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Letters to the editor

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 12:01 am

Thank-you letter to police department

Dear Chief York:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the department and especially Detective Jeff Haines for the effort that resulted in the arrest of the young man who burglarized our home over Labor Day weekend.

I arrived home to find that our home had been burglarized and that several items were removed, including a firearm that had belonged to my dad and jewelry taken from my wife’s closet, among other items. Your personnel came to our home and took items the burglar touched for fingerprinting on the morning of the burglary. The officers demonstrated concern and courtesy. We were impressed by their willingness to take the necessary time to process our home.

About a week later, our neighbors noticed a person looking through their window in the middle of the night. The neighbor got into his car and spotted a young man going through a vehicle about 2-3 blocks away on Westover Avenue at about 3:15 am. He spoke to this young man before he ran away. The neighbor gave the description to us. We gave the description to our daughters in Bloomington since the young man’s age seemed to correspond to theirs. Sure enough, an acquaintance of our daughter suggested a possible suspect based upon the description we provided. We then gave the name to Detective Haines along with the name of a young woman who had driven the young man to Bloomington on a recent visit.

Detective Haines followed up immediately. He found the address of the young man’s parents. He then questioned the suspect and his parents. He got sufficient information from him to begin assessing the extent of the burglary. He noticed the young man’s phone and asked about it, knowing that my old phone had been taken. This heads-up thinking resulted in the young man admitting that the phone was my old phone. The phone was provided to Detective Haines. From that, the detective obtained text messages that further detailed the crime. In addition, he questioned the young woman who drove this person to Bloomington for a visit with friends following the burglary. From that, he got information from the online service that showed her pawning the property the day after the burglary.

We encountered a delay in getting pictures of the property from the pawn shop but that was not the fault of Detective Haines. When we finally got the property returned to the store, it was identified as our property, but some jewelry with great sentimental value was lost. In less than one month, the individual who took items from our home was in jail. Also, I have a lead on the location of my dad’s gun and we are pursuing that.

This investigation not only solved our burglary but another one in our neighborhood. It may also explain a rash of car break-ins in Southwood Park. More importantly, it will lessen the fear of the neighbors that the thefts and break-ins will continue. Again, the officers involved in this case, especially Detective Haines, deserve credit for their perseverance and hard work. We are proud of the work we as citizens did to assist in the apprehension (but) had it not been for the interest shown by the FWPD and Detective Haines, the alleged perpetrator would not be incarcerated at this time.

Mark and Susyn GiaQuinta

What is value of life?

Two recent news articles made me question the value of human life in this country and how cheap it has become. In one story, a woman ignored the abuse her boyfriend gave her four young children for years and was given a suspended sentence. The other featured a couple who hoarded cats and were given 11/2 years in jail. The apparent message is that abuse of children is bad, while the abuse of cats is really, really bad. If life gets any cheaper you’ll find it on sale at the dollar store.

Thomas J. Ackmann