Woodbury public safety
Anyone can be a crime investigator.
That may be the lesson of Woodbury resident Brian Cludy’s experience.
Cludy was present Thursday night for the Woodbury Public Safety Department’s winter recognition event. Actually, he was there to receive the Kargel Award, recognition for someone who performs extraordinary acts in the area of public safety.
Cludy’s extraordinary act involved getting burglarized and then trying to buy his own stolen camera back from the thief.
Public Safety Director Lee Vague recounted the story:
Cludy’s house was burglarized Aug. 22, 2009 while he and his family were home. The burglar made off with Cludy’s wife’s purse and a digitial camera. Other burglaries had been reported in the area; there were no strong suspects.
A few days later, Cludy found what he believed was his stolen camera for sale on craigslist, the online classified site. He set up a meeting to buy the camera, and notified police. Woodbury police set up an undercover buy operation and arrested the suspect. The suspect confessed to multiple burglaries.
The result of Cludy’s clever thinking, Vague said, was that police solved seven burglary cases, 11 theft from motor vehicle cases, and stolen property was returned to victims.
"The bottom line," Vague told Cludy, "is we never would have caught this guy without your work."