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Woman posing as prostitute, one man arrested in robbery

A woman posing as a prostitute and one man were arrested in connection to an armed robbery Friday morning, police say.

Tenisha M. Herrell, 25, arranged to meet with the male victim on backpage.com, an online classifieds site frequently used by prostitutes and escorts, according to a Spokane police news release. Herrell, who went by the name of “Melanie” on the site, agreed to meet him early Friday morning near Hill ‘n’ Dale Rotary Park near Colton and Jay Street, the release said.

See the original story here.

Thief strikes children’s music nonprofit

Someone stole about $5,000 in equipment from a downtown cafe and concert house last weekend.

A thief or thieves climbed in an open but barred window in the back courtyard the Village Cafe and Concert House., 171 S. Washington St., and stole recording equipment, guitars, appliances, an air conditioner and power tools, said owner Doug LaPlante.

LaPlante is remodeling the building with a couple of friends and said the bars on the window were so narrow he didn't think anyone could fit through. Apparently he was wrong, and the window has since been boarded up.

“In the last 30 years I don't ever remember it being broken into,” LaPlante said. He recalled playing there in the 1990s. He's leased the space for about a year. It serves as a fundraising spot for LaPlante's nonprofit, the Village Experience, which provides free music lessons, instruments, and recording access to children.

A fundraiser is planned for Aug. 31 at Ugly Bettie's, 211 N. Division St.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Home burglar caught on tape - who is it?

Detectives are looking for help in identifying a man who burglarized a home in north Spokane County earlier this month.

A photo released today from the homeowner's game camera shows a man wearing gloves leaving the backdoor of the home in the 3100 block of East Deer Park-Milan Road. The homeowners returned from an eight-day vacation June 8 and discovered the break-in, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The man's accomplice, identified by police as Christopher John Steinbaugh, 32, was arrested last week on a residential burglary charge.

Detectives are asking for anyone with information on the man's identity to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 and reference case #12-176653.

Steinbaugh already is charged with property crimes for arrests in March and May, including one that occurred when a sheriff's detective recognized him at a pawn shop.

2 cars crash on tracks in wild chase

A wild car chase on Sunday ended in a father and son's vehicles crashing off railroad tracks into trees and a suspected thief getting away, police said Tuesday.

Authorities are asking for tips on the car thief, who they say stole a car from a Spokane Valley home then ditched it near East 16th Avenue and South Dishman-Mica Road after being pursued by the owner and his father.

The father had moved his son's car about 4:30 a.m. because it was partially blocking his vehicle. He left the keys in the ignition, then went inside to wait for his car to start because of a problem with its alarm system, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

He looked out the window to see his son's vehicle being driven north on South Dishman Road. He and his son got in his car and gave chase north on Dishman to East 8th Avenue, where the car thief began driving south on railroad tracks and they followed.

The car thief and the father-son team lost control of the cars and drove into a group of trees just south of 16th, where the suspect ran north on Dishman and the victims lost sight of him.

He's described as a white man, about 6-feet-tall and wearing a blue shirt and black pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

$40k in copper stripped from building

About $40,000 worth of copper was stolen from a business in Spokane Valley last weekend.

A manager of a building in the 4600 block of East Sprague Avenue that's used as a trailer storage told a sheriff's deputy on Monday that he noticed insulation on the floor on Saturday but assumed it was because of the age of the building.

But when he returned on Monday, he saw electrical wire missing from the ceiling and realized all copper wiring inside the walls and ceiling of the building had been stolen. All copper piping in the building was missing as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check (509) 456-2233.
  

Burglar strikes while woman showers

A 75-year-old woman found a burglar in her home after getting out of her shower this morning, sheriff's deputies say.

The woman heard loud banging on her front door in the 600 block of West Regina Drive about 10:30 a.m. and found the man standing insider her hallway after she got dressed and walked toward the front door, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The man ran out of the home then ran westbound on Regina toward Mill Road. Deputies say he forced his way into the home through the front door.

The man is described as white, 18 years old with an average build and wearing blue jeans and a blue coat.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man who helped assault victim sought

Detectives are looking for a young man who helped a woman who was assaulted near East South Riverton Avenue and North Magnolia Street earlier this month.

