Here’s the press release from the Arlington County Police Department:
The Arlington County Police Department is pleased to announce the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Highway Safety Committee has selected two Arlington County officers as the grand prize winners of the 2011 Looking Beyond the License Plate award. The 3M Traffic Safety Systems Division has partnered with the IACP Highway Safety Committee for 13 years to recognize police officers who use license plates to solve serious, non-traffic related crimes.
On February 27, 2010, around 4 a.m., police responded to the 600 block of North Wakefield Street for a call about an abduction. Two young women were walking to a residence when a man confronted them with a handgun. The suspect forced them inside the house where he restrained them. The suspect then forced one of the victims to leave the house with him and she was forced into the suspect’s vehicle. Four hours later, the victim was found seeking help and medical treatment in a neighboring jurisdiction. She was suffering from serious injuries and was transported to an area hospital.
During the investigation of these crimes, Corporal Timothy Clifford and Officer Andrew Nucelli recalled seeing, and running the license plate, of a vehicle that matched the description of the SUV used in these crimes. That information lead to the owner of the SUV, Jorge Torrez. This police work was instrumental in the identification and subsequent arrest of the suspect.
Jorge Torrez was not only convicted of 14 charges including Abduction with the Intent to Defile, Forcible Sodomy, Robbery, and Rape, he was later charged with the death of a Naval Petty Officer and linked by DNA to the a double homicide of two young girls in Illinois that occurred in 2005.
Corporal Clifford and Officer Nucelli will each be honored at a banquet at the IACP Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, next week.