Thursday, March 03, 2011

Crime Wave

I'm a devotee of police blotters.

The Intertunnel loves police blotters. Lots of newspapers and websites grab mugshots from police websites and get a few jollies looking at the ebb and flow of squalid run-ins with the law. It allows some people to easily find other people to look down their nose at, and so feel better about themselves for no reason other than they're currently at large. Since every celebrity of every sort is arrested more or less weekly (it's how they got all celebrified in the first place, sometimes), there's a luxuriant undergrowth of familiar faces standing in front of a concrete block wall holding up a number in a desultory fashion, too. Those are fun, of course, but they can't compare to small town police blotters.

I publish the Rumford, Maine police blotter at the Rumford Meteor most every week. It's notable for the lack of notable crimes, mostly, and the achingly small sums involved in everything. There's not a lot of poetry to the entries here, and pathos is in short supply;
11/26 – 6:57 PM, Ptl. Miller investigated a gas drive off from a local business. Suspect was located and returned to pay for the gas. No charges.
Its lack of CSI Wherever material is not a detraction for me. Regular people bumping along are interesting. And so it was to fertile ground that reader and commenter Dinah broadcast her suggestion to look into the Bozeman, Montana police blotter. It doesn't disappoint. It's got a no-nonsense Jack Webb kind of vibe, with just a hint of Fife:

  • At 1:20 a.m. a female was found walking down Seventh Avenue wearing pants and a bra. She said that her boyfriend had taken her shirt and kicked her out of the car.
  • An employee of a Main Street business reported "intoxicated or high" teenagers were approaching store customers. Officers determined the teens were not intoxicated.
  • A mother called for help after her 3-year-old daughter's thumb got stuck in the top of a Parmesan cheese container. The girl's thumb had started turning blue.
  • An injured ram was reported on the west side of U.S. Highway 191.
  • Cash register tape that unrolled may have triggered a burglar alarm at a North Seventh Avenue store around 3 a.m.
  • A man was warned around 4 a.m. about his loud singing as he was walking to his vehicle in a parking lot on East Main Street.
  • A man got out of his vehicle on North 19th Avenue to yell at another driver around 3 p.m.
  • A woman reportedly threatened a man on Facebook.
  • A vehicle stopped in the middle of Springhill Road around 9:30 p.m. with bright lights on belonged to a man looking for his cat.
  • A caller captured a weasel near Catron Street around 2:30 p.m. A wildlife agent was contacted.
  • Someone egged a forklift parked near Cedar Wood Circle and Thatch Wood Lane over the weekend.
  • A Montana Rail Link employee asked deputies to keep an eye out for anyone trying to steal grain out of derailed rail cars near Heeb Road until they unload them Wednesday.
  • Three intoxicated males were "flipping the bird" to passing vehicles on Tracy Avenue at 1 a.m.
  • Someone cut the tail off of a man's horse on Cameron Bridge Road.
  • A 20-year-old female was arrested for stealing sandwiches from a business on 11th Avenue.
  • A group of teenagers hanging around a construction site on West Lamme Street around noon weren't doing anything; they were just hanging around.
This is not a police blotter. It is a lyric poem. For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn would be just another entry on it.


Michael said...

The "Police Beat" report in Bar Harbor is always a joy in the off-season. A couple of my favorites:

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A concerned citizen reported an injured duck on Feb. 13. Police notified the Acadia Wildlife Foundation, who agreed to pick up the bird and tend to it.

BAR HARBOR — Two black-and-white oxen ran up the Indian Point Road Saturday morning. Shortly after, they returned to their farm.

MOUNT DESERT — Police received a report of an ashtray being stolen from a car parked on Main Street in Northeast Harbor on Jan. 26.

Have you seen this booK?

Mike said...

For a slightly different approach, it is after all Humboldt County, California, take a look at Arcata Eye Police Log. The links on that page are weekly recaps.

Kenneth said...

And not all are benign. Some are hilarious. I was a police radio operator for 25 years and have a lot of favorite inter-agency communication stories, including - One night we received a BOLO from a Texas agency requesting that our officers be on the look out for a Winnie Bagel stolen from their city. They then gave descriptions of the rv and alleged thief, and further advised, 'suspect accompanied by his short, fat, ugly girlfriend.' Every law enforcement agency in the Southwest received this.

Mizz E said...

This prompted me to check the blotter in my hometown paper. I found this gem.

GALVESTON — A trophy buck went missing during the weekend, but the owner found the deer draped in Mardi Gras beads at a neighbor’s house.