LEICESTER, Mass. — Leicester Police Chief Jim Hurley's dispatch for The Daily Voice compiles the incidents and cases that Leicester police come across on the beat each week.
Being a police officer is like no other job in the world. It can best be described as having a ringside seat to the greatest show on earth every day. As you read the accounts set forth in the LPD update, it is important to remember:
- We could not make this stuff up if we tried.
- No one lies to the police.
The names of the individuals involved in the cases discussed in this column have not been published to protect their identity.
Noteworthy Arrest & Incidents
Riding To Jail In Style – An officer working stationary radar in Cherry Valley at approximately 10 p.m. observed a limousine traveling along Route 9 headed toward Leicester Center.
The vehicle pulled over onto the side of the road, stopping in a position that placed the front of the vehicle almost against a snow bank and the rear of the vehicle sticking out into the travel lane. STRIKE 1.
The officer went to check on the vehicle to see what had led to the erratic parking, and to have the vehicle move into a lot as parking is prohibited on Route 9, as it is a state highway.
The officer made contact with the operator of the vehicle and asked him if everything was all right. The operator of the limousine indicated it was and that he was just squaring away a fare.
Now that might sound reasonable to you, but in the police world, limousine drivers don’t refer to their customers as a “fare.”
The officer also noted that the vehicle was displaying Livery Vehicle registration plates.
The officer then had the opportunity to speak with the passenger in the limousine, who indicated that the driver pulled over because he and the driver were engaged in a dispute over the cost for the ride.
The passenger stated he had paid he driver $12 for a ride to just past Leicester Center. The driver stated the passenger had paid for a ride to the Leicester line and to go up past Leicester Center would cost the passenger another $15.
This was an automatic STRIKE 2, as the officer was very well aware that “Livery Vehicles” are not allowed to pick up street fares (a person hailing a cab) and charge mileage rates like a taxi cab can.
So right about now you probably think the driver is going to get the next strike but — stand by.
The officer continued his investigation by identifying both the driver and the passenger. The passenger turned out to have a warrant out for his arrest. STRIKE 3.
The man was arrested and taken to the police station for booking, which, if you evaluate it, was just about the distance that the limousine driver wanted to charge him $15 to drive him, and the LPD gave it to him for free — that is if you don’t count his bail.
The driver of the limousine was not detained and left with the limousine. While it is clear he was violating the use of his plates and licensing, those violations are not arrestable and will be referred to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), the licensing authority in the community where the vehicle was registered.
The matter will also be further investigated by the LPD to determine if the misuse of the “Livery Plates” is a violation of the law.
The Absent Minded Shopper – The LPD was recently called upon to investigate the theft of Tide detergent from a local retail establishment.
If you were not aware of it, Tide detergent has become a hot item for shoplifters who steal it for its resale value.
The LPD investigator assigned to the case quickly developed a suspect in the theft and contacted him to come in for an interview.
The man showed up, complete with his alibi all rehearsed and ready to go. When questioned by the LPD investigator, the suspect let loose with his alibi, which was, “I did not do it.”
As the man left the LPD professing his innocence, the LPD investigator informed him about the strong evidence the LPD had against him and that he would likely be charged criminally.
The following day the suspect returned to the LPD with several containers of Tide and informed the LPD investigator that he went down into his basement after returning home from his interview the previous day and noticed the containers of Tide, which he had never seen before and did not recall purchasing.
In addition to the containers of Tide, the man also turned in a Kuerig Coffee Brewer, a box of Keurig K cups for the machine, and numerous other items.
The man then told the LPD investigator that he suffers from an anxiety condition that causes him to black out. The suspect indicated that he likely was shopping at the retailer, had an anxiety attack, blacked out, left the store with the items, drove home, put the items away, and did not even know that he had the items until he saw them after he was initially interviewed.
Wow, now that was a great story but not good enough to keep this guy from going to court. The only question is: Will he have a doctor’s note to back it up in court??
But Officer, I’m Permitted To Drive Under Storm Ban – In the hours leading up to the recent blizzard, the Commonwealth put a travel ban into effect which prohibited most people from operating a motor vehicle during the storm.
One of the exemptions in the ban was that snow removal personnel were permitted to operate their vehicles if they were involved in snow removal operations.
One plow operator, who was stopped by the LPD, stated that he was involved in plowing operations and not covered by the travel ban.
He was correct in his statement but that was not the reason he was stopped. The man had been stopped because his driver’s license was suspended and that was not an exemption in the travel ban.
The man was not arrested, as the storm was getting into full swing, but he did receive a summons to appear in court for operating after suspension (subsequent offense).
The Name Game That Did Not Go Well – An LPD officer working traffic enforcement on Stafford Street clocked a motor vehicle on radar traveling 15 mph over the speed limit.
The officer stopped the vehicle and recognized it as a vehicle that had been called in an hour earlier by another motorist who reported it operating erratically in another section of Leicester.
When the officer approached and spoke with the operator, the officer noted that the man was nervous.
Based on the traffic violation, the early report of the vehicle operating erratically, and the driver appearing nervous, the LPD officer asked the passenger for his name, which the passenger provided.
While the officer was back in his cruiser writing the operator a speeding ticket, he entered the passenger’s name into his mobile data computer. The check came back negative.
The officer did notice that there was a “Wanted Person” with the same last name as the passenger but a different first name.
The officer cross referenced the wanted person’s information with his driver’s license photo, and low and behold, it was the passenger. The passenger was wanted for failure to register as sex offender. He was taken into custody by the officer on the warrant.
National Drug Take Back VI
The next National Drug Take Back has been scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at the Leicester Recycling Center, 200 Manville St. in Leicester, where once again the team at the Recycling Center will work with the LPD to collect unused, unwanted, and outdated prescription medication.
If you can’t make the National Drug Take Back, you are welcome to use the 24 hour drug drop-off kiosk in the Leicester Police Station lobby.
Sharps Kiosk – Open For Business
The sharps disposal kiosk has been installed in the LPD lobby and is open for business.
Residents can now dispose of their sharps or sharps used for animal care in the kiosk at any time.
Replacement sharps containers are also available, should they be needed. If you can’t make it to the lobby to drop off your sharps, please contact me at email@example.com and we can make alternate arrangements.
The opinions set forth in this article are those of Chief James Hurley and do not represent the opinions of the Town of Leicester or other members of the Leicester Police Department.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the residents of the community for their continued support of the police department and also to thank all the men and women of the LPD for the professional and effective work they do in the community.
Chief Jim Hurley e/s
Leicester Police Department