Kitsap Crime and Justice

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Why Didn’t the YMCA Scam Suspects Go to Jail?

August 25th, 2010 by josh farley

Story commenter fletc3her brought up an interesting point Wednesday morning on a story about people accused of using the YMCA to scam people for money.

“The criminals wandered off while the police were investigating the crime?” fletc3her posited.

Police officers, as we know, have much discretion in the job they perform, and that includes the decision to arrest someone. And of course, they have to make an on-the-spot decision based on the information they have at the time.

In this case, they’d received a 911 call from a woman saying she’d given some change to people claiming to be fund-raising for the YMCA. They immediately found two suspects, one of which didn’t take long to admit they were conning people, according to Bremerton police reports. That suspect even handed over $18 they’d taken right then and there.

But other than the 911 caller, police hadn’t yet found any other victims.

“Normally, we don’t arrest just based on confessions,” according to Bremerton Police Lt. Pete Fisher. “We usually try to corroborate them first.”

Please note the word “normally.” Obviously, Fisher said, the severity of the alleged crime would influence whether a person is arrested or detained.

Officers were already planning to forward their findings to the county prosecutor in the case, Fisher said. So given the time and manpower constraints and the fact the suspects appeared to pose no further danger to the community, the officers and sergeant handling the situation chose to continue digging and then send on their findings to prosecutors.

Either way, Fisher points out, the suspects will go to jail if, in fact, they are found guilty of impersonation in a court of law.

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3 Responses to “Why Didn’t the YMCA Scam Suspects Go to Jail?”

  1. Eoin2899 Says:

    What happened to the ill gotten 18 dollars ? Did it get signed in as evidence ? “EVIDENCE”, as an addition to the verbal admissions by the culprits. This is just an example of ” warm and fuzzy” do nothing law enforcement. Who wants to bet that these guys have been doing this and similar scams on a regular basis …… or was this the very first time they tried it ? So what did they do with the 18 bucks….give it back to the beggars or put it in the “coffee fund “.

  2. Ed79 Says:

    I hear a story like this, and I get upset even more about a ticket I got monday morning. In this case, these guys were scamming people and nothing happens to them. I get a ticket monday morning for $124 for not changing my address on my license which was an honest mistake, and it’s my first ticket ever in my 15 years of driving. I don’t understand law enforcement around here. Even on a weekend where at hempfest officers are there 10ft away from people smoking marijuana.

  3. Robin Henderson Says:

    I have worked with the Bremerton Police department while dealing with some crack dealers that invaded our neighborhood a few years ago. It took just a few months of working with the BPD to get these folks busted and out of our neighborhood. The Landlord also got an abatement letter. I have spoken with folks at the BPD about the use of “personal discretion” and I for one am very happy with the quality of work being done. Keep up the good work BPD!

    Ed79, I think you need to be more honest. How did you get pulled over for having the wrong address on your license? I am betting you were speeding and the officer pulled you over. He then noted the problem with your license and did the cool thing which was to write you up for a non moving violation which made his point but did not raise your insurance rate. This is an instance where an officer uses “personal discretion” to help a guy out and still the guy can only complain about it.

    Be honest Ed, where were you pulled over? In a school zone?

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