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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: property crime

Spokane County crime analyst upset by implications of doctoring numbers

Leslie Brockman, a crime analyst with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, says she and her coworkers have been pulled into a political spat by members of a political action committee critical of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Knezovich appeared on several area television newscasts blasting as politically motivated efforts of Integrity First, a group made up of former sheriff's department employees, to obtain public records related to residential burglaries occurring in rural Spokane County during the first half of 2012.

Brockman said Thursday the requests imply that crime analysts somehow cooked the books, a charge she called “insulting.”

“They're insulting the whole department,” Brockman said.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

3 burglary suspects arrested in Valley

Three burglary suspects were arrested today during searches at two homes in Spokane Valley.

Marina Florianovich, 24, Vyacheslav Znovets, 20, and Michael Mendez, 20, are accused of burglaries between June 23 and July 30 that netted thousands of dollars of jewelry, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Valley property crimes detectives arrested the suspects while searching homes in the 3500 block of South Woodward Road and the 100 block of North Walnut Road.
  

Boy home alone meets ‘prolific burglar’

Spokane police arrest burglary suspect Jay M. Shippy, 23, on Monday. (SPDphoto)

A 13-year-old boy home alone came face to face with a man police describe as a “prolific burglar” after the thief smashed in a basement window Monday, authorities allege.

The boy was at his home in the 400 block of West Carlisle Avenue while his mother was at work when he heard a knock on his door about 12:35 p.m. He looked out the window and saw a man identified by police as Jay Michael Shippy, 23, walking away.

Shippy already is charged in Spokane County Superior Court for a string of burglaries, including one in January at the home of prominent lawyer Carl Oreskovich. He was out of jail awaiting trial when he was arrested Monday.

The boy heard another knock a few minutes later, then heard a window being broken. He heard the basement door knob turning and yelled “hello” before running out the front door to his neighbor's home to call police.

The boy saw the burglar running from behind the home, and they met in the driveway before the boy ran to the neighbor's and the man ran eastbound, according to court documents.

Officer Nate Spiering chased Shippy in his motorcycle before arresting him a few blocks from the Carlisle home. Shippy had a backpack with jewelry inside as well as gardening gloves.

Shippy already is awaiting trial on 23 felony charges related to an alleged burglary spree with Randle “Kyle” Phelps, 29, and Jessica L. Davis, 25.

Shippy is accused with Davis of burglarizng Oreskovich's home on Jan. 19. The longtime lawyer told police he arrived home about 5:30 p.m. and saw an unknown man and woman standing in his home, according to court documents. One ran out the front door and the other the back. Oreskovich reported missing $300 in coins, a laptop and gold jewelry. He told police he'd left his door unlocked, according to court documents.

After Shippy was arrested in April, he directed deputies to Oreskovich's home while giving a tour of places he'd burglarized. Shippy was released shortly after his arrest because charges weren't immediately filed.

Shippy pleaded not guilty to the charges in June after being summonsed to court and was allowed to stay out of jail on his own recognizance. Now he's back behind bars.

51-time felon accused in car prowlings

A 51-time felon who was told by a judge 10 years ago that “the system's had enough of you” is back in jail for property crimes police suspect are related to his severe heroin addiction.

 Brian Lee Danner, 40, was stopped last week in the area of North Cedar Street and Northwest Boulevard while driving a green 1995 Jeep Cherokee belonging to another longtime felon, Johnie Leo Vick, Jr., 42.

Spokane police Officers Nick Geren and Brian Eckersley, along with Sgt. Joe Peterson, were looking for the Jeep after learning of vehicle prowlings in Spokane involving it and a 1984 Chevy Blazer also registered to Vick.

Vick was arrested the same day as Danner, June 26, when police located him working on the Blazer at Auto Zone, 2526 N. Division St. Danner had heroin on him when he was arrested, police say. Also arrested was Rabecca Hearn, 26, who police say received stolen purses from Danner.

Police believe Danner often smashes car windows to steal purses and other valuables. Danner told police he'd been prowling vehicles to support “a severe substance abuse problem,” according to court documents. Vick also told police he's a heroin addict who prowls cars to support his habit.

Vick, who has a neck tattoo that says “Ladies Love Outlaws,” could not be booked into jail because of medical reasons; police sent charging recommendations to prosecutors and expect him to be summonsed to court once charges are filed.

Danner remains in jail on $10,000 bail for charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.

