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Business owner: YPD refused to respond

Published: Sat, March 14, 2009 @ 12:06 a.m.

By John w. Goodwin jr.

Officers said the man did not supply enough information to complete the report.

YOUNGS-TOWN — A western Pennsylvania businessman is upset that an employee drove off in his truck in Youngstown, but his biggest complaint is with the police handling of the investigation.

Anthony McGeachy, 34, of New Castle, Pa., owns and operates Fabulous Finishes Building Maintenance. He said the company was contracted for work on floors at a church on Indianola Avenue in the city earlier this week, but one of his employees drove off in a 1995 Ford van belonging to the company and did not return.

McGeachy filed an unauthorized- use report with the Youngstown Police Department on Wednesday, and learned at that time that his employee filed a false Social Security number with the company.

McGeachy set out on a quest to find the missing van, locating a girlfriend of the employee and continuing his search.

Ultimately, McGeachy said he did find the employee, a man who had been at the company since October, on the South Side of the city still driving the van. He followed the man and called police, but said the department refused to send an officer.

“The exact words were that they would not send a car because me, the owner, knew who took the car and it was an unauthorized use,” he said. “I had the potential chance of recovering my vehicle. I had the potential chance of saving myself a loss, but they didn’t help me do anything.”

Detective Sgt. Anthony Longmire said the department, as with every reported case, takes McGeachy’s situation seriously. He said the case involving the company’s missing van involves a newly implemented police department policy and a lack of information on the part of McGeachy.

The department, in a memo dated March 9, implemented a policy that changes how reports of unauthorized use are handled. According to the memo, reports are completed as normal, but not immediately entered into the database as stolen. Those filing reports are told to touch base with the auto theft division, which may wait a period of time before placing the vehicle in the system.

The change in policy deals only with reports of unauthorized use, not stolen vehicles.

Longmire said the policy change was made to avoid a flooding of the law enforcement database with cars that will ultimately be returned, or cases where the person filing the report has no plans on filing actual charges. He said many people were using the unauthorized use system to locate cars borrowed by family members or others and would refuse to follow through with charges once the vehicle was returned.

Under the new policy, reports deemed to be “drug give ups” in which a person gives the car in exchange for drugs, or a business is involved as with McGeachy, the vehicle is entered into the system as stolen immediately.

Longmire said McGeachy’s van was not entered into the system immediately because the person he listed as having the van, according to the Social Security number provided, did not exist. He said officers cannot put a warrant out on someone who does not exist.

Longmire said he cannot say why no officer was sent to the scene when McGeachy claimed to have found the van, but said it may be in part due to the van’s not being entered into the system as stolen.

“I can’t think of any policy where the department will not look into a situation if there is a complaint,” he said. “This is just a unique situation with Mr. McGeachy.”

The van had not been recovered as of late Friday, leaving McGeachy frustrated and complaining about what the situation may do to his insurance.

Longmire, stressing how unique McGeachy’s situation is, said he does not foresee problems with the new policy going forward.

“There will be some inconveniences along the way, but I think the greater good will be served,” he said.



1ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

This is just the latest example of YPD bungling. So you can't report a car as stolen if you don't know who has it and don't have a SS number to give? What a crock!

I think YPD has forgotten why the exist. They exist to serve the public, not keep their computer system from crashing! Early intervention on their part can keep an unauthorized use situation from turning into a stolen car case, but instead of solving situations early on they would rather wait until they escalate into something that will add to the caseload of the municipal courts. I vote no confidence in the YPD.

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2Tugboat(759 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Ytownsteelman - the article reads, "The change in policy deals only with reports of unauthorized use, not stolen vehicles."

Ask any officer from a bordering jurisdiction how many times they have come across vehicles entered into the database as stolen by YPD and subsequently discover that the vehicles had been recovered by the owner but the owner failed to let Youngstown know. This does nothing but set up cops for the anxiety of a felony stop which turns out to have been unecessary.

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3debraweaver(30 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

It would seem logical that when the victim reported the van and the SSN of who he thought was driving it that the YPD would respond to him and tell him that the SSN does not exist. It would seem that at that time the car would be deemed a stolen vehicle. Simple honest communication between those in positions of authority and the public would often save misunderstandings and problems such as this. People who are in positions of authority need to actually "listen" to what is being said to them instead of assuming that the average person on the street doesn't know anything. I understand this man's problem as I too had a car stolen and ultimately I had to find the car myself, which is dangerous to say the least, but often the only recourse.

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4apollo(1227 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Tug, this is a little different since the guy was actually following the unauthorized use vehicle and they (YPD) refused to intervene.

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5apollo(1227 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

I can see a day where when I catch a robber in the act and start chasing him and realize it's a neighbors kid, I'll call the police and they'll tell me sorry, but since I know who he is and I can possibly apprehend him, we're not sending anyone out!

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6CityDweller705(16 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps the owner needs to take some responsibility as well. Hiring people without valid Social Security Numbers? Did he do any background checking on his employee before trusting him to operate his equipment and vehicles? Also, NOTHING is preventing him from filing the charges on his own ... will he? Probably not, he only wants his van back. See YPD's problem?

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7yguins4(18 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

I for one would love to hear the 911 tape of the operator telling the man no one would respond. I have called 911 many times because of where I work and have never once been told they would not come. I have been told it would take a wile due to other more serious issues but they always responded no matter how little info I had given them. If you dial 911 and say you need help they have to respond. I think there is some missing information in this story.

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8cityguy(109 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually, hate to say it but I too have called and been told not to expect a speedy response--the call was about a strange man literally stumbling around the neighborhood late at night peeking in windows, likely looking for a robbery target. When they did come they drove by the corner, without actually turning on to my street put a floodlight on it for about three seconds and drove off--never even turned the corner or got out of the car. Honestly, how do you expect people to feel even remotely good about a city when you are told not to expect a quick response. Two days later, guess what? Two homes on my street were robbed.

