Recently the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notice of a phone scam that is apparently targeting seniors. The caller states that a “caring relative” has purchased a lifeline phone, but in order to install it a physical address is needed. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is reminding seniors and caregivers not to give out personal information over the phone. If you believe you have been targeted by a phone scam please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 760.878.0383 and report the incident.
For information on how to avoid scams that target seniors, visit the National Center for Aging website at www.ncoa.org/SavvySeniors.
Rollover on Hwy 203
On Wednesday, December 4, at approximately 7:45 a.m., a solo vehicle rollover traffic collision occurred on US-395, south of Hwy 203. A 2005 Chevrolet Silverado truck, driven by Daniel Lemke, was traveling northbound on US-395, south of 203. Traffic lanes of US-395 were coated with snow and ice, and R-1 chain controls were in effect with a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour. Due to unsafe speed, the driver lost control of the vehicle while driving northbound on US-395. The vehicle left the roadway and entered the snow covered center median of US-395, where the vehicle rolled an unknown number of times. The vehicle came to rest on its wheels facing toward the south. The driver had one small laceration as a result of the collision. He was treated and released at the scene by paramedics. Drugs and/or alcohol are not believed to have been a factor in this collision.
“Rollover collisions pose a serious threat, not only to the occupants of the vehicle that rolls over … but to the occupants of all vehicles near them. The driver of this vehicle was fortunate nobody was seriously injured. This collision again reminds us of the importance of driving the speed limit, in this case 35 miles per hour in the chain control area, as well as, the importance of wearing a seat belt, which allowed this driver to walk away” said Lieutenant R. D. Cohan, Commander of the California Highway Patrol’s Bridgeport Area.
False collision report leads to arrest
On October 24, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bishop Area office was notified by Northern Inyo Hospital of a collision victim that had been admitted into their care. An officer from the CHP Bishop Area responded to the hospital and interviewed a woman who claimed to be the victim of an injury traffic collision, which had occurred several days prior, and that likely involved an intoxicated driver. It was determined that the incident likely occurred in the June Lake area and the information was forwarded to the CHP Bridgeport Area office on October 25. Further investigation determined that the alleged collision occurred in the early morning hours of October 20. Weeks of investigative follow-up occurred which led officers to believe that no actual collision had occurred, and instead the “reported collision” was an effort to cover up a domestic violence incident.
Ultimately, with the assistance of investigators from the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, an arrest warrant was issued for the domestic violence suspect, Colby J. Coats, 30, of Mammoth Lakes. Suspect Coats was arrested for felony domestic violence and booked into the Mono County Sheriff’s Jail in Bridgeport on December 4.
The CHP does not normally conduct domestic violence investigations, however, this investigation began with the claim of “an injury traffic collision” and a significant amount of time had been invested in the investigation before determining there had been no traffic collision.