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Police Review Year, Investigate Robbery
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While the final figures were being compiled for 2018 crimes in the City of Action, Riverbank Police were also investigating an armed robbery, as Burger King employees were robbed at gunpoint on Thursday, Jan. 24 in Riverbank on Patterson Road. The suspect entered the restaurant before 9 p.m., pointed a gun at employees and demanded they open the safe, police said. The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of cash and then fled southbound on Jackson Avenue. The suspect was believed to be a young white man with blue eyes. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, pants and a mask with a skeleton on it that covered half his face. Contact Riverbank Police Services if you have any information about this incident.

Although the New Year has started off with the robbery, a few petty thefts, fights, stolen vehicles, battery, credit card fraud and vandalism, officials said there was some progress made last year in lowering the crime seen in the city.

With the close of 2018, Riverbank Police Services, RPS, had 14,648 cases generated including dispatched calls, self-initiated activity, arrests, and citations. There were 545 total custodial arrests, 47 injury traffic collisions with no fatalities and 28 DUI arrests. These figures cover the city limit, not rural areas surrounding the city.

“A new 2019 item will be the use of body worn cameras, which is something our office will be incorporating department-wide about mid-year,” stated Chief Erin Kiely. “This roll-out will include all Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Patrol Deputies, including those assigned to Riverbank Police Services.”

There are 18 sworn personnel that continue to serve at RPS.

“I think homelessness in Riverbank has become more visible, as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ‘Martin v. City of Boise’ case decision has certainly impacted some of the ways that law enforcement can address homelessness in public places,” added Kiely.

There is a new ordinance that will most likely be in effect by the Fourth of July, Chief Kiely explained, the Fire Protection and Prevention, Riverbank City Ordinance. The ordinance will be administrative (violators will be fined) and will limit the time of year that fireworks can be discharged within the city limits. It will also prohibit the discharge of dangerous fireworks (those other than fireworks with the safe and sane designation) in the city, regardless of the time of year. A first time offense for possessing or discharging illegal fireworks will be $1,000.

“Recent fire tragedies in California, resulting in the loss of many lives, have reinforced the need for all of us to take fire prevention seriously,” said Kiely. “I’m hoping that 2019 brings a peaceful year. That’s what I would like to see, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”