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Thinking before acting helps you stay safe

Recently, we have had a rash of stranger-than-normal calls here at the police department, so I thought I would take a minute to address the general theme that jumps out at me.

While I agree that Boulder City feels like a world away from the big city, it is not. We are a few short miles from the hustle and bustle of the city. We tend to be a little more trusting and a little more lenient than we probably should.

The catalyst call was from a woman who had left town with a man she had known just a week and was now stranded alongside the freeway in Oregon. Her vehicle had been left with a friend of the new love interest, along with the keys, and away she went. The caller is several states away and thinks this is the worst thing that could have happened (it isn’t).

I’ll bypass the obvious and go straight to the subject of her call: She had no idea where her vehicle was, what the full name of the friend was, what her license plate was (it’s a new car) or any other logistical information. She wanted to report her vehicle stolen after trying to call the friend and receiving a text saying she would never see her vehicle again.

The vehicle may or may not be stolen — for the meantime, she left it in the custody of someone she didn’t know. Without an address or directions to the location, there was no way to send officers (or anyone else) to check on it. She had no information to identify the vehicle enough to report it stolen.

It might sound outlandish; however, I encounter variations of this call every day. Examples: I bought a car from a friend of a friend, and now a repossession guy is trying to tow it away; I purchased a gun on Craigslist, and now I find it’s stolen; or I needed a ride home so I thought the person looked safe.

I get it. I’m entirely too trusting myself. However, we live in a new day and time, folks. Please think ahead. Don’t put yourself in physical danger or the possibility of it. Don’t purchase things from a second party that you have no way of knowing if they are stolen or not (possession of stolen property is still a crime). And for goodness sake, don’t get in someone’s car you do not know unless you have no other choice. There are safety precautions that can be taken for almost any situation, but, without thinking it out first, you are a vulnerable target.

Feb. 16. Fire: Several callers report smoke and flames alongside a structure at 2 a.m. in the 900 block of Nevada Way.

Suspicious: Drivers report a man lying on the side of the road wearing a blue jacket at 12:52 p.m. in the area of Railroad Pass.

Thought for the day: The man advises officers that he is just lying down to rest on his way to walk to Searchlight to see his girlfriend.

Feb. 17. Accident: Officers locate a severely damaged vehicle in a ditch but cannot locate a driver at 4:01 a.m. in the area of Gingerwood and Red Mountain drives.

Reckless driver: The driver is pulling a large trailer while tailgating, brake-checking, speeding, abruptly changing lanes and has driven several cars from the roadway at 12:35 p.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 93 and Veterans Memorial Drive.

Thought for the day: Unlucky for that driver that an officer with a traffic camera is witnessing the behavior.

Feb. 18. Drugs: The upstairs unit is full of weed smoke at 12:57 p.m. in the 1600 block of Nevada Highway.

Thought for the day: The new weed law has the concerns of second-hand smoke to contend.

Feb. 19. Suspicious vehicle: The vehicle doors are standing open at 4:22 a.m. in the 700 block of Seventh Street.

Fire: The fire department makes short work of the vehicle fire at 4:32 p.m. in the area of Buchanan Boulevard and Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: The owner of the vehicle forgot to close the doors and is glad officers alerted him before a theft.

Feb. 20. Family disturbance: Both subjects cooperate with officers who attempt to mitigate the damages of a deteriorated relationship at 5:11 a.m. in the 1100 block of Endora Way.

Disabled vehicle: The caller says his travel-trailer is hopelessly stuck but he will remove it when the mud dries up at 1:16 p.m. in the area of the dry lake bed.

Thought for the day: We always advise checking the weather report before taking any vehicle off road just because of such issues.

Feb. 21. Welfare check: Officers go check on the welfare of an elderly man who failed to show up for work or call at 12:35 p.m. in the 600 block of Avenue A.

Thought for the day: I’m happy to report the elderly man was just not feeling well enough to call into work.

Feb. 22. Welfare check: The OnStar operator reports someone repeatedly pushing the panic button in their stationary vehicle at 8:24 a.m. in the 800 block of Buchanan Boulevard.

Vandalism: The caller is reporting a rock thrown through the car windshield at 5:36 p.m. in the 1000 block of Wyoming Street.

Thought for the day: Sometimes getting oriented in your brand-new vehicle comes with a visit from the local police, too.

Call of the week: Traffic: The officer notes he has warned the subjects on seven different occasions not to drive the all-terrain vehicle on Boulder City streets and this will be the last warning given at 3:28 p.m. Feb. 16 in the area of New Mexico Street and Avenue B.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with the Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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