Officer mistakenly allowed burglary, probe finds

Breann Hall

ELKHART — An Elkhart police officer has received a one-day suspension for allowing a civilian to take a stroller from another person’s residence.

According to an internal investigation, Patrolman Breann Hall was called to the 2100 block of Ash Maple Lane on July 4. After making contact with the caller, Hall was told that four cats and a dog had been left unattended inside an apartment for one day or more. Hall noted that animal urine and feces could be smelled from outside the apartment.

The maintenance worker for the complex later unlocked the apartment, and Hall entered, allowing the maintenance worker and the caller to follow. Hall verified that the animals were safe but allowed the caller to take the dog outside to give it food and water. The Elkhart County Humane Society was called but did not respond.

While Hall was checking the apartment, she allowed the maintenance worker and caller to walk around the apartment. The caller then found a stroller and said it belonged to her. The maintenance worker said he had seen the caller walking with the stroller in the past. Hall then allowed the caller to take the stroller.

The next day, officers were called to the same apartment as the resident wanted to file a burglary report. The victim reported cash and a stroller to be missing but did not wish to file a report for the missing stroller.

During the investigation of the burglary, it was discovered that Hall, the maintenance worker and the caller had been inside the apartment at the time of the burglary. An internal investigation using footage from Hall’s body camera found she did not remove the stroller or the cash.

The burglary victim has since stopped cooperating with the police, according to Police Chief Chris Snyder.

Hall’s punishment is a one-day suspension without pay.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter at @ReadRasmus

(12) comments

fire111

So Rasmus S J...A young cop with little street experience, makes a minor mistake, is punished with a suspension, when a letter in the officer's file would certainly suffice. With your answer, the powers to be have admitted it was not a serious violation.

Joe King

But it happened. Its newsworthy, and I am pleased the local reporter in our local newspaper is doing his job! Keep reporting the facts going on in the city and surrounding areas... Without local journalist, many of us won't know what is happening....

RasmusSJorgensen Staff
RasmusSJorgensen

It's not for me to say what punishment officers or anybody else should receive for missteps. I'm not sure if you are arguing that I should not have written this story. If so, I'll say this: It's pretty rare that officers receive unpaid suspensions, and we actually tend to report when officers receive written reprimands. Add to that the fact that the officer essentially allowed a civilian to remove property from somebody's home, and I think this is newsworthy. But, again, I am not here to argue whether the suspension was too harsh or too lenient - I'm simply reporting what happened, and then it is up to you and everybody else to form your own opinions about it. If you disagree, let me know and I will take your thoughts into consideration in the future. You can respond here or to my email, which is rjorgensen@elkharttruth.com.

fire111

Yep Rasmus, you ain't heard the last from either this chief or the so called merit commission. The judge May have some idea what a cop does but I wondering whether the Chief suspended Hall before he honored her or after! And please don't get drunk... it's immoral! And I seem to have missed any connection between property rights and civil rights. Can ya help me correction?

FlyNavy

Fire111, if you are going to hear anything from the current Chief, it better be soon. I suspect there will be a new Chief when the new Administration takes over. Certainly the #2 better be gone.

3450983450983

It might appear 'picky', fact is, nobody is supposed to remove something from someone else's property. Just an unfortunate event, however, the police should have not allowed any stranger in the house in the first place, and certainly not for them to remove anything.

59wall

I do not understand why patroller Hall should be punished. She answered the call to 911, took appropriate action regarding the animals inside, and acted on the testimony of the person responsible for the apartment. If they decieved her to accomplish their goal, how is this in any way her fault?

fire111

I am wondering if this suspension went in front of the so called merit commission!

correction

Say Fire!?Are property rights tied into civil rights? Seems to be a vast misunderstanding here.

RasmusSJorgensen Staff
RasmusSJorgensen

This did go to the Police Merit Commission, but they have no power on "minor" incidents, which this qualifies as. It simply went before the commission as a communication from the Police Department.

Joe King

please explain "so called"......

3450983450983

You don't understand the surroundings of theft. Typical.

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