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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Be smart: lock your car doors, hide those presents

By Landon Bench

December 13, 2006 | This holiday season, when you're driving to the mall to get that perfect gift for that special someone, make sure to lock your car door.

"There really are increases in theft and burglary" during the holiday season, said Chief Deputy David L. Bennett of the Cache County Sheriff's Office.

Bennett said the biggest cause of break-ins to cars are things that are seen within the cars. "Purses, gifts, anything can be a target," Bennett said. He also said during this holiday season people tend to leave all types of things where they can be seen in the car, like gifts or money.

Bennett advises to put these things in your trunk or cover it with something.

"People are getting more and more brave about getting in cars. Most of the time it's real quick, they don't want to spend a lot of time getting in, a lot of 'smash-and-grab' jobs."

Locking your car is good, he said, but if they really want something bad enough they can get into it. The trunk of your car, however, is generally more secure. Bennett says he has never seen any trunks broken into.

"Auto-burgs" are plentiful throughout the county, but the most common places, according to Bennett, are park-n-rides and parking lots. Auto-burglary rates "don't really get better," Bennett said, "they're either staying the same or getting a little bit worse all the time."

Stolen cars are also a problem in the county, but most of the cars have still had the keys in the ignition.

Bennett has been Chief Deputy for two-and-a-half years, since the new Sheriff's Office Complex was built in March of 2004. The new jail in the Sheriff's Office is a new one, state-of-the-art and brings in several million dollars a year through state and federal programs. The jail was made because of a bond, and the money that comes in through these programs goes to pay that bond.

The jail at full occupancy can house 360 inmates, but is considered full at 320 inmates, said Bennett, so they can move around or isolate troublemakers. It is now considered to be at full occupancy, with "a lot of pre-sentenced people here," Bennett said. There are pre-sentenced federal inmates as well as sentenced state inmates.

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