Saturday was a rare slow, sleepy day. We only handled nineteen jobs – yes, that’s a slow day – and for the most part, the clowns behaved themselves. So when the phone started ringing, I gleefully answered, because how bad could it be, right?
A patrol officer had recovered a previously stolen vehicle, and said the message on his computer stated it was coded “Guard for Prints.” That designation is almost exclusively for vehicles which were carjacked, or otherwise involved in a violent crime. I told the officer to hold the car, get it towed to our impound garage, and send us the paperwork.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
A few minutes later, the officer calls again. He said the tow squad were refusing to transport the vehicle because it was assigned to my division instead of the Major Crimes Unit. I responded with, “Officer, it’s listed as Guard for Prints. Call the tow squad, and tell them to get their fat asses out to the f**king scene!”
I was irritated because every minute on that street means there’s less chance we’ll be able to process it correctly.
Ten minutes later, the officer calls again. This time he tells me the owner recovered the vehicle a few days ago, took the vehicle to an auto body place, and had the bullet holes repaired.
“Wait. I’m sorry, did you say bullet holes?”
The reason this vehicle was in Guard for Prints status is because it was involved in a prior shooting. When the officer called Tow Squad the second time, they told him they still won’t come out for the car because the scene has been contaminated. (You know, because the bullet holes were fixed.) The officer said the tow squad drone wanted to speak to a detective. F**kin’ A, I’ll set this a-hole straight.
The tow squad drone had an attitude from the moment he picked up the phone. As he was complaining about, you know, doing his job, I cut him off. “Listen, this was designated GFP by Major Crimes, not us. The car was involved in a shooting, and since Major Crimes is closed today, I can’t exactly debate them on the subject. If you don’t feel like picking up the car, that’s cool. I’ll just note that in my email to the assigned detective.”
Amazingly, the tow squad toad’s demeanor changed immediately.
So, with that, a crisis was averted. Oh wait…
A half hour after yelling at the tow toad, I received a call from the officer’s lieutenant. Apparently he was at the scene with the officer and the vehicle’s owner. The lieutenant started grilling me about the job, and told me we did not need to hold the vehicle because the damage had been repaired. I reminded the lieutenant that the GFP designation gives us no choice in the matter, but he responded, “The owners are very angry about this.”
Like I give a shit.
“Look lieutenant, Tow Squad is already headed out to pick up the vehicle. Major Crimes is assigned the job, and the vehicle was involved in a shooting. As for the owners, doesn’t is seem odd to you that they recovered the vehicle a few days ago, rushed to get the bullet holes fixed, and only then called police to remove it from stolen status? Because it seems to me they were destroying evidence.”
“Lieutenant, you’re the ranking supervisor out there, so if you want to release the vehicle to the owners, that’s your decision. I’m just going to need your name and badge so I can put it on the log.”
The vehicle was transported to the garage shortly afterward.