A group of thieves has targeted vehicles from three different police departments in the Las Vegas area, six times over the past two months alone.
The latest casualty is a marked NHP vehicle, found smashed and now being held as evidence, according to News3LV. Officers say the damage was so severe that the NHP truck was actually pushed against a home.
“It appears they’re thieves first, going through neighborhoods stealing and this is their signature as they appear to leave,” said Metro Deputy Chief Tom Roberts. “They’re using an object to place on the accelerator and they’re launching these vehicles from either a short distance or in one instance a relatively long distance.”
In one of the incidents, NHP says the stolen vehicle caught fire in the trooper’s driveway. “If it weren’t for the quick actions of the NHP trooper that went out and turned off the burning car and extinguished the fire it could have caused significant damage to the people in the home,” Chief Roberts said.
“If we don’t stop them, they’re going to seriously hurt or kill somebody,” Roberts stated during a press conference on Monday, to announce a $1,000 reward in the case.
FOR THE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO BELOW: “These surveillance images show a pickup truck and sedan, and one individual seen briefly on foot, believed to be involved in a series of vehicle ramming incidents in various locations throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City. Most of the ramming incidents, using recently stolen vehicles, have been directed at unoccupied law-enforcement vehicles. LVMPD detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the multiple individuals who are putting lives at risk with these destructive crimes. A reward is being offered by calling Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.”
According to the Review Journal, “Since the incidents have all happened either late at night or early in the morning, getting any kind of identifying information about the suspects has been difficult. But a few home surveillance systems have caught the group scouting neighborhoods with two vehicles.”
Police have released video of several of the incidents. In one of them, a pickup truck and what looks like a Pontiac Sunbird or Chevy Lumina are featured as well as a possible suspect, jumping from the truck.
In the first incident on April 29, a Bureau of Land Management K-9 vehicle was hit by a van while in the agent’s driveway about 12:45 a.m., according to police. “Since then, five more police vehicles from Las Vegas police and Nevada Highway Patrol have been targeted by the group,” according to the Review Journal article.
The police department says it’s now modifying parking behavior for take-home units.