Remember last week, I'd mentioned that in Tosa, Police tell residents to call 911 when they see anything odd, out of place, suspicious?
Well, that came as timely advice.
Last week, while my wife rolled the trashcan to the curb (yes, my wife does that job .. does that make me less of a man?) .. she saw a guy, ambling down our block, perhaps talking on a cell phone. Whatever he was doing, he spooked my wife; she came inside a bit scared, and told me she was calling the police.
I went outside to catch a glimpse from a few hundred feet away .. can't say he was that suspicious, although he did cross the street, then double back. Honestly, I'm not sure I would have called the police. Good thing my wife did.
45 seconds later, two WFB squads came rolling down, looking for our guy. (Great response time from WFB!)
The next morning, on an unrelated matter, I was talking to WFB's Chief of Police, Robert Jacobs. I asked him if he knew about this incident, and what the resolution was.
Turns out, they caught the guy, who eventually confessed that HE WAS BREAKING IN TO CARS! A day later, the Chief emailed me thanking my wife for calling in the tip, explaining they had also recovered a stolen car.
The moral of this story is: CALL THE POLICE WHEN YOU SEE ANYONE OUT OF PLACE AT NIGHT. -- REALLY. NO, I'M NOT KIDDING.
Don't sit around, thinking, gee, I sure hope that guy is OK. Just call 911, and have the police figure it out. That's what they are there for.
I asked Chief Roberts if 911 is the right number to dial for something like that. He said if you see someone outside, looking a bit odd, they need you to call 911 so they can get a squad out there immediately. While it doesn't sound like an emergency, it's something the police want to act upon RIGHT AWAY. That strategy paid off last week. 911 goes directly to the WFB dispatch center. (However, Chief Roberts said if you are calling from a cell phone, 911 will go to the Milwaukee County dispatch. Ask them to transfer the call to WFB.)
I think the biggest issue is that people just don't know to call 911 for something small, and basically hope someone else is keeping an eye on things.
Look .. this dude walked down our block of 40 homes. Let's say he walked down three blocks just like that, walking by 120+ homes, looking for cars to break in to. It was just after the 10pm news was ending. Plenty of people are awake. I'll bet AT LEAST 5 people saw him in front of their homes. That means four people just shrugged off an out of place guy, walking down the street.
Bottom line .. WFB has had a spate of car and home break-ins in the past few months. Make an effort. Take a look outside your house, up and down the block. If it's dark out .. and you see some young guy who doesn't look like a neighbor: Call 911 and have the police look into it.
They're not going to charge you for calling 911 on a tip that doesn't pan out. They're going to thank you for being vigilant, making WFB a safer place.
I'll bet you've seen something out of place within the last month, and you didn't call it in, thinking it wasn't really an emergency. NEXT TIME, DON'T JUST SIT THERE.
Don't think you're "bothering" the police with something small. That call could turn out, like in our case last week, to lead to catching a car thief!
Make sure you read:
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- WFB Picks New Trustee
- Grim Silver Spring Prediction .. a Local Merchant's thoughts..
- Bits & Pieces (New Engineer, Leaf Collection, Crime .. Fire)
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