Car wash owner says man smashed her screen and isn't being pursued

Car wash owner says man smashed her screen and isn't being pursued »Play Video
YAKIMA , Wash. -- Surveillance from a tape given to us by the owners of Classic Car Wash shows a man trying to pay for a car wash.

The machine ate his crash and he got out of his car. The video shows the man taking a tool from his trunk. Police say he then smashed the machine.

"I cannot understand how someone can possibly think that smashing in the screen of a computer is going to solve your problems," said Dixi Withrow, the car wash owner.

Dixi says the destroyed screen cost her about $5,000. It's why she added an expensive surveillance system to catch people who might damage her property.

Dixi says security is a big part of her business simply because her expensive machinery is exposed 24 hours a day. And for a business that operates on quarters, $5,000 is a pretty big loss"

Dixi figured it was an open-and-shut case when she gave the video to police. After all, you could even see the license plate number.

But police tell me that's just the reason the man likely won't be prosecuted -- it's an out of state license plate -- and they'd have to extradite him here.

"Does that mean at any time someone commits a crime in our valley, and if they live in another state, they can't be pursued," Dixi said.

I spoke with Yakima County Prosecutor, Ken Ramm.

"There has to be sufficient evidence of identity that the person committed the crime. Ya, the license plate may be one part of that but it's not going to be the sole factor in making that determination," Ramm said.

Even with sufficient evidence, Yakima County prosecutors ultimately decide if it's worth the expense to track him down.

The Yakima County Prosecutor's Office has a budget just like any other business.

But it's frustrating to people like Dixi who know this man might likely get away with a felony.

"It just makes me very frustrated. I'm angry," Dixi said.