Thursday, July 03, 2008

When You Need A Cop ...

Sometimes, when you call a cop it's not to report a crime. In a case most recently, it was for help.

This intrepid reporter received a call for assistance from two widely respected members of the community. Bob and Suzanne Rickel, retired farmers, began receiving pesky notices in the mail from New York City.

It stated that a jeep was illegally parked in the city Oct. 28, 2007, registered to the Rickels. We followed our own advice, and called a cop. The Rickels in fact do own a jeep. It's a 1954 model that has been in storage for more than 10 years, then transported to Suzanne's brother by trailer to Seattle. The plates still reside here in Bayview at the Rickel residence.

Enter Capt. Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. We requested his assistance, and Capt. Wolfinger ran the plate and verified it is the number registered to the Rickels. By the time Wolfinger got involved, the notices had got nastier and more frequent, ending in a default judgment of $107.38.

After determining the facts, Capt. Wolfinger graciously mailed a letter to New York City explaining that one, the Rickels had never been in New York City, nor were they likely to go there in the future. Two, the car in question was not white, as the parking ticket revealed, but dark green. The third and we hope the deciding factor, is that the car in question is 54 years old and while restored, isn't capable of such a journey.

One can only hope that the largest bureaucracy in today's world will understand. If not, Captain Wolfinger does not anticipate his cooperation in an attempt to extradite the alleged offenders.

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