Police: Solving hit and run cases like detective work

Police: Solving hit and run cases like detective work

Posted: Updated:
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -

Sandy Springs police say the number of reported hit and runs are up right now -- everything from fender benders to fatal pedestrian wrecks. So how do they catch a hit and run driver?

"Just like with any type of detective work, you've got to identify a suspect. And sometimes we might be able to identify a vehicle but not necessarily the driver," said Sgt. Dan Sergeant Dan Nable with the Sandy Springs Police Department.

Last September, 68-year-old Lanzhen Pan was walking to a class to learn English when she was hit by an SUV and killed at the intersection of Roswell Road and Hightower Trail.

"Whoever was driving the SUV stopped for just a brief second. We had a couple of witnesses that described the vehicle to us, but nobody got a tag number and they did hear a woman exclaim, oh my God," Nable said. He says it's these types of cases that are frustrating.

Sgt. Nable says most hit and run drivers are either already doing something illegal, or they just get scared after the crash. In cases where someone is seriously injured or killed, hit and run investigators have to work quickly.  

"We'll use cell phone records. We'll use video from various locations...businesses. Sometimes there's evidence at the scene, like this broken headlight cover they put back together -- like a puzzle," said Nable.

Generally the most helpful information comes from citizens.

"Hit and run is generally not a planned crime, so you can't pick your location and there are generally a whole lot more witnesses than you think there are," Nable said.

The penalty for a misdemeanor hit and run is up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the wreck becomes deadly and you drive off, you could face a vehicular homicide charge.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Hidden fees in checking accounts: Who's transparent, who's not

    Hidden fees in checking accounts: Who's transparent, who's not

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:10 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:10:06 GMT
    We already know about some of the fees our banks charge -- the monthly fee, the overdraft charge, out-of-network and minimum balance fees. That's standard stuff. But did you know that the average checking account has 30 fees attached?
    We already know about some of the fees our banks charge -- the monthly fee, the overdraft charge, out-of-network and minimum balance fees. That's standard stuff. But did you know that the average checking account has 30 fees attached?
  • Casting Call: August 27

    Casting Call: August 27

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:50 AM EDT2014-08-27 11:50:59 GMT
    Check out the Good Day Atlanta Casting Call for the week of August 13.
    Check out the Good Day Atlanta Casting Call for the week of August 13.
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Tips for navigating around Georgia Dome traffic

    Tips for navigating around Georgia Dome traffic

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:16 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:16:27 GMT
    For the next three years, if you plan to be anywhere near the Georgia Dome, expect delays and plan ahead. That's the word from officials as we head into fall, the Dome's busiest time of the year.
    For the next three years, if you plan to be anywhere near the Georgia Dome, expect delays and plan ahead. That's the word from officials as we head into fall, the Dome's busiest time of the year.
  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-08-14 13:18:04 GMT
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
  • Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

    Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

    Thursday, August 7 2014 8:14 AM EDT2014-08-07 12:14:51 GMT
    It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.
    It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.
Powered by WorldNow

WDCA My20 & my20dc.com
5151 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Phone: (202) 244-5151
Email Us

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices