CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found officers getting shot, threatened and taunted by suspects in stolen KIAs.
Officers in Cleveland and Euclid say, in the past two days suspects in stolen vehicles shot a Cleveland officer, pointed guns at Cleveland officers and drove through the Euclid Police Department parking lot taunting officers.
“They did laps around our parking lot Wednesday night,” said Euclid Captain Mitch Houser. “Hanging out the windows, beeping the horn, all the while wearing ski masks and driving stolen cars.”
Euclid officers ran out of the police station and chased the vehicles, but they were unable to track down the suspects.
On Tuesday, Officer Mark Bahrijczuk was shot twice while investigating stolen vehicles. The suspects ran after the shots were fired. No one has been arrested, but Cleveland police are continuing to investigate. The officer remains in the hospital.
Cleveland police also reported that, on Wednesday afternoon, a suspects driving a stolen KIA stopped on the highway and pointed guns at police.
“They sped up, followed us and they pulled a gun out the window,” an officer said on the police radio. “They pointed it at us twice.”
Officers state someone in the car also could be seen recording it. No one has been arrested in that case.
“To our zone cars, your presence is just going to aggravate and encourage them to keep doing what they are doing,” someone could be heard telling officers on the police radio. “Be safe and stay vigilant.”
Euclid police say all this relates to a national crime wave with stolen cars, mostly KIAs. The latest incidents show police now faced with a growing danger: thieves getting bolder.
“It’s this continual nonsense,” Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer said. “The stolen cars, the violence, the taunting, the out of control behavior and they seem to do it with no fear of any consequences.”
Officers are hoping anyone with information on the suspects involved in the recent crimes will call police as soon as possible.
“What you are seeing is shear idiocy,” Houser said. “This type of behavior is escalating and we need to put an end to it.”