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9computer_rick(137 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Hey Y-TownPride, what's up? Where's the snappy response? I agree with several of the posters.

Basically, the YPD has had so many issues up to this point with folks who do not want to follow up with charges on a stolen car, then why bother?

I personnaly would like to see the same policy implemented across the board, i.e. drugs, gambling, murder. Oh wait... These WERE all implemented years ago under Philomena.

"We, the proud memebers of the YPD, no longer make arrests, because the D.A. and the courts of Youngstown are obviously in many cases corrupt, and many legitamate arrests result in nothing more than a few extra bucks for some lawyers and judges..."

Of course, that was all in the past....

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10computer_rick(137 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Man, I can't spell for $%^! when I get riled up.... (Sorry)

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

So if someone you know steals your vehicle it is not theft. Sounds logical to me. YPD is just trying to preserve the culture of Youngstown. This all blends in with allowing known crackhouses to exist.

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12gmann415(268 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

the POLICE cant make a report on a xtolen car or truck, but yet they can ask for funding for their poor work. how grrrrrrrrrrr8888888888!!!!!!!!!!!!

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13DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

First of all John Goodwin Jr., your writing skills are fantastic:
"but said it may be in part due to the van’s not being entered into the system as stolen."

You obviously cannot or will not edit, are not totally familiar with grammar, or both. John Goodwin Sr. must be a big shot down at the palatial Vindy offices because nepotism is the only way you could get this job. Hack.

Secondly, it appears as though the business owner should have listed the van as stolen immediately. I understand his initial actions but, the van really was stolen when the employee did not return. Also, don't hire people form the South Side of Youngstown. Or, when the employee puts down his social security number as 123-45-6789, you should probably check it out.

Thirdly, I understand the Sergeant's (see possessive works here Goodwin Jr.) rationale in regards to the new law. City workers cannot be expected to input all that data into the system. Their fingers be gettin' tired and they cannot text they friends as much.

Here's the best line of the entire article:
“I can’t think of any policy where the department will not look into a situation if there is a complaint,” he said. “This is just a unique situation with Mr. McGeachy.”

Here are some other quotes that stem from the same reasoning:

"I smoked weed...but I did not inhale."

"I accept the nomination for Secretary of Treasury...but I cheated on my taxes."

"I was playing footsies with that dude in the public bathroom...but I am not gay."

"I just inherited the biggest deficit in American history...now I am going to double it in three months."

"I did a lot of cocaine, drank a lot of whiskey, and piggy-backed on my father's reputation...but I can lead this country."

"Gay marriage is an abomination to our society...but my daughter is a lesbian."

etc., etc.

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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

"Why not make it legal to steal a car?"

Jay will look into it. This could save the city a lot of money in paperwork. Also with an arrest record it would make it harder for the crackheads to get jobs. What do think Jay?


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15baboo(43 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

See what happens when you don't make your protection payments!

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16fess2it(30 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

I listen to the scanner everyday, on Sunday a lady reported the boyfriend beat her up & took her car, after the police looked for her car for 45 minutes and found it, she did not want to press charges!!! If I was a cop, the next time she she plays her game, she would be ass out!!!

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17papa44471(25 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

These are the end of times folks! You ain't seen nothing yet. This old world is going down hill faster and faster as America gets more and more corrupt. Repent America!

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18dls44471(6 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

I totally understand everyones postions on YPD, I have had to make a few calls or my grandparetns did as I was growing up, even 15 years or more ago. And it took them forever to get there, but quess what, they never wanted to do anything. Our house was at one point broken into, they didn't get anything the first time. But we had to fight them to make a police report cause we had to get a big window replaced through our homeowners insurance. Well nothing but a week later, with the new window, these guys break in again, through the same window and wipe our house out, all the tv's, stereo, microwave, computer and all of our frozen food. They even had a few cans of the beer that was in the fridge. Ok so YPD was pissed cause they were coming out to the same house twice in one week for the same call. Well don't they think if maybe they should have finger printed the window sil or something to possibly get them the first time they did it. HELL NO! Well the second time they meaning the YPD force, was at our house for 10 hours inventoring and finger printing everything! So much time coulda been saved.

But the employer should have did some form of back ground check on this guy, espeically doing construction, vehicles being used and things of that nature. You are SUPPOSED to be insured/bonded when you do that type of work. As well as with the insurance on your vehicles, they are covered if they are registered under a business and you don't have your employee on the policy! Maybe he should have done his part before complaining that its all YPD fault!!!!!!!!

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19Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Many at YPD are dedicated to doing good police work but some don't like the paperwork involved so they dont give justice a chance. Only when the invader gets killed by the homeowner or a tenant is there a 100% chance of a complete investigation.

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20blkpride(186 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Clueless, the whole lot of you. Take the next test and you do the job then! That's right you are too scared or less qualified.

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21ytownwoman(3 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

The fact of the matter is Mr. McGeachy is no better and his license I am sure isn't valid, and I am sure he knew his employee wasn't either. He didn't report the van stolen, he reported unauthorized use, that changes the whole situtation. When the police say this is a "unique" situation because of the circumstances because they know the facts and that was flows out of McGeachy's mouth is bs. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones!!

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22ytownwoman(3 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

Ya well McGeachy should keep his people's mouths shut when they come into public places and talk about paying this man to take his van so he can trash it and collect the insurance. Further more, Mr. McGeachy has warrents himself and it totally blows my mind that he even went to the police. He is a criminal and he will pay, he's pretty dumb so it's just a matter of time till he gets busted.

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