Police Blotter

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16

. An officer was dispatched to Walmart in reference to shoplifting. Loss prevention at the store reported that he had apprehended three women after watching them put items in a shopping cart and then leave the store with the cart, passing all registers and making no attempt to pay for the items. Store employees contacted the women and recovered the stolen items. The loss prevention employee spoke with the women. One of them admitted to taking chocolate cherries and apple juice; the second admitted taking candy hearts, chicken-fried rice and a bag of Cheetos; and the third admitted taking the hot wings. The officer read to the women a miranda warning and they did not want to answer questions or make a statement. There were four other items in the shopping cart which none of the suspects would admit to taking.

THURSDAY, JAN. 17

. An officer on patrol pulled over a car for possible drunk driving for weaving, failure to signal multiple times, and for sitting stopped at a green light for some time after it changed. The officer recognized the female driver from prior contacts. She told the officer that she had come from having dinner with a friend at a local restaurant and they had been heading to the casino when they thought they would go see who was at a local bar first. The officer could smell alcohol coming from her breath, but the woman denied having had anything to drink. When asked again, she admitted that she had had one drink with dinner just before leaving the restaurant. The woman exhibited physical signs of intoxication and failed various roadside maneuvers. The woman did not want to blow into an alcohol breath test machine, and was placed under arrest for further investigation of DUI. As the woman was placed in the patrol car, her passengers, her son and his girlfriend, approached and asked if they could take the vehicle. The subject released the car to the girlfriend, as she was the only one with a valid license. After going to the police station to take a breath test, the woman was charged with failure to signal and failure to provide proof of insurance and was given a ride home. She told the officer that she felt embarrassed about what had happened because she is a pre-school teacher. The officer explained that he didn't mean to embarrass her but was merely doing what he felt was the right thing. The subject said that she understood, but that she was going to fight the citation.

FRIDAY, JAN. 18

. An officer returned a call to a woman in reference to her vehicle being stolen and located. The woman stated she had left her car parked in a driveway at a residence, with the permission of the homeowner, after a part in the car broke. The owner, who was waiting for replacement parts for the vehicle, had not given anyone permission to take or move the car. The car was also locked, and the keys were not with the vehicle. After discovering the vehicle missing, the owner began calling possible salvage yards locally and found the vehicle at one of them. An officer responded to the salvage business and spoke with the owner who stated that the car was towed into his business by a woman known to him personally and an unknown tall male with a mustache, and was towed in by a smaller red SUV type vehicle. The woman told him that she wanted to sell the car for salvage and stated that she was the owner. The owner of the business stated that he had insisted that she sign a bill of sale for the car and advised her that if she was lying about the ownership of the vehicle, she would be prosecuted. He stated that the woman insisted she was the car's owner, signed a bill of sale and left a copy of her driver's license. The salvage yard owner wrote her a check for $247.50 for the car. The woman advised him that the right rear window was broken out and the ignition was damaged. The actual owner of the car advised the officer that her car did not have any of this damage when she saw it the day before it was stolen. The officer noted the broken out window and that the ignition had been destroyed, and a New Mexico license plate had been attached to the rear of the car. At the time of this report, the woman who sold the car for salvage had not been located. An arrest warrant has been requested for her for the crimes of theft by receiving, for selling the vehicle, and theft for the money paid by the salvage yard owner. The car's owner was advised she could get her car and was in contact with the salvage yard owner.

. An officer in a marked patrol car observed a vehicle turn onto a county road that had a defective brake light with tape over it, and he pulled the vehicle over. There were three male passengers in the car, one of them known to the officer from previous contacts. Both the driver and the front seat passenger appeared to be very nervous and avoided eye contact with the officer. The driver came back as clear from dispatch and when the officer asked him to come to the rear of the car to speak with him, he observed him pause and tell the car's passengers something before doing so. Another law enforcement officer arrived to assist, and the driver admitted to the police officer that he smokes weed and methamphetamine, but the last time he had smoked any was the previous day. When asked if he had any meth on his person, he said that he didn't think so. The officer found a plastic baggie sticking out of his jacket pocket that had what appeared to be meth in it. As the officer removed it, the subject said that he didn't remember having that on him. The officer also recovered a glass pipe from the same pocket. He was taken into custody. The deputy detained the front seat passenger, who also had several items used for smoking meth found on his person, including a syringe, a lighter, a glass pipe with white residue, a silver spoon and a bottle cap. When the driver was asked what was in the plastic bag, he said "Crystal I suppose." The substances tested positive for methamphetamine.

MONDAY, JAN. 21

. Two officers responded to a business for a call of a customer threatening the owner. A male subject at the scene was contacted by one of the officers. The subject was upset because he wanted to return an item and was refused. When his information was run through dispatch, he came back as not having a driver's license. The subject told officers that he had driven all the way here from Durango to return the item. One of the officers did not charge the subject, but warned him not to drive because he did not have a license. The male subject said OK, and walked across the street to a neighboring business. A few minutes later, the second officer who was back in his patrol car, observed the subject driving west on Main St. He turned the patrol vehicle around and contacted the subject again, telling him that he had been informed by the other officer that the subject was warned not to drive. The subject said that was not true, that the officer had only said that he should just not pull out in front of him. The subject also did not have insurance or registration for the vehicle, and said it was because he had just bought the vehicle. The plate on the vehicle came back as registered to a different SUV. Running the VIN number, the subject's vehicle came back as registered to a woman in Durango who said that she had sold it a couple of years ago but that there had been problems with the title transfer. Dispatch was unable to locate a date of birth or license information for the woman. The male subject was issued a summons for driving without a valid license, failure to display registration, lack of insurance, and for displaying fictitious license plates. Because the officer could not determine ownership of the vehicle, it was towed, and the subject was told he would need to provide proof of ownership and insurance to pick it up.

. An officer responded to a residence for a call of theft. He spoke to a woman there who said she had $80 stolen from her purse. The woman believed she knew who had taken the money because she had let a man, known by officers to be homeless, spend the night at her place the night before because it was cold outside. When she woke up in the morning, the subject was gone and when she checked her purse, the money was missing. There had been no one else at her apartment that night. She stated that she was trying to contact the subject by text. The officer will also attempt to contact the man.