The Edge of the Known Universe:
Valley Police Department, Summer 1988
In 1988, the Omaha City Limits at Maple Street were more or less at about 114th Street.

The growth of the City of Omaha, particularly on the northwest side has been phenomenal!

When I was growing up in the late 1960’s, 90th and Maple Street, (Nebraska Highways 133 and 64,) was the western boundary of Omaha. When I started at Valley in 1985, the City Limits was at 108th and Maple… About a mile and a half further west. It then jumped to 120th Street, then to 132nd Street and so on… The building of new homes and businesses along this corridor has been moving at an unbelievable fast pace. Today, the City of Omaha has since annexed the City Of Elkhorn, which means it has grown well past Highway 31 or 201st Street.

In 1988, the Omaha City Limits at Maple Street were more or less at about 114th Street. Building and growth in the area of 120th and Maple was pretty active. Already open near the intersection was a large new convenience plaza, and a number of office buildings. South along 120th Street, between Maple and Blondo Streets, particularly on the west side of the street, the once endless cornfields were now being consumed by the construction of new subdivisions and new homes.

The theft of tools, building equipment, and large quantities of building materials from new construction sites in the county was a huge problem, and when such a thefts occurred, the value of the loss quickly rose into the four and five digit category. It was also difficult to catch these thieves in the act.

It was on one of these nights around 3:00 to 4:00 in the morning, when I was on my way from Valley to the Sheriff’s office at 114th and Dodge Streets in Omaha. My route on this evening was east along Maple, where I would take 120th south to Dodge Street. After crossing 132nd Street, I observed two sets of headlights turning off of 120th Street into a subdivision that was under construction.

Upon my turning south onto 120th Street, I observed the street name that the vehicles had entered was Stonegate Drive. This was in Sheriff’s Jurisdiction, so I contacted them by radio to advise that two vehicle had been observed entering the construction area at 120th and Stonegate. The area was so new; they had not yet had the new street name in their computer. They asked me to wait at the convenience store at 120th and Maple to meet their deputy to show him exactly where I was talking about.

Soon after, not one, but four deputies pulled into the parking lot. I told them about what I had seen, and then added, “See that street sign at the next intersection, about a block and a half south? That’s Stonegate Drive!”

Everyone nodded their agreement. The senior deputy said, “Ok! Let’s go check it out! Randy, you want to come along?”

We all mounted our respective patrol cars, and like the cavalry, we pulled out of the convenience store lot, and into the subdivision. Soon, we were surrounding a new house under construction where we lit up two Omaha Police cars parked in the yard. One patrol car was empty, while the other patrol car contained two Omaha Police Officers, a male and a female, who appeared to be practicing some sort of new search and seizure techniques!

Apparently, they had figured their supervisor wouldn't find them cooped up at this location well outside of their district. However, they did not count on being discovered by the Sheriff! It was pretty hard for all of us to keep a straight face while a deputy chewed ass as the two OPD cops got dressed. They were educated about the foolishness of having their rendezvous in what might be considered an area of frequent theft. Finally, they were pointed east, and told to stay out of County Turf unless they had legitimate business, etc…

The Field Interview Contact for the incident simply read something to the effect of “Two Omaha Residents were located in a residential construction zone, ten toes up / ten toes down, and were removed from the area.”

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