner you think it should, but better communication between LE and the public can go a long way.
Sanity? On Hunt Talk? What is this world coming to...
 

millerkiller77

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2022
Messages
182
Location
People's Repulic of California
There is no obligation of the police to either serve or protect you (that's from the supreme court). Basically gotta get em on the right day. Like an iffy BBQ joint.

The police, in recent decades, have served two primary purposes: social management and property protection. The last few years, and your experience especially, have demonstrated they've regressed even further than that - they're not obligated to react in any way that doesn't suit them. That's a real step back to the days of the robber baron and the striking miner or railroad worker.

Sorry to hear about the stretch of bad luck with garbage humans, my man. Stick GPS trackers in the nooks and crannies of anything valuable, if it's an option. And think about this: if police don't respond to anything, then that opens up a lot of creative "home security" options. No rules? No rules.
Only replying so your post gets read again . Absolutely the truth. Police are now bound to only protect and serve their unions,pensions, and political backers. Anything else is a hindrance.
 

HONEYBADGER

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
503
I've had two occurrences during the past month that have been very disappointing and frustrating to me.

1. I was working from home and through the trees saw a car in the driveway of my parent's house. It's a second home for them and they are rarely there, so I walk over to check it out. I see a guy backing his car up to the garage, walk around to the side, and come back carrying one of their big tool boxes. I yell and start running towards him. He throws down the toolbox, jumps in his car, and speeds away. I can't cut him off, but I take mental note of a description of him and his car. Takes me a minute to get back to my house, unhook the boat from my truck, get my phone, then head out after him. I saw the way he went and know I'd never catch up to him, but know if he hit the main road and turned left I can catch him by taking a short cut. Turns out I guessed right and see him pass through the intersection in front of me. I follow at a distance and call my son who lives in the town he's heading towards to have him sit at the first stoplight to help keep track while I call and coordinate with the cops. I give them the description of the guy, make and model of his car, then get close enough to give them the license plate number. He turns onto a parallel street (no where to go) and I keep going so he doesn't know I am following him. He pulls back in behind me then I see my son's car at the gas station up ahead. We all get to the stop light in line with me in front, the thief in the middle, and my son right behind him. One part of me is thinking, "You have him trapped. Go back there, pull him out of his car, and beat his ass." The other part says, "He may have a weapon. Let the police do their job. You're on the phone with them and they are waiting up ahead." Light turns green and I drive on. He passes me when it turns into a two-lane and then he starts taking back streets. I keep relaying the location to the police, knowing that he has to be getting suspicious of me now. He gets to a stop sign at a 4-way and I see a police car pulling up to the intersection on the left. I think, "Thank goodness! They're here! They're gonna catch him!" The guy makes a left right in front of the cop and I roll down my window and point that he's who they're looking for. What does the cop do? Never turns lights on. Does the slowest 3-point turn in history of the world. Heads back up the street after the car at a normal pace. Gets to the next stop sign and lets several cars pass. Then turns and the guy is gone. Imagine that. WTF!? I stop and make a report. See a picture of who the car is registered to and it's not who I saw. The cop also got a good look when he drove past. Anyway, a few weeks pass and I never hear back, even after several voicemails left with the officer in charge of the case.

Got me thinking a few things, chief among them: When was the exact point in this scenario when it became or would have become theft and the perpetrator could be charged? As soon as he picked up the toolbox? If and only if he had put it in his car or taken it off my parent's property? Does it have to be in his possession when apprehended? Since he threw it down, could he only be charged with trespassing? Since he got away, is it not prosecutable because it would be he said vs he said? I asked a lawyer friend of mine. He said it wasn't clear. :wow. Anyway, frustrating.

@VikingsGuy , @Ben Lamb , do either of you practice criminal law? Insights on the difficulties or often overlooked encumbrances to prosecution?

2. Today I was leaving a jobsite in town when a guy walks real slow and close by my truck before realizing I was in it. He walks across the street and I see him walk past another car real slow, then turn around and come back by it. I take a picture of him and as I drive by I see him open the door and squat beside the drivers door. Looks fishy, so I block it. He has now crossed the street and is in another driveway trying to open another car door but it's locked. I pull back into the house I am working at and call the cops. Tell them I've seen a guy trying to get into cars, clear description of the guy and what he's wearing, tell them right where he's at, and give them my phone number. I tell the work crew next door to watch their tools they have out front, feel like I have done my job, and start driving home. I pass a cop and wave, knowing he's on the scene. Then right behind him I see the guy walking down the sidewalk. 30 seconds later I get a call from the police officer,
"This is Office XYZ, can I help you?"
"Yeah, there's a guy who I watched trying to get into different cars."
"Did you see him take anything?"
"No, but I saw him open the door of one car and try to open another at a different address."
"Did he ever leave your view?"
"Yes, as I was driving around the block."
"Well, I talked to the guy you gave the description of. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"Are you serious?"
Click.
Must have hung up by accident and will call right back. Nope. And this conversation he says had with this guy could only have taken place during the time that I was talking with the crew next door (bc I saw him walk by through the alley and pointed him out) and when I pulled back out and passed the cop at the light, no more than 1 minute. Did even get out of his car? How much did he look into it?

Anyway, frustrating for several reasons. One is the difficulty in holding criminals accountable. The other is the difficulty on holding those accountable whose job it is to hold those criminals accountable. Almost makes you want to take things into your own hands. (My lawyer friend said that was a very bad idea.)

One thing's for sure: I will now have to keep a much closer watch on my tool trailer and work truck while I am there.
Cops don't care about theft anymore and have an aversion to pursuing or attempting to arrest people that are going to flee or resist. Lawsuits and the state of politics in our nation has wussified mostly management of cities and counties and they don't want the drama, liability, or political hot potatoes that go along with aggressive law enforcement.

