Police Beat

Jan. 17, 10:52 p.m.: Police Beat takes its mission to educate and inform seriously. And so today we present a parable called "How not to file a police report."

The story begins with police responding to a robbery call at a park in the 4600 block of Oliva Street. There they found the victim, a 41-year-old man, who stated that "prior to leaving the park he attempted to purchase crack cocaine from an unknown black male."

Points for honesty. The man could have told police he was walking his dog or taking a shortcut home after a double shift at the nursing home. But he didn't.

The victim took $5 from his pocket to complete the purchase, and the "unknown black male" proceeded to produce a weapon, hit the victim over the head with it and steal the money. Then the assailant ran northbound on Argus Street with five other individuals. Mr. Honesty got up off the ground, dusted himself off and scooted over to his boss' house to call the police and report that he had just been robbed … while trying to purchase crack cocaine.

When police arrived, the victim was able to give enough of a description of the unknown black male to enable them to collar two potential perps. Sadly, our victim was not able to make an ID. A witness who saw the whole thing couldn't make an ID either because he was too intoxicated, reports state.

There are precious few leads in the case, but the victim did tell police that the suspect did not have permission to rob him.

Jan. 17, 3:50 a.m.: Officer Backhaus reports, "On the above listed date and time, unknown person(s) used unknown means to break a hole through a brick wall of the business. Upon gaining access to the business, the unknown person activated an audible alarm and fled with cash and cigarette lighters."

Your correspondent is an avid nicotine fiend who has gone as far as rubbing sticks together to fuel his addiction, but busting through walls says it's time to get on the patch. It appears the suspect, jonesing for a lung treat, smashed through the brick wall of a store in the 3900 block of West Columbia Street in order to find a light, and when the alarms started blaring he/she/they figured they'd pocket some cash and enough lighters to prevent further instances of nicotine withdrawal. Total estimated loss was $435: $200 in building damage, $200 in cash and $35 worth of cigarette lighters. Taking solace in the fact that the suspect(s) will probably die from lung cancer: priceless.

Jan. 16, 2 a.m.: A man came home to the 5700 block of Ridge Club Loop around 2 a.m. after a long day, with a six-pack of Heineken by his side. While moving from the driver's side to the passenger side of his car, he got a phone call. After he hung up, a white vehicle pulled up and four men piled out. One of the men pulled a gun, pointed it at our victim and demanded that he empty his pockets. The victim complied, then tried to convince the perps that he had no cash.

The gun-brandishing suspect ordered the victim to produce his wallet, which he did, and the perp told the victim to remove his identification from the wallet. Struck with fear, our victim handed over the wallet and told the perp to do whatever he wished with the ID. The gunman ordered the victim to lie facedown. After the victim completed this final request, the man dumped everything out of the wallet, keeping the wallet itself and the $500 therein. Then he took the six-pack of beer from the passenger side of the car. That's just cold.

Jan. 17, 12:51 p.m.: Officer Glisson reports: "Unknown person(s) used an unknown tool to break the padlock and hasp on the storage area located in the southwest corner parking lot of the `apartment complex`. Once inside, three refrigerators that were broken and taken out of service were removed."

On the 2400 block of South Conway Road, the victim's establishment stored unserviceable refrigerators in a shed at the southwest corner of the parking lot. The damage to the establishment is estimated at $10 to replace the lock and hasp; thus the business does not wish to prosecute.

Because the appliances did not work, your correspondent suspects Freon-huffing as the motive. Your correspondent believed that sort of thing went out of style in the '90s, but acknowledges that he could very well be wrong about that.

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