Police and How Far the Long Arm of Really Is- My Vacation with Uncle Bob

by Elizabeth Hall
Rinnngggg… “Hello?” I answered; the voice on the other end was a voice I had not heard in a while. It was Uncle Bob.  We always hung out when he was in my neck of the woods. I lived in northern California, while he lived in the southern end of the state. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to Miami, Florida the next week, we would be leaving on Saturday. I told Uncle Bob that sounded fun, as I was currently on sabbatical from my job, and had plenty of free time.
On Saturday, we had arranged to meet at the airport, so I drove to the meeting place. Bob looked a little nervous and disheveled but that was not completely out of character for Uncle Bob who had always been a bit odd. He suggested that we rent a car and make a longer trip out of it, driving to Miami. Since Uncle Bob had offered to pay for the trip, I replied that it sounded like fun. Off we went driving across the country, exploring the states in between California and Florida having a great time. It took us two weeks to reach Miami. That is when all the trouble started.
NYPD boat
NYPD boat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Officer John Davenport pulled out of the police-parking garage to begin his shift. He was a five-year veteran on the force, and loved his job in the Traffic Division of the Miami-Dade Police Force. He drove through his familiar patrol route, checking the hot spots for speeding violations. Currently he was positioned on the interstate clocking speeds of motorists entering his county. He spots a vehicle doing 75MPH when the speed limit is 55MPH.
Woo Woo” Officer Davenport turns on the siren and picks up his radio “I have a traffic stop, on I-10 at the 108 mile marker” he reports to dispatch. “White Toyota Celica, license plate 786-CAF”. The dispatcher on the other end cackles “got it”. He gets out of his car, and approaches the suspect vehicle. He notices a man and a woman in the front seat, and waits a second for the driver to open his window fully. “I pulled you over because you were speeding about a mile back on the road. May I see your license and registration please?” All the while, Uncle Bob is looking particularly nervous, but he hands the documents to the officer. I am beginning to wonder why Uncle Bob looks this way, as officer Davenport leaves the car and sits down in his cruiser. (Foster, 2005)
Seal of the National Crime Information Center ...
Seal of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), USA. — “Servicing Our Citizens” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Officer Davenport sits down in his car, and runs Uncle Bob’s driver’s license through the scanner but this takes a few minutes for the information on the bar code information to come up. In the meantime, he is running the driver information through the national law enforcement database, called the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), with the aid of his computer equipped in the squad car. (Foster, 2005)
It was only a few minutes later that I found out why Uncle Bob looked so nervous. Unbeknownst to me, before we left California, Saturday morning, Uncle Bob had gone into a bank, and committed armed robbery with a firearm. The trip was really a cover for him to get out of town, and taking me with him, supported his alibi that he was preparing for a cross-country trip at the time of the burglary. Where he failed in his plan, was that he bought his disguise for the bank robbery at the sporting goods store right across the street from the bank he was going to rob. The police were looking at the surveillance tape to see if they could see the suspect enter the bank, but what they saw was Uncle Bob, entering the sporting goods store, then exiting, putting his mask on his head, which was a ski mask, then crossing the street. I always knew that Uncle Bob was a little odd, but I never dreamed that he would do something like this.
Digital photo taken by Marc Averette. Downtown...
Digital photo taken by Marc Averette. Downtown Miami, Florida, showing Manhattanization 2/2/2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was the nervousness that Uncle Bob had displayed that caused officer Davenport to initially, run Uncle Bob’s information through the NCIC system. When he ran it, he discovered that Uncle Bob was wanted in California for armed robbery. He came back to the car, asked Uncle Bob to step out of the vehicle, and after asking him about the incident, officer Davenport arrested Uncle Bob.
Since Uncle Bob committed armed robbery with a firearm, what happened to him was that he was extradited to California, where he stood trial, and received a sentence of 13 years. The mandatory sentence for armed robbery is, five years for the initial robbery, with an additional eight years for using a firearm as his weapon. (Hardy, 2000)

Foster, R.E. (2000). Police Technology. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall
Hardy, B.H. (2000). Imprisonment for Armed Robbery. OLR Research Report. Retrieved From the World Wide Web April 18, 2010. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2000/rpt/olr/htm/2000-R-0510.htm

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