LEICESTER, Mass. — 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.
House and Car Break Update
There were two house breaks in Leicester over the past nine days. The investigation into one house break has led to the identification of a person of interest, who is actively avoiding the police.
The search will continue for this person until he is located. The LPD has collected evidence that may contain DNA and will be forwarding that evidence to the crime lab for processing.
The LPD also made some headway with the car breaks that have been occurring. One suspect has been arrested in connection with a car break. The facts and circumstances leading up to his arrest will be discussed below.
In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, the LPD was kept busy with noise complaints generated by the illegal use of fireworks. On the evening of July 4, the on-duty officers could not keep up with the number of complaints as they came in, resulting in a delayed response to some complaints.
The LPD also confiscated a large quantity of fire works while responding to these calls. The investigation into the illegal possession of the confiscated fireworks is ongoing. Residents are reminded that the possession and use of fireworks in Massachusetts is illegal.
One need not look any further than the numerous fireworks-related tragedies shown on the news this past week to understand the dangers of fireworks. Be smart, stay safe, stay on the right side of the law — don’t use fireworks!
Other Noteworthy Arrests and Incidents
Pumping Gas Is Not This Tiring – LPD officers recently responded to a call reporting a suspicious person at a local gas station.
The caller reported that the man was standing next to his motor vehicle and appeared to be falling asleep. The responding LPD officers located the man’s vehicle parked at the gas pumps. While the LPD officers responded to the call, the LPD dispatcher ran a check on the vehicle registration that the caller who reported the suspicious male had provided.
The registration check indicated that the vehicle’s registration had been revoked based on the vehicle’s insurance being cancelled ….. STRIKE #1. LPD officers located the man inside the convenience store at the gas station and informed him that his vehicle’s registration was revoked and the vehicle would be towed by LPD. While speaking with the man, officers conducted a routine check on the man, which included checking him for warrants as well as a check on his license status.
Frequently, and I know some readers might find this hard to believe, people who drive cars with revoked registrations often drive with revoked licenses. This theory proved correct in this case, as the man’s license was also revoked…..STRIKE #2!
Things just seemed to be getting worse for this guy! Prior to the vehicle being towed, LPD policy requires and the law permits officers to conduct an inventory of the vehicle. While inventorying the contents of the vehicle, an officer located a red pouch in the center console. Inside the pouch the officers located several bags of heroin, numeroushypodermic needles, a quantity of pills and other drug paraphernalia.
The man was taken into custody. The pills would be identified as Clonidine Hydrochloride, which is a Class E controlled substance in Massachusetts. Now I know you are going to find this hard to believe, but the man could not produce a prescription for the pills.
Wrong Shirt, Wrong Place, Wrong Time ... Nice Arrest – Earlier this week, at approximately 4 a.m., the LPD dispatch received a report of a motor vehicle accident with entrapment on Stafford Street near the Worcester/Leicester line.
As LPD was preparing to dispatch the call and start LPD units to the scene of the crash, they were notified that the accident was in Worcester and that Worcester Police, Fire, and EMS were already at the scene.
Worcester also reported that a male in a white muscle T-shirt fled the scene of the crash on foot. Worcester also requested that Leicester set up a traffic detour to keep cars out of the crash scene. As LPD officers were responding to the scene, they spotted a man with a white muscle T-shirt on Main Street.
The officers approached the man, and he fled into the woods. After a lengthy search, LPD officers located and detained the man. He was wearing a shirt matching the description of the man wanted in connection with the accident and he had visible cuts that were consistent with being in a motor vehicle crash.
Sounds to me like they had the man that fled the crash. Leicester dispatch notified Worcester dispatch that the LPD had apprehended a suspect matching the description of the man who fled the crash scene.
Worcester dispatch then notified Leicester dispatch that their officer had located the man who fled the scene and he was in custody.
Confused? Welcome to what you have to deal with if you are a police officer. Further investigation by LPD officers determined that the man they detained was fleeing the scene of a car break he had just committed.
He was taken into custody for breaking and entering a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property (under $250). The moral of the story is don’t break into a car at the same time and in the same area as a serious motor vehicle crash wearing the same style T-shirt as the suspect who fled the motor vehicle crash.
Officer, I Am Walking To Work – An LPD officer on patrol at 2:30 a.m. on Stafford Street this week came across a man walking along the side of the road in dark clothing.
The officer stopped to check on the man, being concerned for the man’s safety. the man indicated that he was walking to work at a restaurant located in the Charlton rest area on the Massachusetts Turnpike, which is quite a distance. The man indicated he could not get a ride to work.
The LPD officer was going to provide the man with a ride to the town line, which would leave him walking on a wider road, which would have been safer. Prior to putting the man in the cruiser to transport him, it is a policy to run a check on the suspect for the safety of the officer. The officer ran a check on the man and found that he had two outstanding warrants for his arrest for failing to appear in court. The man was placed into the LPD cruiser only he was handcuffed and the ride was not to the town line but to the police station.
Allegations of Guns, Drugs, Assaults, And An Affair – An LPD officer found himself in the middle of a domestic disturbance that seemed more like the script of a Hollywood Street Gang movie.
The disturbance that began at 11:45 p.m. at a local business was the result of a dispute between a man and woman who were reportedly in a long-term relationship, after the man learned that the woman had been in the company of a former boyfriend.
The man was very upset and the accusations began to fly, and they were coming fast and furious. The dispute escalated from a loud verbal disturbance to an alleged slapping and hair-pulling tussle.
This was followed by an allegation that the man saw the police approaching and he “pulled cocaine out of his butt and threw it out the window” of their vehicle – that’s what he said – welcome to my world.
Next followed the allegation that the man threatened to shoot up the woman’s home, then an argument, overhead by a witness, about possible illegal items in the vehicle and then threats between the man and the woman about what would happen if they talked to the police. Given all the accusations being thrown about, the LPD contacted the State Police and requested a K-9 unit be brought to the scene.
After the dog and officers checked the area where the cocaine was allegedly thrown, and the motor vehicle that the suspects were in, all that the officers could find was possible marijuana residue on a car mat.
The man was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery. He was held over the weekend at the LPD and brought to court for arraignment on Monday.
Shopliftings Continue – There were two more shoplifting incidents in town since my last column.
The Makeup Thief – A 19-year-old woman was arrested after she was detained at a local retail store attempting to leave with 22 stolen items. The items ranged from eyeliner and mascara to hair care products and shampoo. The total value of this five-finger fixer-upper was $148.64.
No Trespassing Means No Trespassing And No More Shoplifting – A 55-year-old man was observed shopping at a local business after having been previously warned not to be on the property after a previous shoplifting incident.
The man was interviewed by store security and the LPD and admitted that he had shoplifted at the store twice within the past several days. He is now facing charges of trespassing and two counts of shoplifting.
Many people think shoplifting is a victimless crime. I say that we are all the victims of this crime as every time we make a purchase in a store some of our purchase cost is the result of the loss the retailer is sustaining.
Question of the Week
I received a request to discuss the laws pertaining to fences being placed around pools. This is an area that the police do not have any jurisdiction or enforcement authority, and thus I have little, if any, credible knowledge on the subject. I did reach out to the people who do have enforcement authority and found that this is an issue where it would be best for the public to contact them directly rather than try to explain the law and provide the public with misinformation.
If you have a question on pool fencing or wish to report a possible violation of the fencing law, you can contact the Leicester Building/Code Enforcement Office at (508) 892-7003.
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