Oh, for a Dashcam!

Several of our radio stations have been experiencing a lot of copper thefts. Yesterday I went into one (quietly, as usual) and finally caught someone in the act. He saw me and started running away so I dropped the Jeep into four-wheel drive and punched it. I called Dallas PD and excitedly screamed that we were being robbed, shots fired (I exaggerated, but anything else would be at least a 45-minute response), gave the address and hung up.

Soon I was chasing the guy around the field, occasionally getting close enough to almost tap him with the fender. He jumped the fence and ran into the next field. I followed him — through the fence.

We went back and forth like that for a few minutes, with him trying to hide in the brush and me heading straight through it at him. We finally ended up in a bit of a standoff. He was hiding and I couldn’t see him; but I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.

Air One arrived in about four minutes. I pointed to where he was and they went into a tight orbit over the spot. About that time a squad car pulled in and drew down on me until I showed that I was unarmed and identified myself as the complainant.

They directed another group of officers coming from the other direction. One officer almost stepped on the guy, he had buried himself so good.

After they carted him off we all congratulated each other and I followed them to the station to make a report.

The whole chase lasted six or seven minutes. It was an absolute blast. I’m sure he was more than a little shocked that some crazy bastard was trying to run him over and wouldn’t stop chasing him.

The cops asked whether I’d been scared. I told them I climb towers, skydive and kiss sharks when scuba diving; I don’t scare. They thought this was hilarious and said they needed more like me around.

So it was a great day. I haven’t had that much fun in years. Maybe I can catch some more tomorrow.

PS: This is the guy’s third felony bust so he will be going away for awhile. In addition to state charges of grand theft and damaging a transmitting facility, we are trying to get a federal charge of damaging a transmitting facility added on (18 USC 1362, up to 10 years and $250,000 fine). I like to be generous whenever possible.

Mike Vanhooser
Nova Electronics

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While I understand it's usually RW's policy to not censor letters, this one...and its follow "Kudos to 'Real Men'" by Paul Shinn in the April 11, 2012 issue, left me horrified. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman shooting, I think we have a graphic reminder of why police actions are best left to the police. What Mr. Vanhooser did was grossly irresponsible; had he injured the thief, then HE would've been legally liable for assault. Quite possibly with intent to kill. I don't think he'd think this was such a "great day" if he was facing murder charges while the thief was, at worst, facing felony theft. And oh by the way, the thief could've sued Mr. Vanhooser's company as well. And kiss goodbye any insurance coverage. I sincerely hope that if Mr. Vanhooser wasn't already president of the company, that most bosses would've fired him for acting so irresponsibly. If thieves are a problem, your solution is to have better backups and deterrents. Or to nut up and
By Brad Deltan on 5/6/2012

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