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Santiago G. Bueno III, Fargo, Published December 11 2012

Letter: Inaction by the police peculiar and disturbing

After the Bison game on Saturday, my wife found a driver’s license in the Love’s/McDonald’s parking lot off Interstate 29 and 32nd Avenue South in Fargo. It belongs to a woman who lives in West Fargo. My wife went inside and walked through Love’s; she even went to the ladies restroom and didn’t see the owner. So, we went to the address on the license. No one answered. We did not feel comfortable leaving the license in the door or in the mailbox, so we went to the West Fargo Police Department.

My wife spoke with both Sari Supler and Officer Rex Johnson on Dec. 8 at 6:50 pm. Supler asked my wife where the license was found. My wife told her the location. Supler said since I found it in Fargo, we would have to turn it in to the Fargo Police Department. My wife commented that we had already gone to the address on the license and there was no answer. We thought since it was a West Fargo address, we would turn it in to the West Fargo Police Department. Supler talked with Johnson, and he told her to look up the license in the system. Then he proceeded to tell my wife that people move and the person probably lives in Fargo. He said since I found it in Fargo, they probably live in Fargo and didn’t update their address.

Supler told the officer that the address in the system is the same as listed on the driver’s license, but she tried two phone numbers listed and they were the wrong numbers. Since they couldn’t get ahold of the owner of the license, they told my wife they couldn’t do anything else. They told my wife to return it either to the Fargo Police Department or to an employee at Love’s gas station.

We feel like we’ve been given the runaround. We tried to do something good and instead have been referred to another agency or back to the gas station. One would think since Fargo and West Fargo are neighboring towns, they would have a working relationship. They obviously don’t work residents of Fargo/West Fargo.

We hear all the time that we need to guard our identity and that crooks are always looking to steal people’s identities. As a military family, we are very protective of our personal identifying information (PII), and we try to respect other PII also. This is why we did not leave the ID with the Love’s clerk (not saying they are not trustworthy), leave the ID in the door of the house or in the mailbox of the address.

We thought the WFPD would have seen that we tried to do the right thing and would have kept the ID and logged it into the system and/or tried to return it as the address is two blocks from the station. I’m sure that the same system that they look up the ID in has an area to say the ID was found and is now located at the West Fargo Police Department.

We are not looking for recognition; we are trying to do the right thing. I know that if my ID was lost or stolen, I would call the police department to see if it had been turned in. I would also hope that the police department would not let a stranger walk around with my ID.