Police Beat: A summary report of Craig Police Department activity for July 2012 | CraigDailyPress.com

Police Beat: A summary report of Craig Police Department activity for July 2012

Walt Vanatta, Craig Police Chief
Retired Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta

Below is my report to Craig City Council on police department activity for July

Crime summary:

The department responded to 1,374 requests for service during the month of July and Community Service responded to 202 requests for service.

Crime of the Month (written by Administrative Sgt. John Forgay):

Traffic Tip of the Month — Today’s modern automobiles have those nifty little levers on the left side of the steering wheel. Some have multi-use items attached, but the primary design is to turn on those little lights so others know you are turning right or left.

There are two reasons for using them: No. 1 is out of common courtesy and No. 2 is because state law dictates it.

While we’re on the subject of automobiles, it’s still amazing how many drivers are contacted during a month that have no valid license but still insist on driving. Some respond with “a man’s gotta work,” or “I was just going to the store,” while others simply believe they “have the right” to keep on driving.

The worst-case scenarios are the repeat DUI drivers who previously lot their licenses. One such driver was called in because of his visible state of inebriation (he was drunk) in a local business before driving away prior to officers arriving.

He was quickly spotted and pulled over. He had no valid license due to three prior alcohol violations and five other license “restraints” on file. He had only drank one pint of alcohol earlier.


Caught on camera — While we’re on the subject of alcohol, a loud party was called in at a motel. This resulted in officers contacting nine underage kids partying, including 16- and 18-year-old females hiding in a closet.

A 21-year-old was captured on surveillance camera bringing a case of beer to the room, where he was “just visiting” some friends. He was taken to the jail, but not for a visit.

Interestingly but stupidly, the same 21-year-old was arrested three days later for having another underage party at his apartment (no cameras allowed).

While we’re on the subject of surveillance cameras, a local business reported a theft from its property. The theft was not caught on the business’s surveillance system, as the property stolen was the surveillance cameras.

That’s just wrong!

Honesty — A suspect steals from a local liquor store and a waitress describes the thief. Cops stop a suspect with a brown bag in his hand and ask, “What’s in the bag?”

The thief replies, “I stole a bottle of whiskey, it was stupid, that’s all I’m saying.”

You said enough, pal!

While we’re on the subject of honesty, an 18-year-old was stopped for a traffic violation and the officer smelled the distinct odor of marijuana in the car.

Upon questioning, the young man stated “I’ll be honest with you,” and explained that some friends have smoked weed in his vehicle. What he failed to explain was the drug paraphernalia, drug residue, prescription pills and alcohol in the vehicle.

Oops, darn!

I’ll be honest with you, young man. You screwed up.

Community service:

(Community Service Officers Connie Davis, Josh Wright and Jill Nelson handled the following calls during the month of July)

• Red tagged four abandoned vehicles, none were towed.

• 126 weed complaints.

• Eight code violations.

• 46 junk/trash violations.

• Issued one administrative warning for an abandoned vehicle.

• Three parking citations were issued.

• Two parking citations were issued.

• One code citation was issued.


• Department personnel assisted with the VFW Fourth of July Parade.

• Detective Dale Secules resigned and his lat day of work is Aug. 31. Dale is pursuing a career as a truck driver. His position will be filled from within the department. Testing will take place Aug. 8. Four applicants are testing to transfer into this position.


July 6, Records Technician Terrianne Wheeler attended Colorado Open Records Act training in Delta. Records Manager/Colorado Certified Records Network Board member Dixie Beck assisted the Delta County Police Department with this training, which was hosted by the Association of Law Enforcement Records Technicians.

Several officers and civilian employees have completed courses through video and online training by the Colorado Intergovernmental Rick Sharing Agency.

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