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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: car prowlings

Car prowling surge reported in county

The Sheriff's Office is warning of a surge in vehicle prowling in the Greenacres area of east Spokane County.

Nearly 24 prowlings have been reported to Crime Check since Monday. They've occurred mostly between Barker Road and Harvard Road, and north of Sprague Avenue to the Spokane River.

Many victims left their car doors unlocked or their windows rolled down, according to a news release. Some of the cars also contained electronics, purses, wallets and other valuables in plain sight.

Most cars were prowled during the late evening.

The Sheriff's Office reminds people not to leave valuables in their cars and to report suspicious activity to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Spokane Police Department launched a “remove it or lose it” campaign last month that aims to help citizens prevent car prowlings. Read more here.

Stolen car yields ‘plethora’ of lifted goods

A Spokane police officer investigating a stolen vehicle early Sunday found what he called a “plethora” of property believed to have been stolen in burglaries and car prowlings.

Officer Sean Wheeler located the stolen Kia Rio at 118 E. Sanson about 1:45 a.m. and arrested suspect Amariah J. Carter, 22, for car theft.

Wheeler and backup officers found a checkbook, toolbox and GPS system that had been stolen from a car at 4707 E. Upriver Drive on Friday.

Officers also found sheers and restaurant-style knives that had been stolen from a vehicle on Saturday. They also found an identification card belonging to a residential burglary victim who also is missing $3,000 in silverware, a $2,500 diamond ring and antique China dishes described as “priceless.” Officers recovered only the dishes. The burglary occurred in the 4000 block of East Frederick next door to Carter's home, according to court documents.

Carter told police she was not the only person who had driven the car and declined to comment further, documents say.

Carter was released from jail on her own recognizance Tuesday after appearing before Judge Annette Plese on charges of theft of a motor vehicle, residential burglary, first-degree theft, possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a payment instrument and two counts of second-degree possession of stolen property.

Say what! Filmed theft suspect arraigned

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page.

 An alleged car prowler who posted a video of himself with suspected stolen property on his Facebook page pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony charges.

Nathan John Calvert, 28, remains in jail on a no-bail state Department of Corrections probation hold after his arraigned before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, vehicle prowling and three counts of second-degree theft.

His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 21.

Calvert was arrested Dec. 9 after an attorney caught him in his truck. Spokane Valley police say Calvert had a stolen Jeep filled with stolen property.

Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks throughout Spokane County, police say.

Detectives expect to use Calvert's Facebook video as evidence. The video shows Calvert in a vehicle he describes as a Jeep. He focuses on stolen property in the back of the vehicle and says he hasn't decided what he's going to do yet. Then he raps.

Check out the video here.

Cops: Man catches car prowler in act

A Spokane man stopped a car prowler in action early Tuesday and held him until deputies arrived, police say.

Coty M. Gillespie, 20, is suspected of breaking into several vehicles in the area of 7400 N. Pittsburg St., where he was arrested after a resident spotted him prowling his neighbor's car about 3:30 a.m.

Craig Browne, 37, heard the sound of breaking glass from inside his home and found Gillespie in the driver’s seat of his neighbor's Nissan SUV. His wife called police.

Spokane County sheriff's deputies tracked shoe prints from the SUV to 11 other vehicles that had broken windows.  They also found cans of beer in Gillespie's bag that matched beer found in one of the prowled vehicles. The bag also contained broken glass, according to court documents.

Gillespie was booked into jail on one count of second-degree malicious mischief and 12 counts of vehicle prowling.

Cops: Man’s Facebook post is evidence

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page. View the video here.

Spokane Valley police say a video posted by a car prowling suspect on his Facebook page that features suspected stolen loot will be used as evidence against him.

“It'd be kind of silly for us not to,” said Sgt. John Nowels.

The video, posted two days before his arrest, shows Nathan John Calvert in a vehicle he describes as a Jeep. He focused on a large amount of property in the back and passenger seat and said he hasn’t “really figured out what I’m going to do yet.”

