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Detective's Hunch Proves Solid in Spotting Stolen Van

A keen eye for the out-of-place puts investigator on the tail of couple entering Mayfair Mall, and sure enough, she recovers a stolen vehicle.

An astute Wauwatosa detective who happened to be driving by Mayfair Mall noticed something odd about a van she saw, decided to investigate, then made it look easy when she arrested two suspected auto thieves.

Daven Davonte Allen, 20, and Jamie E. Stiger, 18, both of Milwaukee, were charged last Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with driving a vehicle without the owner's consent, a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison.

According to the police report:

Two days earlier, at 1:52 p.m. Jan. 7, the detective was passing by Mayfair when something about the van, just turning in to the mall, caught her eye. She said it was quite cold out, but the driver’s window was either all the way down or missing, and it didn't appear the driver was smoking.

There was also something strange about the way Allen was hunched over the steeting wheel and looking all around, she wrote. She immediately suspected the van had been broken into and hotwired, and decided to follow at a distance in her unmarked squad.

As she shadowed them, Allen and Stiger drove around to the farthest parking spaces from the mall on the east side, next to the back fence by Blue Mound Country Club – even though there were plenty of spots much closer.

The detective waited until the couple had walked well toward the mall before cruising up to the van, where she saw that the window was indeed missing, broken out, with bits of glass stuck in the rubber window seal channel.

She ran the plates, which brought back a report that the van had been stolen in West Allis. Its steering column had been stripped and the ignition hotwired, as she expected.

The detective called for two more officers to back her up, and they found Allen and Stiger and took them into custody in the food court without incident.

SurlyMan January 17, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Alternate headline: Profiling Works.

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