’Hello! 911? Somebody just stole my introductory paragraph!’

Between April 6 and 13, the members of the Ponoka RCMP ...
A woman called 911 to report that she had witnessed another motorist on the QEII ‘commit litter’.

Between April 6 and 13, the members of the Ponoka RCMP …

A woman called 911 to report that she had witnessed another motorist on the QEII ‘commit litter’. She observed a chocolate bar wrapper fly out of the driver’s side window. While she was on the line with the 911 dispatcher, she rattled off her name, her contact information, a comprehensive description of the vehicle (along with the licence plate number), an excellent description of the back of the driver’s head, the exact location where the wrapper was last seen (so it could be seized as evidence) and a long narrative about her being offended by litter bugs and her desire to attend court to ensure a conviction. Amazingly she did all of this in a single breath which was long enough to make her the envy of any pearl diver.

Did you happen to catch the episode of W5 last Saturday? It was about 911 call centers putting people on hold … sometimes with tragic consequences. I’m not sure what made me think of that.

Someone who didn’t tie up a 911 operator unnecessarily was the woman who called the office to report a break and enter to a residence where the suspects were scared off and were fleeing the scene. She provided a partial description of the suspects and their direction of travel. She was reporting this on behalf of a third party so it was a little frustrating for the members (who raced to the area to contain the suspects within a perimeter) that there was a delay in getting the information. We asked a question, our staff in the office asked her and she asked the witness. Of course that information traveled back just as slowly. Still there were a handful of us available and in the immediate area when the call came in, so we were pretty confident that we had the suspects trapped within our perimeter. That is until we asked for a better description of the suspects. After a minute we learned that the witness gave us the best description he could … since it happened three days ago.

A man called police to report that while he was away overnight, someone had broken into his home. He knew this, not because the door was broken down (because he hadn’t bothered to lock it) but because he discovered all of his beer was gone (not the bottles, just their contents). He was also surprised to discover that the culprit had run several miles on his treadmill as well. As this information was being relayed to the investigating member, he was making an inventory in his head of the potential sources of evidence that he was likely to find at the scene.

No tool marks on the doors but there would likely be fingerprints and DNA on the bottles and could be shoe patterns on the tread mill. While the member was congratulating himself for how smart he was going to look when he got to the scene, finding evidence at the first two or three places he examined … the dispatcher burst his bubble. She added, ‘The complainant also discovered that the thief left his wallet and ID behind’. That young man was arrested this week.

Four members of a bowling team were celebrating their victory at their league’s championship in another town. They all needed to get up early the next day and so were conflicted insofar as how to celebrate and still get home at a reasonable hour. The answer it seems was to celebrate in the car on the way home. They bought a couple bottles of whisky, some mix, a dozen beer and set off for home, one driving, one acting as the bartender and all (including the driver and bartender) drinking their faces off. We may not have even discovered this party on wheels except for this slight slip in their efforts at being inconspicuous. They got the attention of several members simultaneously when the driver slammed on the brakes as she approached a well lit police check stop on the highway. Then the driver and other occupants cast a wee bit more suspicion their way when they began to cast empty beer cans and plastic, ice filled, cups out the windows while the driver (less than discreetly) turned around 180 degrees and sped away. The cans and cups continued to be flung out the windows while the train of police cars followed. It was as if the occupants wanted to ensure that the police had a clear trail to follow … should they find themselves being outrun by the old Dodge Diplomat they were chasing. When the driver realized that police had noticed her little lapse, she pulled over and well … you know. She’s hoping the Judge she goes before will be a bowling enthusiast.

If you have information about any unsolved crime or ongoing criminal enterprise, call the Ponoka RCMP at 783-4472. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or now leave tips anonymously on-line at www.tipsubmit.com . If this is the kind of environment that you would like to work in, we are hiring. Check us out at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RCMP-GRC for information about the application process.