With the help of two Springfield Township Police officers, officials brought down an international car theft ring.
The Springfield Township Board of Commissioners honored Police Officer Scott Francis and Detective Robert Nutley Tuesday night for initiating an federal bust of global car thieves.
Police Chief Joseph Daly described the Oct. 14 action where Francis interrupted a burglary at Spencer Chevrolet on Baltimore Pike and the subsequent detective work from Nutley that resulted in a major sting.
"I can tell you from experience that it's very tedious and quiet boring in the middle of the night. But the good officers are out there protecting this community," he said. "They are driving around, checking on their beat. And we're here to honor Officer Scott Francis for doing exactly that."
In the early hours of Oct. 14, Francis performed routine checks of businesses along Baltimore Pike when he noticed a suspicious vehicle at the car dealership.
Francis drove onto the property to investigate, which caused the car to flea, almost crashing into the officer's car. Despite Francis' efforts to contain the burglar, the car escaped the parking lot and darted onto the highway and flipped its lights off.
"Adhering to sound police pursuit tactics, Francis maintained visual contact with the fleeing vehicle, while radioing vital information to responders," Daly said.
The car pulled over and the pursued ran away on foot, where officers eventually made an arrest.
"Good police work is coupled by good detective work... In this particular case, Detective Nutley did an exceptional job in identifying where these stolen vehicles were being held and where to go from that point forward," Daly said.
In his followup work, Nutley learned four cars were stolen from Spencer Chevrolet, in addition to another car from neighboring Conicelli Toyota, as Patch reported Oct. 25.
His detective work led him to develop an informant, who identified a storage location where stolen vehicles from all around the Delaware Valley were kept before being shipped overseas.
"Because of the investigation by Detective Nutley, this led to the formation of a local, county, state and federal law enforcement task force that resulted in a sophisticated international car theft ring being exposed," Daly said.
Daly and the commissioners presented the police officers plaques, commemorating their police work.