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Sirens & Gavels

Auto thefts continue to climb despite fatal shooting

File this under the FYI category.

The fatal shooting of a fleeing SUV thief March 25 by a gun-toting Spokane homeowner apparently has done little, if anything, to curb auto theft across the city.

In fact, the number of cars and trucks stolen across the city in the days following the the shooting climbed 15 percent over the previous week, according to crime stats compiled by the Spokane Police Department. There were 45 autos reported stolen during the week ending March 30, compared to 39 during the previous week.

Community debate over homeowner Gail Gerlach's decision to open fire on the fleeing thief, 25-year-old Brendon T. Kaluza-Graham, has continued to rage. Gerlach told police he thought the thief was armed and raising a weapon at him while driving away in the stolen SUV.


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