Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Quiet neighborhood, low crime rate

Our neighborhood is relatively quiet and crime-free. Occasionally, teens tear down our street on the way to the high school. A neighbor got busted for firing fireworks within city limits last Fourth of July. Late on summer nights, somewhere nearby, an annoying dog barks until its owner comes home.

Nothing major to report to the Crime Blotter. Cheyenne, in general, has a low crime rate. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle tried to scare us about street gangs with a recent series of stories accompanied by colorful headlines. Gang-like graffiti is popping up all over town, which led city leaders to declare a gang alert. Not sure what that is, but it sounds serious. City maintenance crews are scrubbing graffiti from city property but private property owners are on their own. Some perpetrator even tagged the state parking garage downtown. A big colorful tag on the wall inside the second floor. It can't be seen from the street. I would venture that not many gang members are out the claim a parking garage as their turf. Maybe it's a new trend.

I was surprised yesterday when I came home for lunch and found police cruisers swarming the neighborhood. I spied one idling in the dead-end street that runs by my house. I wandered out to get some info. "Armed robbery at the Cenex station," said the policeman. "Seen anybody?" I told him I just got home. "Let us know if you do," he said, and then drove off. As I sat on my couch munching a sandwich, I saw several police cars pass. On the way back to work, I drove by the Cenex station and at least five police cars were on the scene, one with its lights flashing.

This morning's paper said that the robber was "a Caucasian man of average height and weight" dressed in a cowboy hat and a flowered shirt. Many residents fit this profile once Cheyenne Frontier Days begins later this month. But, as a rule, a white guy in a cowboy hat and flowered shirt waving a semi-automatic pistol and running down one of the town's busiest streets attracts attention. But nobody claims to have seen him. Same with me and my neighbors. Nobody saw him.

This is the second time in the past five years that the Cenex station has been robbed. The first time, the robber ran through the park across the street from our old house. My daughter and her friend were out in the playground after school. They saw the guy put something under the Dry Creek bridge, and then tear off to the West. The police arrived a few minutes later and brought down the robber. My daughter and her friend told me about the bridge and I told the police and that's where they found the loaded gun. I'm glad it wasn't the kids who did the finding....

As I said, a pretty quiet neighborhood.

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