Archive for the ‘Bessemer Crime’ Category

>Let’s not forget: Crime!

August 4, 2010

>I’ve not heard the mayor of Bessemer making claims about crime being down lately, but it’s probably only because I haven’t been listening to him. After what we’ve heard him say, and then looking at the facts, it’s been easy to see that he is either blind to the truth, delusional, or putting the politics of getting elected above the safety of the citizens of Bessemer.

He has said on more than one occasion that crime in Bessemer is just a “perception.” In a newspaper column last year I wrote about the “perception” statistics, from which it could be seen that the mayor is full of baloney when he says crime is down.

We have another year of statistics (provided by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center) to look at.

Remember, when looking at trends, we would like to start with the year 2002, because that is when Ed May was elected mayor. But our city did not report crime statistics to the state that year, for some unknown reason. So we go back to 2000.

Last year I also wrote about clearance rates, and showed how the clearance rates in Bessemer compared unfavorably to other cities our size. Clearance rate, you will recall, is the number of crimes cleared divided by the number of crimes recorded. A crime is considered cleared when enough evidence is gathered to charge a suspect or take one into custody.

In the report last year, for instance we saw that clearance rate for rape dropped from 38% to 15% between 2000 and 2008. In 2009, there were 24 rapes, and 6 were cleared, so the clearance rate showed an improvement – 25.

But don’t break out the champagne yet. Compared to both 2000 (when there were 5 homicides) and 2008 (6 homicides), homicide in Bessemer increased in 2009, to 10 (with only 3 cleared). Robbery is up in 2009 (209) compared to both 2000 (174) and 2008 (193). Burglary is up in 2009 (1170) compared to both 2000 (802) and 2008 (1046). Total crimes were up in 2009 (4381) compared to both 2000 (4176) and 2008 (4295).

So far in 2010 there have been at least 6 murders in Bessemer, as seen in this map of murder locations in the Birmingham area.

The clearance rate for all crimes in Bessemer is 15% and this is an improvement. The police are doing a better job of solving crimes, it seems, in the face of more crime.

And as long as we treat crime as a nebulous “perception” rather than a serious problem, it will continue to grow.

It takes more than telling your neighbors about Jesus to solve the crime problem of Bessemer. Maybe some new ideas, some new strategies, police substations that are open on weekends (seriously), police getting out of their cars and walking the neighborhoods, getting to know the folks. A new mayor.

Today’s Western Star poses a question.

Why?

They want to know why hundreds of Kenneth Gulley signs are disappearing.

I have a theory. We’ve seen people selectively taking up signs on our block. They even reached in over our fence and took a sign.

But signs, even “Re-elect Ed May” signs, do not equal votes. In my neighborhood, as I was walking to the track today, I noticed that Ed May operatives had been through. Lot’s of flyers. But, I also noticed that the people must not be too impressed because the sidewalks and yards were littered with the things where people had thrown them down, probably in disgust.

The flyers have been tossed aside, just as the mayor should be.


A lot will be said before the election on August 24. But no one can deny that crime is still a problem, not a perception, and that crime rates that are either increasing or remaining virtually the same are not acceptable and are not progress. And we want progress!

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>Wells Fargo donating bank building for community center

May 12, 2010

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From al.com (actually from the Birmingham News, and not posted on al.com yet, but probably will be).
Wells Fargo will donate the former Wachovia Branch on the Bessemer Super Highway where two tellers were murdered to Lawson State Community College to be used as a community center.

The college will use the building as a center offering financial planning, wellness programs and health-care outreach.

In May 2007 a gunman entered the bank and shot and killed Eva Hudson and Sheila Prevo. Anita Gordon and LaToya Freeman were wounded.

Today at a ceremony Wells Fargo will formally present the branch to Lawson State. A bronze plaque will be installed that will read, in part, “Sheila and Eva will forever live in the hearts of their families, friends and co-workers of Wachovia Bank.”

>Local Pirates

April 15, 2009

>Do we live in Somalia?

Sometimes it seems that way. Pirates near that country have vowed to step up their attacks and are keeping their word. Several ships have been hijacked since Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips was rescued. The pirates even attacked a U. S. ship, the Liberty Sun, but didn’t make onto the vessel.

Here in Bessemer it seems that land pirates are taking over the neighborhood. A neighbor in the historic south side was kidnapped from his home and forced at gunpoint to retrieve money from ATM’s night before last. I’m not going to provide any details or the name of the victim, but many of you know the person.

As if that wasn’t enough, two other attempts within a couple of blocks have been reported from the past weekend. Those were unsuccessful, fortunately.

Do we read anything about this in the news? No.

Do we have any statements from law enforcement warning residents to be extra careful and assuring us that they are on top of this? No.

Should the sheriff’s department or some other agency come to Bessemer if the local police can not control crime here? Yes.

