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Author Topic: Got my own call from my Bus Orphange yesterday  (Read 3576 times)
Tim Strommen
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« on: March 07, 2010, 03:40:51 PM »

Well, first off it wasn't as bad as Kyle's experience.

I was working yesterday (Saturday, yeah I'm in computers, where there's no such thing as a weekend) and around 4:30PM - I got a phone call from the night-watchman at the RV storage yard I keep my bus at.  The conversation went something like this:

Watchman: "Hey, I was coming in for the night and I noticed a truck parked in front of your bus - is there supposed to be anyone at it today?"
Me: "No - is there someone in it?"
Watchman: "Yup"
Me: "Call the cops..."

Needless to say, I headed out from work early to stop by the yard.  When I got there, a few squad-cars and a tow-truck were in front of my bus-stall.  Some person I'd never seen before was in the perp-seat (back, with cuffs...).  An officer asked if I knew him, I told him no, and that he was sure as heck not authorized to be in my vehicle.  The officer then told me that it looked like a lock was cut on the bus, and asked me to see if anything was missing.  I went in and noticed my little generator that I use to power my work-lights and the portable welder (that was what was cable-lock locked to the frame of the bus), as well as a brand-new-in-the-box roof-air were gone.

I told the officer what I had not accounted for and he brought me to the back of the guys truck where I immediately found both of the items I had originally reported missing as well as a tool-bag of mine that I had not noticed as missing on the bus.  I told the officer that the generator and the aircon were mine as well as the tool-bag.  Fortunately, I had scribed my name in the handles of all the tools, and the bag had my phone number on the inside fold of a tag inside the bag so I was able to reclaim all of my property right then and there.

I made my statement to the cops for the record, gave an approximate value for the items taken (which easily made it a felony, $400 is the threshold in CA), and confirmed that I wanted to see him prosecuted fully.

No damage was done to the bus since it has no windows or floor right now, only the lock was cut - and that was partially my fault, he used my unsecured tools to cut the lock  Anyway, hes in jail I have my stuff back (and now its in my storage locker off-site), and Im only out a $30 cable lock.

Could have been worse.

-Tim
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 03:59:26 PM »

 Hope they throw the book at him.  I would be giving the night watchman a gift card for a dinner somewhere.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2010, 04:19:05 PM »

You need to make sure the cops know you want this dirtbag prosecuted. Call them several times a week to check on the status. They like it when the victim won't back down. All too many times, the victim gets most of their stuff back & calls it quits on the prosecution so all the police work is for nothing.

The dirt bag in my incident is still in jail & awaiting a preliminary trial. . . . .
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 05:02:16 PM »

Well, first off it wasn't as bad as Kyle's experience.

 around 4:30PM - I got a phone call from the night-watchman at the RV storage yard I keep my bus at.  The conversation went something like this:

Watchman: "Hey, I was coming in for the night and I noticed a truck parked in front of your bus - is there supposed to be anyone at it today?"
Me: "No - is there someone in it?"
Watchman: "Yup"
Me: "Call the cops..."


-Tim

Good storage facility  Bravo for them for calling.
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 06:00:42 PM »

Technically, a felony is a crime against the state, not the individual.  You have no right to say that you do not want to press charges.  The police will write their report and move on to the next call.  However, making sure the prosecutors are aware that you will be a willing witness may help in their decision of how to proceed.  It is likely that it will be plea bargained to a misdemeanor though, like attempted second degree burglary.  It is not likely that a DA's office is going to want to put court time in on this unless you live in Mayberry.  If the prosecutor knows that you take an interest, he may try to drive a harder bargain, but don't count on it. 
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 05:27:29 AM »

I agree with a gift certificate or such for the watchman! I know that's his job but a little reward will insure your bus gets a once over daily!!
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 06:16:35 AM »

Hope they throw the book at him.  I would be giving the night watchman a gift card for a dinner somewhere.

I agree with Ed and Scott, but a face-to-face thank you and a handshake would go a long way as well.  =)  Gift card may rub his ethics wrong, but maybe not. 

Glad you made out so well.  I agree with Kyle, making sure the perp's name is on a message or sticky note on the DA's desk seems to help.  I had a prior experience with the clogged Calif court systems.  It was amazing how a few phone calls one day changed status on a case from credit time served to a full blown jury trial and some time in  Vacaville.  =)

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kyle4501
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 08:17:31 AM »

Might be a crime against the state, but the reality is that your voice (heard as a victim,) will have an effect on the case's priority in the system.

