Police Links: Letters of Love and Crime

Every January, people hope for new beginnings and do their best to turn over a new leaf – if only for a short while. Maybe the thief who returned stolen items 15 years later was inspired by the spirit of New Year's resolutions. Too bad more crooks weren't.

Melanie Basich 2012 Headshot

Photo via rutlo/Flickr.Photo via rutlo/Flickr.

Every January, people hope for new beginnings and do their best to turn over a new leaf—if only for a short while. Maybe this person was motivated by the spirit of New Year resolutions. Whatever the cause, in an unusually heart-warming story related to theft, someone wrote an apology letter and returned gold rings stolen at a house party 15 years ago. Luckily, the same family still lived at the suburban Chicago address where the jewelry was returned.

But not everyone is so remorseful, or as tight-lipped about their crimes. No matter how many cautionary tales circulate online and elsewhere, crooks just can't seem to stop sharing their exploits with the world.

One Oregon teen posted on Facebook that he had been driving drunk and hit a car. Two of his 650 Facebook friends turned him in and he was charged. It wasn't the Facebook post that got him, because police already had evidence and later a confession that it was him, but I'm sure his public admission didn't help his case.

Also a sharer, one robber's love letter helped convict him. After being recaptured, the already convicted bank robber wrote to his girlfriend about how he had escaped custody while being driven to court and even mentioned a bank he had robbed. The information was used against him once he made it to court. He reportedly also told numerous people that he was a wanted fugitive while he was on the lam. Way to keep it on the down-low.

In a nice story, a mentally disabled and autistic 18-year-old was made an honorary police officer in Louisiana.

Blaize Richard has always wanted to be a police officer. So for his 18th birthday, his mother coordinated a visit from an officer with the local PD, the Jennings (La.) Police Department. Blaize got his own police uniform and later got to visit to the police station. But it didn't stop there. After word of Blaize's dream spread within the department, Officer Mike Hill took the boy under his wing—visiting him often and even coming by the family home when Hill received a new squad car. Officer Hill wasn't looking for publicity. In fact, he has turned down interview requests. He just wanted to help make a difference in a kid's life.

The biggest story this month has of course been the proposed federal Assault Weapons Ban and what it would mean for law enforcement. The story continues to unfold, and everyone has an opinion. One blogger voiced his in a recent short post.

The blog "sgtsays" is written by a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve who also works as a reserve police officer as training sergeant for an agency in Southern California. In his Jan. 29 post "Zip Gun" he references a video that demonstrates how to create "a single shot zip gun from $2 worth of commonly found materials." He talks about the futility of limiting access to certain firearms when anyone motivated enough can make a gun out of easily obtained items.

We can only hope the bad guys' resolutions this year don't involve finding ways to take advantage of the impending ban to hurt cops. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Melanie Basich 2012 Headshot
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