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TOPIC: Vandalism to patrons car

Vandalism to patrons car 26 Dec 2003 03:35 #20325

  • BurneyFalls
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Tonight I witnessed a couple physically fighting across the street from the theatre while I was selling tickets. I called my manager over to the box office to verify that they were fighting and not just playing around. One of the subjects then jumped onto the hood of a patron's car and jumped up and down twice, obviously causing damage to the hood before getting down. I immediately called 9-1-1 and gave my name and the suspect's description. The responsible was still in sight. I told my manager to watch while I went out into the auditorium to locate the vehicle's owner. The deputies were a little slow to respond. The vehicle's owner started to walk across the street to inspect the damage when he was confronted by the responsible who yelled, "Is that your car?" and moved toward the owner in a threatening manner. The owner retreated into the theatre. Two deputies came and talked to the responsible, who we could hear, admitted he caused the damage. We did not hear why he did it--if he even had an explanation. The next thing we know, the deputies let the responsible walk away! They didn't even come over to talk to either the victim or me. We were both in disbelief. I walked over to talk to the deputies and told them I wanted the guy arrested. We had a discussion about the laws of arrest and after a few minutes the deputies refused. I asked them if they wanted to be responsible for all my other patrons' cars when the idiot came back and vandalized all the rest. They just said, “You know . . . (the responsible). He’s unpredictable.” That, to me, is all the more reason he should have gone to jail. I then told the deputy I wanted to talk to his supervisor. The sergeant came into the theatre a few minutes later and said, "What's the crisis?"

Hell, no wonder we have a vandalism problem in this town. My car was vandalized about two months ago parked almost in the same place as my patron's was tonight.

I am going to go in and talk to the Lieutenant tomorrow, but have little faith that will accomplish anything. I will then make an appointment to talk directly to the Sheriff.

Having been a cop for twenty years, eleven as a patrol supervisor in a very busy, high crime area, I know the laws of arrest--and I don't think they have changed in the six years since I left and changed professions.

My concern is word will get out that the theatre is not a safe place to leave your vehicle and, therefore, not a place to go for entertainment.


[This message has been edited by BurneyFalls (edited December 26, 2003).]
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Re: Vandalism to patrons car 26 Dec 2003 05:30 #20326

  • outaframe
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Nope, it's highly unlikely that anything will be done about this... Property Damage, Vandalism, and Theft don't seen to be high priority to most law enforcement, any more... The buzz words that warm the cockles of their hearts are DUI, Public Intox, and Drugs... And the "bad guy" will end up in the slammer in a heart beat for these offenses, but the other stuff lacks the "glamour" these seem to have... A punk with a joint in his pocket is treated as more of a criminal than a burglar... And a vandal is just a nuisance, while a poor slob who walks down the street after having one too many will end up in a crowbar bedroom... Guess it all depends of whose ox is being gored!... When someone's property is damaged, or stolen, he will probably end up getting all the birds he can catch as compensation... Just where the priorities are in this country, now!...
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Re: Vandalism to patrons car 26 Dec 2003 14:02 #20327

  • Large
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Burney,

Sounds like you have the makings of a letter to the editor.
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Re: Vandalism to patrons car 26 Dec 2003 17:15 #20328

  • jimor
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Large is right, Burney, you must get the newspapers on your side, else the politicians who supposedly control the Sheriff, will turn a blind eye. The laundromats in my area were told by the police to hire security guards because the cops just don't have the time to watch them, and response times have grown to over half an hour for non-shooting offenses! The mayor here has no authority over the police due to a state law making the Chief in office for life, if he commits no felony. This was supposed to remove political influence from the police, but now the Chief and the mayor face off at city budget time and the Chief blames all response problems on the city not hiring another 100 officers with squads. The mayor says that would be another 10 million dollars from the shrinking tax base, so we must make do with what we have and allocate officers to only critical situations, and this with 14,000 policeman on the pay roll! The newspapers decry the situation, but nothing happens. Now a new Chief is in office and the mayor is leaving; so we can only hope. I hope there is more hope for you and your theatre, short of hiring guards, which you probably can't afford. It sounds like in your area any guards would get beat up anyway. Still, if the papers make it into an election issue, you might just get the responses/patrols you need. Keep a camera (video or still) in your box office for the next time the incorrigible comes back for more car bashing. It is harder for him or the cops to ignore your film/photos on the nightly news!! (just don't photograph the cops; they have been known to cause 'accidents' to cameras and those who photograph them!) Jim

[This message has been edited by jimor (edited December 26, 2003).]
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Vandalism to patrons car 26 Dec 2003 18:18 #20329

  • Ken Layton
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I agree...it's time for a letter to the editor AND a call to the newstips line at local tv stations.
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Re: Vandalism to patrons car 27 Dec 2003 19:23 #20330

  • Rialto
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Definitely call the local TV news directors. Nothing makes for better local television on a slow news day than an undercover tv crew following around public workers be they police or otherwise and catching them not doing their job. When I lived in Cincinnati, one of the local stations received a ton of press after they began following the pothole filling crew around and documenting their work or lack there of.
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Re: Vandalism to patrons car 30 Dec 2003 10:02 #20331

I hope that whatever you do we will be kept posted. There is nothing more aggravating then feeling helpless because someone else isn't doing their job. You can bet that if that car belonged to either one of those deputies that guy wouldn't have walked. Good luck in the fight! Let us know what happens.
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