Thanks to new technology, Seattle police were able to catch a car thief by calling BMW, who tracked the stolen vehicle and remotely locked the criminal into the car.
Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, deputy director of communications for the Seattle Police Department, posted a humorous summary of the car-jacking on SPD’s blog on November 30th.
Police departments don’t usually joke about crime, but in the blog post that can be seen below, Spangenthal-Lee quoted the movie “Watchmen” when describing the scene of the trapped suspect:
A car thief awoke from a sound slumber Sunday morning to find he had been remotely locked inside a stolen BMW, just as Seattle police officers were bearing down on him.
Hours earlier, the thief had reportedly been out prowling cars with some friends in the 4300 block of 8th Avenue Northeast when he came upon an unlocked BMW 550I in a parking garage. After discovering a set of keys in the vehicle—the BMW’s owner had gotten married a day earlier and loaned the car to a friend, who mistakenly left a key fob inside—the suspect hopped in the driver’s seat and sped off.
Just before 5 AM, the BMW’s owner discovered her car was missing and called 911. Officers contacted BMW corporate, which was able to track the vehicle to the 2100 block of NE 63rd Street. When officers pulled up on the block around 5:45 AM, they found the BMW parked in an alley, still running, with a man asleep in the driver’s seat.
BMW employees were able to remotely lock the car’s doors, trapping the suspect inside, presumably while hissing something terrifying like “I’m not locked in here with you, you‘re locked in here with me” into the car’s sound system.
Officers roused the suspect, who quickly, but unsuccessfully, tried to drive away. Police arrested the 38-year-old man, and found he was carrying a small amount of methamphetamine. He was booked into the King County Jail for auto theft and drug possession.
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