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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: vehicle 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.

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.

Spokane teen’s crimes don’t surprise judge

A short crime spree by a Spokane teenager earned him 22 months in prison today as the family of a man he was convicted of helping kill looked on. 

Christopher E. Hooper, 19, said he hopes to turn his life around but said, “I don’t have really no goals going for myself right now because I don’t really know how to do anything.” He vowed to seek drug treatment and finish school.

Judge Richard B. White, who sentenced Hooper to the maximum term recommended by prosecutors, told him to work hard and be careful in prison.

“I don’t think anyone’s really surprised by the family background that you have that you’re going to be in prison, too,” White said.

Hooper told White that his mother is in prison for assault and he doesn’t often see his father. He knew he was on the wrong path, but “I didn’t really have any feelings for it, because I was busy getting high.”

Hooper’s charges stem from police finding drugs on him after stopping him on suspicion of vehicle prowling. He was arrested again a few days later after he crashed a stolen car filled with stolen property on state Route 291 near Rutter Parkway.

Hooper pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance (methylene), possession of a stolen motor vehicle, second-degree burglary and second-degree possession of stolen property. He’ll serve the sentences at the same time; the stiffest was second-degree burglary, which carried 17-22 months. The plea deal drops several charges of possession of stolen property. Deputy Prosecutor Bob Sergeant said Hooper’s required restitution to victims could be as high as $15,000.

Hooper’s public defender, Mark Hannibal, said Hooper has “at least figured out that the path he was on before this point was not a good path.”

“He didn’t want to fight about what he had or hadn’t done,” Hannibal said. “He wanted to accept responsibility and make some changes.” Hooper has a second-degree assault conviction for the January 2009 death of Shannon A. Cochran. Hooper handed the knife to Cochran’s killer, Michael L. Summa. Summa is serving eight years for manslaughter.

Cochran’s family, including his mother, Tracey, attended Hooper’s sentencing today.

“At least he’s back in jail,” she said after the hearing.

Past coverage:

Aug. 9: Warrant issued for teen after 3 jail releases

July 7: Teen back in jail after 2nd arrest in 6 days

July 2: Accomplice in fatal stabbing jailed again

Warrant issued for teen after 3 jail releases

A Spokane teen who said he was high on meth when he handed a knife to an assailant-turned-killer two years ago is wanted again, this time for a stolen property case that began when he crashed an Eastern Washington University basketball player’s stolen car. 

Christopher E. Hooper, 19, is charged with five counts of second-degree possession of stolen property, one count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

Hooper was arrested three times last month but continued to leave jail because charges weren’t filed within 72 hours.

Now that prosecutors have issued arrest warrants, Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to Hooper’s capture. (And with that offer comes a new mug shot. Kid’s really growing up.)

Hooper was arrested in early July with prescription drugs and suspected burglary tools, then again July 6 after state troopers said he crashed a Honda Accord that had been stolen from an Eastern Washington University women’s basketball player July 3.

Hooper was allowed to leave jail pending trial but was arrested again July 14 on new stolen property charges, along with 18-year-old Bowe T. Frank. A 17-year-old boy also was arrested that day after a standoff at 2510 W. Boone. (A search warrant shows Washington State Patrol detectives had heard the boy may have been a person of interest in the unsolved homicide of Nathan “Trigger” Gilstrap, but Spokane police say there’s no connection.)

Hooper left jail again after prosecutors didn’t file charges within 72 hours. New warrants were issued July 23.

Hooper already is on probation after in April in connection with the January 2009 murder of Shannon A. Cochran.

Anyone with information on Hooper’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Car w/ stolen loot leads to police standoff

A police standoff in West Central Spokane closed part of Boone Avenue today as Washington State Patrol detectives arrested a suspect in dozens of vehicle prowlings. 

The investigation began July 6 after a troopers found stolen property in a Honda Accord that had been stolen from an Eastern Washington University women’s basketball player July 3, said WSP Sgt. Dave Bolton.

The Accord’s driver, 19-year-old Christopher E. Hooper, was arrested that day for possession of a stolen motor vehicle after police say he crashed the Accord on state Route 291 near Rutter Parkway.

Hooper was allowed to leave jail pending trial but was arrested again today on new stolen property charges, Bolton said. Also arrested earlier today was Bowe T. Frank, 18. He faces a second-degree theft charge related to property found in the car.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested after the standoff at 2510 W. Boone this afternoon.

Hooper already is on probation after in April in connection with the January 2009 murder of Shannon A. Cochran. His July 6 arrest came just a few days after Spokane police arrested him with prescription drugs and suspected burglary tools.

Tips sought on ‘top 10’ criminal’s location

A man whose alleged property crimes include the theft of a sheriff detective’s gun and FBI identification card is wanted by Crime Stoppers. 

James W. Peterschick, 28, is wanted for driving with a suspended license, but he’s also suspected in a series of property crimes that began with an arrest near Pullman in February.

