Ask a Cop: Can I get in trouble for filming a robbery

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I got a “what if?” kind of question. My friends and I want to make a cool video that may or may not involve a little mischief and sort of stealing some stuff. We would eventually return everything, but my question is, if I am just involved in the filming and production of the video, can I get in trouble for this?

A: This is a tough answer without having specific details of what you are planning, so I can only give a general answer. So “generally speaking,” yes, you could get in trouble and possibly arrested if you had prior knowledge of a crime and was a willing participant to witness the crime being the “photographer.” Criminal mischief is against the law and you just can’t “sort of steal something.”

This is like saying "you're not really robbing a bank, because you're the getaway driver." As long as you participate you are just as guilty! 

Q: I have been keeping my eye on an old Ford truck parked in a field off 10th Street by the prison for the last few years. I always wanted to buy it and the owner would never sell it to me. Since he passed away I saw the Michigan City police put a notice on it and eventually towed it away. I really would love to buy this truck and was wondering when and how the police auction off impounded vehicles?

A: Sorry, the Michigan City police do not auction off impounded vehicles. We contract local towing agencies to impound abandoned, non-operational, or non-plated vehicles for us in which they take full possession. If the vehicle is not claimed by the owner after notice is given, there is a lien placed by the towing company for towing and storage charges. The towing agency then files for a mechanic’s lien. The vehicle is then published in the newspaper and an auction is held at the agency. My best suggestion is to contact the towing agency and inquire on the status of the vehicle.

Q: We are renting a house this summer that comes with the use of a boat, on Pine Lake. My two sons are so excited to go fishing and can’t wait to get on a boat. How old do you have to be to operate a motor boat on the lake?

A: Sounds like a great time! Indiana law says the operator of a motorboat with more than 10 horsepower must be at least 15 years old, possess an identification card issued by the BMV, and must have taken and passed a boater’s education course.

Q: The power went out recently during the rainstorm and the red light was not working at Cleveland Avenue and 400 North. No one was stopping on 400 North and just kept driving through. Isn’t everyone supposed to stop?

A: Yes, you are correct! We should all be extra cautious when in a storm or electrical outage. All vehicles that approach a non-functioning traffic signal must stop completely and yield to the right. You treat this just as if the intersection were controlled by four way stop signs.

The $30 gas card sponsored by Firestone of Michigan City was won by Arlene and Joe Dabkowski of Michigan City. The correct answer to the riddle of how many different brands of tires did Firestone sell and who guessed the correct number? Of course the winner was Shanon with the guess of 23 brands!

The sponsor for this week’s riddle is Dr. Lisa Leniski of Michigan City Pediatric Dentistry here in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

This is a riddle that everyone can get. Begin with the number of inches in a yard, add the number of days Noah endured a flood, add how many plums Jack Horner pulled out of his pie, and finally add in the street address of the President of the United States. Now call and tell me your total?


The 9th 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 873-1461, Ext 1020, or email

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