Some back-story is in order: The suspect mentioned below was caught by Officer Edwards stealing a bike from a street sign to which it had been locked. He removed the sign face from the post, and then was in the process of lifting the bike and lock over the top of the sign! The man was arrested, but that's not the end of the story. Officer Zabavsky picks it up:
Unfortunately Mr. Teals [sic] case was "No-Papered" by the US Attorneys office the following morning. The US Attorney stated that since there was no complainant for the bicycle theft, they would not go forward on that charge, and as for the Destruction of Property charge, the attorney stated that since Mr. Teal carefully unbolted the signs using a wrench and placed the signs down, that they would not go forward with that charge as well and he was released.
On the bright side, I happened to be traveling in the 1200 block of Massachusetts Ave on Friday night and heard a car horn beep several times. As I looked over at the car, I observed an individual leaning through the right rear passenger window of the vehicle. The individual then looked up and observed my police car, exited the window and walked off. I exited my car and approached the parked vehicles window and observed that the window had been smashed and the vehicle was ransacked. I then got back into my car and stopped the individual around the corner on 13Th Street. The individual that was stopped was no other than Mr.Teal. He had stolen several CD's from the vehicle which had New Jersey license plates. After leaving numerous voice mail messages with his family and friends, using phone numbers that were located in the car, the complainant, who was visiting friends, called me back in the morning as I was heading into court and he wants to go forward with the prosecution. The case was "Papered" with the attorneys and Mr. Teal is being held in jail pending a detention hearing on 8/29/07. I also asked for a stay-away order for most of PSA 307.
Most of the Theft from auto suspects target out of state vehicles because it is very difficult for the police to locate the owner before the case has to be papered. In this case, the owner made himself a very easy target by leaving his I-pod, two large CD cases, 2 suits and other assorted items out in plain view inside his vehicle. Please remind your friends when visiting to make sure all items of value are removed from the vehicle or at least placed out of sight and into the trunk.
Major thanks go out to both Officer Edwards and Officer Zabavsky!