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Probe: October 11, 2001

October 11, 2001

QUESTION: What elected county official had his car impounded by the El Centro Police Department? Who paid the impound fees, the county official or the taxpayers? — Wondering, El Centro

No elected county official had his car impounded by the El Centro Police Department.

"We didn't do it," insisted El Centro Police Chief Ray Loera, adding "I heard about it."

A county car was towed by Beach & Son Towing about two weeks ago. A county security guard called the towing company to haul an "illegally parked car." The car was parked in a "no parking" zone, according to a towing company employee.

Although the employee could or would not identify the county official to whom the car was assigned, the employee said it was assigned to "someone in the District Attorney's Office."

The assigned driver came out the same day and bailed out the car.

"I remember because it was after hours. He paid for it. I didn't get a check from Imperial County,' said the Beach employee.

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We're going to make some more calls to see if we can identify the person, either colorblind or dumb enough to park in a red zone.

TERRORIST ALERT — Have you been watching the news lately? We have a problem in this country with terrorists. The president says we have to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity. If you heard something secondhand from two sources, would you call the sheriff?

Why didn't you just ask your readers if they heard or saw anything suspicious in Niland? But no, you called the sheriff and he gave you a nonchalant answer. This is serious stuff. — Alert, Brawley

We know this is serious stuff. That's why we called the sheriff — and we heard something third hand with only one source.

You sent your first e-mail Friday but we didn't see it until Monday. A really serious terrorist would have completed his dirty work by then.

The sheriff is the person we should have called because the sheriff is the lead law enforcement officer in each county in the state's emergency plan.

There are six emergency regions in California. Imperial County is in Region 6, along with Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

After we got your second e-mail, we called the sheriff's substation in Brawley. All the deputies knew about the mysterious Arab was what they had read in PROBE.

So we repeat, if you see something really alarming, call a cop. If he laughs at you, so be it. You did your part. Then call us.

COOL AT LAST — I called Hardaway Heating and Air Conditioning like you said in PROBE. He put a new air-conditioning unit in my mobile home. It's working perfectly. Thank you. — Cool, Brawley

Mike Hardaway, owner of the firm said, "Sometimes you gotta do something for somebody else. It makes you feel good."

It's his way of making his little corner of the world a better place.

"If everybody would do something for just one person, it would make the world a better place," he said.

"What I like to do at Christmas is choose a family and help that family have a really great Christmas," he said, adding, "When you give, it always comes back to you — and sometimes it comes back 10-fold."

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