washingtonpost.com  > Metro > Maryland > Pr. George's > Crime

Abandoned Police Cruiser Triggers Pr. George's Probe

By Christian Davenport
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 5, 2004; Page C01

Prince George's County police are investigating why one of their police cruisers was found by state police abandoned off Route 301 near Clinton on Thursday night, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

The case has attracted the attention of the county prosecutor's office, which is conducting a preliminary inquiry.

_____Special Reports_____
A Blue Wall of Silence: Pr. George's police have shot and killed people at rates that exceed those of nearly any other large force in the nation.
False Confessions: Documents and interviews reveal that Pr. George's homicide detectives extracted false confessions from four men.

Glenn F. Ivey, the Prince George's state's attorney, said through a spokesman yesterday that his office was contacting police internal affairs officials. "After we gather the relevant information, we will determine how to proceed."

The cruiser was located by state police, who reported it to county police, said Barbara Hamm, a county police spokeswoman. She declined to say where the vehicle was found, whether it had been in an accident, if it had been stolen or what time it was discovered.

"It's a brand-new investigation," she said. "We don't want to discuss specifics. . . . We don't know all the details."

She said investigators are interviewing witnesses and spoke with the officer whose car was found.

State police Sgt. Robert Lipsky said that his department has no report of finding an abandoned vehicle in the Clinton region Thursday night and that he could provide no details.

He said that if a trooper came across the cruiser, an official report would not have been required and that it "was more than likely" the trooper simply would have called it in to county police.

Hamm said authorities are looking for help from the public.

County police ask anyone with information to call the Crime Solver hotline at 301-735-1111 or 800-673-2777.


© 2004 The Washington Post Company