Truckee police: Dummy dumping is no joke
April 5, 2005
TRUCKEE – When police officer Arnulfo Lopez thought he saw a body lying in the road in Tahoe Donner Friday night, he immediately stopped to investigate.
When he determined it was in fact an elaborate dummy made to look like a dead body, he starting connecting the dots – officers had responded to a dummy call earlier on April Fool’s Day. And a dummy had been found on Glenshire Drive near Olympic Heights six days earlier.
When Lopez noticed a woman fleeing into the forest from behind a nearby car, he promptly gave chase.
After a foot pursuit through the woods, Lopez reportedly caught up with Truckee resident Linda Adams, 49, and two juvenile males whose names were not released, as they were trying to hide on the deck of a vacant home.
All three were arrested in the dummy-dumping scheme that still has Truckee police officers scratching their heads.
“I would assume it’s just a prank,” said Truckee police Lt. Jeff Nichols. “I think (they did it) really just to see how we respond. A lot of people do that kind of thing – they want to see what the cops do and what firemen do when they respond.”
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Such responses can endanger police and others, as emergency personnel often respond to such reports at high speeds, with lights and sirens on, Nichols said.
According to police reports, further investigation of the Tahoe Donner incident revealed that Adams had driven the same two juveniles to Glenshire Drive on March 26 with two other juveniles, so that they could place a dummy in the roadway and watch the emergency response by the Truckee Police Department. The two juveniles suspected of being involved March 26 were arrested.
Adams had also allegedly provided the juveniles – none of whom were her children – with materials to manufacture the dummies, police said.
According to Nichols, Adams had been questioned by police at the scene of the March 26 dummy-dumping incident, but officers had no reason to suspect that she was involved with the case at that time.
Officers are still trying to determine how Adams and the four juveniles got involved in the scheme. Nichols said the parents of two of the juveniles involved believed that Adams’ husband had been taking them to the movies.
Adams faces counts for false report of an emergency, prowling and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, all misdemeanors.
“With these allegations, we need to keep in mind that there is a presumption of innocence,” said John Mohun, attorney for Linda Adams.
The four juveniles involved face charges of false report of an emergency and prowling.