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Droid theft in Palo Alto draws police, helicopter

Original post made on Oct 6, 2010

Palo Alto police were out in force Tuesday night -- including the use of a Santa Clara County sheriff's helicopter -- to hunt down the thief of a Droid smartphone, according to multiple news reports.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 9:34 AM

Comments (57)

Posted by GPS
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

Can't the cops remotely enable the GPS in the phone to track down the crook?

Posted by Baldy in a Caddy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

I cant beleieve all these resources were used just to retrieve a phone. Than again its Palo Alto, not much going on around here. The helicopter gas probably costs more than the phone.

Law enforcement doesn't have the capability to access functions on personal electronic devices. Going through your service provider could be a viable option. Then again if the thief is smart he will not keep the phone turned on, and remove the battery.

What kinda idiot lets a complete stranger borrow their phone. I know this is a nice area, but thats why you should be even more weary of strangers. The fact that this person was walking/biking around Mitchell Park, and he was able to evade police through areas that are obviously familiar to him, means he is local to the area. I'm pretty sure this wasn't a planned theft, just an opportunistic theft. Either way I hope they catch this impulsive person, and give the victim some justice.

Posted by Wha?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

Must be a slow week for news and police. They called out helicopters for this? Was it a gold plated Droid? Did it belong to a VIP? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So much crime - hard drugs, home invasions etc. and we call out the forces for a stolen phone.

Posted by Koa
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:25 am

The money consumed in just starting the turbine on a helicopter could buy 10 Droids.

Posted by TheNoddingHead
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

This is like calling an ambulence for a broken fingernail. Absurd, ridiculously out of proportion, and waste, waste, waste. The next time a stranded mountain climber or boater gets a bill for their rescue, they should challenge it by using this case.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:22 am

> The suspect was described as a thin black man between 16 and 25 years old.

Oh my goodness!!!!

The same thing ALMOST happened to me by someone who fit the same description.

I was just going in to the Subway on El Camino in Mountain View near Castro St. to buy a sandwich for dinner when a car pulled over and a guy got out and ran up to me. He said he had an emergency and could I lend him my cellphone.

I just looked at him and did not reply until he ran off got in the car while they all laughed and drove off - probably to try it on someone else who was nicer than me. I would have loved to call the cops on them, but since I did not give them a cellphone to steal they did nothing wrong.

I had an idea at the time this was a widespread scam, and I hope they catch any criminals that try this and teach them a lesson. I am glad to see the police taking this so seriously, but sorry they did not catch the perpetrators.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

Baldy said:
> What kinda idiot lets a complete stranger borrow their phone.

Yeah, blame the victim and the police, what kind of world outlook you must have?

Posted by A Palo Altan
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

It would have been reassuring, buzzed for over an hour by a helicopter and surrounded by police and red lights, to have known the benign nature of the crime. it would have been helpful to have known that there was no cause for alarm.

Posted by DK
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

My husband was at home and thought there was something major going on! And he lost his iphone not too long ago on a bike ride. The person that found it used it to make 1 phone call so I got a phone number tied to that person. Tried calling and no one returned my call or the phone. Reported to the police and one would think that they could track the number... or something. Clearly our iphone was not as important as this droid. On a side note, I really believed that the individual that found our iphone would return it. Sigh.

Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

For the PD critics, the PAPD didn't call out or request the helicopter. Try reading the entire story. Sounds like the sheriff's copter was in the area on some maneuvers or something, overheard the police radio, and offered to help. Typical critics with nothing positive to say and the least informed. Selective review and criticism at its worst.

Posted by Timothy Gray
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:54 am

I will make no judgment about how the situation was handled, but I do hope that Chief Dennis Burns addresses the concerns stated above in a very direct manner.

He has stated that "Police/Community relations is a top priority" but the actions of the police department continue to be defensive, vs. directly addressing critics.

Granted, there are many unwarranted and non-sensical criticsims of law enforcement that go outside the boundary of respectful and meaningful dialogue, but the pathway to community trust is to engage in a direct and forthright manner.

Perhaps it is time for Chief Burns to hold an open meeting and allow the public to air some of their concerns. My personal experience with the Palo Alto Police is that they have exhibited a great community service attitude, but others have approached me that had a more negative experience, and the legitimate facts have been met with a pre-determined dismissive posture.

