St Clair Police Department (why people are taking care of their own business)

It all started for me almost three years ago.  In all of my years living in St. Clair, MI 48079, it marked a new era for myself and my young family.  The era of locking my doors and living my life being suspicious of everyone who walks into my house had now begun.  Locking my doors was not the end of the world, but living under a cloud of fear and unknowing is no way to live.

I wasn’t sure if my wife just needed bowling money.  The second time it happened that week, I started to wonder.  We then realized that someone was entering our house at night, and cleaning out wallets and purses.  After verifying none of our family was at fault, we filed report with the St Clair Police Department.  No one has since been arrested and obviously nothing has been returned.  I still harbor a sense of sickness in my stomach as I recall my wife and I forcing ourselves to go through our 3 and 5 year old’s bedrooms to make sure there were no large bills stashed.  (Part one of living in suspicion.)

A couple of months later, I made the mistake of leaving my truck door unlocked one night.  This time the culprits helped themselves to the basics; ashtray change, cell phone charger, and a few packs of smokes.  But what cost me the most was that they used my garage door opener to gain entry into the 24 by 24 building that sits in our backyard.  Marine stereo systems, tools, and bikes were taken in that incident.  A police report was again filed.  Same results as the first one.

Over the course of the next several months, various items have walked off of our property.  Items range from firearms to video game consoles.  I recently totaled the dollar amount of all of the items and it is in the neighborhood of $5,800.00.   The last few times, I didn’t even bother to go and make police reports.  They seem burdened by the notion of filling out papers.

About 2 weeks ago, at a vacant home that sits approximately 500 feet from mine, police were called as a man was seen loading items into a truck and trailer.  The man was not the owner, but simply a local idiot that thought he could make a few dollars pillaging.  The police were kind enough to let the man return the items and send him on his merry way.  After hearing about the “10th Street Thief,” I rushed to the police station with an updated list of all the items that have been stolen.  A pimple faced cadet with a squeaky voice informed me that all the “real cops” were out to lunch and that someone would contact me.  They didn’t.  I went back two days later, and talked to a different cadet.  Never a call back.

The man that was let go for the 10th Street incident has quite an interesting record.  I was hoping this crime would trigger a possible search of his residence.  Not the case.  I have yet to be contacted by the Police Department, and this criminal still roams the streets of St Clair.  Perhaps if there was a crime at the Tim Horton’s Donut Shop, a full investigation would take place.  But as for us common law abiding citizens, our needs are at the bottom of a priority list that includes stake outs near local taverns to enable the police harassment of patrons, and the big crack down on driving while text messaging.

They did find the time, however, to remove the signs my wife put up.  These signs told the tale of the robbery that recently left my children without their entire Wii video game system.  Sorry guys and gal of the SCPD.  Did the signs make you look bad?  Don’t worry about the signs, you are doing a fantastic job of looking bad all by yourselves.

I am not alone in my displeasure.  I will not list the many other citizens I have talked to on this same issue.  I am sure that while criminals freely roam the streets, I will pay for this whistle blowing.  Here comes the 5 over speeding tickets, taillight citations, and might I be lucky enough to have a bloody glove planted in my fishing boat?

Let it be known, criminals.  Like many other law abiding residents of this town we grew up in, I have replaced those guns you stole.  My family also knows how to load them and pull the trigger, and bullets are cheap.  Our police force didn’t have to murmur a word to let us know that we are on our own in this manner.  Their silence speaks volumes.  There’s a new sheriff in town.  He or she might not have a badge, but look in the mirror.  It’s you and me, folks.  We are on our own.

Erin Gottler

Fisherman, carpenter, vigilante.  (makes me sound a little like Jesus…)


About egottler

Fishing is my passion. I am currently Chief Fishing Officer at If there is a tournament in Michigan, I'll be there. If they are biting in the Upper Peninsula, I'll be there. When it's too rainy or dark to fish, I sit at my computer and write about it. I am always looking for better methods and products to make Michigan fishermen more successful and all around smarter anglers.
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6 Responses to St Clair Police Department (why people are taking care of their own business)

