An Armed Robbery in Tupelo

Here’s another recent police report for you to evaluate. On October 29, police responded to an armed robbery at a shoe store inside a mall in Tupelo, Mississippi. You can read the police report at this link.

My evaluation: The report is objective and professional. The officer uses everyday language – a big plus.

I have several suggestions. First, I think portions of the report could be written more efficiently. For example:

I MADE MY WAY TO THE BUSINESS, WHERE I IMMEDIATELY SAW A WHITE FEMALE, THAT APPEARED TO HAVE DUCT TAPE AROUND THE BACK OF HER HEAD AND AROUND ONE OF HER ANKLES. I THEN NOTICED ANOTHER FEMALE LAYING FACE DOWN, IN ONE OF THE ISLES. I THEN STARTED TO ASK WHAT HAPPENED.

I would omit “I made my way to the business” and “I then noticed.” If you state what you saw and heard, it’s obvious you were at the scene in person and asking questions.

Another suggestion: You can save time by listing the information a witness or victim tells you. Of course you can’t write an entire report as a list! But lists are timesavers, and they should be used more often in police reports.

Here’s the victim’s original statement:

XX STATED THAT SHE WAS CLEANING UP AND CAME TO THE  REGISTER AREA TO GET TRASH BAGS AND THEN WENT TO THE BACK TO THE RESTROOM.  XX STATED THAT WHEN SHE OPENED THE DOOR TO THE RESTROOM, THE MALE WAS STANDING THERE. XX STATES THAT THE MALE CAME OUT AND STARTED BEATING HER IN THE HEAD WITH A GUN, CAUSING A CUT ON HER FINGER.

And here’s the same information in list format:

XX told me:

she was cleaning up and came to the register area to get trash bags

– then she went back to the restroom

– when she opened the door, the male was standing there

– he came out and started beating her on the head with a gun

 -he caused a cut on her finger

One more thing: The original report says that the suspect “drug her” into the bathroom. No! He dragged her into the bathroom. “Drug” is a pharmaceutical product. The past tense of drag is dragged.

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