Among reports recently released by the Conway Police Department:
• Residential burglary at 2700 block of Dave Ward Drive.
A resident reported that a thief or thieves had entered a residence late Thursday morning, probably through an unlocked bedroom window, and stole a 15-inch Dell Inspiron laptop and "Beats by Dr. Dre." external "pill" speaker, a Vizio flat-panel TV, and some gray Air Jordan basketball shoes.
• Theft of property at 700 Elsinger Blvd. (Old Navy store).
Employees reported that on Wednesday night three women entered the store, where each filled a large shopping bag with adult- and child-sized clothes and ran out the door.
• Bicycle thievery at 1600 Washington Ave. (Hendrix College).
A student reported that at some point between Tuesday and Thursday a bicycle thief or thieves took her bicycle, which had been parked just south of the college.
• Criminal mischief at 10 block of Cedar Oaks Drive.
An officer was called to respond to a domestic disturbance on Wednesday evening that involved a teenager who had allegedly kicked open a door and broke a flat-panel TV as an apparent expression of anger. When officers arrived the teen allegedly yelled "take me to [the] [expletive] jail." While officers were there, they discovered that the teen had a CPD warrant and did take him to jail.
• Criminal mischief at 2700 block of Dave Ward Drive.
Apartment maintenance personnel reported that some sort of vandal or trickster had applied Vaseline to a door handle. The resident reported having no idea who would have done it, or even why.
• K-9 sniff at 400 block of Harkrider.
Finding that a motorist’s explanation as to why his eyes were red suspect, an officer asked if he could search the vehicle. The motorist said that he didn’t see a reason for the search. Then the officer asked all passengers in the vehicle to step out of the vehicle and deployed his police dog, Dax, to walk around the car sniffing for dope. Dax didn’t smell anything and the motorist was sent on his way with a ticket for driving with one headlight.
The U.S. Supreme Court has recently modified its interpretation of K-9 sniffs as grounds for probable cause to search a vehicle or reasonable suspicion detain a person in light of the 4th Amendment prohibition against unlawful search and seizures. Writing for the unanimous court in 2013’s Florida v. Harris decision, Justice Elena Kagan stated that, "an alert [that a police dog has smelled some dope] cannot establish probable cause under the Florida court’s decision unless the State introduces comprehensive documentation of the dog’s prior "hits" and "misses" in the field. (One wonders how the court would apply its test to a rookie dog.) No matter how much other proof the State offers of the dog’s reliability, the absent field performance records will preclude a finding of probable cause."
The court had previously held that police dogs are "infallible," and therefore an alert by a dog during a sniff did provide probable cause.
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)