All we can do is be careful, be aware of your surroundings, use your alarm system (your system can be updated to work even if phone lines are cut), and keep your gun handy.

Well after that downer, if you need a smile, watch this video of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent this week. Susan Boyle. She wowed even Simon, and the crowd went wild. I couldn’t embed it, but it’s a must watch. Really. Really.

>Yesterday’s Event

April 10, 2009

>Check out the Columbine pictures on Bessemer Science and Nature.

I guess I educated some people. No comments on the Sodom story or the abortion column. Wow.

Does this look familiar?

If not, you might recognize this.

If not, you are fortunate in that you must not have had a vehicle broken in to.

I tried to find statistics for the area, then for the state, but I’m just going to rely on what the police guy and the auto glass repair guy said.

Car burglary is way up in the Bessemer area. The thieves are after anything, but one thing that really attracts them is GPS devices left on the dash…

… or anywhere in sight.

My sister in law had one of these stolen. I don’t think she had it sitting on the dash like the picture, and it happened in downtown Birmingham, not Bessemer. But it can happen anywhere.

In fact, the glass repair guy said that he replaced a window for a Bessemer attorney who had their GPS stolen in broad daylight with people in the office watching. The perp was wearing a tie, he said. High class scum, I guess. Just broke the window, grabbed the device and was gone before they could get out to stop him. He backed down the street in his vehicle so they couldn’t get his tag number.

I don’t have a GPS device, and still look for the moss growing on the north side of the tree to determine direction. Neither does Bobby, but **** happens.

That was yesterday. Have a safe and happy Easter weekend.

>Stolen Car Recovered…and Flowers

April 15, 2008

>My neighbor found his car. Nothing is easy, nothing makes sense.

The car was here .

3300 block of Arlington Avenue, where it dead ends. With 10 – 15 other cars around in the backyard. Cars had been stripped of engines and transmissions and the like. He called the police, they came, arrested no one. The homeowner, his wife and son were there, claimed they had no idea how the car got there, in their backyard, with all those other stripped cars.

Word is that this guy used to work at Gary’s Tires in Bessemer, was fired for stealing $30,000 worth of tires.

Friend told the cops he didn’t want the car towed, he would go home and get a key and drive it home. By the time he got back (it’s just a mile away) they had towed the car, against the wishes of the owner, and charged him $140.

My friend wrote this:

The homeowner claims he works on cars at his house for extra money. The officer on scene scolded him for that and also scolded some guys who were burning trash in a barrel behind the house! MY STOLEN CAR WAS ON THIS GUYS PREOPERTY AND THEY DID NOTHING! MY AIR CLEANER HOUSING WAS LYING ON THE GROUND NEXT TO THE CAR, BUT HE HAD NOT TOUCHED IT!!!

It’s funny, his son has a car just like mine with the big wheels and such on it!

I feel they should have been arrested for recieving stolen property or something!

The city needs to check the Vin numbers on every car at that house…………..I’ll bet they are all stolen

Sounds like a good idea to me? The rest of you who have told me their car was stolen might want to go down there, in daylight, with company, and check things out.

At the Bessemer neighborhood Association Meeting last night Sergeant Carmichael of the Bessemer PD spoke about public safety, crime, all the issues of Dartmouth Avenue and more. I will write about that meeting tomorrow, if time allows.

For today, I am just glad Drew got his car back (even damaged) and I hope that the perps get tagged.

And I am glad the temperature didn’t freeze the peaches or flowers or tomato plants.

This is another Columbine in the backyard, these just come up and I try to move them around and get a bunch of them growing together.

This antique rose is Zephirine Drouhin, with a wonderful fragrance and no thorns.

Fiery blooms of this native azalea look hot, out of place on this cold morning.

Stolen Car Recovered…and Flowers

April 15, 2008

My neighbor found his car. Nothing is easy, nothing makes sense.

The car was here .

3300 block of Arlington Avenue, where it dead ends. With 10 – 15 other cars around in the backyard. Cars had been stripped of engines and transmissions and the like. He called the police, they came, arrested no one. The homeowner, his wife and son were there, claimed they had no idea how the car got there, in their backyard, with all those other stripped cars.

Word is that this guy used to work at Gary’s Tires in Bessemer, was fired for stealing $30,000 worth of tires.

Friend told the cops he didn’t want the car towed, he would go home and get a key and drive it home. By the time he got back (it’s just a mile away) they had towed the car, against the wishes of the owner, and charged him $140.

My friend wrote this:

The homeowner claims he works on cars at his house for extra money. The officer on scene scolded him for that and also scolded some guys who were burning trash in a barrel behind the house! MY STOLEN CAR WAS ON THIS GUYS PREOPERTY AND THEY DID NOTHING! MY AIR CLEANER HOUSING WAS LYING ON THE GROUND NEXT TO THE CAR, BUT HE HAD NOT TOUCHED IT!!!