Let the mending begin. A good start would be to address the obvious question brought up by this latest incident. That means Chief Burn talking to the public in OPEN forums and really inviting dissenting conversation. Only once the dissenting voices are really listened to with acknowledgement or correcting facts, can the solid bridge to the community be reconstructed.

Otherwise, people will just keep hearing the words of Lynne Johnson coming out of a different face.

This is not a criticism of the Police Advisory Committee already underway. We just need to do more, and provide an avenue for direct face-to-face relationships with all that have something to say.

Offered with respect,

Timothy Gray (a supporter of Dennis Burns, but just wishes he would do more with a more receptive posture, and create open venues so that all are welcomed with their feedback, both positive and negative.)

Posted by Baldy in a Caddy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Palo Alto police were out in force Tuesday night -- including the use of a police helicopter -- to hunt down the thief of a Droid smartphone.

It clearly says Police, not sherrif's.


Brown said the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office heard reports about the pursuit over the radio and offered to assist Palo Alto police.

Doesnt say Sherrif's Helicopter and no where does it say Maneuvers in the area, lol.

Posted by GF
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm

i was out with some friends on El Camino Way when this occurred. The establishment we were in was afraid to allow the customers to leave as no one knew what type of situation was occurring. They actually had us in a "lockdown" situation...for quite awhile. This has got to be the most ridiculous incident i have ever witnessed!! Three different police departments and a helicopter...and this guy still got away LOL!

Posted by Tried to ask a cop last night, but she ran away
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Using the Palo Alto Alert system to let people who what was going on, and to circulate a description of the suspect would have been a really good idea. It would have gotten a lot more eyeballs looking for the fellow, and things wouldn't have seemed nearly so alarming.

Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Are you KIDDING ME? It's a PHONE! He HANDED it to the guy. Oy That is overkill.

Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

None of the people commenting here seem to have heard the call to the police. (qq,anyone?) Nor do we know what else might have been going on - did this guy fit the description of someone they were looking for on a more serious charge? Were there multiple calls before this incident? The Mercury said the fellow had just stolen the bike from a truck bed at JLS. Often, the police have information we don't. Alternately, they might have information that is too sketchy or inaccurate and might bring in more manpower than turns out to be needed. I'm happy to let them make the judgment calls in these situations since they are the police and have been trained, whereas, I have not. I had to pull over on Alma during the incident, in order to let the police go by and I'm very happy it wasn't a worse situation. Only a few weeks ago I was driving on Alma when the explosion happened up North. Thank you, Palo Alto Police, for responding!

Posted by Marty
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm

The point of the search was not the recovery of the phone but the capture of the criminal. It is not the value of the item stolen that is important, but rather that there is a person who thinks he can get away with just taking something he wants from someone. I don't want such a person out on the streets!

Posted by RaoulDuke
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm

But it was a Droid!

Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Dear PAPD, I'm glad my Black husband and teenage son weren't out and about at that time. I'm trying to imagine a SWAT team and helicopter drawing down on my innocent kid because you were after a phone snatcher. You obviously scared the hell out of people who weren't even involved. They would have gotten jacked, and not for the usual BS reasons that you don't enforce with other people. For those of you who can't handle the truth, go back to your knitting. We appreciate that you protect and serve, but do it the same for all of us. Thanks.

Posted by saleha
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Maybe it was Mark Zuckerberg's Droid...

Posted by concerd 2
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

people must realize that you cannot arrest or harasss someone because you are afraid of them appearing to be of so called african american descent. people lives right now have been forever altered by racial harassment by police AND citizens. formerly trusting people .so you cannot say people always complain about race. wrong ,we trusted america our whole life only to be falsely arrsted. this has affected not just black people but all relations.

Posted by Phil
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Baldy, since the sheriff's department has a helicopter, and the PAPD doesn't, I think one can assume that when the article states that the sheriff's department overheard the pursuit and offered to help, it only makes sense. Your sentiments reflect my original point exactly. Wow.

Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

And for you concerned citizen, let's not make apologies for the thief. Let's stay focused on the facts and not get caught up with exaggerations. Where in the story does it state that a SWAT team was used? Talk about spinning things out of control.