Police searched Vick's vehicles on Monday and seized suspected stolen identifications and credit cards.

Danner's remarkable criminal history, which includes at least 41 adult felonies and 10 juvenile felonies, includes 25 convictions from 2002 for second-degree possession of stolen property. He was sentenced to two years in prison by Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark.

His co-defendant, Shelly M. Ose, received nine years in prison when Judge Greg Sypolt rejected a plea bargain. Their criminal records were similar. (Ose's sentence was reduced on appeal to about four years.)

At the time, Clark said she saw no reason to give Danner, who was returned to prison for the fourth time, an exceptional sentence. She did give him a warning, however: “I'm going to remember you, Mr. Danner. The system's had enough of you,'' she said.

Her warning apparently had little effect on Danner.

He went to prison again in 2006 for property crimes in Stevens County, then returned for his sixth stay in 2010 for - again - property crimes.

Clark isn't likely to see Danner this time around; she's assigned to juvenile court but does sometimes handle adult felonies.

Duo arrested for mall-related crimes

A woman and man arrested at the Spokane Valley Mall with stolen credit cards led to an investigation into a series of property crimes.

Tabitha Dawn Creel, 30, and John Andrew Howard, 29, are accused of buying gift cards with stolen credit cards, then trying to return the gift cards for cash.

Howard and Creel was arrested at the mall May 30 after allegedly trying to use a stolen credit card. Creel told deputies she's a heroin addict, and police found heroin in her purse as well as a digital scale.

She said she often pawned stolen items for Howard that included guitars, laptops and an air compressor.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office burglary task force completed an investigation into the duo Tuesday that calls for them to be charged with 26 felonies, including vehicle prowling, possession of stolen property, money laundering, trafficking in stolen property, possession of a deadly weapon, possession of heroin, identity theft and forgery.
  

Suspect arrested in fitness center thefts

Detectives have identified a suspect in a series of thefts at fitness centers in Spokane and Kootenai counties.

James D. Tilley, 28, was arrested Tuesday on 16 felony charges related to gym locker break-ins and car prowlings at gyms across the region, including at Spokane Community College and Whitworth University. Other agencies, including police in Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene, are investigating similar incidents.

Detective Mark Stewart believes Tilley would steal items from lockers, including car keys that he'd use to prowl vehicles in the parking lot. Stolen items included jewelry and a gun that has been recovered.

Cour documents say the formal charges relate to break-ins at the Valley Fitness Center, 14210 E. Sprague Ave., on March 10, April 5, April 13 and May 8 and Global Fitness, 9233 E. Montgomery Ave., on April 19 and May 17, as well as thefts at the Whitworth University men's aquatic center on April 25.He's also accused of breaking into a car at Whitworth on May 11, then pawning a laptop he'd stolen.

Police identified Tilley as a suspect after an employee at Global Fitness obtained the license plate of the thief's car on May 17, and police traced it to the mother of Tilley's girlfriend.

A sheriff's deputy realized TiIley matched the description of the thief, and witnesses identified Tilley through a photo montage.

Stewart connected Tilley to the use or attempted use of stolen credit cards and also viewed surveillance video from the Zip Trip at West 10th Avenue and South Maple Street that showed Tilley arriving at the location with a backpack just before a citizen found backpack there with stolen wallets and other items taken in the gym thefts.

Police are recommending Tilley's girlfriend, Lindsay K. Nickerson, 27, who they believe drove Tilley to and from many of the break ins, also be charged. She has not yet been arrested.

3 linked to 24 Spokane Co. burglaries

Sheriff's investigators believe they've solved 24 residential burglaries in the Spokane County area. 

Members of the Burglary Task Force are recommending 64 felony charges be filed against suspects Jessica L. Davis, 25; Randle “Kyle Phelps, 29; and Jay M. Shippy, 23.

Davis, the alleged ring leader, faces a charge of leading organized crime.

Shippy (pictured) already faces a residential burglary charge for an arrest in April. He was allowed to leave jail on his own recognizance earlier this month, but detectives arrested him again Wednesday on the new burglary charge.

Phelps and Davis are jailed in Bonner County after being arrested there Friday. Davis reportedly told a detective they had moved north and were afraid to burglarize homes in Spokane County because of the recent surge in property crime arrests here.

The charges recommended to the prosecutor's office include residential burglary, theft of a firearm and trafficking in stolen property.

