Patrol officers can never become complacent when stopping vehicles for traffic violations because many times when officers make traffic stops for even routine or minor traffic violations, something unexpected will occur.
That is exactly what happened late one night recently when Officer Jessica Swaner stopped a large SUV in a quiet residential neighborhood for a traffic violation. As soon as the vehicle rolled to a stop, the driver and the passenger bailed out of the truck and ran away in different directions. Officer Swaner alerted dispatch of the fleeing vehicle occupants and assisting officers responded to the area.
The officers searched the area and within a short amount of time, the passenger was located and taken into custody several blocks away by Officer Brad Wubben. When questioned by the officers, the passenger identified the driver of the vehicle.
Officer Swaner contacted the owner of the vehicle in St. Paul and found that the owner was unaware the vehicle was in Lakeville and that the vehicle might have been stolen or taken without permission. Officer Swaner requested that the owner report the vehicle as stolen to the St. Paul Police Department.
As the officers continued to investigate the scene, they found that the passenger was also in possession of a credit card that had been reported stolen from a parked vehicle. The suspected driver of the vehicle, although not located that night by the officers, was found to not have a valid driver’s license and will face multiple traffic and fleeing criminal charges. The vehicle was towed to the police station for forensic processing and to be returned to the owner. The case remains under investigation and it is likely that the traffic stop may help to solve additional theft from vehicle cases in the area.
OFFICER RECOVERS STOLEN VEHICLE
Officer Josh Berkebile was on patrol one night this week when he located a vehicle parked along a gravel road with no lights on. When Officer Berkebile ran a computer check on the registration, he found that the unoccupied vehicle had been recently reported stolen in Prior Lake. The vehicle was towed and impounded pending further investigation.
INTERNET GENERATED CALL
The internet and social media have created a great avenue for the public to report safety concerns to the police, but sometimes it takes a little investigative work to determine where exactly a message originated from as was the case in this call last week.
Our officers received a call from a resident of Duluth, who thought that he was receiving suicidal text messages from a Lakeville resident. Officers investigated the report and found that the Lakeville resident was just forwarding the messages to the person in Duluth from an individual in Bismark, North Dakota.
The officers contacted Bismark PD and had them check on the welfare of their resident who initiated the messages.
WEEKLY LPD SNAPSHOT
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Nov. 22 to Nov. 29, 2012
Traffic crashes: 7 Alarms: 27 Animal Calls: 29 Medical Emergency Calls: 24 Thefts: 21 Traffic Stops: 150.