Posted by JackBauer
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Innocent people don't flee or evade from the police. Nice people don't steal. Crooks (usually with a criminal history) steal. The crook could have easily had a gun or a knife in case the victim did not want to hand over the phone....and never mind the fact that a FELONY was committed, but I guess some people on here don't care anymore since it did not happen to them. People have been hurt or killed for lesser things....

The Palo Alto "NIMBY" mentality arises again....

Posted by MaryAnn
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Some of you need to get a life. It's very tiresome reading these curmudgeonly, constantly critical comments of every move made by every city official no matter what the reason.

Is it possible they knew of a repeat offender targeting people in the area and hoped to get him before someone else was a victim?

In any case, I am truly, truly tired of comments like those above, who don't know all the facts but can't wait to accuse the city of wasting their (probably minimal) financial contributions to the city.

Posted by Fed Up Mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Actually two things were stolen: a Droid and a bike. No mention of what happened to the bike in the story yet I bet that the Droid and bike were worth about the same. Bike thefts are just neglected by the Palo Alto Police Dept even though the finanical loss is substantial.

Posted by A Palo Alto Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I hope kids and the elderly know not to hand over anything to a stranger, or interact with one in any way. A good rule of thumb is: If you're being threatened and it's a mugging, hand it over (phone, money, bike) and run away. If a stranger just asks you to give them something and you don't feel threatened, walk away. If you're a kid, run away and scream really loudly!

Posted by Peculiar_Benjamin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Not sure if this is related, but yesterday around 4:30pm, our bike is stolen in our front yard. We're also on the E Meadow, and chased after the black teen but couldn't catch up. Just need to be careful about the belonging as there is clearly someone cruising our neighborhood for phone/bike..

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Even if the sheriff's office heli was in the air in the area it still seems a bit of overkill. It wasn't a stolen car or fine jewelry, it was a phone. Waste of gas, lack of peace & quiet over a flippin' phone...but not a flip phone.

Posted by Moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Back up your phones.

This is a robbery but the police action went overboard.

Posted by sasha
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Why didn't they just call the phone number and try to hear where the ring came from....oh, they wouldn't be able to hear it over the roar of the helicopter

Posted by Frances G.
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I'm not going to second guess the police on this. But I just wish there had been some way for them to explain to neighbors what was going on.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm

The story hit the national news tonight and will be international by morning.
Like the story about SJ cop who "arrested" his step daughters boyfriend spread world wide.
These international stories also point out that California is essentially bankrupt---not good for our image in any way.

We could outsource a lot of routine police work to contractors and save a huge amount of money while increasing effectiveness.

The story of the PAPD officer who crashed his truck after 10 drinks in a public bar-- and still has his job!-- is already rife in the UK press.

These matters seriously harm our image.

Posted by hilarity
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:08 pm

... ONLY in ridiculously wealthy/bored Palo Alto would the police use a HELICOPTER to retrieve a stolen phone

Posted by bob
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I was there. The police did an outstanding job trying to find this idiot. How can you arm chair quarterbacks criticize these cops that let you sleep in bed so soundly in your overpriced homes? Palo altans are so spoiled that these brave cops who risk their lives for you everyday get ridiculed for doing their jobs and not thanked as they should be. Try living in oakland and see the other side of the coin. Without them most of you would be too afraid to leave your houses and sip your lattes downtown. No I am not a cop nor do I know one but Im sick of you snobs talking trash about these men and women who do a job most of you would not have the guts to do.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm

The violent crime rate in Palo Alto is one of the lowest in the US.
Being a PAPD officer is very low risk, much lower than a tree surgeon, fisher man, or even dentist.
EPA is a different matter, so is Oakland, where they plan to hire security guard to do a lot of what was police work.
PAPD needs re engineering, it is top heavy, overpaid, has too much capacity, makes many bad decisions which it hides from the tax payers.
We need and external audit and a time and motion study of the PAPD, what do they do with the time we pay them for?
Make the data clear and public.

Posted by anon
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Bob, my thoughts exactly... thank you

Posted by Freida Leigh
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm

It was worrisome seeing and hearing that helicopter for such a long time. Why wasn't the city's "emergency" phone tree activated so that people could be informed?

