Crime wave has Rifle police up in arms | PostIndependent.com

Crime wave has Rifle police up in arms

Carrie ClickPost Independent Staff

RIFLE – Over the past three weeks, Rifle police Chief Daryl Meisner and his staff have seen what Meisner describes as “a rash of criminal mischief” in and around the city of Rifle.But a police report regarding an animal mutilation case at Rifle Middle School Monday night has intensified Rifle police’s concerns.Rifle Police Department took a report on Tuesday morning that sometime during the night of March 31, someone put the head of a cat on the flagpole at Rifle Middle School. Investigators could not determine when the cat died, but there was some indication the cat was dead at the time of decapitation. “We look very carefully at a case like this, because animal mutilation can indicate someone with a sociopathic personality,” Meisner said. “It’s very unusual.”Under Colorado law, the Rifle cat mutilation case is considered a misdemeanor, according to Meisner. But police are treating the discovery very seriously.According to the Humane Society of the United States, there is a correlation between cruelty to animals and human violence. The Humane Society cites, among numerous examples, the late Jeffrey Dahmer, who was convicted of killing and mutilating 17 males. Dahmer admitted he mutilated frogs, dogs and cats when he was a child. And the late Ted Bundy, who is suspected of murdering more than 40 girls and women, witnessed his father’s brutality toward animals and tortured animals himself when he was a boy.Meisner said he can’t speculate on whether the gruesome discovery in Rifle has any connection to the March disappearances of four neighborhood cats around the Colorado State Veteran’s Nursing Home. Neighbors heard gunshots fired soon after two of the cats ran into a nearby gully. Meisner also said 29 windows of the middle school were shot out with a BB gun. The building was not occupied at the time. The same night the cat’s head was discovered at the school, Rifle police reported two individuals caused at least $2,500 worth of damage to the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle. Meisner said the offenders, among other acts of vandalism, discharged a fire extinguisher and damaged the fairgrounds’ public address system.Meisner said that so far, the department has “no strong leads” on who might be responsible for these crimes.”Right now, we have no way to link together any of these crimes, but we’re not discounting the possibility that they are related, either,” Meisner said. He added the department has to stay open to the possibility that the offenders could be either teenagers or adults, and male or female.” Meisner said Rifle’s recent crime spree has only strengthened the police department’s resolve to find those responsible. He said some members of Rifle’s police force are even staking out locations on their own time to catch the criminals.”They need to be stopped,” said Meisner of the offenders. “Our community will not tolerate this.”Meisner said he’s counting on the public’s help in pointing police in the right direction in its investigation.”Somebody in the community knows the answers to these crimes,” he said. “They need to come out of the shadows. And I’d really encourage cat owners to keep their cats indoors.”Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com

Any information regarding Rifle’s recent criminal activity should be directed to:-Rifle Police Department – 625-2331-Crime Stoppers – 945-0101. Callers to Crime Stoppers are not recorded and there is no Caller ID on its line. Additionally, callers may receive a reward payable if the information they provide leads to an arrest or conviction.


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