  1. Vicki & Dan O'Barsky says:

    NICELY said Erin…. I agree with you 100%. I’ve owned in S. C. for over 20 yrs. and I too have had MANY situations where need to contact the police has arisen. They never did anything to rectify any of those situations. We complained about a drug house in our neighborhood…, damage to our house…identity theft (which should have been easy to do something about, as we knew exactly which establishment employed the guilty party)…. I could go on. My disgust with the authorities is just one of the reasons we chose to leave S.C. and move to a neighboring city. I will say that I always left my doors locked on the cars in the driveway AND the house even if we were in the yard.. if I couldn’t SEE the door, it was locked whether we were there or not. While S.C. is a beautiful little town and the river is a definate attraction to the charm…it is just not a place where I want to live. It’s sad when we pay top tax dollars and can’t even count on our police protection. Maybe if these criminals were aware that citizens were armed with loaded guns in their homes, they might think twice about entering.

  2. Person says:

    wow its unbelievable how big of an asshole people can be. im sorry that you cant learn to lock your doors, i mean how do you get broken into that many times? thats remarkable that you dont know how to. by the way the city has an ordanance against hanging things on utility poles and it was the police that took it down sorry to burst your bubble. i hope someday you actually need a police officers help and they take there sweet time to get to your house, people are fast to criticise but come crying for officers to come to there rescue when they need it.
    i hope your family stays safe and that it stops happening dont get me wrong but learn to change locks and a garage door

    • egottler says:

      I said that I didn’t lock my doors when the crimes first started. What makes you think they weren’t locked in the more recent incidents? Do you know something? I am having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say in this sentence, “by the way the city has an ordanance against hanging things on utility poles and it was the police that took it down sorry to burst your bubble.” I thought is was the police that took it down, as I stated in my story. So who’s bubble are you bursting? Perhaps someone has broken into your home and stolen your “Shift” key!!

  3. firebetty says:

    To the “Person” who seems to be an officer of the St. Clair Police Dept:
    I think you fail to realize it’s your JOB to protect the citizens of the town, even if they criticize you. If you take your “sweet time” getting there, then it makes me question your work ethic, and the pride you take in your job. You work for the people…You get paid with TAX DOLLARS. The reality is, your department failed to help these people. I grew up in St. Clair, and I now live in Los Angeles – where it goes without saying that you lock EVERYTHING you own up. But there has always been a small town mentality in St. Clair, people never had to lock their doors, so for you to blame people for being broken into is not only insulting it’s ignorant.

    Also, the douche-bag tone of your message says a lot about you. This is why many in town think the SCPD is full of asswipes. You’re living proof.

    Don’t even get me started on your text message style typing.

  4. J Cook says:

    “To Protect & Serve…” the motto of most any law enforcement agency; unfortunately, words don’t mean much without action. I, too, have felt your pain Erin. Although I haven’t had to protect my property against theft, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to request help from the SCPD with little assistance and no closure.

    In reference to “PERSON” my issues with the police have nothing to do with theft; and in fact, are more closely related to your area of expertise (or lack therof)…city ordinances. There is a noise ordinance in town…explain to me how it is permissible for another resident to hinder the “peace and quiet” of city life with the obnoxious loud noises of motor-cross cycles ripping through the night air at 12:00 AM or later? More than half a dozen calls and the guy is still permitted to park his gigantic RV in the driveway (another city ordinance) while winding out the cc’s well into the night?
    Finally, and for future consideration, if you can’t put your name on it…your words carry very little weight.

    Explain to me again why their cruisers need to be painted black? What is the big secret with all the “new” SCPD vehicles? And we need multiple SUVs? Explain to me the mileage that they get cruising in the 25 and 30 mph zones of the city streets in the sweltering summer heat?

    I think its time for a review of priorities and an enhanced level of concern and focus.

    Thanks for sharing Erin…I appreciate the opportunity to respond!

  5. Dan Craig says:

    What is it about the words Crime Prevention that the SCPD does not uhdertand. I know that todays society is all about criminal Justice. Crime prevention is proactive not reactive, And when I can get sued for taking someone down or out that is in my house,then there is something deffinetly wrong with our system and it is time for a change. I also have my guns loaded and the SCPD will not be required at my house. However they will probabbly show up to complain about the noise. Perhaps we need a grassroots movement to move towards criminal punishment rather than criminal justice…..

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