Washington, D.C., police officer Mark Lakomec can can remember a license tag after seeing it for a split second, as well as the face of a car thief, the Washington Post reports. Police are prohibited from chasing thieves, but the cops’ tenacity in tracking them down is making a substantial dent in the city’s auto theft problem. Last year, although auto thefts dropped 30 percent there, the city’s 6th Police District led the city in stolen cars. Ths year, it no longer does.
When the number of auto thefts in the city and the 6th District hit all-time highs in 2003, a six-member team in that district was told to find new ways to arrest young offenders. Through a collection of informants, the officers have been able to bring down the theft rate. It’s the first time in memory that their police district is not the city’s worst in auto theft numbers. The Post describes how the officers accomplished that feat.