Among my favorite radio segments of the last 16 years I’ve been at Minnesota Public Radio is one a small group of talented individuals brought to listeners in the late ’90s: The Streets of Bovey.
The police chief in the small town — Terry Wilkey — died in 1998. Said an MPR story at the time:
Every week or so, Wilkey would write a list of what he’d been up to; items like, “Found an unlocked door at a business. We locked it.” Sometimes, Wilkey talked tough. In one column, he suggested a few nights in the Crowbar motel might straighten out a wrongdoer. Sometimes, details about Wilkey’s life would appear. He wrote about the difficulty he had renting a tux for his daughter’s wedding, because he was such a big man. He complained about what he paid for the wedding, listing the prices of flowers, food, and photographs. Each column began with a suggestion that know-it-alls should not read his words because they might overtax their minds. Each column ended with the advice, “Lock that door and get that license number.”
Though it’s been 10 years since The Streets of Bovey appeared in some fashion, I’m reminded of it today while reading a couple of police log entries in the morning paper. Oakdale –Found property/suspicious activity. A man found a plastic bag tied shut, with dry blood on the outside of the bag. Police located the bag on the west side of the road in the 2300 block of Grenadier Avenue. The bag contained fish heads. Police disposed of the bag. Oakdale — Animal complaint. A man in the 6200 block of Stillwater Boulevard requested assistance with a raccoon that was stuck in the siding on his house. the man called 911 to report the incident. A police officer advised the man how to remove the animal and it was removed without incident. Maplewood – Theft. At least three vehicles were broken into. A laptop, two camcorders and a digital Canon camera were taken from one vehicle; a purse sitting on the front seat was stolen from another vehicle; and a bag containing cash, a driver’s license and Social Security card were stolen from the third vehicle.
Lock your door. Get that license number. And take your bags of cash with you.
About the blogger
Bob Collins retired from Minnesota Public Radio in 2019 after 12 years of writing NewsCut and pointing out to complainants that posts weren’t news stories. A son of Massachusetts, he was a news editor 1992-1998, created the MPR News regional website in 1999, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started several blogs, and every day lamented that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.