When you think of the Highlands Mommies, the powerful northwest Denver parents group we profiled back in 2010, you don't often think of hard drugs. But one vigilant mommy recently helped the Denver police bust three people for heroin and cocaine after observing what she suspected were drug deals going on in her neighborhood, including one in front of Pferdesteller Park. We spoke with that mommy, who asked not to be identified, and she had these words of wisdom: "Don't mess with the Highlands Mommies!"
The crime-fighting mommy in question has two young children under the age of three. She says she joined the parents' group upon moving to Denver a few years ago after several people told her, "You've got to join Highlands Mommies."
So she did, and in addition to notices about play dates, lost dogs and plumber recommendations, she noticed that some members posted warnings on the online forum about suspicious activity in their neighborhood. And this mommy had noticed some: About six months ago, she began seeing people in cars making exchanges at an intersection near her house. At first, she thought maybe it was divorced parents meeting up to hand off their kids. Or people meeting to exchange things bought or sold on Craigslist.
But then one night, she saw something that was unmistakable. A car pulled up and the person inside it sat there, waiting -- which was a usual sight. Then another car, a big white SUV, pulled up really quickly. The person in the car jumped into the SUV, which did one lap around the block and then dropped the person off. When the person got back into his car, he left the dome light on. That's when the mommy saw him "examining his purchases" -- and figured out that he'd bought drugs.
"And you know it's not weed anymore," she says, referring to the fact that marijuana is legal in Colorado and can be easily bought at recreational dispensaries. "Now when we see drugs in the neighborhood, we know it's something really serious."
She called the police, but she says "they didn't really do much until I put it on Highlands Mommies." Here's her original post:
Hi Mommas, For many months now, I've witnessed what appears to be drug deals going on outside of my home.... A buyer will park their car and wait for the dealer to arrive. S/he then jumps in the dealers car and they do one lap around the block before returning to their own car and speeding away. I once witnessed this happen right in front of Pferdesteller Park as children played, and on another occasion witnessed the buyer examining their purchases from my living room window after a purchase. The dealer is in a white SUV, and while I've relayed information on plates and car descriptions of buyers to the police, I haven't been quick enough to get the license plates on that speedy dealer. If you see any suspicious vehicles parking, changing cars, and returning quickly to their vehicle before speeding away, please report the incident to the police. It's hard to catch deals that literally happen "on the move," but if we can provide descriptions of the cars and times, we might be able to get them out of our neighborhood. Has anyone else seen this going on? Thanks for looking out!
That same day, another mommy forwarded the note above to the police. And three days later, the Denver police responded with a note of their own:
District 1 and the Denver Police Department would like to thank the Highland Mommies and a concerned citizen for helping us catch drug dealers in the West Highland neighborhood. District 1 was alerted by the group known as the Highland Mommies and a citizen of the neighborhood that there was drug dealing around one of the parks in the West Highland neighborhood. Officer Reiner quickly responded to their concerns by setting up surveillance in the area. During the surveillance, Officer Reiner observed a drug deal go down and quickly made contact with two involved individuals. Heroin and Cocaine were recovered from the suspects and they were arrested. The next day Officer Reiner located and arrested a third suspect who was in possession of a substantial amount of Heroin.
It is because of vigilant and engaged residents like the Highland Mommies and the West Highland citizen that help keep our City safe for everyone to live work and play. Thank You!"
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"It's nice to hear that when you do post something on Highlands Mommies," says the mommy who made the original tip, "they do take it seriously."@MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org