|The war for 'Likes'|
But if that is your take, then obviously you are not the City Manager of Sierra Madre. Apparently there is a silver lining in this somewhere, and it has to do with the City's Facebook page traffic. This from the City Manager's Report for August 16th (link), filed under "Facebook Insights:"
With the increased usage of Facebook to notify residents of recent burglaries, the City's number of "Likes" continues to grow, currently at 951 people. Due to people sharing and reposting the City's posts, the City reached over 4,000 people last week, and over 3,500 this week through Facebook alone.
Now we here at The Tattler are hardly above a little boasting about site traffic. Those numbers having some pretty significant importance when it comes to gauging the relevance of your efforts. And apparently there is finally a reason to be cheerful about the Crime Wave. It is driving traffic to the City of Sierra Madre's Facebook page, and bringing with it a blizzard of "Likes." To paraphrase Barry Manilow, it looks like they've made it.
In the social media age it might just be that the quickest way to success is through not having very much. After all, theoretically those directly responsible for the Crime Wave, the burglars themselves, could be apprehended and carted off to jail. Effectively ending their reign of terror once and for all.
But where would the interest be in that? The big increases in crime have now given City Hall some sorely needed new relevance, and with it a resurgent popularity for the Police Department as well. Throw in running out of water, along with a little out of control bond debt and some utility rate hikes, and we're talking about a new heyday in popularity for local government. Proving, at least in this instance, that nothing succeeds quite like the lack of success.
Having a naturally inquisitive nature, I took the plunge and headed over to the City's Facebook page to see what all of the excitement is about. And indeed the crime reporting there is visceral and immediate, torn from the real life action found on the gritty crime ridden streets of Sierra Madre itself. All laid down in the no nonsense verbiage of the officers themselves, those with the very real responsibility of charging into the teeth of the Crime Wave.
Here are some of the Facebook crime reports (link):
August 6: During the late night hours on August 5, 2013 and early morning hours of August 6, 2013 three (3) attempted burglaries and one (1) confirmed burglary occurred in the 600 Blk of Manzanita and the 400 Blk of Ramona.
In all of these crimes the victims were home and asleep.
Officers were able to locate the suspect vehicle and one suspect who was arrested. The other suspect managed to elude the police even after a lengthy search with the helicopter and police K-9’s.
The Police Department is continuing its investigation to locate and take the other suspect into custody.
Both suspects have lengthy criminal records and are currently on active parole for burglary.
17 "Likes," 12 "Shares" and 3 comments.
August 6: Earlier today, Pasadena and Arcadia Police Departments assisted Sierra Madre PD in a containment setup following an attempted burglary on the 600 block of Edgeview Drive. The suspect fled the home when the owner saw him and ran towards the monastery. The helicopter and K-9 units assisted with the search, but the suspect was not found. This suspect is not the same from last night.
Residents are encouraged to be extra vigilant, to lock their doors, set their alarm systems, and to report any and all suspicious activity to 911.
16 "Likes," 25 "Shares" and 5 comments.
August 8: August 8, 2013 00:45 AM - Arrest of Burglary Suspect – One still outstanding.
An alert neighbor called the police to report a suspicious vehicle pulling in the cul-de-sac in the 600 blk of Edgeview. This is the same area where an attempt burglary occurred on August 6, 2013. The reporting party observed to young males dressed in “hoodies” exit the vehicle. One was dressed in all dark clothing and the other with dark pants and a white hoodie. They walked towards an address where an elderly couple live and no children reside there.
They rang the doorbell and when the home owner answered the door he saw one subject run from the front of his house and the other subject running from the side of his home. The home owner called 9-1-1 not knowing that his neighbor had also called.
One suspect took off running towards the Monastery property while the other fled in the vehicle they were driving. Responding officers were able to stop the vehicle which was fleeing the area without the headlights on.
The driver of the vehicle was detained and after further investigation subsequently arrested for suspicion of attempt burglary. A containment was setup with the assistance of Arcadia and Pasadena PD and a search for the other suspect turned up negative.
The investigation is continuing.
15 "Likes," no "Shares," 5 comments.
August 12: The Sierra Madre Police Department is currently investigating a residential burglary that occurred in the last couple of hours in the 800 Blk of Canyon Crest The suspect(s) entered the residence by breaking a window at the location. Anyone that may have seen anyone in the area or heard anything 1:00 PM to 4:45 PM should contact the police department at 355-1414
5 "Likes," 4 "Shares" and 3 comments.
August 12: The Sierra Madre Police Department is currently investigating a residential burglary that occurred in the last couple of hours in the 100 blk of N. Lima. The suspect(s) entered the residence through an open rear window and removed computers and jewelry. Anyone that may have seen or heard anything in the area should contact the police department at 355-1414
4 "Likes," 13 "Shares" and 15 comments.
