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Apartment Building Target In Drive-By Shooting

Thu., Dec. 18, 1997, midnight

Several people visiting Spokane got a surprise welcome last weekend when the apartment where they were staying was the target of a drive-by shooting.

Police responded to the 1900 block of East Fifth Avenue about 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

Neighborhood residents told police that a car drove up to the apartment, a passenger leaned from the car and fired a half-dozen or more shots at the building, then sped off.

Police found shell casings on the street and six bullet holes in the building, said police spokesman Dick Cottam. There were no injuries, although at least 10 people were in the lower apartment and several others, including two children, were in the upstairs apartment, he said.

Many of those were people visiting from California, he said.

Police stopped a few cars that left the area immediately after the shooting, but none matched the suspect vehicle. In searching the lower apartment for possible victims, police found and seized drugs and several counterfeit bills, Cottam said.

No arrests were made, and no one in the lower apartment offered a motive for the drive-by attack, Cottam said.

Police are still investigating the incident.

Police suspect possible scam

An Orlando, Fla., company with a history of fraud complaints may be operating in the area, Spokane police have learned.

Group Travel International represents itself as a travel agency endorsed by the business to which it sends a fax, police spokesman Dick Cottam said.

In one instance, local Wells Fargo Bank branches received faxes claiming that Wells Fargo uses the Florida company as its travel agent. The fax contains offers of travel deals and requests the credit card numbers of any Wells Fargo employees interested in booking a vacation.

A Spokane employee who provided a credit card number and then had second thoughts checked with the Orlando Better Business Bureau, which reported complaints of fraud against the company.

Cottam warns anyone who is asked for a credit card or bank account number to check on the company requesting the information before providing the numbers.

Pre-mix business burglarized

Two men stole a pair of portable radios and a bag of padlocks last week from the Central Pre-Mix Concrete plant in the 500 block of West Government Way, said Spokane County Sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan.

A witness living in an apartment complex adjacent to Central Pre-Mix told deputies she heard voices along the southwest section of the property about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 10.

The witness said she saw two white males climbing over a fence with a large bag. One man walked into the woods, and another drove off with the bag in a white flatbed vehicle.

Reagan said the scalehouse and lunchroom had been broken into. He said the men apparently broke a 2-by-2 foot window and climbed through.

The cash drawer, which was emptied before closing that day, had been rummaged through, Reagan said.

The burglars were described as males between 20 and 30 years old. One was described as 6-foot-1.

The witness got a partial license plate from the truck, Reagan said.

It was a Washington plate containing the numbers 99737, he said.

, DataTimes

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