Winston-Salem, NC MV Theft

Brian Freskos filed this request with the Winston-Salem Police Department of Winston-Salem, NC.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Ben Hallman

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to North Carolina Public Records Law (G.S. §§ 132-1 through 132-10), I hereby request the following documents:

Police reports for every motor vehicle break-in and/or larceny from a motor vehicle that occurred in 2015. I want to determine how many vehicle break-ins occurred in your jurisdiction and basic information about each, including what, if anything, was stolen. I want to see all the information contained in each police report, including, but not limited to, the time and location of each crime; the criminal's method of entry; the make and model of the vehicle; descriptions of what was stolen and where from inside the vehicle each item was stolen; victims' names, ages, addresses and contact information; and the narrative summary of what happened.

If this data is collated in a digital file or database, providing the results of a search query that yields this information would be an acceptable substitute to physical copies of the reports.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Ben Hallman

From: Ben Hallman

Given the quantity of reports that our request is likely to produce, we want to narrow it. Instead of requesting incident reports for every larceny from a motor vehicle in 2015, we are now only requesting reports for larcenies from motor vehicles in which a firearm was stolen in 2015.

We still want see all the information contained in the report, including, but not limited to, the time and location of each incident; the criminal's method of entry; the make and model of the vehicle; descriptions of what was stolen and where from inside the vehicle each item was stolen; the victims' names, ages and contact information; and the narrative summary of what happened.

Please also provide the TOTAL number of larcenies from motor vehicles that were reported to your department in 2015, no matter what, if anything, was stolen. All we need here is a number.

If this data is collated in a digital file or database, providing the results of a search query that yields this information would be an acceptable substitute to physical copies of the reports.

From: Lori Sykes

Mr. Hallman:

First, I would like to apologize for the delay in this response to your email request for information as to vehicle break-ins and/or larcenies from motor vehicles in Winston-Salem in 2015. Your requests, including the original and later updates, were forwarded to me while I was out of the office teaching for an extended period and again, I apologize for not having addressed them earlier.

Our crime analysis office is working on your request now and as soon as we have gathered responsive information and determined what specifically may be released pursuant to the North Carolina Public Records laws, I will be back in touch.

Thanks!

Lori

City of Winston-Salem
ONE TEAM
Committed to Excellence

All e-mails including attachments sent to and from this address are subject to being released to the media and the public in accordance with the North Carolina Public Records Law.

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you Lori!

From: Ben Hallman

Hi Lori,

Any update on this request?

From: Lori Sykes

Mr. Hallman:

Yes – thank you for checking. I received one summary report from our Records division but I want to be certain we are responding correctly to your requests. Here is the last message I saw from you:

1) The total number of firearms reported stolen to your department in 2015.
2) The total number of firearms reported stolen from motor vehicles to your department in 2015.
I submitted on July 21 and 22 requests for police reports related to the theft of firearms from motor vehicles and asking for the total number of automobile burglaries in 2015. If you have not already completed that request, please complete this one first if possible.

I may be reading this incorrectly, but is Item 2 above the same request as was made previously for “police reports related to the theft of firearms from motor vehicles” for 2015? If I am reading this correctly, then your requests would be:

1. The number of reports we received of autobreakings in 2015

2. The number of reports we received of a stolen firearm in 2015

3. The number of reports we received of a firearm stolen from inside a vehicle in 2015

Can you please confirm that this is correct?
Thanks!

Lori

From: Ben Hallman

Hi Lori,

Nos. 2 and 3, I'd like to get the number of firearms that were stolen in 2015. We understand that a lot of cases may include the theft of more than one firearm, and we'd like that reflected in the data, if possible.

So, No. 2 should be, the total number of firearms that were stolen in 2015, regardless from where they were stolen.

No. 3 should be the total number of firearms that were stolen from motor vehicles in 2015. One question on this that's come up with other department is whether we'd like this number to include cases where a car was stolen with a gun inside, and the answer to that is yes, if possible, we'd like the number to include that.

If you can't tell us the number of firearms that were stolen, but only the number of reports where at least one firearm was stolen, please give us what you can.

From: Lori Sykes

Thank you very much for this clarification. I’ve forwarded it on to our crime analysis staff and will get you a further response tomorrow.

From: Ben Hallman

Thank you so much Lori!

From: Ben Hallman

Lori, I should say the scope of this project has expanded and we were planning on submitting another request for more years of data. Would it be helpful for you to close this request, and just have us submit another one for all the years we're seeking?

From: Lori Sykes

Well the delay has been my fault completely so I will have us do whatever is most convenient for you!!

If we are all on the same page as far as the specific data requested and the ability to pull it from our system in the format that you are requesting, then it will be no trouble at all to add additional years.

From: Ben Hallman

No worries! How about we do this so we don't have two requests seeking different years: I'm going to mark this request in our system as "withdrawn" and we'll just submit a whole new request with all the years that we're now seeking.

From: Ben Hallman

For the new request, we're going to send via a different account: foia@thetrace.org

From: Lori Sykes

Mr. Hallman:

Pursuant to our recent email communications, I'm attaching two reports for you to take a look at. The first reflects the total number of firearms reported stolen for the calendar year 2015, regardless of from where they were reported stolen. The second lists the number of firearms stolen from vehicles for the same time period.

If these reports answer your questions, then we can run the same criteria for the other years listed in the email request from The Trace, which, if I understand correctly, is now consolidated with your previous requests.

Thanks!

Lori

City of Winston-Salem
ONE TEAM
Committed to Excellence

All e-mails including attachments sent to and from this address are subject to being released to the media and the public in accordance with the North Carolina Public Records Law.

From: Ben Hallman

Yes Lori that is perfect. Thank you for compiling that info. And yes if you could run the same for the other years, and either send to me here or The Trace email address.

From: Lori Sykes

Dear Mr. Hallman:

In following up on requests from you (through "Muckrock") and from "The Trace" regarding certain information pertaining to firearms, this will confirm that on November 4, 2016, you were provided two reports: (1) a report of the total number of firearms reported stolen in the City of Winston-Salem for calendar year 2015, regardless of the place from which they were reported stolen; and (2) a report listing the firearms which were reported stolen from a vehicle during that same time period.

Subsequent to the providing of these reports for calendar year 2015, you made an additional request for the same information for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

I am attaching reports from our crime analysis staff which are responsive to this additional request with one exception. When these reports are run automatically from our system, they include a listing of not only firearms stolen but also certain other pieces of property that are included in the same category ("Property Code 19") as firearms. Examples would include ammunition, knives, air rifles, pieces of firearms (such as a single barrel), etc. When the crime analysis staff ran the report for your initial request for information as to a single calendar year, they voluntarily went through the report and deleted any item that was not a firearm. As you may be aware, editing a record in this way is not required under North Carolina's Open Records law. Accordingly, in this response to a much more involved request for information, we are providing only the reports as they print automatically from our database - your staff will need to review the report for each year in order to determine the number of firearms reported stolen. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me directly at 336-409-9227.
Thanks.

Lori

City of Winston-Salem
ONE TEAM
Committed to Excellence

All e-mails including attachments sent to and from this address are subject to being released to the media and the public in accordance with the North Carolina Public Records Law.

From: Ben Hallman

Hi,

Thank you so much for your help with this request, and please pass along my thanks to whomever also assisted. We really appreciate it! One question: Can the department provide the info for guns stolen from vehicles 2006 to 2014?

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