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Suspected car thief arrested

Spokane Police arrested a man this morning within an hour after a woman reported her car stolen.

The woman reported her car stolen at 7:35 a.m. from her driveway while it was warming up. Officers found the stolen car entering a parking lot at Nevada Street and Wellesley Avenue, being driven by Robert D. Basford, 42, a news release from the police department said.

The officer found a bike in the back of the car and found bicycle tracks in the snow matching that of Basford’s bike. Police said Basford also had shaved keys, which are often used by car thieves.

Basford was booked into Spokane County Jail on suspicion of taking a motor vehicle without permission and possession of motor vehicle theft tools.

“We’ve seen an increase in vehicle theft this month, presumably because of the extreme cold temperatures,” said police spokeswoman Ofc. Jennifer DeRuwe. “Patrol officers have taken quite a few stolen vehicles reports where the owner has left the engine running, unattended, and the car has been stolen.”

Police would like to remind residents not to leave their cars running unattended.

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