Author Topic: Police allowed to follow burglar's footprints in snow  (Read 2629 times)

Offline Baradium

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Police allowed to follow burglar's footprints in snow
« on: March 21, 2007, 08:37:20 PM »
Apparently in Boston they actually had to have a court ruling to decide this.

Court backs cops in snow-tracking case

By Maureen Boyle, Enterprise staff writer

Burglary suspects hoping to get their cases iced were stopped in their tracks after a judge ruled police could follow the men's footprints in the snow.

The state Appeals Court ruled evidence seized by Middleboro officers who followed the men's footprints and getaway-car tire tracks could be used in court because they led to the area of a gas station break-in.

The decision overturned a Wareham District Court judge's ruling that police acted on a “hunch,” so the evidence against John P. Quinn and Shawn E. Geisler, both accused in the break-in, was tossed out.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said prosecutors wouldn't have been able to try the pair if the the Appeals Court hadn't acted.

In the case, police responded to a burglar alarm at a Texaco gasoline station on Route 18 on Jan. 20, 2004, at 1:45 a.m. At the scene, police found two fresh sets of footprints in the snow leading to the station from Clay Street, then two prints going back. The footprints led to fresh tire tracks that were headed away from the side of the road toward Route 18, the court noted.

One of the front doors of the gas station had been smashed.

Police hit the road, looking for cars and found one heading away from the station toward the rotary — the only vehicle on the road.

When the car was stopped, police found an aluminum baseball bat covered with shards of glass and a cut on one suspect's hands.

“Stopping the only motor vehicle on the road, which was being driven from the direction of a crime, within minutes of that crime, was proper,” the court found.
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