Hit & Run Witness Note Not Enough to Catch Suspect - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hit & Run Witness Note Not Enough to Catch Suspect

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Fender benders happen a lot, but when one good samaritan recently witnessed a parking lot hit and run and left a note, they left out one key piece of information.

The witness left a note on the windshield of the car they saw get hit in the Columbia Center Mall parking lot.

It said a Taurus hit the back corner of the car and left a license plate number. But what they left out is their contact information.

And without that, police couldn't get a witness account and detailed information, which makes it hard for them to cite the suspect.

"It's nice that somebody quickly wrote down the license plate number so that hopefully I could get this individual but now I'm stuck with a $500 deductible to fix my car," said Tiffany Flager, hit and run victim.

It's not just the thought that counts, it's the witness account that can make all the difference.

Flager parked her car in the Columbia Center Mall parking lot Monday and came back to find a note that said her car was hit. The note included a license plate number, but no contact information.

Police said they can cite someone if there is enough evidence to believe a suspect did it, but in this case there isn't.

"We look at the total picture. Witness statements are great. Physical evidence is imperative and we do cite a lot of people. We are able to catch a lot of people that do flee the scene," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

Police tracked down the car and driver with the matching license number, but the suspect said she didn't do it.

"They have reasonable doubt to believe that the story matches what was on the napkin and what matches my vehicle versus their vehicle but I need a witness or somebody saying that they actually saw that vehicle at the mall and that it happened," Flager said.

Flager pointed out the damage to her new car is minor, but fixing it will still hit her in the wallet.

She hopes the good samaritan will come forward and that other hit and run witnesses will leave their phone number.

"So important for us to be able to recontact the witness at a later time to get a statement maybe to clarify some information that may just be the critical piece to this case," Lattin said.

Police said it is required by law for people to leave their contact information if they hit a car. But if they don't and a witness leaves a note, police urge you to include a vehicle description and your contact information.

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