VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — We have an update on a story we first told you about last week.
A car that was stolen during a pizza delivery in Virginia Beach has been found.
The car was left running and was taken while the delivery driver was at a customer’s front door.
Officers caught up to someone driving the stolen car but they didn’t pursue the driver, citing a department policy.
10 On Your Side went back to police to get more answers about this policy
The car was found in a parking garage in downtown Norfolk over the weekend.
We spoke with police who stand behind their policy and said public safety is the reason for it.
12 days after it was stolen, Tre Bivens has his car back.
The night of the theft, police say they tried to pull the stolen vehicle over but the driver refused to stop. The car was eventually let go.
Bivens said officers called him that night and told him this:
“They couldn’t pull the car over because the driver didn’t make any, they didn’t speed, They didn’t commit any violations to get pulled over,” Bivens said.
Virginia Beach Police told 10 On Your Side department policy states officers cannot pursue a vehicle unless it involves a violent felony.
“Those that are involving robberies, murder, malicious wounding, things of that nature,” said Tonya Pierce, spokesperson for VBPD.
Pierce said a violent felony didn’t happen in this case.
Since she wasn’t there, Pierce said she can’t comment on what the officer may have said to Bivens.
Still, the alleged comment and scenario had many viewers scratching their heads.
We asked police — if somebody steals a car and they’re not breaking any laws, will they get away?
“That’s not the case. Citizens also have to realize that we have other means of identifying a suspect and stopping them,” Pierce said.
We’re told the pursuit policy has been in place since 2005.
“We saw nationwide a lot of vehicle pursuits that were ending in crashes, hurting, injuring, and killing innocent motorists,” Pierce said.
She also said each case is different.
“Again, it’s something that that officer has to, in that split second, balance the pros and cons,” Pierce said. “We’re dedicated to public safety. We’re dedicated to ensuring life.”
Police said they have a suspect identified. No arrests have been made yet but the case is being screened with the commonwealth attorney’s office about possible charges.
They’re also reminding people: do not leave your vehicle running and unattended.