Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Modesto Police Department”

Modesto Police Refuse to Arrest Auto Thief

By EOM Contributor  mpdpatch

I can tell you with certainty why Modesto is #1 in auto thefts.

On April 29th, 2014, the night clerk at a hotel in Modesto saw someone drive into the hotel parking lot, park their car and walk across the street to another hotel.  Watching the cameras, she saw him walk back and forth from the other hotel to his parked car several times.  She contacted the security guard and asked him to keep an eye on the car and the person.  Some time later the security guard came and gave the night clerk a description of the man.  She called the other hotel and gave them the description.  They knew who it was and what room he was in.  They were asked to contact the man and ask him to move his car off the first hotel’s property.  They did that but he did not move the car.  A few hours later our night clerk called back and asked the hotel to relay the message that if the car wasn’t removed, it would be towed.  His response to that was “I don’t care about that car.”  That made our night clerk suspicious, so she called MPD with the license plate number and they informed her that the car had been reported as stolen.  They sent Officer Hoke to investigate.

Officer Hoke spoke to both our security guard and our night clerk.  He was concerned because there was no actual video of the man getting in and out of the car because it wasn’t in view of the camera.  The security guard informed him that he had personally witnessed it and had provided a description of the man to both hotels.  The officer returned to his car and after a while the security guard approached him and asked if he was going to do anything.  Officer Hoke responded “Oh, man…it’s too much paperwork..you’re killing me, just let it go”.  When the guard reported this to our night clerk, she called 911 to report a stolen car on our property.  They told her they would send a squad out and she told them an officer was already here and refusing to do anything.  That resulted in two more squad cars coming to the hotel.  The officers then went (with Officer Hoke) across the street to the other hotel and returned with the man who had been in the car.  They placed him in a squad car and they all left.  We assumed he would be arrested for auto theft.

As required by his company, the security guard has to include police case numbers and details whenever he has any interaction with law enforcement.  He called MPD the day after the incident to get the case number.  He was told there was no case.  Even if the man had convinced the officers that he didn’t actually steal the car, he was still in possession of a stolen car.  I thought being in possession of stolen property was a crime, but apparently not in Modesto!  And even though there was no video of the man getting in and out of the car, why isn’t an eyewitness account (from a security guard who is employed by a licensed security company) enough to arrest someone for being in possession of stolen property?

I have to wonder if there was “no case” because MPD wished to protect Officer Hoke, who failed to do his job.

I was downtown at city hall today and saw signs posted on the walls that say “If you see something….tell someone.”  The signs go on to say that if you see something suspicious you should report it to the police.  Well, our night clerk and security guard certainly saw something, they reported it, and MPD failed to take any action.

So the next time you see us being reported as #1 in auto theft…it’s no wonder why.  Don’t you think the thieves know that if they get caught stealing a car (or being in possession of a stolen car), they know they won’t be arrested/prosecuted?  If your car is stolen, please don’t bother MPD with it.  They are too busy avoiding doing any paperwork!


Modesto Crime Stats And the Mayor Says this is Better Than Salida?

Emerson Drake

Modesto California

The attached report is Modesto’s Crime Statistics for the month of December 2012 and year to date 

through December 2012. This report is presented to the Safety and Communities

Committee as an informational item on crime statistics within the City of Modesto.

                                          2011            2012             % of change

Homicide                                14                 20                +43%

Rape                                      67                 59                 -12%

Robbery                               425               450                 +6%

Aggravated Assault              907             1061               +17%

Burglary                              2121             2571                +21%

Larceny/shoplifting             5410             6906               +26%

Auto Theft                          1363             1799                +32%

Part One Crimes, with the exception of rape increased as compared to 2011.  There were six more criminal homicides reported in 2012 than in 2011.  In addition to the 20 murders in 2012, there were 4 justifiable homicides.  Of the 20 murders, 7 were gang-related.  Sixteen of the murders involved firearms. 

Property crimes (burglary, larceny, auto theft) increased 26.78% while violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assaults) increased 12.52%.  The nationwide average for the first six months of 2012 indicates cities with similar population (100,000 – 249,000) saw an increase in property crimes as 1.9% and an increase in violent crime of 2.2%.

Part Two Offenses (forgery/fraud, stolen property, vandalism, weapons violations, vice crimes, sex offenses, drug violations, offenses against family, disorderly conduct, and other miscellaneous offenses) are up 4.17%.

The Modesto Police Department continues to monitor and address the effects of AB109 Prison Realignment.

It’s hard to believe after reading this Mayor Marsh actually suggested Modesto can provide better police protection for Salida than the Sheriff can

Is it fuzzy math or fuzzy thinking?  You decide.

