FROM FOR THE RECORD (Friday, March 20, 1998): Correction Headline wrong: Walter B. Martin was booked into the Spokane County Jail on first-degree possession of stolen property in the theft of two vehicles on March 10. A headline in Thursday’s North Side Voice was incorrect.
A transient landed in jail on two felony charges on March 10 after breaking into a North Side home and begging its residents to hide him from the police.
Walter B. Martin, 25, was booked on first-degree possession of stolen property for the theft of two vehicles, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan.
Martin was also booked for residential burglary for unlawfully entering the residence in his attempt to hide from the police, Reagan said.
The incident began about 4:45 a.m. on March 10 when a sheriff’s deputy saw an older Ford pickup pulling a trailer with a Bobcat tractor on it southbound on Regal from Francis.
The trailer had no tail or brake lights on it and there was a second red Ford pickup following the trailer close behind, Reagan said.
“There have been recent thefts of loaded construction trailers by suspects using trucks, so the sheriff’s deputy followed the two,” Reagan said.
He passed the orange pickup at Regal and Wellesley to get behind the trailer, and watched the pickup he passed turn off onto Wellesley.
The Ford had not been reported stolen, but at Regal and Gordon, the pickup turned east, and the deputy turned on his overhead lights.
The truck did not stop even after the sheriff turned on his siren. The driver ran a stop sign at Gordon and Market and increased its speed, Reagan said.
The pickup began swerving to avoid potholes and rough spots on the road, which was now dirt.
“At the 3100 block of East Gordon, the road dead-ends at a 50-foot-deep ravine,” Reagan said. “The truck swerved to avoid the ravine and crashed into a chain-link fence at Empire Auto Body, causing an estimated $500 damage.”
The two occupants of the truck left it and ran away on foot after the crash, Reagan said.
A deputy responding to the call was approached by two men and a woman in the area of 3200 East Garnett. They said a man had climbed through the window of the woman’s home.
“The woman said the intruder asked them to hide him because the police were looking for him,” Reagan said. “The residents ordered the suspect out of the house, and he left out a back door.”
They went back to the house and discovered that Martin was still hiding in their yard. Martin went back in the house and tried hiding in the basement stairwell before being taken into custody, Reagan said.
Deputies are still looking for the other passenger.
The investigation revealed that the Bobcat tractor belonged to Evich Construction. The owner said both the trailer and tractor were stolen, Reagan said.
It is not known who owns the older white Ford. The investigation continues.
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