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News, Apb, Santa Monica, Police Department

Alert Police Blotter: A Dubious Example?

Venice Woman, 51, Arrested After Caught In Santa Monica Driving Stolen Car

Posted Aug. 6, 2013, 8:53 am

Tim Broughton / Mirror Contributor

A 51-year-old Venice woman and her daughter were arrested on Friday, July 26 after being caught driving a stolen vehicle in Santa Monica.

At 2:30 pm officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were travelling southbound on Lincoln Boulevard when their Automated License Plate Reader alerted them that it had noticed a stolen vehicle travelling in the opposite direction (northbound on Lincoln).

The officers did a quick U-turn and pulled the vehicle over at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Broadway.

The officers then confirmed that the vehicle was stolen (it was in fact embezzled from a local auto rental agency).

The officers found out that the two women who were in the stolen vehicle were mother and daughter.

The officers arrested both of these women.

As the daughter was a juvenile they arranged for her to be transferred to the Department of Children and Family Services.

The mother, however, was taken to jail where she was charged with Grand Theft Auto.

Bail for this woman was set at $35,000.

Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner.

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Aug. 6, 2013, 9:42:02 am

kriss halpern said...

There are critical errors in the way this story is written. Mr. Broughton needs someone to teach him how to write news. I will do my best to explain a key mistake here in the hope that Mr. Broughton can read this note and begin to understand why his errors are significant. The editors at the Mirror plainly do not. How does the reporter know that the police officers "did a quick U-turn"? Presumably, that is what the officers said to him, or wrote on a report. Fine, it is logical and probably true. But it is not a certain fact. Therefore, the reporter needs to say how he knows this by writing that the officers said it or wrote it on the arrest report, or however else he learned it. That is a trivial issue and easily corrected. The problem is that the same exact problem happens in potentially far more significant ways virtually every day in these articles. More significantly, the reporter later writes, "[t]he officers then confirmed that the vehicle was stolen (it was in fact embezzled from a local auto rental agency)." No! None of that is true. The officers confirmed that the vehicle was reported stolen, not that it WAS stolen. And they have no idea if it was "in fact embezzled." They know that it was reported to have been embezzled. People do not get sentenced to prison because crimes are reported and police have reasonable cause to believe the reports and make arrests. They are sentenced to prison after they are arraigned and put through due process and a determination is made that a crime was actually committed by them. None of that has happened here at the time this article was written. The reporter and the Mirror need to do a much better job understanding the difference between truth and belief. In this article, as in most I have seen from Mr. Broughton and the Mirror, no serious effort is made to indicate the most basic understanding of that critical difference. I do not meant to be rude here. But these mistakes are serious when they happen like this every day. It alters the way people think in ways that matter because the people reading these articles may end up on juries who decide what is and is not true and whether people are actually criminals or not. The job of a reporter is important. It impacts the way readers think. And that ultimately has a real impact on the lives of people in this community. It matters. More than the Mirror seems to comprehend.

Aug. 6, 2013, 12:16:42 pm

John Doe said...

I'm going to have to agree with Kriss Halpern here... this whole article seems fishy. How did the reporter know about the embezzlement? Did the woman know that the car had ever been reported stolen? Was it a gift from the owner of the rental agency- possibly a significant other? Sounds like this woman may have been given access to this car without any knowledge that it was stolen, and then all of the sudden she gets pulled over and her child taken away from her for being a car theif? I'm no lawyer, but this article doesn't seem to leave much for the potential jury pool to interpret. Poor kid... just riding in the car one summer day, pulled over and sent off to Child Services... A real-life Fargo right here in sleepy Santa Monica...

Aug. 6, 2013, 3:06:29 pm

Disappointed said...

I am disappointed with Kris Halpern. If you are going to lecture someone, I think you should make sure your own writing has no mistakes. "I do not meant to be rude here"

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