OT: police refuse to do their job

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Dan C wrote:

While he's obsessing over a problem there's no solution for (that will be satisfactory to him, no doubt), the insurance he's speaking of is for the stolen property, <not> the car...
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

The problem with fingerprinting is that it requires a large amount of expertise and effort (usually it requires a forensic officer, not just a regular cop) and rarely produces results. After all, the only time they'll get a match is if those prints are already in the database, and even then they _might_ get a match.
The bottom line is that unless the crime is particularly egregious, it usually isn't worth it to fingerprint, because only very rarely will the fingerprinting result in an arrest and conviction.

Fill out the police report. Make an insurance claim. That's why you have insurance, isn't it? Even if the cops catch the thief, you still need to make the insurance claim (since your tools have probably been fenced by that point).

Complain to the appropriate police-oversight body.
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wrote:

Thell the cops you saw the bad guy smoking a joint. They will turn heaven and earth to catch him.
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Write a letter to your local newspaper. And buy a *car alarm*.

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Jim Yanik
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

OK so you talk them into sending out someone to take fingerprints. That cost the taxpayers, including you, how much? So now they have some fingerprints and how many million people that they may match?? What do you suggest next?
I would rather they spend their limited resources where they will protect the most lives and property. It would appear your problem is not it.
BTW about 15 years ago someone did break into our home and they stole some electronic equipment. In this case they did take fingerprints, but that was only because my son thought he knew who they might be. He was right. Some 10 years before that I was woke by some noise. I called the police, they came right out. After checking things out and finding that someone was trying to break in a window and my cat and I moving around scared them off, they stuck around for a while in their car. about ten minutes later someone took off (about 2:00 am) from an alley and make a quick turn with their lights out. The police gave chase and caught them. The got them based on the tools they had, as couple of stop signs and sine stolen property. Most of the time they do a good job, let them do it.
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

It costs the tax payers, including me, less than the $100's in damage just ONE breakin by this criminal costs. Who knows how many times she has done this and how many more times she will. Do you think that this type of criminal is going to have an attack of conscience until they have either done 1000's if not 10's of 1000's of dollars in damage and theft or been caught?

A good print will exactly match one person. If there are multipe breakins they can probably match up the fingerprints even if the prints lifted from one of the breakins produces multiple possible matches.

I suggest they make an arrest based upon an exact match. I suggest they make an arrest for purposes of interrogation for multiple possible matches where one person has a history. They might also use hair, etc where there are multiple possible print matches but a single suspect seems more likely to have committed the crime based upon past record.

The police don't protect houses or cars -- what "valuable property" should they protect? Yes, people have broken in and the police have even refused to come out to look!

Most of the time they DO NOT do a good job. Most of the time they do NO JOB. I am glad to hear that 15 years ago they caught someone when you told them who did it and another person driving with their lights out. The police here have not even managed that for me.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Bullshit. How much do you think it costs to pay a forensics-trained officer for the couple of hours it'll take to go to your house, lift the prints, and check them against a database? I'd bet it's a lot more than the cost of repairing a door or window, which will probably be covered by your insurance anyway.

That's the main problem with residential break-ins. Unless the thief is caught in the act, the chances of them being arrested are fairly slim. It's not because the police aren't doing their jobs - it's because there isn't enough evidence at a typical break-in to link to a particular thief.

That's beside the point. The original question had to do with fingerprints. For the most part, fingerprinting works really well to confirm that a particular person committed a particular crime, but only if you have a good idea of who the criminal is in the first place. Real policework isn't like what you see on CSI, where the fingerprint gets put into a computer and the thief's picture comes up two seconds later.

And if the criminal's prints aren't in any database, the lifted print will match exactly nothing.

See above. Even if they do take prints, the chance of a match is pretty slim. Most break-ins are committed by youths, who often haven't been arrested and fingerprinted before. Even if they have been fingerprinted, the prints may not be available for cross-referencing.

You've been watching far too much CSI. Stop worrying about what the police have been doing, and look at what you can do to ensure that your home or car isn't a likely target.

Human beings. I'd much rather have the police worrying about violent crime than property crime. "Valuable property", regardless of how valuable, can be replaced, often with insurance.

That's probably because many police forces have realized that the only benefit to doing forensics after a residential break-in is that it'll make the homeowner feel like something is being done, regardless of whether that action does anything.
Most people spend far too much time worrying about what the police are doing about crimes, yet they do virtually nothing sensible to protect their own property. For example, the tools mentioned in the original post - do you think they were appropriately marked (say, with a driver's license number), so that they can be traced back to the original owner if they get recovered? Probably not...
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Andy Simms wrote:

Greetings,
I know you raised a lot of points saying essentially that for every $2 in we spend on crime fighting we prevent $1 worth of crime. I don't believe it but I am not going to try to dispute it at this time. Instead I am going to ask this.
As a man of principal, should we stand for this ethically?
"Millions for warships but not a penny for tribute" doesn't ring true for you? It is better to have $999,999.99 worth of stolen property and damage than to spend $1,000,000.00 on crime fighting? We might argue about whether or not money spent on crime fighting is cost effective but I believe we will never see eye to eye on the ethical issue.
Rejoice, although I firmly believe I am right on this you appear to be in the majority.
Regretfully, William
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Money isn't really the issue. Say they had a dozen cops strip your car to pieces, find every possible shred of evidence for your tool theft, and do every bit of investigating possible. What do you think the chances are that they'll catch the thief AND successfully prosecute? I'd bet the chances are actually fairly low.
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

It is interesting that you say "she." Do you know it is a woman? Do you know what woman? Unless you know who it is likely to be, how do you think the police are going to know. You have a fingerprint. Great so where do you go from there? How do you connect that with a particular person? Most people have no fingerprints on file. That includes most people who do break ins. Even if you could find a match, then how do you find that person? Do you think it is really worth spending many thousands of dollars to find one kid who broke into your truck.
Get a life. You are not the only one. This is real life, not TV show life.

