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Old 09-03-2008, 05:45 PM   #21
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Maybe it is better she does not have a car - it would be better for her (and her family?) and others on the road.
I wouldn't wish her on you as an in-law. She drives her 79 yo mother crazy driving her all over when she is carless.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:31 PM   #22
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....
In cases I've been involved in where property was stolen or broken into there were no fingerprints taken. Too expensive, too time consuming and not a serious enough crime to warrant it was the explanation.
....
--
I totally agree with your entire post but twice I've been a vic in a situation where the cops did the exception to this rule. My office was broken into, checks were stolen, perps wrote themselves paychecks and ate everything they could find. One of them ate a banana from my desk and put the peel back in the drawer. Yes, the forensic team(!) took the peel into evidence. Apparently the MO was familiar and they were closing in on the gang....
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:05 AM   #23
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--
I totally agree with your entire post but twice I've been a vic in a situation where the cops did the exception to this rule. My office was broken into, checks were stolen, perps wrote themselves paychecks and ate everything they could find. One of them ate a banana from my desk and put the peel back in the drawer. Yes, the forensic team(!) took the peel into evidence. Apparently the MO was familiar and they were closing in on the gang....
It all depends on the workload of the city where you live. In my little burg, the whole fire department turns out to get a cat out of a tree and if a house gets broken into, a detective is involved and the the perps usually are caught. A few miles to the east in the Big City, you'd be lucky to get the cops to respond to a gunfight in progress.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #24
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It all depends on the workload of the city where you live. In my little burg, the whole fire department turns out to get a cat out of a tree and if a house gets broken into, a detective is involved and the the perps usually are caught. A few miles to the east in the Big City, you'd be lucky to get the cops to respond to a gunfight in progress.
--
I've often wondered about this. I live in a "safe" neighborhood in a large city. Both the fire dept. and police give us very fast service. If the fire dept. had been two minutes later for a fire in the bldg. next door a couple of years ago, I would have lost everything; and had a neighbor not knocked on my door to wake me up, I would have never known that eight fire trucks responded.

My neighbor across the hall called 911 because he was having trouble throwing an ex-girlfriend out. Eight squad cars responded. I think they'd rather deal with that sort of thing first than to put themselves in a more dangerous position. More pleasant to respond to an area with good coffee shops and diners than as you say "to respond to a gunfight in progress." I'd love to hear a professional take on this! Yell, "help me, my ex won't leave," instead of "I hear gunshots"?

As for the break-in at my office, the perps also hit a large company in my bldg. that same night and many others over the preceding months, the detectives already had some prints, I suspect they were motivated to connect them and close the books. BTW, taking fingerprints is a messy process, we had to clean up later. I was very surprised to see they did such a thorough job of it; boggles my mind to imagine what they did with the banana peel and styrofoam cup full of granola made with coffee mate. DNA test and toss, I hope.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:18 AM   #25
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Not sure where some of you guys live at who've posted such outrageous storage fees but the vast majority of states have a legal cap on towing/doc/storage fees as well as the number of days to be placed on a lien notice. Most states' limits are at approximately $35-50 per day plus a one-time $300-$400 doc/tow fee, and they can only charge you for 10 or 15 days on the date of the lien notice being filed.

Considering the lien notice will generally cost them approximately $200 to file, they will often negotiate accordingly.

If you find yourself being jostled by a tow company, advise them to file the lien notice since they must do so before being able to scrap or auction the vehicle. Check your state laws to discover the maximum allowable days allowed as well as the max daily fee.

It doesn't matter if a towing company holds that vehicle for 250 days - if they don't file the lien notice until day#250 then they can only charge you storage fees on the # of days allowed by law.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:56 PM   #26
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Based on my experience with a variety of crimes such as stolen cars, homes broken into and assaults (hey...people I know, not crimes I committed!) television shows have completely screwed up peoples expectations of what the police will do to solve a case.

After watching a whole squad of highly trained professionals who apparently never do paperwork all coordinate to chase down a "hunch" from a minor misdemeanor where they get fingerprint matches on their computers in ten minutes and a full DNA test with matching done in fifteen, the average joe expects the same sort of action in real life.

In cases I've been involved in where property was stolen or broken into there were no fingerprints taken. Too expensive, too time consuming and not a serious enough crime to warrant it was the explanation.

Heck, I had a friend who went into her apartment to find a burglar who whacked her on the head and ran. She had to call 3 times to get someone to come over and take fingerprints. They finally did and eventually did identify the guy. About two months later.

I wonder how much this huge gap between tv show inspired expectations and reality affects court cases and juries.
I'm not aware of how TV shows (or the entertainment industry in general) portray crime investigation, so I can't comment on that aspect.

I suppose I can continue to give more background on my specific case. The police department was well-funded and was in a mixed wealth medium sized city in a large metropolitan area. The department was not understaffed. There had been a significant local crime spree going on with stolen vehicles. At least one other local department was trying to crack down on this issue by collecting prints on all recovered cars in an attempt to have enough evidence to increase sentence time if/when the perpetrator was caught.

In any case, a cursory dusting for prints on a car shouldn't take more than 5 minutes or so (from other experience) although the chance of getting a good print isn't extraodinarily high.

It really comes down to circumstance as to how I would expect things to be handled: general staffing, crime severity priorities, and local chronological situations (i.e. massive problem needing to be handled 'now'). And, as with all areas of life, law enforcement has their share of incompetence, poor management, and worse policies regardless of other circumstances.


I do find it disturbing that theft on the scale of an automobile is considered to be nearly beneath the notice of some (many?) law enforcement offices. That, and your story of the burglarized friend. As an old hack penned, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:00 PM   #27
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Gee, maybe you should move, Cho, ask Cuppa Joe or travelover about their neighborhoods, as they sure sound like nicer places. I think your experience is isolated.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:13 PM   #28
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Gee, maybe you should move, Cho, ask Cuppa Joe or travelover about their neighborhoods, as they sure sound like nicer places. I think your experience is isolated.
Nah - not too isolated. CFB's examples give credence to that

In any case, I no longer live in that city. The area I lived in was moderately affluent and located near both a college and a university (which often do seem to attract petty - and sometimes a bit more - thieves).
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:48 PM   #29
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Not sure where some of you guys live at who've posted such outrageous storage fees but the vast majority of states have a legal cap on towing/doc/storage fees as well as the number of days to be placed on a lien notice. Most states' limits are at approximately $35-50 per day plus a one-time $300-$400 doc/tow fee, and they can only charge you for 10 or 15 days on the date of the lien notice being filed.

Considering the lien notice will generally cost them approximately $200 to file, they will often negotiate accordingly.

If you find yourself being jostled by a tow company, advise them to file the lien notice since they must do so before being able to scrap or auction the vehicle. Check your state laws to discover the maximum allowable days allowed as well as the max daily fee.

It doesn't matter if a towing company holds that vehicle for 250 days - if they don't file the lien notice until day#250 then they can only charge you storage fees on the # of days allowed by law.
$80.00 per day on a motorcycle in my neighborhood.
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