Modesto’s Animal Abuse Ordinance to Council on Tuesday 3/5/12


cat-yoga (Photo credit: ilexxx)

By Emerson Drake

Modesto’s Cat Killers now have reason to fear as the Modesto City Council will be voting on an update to the municipal Code.  Section 5-4-405 will be added to Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 5 outlawing abandonment of animals including cats.  Seems like a mouthful but it should give cat killers like Phillip Sumner and Jeff Reed second thoughts keeping from enticing pets into their yards, trapping , and then abandoning them to die a probable death of starvation.

The new ordinance will require the cats to be turned into animal services for potential recovery by their owners. Exceptions are made in the ordinance for recognized groups who capture then spay and neuter the animals.  We brought this into the glare of the public eye after hearing the heartfelt pleas of owners of missing pets taken by these animal abusers. The original story can be found at:


Many thanks go out to Former Interim Police Chief Gene Ballentine and Captain Mike Harris.  The on the Council to support an ordinace and to speak up in support was Councilman Joe Muratore followed by Mayor Garrad Marsh, Councilmen Dave Geer and John Gunderson and Dave Lopez.  City Attorney Susanna Acala Wood was very supportive and helpful from the beginning.

While this ordinance can’t reverse past issues it will help going forward and I hope those grieving pet owners who first brought this to the publics attention back on October 23,2012 will be able to attend the meeting Tuesday night at 5:30.

The ordinance is under hearing in the Council Agenda Hearing Item #5 for Tuesday.  The Ordinance reads as follows :

ORDINANCE NO. _______-C.S.




The Council of the City of Modesto does ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. AMENDMENT OF CODE. Section 5-4.405 is hereby added to

Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 5 of the Modesto Municipal Code to read as follows:


(a) It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor offense for any person who

contains any stray animal (including cats) found at large or on their

property to abandon the animal.

For the purposes of this section only the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Contains” shall mean traps, corners, confines or in some manner

restricts the animal’s freedom from continuing to roam.

(2) “Stray animal” means an animal that is running loose and at large

with no owner present, and/or an animal that is trespassing on

another’s property.

(3) “Abandons” means once the animal is contained, the person

transports the animal to a location other than where it was

originally contained and releases the animal to freely roam.

(b) Within twenty-four (24) hours after containing any such animal, the person

doing so shall do one of the following:

(1) Release the animal where it was originally contained or return the

animal to the owner, if the owner is known;

(2) Report to City of Modesto Animal Control officials the fact that

such animal is contained and include the location where the animal

is contained, a description of the animal and license number of

such animal, if any; or


(3) Transport the animal to the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency

facility and provide the date, time and location of when and where

the animal was located when surrendering the animal to facility


(c) Animal Control Officers shall pick up and dispose of such animal in the

same manner as though such animal had been found at large and


(d) This section shall not be interpreted to apply to a person or organization

registered with the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency as a caretaker for

feral cats when that person is caring for feral cats.

SECTION 2. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance shall go into effect and be in

full force and operation from and after thirty (30) days after its final passage and adoption.

SECTION 3. PUBLICATION. At least two (2) days prior to its final adoption,

copies of this ordinance shall be posted in at least three (3) prominent and distinct locations in

the City; and a notice shall be published once in

The Modesto Bee, the official newspaper of the

City of Modesto, setting forth the title of this ordinance, the date of its introduction and the

places where this ordinance is posted.

MPD’s WAKEUP Program is Going to Hurt Modesto’s Youth

By Emerson Drake

“What does not work in crime prevention is just as important as what works. It is counterproductive to use scarce budget funds and waste the funding support on programs that do not work, or that may make things worse. Throwing good money after bad  reduces the public’s trust in their government.”

Wrote Anthony J. Schembri, Secretary Florida Department of Juvenile Justic


From the 500 citations generated, this stringent process yielded nine studies that met the methodological demands to be included in the final analysis. These studies were conducted between 1967-1992 in eight different states throughout the U.S., with Michigan being the site for two. The collective sample was 946 juveniles with an average age ranging from 15 to 17 years old, a racial composition between 36%-84% white, with only one study including girls (for complete breakdown by study see Petrosino et al., 2003). The focus of investigation was on the proportion of each group (Scared Straight or control) that re-offended.

The results from the re-offending rates show that the Scared Straight-type intervention

increases the delinquency outcomes during the follow-up period. This means that those youth who went through these types of programs have higher recidivism rates than those youth who did not go through the programs. It is important to remember that the treatment and the control groups were randomized, meaning that each youth had an equal probability of being placed in either group, thus assuring that each group is comparable and essentially identical at the outset of the experiment. This guarantees that any difference between the two groups is due to the intervention itself, and not to any characteristic of the youth in each group.




 Modesto’s Police Department should have learned this lesson the first time but since we didn’t we’re doomed to repeat it.  Don’t fall for what feels good, insist on what actually is good for our children.


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