Tag Archives: baltimore police

Picked the Wrong Car

Late last night, an off duty police officer shot a man he caught breaking in to his car.

According to Guglielmi, the officer involved in Friday’s incident was eating dinner at an area restaurant, when he heard a car alarm go off just before midnight. He went outside to investigate and discovered it was his car alarm.

The officer approached the vehicle, parked in a community lot behind North Charles Street, and found the front driver’s-side window smashed and the suspect inside the car, headed out the rear passenger-side door.

The officer identified himself and told the suspect to “stop,” Guglielmi said. But the man allegedly reached for something, and the officer shot one round, hitting the suspect in his right knee. The officer was not injured.

The suspect, in his 30s, was found to have “a screwdriver on his person,” Guglielmi said. He’s expected to be hospitalized for several days.

I have no problem with this, other than another example of BPD officers having poor aim.  What troubles me is the idea the thief picked ‘the wrong car’.  Why?  Because if it were my car, and I caught him, and he reached for a screwdriver, and I shot him, I would go to jail.

Every car should be the wrong car, and every person should be able to protect his property and his person, not just off duty police officers.


Good at taking reports, but not so much at doing something with them.

The Baltimore Sun reports the results of a police survey:  good at taking the police report, maybe not so much at following up.

A related anecdote:

My neighbor’s truck was broken into in August of last year.  The little thieving bastards got his garage door opener, opened the garage, and stole a motor scooter.  It was, as far as he knew, never recovered, and he purchased a replacement.

I ran into him this week.  After more than 6 months, the police called to inform him they recovered his scooter the day after it was stolen.  It apparently had run out of gas, and the little thieving bastard abandoned it.  Since August, the stolen scooter has been sitting, exposed to the elements, in a city impound lot.  There was minimal damage done to the scooter in the process of being stolen, and significant damage done while it sat outside for 6 months.

Six.  Months.  To have someone match up a report of a stolen scooter and a scooter matching that description, with that serial number, sitting in a city parking lot.

Really, how hard can this be?

(Disclosure:  My experience with an assault was positive from a response standpoint, but I don’t recall if the arresting officers were ever present in court, as the defendant never went to trial, due to a mutually agreed upon alcohol treatment program.  My experience with the investigation of a number of home invasions near my old house was positive from an investigation standpoint, but I have no idea if there were any convictions.  My experience in the few cases I’ve called police or known someone who did, the response and professionalism of BPD officers has been very good.)

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