Sirens & Gavels

K-9, 'copter catch car theft suspect

A sheriff's dog tracked a car theft suspect who fled a crash in Spokane Valley early today.

The K-9, Brax, located Justin C. Luce, 32, hiding near a tree about two blocks from the crash near 600 N. Walnut Road, which occurred after Luce fled a traffic stop near Walnut and Broadway Avenue about 3 a.m., according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Officer Juan Rodriguez located the crashed car unoccupied with a shaved key inside the ignition. A sheriff's helicopter and Brax tracked Luce to the tree.

Police found a backpack in the stolen vehicle that contained marijuana. Officers say it and several burglary tools found in the car belonged to Luce.

Luce is to be sentenced March 26 for a burglary in Kootenai County that's connected to the theft of a high-end triathlon bicycle recovered by Coeur d'Alene police just in time for Ironman.

Luce also has a conviction in Spokane County for car theft that stemmed from a similar police chase in the Valley last April.




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