Welcome to the Buffalo Waterfront

August 16, 2008

The City of Buffalo opened a new greenway on the waterfront just below Downtown on Thursday. By this morning, the criminals have already found it to be a great place to do crimes.

This morning the lovely Lettuce and I decided to go for a walk on Buffalo’s newest trail. As I was pulling into the newly-created Bell Slip parking lot, a Canadian car with bikes on a rack couldn’t decide where to park. To avoid fuss and a possible accident, I parked in a spot closest to the road.

As we were walking towards the trail, we noticed some broken auto glass in an empty parking space. Both Lettuce and I didn’t pay it much mind figuring that the break-in happened overnight. We certainly didn’t even consider the possibility that a car could be broken into during the daylight hours next to a well-traveled road.

We walked on the trail for about 45 minutes. As we were almost back to the parking lot, we noticed that a couple with a toddler in a stroller was standing next to their yellow SUV and the woman was obviously upset and yelling. Lettuce first thought that the couple were having a fight. Then we both thought that perhaps something happened to the toddler. It wasn’t until we heard the phrase “credit cards” and saw broken auto glass next to their vehicle that we realized what happened.

Apparently the thieves took the woman’s diaper bag that, unfortunately, contained her wallet with credit cards but, fortunately, no cash. The man asked me if I had a cell phone that he could to call the police. Of course, I gave it to him. The woman was still very upset and Lettuce gave her a hug and tried to comfort her.

The man ended up calling 911. At first, there was some confusion as to the exact jurisdiction the parking lot was in. Unfortunately, the parking lot was still within the city limits of Buffalo and the man found out that it would be at least 45 minutes before a police officer would arrive. The City of Buffalo Police Department has a reputation, deserved or not, that they do respond to property crimes promptly.

We waited with the couple for about 30 minutes and the police still hadn’t come. In the for what it is worth department, Police HQ was about a 5 minute drive from the parking lot.

I asked if they wanted to use my phone to call anyone else before we left. As fate would have it, the woman’s parents were on a trip out of town so they didn’t really have anyone that they could call.

We wished them luck and left. I hope that everything is ok with them.

Lettuce also blogged about this incident