Posted by Hermes
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Say all that you will about police "over-kill" or what have you, but the PA Police dept. will always be heroes to me, because of the way they jumped in - full force - to successfully apprehend the individual that assaulted, and kidnapped the sweet young girl from Palo Alto. When it happened, I shook my head, and said "well, they'll never get that guy." And, utterly, amazingly, the PA police applied all their energy, and savvy police work, and tracked that guy down within weeks (if that.)
I am very close to said girl, and I can tell you - having that guy caught, convicted, and put in a place where he can never harm her again, has been key towards helping her get her life back. If he weren't behind bars, she would live in fear, everyday.

So, who knows.... A guy stealing a cell phone seems silly, but it does show criminal behavior. Who knows what else he's capable of. Maybe next time he'll shoot somebody when he wants something. Maybe you.

You all you should feel fortunate that you are so finely protected. That really illustrates the privileged life you have.

Posted by walk in their shoes
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Timothy Gray: "I will make no judgment about how the situation was handled..."

Then of course, gray goes on to make one judgment after another. Why don't you try putting on the uniform and doing the job that you are criticizing? Seriously...and Gray was running for City Council? Sheesh! Thank goodness he didn't win!

Posted by Anne Barrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:47 am

@ Sharon, I was born and raised in England. I am very familiar with UK media sources. I have done an extensive search and can find no mention of the Palo Alto Police activity from this news story in any media. Additionally, I find no reporting in UK media regarding the Palo Alto Police Officer who was arrested for DUI. Your uneducated and inaccurate comments have become beyond tiresome.

Please cite the UK media sources where you claim these stories are "rife"

Posted by steve
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:59 am

Sharon are you serious? Have you taken the time to think about why such an affluent city that is bordered by EPA, east Menlo, and Mt. View has such a low crime rate? I'm sure that many families whose loved ones laid their lives on the line for someone like you would beg to differ on just how "low risk" being a cop in the united states is. Your ignorance astonishes me. Officers all over the country leave their families everyday with the thought that they might not see them again and your complaining about their salary. How much is your life worth? People like you, who feel wronged because you got a ticket or probably got arrested for breaking the law, spout ridiculous rhetoric about the evil Palo Alto police department because you think you don't need them. When that time comes let's see who you call to save your behind.

Posted by dude
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 7, 2010 at 1:08 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Posted by Timothy Gray
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:42 am

Conversation vs. Criticisim:

Being able to ask questions, and then having a reasonable expectation that City officials will address citizen's concerns is not Criticism.

It is simply a request for information, and with that information we can have a unified community understanding of issues. This is just good corporate leadership principles that DO have a place in City Government.

A little more openess goes a long way to unifying the residents. A sincere desire to understand the rationale for the actions taken is completely reasonable, and is a check-and-balance of City Government that should be encouraged by our City leaders.

Let's stop scolding people for Civic involvement and provide some clear and concise answers. Asking whether the proper resources were applied is not a criticism: just a valid question that deserves a clear answer from the leaders of any City Service. (Note the use of the word "Service" -- as the City is a Service industry, and the residents are the customers.)

Let's stop slaying the inquirers and get on with having the City deliver up some of that good old fashioned customer service that we pay top dollar for.

Best regards,

Tim Gray

Posted by laura
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

I have only had wonderful experiences with the PA police. They have responded immediately when we had a bike theft and once when teenagers were fighting on our cul-de sac. What other town can boast that? Some communities now have their citizens file police reports online due to budget cuts - nobody comes out. We don't know how lucky we are.

Posted by B. Li
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

Give it a break already. A citizen, who was trying to do a good deed, gets ripped off by a knuckle head who rode away on a bike that was probably stolen. A sharp eyed officer spots this thief and attempts to stop him when he decides to run from the cops. Okay in my book and the Penal Code, anybody who resists or runs from an officer is committing a crime. So now he's traipsing around in somebody's backyard so he can escape the police. Sounds like another crime. So do the civilized people of Palo Alto want our officers to just let the guy go or utilize whatever resources are available to catch this crook.

Well in my opinion, if the helicopter is flying around with no other priority call, and I personally think resisting an officer is a priority call, then why not use the helicopter. My understanding is that mutual aid of this type has no cost. Unfortunately he wasn't caught but we don't know if this idiot is running from the police because he is a wanted parolee, a 3 striker carrying a gun, or a myriad of other worse case scenarios.

