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Modesto C-stores, Police Plan E-mail List

MODESTO, Calif. -- Convenience stores, mini-markets and gas stations here will soon be able to keep each other and police informed about crime trends and other concerns through e-mails, The Modesto Bee reported.

Under a plan outlined by the police department earlier this week, the businesses and police would communicate through an e-mail distribution list. Police could send businesses the latest crime trends, and businesses could send each other and police pictures of crime suspects from their surveillance cameras.

Roughly 15 business owners met with acting Police Chief Mike Harden and other police officers Tuesday. The businesses requested the meeting because of their concerns about crime and police response times to petty offenses, such as shoplifting and beer thefts.

"It was better than we expected," said Paul Grewel, who organized the meeting and owns an ampm store on Yosemite Boulevard. "It was very constructive."

Sgt. Brian Findlen said his department is collecting contact information and e-mail addresses from business owners. He believes the program can be up and running fairly soon. "We want this to occur quickly," he told the newspaper.

Before the e-mail distribution list debuts, Findlen said crime prevention officers will meet with the convenience store, mini-market and gas station owners to provide them with crime prevention tips and verify that they need to be on the list.

Modesto convenience stores can request to be placed on the e-mail distribution list by calling (209) 572-9658 for northeast Modesto; (209) 341-2987 for southwest Modesto; and (209) 572-9639 for southeast Modesto. Those in northwest Modesto can call any of the three numbers, according to the newspaper.

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