Police believe it's the same stolen Jeep that contained about 100 items of stolen property when Calvert, 28, was arrested Friday after an attorney caught him in his truck and held him until police arrived. Police also suspect Calvert used stolen equipment to film and post the video, which they learned of from The Spokesman-Review.

A woman who identified herself as the mother of Calvert's son commented on the video, criticizing Calvert and accusing him of giving their son a stolen bike.

Nowels said that comment prompted detectives to track the bike to the woman's mother, who said she suspected it was stolen.

“We do have a bike we know got stolen by him that he wouldn't tell us what he did with,” Nowels said. “Turns out it's a totally different bike.”

But detectives haven't found a police report that mentions the bike.

“We can't really go take it until we know it's stolen or not,” Nowels said.

Valley police have posted photos of the unclaimed stolen goods on the department's Facebook page. Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks.

He's in jail on new felony charges and a Washington Department of Corrections probation hold and is due in Superior Court this afternoon on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, vehicle prowling and three counts of second-degree theft.

Jail employees have not responded to a request to interview Calvert.

Lawyer nabs suspected car prowler

This is just a portion of the stolen property recovered after the arrest of Nathan Calvert. More photos are available on the Valley police Facebook page.

Police say a man who prowled at least 30 cars a night throughout Spokane County picked the wrong truck in the Valley recently.

 Spokane lawyer Brant Stevens caught up with suspect Nathan John Calvert, 28, after spotting him inside his unlocked truck early Friday in the 1500 block of North Coach Drive, then held him until officers arrived.

“He’d fight for a little bit and then he’d get tired and then he’d stop and he’d try to talk me into letting him up,” Stevens said. “It was kind of an awkward 20 minutes where I’m just laying on the guy waiting for the cops to show up.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Man, 21, shot to death by Colville police

A 21-year-old man shot to death by a Colville police officer late Saturday was raised by a computer analyst and an elementary school teacher in a small town near Bakersfield, Calif., before embracing what his father described as a “transient” lifestyle.

 Few details about the shooting death of Sean Joseph Bergstrasser have been released, including what prompted the officer to open fire.

Bergstrasser’s father, Mark Bergstrasser, a computer systems analyst who lives with his wife, a fifth-grade teacher, in Wasco, Calif., said he never knew their son to own a firearm.

“Sean has never owned a firearm,” he said. “Where the handgun actually came from is a question I have. I don’t know.”

Read my full story here.

Purse thieves drag victim w/ stolen car

A woman was dragged through a Spokane Valley grocery store parking lot by two purse snatchers last week.

The woman told detectives she was getting into her car outside Fred Meyer, 15609 E. Sprague Ave., May 9 about 3:05 p.m. when a white vehicle pulled up and a woman tried to grab her purse.

The male driver accelerated, and the victim was dragged for 15 to 20 feet before she was able to free herself from the purse’s shoulder strap, accordng to a search warrant. The purse contained cash, car keys, a checkbook and business credit cards.

The male driver was described as a wearing a blue baseball cap and white t-shirt. The victim could not describe the female.

Witnesses recorded the license plate of the robbers’ white Honda Accord, which police found abandoned in the area of North Pines Road and Mirabeau Parkway. It had been stolen from 14730 E. Indiana Ave. earlier that day. Police found vehicle theft tools inside.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Victim helps identify prowling suspect

Officers credit a victim with helping them arrest a man they believe is responsible for numerous burglaries, vehicle thefts and vehicle prowlings in the Spokane area.

Travis W. Talley, 35, stole a truck from a man living near S. 5000 Quail Ridge Circle, along with the owner's wallet, according to the Spokane Police Department.

The victim was notified the next morning that his credit card had been used at Sunset Food Mart, 2627 W. Sunset Blvd. He went to the store and viewed the surveillance tape.

The victim and the manager identified the suspect, whom they then saw entering the West Wynn Hotel across the street.

Police found several stolen identifications, credit cards and a small bag of methamphetamine in Talley's room.

Talley was booked into Spokane County Jail on Friday for forgery, two counts of third-degree possession of stolen property, and one count of possession of a controlled substance, along with five outstanding warrants.

