Some civilians take crime-solving into their own hands, but officials warn this is not the answer

People in western Washington are fed up with police responses, and in some cases, taking action into their own hands.

In one week’s time, FOX 13 News reported on several situations where citizens investigated crimes, and unfortunately, a few of them ended violently.

About a week ago, we spoke to a man in West Seattle who says he is using his drone to track down stolen vehicles.

However, he says there have been a few "hairy" situations. In one instance, someone shot his drone with a BB gun.

He says in another situation, a car he was trailing drove erratically along the shoulder and even through neighborhoods.

FOX 13 News also reported on two incidents where people tried to get their stolen goods back on their own.

In one situation in Tacoma, a man running for Pierce County Council tracked his stolen goods to a homeless encampment. He then shot at a man speeding toward him in a car.

In Puyallup, a man was shot in the head when he tried to chase a truck he said had his stolen motorcycle inside.

"It's just not worth it. You’re possibly going to hurt yourself or someone else. Or you’re going to face jail time or civil penalty from a lawsuit over stolen property," said Sgt. Darren Moss with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials say they understand the frustration with slow response times and police staff shortages.

Moss says instead of investigating these crimes yourself, be a "good witness."

"Get your evidence on the phone and call 911 and get us there as quick as we can," he said.

Moss says for anyone who feels like that is not enough, consider getting involved in crime-fighting the right way.

"There’s a lot of open positions in our departments, and the more people we get back on our departments, the quicker we are able to respond," he said.

FOX 13 News reached out to the governor’s office regarding this recent "vigilante" trend, as well as the shortages in police staff, and slow response times.

The governor's office responded in an email stating, "Everyone is aware of the unique challenges facing law enforcement with regard to vacancy rates and competitive employment between jurisdictions, but it requires long-term efforts to change those outcomes."