Unsuspecting car prowler gets his just desserts?
An off-duty Quincy police officer recently had his dinner interrupted by a suspected car prowler.
Officer Josh Virnig was having dinner at Tijuana’s restaurant at about 7:45 p.m. on Jan. 27 when he noticed a suspicious man looking inside a pickup truck parked just outside the business.
Virnig was having dinner with fellow officer Travis Ruffin, who was recently hired by the department and is in training. Ruffin also was off duty.
From his seat near a window of the restaurant, Virnig started to get a bad feeling about what was going down. That’s because the suspicious character is a known thief in town – and he doesn’t drive a pickup, Virnig said.
“It was just one of those things, like a hunch,” he said.
When Virnig stepped outside and approached the pickup, a second suspect, Wayne Hauser, 26, of Quincy, popped out of the vehicle and made a short dash for a bicycle he had parked nearby, Virnig said.
“I wouldn’t let that happen,” said Virnig, who tackled Hauser in the parking lot before he could make a getaway.
While the first suspect ran off, Virnig was able to hold Hauser down and call 911 on his cell phone.
Meanwhile, spectators alerted Ruffin that his friend needed some help in the parking lot. The pickup’s owner, a local Quincy high school student, also was located in the restaurant.
Because he was in the vehicle, Hauser is expected to be charged with second-degree vehicle prowling as well as having drug paraphernalia on him when he was arrested, said Chief Bob Heimbach.
Hauser is suspected to have committed several recent vehicle prowls in town, so he already was on the department’s radar, Virnig said. And Hauser did himself no favors committing a crime in a busy area.
“It’s pretty dumb of them to do it at 7:45 at night,” Virnig said.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, firstname.lastname@example.org