Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime

Tete a tete a trois

WEST CROSS DRIVE — Buffy and Muffy were the best of friends. One day Buffy was trolling for kicks on Facebook and fell mouse-over-modem in love with a strapping swain named Biff. In due course the cyber sweethearts were married in person. Sadly, Muffy never really warmed up to Biff as Buffy’s beau, and liked him even less as Buffy’s hubby. Unable to reconcile Buffy’s love for Biff with Muffy’s hatred of him, the friendship of Buffy and Muffy turned to rancor and resentment. Buffy and Biff moved out of state, and Muffy wasn’t sorry to see them go. Late last year, Buffy started calling Muffy to complain that her White Knight was turning out to be a plug horse. Not surprised or particularly sympathetic, Muffy invariably told Buffy she was no longer interested in the couple’s romantic misadventures, but seldom failed to back up her supposed indifference by sending Biff a string of texts cursing him for a cad, which usually prompted a string of return texts from Biff demanding that Muffy mind her own beeswax. Biff’s and Muffy’s long-distance hate affair entered an exciting new phase on Jan. 24, when Biff sent Muffy a text saying he and Buffy were returning to Colorado. “I can’t wait to see you face to face and see if you talk to me like that,” Biff wrote, ungallantly. “I know where you work and I’ll be running into you there a bunch.” Presumably less eager to renew a direct association, Muffy called JCSO and asked that a deputy convey her regrets and worst-wishes to Biff by proxy. Contacted by phone, Biff admitted he probably shouldn’t have set his text in such an aggressive posture, but agreed that “the situation is ridiculous” and promised not to mess with Muffy a-more.


Asked and answered

WEST BOWLES AVENUE — On the night of Jan. 27, JCSO dispatch was apprised that an enterprising young pugilist was trying to drum up some business on the sidewalk outside a popular night spot. Arriving deputies quickly identified the scrapper — one Jack Dempsey — by his brown jacket, distinctive ball cap and advanced degree of inebriation, and asked him why he was picking fights with strangers. Deftly turning the tables, Dempsey asked why JCSO deputies were always hassling him. The officers didn’t venture an opinion but did note that, besides drunk, Dempsey was agitated and aggressive, pacing furiously and thrusting his face within inches of their own. Somewhere among a torrent of ranting profanities, he explained that he’d left a couple of video games at a nearby shop for repairs, but had so far received only one of the games back, and it still didn’t work. He’d gone to the repair shop that evening to demand satisfaction, but they’d kicked him out, leaving him in a foul and combating humor. While sympathetic, officers pointed out that he couldn’t work his beef out on innocent club patrons, and cautioned that if he didn’t calm down, they might have to handcuff him in the public interest. Not calming down at all, Dempsey wondered how come JCSO always seems to want to handcuff him. With a little gentle cajolery and a lot of elbow grease, deputies managed to get Dempsey cuffed and quieted, by which process they discovered the prohibited blackjack stuck in his back pocket. Dempsey said he didn’t know there was a blackjack in his back pocket. The officers said he knew it now, and that he was under arrest for possessing an illegal weapon. Dempsey wanted to know why JCSO was always arresting him.


A parable for our time

SOUTH REED WAY — Wandering Willie’s problem was both timeless and timely. Smitten with a delicious dish named Lola Allure, two years ago he’d left his wife, Tess Trueheart, and settled down with his beguiling temptress two states to the east. Alas, its roots poisoned by black betrayal, their brittle tree of love bore only bitter fruit, and late last year a chastened Willie crawled west again, begging the loyal Tess to pardon his faithless folly and welcome him back into her generous heart. She did, and Willie doubtless thought himself the luckiest scoundrel in three states until that bright morning last month when he realized somebody was breaking into all of his Internet accounts and changing his passwords. Since only two people in the world had reason to wish him harm, and since Lola had, in happier times, demonstrated for his amusement a dubious talent for “hacking,” Willie called the vengeful Ms. Allure and told her to knock it off. Lola denied everything, of course, but Willie knew better, and, with his online presence rapidly approaching pre-industrial levels, he called JCSO for help. An obliging deputy called Lola and asked if she’d been changing Willie’s passwords. Lola said she had not, adding commentary to the effect that she wouldn’t waste the effort on the likes of Willie. Asked where she could be contacted should a personal interview appear warranted, Lola replied that she’s not precisely employed at the moment, is currently between home addresses, and doesn’t plan to change either condition in the foreseeable future. In short, Lola Allure’s elusive, the computer accounts remain corrupted, and Willie’s annoyed.


