Office of the Mayor

Mayor Buttigieg

and Deputy Mayor Neal

227 West Jefferson Blvd.

South Bend, IN 46601




September 3, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to inform the mayor’s office of the inability of three different police departments to help me recover stolen property, namely an iPhone valued at $600 and my designer Coach wallet with credit cards and ID valued at several hundred more. They refused to help despite the fact that I knew exactly where my iPhone was – 5020 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka, IN 46544 (Patrick Metals).

On September 2, 2014, while I was in the back room at my office in the JMS Building, 108 N. Main Street, South Bend, IN 46601, my iPhone and wallet were stolen from my office. I heard someone come in while I was in the back (I was only back there about 30 seconds). They did not come back to the office to talk with me, and were gone when I reached the front office. I presumed they were a janitor or other building employee, instead of a customer. Then I noticed that my iPhone and wallet were missing.

I proceeded to log in to iCloud, where I was able to activate the Find My iPhone application, which at first told me the phone was off, and then notified me when the phone was turned on and tracked its location, first from South Bend near Riley High School, through various stops in South Bend and Mishawaka, all the way to Patrick Metals, where it stopped.

During the migration of the phone from one place to another, I contacted the South Bend police department, who said that 9 times out of 10 if they accompany the owner of the device to its location, the owner is able to retrieve their property. They said that rather than filing a report, I should call back when I was 15 minutes away from the phone’s location and let them know to dispatch an officer, who would meet me at the phone’s location and get the phone back.

When we were 15 minutes away, we called the South Bend PD back, and upon learning that the device was located in Mishawaka, they transferred me to the Mishawaka Police Department. The Mishawaka PD, upon hearing my story, asked me to come down to the station to do a report, instead of meeting me at the location.

I went to the Mishawaka PD, they took my statement, and because the phone was located at a factory, refused to go there to locate the phone. Then after I left the station, they called me to say that actually they couldn’t file a report at all because the theft occurred in South Bend. When I told them that the SBPD had referred me to them because they couldn’t file a report either, they apologized but still refused to help me.

When I called SBPD back, I explained the growing story, and the officer transferred me to the front desk who was too busy to take any sort of report and asked for my number to call me back. Meanwhile, I was afraid that the perpetrator might get away.

After finally receiving a call back from SBPD and filing a report with them, I had to attend a meeting and could no longer attend to the issue. SBPD insisted I called Mishawaka and tell them that they had to come to Patrick Metals while I recovered my phone, and said that the Mishawaka PD is lazy and if they wouldn’t help me that I should insist on speaking with a supervisor.

Instead of talking with anyone else who couldn’t help me, I drove to Patrick Metals and began to look in the windows of the employees’ cars. However, the foreman who initially told me on the phone he would be happy to help, informed me that he could not let me do that. He did assist with a quick search of the bushes near the building, which of course turned up nothing.

On the way home, I called the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s department, who insisted that the address of Patrick Metals is in the City of Mishawaka and it was not their jurisdiction and they could not help me.

I am not being cliche or snide when I say that I certainly expected more from those who are sworn to protect and serve. Someone who knows the exact location of their stolen property should not be turned away from three different law enforcement divisions when they ask for help. The iPhone has now been turned off by the perpetrator and cannot be located. Had the SBPD, Mishawaka PD, or St. Joseph County Sheriff listened to me when I called, perhaps the thief could have been apprehended. As that is not possible now, I would like the police department to buy me a new phone and wallet. I am a proprietor of my own business, and because I cannot conduct business without a phone, I have been losing wages throughout this ridiculous situation.

I don’t want to bash our police forces. I respect the good work they do. However, last night, they did not do good work. I will think about this every time I make out a tax check because this is not what I want my tax dollars to pay for – subpar protection and service from our people in blue.





Office of the Mayor

Mayor Wood

600 E. Third Street

Mishawaka, IN 46544


Ron Teachman, Chief of Police

South Bend Police Department

701 W. Sample St.

South Bend, IN 46601


Kenneth Witkowski, Jr., Chief of Police

Mishawaka Police Department

200 N Church St.

Mishawaka, IN 46544


Michael D. Grzegorek, Sheriff

St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office

401 W. Sample St.

South Bend , IN 47635


Editorial Department

South Bend Tribune

225 W. Colfax Ave.,

South Bend, IN 46626



Elkhart Truth

P.O. Box 487

Elkhart, IN 46516-0487


The WSBT Stations

1301 E. Douglas Road

Mishawaka, IN 46545