Maybe I Should Stop Looking

When I promoted to Sergeant, I was assigned to an office in a large city. My first shift was working graveyards with a more senior Sergeant to show me around the area and the various county and city locations.

While we were on our way to the courthouse, we were passed by a car going in excess of 85 MPH. We conducted a stop on the vehicle and when I approached the driver’s door, I saw the driver place both hands on the dash.

He then said that he did not want me to shoot him, and he was giving himself up. He then told me that he had killed someone, but that it was in self-defense. We then called dispatch to check for warrants and any report of a recent murder.

It was determined that he had indeed stabbed someone, but the victim had not died. The city police were in route to our location to take over the investigation.

While we were waiting for the police officers, I checked the vehicle for the registration papers that I needed for my portion of the report. When I opened the driver’s door to check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the doorpost, I could see that one corner of the VIN plate was slightly bent.

When I flicked it with my thumbnail it came off and fell to the ground. The VIN number under the one that had been crudely glued on returned as a stolen vehicle. The jurisdiction for the stolen vehicle report was one of the neighboring Highway Patrol areas. They were notified and were also in route to our location.

Knowing that the vehicle would have to be towed, I began the inventory form which the other Highway Patrol investigator would need. When the trunk of the vehicle was opened, there was a police helmet and a nightstick from an adjoining city. A call to dispatch disclosed that the items were taken in a burglary some time ago from an officer’s home. That police agency was also notified and they dispatched an officer to take over that part of the incident.

Needless to say, I did not get off shift on time that morning as I had to complete reports for four jurisdictions. On the bright side, no other shift was as complicated as that one. -RS