About . . . . Classes . . . . Books . . . . Vita . . . . Blog. . . . Podcast

by Peter Moskos

September 26, 2016

"Book Em Danno"

In minor but fun news, I got a call from the New Orleans Police Department regarding the burglary that happened to us in New Orleans in May. They IDd and arrested the guy who did it!

Turns out this very moment -- when crime lab took swabbed the energy drink the crook drunk half of and left on a counter -- was just the break needed to bust this case wide open.

Needless to say, the guy was in the system. The detective called me to make sure I hadn't invited said burglar over for an invigorating refreshment. Good work, ladies and gents of the New Orleans Police Department.


Bill Harshaw said...

Your original post, and the comments, were fascinating. Two questions:

1. Any background info on the burglar which would explain why he rifled through the books?
2. In reference to the "non-innocent" victims of "burglaries"? How do such reports impact crime statistics on burglaries--are they included in the count at face value, or at some discounted rate? (I suppose it all depends.)

Moskos said...

Low life repeat offender. But smart enough to think maybe money was stashed in a book? Perhaps word has gotten out as to the ways of the literati!

As to burglaries that aren't actual burglaries: Yes, it depends on the mood and savvy of the responding officer and the culture of the department. Sometimes it's easier to just a report. Sometimes threatening to call crime lab can produce interesting reactions. Generally most cops are leery to waste precious department resources on bullshit non-crimes. But it depends. So the impact varies. And that variance isn't random. It's why I don't trust those stats.

fh said...

I assume you trust homicide stats. My way of introducing the off-topic subject that the UCR for 2015 is out and homicides are up 10.8%. I will have to find a nice hat to eat (12/15 comment). Kudos to you (although being right about people being killed is not a good thing as you have observed but better than being wrong).

Moskos said...

Thanks. I was actually trying to find that comment. I remember it, but couldn't remember who or exactly what or when. Double-digits, I think was my position.

And yes, I would have been happy to be wrong.

Andy D said...

You know in these days when all we seem to hear about are cops who do questionable things, illegal things, or things that the media thinks are questionable and aren't, it is pretty easy to forget that this is what most cops are doing: keeping their heads down, grinding out the "minor" cases, solving crimes. With little in the way of thanks or appreciation. And regardless of what certain elements of our society think, this is what cops want to be doing: solving crimes and putting cuffs on people who commit them, so that the next visitor to their city might not have their rental lodgings defiled by someone's illicit visit.

Moskos said...

fp, I can't find the comment. You know what post it was too? I can find nothing published on 12/15

Andy, well said. <>

Anne said...

Peter -

"he was in the system" - and now, at the end of September, they arrest him for a crime done in May?

I'm very glad he's been caught and will face repercussions, but I'm a generally upstanding citizen who has made traffic violations that I've completely dropped from my memory (and moral effect) 30 days later, much less 4 months. If I got a summons now for a stop sign I rolled through in July I'd be angry, not remorseful. Is this sort of wait typical? This seems...too long to be helpful.

And yes, my experience is that once the cops figure out that you're an honest victim, making an honest report, their attitude does change, even if you're not a cop. But I do think they get overwhelmed by property crimes - it's just *stuff*, (and your personal space, and your peace of mind) compared to the more significant trauma of assaults, domestics, armed robberies, etc.

One's worst day of the year as an average property crime victim is probably not even registering for the average cop as their worst call of that particular night.

(Long time reader, first time commentor. Thanks for this blog.)