May 10, 2012 in Washington Voices

Officer arrests two during traffic stop in Liberty Lake

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Crime statistics

Violent crime was down sharply in Liberty Lake in 2011, according to statistics compiled by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. The violent crime rate dropped to 0.1 per 1,000 residents, down from 0.3 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2010. The property crime rate also dropped 20.9 percent to 11.4 per 1,000 residents.

Both crime rates are the lowest for any law enforcement agency in Spokane County. The violent crime rate in Spokane Valley was 1.9 per 1,000 residents in 2011, which was up 6 percent over 2010. The rate for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office was 0.9 per 1,000 in 2011, down 14.8 percent from 2010.

There were a variety of arrests made in Liberty Lake from April 30 to May 7, with one traffic stop netting two arrests.

An officer spotted a car stopped in the intersection of Mission Avenue and Winrock Street that was blocking an eastbound lane on Mission at 2:30 a.m. on May 5. The car drove away when the officer drove up, and the officer pulled it over, Police Chief Brian Asmus said.

The driver, a 20-year-old Post Falls resident, reportedly told the officer that they were lost and had stopped to try to program their GPS, Asmus said. It appeared to the officer that both had been drinking, Asmus said. “She said she had been drinking a little but that her passenger had been drinking a lot,” he said.

She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, and her passenger, a 20-year-old Coeur d’Alene resident, was arrested on suspicion of minor in possession/consumption of alcohol.

Door-to-door salesmen continued to be reported to police this week. One was reported in the area of Homestead and Country Vista drives at 8:30 a.m. on May 3, but he could not be located when police arrived, Asmus said. One man, a 22-year-old who said he was a transient, was arrested in the 23000 block of East Settler Drive on May 1 on suspicion of soliciting without a license.

An employee of a business in the 1200 block of Liberty Lake Road was arrested on suspicion of third-degree theft on May 2. A customer found a wallet and gave it to the employee, Asmus said. The employee reportedly removed the cash from the wallet and threw it away, Asmus said. The wallet was recovered from the trash and returned to its owner.

There were three arrests in connection with driving with a suspended license during the week. A car hit a pole at the entrance of Pavillion Park and ripped it out of the ground in a hit and run reported on May 3. Someone called police at 9:30 p.m. on May 5 to report seeing kids in Pavillion Park that might be fighting. An officer located a man at the park who said he hadn’t seen anyone but a group of baseball players leaving the park about 20 minutes earlier, Asmus said.

A resident in the area of Broadway Avenue and Garry Drive called police at 9:50 p.m. on May 5 to report that a group of teenagers were ringing doorbells and running away. Officers could not locate the group, Asmus said.

A neighbor in the area of Knox Avenue and Cavalier Road called police to report two suspicious young men in a car at 8:30 a.m. on May 5. The two were driving slowly and the neighbor thought they may have taken something off someone’s porch at one point, Asmus said. An officer could not locate them and several people walking in the area told police they didn’t see anything, Asmus said.

During the week officers handed out four citations for license and plates required, four for failure to show proof of liability insurance, three for speeding and three for failure to wear a safety belt. Additional citations were given for improper attachment of plate to vehicle, driving without a license with identification, illegal use of studded tires, failure to stop at a stop sign and use of a cellphone.

Reach staff writer Nina Culver at ninac@spokesman.com, (509) 927-2158.

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