Street Racing, Prowling, and Suspicious Activity — in My Neighborhood!

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I’m a very sound sleeper. I can sleep through baby’s crying. I can sleep through conversations. I can sleep through almost anything.

Early Sunday morning I was jolted out of my sleep by the sound of tires squealing near by. A lot of squealing. I was out of bed in an instant. Out the window I saw three cars tearing out of the Community Center — and headed toward our house.
The source of the sound identified, I went back to bed… but they squealed out of the parking lot, roared down the road, squealed around the corner, and sped down the road in front of my house.
In a residential neighborhood, this is called “Reckless Endangerment”, but since the roads were empty, “Reckless Driving” would suffice. By the time I got to the front door to try and identify the cars, they were gone. I called it in to the Syracuse Police business line (which rolled over to Davis County).
My report having been made, I went back to bed.
Some ten or so minutes later, just as I was starting to drift off (pun intended), I was again woken by the sound of squealing tires. This time I got dressed, hopped in my car, and tried to follow them. Unfortunately my skills at getting hurriedly dressed apparently as fast as they were. I was able to get a rough description: Gray Mustang, and a red coup.
After ten minutes of driving through the neighborhood looking for them, I gave up and returned home. This time, now very wide awake, I sat on my front porch. Imagine my surprise when I saw two cars making their way up the road directly in front of my house. Suspiciously.
The cars were driving very slowly, stopping side-by-side to talk with each other, then moving further up the road toward me. At the stop sign in front of my house I watched as the red coup (in the lead position) shined a flashlight at my neighbors’ house on the West side of the street, then turned back toward the Community Center. The gray Mustang was shining a flashlight at the houses on the East side of the street, then turned East at the stop sign.
They were shining their lights at the windows of the homes. Were they looking for open windows to use as a point of entry? As soon as the Mustang was down the road I hopped back in my car, called Dispatch again (she remembered me from my earlier call). I updated her with the new events and gave the best description of the cars that I could. I also kept her updated on my direction of travel and the cross-streets I was passing.
The Mustang turned down a road and into a cul-de-sac and parked. I made a turn just before the cul-de-sac, pulled over, and shut off my lights, then updated Dispatch with the location. After I was assured Police were en route I began to head back home.
That’s when I saw the red coup again. Apparently it had made it back into the cul-de-sac while I was following the gray Mustang. It stopped in the middle of the road, the driver got out and walked to a truck on the passenger’s side. By this time I was committed to the turn and ended up right behind the coup. The driver was trying to get into a truck parked on the side of the road. Surprised by my headlights, he waived me around him. I jotted his license plate number and continued on my way home.
I got home, told Dispatch the same, and was told the Police Officer would stop by as soon as he was done on scene. I parked and waited on my front porch. The night is particularly quite — and lovely — at 4am.
Some time later an unmarked black SUV pulled up: Syracuse Police in one of their Hybrid police vehicles.
The Officer approached me, we shook hands. He got my information and asked for a description of the events and the vehicles. He says they caught three cars (including the red one), but no Mustang in the cul-de-sac. A bunch of 17-year-old kids out playing night games.
Reportedly the flashlights were to find some of their friends hiding in the neighborhood — I voiced my concern over both the cars with the flashlights because they looked like they were “casing” the neighborhood, and the kids allegedly hiding in the bushes who would likely be thought to be prowlers and could run into problems with armed home owners.
The driver of the red car that was “breaking into the truck” had a key. It was reportedly his friend’s truck. He was “looking for his shoes”. Hmmm, sounds suspicious.
The Officer asked if I wanted to sign a complaint, but that if I did so I’d have to go to court and testify. I told him I didn’t mind going to court to testify to what I’d witnessed, but asked if his report would be visible should any of the kids get pulled over or detained in the future. He said it would. No harm done (other than interrupted sleep), I said I’d prefer to go that route.
He also mentioned that he had the Mayor with him on a ride-along that night, and that she said my name “sounded familiar”. I chuckled (the Mayor and I haven’t always gotten along), and asked the officer to tell her I said “hello”. The Officer and I shook hands with him noting that my actions were a “good call”.

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