It’s funny, his son has a car just like mine with the big wheels and such on it!

I feel they should have been arrested for recieving stolen property or something!

The city needs to check the Vin numbers on every car at that house…………..I’ll bet they are all stolen

Sounds like a good idea to me? The rest of you who have told me their car was stolen might want to go down there, in daylight, with company, and check things out.

At the Bessemer neighborhood Association Meeting last night Sergeant Carmichael of the Bessemer PD spoke about public safety, crime, all the issues of Dartmouth Avenue and more. I will write about that meeting tomorrow, if time allows.

For today, I am just glad Drew got his car back (even damaged) and I hope that the perps get tagged.

And I am glad the temperature didn’t freeze the peaches or flowers or tomato plants.

This is another Columbine in the backyard, these just come up and I try to move them around and get a bunch of them growing together.

This antique rose is Zephirine Drouhin, with a wonderful fragrance and no thorns.

Fiery blooms of this native azalea look hot, out of place on this cold morning.

>Bessemer Crime

April 14, 2008

>I know that crime happens everywhere. I have a friend who lives in one of the communities of North Shelby county whose home was broken in to, and there have been cars stolen or broken in to at the malls of Hoover. But when crime occurs in your own neighborhood it is more than just a statistic.

My neighbor that was almost hit by the speeding vehicle on the wrong side of the road the other day now has had his car stolen from right in front of his house between 1 and 3 Saturday morning.

The car is a cream colored 1984 Olsmobile Delta 88, 4dr with VIN# 1G3AN69YXEX387804 and tag # AS64421. It was last seen, by a witness that night, turning left into one of the housing projects on Dartmouth Avenue.

He left a comment on Disregard of the Law in Bessemer but I am reprinting it here.

I live on Dartmouth and think this is a major issue! My car was stolen Saturday Morning, the window was broken out of our truck and radio stolen less than a month ago and I am the guy who was almost hit by the car! I also think it would be a good idea to install speed breakers evey 500 feet on the Avenues. The streets all have stop signs where they intersect the Avenues, therefore speeding is not really an issue except maybe on 19th street. If you slow these people down they will find a faster way to get where they are going. It will also impeed the big truck traffic! Hopefully they will find the faster way is by following the railroad tracks through the brickyard intersection and then down Carolina Ave to Hwy 150! Decreasing traffic also decreases crime……………..IMO!

Speed, noise, litter, theft is becoming a way of life on Dartmouth Avenue. It’s hard to be a community promoter who tries to convince people to move into historic Bessemer to help our city recover, when all around us the thugs and hoodlums are contolling the streets.

We were told last week that police patrols would increase. I worked outside almost all day Friday and most of Saturday, and did not see one police car. Are they afraid to come into the area or what? Maybe we will get some answers tonight at the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting (7 PM at New Grace Covenant Assembly of God, 830 Briarwood Drive, Bessemer, Al 35020). See you there.

Bessemer Crime

April 14, 2008

I know that crime happens everywhere. I have a friend who lives in one of the communities of North Shelby county whose home was broken in to, and there have been cars stolen or broken in to at the malls of Hoover. But when crime occurs in your own neighborhood it is more than just a statistic.

My neighbor that was almost hit by the speeding vehicle on the wrong side of the road the other day now has had his car stolen from right in front of his house between 1 and 3 Saturday morning.

The car is a cream colored 1984 Olsmobile Delta 88, 4dr with VIN# 1G3AN69YXEX387804 and tag # AS64421. It was last seen, by a witness that night, turning left into one of the housing projects on Dartmouth Avenue.

He left a comment on Disregard of the Law in Bessemer but I am reprinting it here.

I live on Dartmouth and think this is a major issue! My car was stolen Saturday Morning, the window was broken out of our truck and radio stolen less than a month ago and I am the guy who was almost hit by the car! I also think it would be a good idea to install speed breakers evey 500 feet on the Avenues. The streets all have stop signs where they intersect the Avenues, therefore speeding is not really an issue except maybe on 19th street. If you slow these people down they will find a faster way to get where they are going. It will also impeed the big truck traffic! Hopefully they will find the faster way is by following the railroad tracks through the brickyard intersection and then down Carolina Ave to Hwy 150! Decreasing traffic also decreases crime……………..IMO!

Speed, noise, litter, theft is becoming a way of life on Dartmouth Avenue. It’s hard to be a community promoter who tries to convince people to move into historic Bessemer to help our city recover, when all around us the thugs and hoodlums are contolling the streets.

We were told last week that police patrols would increase. I worked outside almost all day Friday and most of Saturday, and did not see one police car. Are they afraid to come into the area or what? Maybe we will get some answers tonight at the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting (7 PM at New Grace Covenant Assembly of God, 830 Briarwood Drive, Bessemer, Al 35020). See you there.