Burglary suspects ‘afraid’ of task force

One of two suspected serial burglars arrested in Oldtown, Idaho, recently told investigators they were afraid to burglarize homes in Spokane County because of the recent surge in property crime arrests here, officials say.

Jessica L. Davis, 25, and Randle “Kyle” Phelps, 29, were followed Friday by members of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Burglary Task Force to a secluded neighborhood near Bead Lake in Pend Oreille County, which has been the target of recnet burglaries.

Task Force members observed two home burglaries and contacted the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office. Patrol deputies helped task force members arrest the two in the parking lot of an Oldtown gas station.

A drug dog with the Bonner County Sheriff's Office detected  something in the vehicle, which led deputies to recover heroin and methadone.

Davis and Phelps were booked into jail on drug charges. Their 2002 Nissan Sentra contained suspected evidence from the burglaries.

Task Force members are working with Pend Oreille investigators to prepare charging recommendations for the burglary sprees.

“Davis made a comment to a BTF investigator that they had gone to the rural area of Pend Oreille County because of the recent and numerous Burglary Task Force arrests and was afraid to commit burglaries in Spokane County,” according to a news release.

Police bust burglary suspect in 4 hours

A burglary suspect was arrested within four hours thanks to an alert neighbor and quick-responding Spokane police property crimes detectives.

A resident called 911 about 11 a.m. Tuesday to report a burglary in progress in the 700 block of North Elgin Street. The neighbor described the burglary as well as a suspicious red Toyota 4Runner.

The descriptions were broadcast to officers, and property crime Detective Crystal Jolley recognized the 4Runner as matching a vehicle used by Tyler B. Morlan in a previous burglary. Jolley responded to Morlan's apartment and spotted the 4Runner.

Patrol officers stopped the vehicle as it left the apartment complex, and Morlan, whose 20th birthday is Friday, was booked into jail for residential burglary and possession of heroin about 3:15 p.m.

Police say he's been arrested at least six times since 2007. He has one felony and six gross misdemeanor convictions.

Police expect more charges to come from this invention, which is ongoing. They also predict a decrease in property crime with Morlan behind bars.
  

2 arrested for burglary in Valley

Sheriff's deputies arrested two men on suspicion of burglary Wednesday after a neighbor called to report two suspicious men in the backyard of a home.

Jimmie Matthew Allen, 34, and Mark Alan Short, 41, were arrested in the 5200 block of North Kenney Road after deputies arrived at the home and saw two back doors open and heard noise inside the home, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Allen exited the home and was arrested. Short initially refused to exit but did so after sheriff's K-9 Ekko arrived.
Members of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Burglary Task Force interviewed the suspects and concluded they were burglarizing the home when deputies arrived.

Task force members found evidence from the burglary at Allen's home, which is near the victim's home.
The victim homeowner responded to Allen's home and identified property stolen from her home, according to the sheriff's office.

The investigation is ongoing; more suspects are expected to be charged.

Allen and Short were booked into jail for residential burglary and Allen also faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine.
  

2 arrested in Garland District SWAT raid

Investigators seized stolen property and drugs and arrested two men today while serving a search warrant at a home in the West Garland District.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office Burglary Task Force and Investigative Task Force developed information that stolen property and drugs were being trafficked out of a home in the 400 block of West Kiernan Avenue after a “lengthy investigation,” according to a news release.

A SWAT team helped secure the home.

Nathan Carter, 29 was arrested for second-degree possession of stolen property, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and possession of heroin.

Jeffrey Jennings, 32, was arrested for possession of meth and heroin and second-degree possession of stolen property, as well as a warrant for drunken driving.

Seized stolen property includes electrical musical instruments, multiple laptop computers, overhead projectors and other electronic components. Some of the items were matched to theft reports through serial numbers, but many will need additional follow up by investigators to identify.
  

Stolen property seized. Is it yours?

All photos of the property are available on the Sheriff's Office website or Facebook page.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is trying to identify the owners of suspected stolen property seized Tuesday after a resident reported suspicious activity north of Spokane Valley.

Officials found the items, which include silverware, jewelry and medical cards, in a car that Curtis McKelvey, 28, was driving when sheriff's Deputy James Ebel stopped him for driving with expired tabs near Liberty and Argonne roads about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said today.

Ebel was looking for the vehicle after a neighbor in the area of 7900 East Gunning Drive in the Bigelow Gulch reported two suspicious men who'd walked into a backyard after backing a vehicle into a driveway.

