3-year-old boy left at roadside by car thief

On April 17, 2012, in Theft, Vehicles, by djeyli

Colorado Springs Police report that a 3-year-old boy was in his father’s car when it was stolen. He was left at the roadside by the thief before he knocked on a woman’s door.

The thief jumped into Anthony Pettiford’s car when the father went inside the Hancock Street 7-Eleven store early Sunday and drove off with the young boy in the back seat.

The thief left the boy at the side of a road about four blocks away with a plastic bag containing some soy milk, a sippy cup, two diapers, wipes and pajama bottoms.

Officers said that the boy then carried the bag through the snow and up 14 stairs to knock on Traci Gilbert’s second-story door.

“Help me, I’m cold,” Gilbert quoted the boy as saying when she opened the door.

“He wasn’t crying. He never shed a single tear the whole time,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert’s son took the boy to find his home and they were able to flag down a police officer who reunited the toddler with his father.

The boy’s father says he’s simply glad his son is ok.

“I’m just blessed and thankful that I got my son back and that’s the good thing,” Pettiford said. “I was yelling for my kid, and for them to stop, and I guess they got scared when they went down the road and saw him in there and dropped him off.”

Pettiford may face charges, police said.

Police said they are searching for the thief and the stolen 1995 white Chrysler New Yorker.

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It is a sad indictment on society where a Good Samaritan can be charged for thinking about other people.

It’s nothing I haven’t done. You see a couple of teenage girls out in bad weather and you do the neighborly thing and offer them a ride home. But, if you are a male in the Barrington area, such thoughtfulness is ill-advised and, according to the local prosecutor, illegal.

It was during a March 2nd snow storm that the man pictured left, Rodney Peterson, had stopped for gas at a Shell station. While there, he noticed two teen girls leaving.

“I just noticed these girls, that they had no umbrella, no coats or hood or something of that nature and I just felt like I should help,” Peterson recalled.

So, he did what any decent person would do and pulled up to offer them a ride.

“How far do you have to walk?” he asked before one said, “We’re okay,” and signaled him to move along.

The father of three (with a fourth on the way) continued home to his family and thought little of the encounter. That is, until police showed up on his door step a few days later.

He was shocked to learn that, not only had the girls taken down his plate number and reported the incident to police, he was also being charged with disorderly conduct.

What Mr. Peterson may not have known is that his area has suffered from several similar incidents in recent months. This is one reason why police are applauding the 13-year-old girls for their quick thinking, as one girl recorded the plate number in her phone and the other memorized the vehicle’s description, leading to a quick arrest.

Mr. Peterson isn’t blaming the girls, who he says did the right thing. He isn’t even blaming police, who he knows were simply doing their job. He just wants to know why he’s actually being charged with something.

“It really was a good deed, just misinterpreted,” said Peterson’s wife of nearly a dozen years, who is visibly shaken by the charge.

Barrington’s Police Chief, Jerry Libit, is defending the charge, explaining that it is because the girls were “alarmed and disturbed” by the situation, leading me to believe that a woman would not have this problem. It also makes me wonder if this is the best possible barometer for whether or not a charge should be filed.

The chief adds that the proper thing to do when you encounter teen girls who could use a ride is to call police.

Mr. Peterson and his wife, who say they are a Christian couple and are always trying to help others, admit that this situation will force them to think twice about how they help people in the future.

Mr. Peterson is due in court today and faces a maximum penalty of a $750 fine.

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Ontario police say that they are looking for two young men who shovelled swastikas into the snow at the Peterborough Lawn Bowling Club on Friday.

The two suspects made a large swastika on the bowling field and a smaller swastika nearby, police said.

They were last seen walking west on Woodland St. carrying shovels, police said.

Both are described as white and appeared to be about 18 years old.

Anyone with information concerning this incident are urged to contact their local police.

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Barefoot Indiana escapee tracked in snow

On January 17, 2012, in Cops, Fugitives, by djeyli

An fugitive in Indiana who slipped away from police without his shoes was quickly apprehended by officers who followed his distinctive tracks in the snow.


Milton Burrell, 28, Muncie, fled from a hospital while in police custody but was soon spotted by a Delaware County deputy sheriff who noticed “fresh footprints in the snow that were from a person without shoes,” a court document said.

A lack of footwear was not Burrell’s only problem. He was wearing only a hospital gown as he hustled across a street near the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

Burrell, who had been sought for missing a court date on a domestic-violence charge, was marched back to the hospital and handcuffed to his bed, police said.

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Tell-tale footprints snag alleged robber

On November 14, 2011, in General, Robbery, by djeyli

Police in Ogden, Utah captured an alleged bank robber by following his footprints in the snow to an apartment where he was hiding with the money.

Lt. Troy Burnett said a 27-year-old man came into the Alliance Credit Union about 12:55 p.m. Saturday, handed a teller a note demanding money and left on foot after the bank employee complied.

A witness followed the alleged robber to an apartment complex, later leading police officers there.

Burnett said they picked up the man’s trail, following his footprints left in the snow to the apartment where he lived and where they found all the stolen money.

The unnamed perpetrator, who allegedly made a full confession, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree felony robbery.

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