The Great River Hills Caper

River Hills

In keeping with¬†last months subject about a team of cops running surveillance and catching somebody during a caper, this bonus episode Gary will tell about his first successful surveillance. As they used to say in Dragnet, I was assigned¬†to the day watch¬†out of Central Patrol, The¬† Field Investigations Unit.¬† Along with my partner, John Fraise, we responded to Police Headquarters to interview¬†a larceny suspect. When we checked him out of Central Detention, we found our man wearing a security¬†guard uniform. After reviewing the arrest report, we figured this was more¬†likely embezzlement and a not very big one at that. He was charged with stealing a couple of hundred¬†dollars in tools from a company where he was the night watchman. I could sense his fear of going across the street to the Jackson¬†County Jail so we pressed him about any other crimes he might help us clear. He mentioned he had recently worked at a downtown¬†apartment complex known as River Hills. I remembered something¬†so I quickly stepped outside and called our crime analyst and found,¬†just I suspected, an unknown suspect had recently entered many River Hills’ apartments with a key and taken thousands in cash and jewelry. I called my partner out of the interrogation room and I remember saying, “There is meat on this bone.” I explained the recent burglary pattern with no forcible entry.\ and we knew if we could turn him into an informant, proper surveillance would stop these burglaries.

We returned to confront our quarry. We leaned on him and reminded him what happens when he can’t post bond on his larceny case. We then threw¬†him a safety line, “help us and we will help you.” He started breaking down and within¬†an hour we learned he had given a master key and a list of tenants, apartment numbers and home phone¬†numbers to a man named Darryl Gilyard. He admitted he knew Gilyard had burglarized¬†some apartments¬†because later Gilyard had paid him some money. He had been reassigned by the contract security company¬†so he didn’t know¬†how many burglaries Gilyard had committed with his master key.

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