Our criminal system - UPDATE

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9/28/2017 6:05 AM

Ill try and keep it short..

I own a utility construction company with projects all over the country. One of our project is in St Louis and we have around 25 people with 6 trucks and a variety of equipment there. We hired a local guy to be a non-driving laborer about a week and half ago who had minimal construction knowledge but seemed like he would work hard. Our trucks are assigned to a driver who is responsible for that truck and its upkeep. Only designated drivers have the permission to drive the trucks and only during work hours.

Well Sunday night the new guy decided to swipe the keys of a brand new 2017 Ford F350 Flat Bed 4x4 truck. The truck was purchased around 3 weeks ago for $71,000. The driver had the keys in his hotel room and apparently didn't know this guy grabbed them. The guy took off in the truck, which had around $40,000 in tooling attached to it, and went looking for heroin. He was missing for around 12 hours when he called his supervisor from a downtown hospital asking for a ride. I had just landed in St Louis and went myself to the hospital. At some point the night before he was transported via ambulance to Barnes Jewish Hospital with a heroin overdose. They released him and he tried to tell me he left the truck at a fire station north of the city. After a couple hours on this wild goose chase I pulled into a fire station and called the police. The police arrived and took him into custody. When he arrived at the police station he admitted to the police that he had traded the truck for heroin somewhere near downtown.

So yesterday I decided to call the St Louis County jail to see what his charges were and make sure he was still in custody. The lady on phone informed me that he had been let go without charges. How is this possible? How does this guy get to walk free? I asked to speak to the prosecutor and of course haven't received a response back.

The insurance will take care of the truck and my inland marine policy will take care of the tools but now Im down a truck for a few weeks and that crew didn't get to work that day which lost around $10,000 in production. All of my trucks (19 trucks) are getting outfitted with GPS trackers tomorrow by the way. I should have done this a long time ago but I guess I learned my lesson. I just can't believe that this guy gets to walk free. If you can steal a $70,000 truck and walk free? How are our jails overcrowded if this isn't considered a crime? Any suggestions?

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9/28/2017 6:15 AM

Doesn't make sense. Maybe an error on the lady's part..... I'm not sure how he would be let go without any charges. Wish I could offer you a suggestion.

Hate that it happened, but I honestly can't see how this guy would be let go. Hang in there!

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9/28/2017 6:34 AM

Wow , you're right , that does not make sense at all. The most criminal thing about it is , the criminal law which seems to of done nothing what so ever in this case. I feel sorry for people with addictions like that , but the law should obviously punish people when they do stupid shit like this.

Btw mx599.....props to you man for having such a successful business! That sounds like a pretty serious en devour you have going on there.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

9/28/2017 6:47 AM

He may have been let go without charges but that doesn't mean he won't be charged in the future. I would keep calling...

And remember, the wheels of justice turn very very slow.

And how do you know he admitted to police at the police station that he stole the truck? Were you there? If you weren't then perhaps he told a different story. And of course the truck is gone with pretty much no witness to the crime. And you said he worked for you and so would have had access to the truck. Do you have a policy in place where he wasn't allowed to drive the truck. What constitutes permission? What constitutes a designated driver? He didn't break into your property and steal the truck.

Also, it's considered a non-violent crime and those take even longer for prosecution. The courts are completely stacked up with cases so this would be just one more...

From a DA's perspective it's possible he would have a hard time charging him for the stolen truck with so little evidence. So you could maybe pop him for trading truck for drugs. But again, that's pretty small potatoes in the big picture.

Hope some of that makes sense.

I've got a drugged out brother who's done this numerous times to people so I'm pretty familiar with it all unfortunately.

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9/28/2017 6:48 AM

I'd be curious to see what the reasoning was too.

Could be that the cops didn't catch him in the act of stealing. If that were the case, they have to pursue it from through the legal system which seems to take more time. As in, they have to assign a prosecutor and prove what the guy did one way or the other. I'm no law expert so I could be way off base here. But just trying to speculate.

That's bullshit that the dude got away with all of that though. Makes the street justice option a little more appealing.

