License plate numbers engraved in van lead metro man to hit-and-run suspect

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – A woman is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and following too closely after police say she was involved in a hit-and-run in Lee’s Summit. After leaving the scene, Andrew Cross, the owner of a minivan, said he took a close look at his wife’s van and noticed the numbers from a license plate engraved into it.

“The person hit it so hard they actually left an indent of pretty much their entire license plate on the back,” he told FOX 4.

Cross said his wife and their three young children were in the minivan when they were hit near SE Langsford Road and Winburn Trail in Lee’s Summit. He said police officers were shocked to see the license plate indentation.

“He couldn’t believe it, he’s been working these for years and he’s never seen this happen before,” he said.

Once Cross handed the license plate information over to police they tracked the car to a home just a mile away from the scene. According to the police report, officers arrested 18-year-old Catherine C. Lathrop.

Cross said he left voicemails at Lathrop’s house for two weeks but she never called him back. FOX 4’s Molly Balkenbush went by her home to see if she had anything to say, but she didn’t want to talk.

Cross said after FOX 4 went by Lathrop’s home she called Cross to apologize, but didn’t say if she would pay the damages. Lathrop is due in court in May 5th.