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Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime

 

A public de-tree-ment

STANFORD AVENUE — Bright and early on July 23, Groundskeeper Willie arrived to find his tidy Foothills District park somewhat less orderly than he’d left it. Sometime during the previous night, he told JCSO deputies, malicious recreators unknown had chopped down two 15-foot oak trees, plus a third tree of similar stature but uncertain derivation. The mortal remains of only one botanical victim — an oak — remained on the premises, dumped without ceremony in the middle of the ball field. Determined to carry on in their memory, Willie had set about watering the park’s remaining herbaceous inhabitants, only to discover that seven of his prized in-ground sprinkler heads had been similarly savaged. There was no witness to the slaughter, nor any electronic eye to describe the despicable deeds. The case remains dormant pending new information.

 

Holes in his reasoning

ALAMEDA PARKWAY — Thanks to his “military training,” Gaylord Ignatius Joe was pretty sure he knew what happened to his pickup truck’s front passenger-side window. While he’d been tooling eastbound on C-470 shortly after dawn on the morning of July 24, he told deputies, a sniper unknown had blasted it out with a shotgun, possibly from a roost atop the Alameda overpass, or perhaps from a nest hidden within the large cargo trailer that had been traveling abreast of his vehicle at the moment of the blast. Either way, he said, it was weapons-free on the beltway. Officers weren’t so sure. Examining the vehicle, deputies could find no trace of a shotgun discharge, and examining the terrain they determined that if Joe’s jitney had indeed been fired upon, the shot must necessarily have originated on either the highway’s shoulder, or the shoulder of Dinosaur Ridge. Lastly, the fellow sitting next to the window didn’t get a single scratch when it disintegrated, and not one of several amateur paleontologists who’d been within earshot recalled hearing the telltale crack of buckshot. Something took out Joe’s window, sure enough, but deputies would be darned if they could determine what it was. Joe said he’d let JCSO know if anything of interest turns up while he’s cleaning out the cab.

 

Is there a tree surgeon in the house?

WEST BELLEWOOD PLACE — As far as Mr. Gibbons could figure, sometime during the night of July 21 a misguided motorist had disastrously detoured directly into the large pine tree in his front yard. Although he hadn’t heard anything unusual at the time, the dawn had revealed several large branches torn completely off its lower trunk, which loose limbs had subsequently been collected by the perp and thrown onto his lawn. Gibbons had no idea who the late-night lumberjack might be, and deputies could find no clue as to what manner of vehicle had lacerated his landscaping. The perpetrator remains at large and is presumed to be pine-scented.

 

A puzzle better left unsolved

WEST CLIFTON AVENUE — Pinky Tuscadero went down to DMV on July 23 to pay the registration fee on her new motorcycle. Pinky was alarmed to discover that the registration fee had been paid in full on June 30 by a benefactor or benefactors unknown. Thinking the whole business danged irregular, Pinky asked JCSO to document the mysterious munificence against the possibility that other of her bills and fees might be anonymously satisfied in future.