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20170222

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This column often starts its mini articles with "we shouldn't laugh but.." Today would be no exception except that we don't want to be repetitious. Every mini article needs that preface.

Here's why: every day, several US police departments publish, on-line, depersonalised summaries of the calls they receive. Some are sad, some are tragic, some are just where life gets tough for someone but, honestly, some are just really, really funny.

Let's go...

"R1 reported an unknown person(s) made forced entry into the above listed residence sometime over the last two weeks. R1 advised a Mac-Book Pro laptop computer (C02LH5CEFD57) was missing. Nothing else inside the residence appeared to be missing. No leads were developed. The computer was entered into FCIC / NCIC."

No leads? We assume it was on WiFi, then?

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"R1 reported an unknown suspect(s) entered the residence sometime between 10 February 2017 at 1200hrs and 20 February 2017 at 1240hs. R1 stated entry was made via the broken glass sliding door on the north side of the residence. An attempt to obtain latent prints was negative as was a neighbourhood canvass."

Hang on: the householder knew the window was broken and left it for ten days, and an intruder left no fingerprints and no one saw him? Check for paw prints?

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A person advised unknown person(s) caused damage to several grassy areas and parking lot areas, utilising ATV's. Additional items found damaged are as follows: A broken cattle gate, a damaged wooden fence post and a damaged lift station electrical box, all located inside the park. No witnesses to the incident.

Rampaging yobs on quad bikes: things don't change much, do they?
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An officer responded to the location after a parking meter that had been thrown through the front window of the building. Parking enforcement was advised of the incident which is apparently the only incident of its kind. A report was generated and the investigation remains active.

What? A parking meter? How come it wasn't stuck in the floor?

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Officers responded for a single vehicle accident into a house. Officers arrived and contacted the victim, whom was sitting on a couch inside the residence when the vehicle crashed into the house. Victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Officers determined after the collision, the vehicle reversed and fled the scene. Officers later located an unoccupied vehicle with major front end damage nearby. Officers conducted further follow-up to identify the driver. This is an on-going investigation. No arrests have been made at this time.

Are we reading this right? A man is sitting in his living room watching TV when a car crashes into the room, then the driver reverses and goes on his merry way, only to dump the car a short way down the road? There is so much more we need to know like, was the tv watcher still glued to the set when the police arrived, how hard can it be to find the driver of a car that's just hit a house and been dumped? And whose insurance will pay for the poor victim's medical care and partially demolished home?

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An officer stopped a vehicle for expired registration. The driver immediately began hitting his steering wheel, yelling at officers, and getting in and out of the vehicle. The officer requested additional units to assist as the subject was extremely uncooperative. Officers were able to calm the subject enough to safely take him into custody. The subject was cited and released for resisting arrest and being an unlicensed driver.

Can you imagine the poor police officers. "Good evening, sir. Would you mind stepping out of the car?" "No, I'm just going to sit here bashing my head on the steering wheel until I get brain damage." "Too late, sir, clearly."

And yes, we know, for some reason that perhaps relates to the lack of gun control, American traffic stops are conducted with the driver still in the car. But we're English and we're 'ard and we thoroughly enjoy being told to get out, in our thin shirts and slippers, so we can stand in the freezing rain and biting wind for 20 minutes while another car comes with the breathalyser.