Published: Sunday, Oct. 13 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Nazia, to be blunt yes. Crime is prosecuted AFTER its committed. Yes this seems
to be counter-productive sometimes, but really, can you imagine a world where
you or anyone could say: "this or that person was going to do X, Arrest
them!"The reality on the ground is the police have finite
resources. There are a lot of people. Crime statistics can only track crimes
we have found. Criminal Justice 101 at the community school might be a really
interesting class for you.
Just prior to reading this letter, I was listening to a TV conversation about
the “search and rescue” efforts in Salt Lake County. They touched
upon the resources and costs involved in the search and rescue which of course
were mega costs to the average guy. A person stuck on a mountain
ledge obviously in more important than a person receiving a threatening phone
call that was just some criminal with a scam. However when you consider that
for every person lost or stuck on a ledge there are probably thousands of
criminal phone calls and internet attacks perhaps we should reevaluate the
distribution of government protection.
@Midvaliean --"Crime is prosecuted AFTER its committed."Making a threatening phone call can be a felony offense, depending on
the threats being made. So, yes, a crime may have already been committed.Maybe you slept through that lecture in your Criminal Justice 101 class.
Here ya go -- Utah Criminal Code --Title 76 Utah Criminal Code76-9-201. Electronic communication harassment -- Definitions --
Penalties. [....] (c) "Electronic
communication device" includes telephone, facsimile, electronic mail, or
pager.[....] (2) A person is guilty of electronic
communication harassment and subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction where
the communication originated or was received if with intent to annoy, alarm,
intimidate, offend, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the electronic
communications of another, the person:[....] (c) makes
contact by means of electronic communication and threatens to inflict injury,
physical harm, or damage to any person or the property of any personThis is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on circumstances like
repetition, whether the threats are against an adult or a minor, and so on.
@ContrariusiestThe circumstances you are referring to mean a crime was
committed. Conspiracy to murder/terror etc are crimes. Sorry to say I
didn't sleep through class. If you commit a crime you can be
prosecuted. You can't be prosecuted for no crime. Attempting to scam
someone in this case is NOT a crime. No scam occurred. She outsmarted him by
not engaging. And even if his scam worked it still might not have been a crime
depending on what happened.
Semantics. I supposed you can be prosecuted for anything. However prosecutors
typically like evidence of a crime.
@Midvaliean --Threats ARE a crime.So is impersonating a
law officer.Utah Criminal Code 76-8-512. Impersonation of
officer."Attempting to scam someone in this case is NOT a
crime."Actually, it is.People are convicted of
attempted fraud all the time. There are many fraud/theft-by-deception laws (see
Utah Code 76-6).Like attempted burglary or attempted murder, you
don't have to be *successful* to be a criminal.So, actually, at
least THREE crimes were committed here." Sorry to say I
didn't sleep through class."Maybe you just skipped that
day. ;-)"prosecutors typically like evidence of a crime."The complainant's phone record is evidence. Unfortunately, it
isn't incontrovertible proof -- unless she records all her calls.That's the tough part about prosecuting threats. Ya gotta have recordings
(written, audio, or video) or witnesses to make it stick.OTOH,
there's a good chance that this guy is doing the same thing to other
people. IMHO this at least presents reasonable suspicion for investigation --
see how many other people have been called by this number, and so on.But then we run back into the issue of limited police resources.Unfortunately, not every crime gets followed up.
@ContrariusiestThe phone call itself is only evidence of a call. If the
call wasn't recorded then its he said she said. That is the problem.
The best place for reporting fraudulent phone calls is the FCC - they have the
resources to track the calls and look for patterns. It is very
difficult for local police to track phone calls after the fact - and numbers on
caller ID are not always the real number. As for the "people
finder" comment in the letter, what are the cops supposed to search for,
"people pretending to be deputies"?When lives are on the
line, that takes precedence over an attempted fraudulent call.
@Midvaliean --"The phone call itself is only evidence of a call.
If the call wasn't recorded then its he said she said. That is the
problem."That's basically what I already said. ;-)The phone record is evidence, just as fingerprints would be evidence.
Unfortunately, neither is incontrovertible proof.Don't worry, I
agree with you that these crimes are very unlikely to ever be solved or
punished.I only posted at all because I was amused by your bold and
somewhat condescending assertion that no crime had been committed. In fact, two
or three crimes were probably committed -- whether or not the perpetrator is
I know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I hope that when is yelling,
it's to save my life. I know that some normal tone of voice is loud. I have
to see who is the person being loud, then see if there is a wolf or not.
Nazia,It's never as simple as a people finder. If it was.. the
person calling you would already be caught and unable to call you.The police know what they're doing. There are some crimes that they
just can't solve with the resources a local PD has. If you had any idea
the resources people have wasted trying to track down scammers (who ALWAYS spoof
some other phone number and never use their own phone number or they would get
caught on the first call).... you would not be so critical.
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