Monday, July 14, 2008

Quite a morning

Normally, the time period between about 4:00 A.M. and 600 A.M. is the slowest part of the day at the police station. For late shift officers, it's time to catch up on reports, make a last check on some of your burglary-prone commercial strips, and roll the windows down so the breeze keeps you awake. The day shift personnel start coming on duty at 0600, and the first order of business for many is to grab a cup of coffee before briefing.

Thursday, the calm was broken by a series of events that started at 0510, when a south Lincoln resident heard his car alarm sounding. He stepped outside to find a couple of guys who had broken out his side window. He confronted the thieves, when one pulled out a gun and fired four rounds from a .45 cal. pistol before running off on foot northbound.

Shortly later, at about 0548, a home invasion robbery occurred at about 30th and O Street. The victim heard a loud noise followed by footsteps, then gunfire. She was confronted by two men who had kicked in the back door and popped off a couple rounds, also .45 cal. The robbers were seeking money, but got none, and left.

A suspect was identified on these two cases, and several miles across town, the suspect vehicle was located. The primary suspect had just recently been acquitted in a jury trial of another shooting, and was suspected of these two cases, so they were considered armed and dangerous. A perimeter was established, and the SWAT Team summoned. It happened to be a regular training day for the Team, so they were quickly mobilized. Ultimately, the suspects were apprehended without incident at 0906.

While the SWAT Team standoff was proceeding in Northeast Lincoln, the first bank robbery of 2008 went down in Southwest Lincoln at 0842, when a man entered a Westgate Bank branch with what he claimed was a bomb. A witness who saw the employees with their hands in the air called 911, which gave us a jump on the alarm. The robber forced the employees to the floor, then took off, abandoning his fake bomb nearby, and peddling away on a bicycle.

Det. Sgt. Chad Barrett spotted the suspect about a mile away at 20th and C Street, and the arrest was made about 6 minutes after the robbery was reported. The suspect has been convicted of two prior bank robberies, and was on Federal probation for the most recent of those, a 1999 case. He was just released from prison on that case late last year. Interestingly, his first conviction, in 1991, was for a robbery at the same bank he held up on Thursday morning. Det. Sgt. Sandy Myers, one of the investigators on the 1991 case, knew he was our guy when the description came out.

All in all, it was an eventful morning of great police work. The normally desk-bound left their coffee mugs and hit the bricks for some intense action. Nothing like a few violent crimes to get the blood flowing in the morning, and nothing like a few arrests for those violent felonies to put a smile on the faces around the station all day.

Friday, the morning crew at one of our local talk radio stations, KLIN, had me on the air for a few minutes. Jack Mitchell asked me what my role is during events such as those on Thursday morning. "Stand back and get out of the way," I replied. Around a crime scene, a chief is a boat anchor. My head is so buried in stats, budgets, meetings, and the politics of being a City department director, that regrettably, I rarely get to play. Corny as it sounds, though, on days like Thursday, I feel that what I do somehow helps make this all possible in some small way.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another fine example of how probation is so much better than actually being in jail.

Anonymous said...

Violent offenders and recidivism seem to go together like ham and cheese, or dung and stink. You could probably hang a number on it, but the percentage of violent felons that get right back in the saddle soon after release just screams that violent felons should never be early-released/paroled back into society. They'll likely just traumatize, hurt, or kill someone again, so they need to be kept out of circulation for as long as is legally possible.

Anonymous said...

Detective Barrett is the main reason this guy was arrested. Great job Chad for finding this guy a MILE from where the robbery ccurred!!!! You are the man!!

Anonymous said...

Downing, Eric M., 25, 2841 Tierra Drive, $350. Also: refuse to comply with order of a police officer.

Thats one of the guys from the youtube video from a ways back...

Its easy to find out anything in Lincoln.
bbrk

Anonymous said...

Off topic but here goes. I called LPD today 4200 N 20, about a peddler that had no permit. I know that now LPD will lodge a person that is from out of state. Unless the peddler is acting strange and snooping the houses around here, I will no longer call the police. I do not want my tax dollars spent lodging a person for "NO PEDDLERS' PERMIT"
This is a minor offense and in my opinion to lodge someone is a waste of tax money. I know that it is done this way now because people do not respond to the citations. But with the over populations and shorting of tax money it makes no fiscal sense. I think that this young man also had possession of narcotics. I will mention too that this particular peddler also tried to see if my back door was open and unlocked. under this circumstance I would call on any peddler.

I will warn any peddler that has no permit that if someone calls the police that the LPD policy is to take them to jail.

Anonymous said...

P.S could you update us on what changes have been done about peddlers?

Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea to lodge peddlers that don't have a permit that are from out of state. You would be surprised as the chief once said on this blog not long ago. Most that dont' have a permit have been denied because some violent crime. Imagine the LPD giving one of these perps a ticket and letting him go his own way only to find out he harmed another human being later. I agree it is a small crime. But remember Timothy Mcvey was caught because he was pulled over for having no plates on his car. Come to find out he took part in one of the worst terrorist acts in american history. Imagine if that officer just wrote him a ticket and sent him on his way...

Tom Casady said...

7:16-

I think you'd find that for the most part these out-of-town peddlers are bonded out by the crew they are travelling with--rather than spending the night at public expense.

Update: effective last Monday, if you apply for a Peddlers Permit, we'll let you know in two business days whether you have been approved. This gives us more time to check your State-level criminal history. I suspect that some of the out-of-towners, not wanting to wait a couple of days, will head on down the Interstate.

Tom Casady said...

7:16-

I just checked. The 20-year old you called in about, from New Jersey via Florida, was indeed bonded out after he was booked, mugged, and printed.

As with most, he will probably split town, and skip his scheduled court appearance. An arrest warrant for failure to appear will be issued, and he will never come back to Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

July 15, 2008 12:55 AM says, Imagine the LPD giving one of these perps a ticket and letting him go his own way only to find out he harmed another human being later.

The LPD used to cite and release. Where is the data that LPD is responsible for behavior after a citation?

Anonymous said...

"An arrest warrant for failure to appear will be issued, and he will never come back to Lincoln."

Now that is indeed a positive end result, sweeping out the dirt, one pile at a time. I think a lot of people underestimate the potential violent threat that unlicensed peddlers (aka burglars) pose to some segments of our society. Suppose he'd instead tried the back door of some elderly and infirm person's home unlocked and entered. He sees some great loot, maybe cash, or hefty opiate prescription drugs, and is then surprised by the frail resident. You connect the dots. Suppose he's a habitual sex offender and he runs across a small child in the home while he's boosting some loot.