Monday, October 26, 2009

If Anyone Got Special Treatment, it Wasn't the Sherif

Sometime during the night or early morning of October 23, someone stole the tires off of Sheriff Garcia's county owned vehicle.

Well, this crime happens frequently. I've made many calls where a homeowner comes out to their car and finds it either burglarized, tires stolen, window shot out, etc. In the dead of night when most people are asleep, thieves "go shopping" in residential neighborhoods and most often time the crime isn't discovered until people get up to go to work or school. Many people would ask since it would probably take a little time to remove these four tires, shouldn't someone have been alerted? More often than not, most people are asleep and hear nothing. So this in a nutshell of a crime and the only reason it's so noteworthy was that Sheriff Garcia was the "victim". I suspect there is a buried feeling in the mentality of the public (and fueled by the media) that police officers should never be victims of crime due to the nature of our occupations. This falls in the same category among the general public (again fueled by the media) that forget police officers are also human beings and go through the same trials and tribulations everyone else does. I've known officers who come home and find their houses had been burglarized and unfortunately there is little evidence to go on, just like any other burglary. So, the crime happens, a report was made and life goes on.

Then I read the Houston Chronicle version;

"The vehicle was towed to a county impound lot to be examined for fingerprints or other possible evidence."

"A spokeswoman for his office said Garcia was getting no special treatment and that investigators did not give his case higher priority than any other citizen's theft complaint."

I have never heard of an instance in which Joe Citizen's car was vandalized, burglarized, or parts stolen from in which the car was taken to a station for evidence processing. Sometimes, individual officers will attempt to dust certain areas of the vehicle in an attempt to find fingerprints. However, most often time the officer shows up, gathers information and writes a report and the citizen is spending money to fix the damage to their cars. Now don't interpret this to suggest that Sheriff Garcia demanded the vehicle get processed. This would have happened regardless of whom was Sheriff. People should also understand that this was a police vehicle, not the Sheriff's personal vehicle and a little more attention will be paid to it. So, Sheriff Garcia isn't getting special treatment, however this case is getting a higher priority than the "average" auto part theft case just by it's very nature. The odds of this case getting solved are about the same as Joe Citizen's case which are not very good. However in law enforcement anything can happen.

No comments: