Q: My friends at Firestone came up with a very good question. They had a customer that wanted a steering wheel knob put on their car and they were worried about installing it and wanted to know if it was legal in Indiana, and of course we're trying to stump Mr. Ask a Cop.
A: Actually these are called "suicide knobs," and most people believe they are illegal. However this claim is likely one of those "car myths" that has spread because of the name.
The term "suicide" has a dangerous association, which probably makes people assume they are illegal.
In searching through each state's statutes there were no laws nationwide banning the use of steering wheel knobs on regular cars. In fact some states require the use of a steering aid for some handicapped individuals.
My record still stands!
Q: I am very confused. Why can police officers drive while they are using a laptop but I can get a ticket for texting?
A: Good question. Police officers are assisted with MDT's (Mobile Data Terminals), which are literally a requirement in police daily activities.
Calls for service, details of the calls and activity from other officers who are on calls is relayed directly to the MDT. This tool is also a source for driving routes to calls and checking on licensing and wanted persons.
Officers must however be in a parked position to type any reports or correspond with other officers.
Q: We are having a debate at work and wonder if you can help. What does it exactly mean when someone is arrested for, "strong armed robbery?"
A: Generally a strong armed robbery is when a person uses physical force (without a weapon) to take someone's property. This force may be as simple as a threat of injury to just pushing someone while taking something of value from them.
An armed robbery, however, involves a weapon of some sort used under force of threat and taking something of value from them. In Indiana, however, you must put the victim in "fear" to charge robbery.
Q: My cousin borrowed my car three days ago to go to the store and I haven't seen him since. Can I have him arrested for auto theft?
A: Prosecutors in Indiana have the discretion to charge most theft-related offenses as either conversion (a class A misdemeanor) or theft (a Level 6 felony).
Vehicle theft happens when someone actually steals your car, and unauthorized control is when you know who has your car, but they have not complied with your agreement of use.
This week's riddle
The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by Sophia's House of Pancakes was Bobby Komendera of Michigan City. In last column's riddle of how many cars passed you while at the light in the intersection? The correct number of cars was four.
The sponsor for this week's riddle is John Hermann and his staff at Carlson's Drive-In, in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gift certificate.
We're off to Carlson's. The first thing we do is find a Carlson's hot dog. I cut it in half and then cut each half into four pieces. Next I cut each piece into three pieces. Finally, I cut each of those pieces into five pieces. How many hot dogs do I have?
The eighth correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins.
To answer a question, or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 219-873-1461, ext. 333, or email AskACop@emichigancity.com.