Walt Vanatta: Police beat for November

Below is a summary of my monthly report to the Craig City Council regarding Police Department activity for November.

Crime summary

The Police Department responded to 1,104 requests for service in November, and Community Service responded to 123 requests for service.

Crime of the month

November begins the holiday season and winds down the year. The month saw the common variety of calls that we see each month: domestic, driving under the influence, bar fights, and traffic offenses that, unfortunately, we see all too often. It is doubtful that those incidents will go out with the old year.

November saw an increase in the number of vehicles (usually unlocked) that were entered, resulting in the loss of personal items including money, cameras, cell phones, weapons and other items that were left inside. Some items were recovered, but most were not. The department continues to warn residents that the days in Craig of leaving their homes and cars, unlocked are behind us. There are those people who continue to disrespect the property of others and take the opportunity, when presented, to steal. So, 'Tis the season - keep your holiday a happy one. Lock your homes and cars and don't leave personal property behind.

Included in the senseless crimes category were the increase in vandalisms, primarily the damage to business and vehicle windows. This seems to be a yearly happening, and again, it comes from the disrespect by certain individuals of the property of others. Mental giants, most certainly. Proving this point: late evening, along a well-traveled thoroughfare in Craig, a "sharp, impact sound" occurs when a projectile strikes the window of a business and shatters it, causing more than $400 in damage. This description isn't just a guess at what this may have sounded like, but rather it is what the officer wrote in his case report.

It was quite easy for him to give such detail because he was parked on a side road and witnessed this incident while observing traffic. Within minutes, a vehicle was stopped with two male occupants, and an interesting device called a "wrist rocket," or as it is commonly known, a "slingshot." But, this was designed as a more powerful version capable of damage or injury. End result - an 18-year-old man cited in court.

The officer above was apparently parked in such a stealthy manner that he was not observed. However, this is the electronic age, and many businesses make no secret about their use of surveillance cameras to detect crimes such as theft and shoplifting.

Apparently, one employee did not take this into account when he decided to subsidize his paycheck out of the cash register. Over a period of weeks, an estimated $3,000 was taken.

Smile, you're on candid camera!

Code enforcement

Code Enforcement Officer Becky Otis and Community Service Officer Connie Davis handled the following calls in November:

• Spoke to the owners and red tagged three abandoned vehicles. Two vehicles were towed.

• No weed complaints.

• One code violation. The property owner was spoken to and the property was brought into compliance.

• No junk/trash violations.

Miscellaneous

The annual Substance Abuse Prevention Program Pancake Breakfast took place Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 at McDonald's in Craig. The awards breakfast for the top ticket sellers was Dec. 11 at McDonald's.

Training

No training took place in November.

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