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On 12 Aug 2005 16:38:39 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com"

What police jurisdiction are you in?
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I had a situation like this happen once. I was president of a condo association and we had a punk in his 20's show up and move in with his mother and step-dad. He was a real trouble maker, no job, went around intimidating residents, standing outside their units just staring at them, asking them for money, etc. I'd heard complaints from a half dozen people. He'd had confrontations at the pool. So, one day he goes to the pool and the lifeguard asks to see his pool badge, as she does with everyone. He gets in her face and curses her out in front of everyone. She calls the cops, I get informed of it and go over. So, I tell him to go home, he's not using the pool today. Couple days later, I have FU carved in the hood of my car.
So, I called the cops, they came out, took the report. They already knew the punk, he had a long arrest record. But like in this case, they said there was nothing more they could do. I asked about trying for fingerprints, was told wasn;t worth the effort. So, I made a call to the condo association attorney and asked him to call the township business administrator. That same day, I had a cop dusting for prints. And he confirmed what a career criminal this skunk was and that he was dangerous. For the next week, I'd look out and see a cruiser parked on the street in front of my home, randomly for a couple hours at a time, where it had an excellent view of where the punk was living too. Asked them what they were doing and they said they were there to put some heat on the guy, let him know they're watching. I also notified the parents that they were up for violations of the condo rules and regulations by their son and would have to appear at the next hearing. And I hired an off duty cop to attend as well, since I didn;t know if the punk was coming and what trouble he might cause.
Within two weeks, the parents got rid of him, moved him out and shipped him away. Which solved my problem. I think the OP's case is different, because he has no idea who did it and isn't likely to have to have further confrontations or have to deal with the perpetrator. However, if you're not satisfied with what the cops are doing, it's your right to complain to the municipality that employees them, ie the business administrator, mayor, council, etc.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Greetings,
This is along the lines of what badgolferman was trying to say. The police don't listen to mere mortals. You have to pay someone special to ask the police to protect you and then they will. I have a friend who is a lawyer that I will ask to call the next time I see them. If the police do it for a lawyer but not for an individual I think that says bad things about equal protection.
Thanks, William
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

The over arching legal axiom is that "A duty to all is a duty to none. That means you have no cause of action in civil law for a failure of the government to perform a public duty to your satisfaction or even to any standard. Public servants need only perform their duties to the satisfaction of the elected officials that direct their work.
What this reminds me of is the patient that wanted the fire service operated ambulance I was staffing to transport her to Mary Washington Hospital. Since the trip would have originated in Takoma Park, Maryland and Mary Washington Hospital is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia I had to respectfully decline the request. To that family the request seemed perfectly reasonable. The patient was taking a turn for the worse. Her doctor and medical records were in Fredericksburg, VA. My problem was that the distance between the two is sixty two miles and that, up until that request, I had not known of the hospitals existence.
Who decides what is reasonable effort for a public safety agency. In the instant case the Fire and Rescue Commission of the Montgomery County Maryland government had approved a policy permitting providers to transport to a more distant hospital if in their judgment it would do no harm to the patient and would not extend the transport time more than ten minutes. The decision was written in permissive rather than prescriptive format so that you could never get in trouble by saying no to a more distant hospital.
Mary Washington was a no brainer but what about Holy Cross which is only ten minutes further at 0dark30 but twenty five minutes further at rush hour. Why would the last crew take a family to Holy Cross but we won't. The unit is chained up and it's snowing but our refusal seams arbitrary to this family who's pediatrician is on staff at Holy Cross. The same child with a traumatic injury can go to Children's Hospital, which is twenty to forty minutes further away, but the neighbor child the next day can only go to the Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park because they don't meet the criteria for a specialty referral with their simple fracture of the left arm. Do you begin to see a pattern emerging?
Some times the provider on the scene has to make decisions that are not in the individuals best interest but hopefully are in the interest of the public at large. It is often true that the resultant decision will not endear you to the citizen you are dealing with at that moment.
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Tom Horne

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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Move to a city where they give a shit. Thats all you can do. Well you can start a big movement if you have the time and patience...
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"CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert" wrote: ....

And which city would that be??? :)
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no surprise there. local cops are basically useless. for real crime, they call in either the state or feds, and the locals are basically just secretaries and errand runners. Their real job is to filter out the stuff that would waste a real investigators time (like house breaks, theft, etc). If you want a real investigation, find some way to make sure a handgun was involved. That'll get them interested - especially since there s a chance that they might actually accidentally run into the perp when another crim is in progress, and they *hate* the thought of facing someone with heat......

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jd wrote:

Greetings,
This is actually an idea which I have thought of but I wasn't sure if it would expose me to liability. A cheap used handgun is about $70.00 here. If I purchased 10 of them for $700.00 and purchased a small $25.00 lock box for each one that would be about $1000.00 total. I could keep one in every vacant house and with each group of tools and in each glove compartment. I don't see any reason why this should be illegal but I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on it? My other question is if it would be better to put these handguns in the corporation's name rather than my own?
Thanks, William
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 11:23:15 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Before, I just thought you were an ordinary idiot. Now, it's clear that you are a stupid, dangerous, psychopath. What town do you live in - the local authorities that you have such disdain for would love to know about this plan.
You goddam moron.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Excellent. Put a lot of guns in readily available places where thieves can steal them, to be used at other crimes. How, exactly, does this help your theft problem?

You seem to be mistaking "illegal" and "stupid". Many stupid things aren't necessarily illegal.
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