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9/28/2017 6:49 AM

TXDirt beat me to it.

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9/28/2017 7:04 AM

TXDirt wrote:

He may have been let go without charges but that doesn't mean he won't be charged in the future. I would keep calling...

And remember, the wheels of justice turn very very slow.

And how do you know he admitted to police at the police station that he stole the truck? Were you there? If you weren't then perhaps he told a different story. And of course the truck is gone with pretty much no witness to the crime. And you said he worked for you and so would have had access to the truck. Do you have a policy in place where he wasn't allowed to drive the truck. What constitutes permission? What constitutes a designated driver? He didn't break into your property and steal the truck.

Also, it's considered a non-violent crime and those take even longer for prosecution. The courts are completely stacked up with cases so this would be just one more...

From a DA's perspective it's possible he would have a hard time charging him for the stolen truck with so little evidence. So you could maybe pop him for trading truck for drugs. But again, that's pretty small potatoes in the big picture.

Hope some of that makes sense.

I've got a drugged out brother who's done this numerous times to people so I'm pretty familiar with it all unfortunately.

Correct. This situation won't be considered a theft of a motor vehicle. It's unauthorized used of a motor vehicle. Where things get confusing is the fact that he traded it for heroin.

And every state/jurisdiction has different laws of arrest. I've seen where some places will throw a drunken moron in jail for the night. Where I'm from, if you didn't commit a violent crime then you're not being put in jail after normal business hours.

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9/28/2017 8:57 AM

I was in the room when he told the arresting officer he traded the truck for narcotics. He also admitted that he took the keys when the driver wasn't looking. He went through a training course when he was hired and was explained during this course that his at no time was he to drive any of the company vehicles unless he went through a certification first. Im in Texas right now and am flying to St Louis tomorrow and am going to go down to the prosecutors office and see what I can find out. I called a few attorneys yesterday and only found 1 willing to help but they would have to do their own investigating and convince the prosecutor to press charges. We are looking at $15,000 + to get started. He suggested I just let it go.

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9/28/2017 9:03 AM

Not enough.

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9/28/2017 9:12 AM

wow, that is crazy shit

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9/28/2017 9:28 AM

A free shot of Narcan?

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9/28/2017 10:00 AM

The guy has check coming tomorrow - I'm wondering if he will be calling for it

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9/28/2017 10:29 AM

did you ever get the pick-em-up truck back?

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9/28/2017 11:42 AM

That just sucks. And you probably have to give him his paycheck. A year ago some guys broke into my two family rental property and kicked in both my tenants doors , stole tv's and keys to one of my tenants cars , and stole the car. STL police got one of the guys that night , driving the stolen car and had to let him go. He told the cops it was a friends and didn't know it was stolen. wassat

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9/28/2017 12:01 PM

motoxxx599 wrote:

The guy has check coming tomorrow - I'm wondering if he will be calling for it

The sick part is you'd probably have to pay him to avoid your own legal trouble.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

9/28/2017 12:08 PM

I can't believe how much those freaking trucks cost!

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

9/28/2017 1:02 PM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

I can't believe how much those freaking trucks cost!

Not to take this down a rabbit trail, but yes, apparently Ford thinks there is a market for 100k trucks. The new super duty limited starts at 80k and tops around 95k. Unreal....

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9/28/2017 1:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/28/2017 1:26 PM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

I can't believe how much those freaking trucks cost!

JRT812 wrote:

Not to take this down a rabbit trail, but yes, apparently Ford thinks there is a market for 100k trucks. The new super duty limited starts at 80k and tops around 95k. Unreal....

100K Yikes !! I got $4500 in the ole 12 valve !





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"We don't rent pigs."

9/28/2017 2:47 PM

motoxxx599 wrote:

I was in the room when he told the arresting officer he traded the truck for narcotics. He also admitted that he took the keys when the driver wasn't looking. He went through a training course when he was hired and was explained during this course that his at no time was he to drive any of the company vehicles unless he went through a certification first. Im in Texas right now and am flying to St Louis tomorrow and am going to go down to the prosecutors office and see what I can find out. I called a few attorneys yesterday and only found 1 willing to help but they would have to do their own investigating and convince the prosecutor to press charges. We are looking at $15,000 + to get started. He suggested I just let it go.

