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Rochester Police Beat March/April 2017


  • On March 2nd officers responded to a complaint from a resident stating their neighbor owns more cats than the village ordinance allows and they were causing damage to his vehicles. Officers spoke with the owner of the cats and determined she was within the limits of the ordinance. The officers informed her of the complaint and provided a copy of the ordinance to both parties.
  • On March 4th while on patrol an officer noticed 3 vehicles at an intersection on Route 29 and one vehicle had their hazard lights activated. When the officer was able to turn around the other two vehicles had already left. The remaining vehicle had two flat tires. Witnesses informed the officer that a female had gotten out of the vehicle and into another vehicle. They stated they were going to go to the police department. No one appeared at the police department. The officer requested a tow truck to remove the vehicle from the road. During an inventory search of the vehicle prior to being towed the officer found a small amount of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The registered owner was cited for abandoning her vehicle on the highway and given a civil citation for the cannabis and paraphernalia.
  • On March 9th A resident in the 300 block of Park St. reported when they woke up they discovered someone had run over their mailbox. The tracks in the mud and position of the mailbox indicated it was a truck heading northbound on N. Park Street. The officer patrolled the area and checked for vehicles with signs indicating they were involved and did not locate anything suspicious.
  • On March 10th officers responded to a complaint to criminal damage to property by a resident in the 400 block of Sattley St. He reported his house had been “teepeed” and his vehicle had been scratched. He requested a report be completed to document the incident.
  • On March 10th officers responded to a hit and run at Route 29 and South Walnut Street. John Compardo reported while he was stopped at a stop light another vehicle had struck his vehicle and continued southbound towards Taylorville. Compardo could not give a driver description or registration information for the other vehicle.
  • On March 14th at approximately 12:33 am, officers responded to the 200 block of E. Main Street for a burglary in which many firearms were stolen. Two firearms have been recovered. The investigation is on going.
  • On March 17th officers were notified by the Village Manager that there was a complaint about a resident raising pigs in their backyard on Circle Drive. Officers arrived at the address on Circle Drive and confirmed there were 3 pigs being raised in a pen. There is a village ordinance prohibiting such activities. The owner was notified and officially warned in writing that he needed to have them removed. A subsequent contact involving the same incident will involve a citation.
  • On March 19th an officer was contacted regarding an incident involving neighbors and their dogs. One neighbor was walking her dog on the sidewalk in their neighborhood when she and her dog were “charged” by a more aggressive dog owned by another neighbor. The neighbor with the aggressive dog told the first neighbor that she needs to walk on the other side of the road and not on his sidewalk. The neighbor with the aggressive dog has an invisible fence which does not stop his dog from leaving the yard. The officer contacted that neighbor and explained that he must be able to keep his dog under control and on his property. The neighbor stated he would figure out a way to keep his dog from running through the fence.
  • On March 20th Heather Stengal was stopped for an expired vehicle registration. During the stop it was discovered that Heather’s driver’s license was suspended. She was cited for driving while license suspended and warned for her expired registration.
  • On March 22nd an officer ran the registration of a vehicle belonging to Wayne Piepenbrink. Piepenbrink had a warrant for his arrest from Sangamon county for contempt of court. The officer made contact with Piepenbrink and confirmed the warrant with Sangamon County Dispatch. Piepenbrink was arrested and taken to the Sangamon County Jail.
  • On March 22nd Eric Ausmus was cited for no driver’s license and operating an uninsured vehicle.
  • On March 24th officers were called to the Village Park on West Main for a criminal damage to property report. It appeared that someone had broken into one of the sheds belonging to the Public Works Department. A Public Works employee checked the building and said it did not look like anything was taken but the door frame and door were damaged.
  • On March 28th Luke Meiseman was arrested and taken to Sangamon County Jail for driving on a revoked driver’s license.
  • On March 31st officers met with Sally Zimmerman, the Branch Manager for Rochester Bank & Trust in reference to check fraud. Zimmerman stated that on the 24th a black female with black hair, wearing glasses, blue shirt, blue jacket and dark pants claiming to be Mia Dotkinska cashed a check for $999.00. Zimmerman was later notified by her corporate office the check was fraudulent. Rochester is one of several other locations this crime has taken place by the same individual. The investigation is on going.
  • On March 31st Arthur McClain III was cited for Driving While License Suspended. The officer allowed McClain to contact a valid driver to remove the vehicle from the scene.
  • On April 3rd a new Rochester resident contacted the police department after attempting set up an Ameren Illinois account. Ameren informed the resident an account in her name had already been created. The resident had never opened any accounts with Ameren before. The services in her name were for an address in Jacksonville, IL and had a current unpaid bill with a balance of over $400.00. The officer initiated an investigation and contacted Ameren to obtain their Identity Theft Affidavit for the resident. The officer then contacted Jacksonville Police Department and forwarded them the initial report along with the Ameren contact information to continue the investigation.
  • On April 7th while on routine patrol an officer noticed a vehicle parked on the shoulder of West Main St. The engine was still running and the vehicle had a flat tire on the right front side. When the officer approached the vehicle he saw that the driver, Jacob P. Barth was asleep in the driver seat and it appeared that he had been driving on the flat tire long enough there was no rubber left on the wheel. The officer was finally able to wake Mr. Barth and immediately noticed the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. Throughout the officer’s interaction Mr. Barth he showed several indications of being impaired and when asked he admitted to drinking more than he should have. The officer had Mr. Barth perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and determined Mr. Barth was too impaired to be driving a vehicle. Mr. Barth was placed under arrest for DUI and taken to Sangamon County Jail where upon submitting a breath sample it was determined he had a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.153%. Mr. Barth was then cited for Driving Under the Influence and Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with a BAC greater than 0.08%.
  • On April 13th a resident walking their dog on a leash was approached by dog acting aggressively and not on a leash. The owner of the leashed dog feared for his safety and the safety of his dog so he began making loud noises and kicked in the direction of the unleashed dog in an attempt to scare it away. According to the resident this has happened on several occasions. A verbal warning for violating the village’s leash ordinance was issued in accordance with the department policy to the owner of the unleashed dog. A second violation will result in a written warning and third and any subsequent violations will result in a monetary fine that will increase with each additional incident.
  • On April 15th an officer stopped Ernestus A. Drake for speeding 44MPH in a 30MPH zone. After checking the driver for a valid driver’s license the officer learned that Drake was wanted on an arrest warrant originating in Tennessee. Sangamon County dispatch informed the officer the warrant was valid. Drake was arrested and taken to Sangamon County Jail.
  • On April 16th an officer was dispatched for a criminal sexual assault. During the investigation it became clear the actual crime took place outside of Rochester PD jurisdiction. The officer completed the initial investigation and collected the evidence from the hospital in Springfield and forwarded the case to the responsible jurisdiction for further investigation.
  • On April 17th an officer was dispatched to 3 Walberta for a disturbance. The officer conducting the investigation concluded both parties were at fault, arrested both and each person was charged with domestic battery. They were transported to the Sangamon County Jail.
  • On April 20th Amanda M. Gunther was stopped for driving while her license was suspended. She was issued a citation for driving while license suspended and driving an uninsured vehicle.
  • On April 28th a Village of Rochester Public Works employee reported that 6 thermoplastic coated perforated trash receptacles with dome lids had been taken. The total value of the stolen property is $2,274.00.

