VB police find person driving stolen vehicle, say department policy prevented pursuit

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach couple is calling for changes to what they call a loophole for criminals. 

The couple said their car was stolen while the husband was delivering pizza in the area of Bridgewater Arch.

Police found someone driving the car, but eventually let them go.

It was stolen almost a week ago not far from Newtown Road and there’s no word on if any arrests have been made either.

10 On Your Side reached out to Virginia Beach police and we’re told department policy prevented officers from pursuing the suspect.

Tre Bivens said he was delivering a pizza when his night took an unfortunate turn.

“I hear a car door slam and I turn around and I notice there’s someone in my car,” he said.

Bivens said someone jumped into his car and sped off with his phone and wallet. He called police on the customer’s phone.

Bivens told 10 On Your Side, after speaking with an officer, he and his wife tried to track down his phone’s location. As they were driving, they spotted the car at a gas station and called police again. 

“We got a phone call back and they said they’re behind the car but they can’t get them to pull over,” he said.

However, that sense of hope turned to shock. Bivens said officers called them back 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,” he said.

Virginia Beach police confirmed officers did attempt a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle and said the driver refused to stop.

In an email, a spokesperson said, “By our policy, we cannot pursue a vehicle unless it involves a violent felony. That was not the case in this particular instance.”

Bivens’ wife said she was stunned.

“That’s our means of transportation,” Amanda Harrington said. “We need two vehicles and the fact that they let it go because they didn’t put a gun to my husband’s head and rob him to take his vehicle made it ok. So maybe policies and procedures need to be changed.”

Police said the vehicle was last seen going to another city and that other jurisdictions were advised to be on the lookout for the stolen car.

We looked up the law for eluding police and it states any person who is signaled by law enforcement to pull over but ignores it or attempts to escape or elude an officer is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Police said this is an active investigation.

The stolen car is a 2004 gold Grand Marquis with license plate #WNG7544.The car has leather interior, tinted windows and some damage to the rear fender.

If you see the vehicle, contact police.

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