Just to be clear, you're wanting to spend $15K on a private lawyer to lobby the local prosecutor to file charges that might be filed anyway, and that you'll receive no compensation from?

I understand the desire to punch this guy in the face repeatedly and then throw him in a dark hole. Getting anything stolen from you feels like your entire soul has been violated.

But damn, $15K for what basically comes to revenge? I don't mean that flippantly, I've wanted revenge for similar things before but over time I've calmed down a bit. Just a thought, but if this guy is struggling with his addiction, maybe the $15K would get a decent rehab. That's if he wanted to kick it, of course, otherwise I'd just keep punching the shit out of him.

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9/28/2017 7:32 PM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

I can't believe how much those freaking trucks cost!

JRT812 wrote:

Not to take this down a rabbit trail, but yes, apparently Ford thinks there is a market for 100k trucks. The new super duty limited starts at 80k and tops around 95k. Unreal....

JAFO92 wrote:

100K Yikes !! I got $4500 in the ole 12 valve !





No joke. I will keep driving my 78 and love Ford, but will look elsewhere when it comes to trucks because of the price.

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9/28/2017 10:00 PM

I can only say how it works in WA, but other states are likely not too far off. First and foremost, unless you are booked for a violent felony (murder, rape, etc) or domestic violence, you’re likely going to get PR’d from jail if you don’t bail/bond out first. Recently multi-time DUI offenders started getting handled like domestics (mandatory booking, no bail prior to arraignment etc). But the overwhelming number of suspects are kicked loose in short order, often w/o being charged. This is often due to the fact that if they are charged while in custody, the speedy trial clock starts. Hold off on charging and don’t oppose release (as a prosecutor), you’ve bought yourself time to get all the reports, evidence, background, etc and get your ducks in a row. Prosecutors (especially at the misdemeanor and property crime levels) are buried by a ridiculous case load. Our system lives and dies by the plea agreement. Sad, but true. If every defendant suddenly said “I want a trial,” our legal system would grind to a screeching halt.

Brad460, I’ll throw a couple things out there. First, I don’t know your local PD or how they operate, but I’ll lend my thoughts with my knowledge here (WA). First, unless those were one-off rims or had a distinguishing mark, they would’ve had no legal authority to take them from the suspect if he claimed them to be his and they were commercially available. The burden isn’t his/hers to prove they DIDNT steal them, it’s the polices’ to prove they DID. Now certainly, the also stolen iPad, if part of the same incident, being pinged at the same person’s house, would get you closer. Second, the GPS ping would get into a number of factors like confidence factor (ie how big of a radius could the gps signal be in-is it only as big as that home, or does the radius include other homes?), when was the last ping (ie can police argue that it’s unlikely to have left the location), and what are police’s resources? If they are at low staffing, with other calls kicking off (particularly priority calls like DV, robbery etc), they may not have the resources to dedicate to surrounding the house, writing a warrant, getting it signed/approved by a judge, serving it (and if the suspects are home, doing a risk assessment and possible SWAT involvement), processing the scene, possibly getting an addendum (if new crimes are found), just to recover an iPad. You’re talking about a minimum of 2-4 officers tied up for several hours. That’s not insignificant if staffing is low and calls aren’t.

This doesn’t even consider the possibility that case law could render the gps ping useless to the average patrol guy. There was some talk awhile back that unless an officer had training in gps location pings, a search warrant application based on a ping wasn’t going to be considered valid. I don’t know what became of this (if memory serves it involved one of the stolen vehicle location programs).

What seems like a simple “there they are go get em” is often anything but. And while there certainly are lazy police, etc, most cops signed to do the exact type of work your friend was expecting, only to get shit on by court decisions, restrictive policies, and a lack of resources. It’s unfortunate but it’s reality.