For those of you who want to be notified about everything via the alert system, I don't want that to happen. There are many incidents similar to this that occur in Palo Alto, albeit not with the assistance of a helicopter. If we get a call for all of them I'd personally be complaining about all of the needless alerts.

It appears that this guy was running from the cops and not violently attacking citizens, otherwise I'm sure the alert would have been used. Let the cops do their jobs catching the crooks as best as they can. You don't hear the cops telling people how to design software, or practice medicine. They are just trying to enforce the laws and catch the bad guys. Keep up the good work!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:20 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Concerned Citizen, make sure that, in your daily contacts, you do not make the mistake of admiring the hoodie or the player, or putting one over on "The Man". This punk made your life a bit less comfortable because his socializing told him that was cool, or whatever term of approbation is currently in use. Deny him the respect he seeks and perhaps civility will become his virtue, too.

Posted by J
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I agree! How could a helicopter be used to retrieve a cell phone!!!! That is ridiculous, as if we don't have anything better to spend the cities money on!

Posted by ummmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

ummm they didnt use a helicopter to retireve a cell phone, they used a helicopter because the guy ran from the cops! If he ran from the cops, and they surround the apartment complex trying to find him, then using a helicopter is standard police practice and something plenly of other cities do. Palo Alto doesnt get charged for it just like Palo ALto doesnt charge other cities like tiny East Palo ALto Police every time they go over there and help them out. The cops dont need citizens permission to do stuff like this nor are they going to send out alert to all the neighbors unless its somethign really dangerous.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm

In any sane business or medical situation the key question would be what was the trade off in terms of costs and benefits and what was the decision process?
If the decision process was flawed then the executive who made the decision should be fired.
Who made this decision?
make it public--we as tax payers pay for these errors of judgment and gross incompetence by the PAPD
We also have a case of a PAPD officer drinking 10 drinks at a local bar crashing his truck on 101 and endangering the lives of many innocent families---the matter is covered up for over a year and the officer gets a slap on the wrist--this is an outrage
In any other jurisdiction that officer would be fired,
10 drinks in a bar is a sign of a serious problem--to reach a BAC of .16 takes at least 10 drinks.
How much did the cell phone matter cost in terms of time and money?
Make it public--we pay the bill as tax payers.

Posted by JackBauer
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Sharon, you say that Palo Alto has one of the lowest crime rates in the country...I guess PAPD IS DOING IT'S JOB!!!! I would be more upset if the crime rate was HIGH. The contradiction and ignorance by some people on here is ridiculous! What will you complain about when there are MORE police layoffs or officers leave because their wages get cut and then the crime rate goes up? Then what will you say then?? Crooks right now know that PAPD does a great job of preventing and investigating crime...hence the low crime rate.

Don't blame one officer's night of bad judgment out on the whole department.

Posted by lol
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:23 am

haha.....the DROID thief....this is just great PA news...keep em coming

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:30 am


You use an form of false logic--

Here is another example of that way of thinking

Today people are carrying umbrellas and it is raining


Umbrellas cause the rain


Posted by Bruce
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2010 at 9:39 am


The decision to allow the helicopter to assist the Palo Alto officers in their search was likely made by the on-duty supervisor. I think it's already been stated that there was no cost to the City. As far as your statement about the PAPD officer that was arrested for DUI and his being terminated I would say you are 100% wrong, check your facts most agencies do not terminate for a DUI offense while off duty, on-duty absolutely. Police officers are representatives of the public and yea, some of them do get arrested for DUI, just like many members of the general population. However unlike the general public, officers are raked through the coals for making a mistake that thousands of others make. Yea, they should be held to a higher standard and maybe being suspended without pay for several days or weeks does not meet your opinion of being held to a higher standard, well tell me of any other profession that punishes you for a DUI on your own time. As far as the overall cost for the cell phone theft, I would say that unless officers were called in on overtime for this crime it was likely that there was no additional cost since they probably all working their regular shift....Once again keep up the good work PAPD!

Posted by Like
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

It would be nice to be able to click like on some of these comments. I "like" Bruce.

Posted by Amused
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2010 at 11:42 am

So the police officer or the top cop on duty could not have mentioned to the helicopter officer, no this is just a phone. So the helicopter was out of service on this call while what else was going on?

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