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Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on January 14, 2010

How many of you read the police reports for your town? Our local newspaper lists the complaints filed in our community. Many of them are more amusing than serious. Here are some examples:

Trespass Warning: A man was issued a trespass warning after becoming upset that store employees wouldn’t give him a refund on a can of soda he’d purchased a month ago.

Suspicious Vehicle: A man became belligerent when a police officer asked him if the car with a sounding alarm was his.

Burglary: Candy was stolen from a candy machine.

Suspicious Incident: A man found a threatening letter written in Spanish on his doorstep.

Animal Complaint: A man reported that nine wild pigs were uprooting his lawn.

There were a number of more serious thefts, like a laptop in a stolen backpack, appliances by a tenant who moved out, wheels off a car, and unauthorized purchases by an office manager, but no violent crimes. Keep in mind that we’re just west of greater Fort Lauderdale, but still it’s nice to know no rapes or murders have occurred recently in the immediate vicinity.

So let’s do a creative exercise and combine some of the above. Can you get a plot out of them? How would you continue these stories?

A man became belligerent when a police officer asked him if the car with a sounding alarm was his. It was then the policeman noticed the trunk ful of empty candy wrappers. The driver fits the description of a thief who stole candy from a candy machine. Is it the same man? Who ate it? And what had set off the car alarm?

A man found a threatening letter written in Spanish on his doorstep. Noting the letterhead was from a local store, he entered the store on the pretext of returning a can of soda. When an employee noted the soda had expired, the man grew upset. He opened the door and let in the wild pigs chewing up the lawn outside. A stampede ensued. Which store employee wrote the letter and why?


4 Responses to “CRIME REPORTS”

  1. A man became belligerent when a police officer asked him if the car with the sounding alarm was his. The store had called the police when the man tried to return a soda bought a month ago. When the police arrived they heard the alarm and looked into his car. It was loaded with candy stolen from a candy machine he’d robbed at the same store the day before..
    He had released a box of baby piglets in the store, complaining they uprooted his lawn. He wanted to get rid of them anyways so he used them to try to cover his escape, by releasing them.
    They only realized he didn’t speak a word of English when he showed them the threatening note written in Spanish, that he’d found on his doorstep that morning.
    He was arrested and charges with, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, grand theft candy, several animal regulation laws and for swearing at the Spanish policeman who arrested him.
    The man was muy loco.

  2. Very good, Mary, you made me laugh!

  3. Rita Cohl said

    Nancy, your blog on police reports bring back memories. When I interned for the Miami Herald, I covered four police stations. I had to go through hundreds of reports written by cops (most can’t write to save themselves) to come up with a few “good” blurbs for the newspaper. Unfortunately, after reading so many reports, I got so paranoid I decided to quit newspaper work and, especially police reporting. That’s when I got into public relations with a non-profit. Reading police reports every day was pretty scary. What you see in the the blurbs are the tame stuff.

  4. Rita, your background should give you lots of story material. But that’s interesting about the news blurbs being the tame stuff. Makes you wonder what else is happening that we don’t hear about in the community newspaper.

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