Lack of suspects, witnesses cause many property crime cases in Yakima County to go cold
TIETON, Wash. - Suedewolf Thomas lives with his girlfriend in Tieton, off Dilley Road and they've had their house broken into twice in the last couple months.
“I don't feel safe anymore,” he said.
His TV, Xbox and football jerseys are just part of the long list of things that were stolen. With both break-ins combined Thomas said more than $6,000 of his stuff was taken.
“I wouldn't be surprised if they stole a pair of socks to go with it,” Thomas said. “They stole everything valuable, that had value in here.”
After it happened for a second time Thomas went to police again, but they said there wasn't much they could do. Property crime is one of the most common crimes police have to deal with, but one of the most difficult to solve.
David Cortez is the detective sergeant of the Gang and Property Crimes Division and said these types of crimes usually occur in the middle of the night or when everyone is at work, meaning no one is around to see what happened.
“So unfortunately, there isn't going to be witnesses to that particular incident that detectives can follow up on,” he said.
With no suspects or witnesses to follow up on, Cortez said it's not long until the trail has gone cold and there is nothing they can do.
However, he says when they do arrest someone for a property crime, it usually isn't the first time police have brought them in.
“Before that person is caught they may have committed dozens of property crimes before they are caught and unfortunately, they get charged with maybe one and that doesn't carry much of a sentence,” Cortez said.
Thomas said police told him there was basically nothing they could do both times he went to report his stuff being stolen.
But said he's sure someone saw it happen and hopes those people will tip off police with any information.
“These guys walked out my front door with my stuff. In broad daylight and I know someone had to have passed,” he said. “I would just like them to say something.”
Sergeant Cortez said installing security cameras outside of your house is the best way to help police find the people that may break in.
If you have any information about the break in at Thomas’ house, you can call the Tieton Police Department.