Arson and graffiti at park

Our officers handled 59 calls for service this past week. It’s more than we normally have but it’s not the number of calls that keep you busy, it’s the type of calls. Luckily for us the majority of calls this past week didn’t require too much work, they were handled on the spot. Our officers conducted 45 traffic stops in the last 7 day period. Stops resulting in warnings totaled 32 while citations followed behind at only 13.
We had two property crimes reported at John Lott Park, an arson and a graffiti. On Thursday evening, Ofc. Pena and I responded to the concession stand restrooms for a fire. The fire was just smoldering when we arrived. Some unknown person put a large plastic trash can in the center of the men’s restroom and lit it on fire. There was some wood in there too, so I wouldn’t think that somebody would light it to stay warm (it was darn cold) since they should have known a plastic trash can will burn (the truth is that a lot of people may not know that). The only remnants of the can was a ring of melted plastic. Regardless it is a serious matter and we are fortunate that no one was injured and that there was no damage to the building itself. The next morning, I again met with parks employee Wayne Newman as he had discovered graffiti on the Juan Garcia Pavilion. Our artist used a beautiful turquoise paint, it wasn’t done with a spray can. I guess they had an old fashioned can and brush. It’s nice to occasionally see more traditional graffiti artist like we had before spray cans became so common.
We had two other property crimes reported last week which included a burglary of a vehicle on Lytle-Somerset St. There were signs of forced entry, the complainant reported his keys, insurance info. and two pieces of mail were missing. To round out our crimes the Lytle State Bank reported a teller was scammed out of $80 by a traveling con-man. I would describe the suspect as a low-budget / economy con-man, hitting for small amounts around the area. He asks for change for a $100 bill and then confuses the teller / clerk into believing they shorted him. I have hears he is a smooth operator. I guess at $80 a pop it adds up. Figure in that all his earnings are tax free and I must admit he has a decent business plan. I would hope that if I ever turned to a life of crime I could raise the stakes a bit. I would probably just start by trying to scam the people at the fast food drive thru into getting an extra order of fries. Come to think of it, I have been shorted so many times through the years I might not ever break even.