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9/29/2017 4:44 AM

No truck.. and he hasn't called for a check. I flew back to STL last night and am going to meet with assistant DA today.

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9/29/2017 6:08 PM


The majority of criminal activity in the US relates to narcotic distribution and addiction.
In nearly every case the condition of parole is the participation in a drug abuse program.
As we all know unless the addict really wants to change then all the programs in the world wont help much.

There are several different programs in jail from vocational to educational.
These programs require a willing participant to work.
If a guy has been dealing the odds of him truly being receptive to a legal vocation (except to participate in the program as a condition of early release) are pretty slim.
I agree that we should rehabilitate but you make it sound as if nobody in the criminal justice system has ever thought of that.
The guy that stole the work truck needs to be taken out of circulation first.
Then if he is receptive to help he can find it.
If he is not receptive then back in the clink he goes.
Unfortunately the guy who see's the light and accepts the help and changes his life style is very rare.




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10/1/2017 8:34 AM

I would look into GPS tracking for your trucks, it might even lower your insurance premiums.

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10/3/2017 8:18 AM

el moto diablo wrote:

I would look into GPS tracking for your trucks, it might even lower your insurance premiums.

This.

Your commercial insurance might even help pay for installation.
Fleetmatics, Rhino, NexTraq....there are several good ones out there.

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10/17/2017 9:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/17/2017 9:02 PM

UPDATE:

Truck was found on Monday morning with 2 AA males asleep in it. I received a call from an STL cop who was onsite of the recovery. They apparently were higher than giraffe vag and had a large quantity of heroin on their persons. They are both in jail currently - hopefully longer than the guy who actually stole the truck originally. I asked the cop who called me the condition of the truck - seeing as it was brand new when it was stolen - and he said it looked like it had been in “a few” accidents.

As for the truck .. its hammered! I don’t think its going to be totaled but there is significant damage to all sides of the truck. Inside the truck there were at least 50 needles, a ton of clothes, 2 cell phone (one of which still works which I will get to in a minute), a lot of CDs (though the truck doesn’t have a CD player), and these little metal bullet shaped containers which I would imagine is used to package drugs to be sold. The inside smelled like a porta-john after a hot weekend at a county fair. Whoever was driving the truck put about 500 miles on it so who knows where its been.

I’m not sure what these guys ran into but the headache rack portion of the flat bed was bent back about 18”. See pics below.

As for the cell phones we found in it - one worked and one didn’t. The police didn’t want anything to do with the phones so we decided to have a little fun with the phone that did work. Whoever is the owner of the phone is must be in jail because he has not been in contact with any of his phone contacts. The phone was a burner phone with no password but had his Facebook linked to it. In the last 24 hours he 1) Admitted to his mother he was gay 2) Admitted to his cousin he was gay who said he knew all along 3) Ordered a large quantity of drugs (2 lbs. of OG Kush? Sorry I’ve never done drugs) from a dealer in his phone to a strip club in Illinois 40 miles away in which he showed up to and is now looking for the owner of the phone to “fuck him up” 4) friended and openly commented on how good of a time he had a couple of gay bars in the STL area over the last couple of weeks on his Facebook for all to see. Childish I know but fuck it he stole my $70000 truck.

Its in the hands of the insurance now. Waiting to see what they decide to do.



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10/17/2017 9:10 PM

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10/17/2017 9:33 PM

Glad you got your truck backwassat so these nice people had the truck for almost a month, damn. STL police have been a little busy with some things lately cool. I hope everything with the insurance company goes well for you and the drug dealer catches up to the bar buddy. sick

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10/18/2017 5:41 AM

Would have been better to never have seen that truck again. That bed took some serious abuse. The dinger in the rear wheel is also a good indication that truck has been flogged hard.

I wonder if the expired temp tag caught the interest of the cops in the first place?

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10/18/2017 6:23 AM

Make sure (if they aren’t going to total it) that the insurance includes one of the biohazard outfits doing a complete job on the interior. You most like have all sorts of nasty stuff inside the truck that you, your family, and your employees don’t need to be exposed to.

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