TACOMA, Wash. - Tacoma Police are asking for your help to identify these suspects in a stolen Kia. "They shot into an occupied residence. Thankfully, no one was struck by these bullets, but we are trying to identify them, so they can be taken into custody," said Officer Wendy Haddow about the incident on Dec. 28, 2022.
Since the start of 2023, more than 216 Kias and Hyundais have been reported stolen in the Tacoma and Pierce County area. Many of them have been used in violent crimes including armed robberies, drive-by shootings, and joyriding on city streets at high rates of speed.
A food delivery driver and her husband were almost hit twice by the shooting suspects who Tacoma Police are trying to identify. They called 911. When they spotted the suspects again later at a gas station, they stopped to take pictures and video.
Shannon says she wanted their parents to see what they were doing. The Kia had a blanket over the rear driver’s side window that was broken out.
One suspect threatened to break her cell phone.
"He goes up to the car and lifts up the blanket and when he lifts up the blanket, he yelled at the kids we should jump this ‘B’ word and all the kids got out of the car."
She says the teens starting coming towards her. She had her purse in her hands with her gun inside it.
"I have a concealed weapons permit and I told them that they need to not come at me aggressively or make me fearful for my life and at that point I think they kind of got the hint and they started heading back towards the car."
They backed off. What she didn’t know at the time was that the teens had committed a drive-by shooting a few hours earlier.
"I just really think that parents need to pay attention to their kids a lot more than they do these days," said Shannon.
In many cases, law enforcement says the teens committing the car thefts are runaways who are couch surfing.
"Parents need to know where their kids are. I mean it’s not hard for them to say, ‘Oh, I’m over at my friend’s house’ but in reality, they’ve stolen a car and are robbing people.
Shannon has three teens of her own. She says the revolving door of the juvenile justice system is not helping the kids committing these crimes or keeping the public safe.
"If they’re in the car that they’ve stolen and they run from the police, the police can’t pull them over, not unless they’ve done something and they know they have so then, they just run. They can’t do anything. If they do catch them, than the police can’t talk to them because of the laws in WA and so they can only talk to them with a lawyer and the lawyer is just gonna tell the kids not to talk. And then even if they get charges they don’t arrest them, they just let them go free," she said.
Deputies found the stolen Kia in Lakewood. If you have any information to help Tacoma Police identify or locate the teens, please submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Tacoma/Pierce County by texting the info through the P3 Tips App or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
"They definitely are dangerous kids," said Shannon.
Tips on how to prevent you car from being stolen
Recommendations from Tacoma Police Department:
- Install a steering wheel locking device
- Install a battery disconnect switch
- Install a kill switch (may require professional installation)
- Install an aftermarket anti-theft system (may require professional installation)
- Lock all windows and doors
- Park in a well-lit area
- Park in a secured location (garage, parking structure, etc.)
- Install a GPS tracking device