My experience listening to scanner in front of SSD

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mcjones94

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Today there was a home burglary call on Kentshire Way. I live in the area so I grabbed my scanner and decided to ride my bike to the call because it was so close.

So I got there and there were three units on-scene, the homeowner was not present and a broken window was found in the back.

Anyways, after awhile, two of the units left and I'm just about to leave when I turn around and there they are driving up to me, asking me to freeze.

A deputy gets out of his vehicle and asks me what I have in my hand (my scanner). He takes it and throws in on the ground, puts my hands behind my back and proceeds to search me. He takes my cell phone and iPod touch and then sits me in the back of the patrol car. He asks me personal information (name, age, address) and then searches my name in the police database to make sure I'm not on parole or anything.

I asked the officer why I was being detained and he said the suspects in the home burglary fled the scene, and since I was standing near the scene with a police scanner, I could possibly be a look-out for the suspects and report back to them what the officers were doing.

After a while he released me and told me scanning is alright and legal, but he advises not to do it in front of officers.

Anyways, have any of you ever been in this predicament?
 

scannerboy02

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In the course of my job this happens from time to time and at times in the same manner as it occurred to you and when it does it turns out the same way yours did.

Just so you know the M.O. in a number of the recent 459's is exactly what the officer told you for why he detained you.

I hope you don't let this get you down or make you think bad of the officers, they are just doing a job and saw something that matched the M.O. of recent crimes.
 

mcjones94

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scannerboy02 said:
In the course of my job this happens from time to time and at times in the same manner as it occurred to you and when it does it turns out the same way yours did.

Just so you know the M.O. in a number of the recent 459's is exactly what the officer told you for why he detained you.

I hope you don't let this get you down or make you think bad of the officers, they are just doing a job and saw something that matched the M.O. of recent crimes.
I won't let it down, but next time I go investigate I will attach the scanner to my belt clip and hide it under my clothing, then just attach an earpiece to it.
 

rdale

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April Fools was yesterday. Anyone going to the scene of an active burglary is insane.
 

clanusb

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Yeah. Its illegal to "chase" calls, unless you have a press pass. So I wouldnt do it. If you stumbled across something and you had your scanner on, thats different.
 

rdale

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Either way - it's a burglary. Want to hit a two-alarm fire, or a rollover accident, or something like that then you're okay.

But going to see a break-in, right after it's happened, carrying a scanner -- that's just crazy.

That's only slightly less creepy that driving over to see a heart-attack in progress, or domestic assault case.
 

KMA367

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Yeah. Its illegal to "chase" calls, unless you have a press pass. So I wouldnt do it. If you stumbled across something and you had your scanner on, thats different.
If you stumbled across something that turned into a shootout then that would be different, too, like maybe ending up dead from a lead overdose.

Other than it being felony-stupid, I wasn't aware of any California laws that prohibit "chasing" police or fire calls. It's of course illegal to interfere (whether you have a scanner or not), or use what you hear over police frequencies for personal gain or to commit or further a crime, but "merely" chasing calls isn't in itself illegal, AFAIK.
 

RolnCode3

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Haha. I heard them put themselves out with you. That's funny.

Based solely on what you said, I think they probably did the right thing (or at least a reasonable thing). Subjects having recently fled is called "just occurred". Their observations and reasoning sound spot on to me.

Maybe you should reevaluate your decision to go to the location of an active call. Or be less conspicuous/ suspicious. Or just accept that you might get stopped and investigated. Those are your three options as I see it.

I am also not aware of any law prohibiting you from observing police or fire at a call based on hearing on a scanner. I think it is just highly unwise and likely to draw the attention of officers.

Not sure what exactly you consider your "predicament".
 

gmclam

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I typically learn more by sitting at home and LISTENING to my scanners instead of GOING to where the action is. You are totally asking for trouble going to any crime scene, regardless of how 'legal' it may be.

I'd consider myself lucky. It was good for you that SSD caught you and not the bad guys. I can see a situation where the burglars see some guy showing up with a scanner, and decide they want the scanner to aid them in their getaway. In that case you'd be lucky if you only lost your scanner.

Fires and accidents are no different. I've heard a lot of arson investigators being called to local fires, and the last thing you want is to be on the list of potential suspects. When there is a wreck (I don't like to call them accidents), the traffic in the area is often a nightmare. And there are already enough auto vs bicycle incidents each day in this county, we don't need more of them.
 

mcjones94

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RolnCode3 said:
Haha. I heard them put themselves out with you. That's funny.

Based solely on what you said, I think they probably did the right thing (or at least a reasonable thing). Subjects having recently fled is called "just occurred". Their observations and reasoning sound spot on to me.

Maybe you should reevaluate your decision to go to the location of an active call. Or be less conspicuous/ suspicious. Or just accept that you might get stopped and investigated. Those are your three options as I see it.

I am also not aware of any law prohibiting you from observing police or fire at a call based on hearing on a scanner. I think it is just highly unwise and likely to draw the attention of officers.

Not sure what exactly you consider your "predicament".
You heard them put themselves out with me? What did they say? And did they say anything specific about me? They took the scanner while I was detained so I couldn't hear anything.
 

RolnCode3

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You heard them put themselves out with me? What did they say? And did they say anything specific about me? They took the scanner while I was detained so I couldn't hear anything.
I just heard "we'll be out with a subject holding a scanner" and the dispatcher had an inflection that indicated it piqued his interest. I had no idea what type of call they were on (or if they were even ON a call) or if you were just a 925. I wasn't anywhere nearby and had 10 other channels scanning, so I didn't pay any more attention than that. Until they cleared the call, it's unlikely there was any more radio traffic regarding you, and even then it may have gone over the MDC. But that last part is just my hunch.
 

cousinkix1953

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Leave the scanner at home, the next time that you wanna check out a call just around the corner. The less you say about what you heard on the scanners; the better off you'll be. Checking out a fire is one thing. I sure don't wanna get caught in the middle of a real crime...
 

kma371

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I won't let it down, but next time I go investigate I will attach the scanner to my belt clip and hide it under my clothing, then just attach an earpiece to it.
Everyone's pretty much said it already but...my 2 cents...

My suggestion is don't go "investigate" :)

Plus someone with a bulky item in their waistband would make me as a cop more suspicious of you.

Let the Police do their job. It's a crime to interfere or delay in their duties. Just listen to the action at home.
 
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PJaxx

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"next time I go investigate"
I'd think long and hard about there being a "next time." While you were hanging out near the crime scene playing investigator, you obviously gave the real investigators plenty of reasonable suspicion to "Terry stop," detain, pat you down, and question you. In doing so you, unintentionally or not, distracted the SSD deputies for 5 or 10 or however many minutes and may have given the suspects that much more time to distance themselves from the scene and avoid being caught. If the deputies see you happening to be around a call again they will certainly remember you.
 

avtarsingh

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some people dont have much police interaction so they dont know what's norm and what isn't..

thats what i graps from what he is saying...
just relaying what happened and asking if that's normal not stupid or felony stupid or anything else
some people care what's going on around them as long as they understand the risks of putting themself near the situation and in possible harm's way
no biggie
 

mcjones94

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JD_3010 said:
Question; Did the Scanner survive, being thrown to the ground ?
Yes, the scanner did survive. I was in a park and on the grass so it landed on the grass. If it hadn't survived I would of posted that and also would have complained about it to the department. I'm already thinking about complaining because they searched through my cell phone and i'm pretty sure they need a warrent. I might be wrong, but I'm getting over it so I probably won't send in the complaint.
 
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