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Police intern with special needs solves crime in Harper Woods

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – A police intern in Harper Woods helped solve a case Thursday.

Jeff Powell wanted to be a police officer when he was 8 years old. He has autism, though, so his mother always encouraged him to keep his dreams realistic.

"When you have special needs, not every dream everyone can achieve. You can't always do the exact same thing," Dian Powell said.

Jeff made a point of getting to know officers.

"He used to meet and greet everyone on his bike by our cars daily. Rain, snow, it didn't matter," said Harper Woods Detective James Runthenberg.

Fifteen years later, Jeff rides with officers as a police intern. While on a ride-along near Lennon Street, he pointed out a man carrying packages after he saw a picture of a man who was allegedly stealing packages from porches. 

Jeff pointed out the man to the officer who was driving. The man ran to a nearby backyard, where he was found hiding in a shed and was arrested.

Isreal Crumpton, 23, of Detroit, is now facing charges in connection with the thefts.

"I cracked the case," Jeff said. "Thanks for your support and letting me become part of your team."

He helped catch the thief, proving he's a hard worker officers say he is.

"Whatever he's assigned he gets done," Runthenberg said. "He's one of our guys, he's one of my brothers at the Police Department."

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About the Authors:

Amber Ainsworth

Amber is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Journalism and Screen Studies degree. She is a writer and photographer who covers music and local beer, when she's not covering news. Amber is also a member of the Michigan National Guard.