June 27, 2013 in Washington Voices

Suspected liquor thief arrested in Liberty Lake

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Crime statistics

 Liberty Lake saw a 1.8 percent decrease in overall crime in 2012.

 The 2012 crime rate was 21.1 crimes per 1,000 residents.

 Overall the reports of burglary, car theft and forgery were up while vandalism and drug arrests were down.

 Looking a statistics for individual crimes in the city can be misleading. Because of the city’s small size – and small number of crimes – a single report can create a large increase or decrease for specific crimes.

 For instance, there was a 100 percent drop in forcible fondling in 2012 – one report in 2011 and none in 2012.

 The reverse was true for aggravated assaults, which rose from one report in 2011 to two reports in 2012, a 100 percent increase.

Nina Culver

For the second week in a row, police arrested a suspected repeat shoplifter who used the self-checkout line to attempt to take liquor without paying for it.

“That’s new,” said Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus. “They’re buying other things and just pretending to scan the liquor.”

Police received a call from Albertsons the afternoon of June 17 to report a frequent offender. The man has been identified by loss prevention employees in 41 alcohol thefts from local Albertsons stores, 14 of those at the Liberty Lake store, Asmus said. Spokane Valley resident Clayton D. Cooper, 31, was arrested on a felony charge of organized retail theft.

Later the same day, an officer spotted two motorcycles driving recklessly near Liberty Lake Road. He attempted to stop them but they sped off and began passing other cars on the left and the right, Asmus said. They hit speeds of 80 mph.

The officer stopped one of the motorcycles at Quinimose and Molter road, Asmus said.

Liberty Lake resident Aleksandr A. Oukrainets, 19, was arrested on a felony charge of attempting to elude a police officer. He refused to give the name of the other rider, Asmus said.

An officer saw a man in a hoodie walking across a parking lot near Starbucks at 2:30 a.m. on June 19. The officer found seven cans of spray paint, paint can nozzles, two used cans of spray paint and gloves with paint on them in the man’s car. The man reportedly admitted spraying graffiti on a metal storage unit on Avista Utilities property, Asmus said. Police are recommending a charge of third-degree malicious mischief.

An officer picked up a bike at the corner of Molter Road and Boone Avenue after a caller said it had been there for more than a day. Police also picked up a scooter that had been left in the 1300 block of North Liberty Lake Road for two days. Both items are at the police station until they are identified and picked up by their owners, but that may not happen, Asmus said.

“It happens a lot this time of year,” he said. “By the end of the summer, we’ll probably have 20 bikes.”

Asmus said he usually puts an ad in the paper in the fall with information about the bikes being held by the department. If no one claims them, they are donated to charity, he said.

Two guitars and a laptop were reported missing after a burglary in the 24000 block of East Olive Lane on Friday. The garage door had been left partially open, Asmus said. The case is under investigation.

Officers made six arrests for driving with a suspended license and one for driving under the influence the week of June 17-24. They handed out two citations for failure to show proof of liability insurance. Additional citations were given for expired registration, driving without a license with identification, failure to have a required motorcycle endorsement, failure to use a required ignition interlock device, failure to signal, speeding, prohibited parking, use of a cellphone and driving with wheels off the roadway.


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