McKelvey told Ebel he and his friend were in the area looking for work, Chamberlin said. He later said he was a heroin addict who needed money to buy more.

He allowed members of the sheriff's office burglary task force to search his car, where they located the suspected stolen property, along with bolt cutters, gloves and shaved car keys.

McKelvey was arrested on a felony warrant out of Adams County.

Photos of the property are available on the Sheriff's Office website or Facebook page. Victims who can identify their belongings should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 with the number o their theft report. You must provide proof of ownership to get your items back.

Tips sought on CdA gymnasium thefts

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 Coeur d'Alene police are asking for help identifying men believed to be responsible for thefts at local gymnasiums.

At least two gyms have reported at least four thefts since March 20 in which thieves walk into the gyms and help themselves to keys and wallets in the men's locker rooms, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

They use the keys to prowl vehicles in the parking lot.

Surveillance video released today from 360 Fitness, 410 W. Neider Ave., on March 20 shows one of the suspected thieves.

Photos from video at Safeway in Liberty lake show two men believed to be connected to the use of a credit card stolen from Peak Fitness on April 16.

The men are driving a dark-colored compact car.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.

Valley police arrest 4 burglary suspects

Police on Friday arrested four men considered to be “well known burglars” responsible for crimes in Spokane Valley, officials said today.

A Spokane Valley night-shift patrol platoon led by Sgt. Don Manning focused on the area of 400 North University Road and the area of 13500 East Rich Road, which police say “have been notorious for criminal activity for some time.”

Arrested were Damian M. Plumley, 22, on warrants for three counts of second-degree theft and one count of first-degree trafficking in stolen property; Steven D.T. Devitt, 42, on a warrant for second-degree theft and vehicle prowling; Christopher Michael Stoddard, 20, on new charges of second-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property; and Mark William Bush, 37, on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant for failure to comply.

 Bush (pictured) is a repeat offender who was targeted by Crime Stoppers in February even though he already was in DOC custody.

Police recovered a large amount of stolen property during the arrests Friday, which property crimes detectives identified and returned to their owners.

“The return of these items took longer than normal because none of the high value items had been reported stolen,” sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release. “When detectives asked the property owners why they did not report the thefts, the property owners said they had not gotten around to it.”

“Citizens are asked to report any type of theft, suspicious vehicles or persons to either 911 or Crime Check,” Chamberlin continued. “This information is extremely valuable and played a vital role with the multiple arrests made this weekend in Spokane Valley. The Sheriff's Office has devoted extra resources to focus on burglaries in unincorporated Spokane County and the City of Spokane Valley.”

Murderer with 60+ arrests back in jail

A Spokane man arrested more than 60 times since avoiding prison as a teenager for his role in a murder is back behind bars.

Nicholas Adam Limpert, now 26, is jailed on an unusually high bond of $250,000 for two counts of residential burglary after Spokane police arrested last week him and two other suspects last week for burglaries in the Indian Trail area of north Spokane.

 Limpert’s criminal history began at age 15 with the murder and robbery of a disabled janitor in northwest Spokane. The decision to allow him to be charged as a juvenile angered the victim’s family, who said they doubted he could be rehabilitated. After hearing news last year that he'd been arrested 67 more times, the judge who sentenced him as a juvenile said Limpert “probably should have been tried as an adult” for the murder.

Limpert was arrested for burglary in February 2011 for breaking into a garage to take back items he said were stolen from him when he was beaten, tied up and robbed at a motel earlier that week, according to court records.

Limpert's latest arrested occurred last Wednesday after Spokane police followed a silver Buick Riviera that had been seen in the area around the time of the burglaries.

Officers with the Patrol Anti-Crime Team watched Limpert and suspect Matthew R. Dobson, 24, approach several homes and quickly leave the area. One of the burglarized homes belongs to a clerk for a Spokane County Superior Court judge, according to court documents. They watched the men pick up Nicole Phillips, 29, then drive to the area of 1600 South Perry Street, where the suspects approached another home and left a short while later.

Officers followed the suspects to a home near 39th and Regal and watched the three unload suspect stolen property into a detached garage. The suspects were arrested at the scene.

Even if Limpert does post the $250,000 bond imposed at his first court appearance Thursday, he won't be able to leave jail. The Washington Department of Corrections has a no-bail hold on him for violating his probation for previous property crime convictions.

Limpert's demeanor seems to have changed since he was a boy. He was described as smirking and laughing (pictured left) during his sentencing for first-degree murder in 2001; Spokane police say he’s now well known for crying upon arrest.