The man, described as in his late 20s to early 30s, helped the woman after she was knocked over by an unknown assailant March 1 about 6:30 a.m.

The Good Samaritan left before police arrived, and detectives are looking for him to help in their investigation, Spokane police said Thursday.

Anyone with information on his identity is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Tips sought on another ‘Nook’ theft

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Police are again looking for tips on the theft of Nook tablets from the Spokane Valley Barnes and Noble, this time for a break-in early March 5.

Officers responded to an alarm at the store, 15310 E. Indiana Ave., at 5:52 a.m. and found a tire iron on the ground next to the shattered window. They believe the burglary targeted the Nook kiosk because cash registers and other merchandise appeared to be untouched, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Surveillance video released Tuesday shows the thief wearing possibly a heavy fleece jacket with a white North Face logo on he left front chest and on the back right shoulder.

He also wore what appears to be dark blue jeans and dark shoes with a bright red logo on the heel, as well as a tan baseball hat with a light green bill and a blue and black backpack.

Police also are looking for tips on possible suspects in the theft of Nook tablets from the same store March 4.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
  

Tips sought on suspects in ‘Nook’ theft

   Property crime detectives are asking for help identifying two men who may have information about electronic “Nook” reading tablets stolen from the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Spokane Valley last week.

The theft occurred March 4 just before 6 p.m.

The Spokane Valley Police Department today released surveillance photos of the men in hopes someone will recognize them.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man arrested for school district tool theft

A tip to Crime Check helped police identify a suspect in a burglary at the East Valley School District maintenance office recently.

Christopher David Evans, 29, was arrested today by East Valley School Resource Officer Scott Streltzoff for the Jan. 27 burglary, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Police released a surveillance photo of the thief Feb. 8 in hopes someone would recognize him. Acting on the tip, Streltzoff spoke with a friend of Evans' last Friday about the location of the stolen tools, valued at $300.

Later that Friday, someone concealing their identity with a hooded sweatshirt returned the tools to the front porch of the maintenance building.

Evans was booked into jail about 2:30 p.m. on charges of second-degree burglary and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

The East Valley School District thanks everyone for their help.

Tips sought on Valley school break-in

Police are looking for information on a vandalism and attempted theft at a Spokane Valley elementary school early Saturday.

Officers responded to an alarm at Greenacres Elementary School in the 17915 E. Fourth St. about 2:57 a.m.

They arrived to find a window pried out o the wall on the east side of the school. A projector mounted on a classroom ceiling was hanging by wires.

Officer set up a perimeter and called in a police dog, but officer did not locate a suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Tips sought on school district tool theft

Spokane Valley police are trying to identify two men who stole tools from the East Valley School District.

Surveillance photos released today show one of the thieves in the maintenance yard in the 18000 block of East Euclid Avenue on Jan. 27.

Police say the thieves entered a fenced area and stole about $300 worth of tools.

Anyone with information on a suspect is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

UPS driver, neighbors help ID suspects

A UPS driver and two watchful residents helped police identify two suspects in a burglary this week.

The driver and a neighbor in the 12500 block of South Madison Road on Monday spotted two men at a home acting suspicious. The men drove away in a tan minivan after realizing they'd been spotted, accoridng to a news release.

The witnesses provided their descriptions and the van's license plate number to the homeowner, who called Crime Check after discovering his garage had been burglarized. Another resident in the 12300 block of East Dishman Mica Road reported a surveillance camera stolen from his fence and provided the getaway minivan's license plate to Crime Check.

Spokane County sheriff's Detective Bob Sola and Deputy Brent Garrett on Tuesday identified Devynn J. Whitman, 19 and Kory A. Tolefson, 20, as suspects on Tuesday.

They were booked into jail on charges of second-degree burglary and second-degree theft. Detectives returned property stolen in the burglary to the victim, but the stolen surveillance camera has not yet been located.

In the release, Sola called the arrests “a great example of alert citizens working together with the Sheriff’s Office to solve crime.”
  

Police seek info on downtown assault

Police are asking for help identifying two people sought for questioning about an assault in downtown Spokane last month.

A surveillance image released today shows the man and woman, who police describe as “persons of interest” in a fight between two men in the area of North Howard Street and West Riverside Avenue Oct. 18 at 10:20 p.m. The victim suffered significant injuries, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Gunman hurls cash drawer at waitress

A gunman, apparently angered over the meager amount of money, hurled a cash drawer at a restaurant waitress Tuesday night in Spokane Valley.

