Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime


He left no plastic stone unturned

WEST IDA AVENUE — The HOA officer and the contract lawn guy were doing their best to kick-start the HOA’s sprinkler system, but, try as they might, it refused to sprinkle. After considerable trial and error, they finally located the problem beneath a large plastic boulder, or, perhaps more correctly, not beneath a large plastic boulder. Turns out the large plastic boulder intended to conceal the system’s copper back-flow preventer had just as efficiently concealed its brazen theft. All that remained of the essential device were the sawn ends of two copper pipes, a mess of torn insulation and the large plastic boulder. There were no known witnesses to the crime, no suspects to speak of, and no surveillance cameras in the area. For what it’s worth, there was a rusty 11-piece screwdriver-head set abandoned in the grass nearby, which, evidence-wise, wasn’t as good as a monogrammed hacksaw but was better than nothing.


A cry for attention

SOUTH PIERSON STREET — Sometime during the night of May 21, somebody spray-painted an offensive word across the hatch of his dad’s Jeep Cherokee. He told deputies he suspected a neighborhood girl of the crime. That girl had once toilet-papered his house, he explained, and “left Oreos on the car.” She was mad at him, he continued, because she “likes” him and he refuses to “hang out” with her. Contacted by officers, the girl denied vandalizing the Cherokee. She said the last time she spoke to the lad he’d informed her he was moving away, and she was surprised to learn he still lived there. She said the complainant “creeps” around girls and is consequently unpopular with them. Carrying sidearms and highly trained in all manner of personal combat techniques, the officers weren’t about to hazard the mine field of teenage romance without a smoking gun in hand. The case went colder than unrequited love.


Hew and cry

NORTH RANCH — Hearing a “thumping” outside his house at shortly after midnight on May 26, the homeowner looked out and saw three teenage boys gleefully chopping down a custom-made cedar street sign with an ax. He ran outside and told them he was calling the cops, then ran inside and called the cops. Directed to a possible suspect, deputies spoke with a nervous young lad and his excitable mother. The officers asked Nervous if he had knowledge of the incident. Nervous thought the vandals might have been uninvited guests to his graduation party that evening, but said he could not provide their names, and would not supply the names of invited guests who could identify the vandals. That’s when Excitable chimed in, grousing that she would “probably end up paying for the sign” even though her son was blameless in the matter, castigating the deputies for “making such a big deal” out of a hacked-up street sign, and lamenting that “charging a young person with a crime would ruin their lives.” Deputies explained that they were just trying to conduct a thorough investigation. Excitable countered that they should instead “just be human beings” and “try to understand what it was like at their age.” What officers understood was that there’d be no easy resolution to the case, which remains open pending further suspect information.