It's easier for them to tell their chiefs/sheriff's don't do that stuff and let the citizens pay the price. Cops wants their pensions so they aren't going to rock the boat.

Sorry but that is the truth of it in most places in America these days. In most instances you are on your own.
 

VikingsGuy

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Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
9,330
Location
Twin Cities
Cops don't care about theft anymore and have an aversion to pursuing or attempting to arrest people that are going to flee or resist. Lawsuits and the state of politics in our nation has wussified mostly management of cities and counties and they don't want the drama, liability, or political hot potatoes that go along with aggressive law enforcement.

It's easier for them to tell their chiefs/sheriff's don't do that stuff and let the citizens pay the price. Cops wants their pensions so they aren't going to rock the boat.

Sorry but that is the truth of it in most places in America these days. In most instances you are on your own.

The average LEO is a lot better than this post implies.
 

Cogreeny

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Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
346
Location
Lyons, CO
We just had 2 Lincoln pipeliner welders stolen out of our yard. Same guy 3 hours apart. First one was in the daylight second was in the dark. Cameras got his face, license plate. Plate was stolen. The cops brought in a detective he ran the guy through whatever system they have. They found him in Greeley Colorado (no surprise) nabbed his ass. Welders were nowhere to be found. Weld county sheriff says to us he’ll be out by Tuesday on no bail doing the same shit again. These judges are the problem not the cops.
 

HONEYBADGER

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Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
503
We just had 2 Lincoln pipeliner welders stolen out of our yard. Same guy 3 hours apart. First one was in the daylight second was in the dark. Cameras got his face, license plate. Plate was stolen. The cops brought in a detective he ran the guy through whatever system they have. They found him in Greeley Colorado (no surprise) nabbed his ass. Welders were nowhere to be found. Weld county sheriff says to us he’ll be out by Tuesday on no bail doing the same shit again. These judges are the problem not the cops.

Judges didnt make the laws, they just apply them.
 

Cogreeny

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Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
346
Location
Lyons, CO
Judges didnt make the laws, they just apply them.
How bout letting criminals out on no bail that break into your sister in laws house? Is that the law? She shot one on the leg. Judge set $0 bail. This is what I’m getting at. Violent home invasion and $0 bail. Get real. I can be 100% certain had he entered my home no judge needed call the coroner. Both our homes are rural.
 
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Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,391
They are too busy catching blue collar workers going 66 in a 55 to bother with actual crime. Its been that way for years.

People pay speeding tickets.

Junkies breaking into houses are a headache for them and besides, you have homeowners insurance. Right? lol


 

VikingsGuy

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Twin Cities
It is a frustrating but tricky situation. Even if you set aside a small number of "woke" prosecutors, bail is not a simple question. A recent study showed that the US has only about 20% of the police it needs given its population and crime rate. And there are others that have shown we have about a third of the number of judges (and their staff), a third of the prosecutors (and staff) and 15% of the public defenders (and staff) to actually provide the accused a constitutionally mandated speedy trial. So, if you are lower income and charged with a misdemeanor that could at max send you to jail for 1 yr, you can spend that much time sitting in jail waiting for your constitutionally guaranteed trial. And yes, there is a right to a "speedy" trial, but that is typically viewed as 2-6 months - a long time for a presumably innocent person to sit in jail - lose job, etc. And in most cases, the defendant is encouraged by the prosecutor (via exchange for somewhat lesser charges) and the public defenders and judges (too much caseload) to waive that right, which many do (much to their detriment in most cases in my opinion).

So, America has a choice - give up the belief in the presumption of innocence, quit complaining about our imperfect but substantially underfunded system or actually fund the law enforcement and judicial systems to the level we claim to want. But it really is not ok, if you believe in individual liberty, to use bail as a way of locking up for months the un-tried and presumed innocent. So which is it? Keep our taxes down or fully fund a justice system that actually meets our needs. The last 50 years have shown this to be a rhetorical question - the answer is self-evident.
 
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VikingsGuy

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Uh huh

(a) my remarks were about LEOs and this article says nothing bad about them - it is about dept policy

(b) the article leaves out an essential item - the speed of the dispute. If slow then shame on the dispatcher, but if high speed then this is just standard policy in many places for last 40 yrs so hardly a woke conspiracy.
 

HONEYBADGER

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Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
503
(a) my remarks were about LEOs and this article says nothing bad about them - it is about dept policy

(b) the article leaves out an essential item - the speed of the dispute. If slow then shame on the dispatcher, but if high speed then this is just standard policy in many places for last 40 yrs so hardly a woke conspiracy.

It is not standard policy in most places to stop pursuing a vehicle that contains suspects who pointed a gun at an innocent man's head, threatened his life, and robbed him. Traffic offenses, narcotics, vehicle theft ...sure, but not the offenses in this case

They are also suspects in 11 other robberies in less than a month.

It will continue and they will kill someone if they haven't already.

It that's not woke I don't know what is.

The average LEO cares about their retirement, not the people they are protecting. Those LEOs become supervisors and managers who make policy.
 

mtmuley

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Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
10,854
Location
montana
The average LEO cares about their retirement, not the people they are protecting. Those LEOs become supervisors and managers who make policy.
This may be true in this day and age, I have no idea. Several of my family members were in LE but it was years ago. I know they didn't feel that way. My Grandfather as Sheriff of Toole County in Montana closed down the brothel there. Doubt he cared about his retirement. Some just do their job cause it's the right thing to do. mtmuley
 

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