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Police surround Spokane Valley home

UPDATED: Thu., June 30, 2011, 9:05 p.m.

Spokane Valley police and the SWAT team surrounded a Spokane Valley home for several hours Thursday hoping to apprehend a suspected thief with a long rap sheet.

Turns out he wasn’t at home.

Police believed Michael G. Grant, 37, was in the home at Sixth Avenue and University Road. Grant has warrants for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm. Police also believe he is connected to stolen vehicles that have been dumped in the Valley and other thefts.

Although Grant was not in the house, “We have recovered a lot of stolen property out of the residence from a couple different burglaries,” said Spokane Valley police Sgt. John Nowels. “We’re in the process of returning it to its owners as we speak.”

Police first talked to Grant about 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the 6400 block of Seventh Avenue after he was identified as a suspect in several car thefts. With him in the car were several car tire rims and an automotive diagnostic tool, officers said.

Grant was not detained at the time, but when an automotive diagnostic tool was reported stolen later in the day, and the rims also came back as stolen, police went to the home Sixth and University to re-interview him.

When they arrived, Grant’s girlfriend was leaving the home and consented to a search of her car, which Grant had been driving earlier. Police found a cooler with a bullet-proof vest and stolen .45 caliber handgun in the trunk, which was not in the car when they previously searched it. The girlfriend told police it was not hers and that her boyfriend was in the house. She was not arrested.

Thinking Grant, a 10-time felon, could be armed and preparing for a standoff, police established a perimeter around the house, blocking University Road from Fourth to Eighth avenues for hours.

Police believe there are multiple people involved with the thefts.

“We’ll be looking for him, and anybody that might be involved in this stuff, because obviously it’s more than one person,” Nowels said.