Arizona Auto Glass Shop Helps to Identify Suspect in Hit-and-Run Investigation
May 27, 2011

An Arizona auto glass shop has helped the Tucson Police department identify a possible suspect in a recent hit-and-run incident involving a 23-year-old cyclist.

The police had been searching for the vehicle and driver that allegedly struck 23-year-old Sam Abate in the Tucson area since last Friday, May 20. This week, they arrested 21-year-old Abigal Allin as a suspect, after receiving a tip, according to a police statement. Damon Ashcraft, manager of Tucson, Ariz.-based AAG Auto Glass, says his company replaced Allin’s windshield earlier this week and ultimately contacted the police.  

“A gentleman called me on Monday and asked how much a windshield would cost on a 2003 Nissan Altima …, ” Ashcraft told glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR™ magazine in an interview this morning. “At first he said he’d bring vehicle in and he never showed up and then he called back and asked for mobile service.”

The technician who completed the job (whom Ashcraft says has asked to remain anonymous) says Allin was on the scene when he arrived to do the work—rather than the gentleman who’d called for the quote. He says Allin asked him if he could replace the vehicle’s windshield inside her garage, but he instead requested that she pull it out of the garage based on the space the job would take.

“She backed it out and my installer noticed the damage to the passenger side of the vehicle,” says Ashcraft. “ … When the damage is to that extent [we know] it’s something totally different than a rock hitting the windshield. He asked her what happened and she said a brick hit the windshield.”

Ashcraft says the installer then advised Allin that there appeared to be blood on the windshield, and at that point she suggested a bird had struck the vehicle.

“He cut the window out and there was a lot of blood in the pinchweld and so forth and he thought something was wrong with it,” says Ashcraft.

When the technician returned to the shop to discard the old windshield, he showed the glass and what appeared to be blood to Ashcraft, who remembered hearing about the hit-and-run on the news, according to Ashcraft.

“I knew they were still looking for the suspect so I looked it up on the Internet just to make sure and there was a description of the young lady and it matched what my installer said,” he recalls. “I called 911 and told them ‘I think we’ve got the suspect’s windshield right here in the shop.’”

Shortly after, Ashcraft says the Tucson Police department arrived on the scene and investigated further. Allin was arrested for leaving the scene of a serious injury collision; causing serious injury with a vehicle while under a suspended license; and tampering with physical evidence, according to information from the police department.

Ashcraft remains humble about his assistance in the investigation. “I don’t feel like a hero or anything, he says. “I was just being a civil citizen.”

This is at least the second time in less than two months that an auto glass shop has assisted with such an investigation. In early April, a California auto glass shop assisted the Oceanside Police with locating a vehicle police believed to have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run incident, after reading about it on glassBYTEs.com™.


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