The man entered Rancho Viejo, 14201 E. Sprague Ave., about 8:45 p.m. and waved a chromed or silver-colored pistol while demanding money.

The waitress told him she had to get keys to the cash drawer and walked part way into the kitchen, where she told the bus boy to call 911. The boy did so, and the 911 operator heard the gunman threatening the waitress, a cook and two women customers. The boy witnessed the robber tear the cash drawer out of the cabinet and throw it at the waitress after discovering it contained only coins.

The drawer hit the woman in her arms, which were crossed over her chest. The man also struck the cook int eh back of the head with the pistol, injuring him slightly.

The robber stole cash from a second drawer before running out the front door.

He's described as black, 30 years old, 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call (509) 456-2233.

Tips sought on motorcycle-riding robbers

Spokane police are asking for helping identifying two people on a motorcycle who stole a disabled woman's purse last week. 

The woman was loading groceries into her vehicle in the Huckleberries market parking lot, 926 S. Monroe St., about 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 when two people on a motorcycle drove up grabbed her purse and fled through the parking lot.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Cop’s truck is latest Ford fiend target

A state-owned Ford pickup assigned to a Spokane police detective is the latest victim in a rash of prowlings targeting the popular line of pickups in Spokane Valley.

The detective was on duty when someone “damaged the door lock to gain entry” to his F-350 pickup in the Albertsons grocery parking lot at Trent Avenue and Argonne Road and stole his briefcase containing a laptop computer. A witness told  him two men in a green Chevy had broken into the truck, according to a news release by Spokane Valley police Sgt. Dave Reagan.

The truck was assigned to the detective by the Washington State Training Commission.

Police are urging Ford pickup owners to park in highly visible area of Spokane Valley parking lots as they investigate the series of prowlings targeting the popular line of pickups.

Four break-ins were reported Monday, then another Monday break-in was reported today by a Colfax resident who said a $300 Garmin GPS unit was stolen from her F-350 pickup in the Lowe's parking lot after the thief pried the door handle and broke the lock. A Lowe's employee said security video showed the thief driving a green Chevrolet Suburban with no visible license plates.

Also on Monday, two victims reported having their Ford trucks prowled while parked at the Quality Inn in the 8900 block of East Mission.  

Anyone with information on the break-ins is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Thieves target Avista power lines

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Overhead lines that return unused power to Avista have been targeted by metal thieves since late August, a company employee reported Monday.

Since Aug. 22, a suspect has stolen more than one and a half miles of #6 copper for a loss exceeding $18,000.  The company has been replacing the stolen copper lines with aluminum wire which is less expensive.

The employee said the return cable is the lower of the two lines on the power poles and that the suspect pulls the line down and then cuts it closest to the pole.   

The thefts are risky business. Although the line is usually not powered, it can be at any time and the thief would have no way of knowing if it is charged or not.

The most recent theft occurred Monday in the 20600 block of North Hazard Road.  Crews had just replaced the line at midnight and it was discovered missing again at 6 a.m.

Anyone with information regarding these thefts is encouraged to call Crime Check at 456-2233.
  

Prowler targets Fords in Spokane Valley

A prowler appears to be targeting Ford trucks in the area of Sprague Avenue and Fancher Road in Spokane Valley.

According to Spokane County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Reagan, a Valleyford man reported his Ford F-350 pickup was entered about 2:45 p.m. Monday while it was parked in the Lowe’s lot.  His GPS navigation unit, a Verizon cellular phone and other items were stolen.

About 4:50 p.m. Monday, a Cheney resident reported her Ford F-250 broken into while it was parked in the Lowe’s lot.  Cash and a cell phone charger were stolen.

Another Cheney resident told Crime Check that her Ford F-250 pickup was entered about 4:30 p.m. Monday and an old purse containing credit cards was  stolen.  The truck was parked in the Aslin-Finch parking lot and the victim said she was inside the store less than five minutes.

A fourth prowling incident was reported at 4:30 p.m. of a 1999 Ford Explorer parked in a lot at Main and Fancher.  The break-in occurred sometime between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and an Apple IPod and $250 Sidekick cellular phone were stolen.