He remains in jail after appearing in Superior Court Monday.

Another man, Gabriel M. Hansen, 34, who police say was in the hotel room with Talley, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

Federal prosecutor’s son jailed in Idaho

The son of a North Idaho federal prosecutor is in the Bonner County Jail for a drunken vehicle prowling spree last December.

Christopher Alan Cook, 22, was ordered this week to serve 30 days in jail for misdemeanor theft after a felony burglary charge was dismissed. He'll be credited for 10 days already served.

Cook was arrested March 20 for a series of car break-ins in Sandpoint between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 335 suspended. He also was fined $1,000 with $700 suspended and will be on unsupervised probation for two years.

Alcohol was a factor in the crime, said Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank.

Cook, of Dalton Gardens, is the son of Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Cook. He is being housed away from federal inmates at the Bonner County Jail, according to the court documents. Jailers told him he can be placed in a single cell if problems arise, but only as a last resort.

Shattered glass seized in prowling arrest

A recent vehicle prowl police patrol near Gonzaga University led to the arrest of a 32-year-old Spokane man and the seizure of shattered glass inside his backpack.

Spokane police Corporal Kevin Keller was in street clothes and an unmarked car near East Cataldo Avenue and North Columbus Street last Friday when he spotted a man later identified as Timothy L. Gunning, 32, looking in the passenger windows of parked cars, police announced Wednesday.

Officers Kyle Heuett and Shawn Pegram, also undercover, watched as Gunning stopped at a car parked in front of them then left quickly when he noticed them watching him, according to a news release.

Police stopped him on Hamilton Street near Gonzaga and said he appeared nervous “glancing back and forth as if he was deciding whether to fight or find an escape route,” according to a news release.

Police patted him down and found two stolen credit cards stolen in a prowling near Gonzaga two days earlier. They arrested him and found other credit cards as well as personal checks and social security card they suspect is stolen.

“Officers also located a quantity of shattered vehicle glass and a single Honda key in Gunning’s backpack,” police wrote. “Those items were seized as evidence. ”

Gunning, who has previous convictions for drugs and stolen property, is at Geiger Corrections Center on $2,500 bond.

3 arrested in Pullman-Spokane crime spree

A drug and stolen property crime spree was uncovered early Tuesday when a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy stopped to check on a stranded SUV.

Investigators think 24-year-old Yan Yefremov - who had been out of jail on bail in another case - and James W. Peterschick, 28, were exchanging stolen property for drugs at the Spokane home of 47-year-old Misty A. Maus, at 814 E. Nebraska.

The men were arrested after deputies found a green Ford Explorer with its hazard lights flashing on Highway 195 near Plaza.

A note on the SUV’s steering wheel addressed to “Danny” said “Heather” had gone for gas.

A woman approaching the car carrying a gas can denied being Heather and gave false names, but deputies determined she was 27-year-old Heather I. Halseth, wanted on a felony warrant.

Deputies think Halseth accompanied Yefremov and Peterschick to the Washington Sate University campus earlier that day, where they stole the Ford Explorer and 1982 Honda and ransacked several vehicles of laptop computers and other valuables, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Halseth also said that within the last two weeks, Yefremov held a handgun to her head and threatened her life if she ever told police about his activities,” according to court documents.

Investigators arrested Yefremov and Peterschick after they drove up to Maus’ home in the stolen Honda, the Sheriff’s Office said.

More than 100 pieces of evidence were seized from Maus’ home, according to the Sheriff’s Office, including a stolen motorcycle, stolen license plates and stolen laptops, one of which had been stolen in the Pullman car prowlings early Tuesday.

Yefremov and Peterschick appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday and remain in jail.

Yefremov has a lengthy criminal record and was arrested in December, accused of smash-and-grab burglaries at Pawn One, 3705 N. Market St., and Pounders Jewelry, 3131 N. Division St.

He and Aleksey Y. Solodyankin, 30, are accused of using stolen vehicles to try to break through the buildings.

Read more about that case here.

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