Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime


When words become weapons

EVERGREEN MEADOWS — She wasn’t sure if she should feel threatened or not but hoped deputies could help her decide. On the evening of June 26, a neighbor wearing a fedora stopped on the road in front of her house and began snapping pictures of the driveway. That didn’t particularly surprise her, since she and the hubby are in the middle of installing a new one and the project is driving some of their neighbors to distraction. When the photo session started running long, however, hubby hollered that he was “coming down” to “talk” with the persistent shutterbug. “C’mon down!” Fedora said. “I’m packing.” Then Fedora suddenly remembered a pressing appointment, or something, and drove away without waiting for hubby to reach the road. The complainant, however, interpreted the term “I’m packing” to indicate the presence of a firearm and immediately notified JCSO that her husband may have been threatened, or sort of threatened or not threatened at all. Officers spoke to Fedora, who had indeed been packing a legally obtained, registered and carried handgun. Fedora told deputies he suspected the couple were expanding their driveway to accommodate commercial vehicles in clear violation of zoning restrictions, and he’d merely been collecting evidence to support that suspicion when hubby responded in what he considered a vaguely threatening manner. He’d informed hubby that he was armed, hoping it would have a moderating effect on his behavior. Since the weapon had never been displayed and the exchange never escalated beyond ambiguous injunctions, deputies called it a wrap.



Another thing wrong with yard work

SOUTH TURKEY CREEK — While digging in his yard on June 29, the Settlers Drive homeowner was annoyed when his shovel hit something hard. Scraping away the loose dirt, he was intrigued to uncover one end of a stout wire. Giving the wire a vigorous tug, he was alarmed when the other end popped out attached to a bright red “dog-bone-shaped" object labeled “Explosive.” Deciding he’d dug enough for one day, he retired his shovel and picked up the phone, telling JCSO deputies he may have disinterred a blasting cap. Bomb-squad personnel were summoned, and quickly proclaimed the artifact a dud. According to their report, “The device is used to send a charge through a shock cord in order to detonate other charges located deeper in the ground.” Fact is, the dog-bone was a one-time Charlie that had shot its bolt a long time ago, and was now good only for impeding excavations and scaring folks. Deputies told the homeowner to call if he uncovers anything else of interest.

Mixed signals

CONIFER — “Theft in progress!” the discount store cashier hissed to JCSO dispatch. In broad daylight, two men and a woman were casually loading empty wooden pallets into the back of a red pickup truck, she said. Her manager had instructed her to call the cops and press charges. Alas, the brazen bandits were long gone by the time deputies arrived, but the breathless clerk was able to provide a reasonably good description by which deputies traced the cocky crew to an address in Bailey. For his part, the gang leader wasn’t sure what the problem was. The day before, he told deputies, he’d asked the cashier on duty if he could take four or five pallets from the store’s abundant store of them, and she’d said something very much like “Knock yourself out.” If the manager wanted the pallets back, he shrugged, she could have them. The manager did want them back and dropped the charges as soon as he dropped off the pallets.