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Car stolen from Valley auto lot found in Georgia

Investigators in Florida and Liberty Lake have made progress in a case involving three vehicles stolen from the George Gee dealership in Liberty Lake in early March. The cars were ordered and shipped to Atlanta using the stolen identity of a Florida resident, Liberty Lake police Chief Brian Asmus said.

The man learned of the fraud when his bank contacted him and told him they were refusing to finance the Dodge Charger, Mercedes and Porsche and that he needed to return them. “That’s what started the case,” Detective Ray Bourgeois said.

The Charger was recovered March 8 in a parking lot at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. A man found inside the car was arrested. The other two cars were found abandoned in a parking lot a couple of days later with the keys inside. “People knew we were looking for those cars,” Bourgeois said.

Bourgeois said he hopes there will be further arrests in the case. The cars will be shipped back to Liberty Lake.

One of several arrests made during the week of March 4-11 involved a man previously arrested in Liberty Lake on Feb. 23 for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. When the man was booked into the Spokane County Jail, several credit cards with a woman’s name on them were found in his wallet. An investigation determined that the cards had been reported stolen in Spokane Valley, but the man claimed that the woman was a friend and she had left the cards in his car, Asmus said. However, the woman told police that she didn’t know the man and her cards were stolen at the Spokane Valley Mall on Jan. 31. The man was arrested again March 4, this time on a charge of possession of stolen property.

A Spokane Valley resident was arrested at 8:30 p.m. March 6 at Appleway and Broadway avenues for possession of a dangerous weapon. An officer could hear the man yelling profanities at a passing car and recognized him from previous contacts, Asmus said. The officer spoke to him and asked if he had any weapons. The man reportedly admitted to having an expandable club and a knife, Asmus said.

Other arrests during the week included three for driving with a suspended license, one for driving under the influence and one for third-degree malicious mischief-domestic violence.

A resident in the 500 block of North Hodges Road called police at 11:25 a.m. Friday to report seeing someone wrapping a gun in a blanket and putting it in the trunk of a car. Officers determined that it was only a metal detector, but Asmus said he prefers that residents call to report suspicious behavior because it may be a legitimate problem. “It’s better to give us a call and have us check it out,” he said.

The back window of a car appears to have shattered in the 23000 block of East Maxwell Avenue on Friday evening. The resident reported that the window broke when he was in his garage and the car was parked in his driveway. The man said he didn’t hear a noise or see anyone, Asmus said. “He cleaned up the glass and there was no rock, no pebbles, no BBs,” Asmus said.

One man had the distinction of being cited twice for speeding on different days at locations only about a block apart on Appleway.

During the week officers handed out three citations for license and plates required, two for failure to show proof of liability insurance and 11 for speeding. Additional citations were given for failure to have a required ignition interlock, following too close, failure to yield-left turn, failure to stop/yield at an intersection and use of a cellphone.