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To the Editor,

The CCN, 1-30-14, reported that Sheriff Tom Rieger will be retiring after his long career in law enforcement. Sheriff Rieger says he is leaving the sheriff’s office in “good shape” partly because of setting goals and completing them. Maybe the next sheriff, whoever is elected, would like to set some new goals too, such things as courtesy, professionalism, etc. On April 20, 2012, I discovered a break in at my farm/ranch located near Cooney Dam. Access was gained by cutting 4 barb wires next to the county road. My large, pole-style, steel shed was broken into by forcing a padlocked steel covered door. Various fuel cans, tools, gasoline and miscellaneous items were stolen. I estimate the value of them at about $500 damage to the broken door and damage to other doors on other buildings that they tried to get into, but failed was around $500-1000. Deputy John Croft was the principal representative from the sheriff’s office who investigated the break in, and initially followed up on the theft to apprehend the thief/thieves. I was told 2 “young persons” were involved, one had been located but not the other one. Some of the stolen items had been recovered by the sheriff’s officers and were being held as evidence, according to Deputy Croft.

They would be returned to the rightful owners later when no longer needed. From a photograph shown to me by Deputy Croft, I observed and identified some of my tools laying in the back of a pickup. Later, I called Deputy Croft several times but he was “never in.” I left messages but my calls were not returned. After several weeks and months of no action or feedback throughout the summer of 2012, I called Sheriff Rieger to find out what was happening but he “wasn’t available.” Finally, I wrote a letter to Sheriff Rieger explaining the situation and hoping to bring the matter to a close. The small monetary value involved dictated that was the right thing to do, because there were several loose ends left hanging. I dislike wasting so much time on small irritating matters and wasting the time of others too like the sheriff's office. However, I never got an answer to my letter from the sheriff. As of Feb. 1, 2014, I have not heard from the sheriff’s office on the matter. Even though the damages and thefts were of a minor nature, there are still certain principles involved that are applicable to this case and the manner in which Carbon County Sheriff's Office handled it. Such principles should not be compromised.

Maybe aspiring candidates running for Carbon County Sheriff, would like to include some principles as “goals” in their campaign: following up, professionalism and completed staff work would be as start. I do not vote in Carbon County but I pay property taxes. 

 

Bob Teegarden

Billings