Saturday, November 8, 2014

Why I no longer trust the St. Paul Police

(After Fox Network covered this story, my blog was "hacked" and the link to this post removed.  I post it again, here, with a live link.  If the message was censored by the St. Paul Police, I would not be surprised.) 

My dogs awoke me,  barking,  at 3:00 AM -  and I knew something was wrong.

I grabbed my under-the-bed baseball bat and stormed into my backyard.

The car next door had been burglarized; a neighbor's garage broken into.

And the woman who lives in the house behind mine was robbed in the middle of the night.

And so as the flood lights slapped across my empty back yard and my dogs growled, I determined to apprehend the culprit.

I searched the yard for the wretched, evil doer who would dare take advantage of the decent folks who live in Como Park.

Behind me, in my living room, someone walked out the front door with my MacBook and other electronics. Because I didn't check inside the house - I didn't discover the crime until the next morning.

"This ain't CSI, lady." 

I phoned the police at 7:30 A.M.

It took him almost an hour to get to my home - and when he finally knocked -  I opened my door to an overweigh, winded officer.

By then I was frantic. Where had he been?

"Don't  ever call the St. Paul cops between shifts," he said.  "We don't have our act together."

He yawned and rubbed his eyes as he walked through my ransacked living room.

"If I were you," he said, "I'd put bars on these windows."

Then he suggested I move out of the city.

"I grew up in this neighborhood," he said,. "I'm in the suburbs now. I wouldn't come back to the city on a bet. Too much crime."

I led him to the finger smudges on my coffee table,  window and bookcase.

Finger prints, I asked?

"This ain't CSI, lady," he snorted.

And thus began the hard truth I learned about St. Paul's finest.

"Get in line."

The folks at Hartford Insurance calculated my loss to be over $10 thousand. They asked for my assurance I would work to recover as much of my loss as possible.

I phoned the investigator's office, seeking the name of the person assigned.  For three days I reached voice mail - and no one returned my call.

Escalating, I phoned the Chief of Police.

My call was returned by a sergeant. Yes -  my case had been assigned.

No - the investigator would not be in touch.

The investigator was on vacation.

Yes - they knew she was out of town when they made the assignment.

And no - they would not ask another investigator to get involved.

My measly little home invasion was "not a priority" to the St. Paul Police.
"We got 60 people ahead of you,"  he said. "Each of our investigators works 30 to 50 open cases.  So - get in line, lady.  You're not that special - and you're sure not a priority."
Our busy, busy, busy civil servants.
"Oh, and get used to this idea," he said. "You'll never see your stuff again."
I called the East District Office where another sergeant confirmed this bad news. Property crimes, he said,  are the most frequent  in St. Paul -  but not a priority to our boys in blue.

Our cops are burdened, he said,  by the "many, many instances of violent crime" assailing our vulnerable citizens.

I checked the statistics - available to all of us online.

During the month of August, St. Paul citizens suffered:

  •  984 incidences of robbery, burglary and theft.  
  • 85 assaults.

"You're the kind of woman 

I can never make happy." 

If the majority of crimes in St. Paul are crimes against property, why not focus on property crime?

I asked the sergeant. 
"I know women like you," he answered. "You're the kind of woman I can never make happy." 
But I don't want to be "happy." 

I only want my property returned. 

And if that can't happen, I want to know that my police department is doing everything it can to make certain something like this never happens to anyone in my neighborhood, ever again.

The return visit

But criminals are not as stupid as our gallant officers believe. 

My thief knows his crimes will not be persecuted - his misdeeds will be overlooked. 

Two weeks later, my crook returned. 

Once again - my dogs awoke with vicious alarm in the middle of the night - and  I heard fumbling at bedroom window. 

Once again -  I stormed into the yard - bat in hand.  

This time I watched the lean, nimble form of a short, hooded man scamper through my garden gate and off my property. 

As he disappeared into the night I heard my dogs pant in relief.  

I checked my locked window - closed my doors - and returned to bed. 

I did not call the St. Paul Police. 

They were between shifts. 


  1. I can't believe it! What a nightmare for you, such a violation. I'm so very sorry that you have had to go through this. The attitude of the St. Paul police, sadly, is pretty representative if the nation as a whole, if not the world. This attitude simply denies or more, negates the harm and very real damage to the person whose life has been upended. You have been injured not only by the taking of your possessions, but in your person, itself. This reality is simply not thought about by the police.

    I read this late last night and have thought about it and you, all day. I know you are strong and resilient and resourceful, but I want to speak to the other side of you that must hurt and tell you how sorry I am that this happened to you.

  2. Agreed, this is not specific to the St Paul PD. My son lives in Columbus Ohio and was assaulted on a street in a middle class neighborhood. He thinks it was road rage related. He saw the assailant face-to-face but he was then knocked out cold by this man who then drove off. A witness got the man's license plate number and shared it with my son and the police. In the following days he got the same disinterested police reaction. He was, however, able to identify the man's name and address from the license plate, went to the house and watched to make sure it was the same person who assaulted him and then called the detective with that information. He was told by the detective that he would do the work on the case and, no, he didn't want the information my son had gathered! End of case. No charges were ever filed. And this was not just a property crime. My tax dollars at work. Ha!


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