January 15, 2009 in Washington Voices

In brief: Burglars use vehicles to ram way into businesses

From staff reports
 
Tags:crime

For the second time in a week, a burglar has used a vehicle to ram his way into a Spokane Valley business, said Spokane Valley Police Department spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Sometime between 2 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Monday, someone ran a vehicle into a garage door at Icon, 1014 N. Lake Road. The door was damaged and the burglar stole computer equipment, tools and generators.

An employee told Officer Ken Dodge he knew of no potential suspects.

In a similar burglary, someone smashed a vehicle into an overhead door at Precision Electrical Systems, 2205 N. Woodruff Road, during the night of Jan. 5-6.

Hand and power tools were stolen in the break-in.

Anyone with information about either burglary is asked to call Spokane Valley police at 242-TIPS or Crime Check at 456-2233.

Hotel’s new TVs stolen

A thief broke into a storage room at the Mirabeau Park Hotel last weekend and took a half-dozen new televisions, Reagan said.

Hotel staff told Officer Scott Bonney the theft occurred between 1:30 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. The robber used a pry tool to break into the room. The TVs were still in their shipping boxes.

Four of the stolen sets were 37-inch Philips LCD televisions and two were 42-inch Philips LCDs.

Anyone with information regarding this break-in is asked to contact police at 242-TIPS.

Woman intercepts check scam

A Spokane Valley woman avoided becoming an unwitting accomplice in a counterfeit check scheme this week by checking out a Craigslist purchaser, Reagan said.

The woman told Officer Mike McNees she had advertised a child safety seat for sale on the Web. She received a reply from a woman that seemed to be a computer-generated response: It didn’t mention the item for sale.

The seller replied with her name and address, and this week received a package containing a check. Instructions were to cash the check and send the overage back.

The seller contacted the financial institution on which the check was allegedly drawn, JP Morgan Chase Bank, and learned the account number did not exist and the check was counterfeit.

The seller called Spokane Valley police.

This is a common scheme used to get unwitting victims to assume the risk of cashing a bogus check. Anytime a seller is sent more money than is requested and asked to return the extra, a red flag should go up.


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