APD successful at solving crime


I read Lance Pugh’s recent article on the bank robber that got away. I was a detective for the Ashland Police Department for 28 years, and know exactly which robbery he is referring to.

I was not one of the officers who confronted the suspect at the door, but I was assigned to work the case. We identified the suspect in a matter of hours from an all points bulletin that came out from Florida prior to the robbery. The suspect was wanted there for a weapons offense and was a Canadian citizen. Boise Cascade had the only known fax machine at the time so we had Florida law enforcement fax us his picture.

This was probably the first use of a fax by Southern Oregon police. Once he was identified, we obtained a federal warrant for his arrest. Mike Miller of the Medford FBI office was the agent in charge of the federal side of the investigation.

A year or two after the robbery, our suspect was arrested by police in British Columbia after committing a robbery there. The suspect later pled guilty. In the 28 years I worked at APD, there was only one bank robbery where the suspect was not arrested. We know who did it but did not have enough evidence to prosecute. This suspect ultimately went to federal prison for committing another bank robbery in Oregon anyway. Lance got most of the story right, except the ending.

Unfortunately, without the facts, many will think that their local police are a bunch of buffoons, when I don’t believe that is the case at all. We have been very successful at solving crimes in this city.

Lynn Parlette

Volkart knows little of fascism

Fascism is defined as “a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”

How many American and Allied soldiers fought, bled, and died to free people from fascist governments in WWII and in Iraq? Derek Volkart’s statement is a vicious slur on all of them and all of the decent people who work in government to try to make this a good country.

My government is a lot of things, some of which I don’t like, but it isn’t fascist. I think Volkart should work in Iraq or Afghanistan where he could see the clear difference between fascism and freedom.

Chris Thompson

Fight back against vandals

I read the article headlined “Lincoln headed to storage,” (March 6) with deep sadness — sadness for the absence of the statue, sadness because it is statue of Lincoln and sadness that so few residents of Ashland have seen fit to contribute to the replacement of the head. What are we thinking? Where is our spirit, our sense of civic pride? Where is our determination to fight back?

Yes, fight back!

Failure to replace the head on the Lincoln statue and the consequent removal of the statue is saying to the vandals “You Win!” Go ahead and do what you want with the things which contribute to the beauty of our community and are part of its history. “We don’t care!” That attitude, that indifference saddens me and should sadden all who value our community.

What if each citizen of Ashland contributed one dollar, or half the citizens contributed two dollars, or a quarter of the citizens contributed four dollars toward restoration of the statue? There would be more than enough to replace the head under the current estimate. Perhaps any remainder could be applied toward a fence around the statue. A fence won’t prevent vandalism. A fence may slow the vandals down. There might even be ways to provide a motion detector alarm system within the fenced perimeter.

Please join me in “fighting back!” Tax deductible contributions for the purpose may be made to the Ashland Parks Foundation, 430 S. Pioneer St., Ashland. For more information please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 488-5340.

Walter G. Ensign, Jr.

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