Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime


Picture this

KEN CARYL AVENUE — The woman was beside herself. At about 9:30 that very morning, she breathlessly told deputies, she’d been innocently sitting at a red light behind a gold Toyota when the gal driving the Toyota turned around in her seat and took pictures of her through the back window. Wanting to get the whole shocking picture, officers asked if the picture-snapping Toyota driver had driven recklessly, made menacing statements or gestures, or in any way impeded the smooth and safe flow of traffic. No, said the woman, she just took pictures through the back window. Deputies thanked her for her clear and informative report.


It’s the ‘lingua franca’ of crime, after all

WEST BELLEVIEW AVENUE — Here’s how it all went down: About 8 p.m. the couple drove their maroon Ford Ranger into the drugstore parking lot, carefully backed into a space on the east side of the building, then came inside. She was a 5-foot, 3-inch redheaded spitfire, he was a strapping 6-footer with a taste for trouble. They grabbed hand baskets and started walking the aisles, gathering along the way a hefty assortment of cosmetics, batteries and sundry household items. A clerk approached and offered assistance. “No English, no English,” said the redhead, waving off the clerk dismissively. Something about the woman’s tone, or attitude, or general demeanor didn’t sit quite right with the clerk. Acting on a hunch, the employee went outside to write down the couple’s license plate number. Seeing the rear license plate “rolled up” and unreadable didn’t quiet the clerk’s apprehensions, but she was able to obtain the necessary numbers from the front plate. About that time the redhead poked her head out of the store and, seeing the clerk standing next to the truck with a pad and pen, marched out to the vehicle, rooted around in the glove compartment for a moment, then loudly announced — in English — “I can’t find my credit card.” She then proceeded to spin for the clerk — with unaccented fluency — an absorbing tale about how she and her companion had just moved into the area and were concerned because their quite obviously half-empty truck bed was so full they didn’t know if they could fit two hand baskets full of cosmetics, batteries and sundry household items into it. The redhead then started marching back toward the store entrance, pointlessly hollering to her companion still inside — in flawless American vernacular — that he’d have to pay for their purchases. Less than a minute later, the dubious duo emerged together carrying nothing but guarded expressions. The man mumbled something — in the Queen’s English — about having forgotten to bring his own credit card, and the pair climbed into the Ranger and roared away westbound on Belleview. Figuring the couple weren’t done shopping in the area, the clerk notified JCSO, which produced a mono-lingual record of the incident.


Unless they’re migratory squirrels

SOUTH QUAIL WAY — Mad Dad was hanging out in his backyard on the morning of May 18 when he was alarmed by what sounded like a shot fired from a pellet gun. That wasn’t surprising, because a few backyards away B.B. Blazer was firing shots from a pellet gun. “Quit shooting!” yelled Mad Dad. Without a word, B.B. quit shooting and went inside. Not satisfied, Mad Dad broadcast his righteous indignation from the corner of his property, hoping B.B. would get the gist of it through an open window. Still not satisfied, Mad Dad got into his car, drove around to the front of B.B.’s house, and phoned the offender’s address to JCSO. Deputies spoke with B.B., who said he routinely shoots squirrels in his backyard because they routinely ravage his garden, but assured officers he mows down the pests in a safe and responsible manner. Since shooting a pellet gun in one’s backyard isn’t a chargeable offense, deputies didn’t charge B.B. with anything. They did, however, suggest that if the neighbors are going to dial 911 every time he reduces the rodent population, he might want to consider a less direct method of doing it.