UPDATED: Matthew Smith sought by police Friday night for active warrant

Many downtown residents upset by search activity
By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Matthew Smith sought by police Friday night for active warrant
Parolee found early Tuesday morning

By Carol Feineman
Lincoln News Messenger Editor


Many downtown Lincoln residents Friday night were upset by the law enforcement search for Matthew Smith, a 23-year-old transient and parolee.
More than 800 comments were posted within a few hours Friday on the Good Neighbors of Lincoln website. The majority of those postings either tried to get updates on whether Smith was apprehended or told residents to be aware of their surroundings.
Smith was taken into custody at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Lincoln Interim Police Chief Paul Shelgren: “After a short chase, he was found at a residence in the 300 block of D street.”
Friday's Lincoln Police search was aided by two Placer County and Sacramento law-enforcement helicopters and a Placer County Sherriff's Office canine search.
"Last night (Friday), at approximately 10 p.m, LPD officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of Poplar Lane regarding suspicious persons in front of a residence. Upon arrival, one of the individuals ran from officers. The individual was identified as Matthew Smith, who has an active warrant," Lincoln public information officer Jill Thompson wrote Saturday morning on Facebook. "Officers began a search for Smith and were assisted by helicopters from Placer County and Sacramento. The helicopters were in the air in their respective jurisdictions at the time of the call and were available to respond. Smith was not located and is still outstanding. No new crimes were committed and Smith is only wanted for the warrant."
The Lincoln Police Department staff told Friday telephone callers asking about the airborne helicopters to stay indoors and keep their doors locked.
On Saturday night, Lincoln Police Sgt. Matt Alves told The News Messenger that "safety was the reason people were told to stay indoors during the canine search" near the Auburn Ravine creek area.
Downtown residents were also advised to stay indoors during the helicopter flyover, according to Alves, "because they wanted the area to be as clear as possible with the infrared."
As of Saturday night, there was "no active hunt" for Smith, according to Alves.
"In reviewing the incident, nothing was stated of weapons involved and immediate danger," Alves said.

  A reader of this online story commented Sunday, “I think that it cost a lot of money for that episode, and to think for no new crime what a waste of our tax dollars.”

But interim Police Chief Shelgren said Monday that no expenses were incurred by the helicopter and canine searches.

“It did not cost the department or city of Lincoln anything,” Shelgren said. “The helicopters were already in the air covering their jurisdictions and responded to Lincoln and provided assistance in the search, then returned to their regular patrol. This is another example of regional cooperation that occurs all the time but generally goes unnoticed by the public.”