Liberty Lake police seek deterrent to alcohol thefts

SATURDAY, AUG. 16, 2014

The Liberty Lake Police Department is struggling with the rising number of alcohol thefts from the local Safeway store. Officers often respond to calls for alcohol thefts at least twice a week, said Police Chief Brian Asmus.

A solution to the problem needs to be found, Asmus said. “I am planning to meet with the (store) manager,” he said.

Asmus said he has not received similar theft reports from the Albertson’s across the street, which keeps its alcohol in the back of the store.

One recent alcohol theft rose to the level of a felony when a suspected thief assaulted a store employee and his two friends joined in, one hitting a customer who was calling 911, Asmus said. Spokane resident Jesse A. Thorne, 19, was arrested on charges of second-degree robbery, a felony, and assault on Aug. 7. Oshay O. Sharp, 19, is also facing a charge of second-degree robbery. A third man was cited for misdemeanor assault for his role in the incident.

Another alcohol theft was reported at 11 a.m. on Aug. 8. In that case the suspected thief and a passenger were in a car that jumped the curb and drove through a drainage swale by the Carl’s Jr. restaurant. The car hit speeds of 85 miles per hour before the driver pulled over and both men ran, Asmus said. The passenger was found and released after it was determined he was not involved in the theft. Police have received several tips on the identity of the driver and continue to investigate, Asmus said.

Other reports from Aug. 4-11

Aug. 2: A woman stole nearly $400 worth of DVD movies and toiletries from the Safeway in the 1200 block of North Liberty Lake Road. She fled from employees and was picked up by a car. The woman was identified and promised to turn herself in to police, but she never did. Police are recommending a criminal charge of third-degree theft.

Aug. 5: An abandoned car was reported in the left turn lane at Country Vista Drive and Liberty Lake Road. The registered owner of the car was contacted to pick up the car, but it was towed when he didn’t show up. A man was arrested for violating a no contact order in the 24000 block of East Spotted Owl Lane after he was found hiding in a closet under a blanket in the residence he was banned from.

Aug. 6: A resident in the 1800 block of North Glenbrook reported hearing screaming from a neighboring residence. Officers found a man who said he was babysitting five children and had yelled at them to clean up. The children appeared to be fine.

Aug. 8: A bicycle was reported stolen from the STA Park and Ride lot.

Aug. 10: Six goats were reported loose in the roadway in the 1000 block of North Garry Drive. An officer helped round up the goats and return them to their pen.

Arrests: Police made one arrest on a felony escape warrant and one arrest for driving with a suspended license.

Citations: Officers handed out two citations for speeding. Additional citations were given for passing in a no-passing zone and use of a cellphone.

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