How NAFTA works

SOUTH NELSON CIRCLE — Making a routine inquiry he would shortly regret, on Jan. 18 the deputy learned the pickup truck parked on the shoulder had been reported stolen about two months earlier. The vehicle’s listed owner lived nearby, and the officer dutifully looked him up to find out why that might be. The owner turned out to be a nervous, fidgety man who seemed more willing to cooperate in theory than in fact. He said he’d found the truck on a website, although which website he couldn’t quite remember, and thereby contacted the wife of the truck’s presumed owner, a surname-free fellow called “Dusty,” who put him in contact with Dusty’s presumed business partner in North Dakota, who put him in contact with Dusty himself, who instructed Mr. Fidget to meet him south of the border to close the deal. “About two weeks ago or so,” said Mr. Fidget, he’d flown to Arizona, rented a car in a border town he couldn’t recall, driven an unspecified distance into Mexico, and came to rest in a small Mexican town he couldn’t recall, which is where he met Dusty and came into possession of the truck. When the officer expressed an interest in talking with Dusty, Mr. Fidget became positively twitchy, saying he had “a lot of paperwork” that might have Dusty’s number in it somewhere, but that Dusty “has about 20 pay-as-you-go phones,” and it just wouldn’t pay to look. Surprisingly enough, given that remarkably sketchy tale, Mr. Fidget seemed to be — at least temporarily — the vehicle’s legal owner. After a drug-sniffing canine cop gave the truck its personal seal of approval, the deputy bid Mr. Fidget good day, but warned him that his purchase came with a shaky pedigree and a JCSO detective would probably be looking him up one day soon. Mr. Fidget said that no matter what happened, he could never be persuaded to take legal action against Dusty. Before parting ways in that little Mexican town, he explained, Dusty made him sign a handwritten note “stating that I would not press any charges against Dusty at any time.” 


Never mind the Barcalounger in the glove compartment

WEST HIALEAH PLACE — The thrift store employees called on the fly. It was 8 p.m. Jan. 20, and they were in hot pursuit of a white Ford F-250 heading south with a bed full of boosted donations. Deputies stopped the truck on West 2nd Avenue and asked its sole occupant to explain the diversity of pre-owned goods piled in back and jammed in the cab. About a month ago, the driver told officers, a guy at the thrift store assured him that items placed in a certain area were to be discarded and could be procured without permission or penalty, and that everything he’d taken had been in that area. The thrift store employees begged to differ, saying that he’d taken his second-hand swag from the area reserved for depositing donations, and they planned to press theft charges. Perhaps mindful of that principle of law that says you can’t steal your own stuff, the accused announced that most of the stuff in the truck bed, and all of the articles packed into the cab, belonged to him all along. In other words, he’d just been tooling around town with a filing cabinet, stair-stepping machine, portable air-conditioner, three pairs of skis, a broom, and a child’s bicycle with a “Goodwill” sticker on it in the back of his truck, and a leaf blower, a drying rack, a folded-up weight bench, a power-washer and two small chairs taped together in his cab. The thrift store employees disputed him on several points, most significantly regarding the skis and the broom, which are kept on store property and could only have been obtained through a determined act of trespass. Deputies cited the anti-donor for theft and second-degree trespass, and the goods were returned to the store’s “Not For Stealing” area. 


But check the hatchets at the door

WEST ROXBURY PLACE — Buzzy and Lulu are neighbors. Buzzy and Lulu don’t get along. Buzzy likes to complain to JCSO about Lulu’s dogs. Lulu likes to complain to JCSO about Buzzy’s surveillance cameras. On the morning of Jan. 15, Lulu called JCSO with a new camera to complain about. She said Buzzy’s latest eye-in-the-sky appeared to be unwholesomely situated as best to record the activities of Lulu’s teenage daughters. As far as the responding deputy could see, it was situated as best to record the inside of Buzzy’s own privacy fence. Well then it might interest you to know, Lulu continued, not yet defeated, that Buzzy once blasted the song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” all afternoon just to get her goat, and that he’s been seen by reliable persons leaving the house after dark dressed in black clothing. The officer pointed out that while neither of those actions are, strictly speaking, illegal, he’d stroll next door and ask Buzzy about his impressive camera array. Instead of offering an explanation, Buzzy waved the deputy inside to see that none of the contested cameras were, strictly speaking, hooked up to anything. Truth is, Buzzy admitted, Lulu won’t make her dogs shut up so he installs dummy cameras just to yank her chain, and he’d appreciate it they could keep that little factoid on the Q-T. Alas, the deputy was duty-bound to share the joke with Lulu, who chose that moment to realize her feud with Buzzy was childish and un-neighborly and asked the deputy to “arrange a meeting” so they could “bury the hatchet.” The officer asked Buzzy if he’d be up for a little hatchet-burying. Buzzy said he’d think about it.