Past coverage:

Nov. 30: Repeat offender's arrest reunites family
  

Fugitive arrested for alleged ring heist

A property crime suspect sought for weeks by Crime Stoppers and Spokane police was arrested Friday after stealing an expensive ring from Fred Meyer, officers say.

Taylor Aleck Contos, 29, was a passenger in a black truck matching the description of the vehicle used in he theft when sheriff's deputies stopped it on Highway 395.

An employee at Fred Meyer at 12100 N. Division St., identified Contos as the man who was looking at rings and left with a Kathy Ireland 1 Karat white gold anniversary ring valued at nearly $4,000.

Deputies recovered the ring from Contos' right shoe after he confessed to stealing it, according to court documents.

Contos had been wanted on six felony property crime cases since he left the Pioneer Center East drug treatment center on Feb. 20.

He was to begin trial this month on charges related to alleged thefts at stores last summer, as well as methamphetamine, heroin and unlawful issuance of bank checks charges.

Now he's in jail on those charges and a new charge of second-degree theft.

More charges for back-to-back arrestee

A teenage burglary suspect arrested for another alleged burglary just hours after he left jail is now charged in a third case. 

Reshawn S. Zinnerman, 18, is accused of burglarizing a home in he 1600 block of North Napa Street Feb. 8.

Police say he stole a digital camera, iPod, camcorder and jewelry, then sold them at a pawn shop.

Jyreel D. Brandom (pictured), 18, and Andrea R. Gallardo, 26, are charged with trafficking in stolen property for allegedly helping Zinneman sell the items.

Police say Zinnerman admitted to the burglary and several others after he was arrested Feb. 29. Zinnerman described his back-to-back arrests as a “learning experience” in an interview with The Spokesmen-Review. He remains in jail.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that led to Brandom's arrest.

Police consider him a repeat offender; he pleaded guilty to to felony second-degree theft and resisting arrest in January and was credited for three days spent in jail. He also has two juvenile felony convictions for theft.

Brandom, 5-feet tall and 160 pounds, is a transient.

Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Reward targets property crime couple

Crime Stoppers is targeting a couple accused of stealing more than $40,000 in guns, jewelry and electronics from the wife's mother.

Tiffany N. Russell, alias Thompson, and Kevin C. Russell, both 34, are accused of burglarizing her mother's storage unit at 11018 E. Sprague Ave. and her apartment at 6010 E. Sixth Ave. while her mother was out of town.

Her mother let her stay at her home periodically since she was released from prison about two years ago, according to court documents prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

She said only her daughter and her daughter's husband knew where the stolen firearms, including a sniper rifle, were located, and knew of the jewelry and electronics that turned up missing from the home. The woman learned her daughter sold some of the items at a Spokane Valley pawn shop.  She also found surveillance video at the storage center showing her daughter loading items into her car.

Kevin Russell is charged with second-degree burglary and nine counts of theft of a firearm. Tiffany Russell is charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, three counts of trafficking in stolen property in the first degree and nine counts of theft of a firearm. Prosecutors charged the couple March 23.

Kevin Russell, 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, last gave an address on East 32nd Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Tiffany Russell, 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, last listed her mother's apartment in Spokane Valley - one of the crime scenes - as her address.

Anyone with information on their current locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Stolen property in Idaho - recognize it?

Theft and burglary victims in the Kootenai County area should check out photos of suspected stolen property seized by police recently.

 Post Falls police released photos of the items Thursday in hopes the owners will come forward. View all the photos here.

Police seized the items while serving a search warrant recently with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

Anyone who believes the property may be theirs is asked to call Detective John Mason at (208) 773-3517.

Cops seek prolific property crime suspect

Spokane police are asking for help finding a prolific property crime suspect wanted on six felony cases.

Taylor Aleck Contos, 29, left the Pioneer Center East drug treatment center on Feb. 20 and has not been located since, according to court documents. A no-bail warrant seeks his immediate arrest.

Contos was to begin trial this month on charges related to alleged thefts at stores last summer, as well as methamphetamine, heroin and unlawful issuance of bank checks charges.

A co-defendant, Kristofer J. Stairs, 29, pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced to six months in jail with credit for 131 days served. He was arrested on a new felony drug charge Monday.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Contos, who is 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds and last gave an address in the 1500 block of South Lincoln Street in Spokane.

Anyone with information his current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

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