Then in April, a jail inmate looking for a break on drug charges told police he saw Peterschick with a gun stolen from a sheriff’s detective’s squad car. Detectives found Peterschick at the Motel 6, 1508 N. Rustle, as well as two fishing poles stolen from Detective Leroy Fairbanks’ government-issued vehicle on April 21, according to court documents.

Investigators believe Peterschick smashed out the car’s window, then stole a backpack containing electronics, a Glock handgun, handcuffs, a flashlight, badge and IDs for the Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

He’s out of jail on bail, but police want him back because of the driving while suspended allegation.

Anyone with information on Peterschick is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Teen back in jail after 2nd arrest in 6 days

A teenager convicted of assault for his role in a fatal stabbing last year is back behind bars after his second felony arrest in a week.

Released on his own recognizance last Friday on a drug charge, Christopher E. Hooper, 19, was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly crashed a stolen Honda Accord on state Route 291 near Rutter Parkway Road. The Honda had been discovered stolen early Saturday from the 5800 block of N. F. Street.

Witnesses said Hooper lost control of the Honda as he drove northbound on the highway and collided with a rock embankment. Hooper “was acting unusual and very nervous, wanting to get away from the scene,” according to court documents.

Washington State Patrol detectives are sorting through a large amount of property found in the car, some already identified as loot from vehicle prowlings. Hooper was treated for minor injures at Providence Sacred Heart before being booked into jail for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. His bond was set at $2,500.

Police already suspect Hooper of vehicle prowlings - he was arrested early July 1 after police patrolling for vehicle prowlers said he lied about his identity and was found with burglary tools and prescription drugs.

Hooper already is on probation after pleading guilty to second-degree assault in April in connection with the January 2009 murder of Shannon A. Cochran. The teen said he was high on methamphetamine when he handed Michael L. Summa the knife that Summa used to kill Cochran.

Accomplice in fatal stabbing jailed again

A teenager who blamed his methamphetamine addiction for his role in a fatal stabbing last year returned to jail Thursday on suspicion of drug possession and vehicle prowling.

Police say Christopher E. Hooper, 19, lied to police about his identity but granted them permission to search his backpack, where they found a prescription pill bottle with his true name, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court.

Police had been paroling the area of North Martin Street and East Rich Avenue about 2 a.m. Thursday after a rash of vehicle prowlings when they spotted Hooper dressed in dark clothing “ducking behind cars when the patrol car approached,” according to the affidavit. He first told police his name was Chris E. Collins “and removed shaved keys and a mini flashlight from his pants pockets in an attempt to prove he was not lying about his name.”

Police found prescription drugs, along with rubber gloves, cell phones “and other vehicle prowling items” in Hooper’s backpack, according to the affidavit.

He was booked only on a charge of possession of a controlled substance and was released on his own recognizance by Judge Michael Price. Hooper left jail about 3 a.m. today, records show.

Hooper already is on probation after pleading guilty to second-degree assault in April in connection with the January 2009 murder of Shannon A. Cochran.

Hooper said he was high on methamphetamine when he handed Michael L. Summa the knife that Summa used to kill Cochran. Hooper was sentenced on April 22 to a year in jail but credited for about 10 months already served.

Summa pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in May and was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison with credit for 562 days served in jail.

An accomplice, Tylor T. Buttolph, 19; was sentenced to five years in prison last month after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

FBI badge, gun stolen from detective’s car

A man arrested in an alleged stolen property crime spree last fall is now accused of stealing a Spokane County Sheriff detective’s gun and FBI identification card during a vehicle prowling last week.

James W. Peterschick, 28, was arrested after a jail inmate looking for a break on drug charges told police he saw Peterschick with the stolen gun on April 21, the day it was stolen from Detective Leroy Fairbanks’ government-issued vehicle, according to court documents.

The tipster told detectives of a dumpster at Garland and Post where most of the items had been dumped, then said Peterschick often stayed at cheap motels in Spokane. 

Detectives found Peterschick at Motel 6, 1508 N. Rustle, as well as two fishing poles stolen from Fairbanks’ vehicle. Investigators believe Peterschick smashed out the car’s window when Fairbanks left it at 5830 N. Division for about 20 minutes, then stole a backpack containing electronics, a Glock handgun, handcuffs, a flashlight, badge and IDs for the Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

Peterschick appeared in Superior Court Monday on charges of trafficking in stolen property, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a controlled substance. He’s out of jail on bond.

In February, Peterschick was arrested in a drug and stolen property crime spree uncovered by a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy when he stopped to check on a stranded SUV.

GPS phone leads to theft arrest

A stolen cell phone with a GPS tracker installed led to the arrest of two teenagers this morning.

The phone was stolen from an unlocked car this morning in near 6th Avenue and Pines Road in Spokane Valley, then recovered when police used the GPS to track it to a home at 1310 S. Raymond hours later.

Arrested were Scott H. Gregor, 19, and a 14-year-old boy, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Police think Gregor and the boy stole the phone along with Christmas presents and a purse with credit cards from the car.

Officer recovered the Christmas presents and cell phone but not the purse.

Anyone whose car may have been prowled in the area of 6th Avenue between Pines and Bowdish is asked to call (509) 456-2233.

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