Stupidity is something that amazes me. Maybe it is the drug induced haze that follows the mixing and cooking of certain chemical products, maybe familiarity with regularly committing a felony makes capture less certain. I don't know.
There was this fellow in our jail, serving the last 30 days of his sentence on work release. It was a pretty good deal for him, actually. He was allowed to leave the jail every morning at 7:00 a.m. and had to return every night at 6:00 p.m. He came and went regularly. One evening, the desk sergeant called the jail and asked him to move his pickup. It was parked in a tow-away zone, and all the guy had to do was come down from lockup, start his pickup, and move it fifteen feet. No problem.
Well, an hour later, he hadn't made it back to the jail, so we put out a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for his vehicle. He was listed as an escapee. He had about 20 days to do on his original sentence, and an escape charge carried a two-year sentence. We sent a cruiser to his girlfriend's house. No luck.
We sent a cruiser to his parents house. His parents lived way out in the sticks, in a fairly standard FHA home of the mid 60's. Three bedroom, brick veneer, with a single carport. You've seen a million of them.
When the cruiser turned into the carport, what should they see, but a fully funtional meth lab, burners on, bubbling happily away in the carport. A batch was brewing, but no one was tending it. So, the deputies knocked on the door. A middle-aged woman answered. "May I help you?"
The deputies were stunned. "Yes ma'am. There seems to be a meth lab in your carport. Do you know anything about that?"
"Oh," she replied. "Those are my husband's drugs. He brews some when he is running a little short." She contines "He had to run down the road for a minute, but should be right back. Would you like to see my drugs? I keep mine in the house." She turns and walks toward the interior of the home.
The deputies follow her. They have a plainly open door and a plainly worded invitation. This is better than a search warrant. They follow the woman down the hall, where she opens a bedroom door. "Here is where I keep my drugs." The deputies find about a dozen marijuana plants growing under lights. The Miranda warning followed shortly thereafter and the Haz-Mat team was called to take care of the factory under the carport.
Hubby was arrested when he showed up wondering what all the police cars were doing in his front yard.
The son, the original escapee? He appeared at the door of the jail at about midnite, blind drunk. He claimed he had gotten paranoid and had to have a couple of beers to work up the courage to come back to jail. His pickup truck was parked in that same tow-away zone. We towed it.