Ask a Cop: The BMV won't give me a license. What should I do?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I lived in Tennessee where I was caught a few times driving without a license and once in a car accident without insurance. This was five years ago and now I live in Indiana. The Indiana License Bureau won’t give me a license because of this. I’m a single mother with three kids, so what am I supposed to do?

A: Public transportation! Unfortunately, you created the problem, now you must live with the consequences. We don’t let you drive without a license here in Indiana either, nor do we let you not have insurance.

Q: I recently purchased a cell phone from a private party on Craigslist and got a great deal. I have already sent them the money through Western Union to the seller in Michigan. I verified that they accepted the money and now it’s been two weeks and still no phone. Is there a way the police can help me get my money back?

A: Probably not. I have been asked this question numerous times and it usually ends in the same result. In most cases where individuals deal through Western Union on these “great deals,” it is usually a scam. So a person sets up a Craigslist ad (or wherever) and say they live in Chicago, Michigan (or wherever). This does not have to be true. What happens is they live outside any jurisdiction of the United States such as Europe, Africa or Asia where we have no investigative or ability to charge. Money sent through Western Union or MoneyGram can be picked up anonymously at any Western Union Office or MoneyGram station in the world. Since it’s been two weeks with no contact, phone and money received I think you have been scammed.

Feel free to file a police report, but please do not expect that you will ever get your money back. Sorry.

Q: Does a police officer have the authority to decide to either give someone a ticket or instead give them a warning in hope that the violator will appreciate it and take the message?

A: Here in Michigan City, generally, yes. Some programs such as seat belt enforcement or specific Governor’s Task Force operations do not let you have discretion in some cases as it is a “Zero Tolerance.” We do not restrict officers’ discretion when it comes to normal traffic enforcement as we find a lot of individuals understand doing wrong and learn by bringing infractions to their attention.

Q: My father has recently passed away and back in the 1970s he bought two fake (I hope) hand grenades from an Army/Navy store. They look very real and we recently found them in a drawer after cleaning the house out. Is there anyone that can take them and destroy them?

A: Yes, there is! And they did sell inert grenades back then to the public. Please feel free to bring items like this or any other unsure or unsafe items as broken guns, old ammunition, etc. to me at the station and I will have it destroyed.

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by Dr. Adam Sergiwa and our friends at Lincoln Pediatrics was Judith Galligan of Valparaiso. The answer to last column’s riddle of who won the detective race and what order they came in was Tim on first, Ken on second, Jillian was third, Kay was fourth and Steve was the slowest detective!

The sponsor for this week’s riddle is all our friends at the Michigan City Senior Center. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

Let’s play a fun Halloween game. Fill in the middle word. This word should correspond with the first and last word.

1) Halloween ______________ Party

2) Candy _________________ Chowder

3) Wish __________________ Meal

4) Carved ________________ Seeds

5) Apple _________________ Vinegar

6) Thanksgiving ___________ Menu

7) Sweet _________________ Skins

8) Scare __________________ Feet

9) Pumpkin _______________ Plate

10) Harvested ______________ Duster

The 5th 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

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