Method of entry was not listed in every report, but in two instances the door lock was punched in and in one instance the vehicle was left unlocked.

Reagan titled a news release about the thefts “Ford Fiend Fancher-Focused.”

 Anyone with information about these crimes is encouraged to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Thieves return to KPBX Radio site

Thieves returned to the KPBX Radio antenna site atop Mica Peak last weekend.

The culprits stole items left over from a previous burglary in which pieces of the station's radio antenna were stolen, according to a news release by Spokane County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.
 
On Monday, an employee discovered a red fuel tank missing, as well as eight stainless steel “saddle” or “L” brackets, Reagan said.  A coil of 3 1/8-inch and a coil of three-inch plastic coated copper coax also were stolen, along with two 10-foot long pieces of ½-inch copper antenna pool. A large pair of bolt cutters was seized as evidence.
 
The thefts come just after employees on Aug. 23 discovered a spare antenna had been looted of cooper coax cable and stainless steel fittings, which are often stolen and resold as scrap metal.
 
Anyone with information on either burglary is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233

Clues sought on truck in murder case

Police are asking for help identifying a pickup truck that may be connected to the homicide of a woman found dead behind an east Spokane warehouse.

 Investigators released two photos of the pickup today in hopes that people will come forward with information on who the driver may have been in the early hours of Aug. 13.

Evon M. Moore, 48, was found dead near Ralph Street and West Riverside Avenue later that day. Her cause of death has not been determined pending the police investigation, but an autopsy confirmed her death was a homicide, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 Moore had felony drug and burglary convictions from 2005 but was studying at Spokane Community College to be a legal administrative assistant.

Anyone with information about the truck or Moore’s death is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Past coverage:

Aug. 15: Slain woman was dedicated student, family says

Child seized after police find pot plants

A 30-year-old man was arrested and his child was taken into protective custody after police found six marijuana plants in a shed in the back of his home Tuesday.

Spokane Valley police found Christopher Anthony Tonnessen's 2-year-old son sitting in the dirt among broken toys, wires, dog feces, sharp tools and string fencing after a neighbor called Crime Check about 7:15 p.m. to a report a child wearing only a diaper who appeared to be locked out of the home in the 11000 block of East Valleyway Avenue, according to a news release.

Police looked though a window and Tonnessen sitting at a computer with a”very large” marijuana bong next to him. Officer Darin Powers stood at the window with the child for nearly a minute before Tonnessen responded to his knocking on the window. Powers said the home smelled of marijuana “and the stench of decaying food, unwashed clothing and other filth,” according to the release.

“The kitchen was so full of dirty dishes containing uneaten and rotting food, mold and insects it appeared to the officer that no one could cook there,” the release said.

Tonnessen had a medical marijuana card that expired 18 months ago, police said. He also had a large bowl of marijuana and several other bongs in the home, as well as a jar of marijuana within reach of the child, police said.

Tonnessen allowed police to search the home and showed them the plants in the back shed. Police also found three plants outside the shed in the yard.

Child Protective Services transported the boy to a relative, and a dog was turned over to Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services.

Tonnessen was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a felony count of manufacturing a controlled substance.

1 arrested, 1 wanted in hotel stabbing

Spokane police have arrested a suspect in a stabbing and attempted robbery at Comfort Inn last month and are asking for help locating a second suspect.

Walter S. Reiter, 31, (pictured) is wanted for first-degree robbery, police said today. Anyone with information on his location should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Jason M. Doyle, 32, a felon, was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He and Reiter are accused of using a shotgun to try to rob a man at the Comfort Inn, 923 E. 3rd Ave. on July 25 about 1 a.m.

The victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound after reportedly bragging “about how much money and dope he had in his car,” police said at the time.

Surveillance photos released last week led police to identify Doyle and Reiter as suspects.
  

Video shows suspect in GU law caper

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Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a woman who stole a laptop computer from the Gonzaga Law Library.

Security video shows the thief (in front) entering the library with a child and a female companion about 7 p.m. on June 21.  Detectives also want to identify the second female.

Witnesses saw the lead female near the laptop which had been left on a table top.  No one in the library at the time recognized the thief as a student, and when she quickly exited the library carrying a backpack, one witness followed her.

