If you saw a crime in progress, would you simply shut the shades?

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Such was the case with Catherine “Kitty” Genovese in 1964. The 28-year-old was murdered and raped near the doorway of her New York City apartment building while at least 37 folks heard her screams or saw the attack. Many simply closed their window shades. Only one woman bothered to call police.

That’s not the case on the University of Arizona campus, where a handful of folks are being honored in a Tuesday ceremony for their assistance to the UA Police Department, according to a news release from UAPD.

Some of the crimes – like shaking a vending machine to get free snacks – are nowhere near the murderous stage, but they are crimes nonetheless and these folks deserve kudos for doing more than simply walking away.

The honorees are:

Graffiti busters – Doug Archer, Frankie Kolb and Peter Smith:
This trio was working at the Lunar and Planetary Sciences when they noted folks spray painting the building and a nearby wall. They immediately called police and had enough information to lead to three arrests for vandalism.

Bicycle guardian – Justin Armer:
Armer was outside the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building when he saw someone trying to break a bike lock with a hammer. Rather than simply go on his merry way, glad it wasn’t his own bicycle, Armer approached the would-be thief, who ran away without the bicycle. If that wasn’t enough, Armer followed the suspect and called police. An arrest followed.

Vending machine savior – Arun Ganesan:
Ganesan helped get several folks arrested when he called police after watching those folks shake a vending machine. Lots of free goodies had fallen from the shaken machine, but their snacking was cut short when Ganesan called police.

Thief trapper – Chiara Figueroa:
Figueroa had her laptop and several other items stolen on campus when she received an e-mail that she thought might be related to the theft. She tracked down the e-mailer and gave her info to police. UAPD followed up on her lead and found the person not only stole stuff from Figueroa but also stole from several other victims. Yes, another arrest.

Another graffiti buster – Jared Melillo:
Melillo, who lived near the new recreation center construction site, noted several taggers having a field day on one of the new buildings. He quickly called police, who were able to arrest one of the suspects.

Felony finder – Kurt Myers:
Myers was jogging around campus when he noted two people drinking alcohol behind the open door of a UA building that was not open to the public. He called police to report what may have been trespassing, but turned into a bigger catch. One of the suspects had a felony warrant out for arrest. Both were arrested, thanks to Myers taking a moment to report them.

Double duty dude – David De La Rosa:
De La Rosa helped with arrests in two separate crimes, one that involved a stolen kid and another that involved a suspected killer.
De La Rosa noted a car parked with a kid in the backseat, but no parent or guardian anywhere to be found. He reported the sighting to police, who found the car had been stolen – with the child still in it. Car and child were returned to their owner.
He also reported a panhandler near Student Union who kept approaching women. Police tracked down the panhandler and found the person hand a felony warrant for homicide. Goodbye, panhandler.

Suspicious suspect nabber – Miguel Perez:
Perez was working on campus when he saw a would-be thief playing around with a bicycle lock. He noted the person had been milling around earlier, as if scoping out the bike rack. His quick call to police led to an arrest.

Monocle man – Riley Schock:
Schock was out walking his dog when he found several monocles lying around his neighborhood. He took them home, where a friend recalled a news report about monocles being stolen from a UA building. Schock turned the monocles over the UAPD, returning stolen property that was valued at an estimated $10,000.

The Partners with Our Community awards will be presented at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 (today!) at the University of Arizona Police Department, 1852 E. First St.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Do you report crimes in progress or just go on your merry way?

Do you know any other heroes who helped authorities with reporting, identifying or researching criminal activity?