Criminal Reports

Criminal Sexual Assault – 1; Aggravated Battery – 0; Assault – 2; Fights – 1; Deceptive Practices– 2; Identity Theft – 3; Deceptive Practices, Credit Cards – 1; Possession of Controlled Substance – 0; Possession of Marijuana – 2; Telephone Harassment – 2; Theft – 2; Warrant Arrests – 2; Domestic Battery – 2; Criminal Tresspass – 1;

Traffic Reports 

Accident Investigations – 6; Improper Lane Usage – 2; Miscellaneous Offenses –8; No Registration – 3; No Drivers License – 3; Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle – 12; Speeding – 31; Suspended / Revoked Drivers – 9; Traffic Details – 0; Warnings Issued –49; Illegal Parking - 1; Hit and Run – 2; DUI -- 2

Calls for Service

Animal Related Calls – 16; Assist EMS Dept. / Other Governmental Agency – 15; Assist Other Police Agency – 17; Assist Schools – 3; Assist Fire Department –1; Building / Business Checks – 14; Burglar Alarms –7; Citizen Assists – 45; Disturbance – 4; Domestic Trouble – 1; Fingerprinting – 0; Lost articles – 3; Mental Cases – 1; Motorist Assists – 9; Suspicious Person / Vehicle – 13; Runaway – 1; Vacation Watches – 248;