District 4 Commanders Meeting, 5/10/17

Photo of the entrance to the District 4 Police station

Thank you Karen Cuthbertson from Athmar Park for taking such great notes and sharing them!

Graffiti Detective George Gray reported that his partner, Detective Girard Alarcon is pursuing a new case against the tagger who tags as “live”. This tagger is “very addicted” and with 24 hours of getting out of jail recently for tagging was tagging again. “live” has admitted to 1,150 instances of tagging, and will be charged w/ 200-some instances. An attendee asked about a tagging of a church near Irving & Jewell. Gray responded that he will investigate when the pictures come in. An attendee asked what was the best way to handle tags on tree bark. Jessica (Long?), Senior Park Ranger for Southwest Denver was present and responded that the best way was to use a matching color spray paint and lightly paint until the tag isn’t visible.

Detectives Scottie Goldberg and Gary Teikin, from Fraud Unit, reported that the unit has 6 detectives dedicated to scams from credit card to multi-million scams. He and Teikin gave info on the lasted scams:

  • Various IRS scams, including phone call and email phishing. Goldberg noted that there has been a 400% increase in “IRS” scams in 2016. They typically say there’s a felony warrant out for your arrest unless you get a greendot or similar card and tell them the card number or follow a link in an email and provide personal info. If victimized, go to IRS.gov and fill out fraud affidavit.
  • Receive a cashier’s check with instructions to cash it, save a small fee for yourself, and forward the rest. The check is – of course – phony, and the money goes offshore. If you’ve been a victim, call the fraud unit (720-913-6752).
  • “You Missed Jury Duty”. The scammers spoof the telephone numbers for DPD/DSD/Election Commission so the caller ID shows a “legit” number. The caller demands money to “clear up” the citation that’s purportedly been issued. Goldberg says, don’t converse with the caller. Instead, hang up, look up the actual number for the department listed on your caller ID and ask. Teikin noted that you should *never* hit “call back” as you’ll go to a spoofed register and possibly be charged for call.
  • Robocalls. In one of the latest, you pick up the phone and – before you can say hello – you hear “Can you hear me now?” That’s a computer-generated hook. If you respond, you’re transferred to the scammer. Just hang up.
  • Card-skimmers. Crews from Florida descend and attach skimmers. If you’ve been a victim, contact the fraud unit.
  • Roofing contractors who solicit door-to-door. Major red flag. Always check with the BBB and check that the roofer is licensed to do business (for Denver-based roofers, go to denvergov.org, click on “Online Services” and click on “Contractor License”). If you’ve been a victim, call the Denver DA fraud line (720-913-9179).

An attendee asked what happened to the “do not call” register; i.e., why can robocalls still come through? A: The DNC register is still in force. Sign up at donotcall.gov and report scammer telephone numbers at the same site (hosted by the FTC). An attendee expressed concern about companies that encourage online banking and other online transactions when all these frauds are there. A: As long as you have a business relationship and you’re on a secure site; you should be fine. (Note: a secure site will show HTTPS at the beginning of the web address. The “S” stands for “secure”. Be sure to look for it.) An attendee asked if they would recommend using LifeLock or similar? A: If you’re unsure of yourself on the internet, it might be good. If you’ve been victim, they may be able to help you clean it up. But, regular vigilance is best defense; check bank acct/credit card balances/etc regularly; order credit reports; don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t know.

Commander Fleecs reported on the recent cinco de Mayo weekend. Fleecs noted that DPD had 80 officers from all over the City and had the helicopter up. Fleecs reported that Friday was very mild, Saturday was “dead”, but that Sunday evening “exploded”. He went on to say that the activity started to rise after 6pm. About 8:30, the decision was made to go to “diversion”; a technique of blocking cruisers from turning into neighborhood by installing barriers at all the intersections from to 6th down to Florida. Cruisers who arrive at 6th Ave have to exit. If they go west, they can’t get off 6th until they get to Wadsworth. If they go east, they have to go to I-25 (and can’t go westbound again until Evans). Fleecs noted that – within one hour – cruising was gone. Fleece reported the following stats:

  • 325 citations issued for various offenses, including driving w/ suspended license, amplified sound, defective vehicle, etc. 108 of these citations were for speeding.
  • 40 vehicles towed for various offenses
  • 5 careless driving citations issued
  • 2 motorcycles and 1 vehicle tried to elude officers who attempted to stop them. All were apprehended and issued public nuisance citations and the vehicles confiscated.

Fleecs reported on an incident at a quinceañera on 1st & Federal. Apparently, a passenger in a cruising car was heckling/catcalling the girls and the men at the quinceañera took offense and confronted the passenger, who pulled a gun and fired shots into the air. There was a DPD officer right there. The driver and passenger were arrested and a stolen .380 was confiscated.

