Anchorage Daily News Editorial - April 15, 2003: Nice catches

Butte goes after the bums
A video camera catches thieves at the Bodenburg Butte's donations lock box. A tipster leads to the arrest of three Anchorage teenagers acccused of stealing two pickups and trashing them at Jim Creek. And a citizen's snowmachine chase helps lead to the indictment of Caleb Bennett for shooting seven reindeer at a local farm. Butte residents have decided they've had enough of being a magnet for some of Southcentral Alaska's destructive knuckleheads. They're using community cooperation, the Internet, renewed interest from the Alaska State Troopers and a $75,000 commitment from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to make life tougher for criminals in the neighborhood. The Butte isn't a knucklehead-free zone yet, but the honest citizens are starting to even the score by all the means they can muster. Perhaps more important for the future, they're sending a strong message that there's an active group of people who won't put up with vandalism, noise and idiocy and that they're getting organized in the fight against it. This summer may provide the test. Trouble usually increases with warm weather. Let's hope prosecution puts teeth in recent arrests and those who live in the Butte can enjoy a quieter, safer season.