Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A stolen car that wasn't a 'broken window'.

Scroll past our new sheriff's domestic violence troubles to the last item in this SF Chron column for the tale of a car owner who the police refused to help. He told reporters that a witness saw someone tinkering in his car after it had been stolen, and he found an actual ID card inside his recovered car, and the cops still refused to follow up without an eyewitness to the original theft.

So, yes, someone who tinkers at an abandoned car is in fact likely to be different from whoever stole the car outright, and it's good policing to distinguish between the two.

But is it also relevant that a day's work out chasing vigorous car thieves may seem less congenial to a time-serving personality than a day's work out bravely ticketing old ladies for selling canned goods or for living in their cars? Is it also relevant that the theories of the late James Q. Wilson, q.v. below, provide convenient theoretical justifications for guardians of the public safety not picking on someone their own size?

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