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Police say man approached to confess car theft

Posted on in Dealing with the Police

After the alleged confession, police apparently investigated the matter. Law enforcement reportedly asked the driver several follow up questions related to the alleged automobile theft crime. The driver apparently told law enforcement that he had stolen the 2000 Honda Civic from an apartment complex. Police say the man admitted using a screwdriver to bypass the ignition system.

Police say they could not have had reason to stop the driver on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle because the car had not been reported stolen. "The amazing thing was the owner had no idea her car was missing and had not reported it," pointed out the officer. "So there was no way the officers could have singled out the car as stolen in this case had it not been for [his] declaration."

Police say they later discovered that man had been arrested before, both for auto theft and receiving stolen property, and that he was already on probation for a previous grand theft auto conviction.

It may be unusual for an individual to allegedly approach police and confess to a crime. Americans have the right to remain silent. It is important to be polite and respectful when dealing with the police. But individuals who may be suspected of a crime can respectfully ask that a lawyer be present during any police questioning.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "'Officer, I just stole this car,' man tells LAPD," Andrew Blankstein, Sept. 6, 2011

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