Why Didn’t the YMCA Scam Suspects Go to Jail?August 25th, 2010 by josh farley
Story commenter fletc3her brought up an
interesting point Wednesday morning on a story about people accused
of using the
YMCA to scam people for money.
“The criminals wandered off while the police were investigating the crime?” fletc3her posited.
Police officers, as we know, have much discretion in the job they perform, and that includes the decision to arrest someone. And of course, they have to make an on-the-spot decision based on the information they have at the time.
In this case, they’d received a 911 call from a woman saying she’d given some change to people claiming to be fund-raising for the YMCA. They immediately found two suspects, one of which didn’t take long to admit they were conning people, according to Bremerton police reports. That suspect even handed over $18 they’d taken right then and there.
But other than the 911 caller, police hadn’t yet found any other victims.
“Normally, we don’t arrest just based on confessions,” according to Bremerton Police Lt. Pete Fisher. “We usually try to corroborate them first.”
Please note the word “normally.” Obviously, Fisher said, the severity of the alleged crime would influence whether a person is arrested or detained.
Officers were already planning to forward their findings to the county prosecutor in the case, Fisher said. So given the time and manpower constraints and the fact the suspects appeared to pose no further danger to the community, the officers and sergeant handling the situation chose to continue digging and then send on their findings to prosecutors.
Either way, Fisher points out, the suspects will go to jail if, in fact, they are found guilty of impersonation in a court of law.