Do Criminals Have to Pay for the Money they Cost Taxpayers? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Do Criminals Have to Pay for the Money they Cost Taxpayers?

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TRI-CITIES, Wash-- Do criminals have to pay for the money they cost taxpayers, when they hold up law enforcement and fire departments?

Prosecutors can ask for restitution once a person is found guilty. What that does is pay back the person they victimized, whether it's a rape victim, vandalism, or tax payers. In the case of taxpayers that can be when police or fire department equipment or budgets are affected.

Last week, the S.W.A.T Team, fire departments and local law enforcement were held up at a call for the second time in a month. The Benton County Sheriff's Office says this person took up 24 hours of their time and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, for something the suspect could have prevented.

The Sheriff's Office is going to seek restitution.

"People are surprised when they see how much money we recover from criminals. We not only ask for restitution but they have to pay court costs if they get a court appointed attorney, they are required to pay for those services," said Andy Miller, Benton County Prosecutor.

The Kennewick Police Department has asked for restitution when police cars or uniforms are damaged.

Many time's criminals have to make monthly payments for the damages they have caused.