The Commander invited everyone to a meeting at the Community Ministry, 1755 S. Zuni at 6:30pm tonight. They will be discussing fireworks, preventive measures, and enforcement. Fleecs is hoping to get a couple of D4-dedicated fireworks enforcement officers. He noted that 60% of calls received city-wide from last July 4th were from residents in D4. Fleecs is establishing a dedicated telephone number (720-913-7989) for D4 residents to call so officers can respond more quickly.

  • Q: An attendee asked about the consequences for a first-time first offender?
  • A: First time, fireworks are confiscated and the resident(s) warned. A subsequent visit will result in a citation.

Fleecs reported that crime rates are down 17% so far this year (compared to last year at this time). He noted that burglaries & street robberies are down further than other categories, and he would like to think this is because of focus on problem areas. Fleecs reported that auto thefts continue to be problem, with ~20 cars/week still being reported stolen.

  • Q: An attendee asked if the license plates bolts are working?
  • A: Those w/ bolts are OK; the thieves go elsewhere. The incident of stolen plates are down 29% from last year.

Lt. Jeff Martinez reported an initiative to educate youths about the consequences of stealing cars. Martinez noted that a more effective way of cutting down auto theft rates is to “cut off the supply of people doing the crime”. He said that officers are hearing from kids who say they see others [arrested for auto theft] get out the next day, so the kids think “so what”? The kids also hear adults say “it’s a rite of passage here on the west side”. To counteract this mindset, Martinez helped institute a “Stolen Cars will Steal Your Future” campaign. DPD has posters showing juveniles in handcuffs in all middle schools in D4. School Resource Officers are giving talks at those schools, letting kids know the reality and consequences of “joy riding” or stealing for other reasons; e.g., what happens when you apply for a job with a arrest on your record or when you apply for school, etc.

The Commander mentioned an article out of Tampa, Florida about TMV and auto theft being driven by juveniles. Fleecs reported that – in Denver – 39% of cars stolen were unlocked and that kids had keys for 25% of cars stolen; e.g., jumped into a “puffer”. Fleecs noted that DPD contacted 2000 owners of puffers during this last winter season.

  • Q: An attendee asked for help with illegal dumping in our apartment dumpsters. What should we to do?
  • A: If you could note all details you can; license plate, time of incident, description of vehicle, description of person, picture, etc. The more info, the better.

Lt. (?-didn’t catch the name) reported that 5 D4 Officers graduated from field training and are now on solo. He noted that the Police Academy is graduating 30 Officers and that D4 is getting 5 graduates. He also re-iterated that DPD is moving their website from Facebook and Nextdoor to the more-flexible pocketgov. Both business-owners and residents can sign up and you can specify which neighborhood(s) you would like to know about. You will receive an email each evening describing the day’s incidents/atta boys/trends.

  • Q: An attendee asked if you can find out what has happened in past?
  • A: Yes, go to the DPD “Crime Information” tab, where you can set date ranges.

The Lt. reported that there has been a rash of youth suicides. He noted that DPD has initiated a “Safe to Tell” program to educate youth on when&how to report concerns about a friend’s/family member’s behavior.

Jessica (Long?), Senior Park Ranger for southwest Denver, reported that all Rangers are “geared up” for this summer. Rangers will work from 6am-10pm, with Curfew Rangers out from 10pm-7:30am. Long asked residents to call 311 and ask to speak to Park Ranger if there’s a concern. Long noted that – if 311 is closed – to press “7” and leave message. The message will be forwarded. Long noted that Rangers can write citations for fireworks in parks.

  • Q: An attendee asked if drones are allowed in the parks.
  • A: No, never.
  • Q: An attendee asked about fires in non-designated areas.
  • A: In firepits and designated areas only; however, residents can bring in grill, so long as it is not on a table.
  • Q: An attendee asked about handling cars let idling for more than 10 minutes on private property.
  • A: If there are visible emissions, call 311.
  • Q: An attendee asked about what residents can do to get the problematic Stone Night Club shut down or shaped up.
  • A: Contact excise and license. Find out when their liquor license renewal is coming up and go to hearing and voice opposition. Lt. Qualley reported that D4 have details that work all the bars along Morrison Road on Sundays. The details go in to make sure they’re not overserving; if they’re overcrowded, the details contact DFD.
  • Q: An attendee asked if it was OK to break a car window if it’s a hot day and there’s a dog inside.
  • A: Call 911 and let us take heat. DFD will respond.
  • Q: An attendee asked for help w/ a house on the block.
  • A: Get with a CRO.

Autumn Bjudstad, Councilman Jolon’s newest aide, introduced herself.

The next meeting will be June 14, 2017 at 6:00PM

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