Parked patrol cars no longer effective

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Cape Girardeau's police chief, Steve Strong, has wisely decided to end the practice of leaving out-of-service patrol cars parked at the city limits.

Of course, it was the only possible decision after someone stole two shotguns from police cars -- one parked at the Missouri Veterans Home and the other at Ford's Custom Bikes, both on North Kingshighway.

There probably wasn't a person in town who didn't know those police cars carefully pointed toward U.S. 61 from the Veterans Home parking lot were issued to officers living in Jackson, Mo., and were unoccupied. They were the perfect target for thieves, who used a tool known as a slim jim to unlock the doors. The guns -- Remington 870 12-gauge shotguns -- were in the trunks.

Before the week was out, three people had been arrested and the guns were recovered.

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