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Thanks: Officer thanks citizen for help in catching burglar

March 20, 2002

I am writing this letter to thank a concerned citizen of the city of El Centro. I am a police officer with El Centro Police Department (team 2).

In the morning hours of March 13 the ECPD received a call of a burglary in progress in the 600 block of Sandalwood. The citizen made the call after hearing a window smash on his neighbor's vehicle. The citizen stayed on the phone with the dispatcher in order to update what was happening.

Officers from the night shift (team 2) responded immediately to the call. After a short foot chase, the suspect in question was caught and eventually booked at the jail for burglary and other charges. The call was very significant because it allowed us set up a perimeter to contain the suspect in order to apprehend him.

I just think is important to thank our citizens when they assist the police in performing our duties. It is very important for citizens to call when crimes in progress are occurring. If the community works with the police we can keep our streets free of crime. We cannot allow criminals to roam the streets, intruding into our hard-earned properties that we work hard for.

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The reason I do not name the citizen who called the police is to protect his identity, and I also did not obtain his permission to provide his name, but if he reads this, he will know who he is.

It is also important for citizens to know they should not be worried about reporting incidents, especially in-progress crimes. We do not provide criminals with details about where you live or anything about the person calling.

One more note: the community can help stop break-ins by not leaving cell phones, purses, wallets, money, laptops, detachable stereos and other valuables inside their vehicles. I can't tell you how many times I walk at night while working and see valuables inside vehicles. If you were not aware, criminals do the same thing. They walk around at night in search of valuables left in plain sight inside your vehicle or property.

It should also be noted that some people complain that police are always stopping people in the night hours, especially from midnight to 0500 hours. You tell me if it is normal for most people to be out roaming our streets during these hours when these people are not working, especially when they are in possession of flashlights, screwdrivers and other tools.

You know, the funny thing is the people who complain are those who have been arrested for theft crimes, etc. I believe we have the right to investigate suspicious activities within the allowable laws.

JOSE GUERRERO

Imperial

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