LEWISTON, Idaho-- Lewiston authorities hope the public can help officers track down crooks who appear to be tampering with cars.
Early Thursday, police responded to a possible traffic crash on 15th Street, just north of Ripon. Officers found someone had stacked debris in the roadway that was taken from Western Forest Services Inc. Officers determined someone put a stolen 1999 Toyota Corolla in gear, placed a rock on the gas pedal, and let it go. The vehicle hit the debris, ran off the right side of 15th street and struck a tree.
Janice Sheifer got a call at one in the morning from police. They told her there had been a car crash right in front of the nursery she works.
"They had taken the gas pedal and put a chunk of rock on it put it on the gas pedal and just turned the car loose," said Schaefer.
Around the same time Friday morning, a vehicle was seen leaving the area of 3700 block of 22nd Street. While checking out the area, police found a 1995 Ford sedan parked on the 2100 block of Ripon with its door open. Upon further investigation, officers found a block in the front seat and the keys turned to the “on” position, yet no one was around. Police verified with the owner the car had been tampered with and the seats had previously been empty.
An officer noticed a white sports car leaving the area just after midnight last night. That is now a car of interest.
In both cases, keys were left in unlocked cars. It is believed the same person(s) are responsible for both incidents.
Lewiston Police checked the immediate area for the vehicle that was last seen driving east on Powers from the incident on the 2100 block of Ripon. Nez Perce County Deputies assisted by checking outlying areas to the east of Lewiston. The possible suspect vehicle is described as a small white sedan similar to a Toyota Supra.
Anyone with information about possible suspects is encouraged to call the Lewiston Police Department at 746-0171.
An extra officer will be on patrol in the Orchards Neighborhood in case the vandals try to strike for a third time.