Man with autism helps cops nab alleged package thief

Sunday, October 29, 2017 12:06PM
Jeff Powell (left) was on a ride-along with police when he recognized the suspected package thief, Israel Crumpton (right).


DETROIT, Michigan - A 22-year-old man with autism who dreams of becoming a cop helped police catch an alleged package thief in Detroit.

Jeff Powell works as an intern at the Harper Woods Police Department through an adult education program.

Powell was on a ride-along with an officer when he said he recognized 23-year-old Israel Crumpton from a home surveillance photo, according to WXYZ-TV.

Crumpton was allegedly snatching packages from front porches in the Harper Woods community when officers stopped him.

Dian Powell, Jeff's mother, said her son has always wanted to become a police officer.

Detective Sergeant James Ruthenberg said Jeff is more than just an intern, but an important member of the department.

"He puts a vest on, he is in a scout car with an officer, he is in an assigned area and he performs police duties," Ruthenberg said. "He's extra eyes and ears for the other officer in the car and for the people."

Crumpton is charged with larceny and domestic violence in an unrelated case.

The judge set his bond at $35,000.

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