Ask a Cop: Should you alter your car registration?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I recently read on Facebook that for safety reasons and to prevent burglaries you should not keep your original car registration in your glove box because a car thief would be able to locate your house with the address listed on the registration. Instead you should make a copy of the registration and “Black Out” the address. What do you suggest?

A: First of all, “No” you may not alter your car registration. Secondly, I have heard this type of advice before but I have also never heard of any instances of that actually happening. Why would a car thief go to the registered owner’s house? To return the car when they are done? Car thieves don’t look at stealing cars as a method to find houses to burglarize, although we have seen the opposite occur where houses have been burglarized and cars left in garages were stolen in the burglary.

Modern safety and security features on cars have pretty much put an end to the traditional auto theft, where thieves punch door locks and ignitions with screwdrivers, or “twist some wires” and drive off with cars. Most auto thefts involving newer cars involve drugs trades, fraud, keys left in ignitions, or what turns out to be people who actually lent out their car to begin with. It is pretty darn hard to steal a newer car if you don’t have a key. The only ones who really are successful at it are organized auto thieves and their only interest is in the car and not breaking into your house.

Q: I go to Barker Middle school and one of my teachers came up to my locker and started looking inside. I keep personal things in there and the teacher told me they have every right to look in my locker. Is she telling the truth?

A: Please, believe your teacher! Indiana law is written that as long as the school corporation provides each student and parent a copy of the rules of having a locker, they may search the student’s locker and locker contents at any time with the student having no expectation of privacy. Also a police officer having jurisdiction may, with the request of the principal, assist in the searching of the locker and contents.

Q: We give free coffee and soft drinks to all policeman and firemen at our restaurant. We have an older guy that comes in all the time and flashes a real small badge that says “fireman” on it. None of us believe him and the manager tells us not to worry about it. Is there such a thing of impersonating a fireman?

A: Yes there is! The law falls under impersonating a public servant. The Indiana law is written generically enough that you can be charged for claiming to be any government official. A part of this offense is you have to attempt to enforce or restrict someone else with your assumed authority. If your manager or owner agrees, tell all officers and fireman you need their names for the discount or beverages that you are offering. You may then contact the individual department to verify employment.

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by the Lighthouse Restaurant in Michigan City was Anne Adams of Michigan City. In last column’s riddle of why the burglar did not take the two $100 bills off the table? It was because they were the water and electric bills! 

The sponsor for this week’s riddle is Dr. Adam Sergiwa and our friends at Lincoln Pediatrics at 414 Lincoln Way in La Porte. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

The Michigan City Police Detective Division decided to have a race during the annual Physical Fitness Training.

Five Detectives, Ken, Jillian, Kay, Tim, and Steve, all joined in on the competition. Tim beat Jillian by as many places as Ken beat Kay. Steve was not first or third and Jillian was not second. What order did they finish the race?

The 8th 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 e-mail ASKACOP@emichigancity.com.

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