Cedar Rapids Weather
On Patrol With CRPD in Wellington Heights
By Justin Foss, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS - Within ten minutes of buckling in with Officer Wyatt Wardenburg, we're pulling someone over for a broken brake light.
Wardenburg works the night-shift on weekends. He's assigned to cover both downtown, and the headline grabbing neighborhood of Wellington Heights.
That area of town has come under fire for a rash of violent crimes. d, just last week, the police opened a new sub-station in the area to help prevent crime there and in other neighborhoods close to the downtown area.
"I think it's a pretty slow night for Friday night, for us," said Wardenburg.
It's raining, and it's cold. That means people are staying in, and Wardenburg says that also means we won't be swamped.
But, then, another call comes in on 3rd Avenue and 15th Street SE, in the heart of Wellington Heights.
"Subject was walking down the street and said he was robbed at gunpoint," said SGT Dominic Wibe.
Within minutes six squad cars arrive. The subject said he was walking when someone came out of a house and stole his money, all $900. He said it was from a student loan check.
The plot thickens when Wardenburg asks why his clothes aren't wet from walking in the rain.
"The more and more I talked with him, the more and more I started to think he wasn't telling the whole truth," said Wardenburg.
Hours later, detectives said he was never robbed, and admitted he lost twenty bucks on a marijuana deal gone bad. On top of that, police are considering filing charges for a false police report.
The next call comes in as a big fight at the African American Museum. It's a private birthday party and when we arrive, it's all broken up and the officers send the kids home. Officers said it turned out to be a "girl-fight."
In downtown, the officers check out the bars - unless there's a big event in town, this is a hit-or-miss for the police.
"Sometimes we have problems with over-service on a few bars, or capacity above limits, but for the most parts not major major problems," said SGT Ryan Aboteely.
Patrolling again in Wellington Heights, Wardenburg pulls over another car for a broken brake light. The area is a drug hot spot he said, so they call in the drug dog.
Police don't find any drugs, but they do find a pack of smokes and an opened beer, both illegal for these 16-year-olds to have.
After giving the teens a breath-a-lyzer, they all blew zero and were let off without a ticket.
While the rain may have kept some people inside, Wardenburg says what he did find was pretty typical.
"I guess you could look at tonight. I don't think Cedar Rapids has a problem," said Wardenburg.
Just last month the FBI released its annual crime stats for cities. and records show violent crime in Cedar Rapids went down last year. Although, burglaries went up.
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