All too often the courts see things as "no victim = no crime".

The police officers I know would rather get the dirtbags off the street. Everyday, they see the effects of apathy towards justice. Every time the dirtbag gets caught & then released with no real punishment, it builds their confidence to do worse.

In my case, I have seen positive proof of my input.
If I had not pushed to press charges, there would be no victim & therefore no crime - felony or not.

Same deal when I paid someone for a bus who turned out to not be the owner - It was clearly a felony amount, & included interstate fraud - but If I wasn't in court, then there was no case. $1500 + 2 days off work for each court appearance meant that I couldn't afford to persue prosecution. In that case, I felt I was also victimized by the court system.

Tim,
If you make a big enough stink about this, word will get out to all the dirtbag thieves that you & this storage lot aren't worth the trouble since you will get caught & prosecuted.

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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 10:28:17 AM »

Absolutely a gift card, and a handshake. Doesn't have to be much, but you need to make the fellow understand that calling you on a hunch is much appreciated, and that even if it turned out to be a false alarm, he did the right thing by calling. Let him know, also, that if for some reason you hadn't answered your phone that he should have called the cops anyway.

Doesn't have to be a large gift card, but he'll appreciate the effort on your part and will be ever diligent around your property because he now knows you personally and respects you.

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wal1809
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 11:01:52 AM »

Technically, a felony is a crime against the state, not the individual.  You have no right to say that you do not want to press charges.  The police will write their report and move on to the next call.  However, making sure the prosecutors are aware that you will be a willing witness may help in their decision of how to proceed.  It is likely that it will be plea bargained to a misdemeanor though, like attempted second degree burglary.  It is not likely that a DA's office is going to want to put court time in on this unless you live in Mayberry.  If the prosecutor knows that you take an interest, he may try to drive a harder bargain, but don't count on it. 

I don't know what state your from but here in Texas it is not that way.  They prosecute all the time for burglary of a motor vehicle.  The victim has the right to say prosecute or not.  the victim is also aloud to apply for victim's compensation.  It is law here we inform the victim of his/her rights as a victim and what they are entitled to obtain through our victim's liazon.  THe state can not move forward without a victim.  I would imagine it is the same way in other states.  No victim no crime.  the only time we can move forward on a case without victim cooperation is with family violence.  We do not need a victim in these cases.
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2010, 11:05:32 AM »

A firm handshake and a small token of your appreciation will go a loooong way. He likely doesnt get many ,and you will be well remembered.

JMHO

Mark





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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 11:52:00 AM »

The handshake, face-to-face thank you, and gift card are all nice ideas. 

I'd like to suggest that a note be written to the guy's employer. If security at the RV storage lot is handled by a third party, it wouldn't hurt to send it to both companies.  In these days of shakey employment, it never hurts to have something complimentary in the ol' personnel file. 
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MattC
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2010, 01:15:30 PM »

The handshake, face-to-face thank you, and gift card are all nice ideas. 

I'd like to suggest that a note be written to the guy's employer. If security at the RV storage lot is handled by a third party, it wouldn't hurt to send it to both companies.  In these days of shaky employment, it never hurts to have something complimentary in the ol' personnel file. 

Best Idea so far, I tip my hat.
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2010, 05:34:23 PM »

Thanks guys, I like the idea of a gift card - the watchman is a private party hired by the storage yard, he's been there for years (since I first parked the bus there in '03).  I know he's a RV-er, so I'll probably get him a gift card to Camping-World or something.  I've also offered to help them with a "real" CCTV system (I used to install them for the likes of HP, Agilent, etc in the S.F. Bay Area).

I know quite a few of the cops here from my days working security at an electronics retailer, they know I mean business when I say "book him" Grin.  I also know several people in the local DA's office, so I'll be calling them to check in on the case until it's run its course.  I went to the PD station today and found that he had priors, for similar offenses - so my money is not on him getting an easy plea bargan out of it, also turns out the truck he was driving was stolen.

Not a good day for the bad guy... Shocked

-T
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Fremont, CA
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2010, 06:24:41 PM »

I just read this thread, and I hope someone would contact me if something were amiss with my vehicles. I know the local police use the yard where I am parked to monitor speed, so they are there a lot, and I am so thankful.

I am glad you were able to prevent a major loss, because to find these things missing later would be hard to swallow.

Be very thankful, and let that man know his actions are appreciated. People are taken for granted too much these days.
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