Sheriff's Calls

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Define ‘good’
— Pulling on his most comfortable cardigan, Mr. Rogers stepped out into the crisp morning sunshine on Nov. 6 and surveyed his tidy neighborhood with satisfaction. Then he got into his car, threw it into reverse and felt a pronounced “thump.” Mr. Rogers discovered to his chagrin that one of his neighbors had slashed the sidewall of his rear passenger-side tire. When Deputy Clemmons arrived to investigate, Mr. Rogers directed the officer’s attention to the thick pattern of BB holes in his gardening shack. Noting that the BBs appeared to arrive along an easterly vector, Deputy Clemmons asked Mr. Rogers if he had any enemies so oriented. It was Mr. Rogers’ opinion that the slashed tire and the peppered potting shed were both the work of Bob Troll, his good neighbor to the east. Asked why Troll would behave so discourteously, Rogers expressed genuine puzzlement. “I don’t know,” Mr. Rogers shrugged. “We’ve been neighbors for six years and have a good relationship.” With no eyewitnesses and only the complainant’s favorable assessment of the prime suspect to go on, Deputy Clemmons suggested that Mr. Rogers call again when he has more authoritative evidence of un-neighborliness.

Don’t fence me in
— Soapy Smith summoned deputies on the morning of Nov. 7 to investigate dirty doings at the car wash. Surveillance footage clearly showed a heavily laden white-over-gray Dodge Ram pickup truck entering Wash Bay No. 1. A few minutes later, the not-noticeably-cleaner pickup exits with nothing in its bed but potential. Left behind were seven 36-square-foot wooden fence sections forming a perfect pile of pine-picket impediment. Unfortunately, the vehicle’s license plate number wasn’t visible on the security tape, and because no cameras cover the wash bay interiors and the truck was equipped with darkly tinted windows, suspect descriptions were sketchy at best. Even so, Soapy wanted the nefarious fence-foisters to feel the high-pressure spray of arrest and the micro-fiber shammy of punishment. Deputies promised to scour the town, but it’s likely the perps got away clean.

Poking the bear
— Responding to a 911 love-emergency, the deputy encountered a young man sitting outside in his car. The young man said he’d rather not go inside because it would only invite an argument with his girlfriend. Duly warned, but with a duty to do, the officer entered anyway and found the young woman busily packing her belongings. The young woman said she had no emergency and merely called 911 because her boyfriend had discontinued her phone service and that was the only number she could get. She also charged her former beau with breaking her laptop and said she wanted him “out of my face.” According to the officer, the angry young lady maintained a consistently sarcastic and “unfriendly” demeanor throughout their interview. He retreated outside to confab with the boyfriend, who explained that he’d left his girlfriend’s laptop in his car during several cold nights and feared that its liquid crystal guts might be suffering from exposure. He also said that her phone account had been in his mom’s name, and his mom pulled the plug because she no longer wished to be responsible for the ill-tempered girl’s phone bill. At the deputy’s suggestion, the lovelorn fellow left for the evening so his bitter sweetheart could finish packing without interruption. When so informed, the woman said “fine” and abruptly dismissed the officer. Before leaving, the deputy asked the girl a few follow-up questions and was chagrined to learn that they were no longer on speaking terms. Defeated, he announced his departure. Imperiously, she ignored him. Prudently, he closed the case.