A car was recovered minutes after it was stolenin north Spokane recently when the alleged thief’s friend turned him in.
The 73-year-old owner, Robert B. Renz, parked his 2006 BMW at 8121 N. Division St. before exercising at the North Park Athletic Club on Friday.
Renz secured his wallet and keys in a locker, but someone opened the locker and stole them, then stole his BMW with a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 revolver inside, according to court documents.
Before he saw his car was missing, Renz was informed by the front desk that a man called and said he knew where the stolen BMW was.
That man told police his friend Matthew J. Gillette, 23, called him looking to sell a gray 2006 BMW. The man said he knew Gillette stole the car from the athletic club, so he called club employees and returned it to Renz.
But the gun and Renz’s wallet containing $400 still were missing. Soon, a person described in court documents as someone “who has been given special police considerations” told police Gillette was at the McDonald’s parking lot on North Division, near the athletic club.
Police arrested him there, and he told them the gun was in his room at the Howard Johnson Inn. He said he dumped the wallet, which included Renz’s military identification, in a Dumpster behind Jack in the Box and spent the cash on Oxycodone “to keep him from getting sick,” according to court documents.
Police retrieved the gun and booked Gillette into jail on charges of theft of a motor vehicle, theft of a firearm, second-degree theft, trafficking in stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Gillette has felony drug and forgery convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms. He was jailed on $20,000 for the new charges and $20,000 warrant for theft and stolen property charges filed July 10.