Wednesday, November 10, 2004

City Council's Pepper crime victim yet again

By Gregory Korte
and Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writer

MOUNT ADAMS - First, he was kidnapped and driven around the city by his captors. Now, a burglar has broken into his house and nabbed his DVD player.

City Councilman David Pepper good-naturedly spun his latest brush with crime into a political statement Tuesday: "As chairman of the Law & Public Safety Committee, I think it's important to look at crime from all ends.''

"I can't explain it," he said. "There's clearly a sign on me that says, 'Rob me.' "

The councilman was abducted in October 2002 and driven by his captors to ATM machines around the city, where they made him withdraw cash. Two men pleaded guilty in that case and were sentenced to prison.

This time, Pepper realized something was wrong about 8 a.m. Tuesday, when he awoke and found his girlfriend's cat, Cameron, in the house. The cat had been outside the night before, but apparently got in through the door the burglar opened.

Pepper then discovered his DVD/VCR combo player missing, as well as his girlfriend's necklace.

By the time Pepper called police to report the burglary, officers already had found the DVD player. Before officers realized the councilman's house had been broken into, they saw a man on the street carrying a DVD player, which Pepper later identified as his. When confronted by officers, the man dropped it and eluded them.

When the District 1 officer who responded realized who Pepper was, he told the councilman: The city needs more cops. Pepper's response: "I know. I just voted for that."

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