Tracking crime at one local residence

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dear Dr. Ralph Ioimo,

I was born and raised in Selma and my family has lived in the Ice House District for ten years.

We have great neighbors. However, the past 10 years we have had problems with people that are not our neighbors, but are thieves who have stolen numerous items from our property including furniture and a flag. These are difficult, but minor things.

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But there have been two very disturbing incidents. One night, somebody jacked up my wife’s car and stole a rear tire and left the car sitting up on a block of cement they brought. An officer came and took the report.

My wife asked him about taking fingerprints. He told her there wouldn’t be any prints to find. Don’t you think the smooth surface of a car would leave great prints? The officer didn’t think so.

One afternoon my wife came home and found our house in shambles. She then realized there were still people in our home. She backed out, went next door and called the police.

I got home from my job before the police got there. When we were allowed in, we discovered whatever wasn’t stolen was destroyed. Much of what we owned was stolen, including my father’s A Club ring from the University of Alabama. What the thieves didn’t take they destroyed. I’m just thankful that my wife had the presence of mind to leave.

My neighbors identified a man from police photos who was going from house to house that day looking for work. He was a suspect in similar crimes.

Five weeks later, when we had still not heard anything from the police, we called to speak to the detective in charge of our case. He said that he had not even looked at our case file.

A year later, one of my students came to my school wearing my father’s stolen class ring. He told us he had gotten it from his mother’s jewelry box.

My wife called the Chief of Detectives and told him about it but he did not seem concerned. After arguing with him for some time, he finally agreed to send a detective to the school to talk to the boy and me. We have yet to hear back from them. Ever.

I do want to say that I have the highest respect for the uniformed officers that I have met and dealt with. I appreciate the dangerous work they do on the streets everyday. Except for that guy who wouldn’t finger print our car.

Don Speed

Ice House District