Walt Vanatta: August saw a mixture of criminal activity

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

Crime summary

The Police Department responded to 1,348 requests for service during August, and Community Service responded to 231 requests for service.

Crime of the month: Armed robbery

In August, the Police Department saw a mixture of criminal activity, not unlike other months. No remarkable trends were observed, but some notable crimes were reported.

An early morning armed robbery at a local convenience store resulted in the loss of money and some stress for the night clerk. Evidence was found at the scene and diligent observation by officers working a DUI days later brought about the development of a suspect based on possible related evidence to the robbery. This investigation is ongoing.

Category of bad timing :

A call was received late at night about three males threatening some other people with a gun. This is certainly a bad thing to do in any situation, but it elevates to stupid when the evening happens to be one where the Police Department is holding a night shoot, or handgun training. So, instead of the usual on duty officers responding to the call, almost everyone from the police chief on down responded.

After some time covering possible locations and main streets around the city, the suspect's car was located on the airport road. The felony stop results in enough flashing lights to land a TWA jet on the roadway. Oh, never mind, that's been done before. In any event, the three males should have been a little stunned to find out they were so popular. All three went to jail and charges covered menacing, illegal use of weapons, underage drinking and possession of narcotics.

Calls to code enforcement officers

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

• Spoke to the owners and red tagged 14 abandoned vehicles. No vehicles were towed.

• Fifty-two weed complaints. Spoke to the property owners and brought the property into compliance.

• Three code violations. Spoke to the property owners and brought properties into compliance.

• Nine junk/trash violations. Spoke to property owners and brought properties into compliance.

Miscellaneous police activities

• In August, testing and background work to fill three officer vacancies was successful. On Sept. 2, three new officers began training with the department. We welcome Lance Eldridge, Bob Brabo and John Meyers aboard. All three are Colorado certified officers with varying degrees of law enforcement experience.

• National Night Out took place Aug. 5 at Wendy's.

• The Law Enforcement Annual Awards Picnic was Aug. 13 at the Moffat County Pavilion. This was a family event co-sponsored by the Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office.

• The 2008-09 Safety Belt Awards Program will begin in September. Corporal Bryan Gonzales is coordinating the program.

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