Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Officers credit Alert Neighbor with helping Catch a Car Burglar,

06-22-10 - Officers credit Alert Neighbor with helping Catch a Car Burglar,
   Boise, June 22, 2010 - Boise Police credit an alert citizen for helping them arrest a teen believed responsible for a series of car burglaries overnight.
 
   Arrested: Garrett D. Praest, 18, Boise
   Charge: Burglary (F)
 
   "This is a case where a woman heard noises, called police, then pointed officers toward a parked car that she knew didn't belong to any of her neighbors," said Curt Crum, supervisor of the Boise Police Crime Prevention Unit."Citizens know best what's normal and what's out of place. When they see or hear something out of place, we urge them to call police, just like this woman did."
 
   "This is an excellent example of folks paying attention to what's happening in their neighborhood. She not only helped officers catch a suspected criminal, she also may have saved her neighbors from becoming victims of crime." said Crum.
 
   What Happened: Boise Police were called to the neighborhood near Emerald and Orchard Streets shortly after 4:00 a.m. this morning. The caller was a woman who lives in the area. She reported to officers she heard noises outside her home, and when she looked out front, she saw a young man rummaging through her truck. The woman told officers when she opened her front door and yelled, and she saw two people run away.
 
   When Boise Police officers arrived, the woman pointed officers toward a parked car near her home that she said is not typically parked in the neighborhood. Officers noticed the car's engine was still warm, and when they looked inside, officers could see numerous items including several radar detectors, stereo speakers, GPS devices, and what appeared to be a rifle with a scope.
 
   Car Burglaree Spree: A short time later, officers approached a young man who appeared to be walking up to the suspicious vehicle.
 
   Following further investigation, officers found evidence that the suspect, Praest, and another man had stolen the items found in Praest's car. Officers believe the items were stolen from as many as 15 - 20 vehicles in Boise City and Ada County. Boise Police detectives are working with Ada County deputies and detectives to identify victims and return property.
 
   Second Suspect - Crime Stoppers: Officers say a second suspect believed involved with the vehicle burglary spree has not been located. If any one has any information, they're urged to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, or log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236. A tip leading to an arrest or conviction could be worth a reward of up to $1,000. Callers can remain anonymous.
 
   Crime Prevention Tips: Detectives say there's evidence the suspects were going through neighborhoods looking for vehicles left unlocked.
 
   Boise Police join all area law enforcement in urging citizens to take these steps to avoid becoming a victim of crime:
  • Lock and secure all vehicles, trailers, etc, even if they're parked in a driveway.
  • Remove or hide any items of value from inside the car. A tempting target may encourage a thief to break into a vehicle even if it's locked.
  • Be a good neighbor - and a good witness. Get to know your neighbors and pay attention to what is normal neighborhood activity and what may be suspicious. If something appears suspicious, call 911.
  • Join or form a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood. To learn more in Boise, log onto www.boisepolice.org and click on Neighborhood Services. Outside the city, contact your local police or sheriff's office to start a Neighborhood Watch.