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Several Garages Broken Into, Cars Stolen In Crime Spree

Kurt and Jana Beilstein follow the Block Watch home security tips. They have an alarm system and keep exterior lights on all night.

The tips didn’t work early last Friday morning when five teenagers went on a crime spree in the north Indian Trail area, breaking into several garages and stealing two cars.

“You talk about bold and brassy, I had my lights on,” said Jana Beilstein, who lives on Howesdale Drive. “We have motion sensors and lights on all night, and it didn’t help.”

In the early morning hours of Oct. 20, police arrested Raymond Franetich, 19, Robert Battin, 18, and three juveniles, age 17, 16 and 14. One of the juveniles was armed with a 9mm pistol.

Franetich is being held in the Spokane County Jail without bail on charges of first degree burglary and first degree possession of stolen property. Franetich has been arrested 33 times since 1992 and been convicted 11 times for crimes including assualt, theft, car theft, probation violation and burglary.

Battin is being held at the jail on $10,000 bail for the same charges.

At about 3 a.m. Friday, police received a call from a man watching five youths trying to open his garage with an electric garage door opener. A patrol car tracked the youths in three stolen cars to the intersection of Seminole and Fleetwood.

All three cars were stolen from homes in the Indian Trail area - a Nissan Pathfinder, a Toyota Tercel and a Mazda sedan.

Gwen Halliday said she and her husband left the door unlocked and keys in the white Tercel. Inside the car was a cellular phone, a camera, binoculars, a Gateway 2000 notebook computer, and computer discs holding “hours and hours” of work done by Matt Halliday, an attorney.

“I guess we were easy pickings,” said Halliday.

Battin and two juveniles - one of them armed with the pistol - were arrested on the street. A police K-9 unit arrived and the dog tracked the other juvenile and Franetich to the back yard of a home nearby.

When the dog and officer neared the juvenile, the boy began screaming, according to police. Franetich was found nearby, stuffed into a plastic igloo dog house.

Police found 29 different stolen items, including a stereo amplifier, speakers and tools found in one of the cars. Police also found stolen credit cards, but wouldn’t say if they were stolen from Indian Trail homes.

According to police spokesman Dick Cottam, the five tried to use electric garage door openers to enter some residences.

Beilstein said her garage door opener was still missing, rendering the electric garage door unit useless. The window of her Honda was also shattered, a Panasonic boom box stolen and the car’s CD player damaged in a futile effort to steal it.

“One of the problems is that we don’t have police patrols,” said Beilstein. “I’ve seen them three times in seven years.”

, DataTimes