The witness saw her retrieve the child and leave in a maroon or burgundy “American-looking” four-door car, according to police.

Gonzaga security staff was able to locate video of the suspect, the child and companion as they entered the library.  The white female suspect is in the lead and was described as between 35 and 39 years old, 5’03” tall and 180 pounds..

Anyone with information about either woman’s identity is asked to contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
  

Wanted: Info on man who died in river

Police are asking for the public’s help to determine how a 40-year-old man ended up dead in the Spokane River on Friday.

 Keith A. Millheim’s body was pulled from the Spokane River after being spotted under the Sandifur Bridge in People’s Park about 5:12 p.m.

Millheim’s body was pinned by a log “in a particularly treacherous and fast moving section of the river,” according to the Spokane Fire Department.

The “very difficult and technically challenging” recovery was a joint effort by the fire department’s marine unit and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office dive team members.

Police say Millheim was released from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on July 25. Investigators are trying to determine where he was and who he stayed with in the days after his release.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Fuel card thieves rack up $5k+ in sales

Police are trying to identify two vehicles driven by thieves who have stolen thousands of dollars worth of fuel since May.

 Someone stole a fuel car from an Environment West vehicle in the 7500 block of North Argonne and paid for gas purchases worth more than $2,000, including one in Adams County, before the card was returned to the vehicle.

 On June 7, someone cut through security fencing at the Central Valley School District, 19300 E. Cataldo Ave., and stole fuel cards from several buses. 

“The thief, and presumably his friends, has racked up more that $5,000 in stolen fuel bills,” Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release. “All of the gasoline was stolen from Pacific Pride fuel stations, and most was stolen at the Newman Lake site.” 

Surveillance photos from gas stations show a mid-90s green standard cab Dodge pickup that is lifted and has a silver passenger door and after-market wheels.

Also pictured is a mid-to-late 90's white GMC or Chevrolet Tahoe (possibly a Suburban) that has a roof rack, white taillight covers and a pitbull sticker in the right rear window.

Anyone with information on the owners of the vehicles is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Arson suspected in Valley house fire

Arson caused a fire that damaged a home in Spokane Valley early Sunday, officials said today.

The blaze at 4418 E. 15th Ave., caused more than $100,000 in damage to the home and took more than 25 firefighters to quickly contain.

The family was away camping for the weekend, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Crews were called to the home about 3 a.m. and saw smoke and flames coming from the front of the building. They believe the fire burned and smoldered “for some time” before it was reported, according to a news release by Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford, department spokesman.

Neighbors reported hearing noises and seeing a dark-colored vehicle with hits headlights off speeding away from the home, which is owned by Mandi J. Nordhagen, according to property records.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 or the Fire Department at (509) 928-1700.
  

Northside constructon trailers looted

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Someone broke into a pair of construction trailers overnight Wednesday and made off with about $2,200 worth of tools and equipment.

A foreman for Graham Construction told Spokane County sheriff's Deputy Terry Liljenberg that the trailers were parked below new bridges being constructed at Wandermere for the North-South freeway. The break-ins were discovered about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

Thieves stole an Echo chainsaw, a Husquavarna demolition saw, a DeWalt roto-hammer, two 100-foot 220 amp power cords and a Honda 220 amp generator.

The thieves unsuccessfully attempted to break into a third trailer, he said. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

‘Dog-gone thieves’ swipe bulldog statue

A statue of a bulldog was stolen from the front porch of a south Spokane home recently.

A resident in the 3000 block of East Tara Drive in the Moran Praire neighborhood noticed the cast-iron bulldog missing from her front porch Tuesday morning.

She said the $300 statue “is very heavy and would have taken two persons to lift,” according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan titled “Dog-Gone thieves.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

‘Lawn order’ vandals damage school

Authorities say vandals broke 80 sprinkler heads off the irrigation system at Trentwood Elementary School, 14701 E. Wellesley Ave., sometime during the weekend.

The vandals had “no respect for lawn order,” Spokane Valley police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release.

An employee told Crime Check the vandalism took place sometime between 3 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday, Reagan said. Damage was limited to the front of the school.

School officials estimate the loss at about $1,000, he said.

Anyone with information regarding the act of malicious mischief is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.