Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime

Assault on batteries

GOLF COURSE DRIVE — On the morning of July 31, Mr. Palmer was chagrined to find three of his solar landscape lights topless and stripped of their power cells. A few moments later, however, he was tickled to find that his expensive home surveillance system was good for something after all. There on his computer screen, in grainy black and white and time-stamped 11:11 the night before, a portly ghost strolled into his yard, bent low over the fanciful fixtures, and wandered back the way it came leaving only darkness and mystery behind. Or maybe not so much mystery, since the corpulent shade possessed a physical profile strikingly like that of a certain neighbor, Mr. Snead, with whom Mr. Palmer’s been at war for about two years. Mr. Palmer summoned a deputy, who reviewed the footage before paying a call on the Sneads. Mr. and Mrs. Snead said they returned home from vacation about 10 p.m. the previous night, never left the house thereafter, nor ever saw or heard anything that would tip them to the lamentable vandalism occuring right next door. Although Mr. Snead’s proportions were precisely those of the figure caught on candid camera, no positive identification was immediately possible, so the officer collected the tampered lamps and a copy of Mr. Palmer’s footage for analysis by JCSO crime technicians.


He’s not wrong, you know

WEST KEN CARYL AVENUE — About 1 a.m. July 31, and for the third time within 48 hours, deputies were sent to investigate reports of a red Chevy Cobalt spinning donuts in the parking lot of the Shaffer Parkway Park and Ride. With relatively little traffic to screen the scofflaw, officers caught up with the Cobalt as it was merging onto C-470 and asked its youthful driver if he’d been the one leaving big rubber circles all over the RTD lot. The lad freely admitted “doing donuts” and to “e-brake ripping,” but explained with all seriousness that he’d been moved to those reckless actions only “because it’s fun.” The officers gave Boy Knievel careless driving and disorderly conduct citations with equal seriousness.


She wouldn’t take it sitting down

WEST CHAUTAUGA MOUNTAIN ROAD — On the night of July 24, the complainant had two comfortable deck chairs on her front porch. More than a week later on the morning of Aug. 2, she had only one. If she couldn’t say exactly when her leisure inventory had become thusly depleted, she had high hopes that JCSO could furnish answers. She asked deputies to be on the lookout for a white fan-back wicker chair with complementary beige pillow. She further asked deputies why anybody would steal a single seat. The officers didn’t know, but agreed that she shouldn’t have to stand for it.


‘Do it, or I Mattel the police!’

SOUTH XENOPHON WAY — Feeling chatty and wishing to take full advantage of the fine evening weather on Aug. 1, the woman hereafter referred to as Cathy decided to conduct her nightly telecommunications on the front lawn. Alas, Cathy’s juicy conversations quickly turned to ashes in her mouth as she witnessed the neighbor’s three dogs bark at first a small boy, then at a young couple, and finally at a wee little girl. While the dogs never actually left their yard, and while none of their victims exhibited any serious discomfiture, she felt that action must be taken. As Cathy was deciding just what action to take, the dogs’ owner came out of the house and “flipped me off with both hands.” Insulted and indignant, Cathy informed the woman that she would summon the police if the dogs weren’t taken inside, stat. “Ooooh, I’m going to call 911,” the neighbor mocked, then climbed into her car and drove away, only to return five minutes later and park directly in front of Cathy’s house. “Go back to your house,” Cathy commanded. “I can park wherever I want,” the neighbor replied. “You need to mind your own business.” “Not when your dogs are going after kids,” Cathy glowered. “I’m calling 911.” “Oh, I would love to talk to the cops,” sneered the neighbor, then leapt back into her car and made herself unavailable for interview. In the end, Cathy did talk to the cops, who did talk to the neighbor, whose highly vocal dogs aren’t very popular on the block but who didn’t commit an actual crime. Rather than open an unproductive line of inquiry, officers decided to hang it up.