August 14: Burglars broke into the construction trailer at the upper campus (160 N. Canyon) last night and stole some office products and two lap top computers. The front door to the trailer was pried open. The gates that lead to the construction trailer were left open last night by construction workers. The Police Department has no leads at this time.
3 "Likes," 2 "Shares," 7 comments.
August 16 - A MESSAGE FROM THE POLICE CHIEF:
One of the best tools the Police Department has at its disposal is the Police Helicopter. There have been several arrests made by the pilots calling out activity or telling the officers where someone is hiding or running. If the helicopter is circling an area that means we have some police activity going on.
We ask that YOU DO NOT call the police department just to find out why the helicopter is in the area.
These phone calls overwhelm the dispatcher who is try to answer the police radio, answer 9-1-1 calls, and is coordinating the officers. Additionally we will not provide any specific information because we don’t know if you’re the crook calling and looking for information.
For the most part the helicopter will probably depart within 5 to 10 minutes unless there is a reason for them to stay in the area. Remain calm, lock your doors, and report any suspicious activity such as someone hiding or running through your yard to the police department via 9-1-1.
Thank you for your cooperation as it helps us do our job to keep the community safe.
21 "Likes," 2 "Shares" and 2 comments.
August 19: This afternoons incident occurred in the 100 blk of N. Lima. An officer patrolling the area interrupted the suspect trying to get into a side window. At this time it appears that the female described was not involved in the incident. The male suspect was not located. The case is currently under investigation. There was no loss or damage to the victims property.
(Later) The search is completed and the suspect was not found. Residents are reminded to lock all their doors when they leave their homes, as multiple back doors were found open in the yard-to-yard search.
Combined 18 "Likes," 2 "Shares" and 5 comments.
Police Blotter Report from Yesterday: SIERRA MADRE POLICE DEPARTMENT
POLICE BLOTTER REPORT August 10 – August 18, 2013
Saturday August 10, 2013
During the evening, unknown suspects entered a residence in the 100 block of Grove Street through an unlocked garage door. Once inside, the suspects ransacked a few rooms and removed jewelry and a lap computer. The resident reported that one day earlier he had been approached by a solicitor claiming to represent a pest control company.
Monday August 12, 2013
Between the hours of 9:30am and 2:00pm, an unknown suspect entered a residence in the 100 block of North Lima Street by climbing into an unlocked kitchen window. An upended trash can by the window suggested that the suspect used this as a step stool to assist in his entry. The suspect ransacked portions of the interior and removed two laptop computers, jewelry and old coins. The suspect then exited the residence via the front door.
Later that day another residential burglary occurred in the 800 block of Canyon Crest Drive. Between the hours of 1pm and 4:30pm, an unknown suspect entered the residence by smashing the window portion of a kitchen door located on the side of the structure. Once inside, the suspect(s) looked into several drawers and cabinets and removed heirloom silverware. A missing pillow case suggested that the suspect use this to carry the stolen property. The owner stated that his good natured dog, which was present inside the house, did not provide a deterrent.
Tuesday August 13, 2013
Overnight, unknown suspects entered the construction site for the Sierra Madre Junior High school located at 160 North Canon Avenue. The suspects apparently entered the site through an unsecured gate then pried open the doors of two construction trailers. Laptop computers were taken from each trailer. A construction worker arriving for work the next morning observed a dark, two door sedan type vehicle driving away from the lot. He was unable to obtain a license number.
Wednesday August 14, 2013
Between the hours of 7:30pm and midnight, unknown suspects entered a residence in the 100 block of South Sunnyside Avenue by climbing through an unlocked kitchen window. There was evidence the suspect(s) opened cabinets and looked through drawers but the resident did not report any property had been taken.
Saturday August 17, 2013
Overnight, unknown suspects entered a residence in the 200 block of West Carter Avenue through an unsecured side window. Once inside, the suspect(s) went through cabinets and drawers in the bedrooms. As the residents were out of town at the time, the property taken is unknown. The suspects left the residence via a sliding glass door.
5 "Likes," 2 "Shares" and no comments.
Not to rain too much on the SMPD's parade, but in the original Facebook setting, which is colorful, graphics filled and clearly diverting by intent and design, these reports really can be seen as entertaining. Certainly the traffic and some of the excited responses of those posting there indicates that.
But transposed here onto the more stark Tattler format? The situation appears to be pretty grim. More like a town that is under some sort of primeval assault, and really hasn't quite figured out how to deal with it, emotionally or otherwise.
I guess we'll have to see how this all holds up should the Crime Wave continue on for too much longer. Another month or two of what we have seen lately and I am not certain there will be all that much left for anyone to "Like."