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Big news @ the Seattle Auto Show

Scoring a press pass to the Seattle Auto Show is kind of like finding a golden ticket in a Wonka Bar.  Only the press pass doesn't come with the risk of being saddled with CEO duties to an ailing chocolate factory. It does come with the responsibility to attend the Seattle Auto Show’s press day before the doors open to the general public. The experience isn’t unlike touring the Wonka factory except the stops on the candy land map are replaced by ten minute presentations from automaker’s public relations departments.

In the time it takes to bake a tray of cookies representatives from each company do their best to regale the local auto press with their brands’ most important stories.  Here’s what made it to my notepad from the adventure this year:

FORD

Ford decided to focus their presentation on the five year anniversary of their partnership with Microsoft to produce the Ford Sync connectivity system (Ha!).  As of this year Ford has produced five million sync-equipped vehicles that allow consumers to integrate the technology of the ever expanding smart phone craze with Ford vehicles.

A representative from Ford and Microsoft led the presentation in front the new Ford Escape, which since its recent exterior makeover is looking much sleeker and less boxy. 

Is it a small SUV?  Multi-Purpose-Vehicle (MPV)?  Crossover-Utility-Vehicle (CUV)?   

These confusing acronyms are mattering less and less.  The Escape is helping to pioneer a future where more vehicles will be celebrated as Renaissance men of many disciplines, like a tight end in the NFL that can block as well as author a successful motivational book.

Other big players on the blue oval floor included the roided-out 650hp, 200mph 2013 Mustang GT500 and Prius intimidator C-Max.  These polar opposites are glowing examples of the healthy range in Ford’s lineup.

Further proof was supported by a black 2013 Focus ST, the first performance Focus available stateside since 2004. In ST trim the Focus pumps out 252hp.  That makes it a serious contender to the Volkswagen GTI in Fast and Furious-style street races for pink slips and floosy girlfriends. On the commuter end of the spectrum the Focus SE is good for 28city/40highway.

That’s the best kind of automotive progress; the kind that doesn’t kill fun.

News from Buick, Toyota, Fisker, Dodge

Cops: Pa. inmate hails cab from hospital

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies say a western Pennsylvania county jail inmate wearing an orange-and-white striped uniform tried to hail a taxi to escape from a hospital where he was taken for medical treatment.

The Beaver County Times (http://bit.ly/OipJ1g ) reports Tuesday that 23-year-old Holden Wooley was taken to Heritage Valley Beaver Hospital on Saturday night after a reported seizure. Deputies say at one point during his four-hour hospital visit, Wooley went outside to hail a cab — but the driver refused to pick him up.

When hospital security officers tried to grab him, Wooley ran into the woods. Police say he was arrested a couple hours later when officers used a dog and a stun gun to subdue him. He was treated for a dog bite at the hospital and returned to jail.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Wooley.

Wanted: Woman w/ 254 police contacts

A 25-year-old Spokane woman who police say they've contacted 254 times is again wanted for violating her probation.

Desarae M. Dawson, a former Crime Stoppers fugitive, was sentenced in February to 17 days in Spokane County Jail after pleading guilty to riot and escape from community custody. She was released right after her sentencing because she'd already served the time.

Dawson apparently didn't stick with her probation requirements for very long. Spokane police Major Frank Scalise, who supervises the patrol division, said she has a Department of Corrections warrant for her arrest.

Dawson has 12 felony convictions and has been arrested 21 times. But police also track contacts, which could include police seeking the person out for interviews or traffic stops in which the person is a passenger, and say Dawson's 254 contacts adds to her status as a repeat offender. (Read about her role in a false report about a stolen car back in May 2011 here.)

Dawson is mentioned in Spokesman-Review writer Shawn Vestal's column on repeat offenders - or ropes, as the police call them.

“That’s their career,” Scalise told Vestal. “Just like you are a journalist and I am a police officer, they are thieves.”

Read Vestal's column here.

Anyone with information on Dawson's location should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Say what! Self-filmed suspect back in jail

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page.

A car prowling suspect who escaped from Geiger Corrections Center now faces an additional felony charge.

Nathan John Calvert is to be arraigned next week on a charge of second-degree escape.

He was arrested Feb. 23 in the area of 2900 E. Cleveland Ave. after escaping Geiger on Feb. 11.

 Calvert, 28, already is charged with residential burglary, possession of a stolen firearm and three counts of second-degree theft for a theft spree that included him posting a video of himself with suspect stolen property on his Facebook page.

The alleged spree ended when an attorney caught him in his truck. Spokane Valley police say Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks throughout Spokane County. 

Past coverage:

Dec. 14: Cops: Man's Facebook post is evidence

Say what! Self-filmed suspect escapes

This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page.

Authorities still are looking for a car prowling suspect who escaped from Geiger Corrections Center Saturday, officials said today.

Nathan John Calvert, who posted a video of himself with suspected stolen property on his Facebook page just before his arrest in December, had been working in the kitchen area when staff noticed he was gone about 3:30 p.m. The facility was locked down as staff looked for Calvert, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Calvert, 28, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges related to a car prowling spree that ended when an attorney caught him in his truck. Spokane Valley police say Calvert had a stolen Jeep filled with stolen property. Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks throughout Spokane County.  

Detectives expect to use Calvert's Facebook video as evidence. The video shows Calvert in a vehicle he describes as a Jeep. He focuses on stolen property in the back of the vehicle and says he hasn't decided what he's going to do yet. Then he raps. Check out the video here.

Anyone with information on Calvert's location is asked to call 911. Anyone who was near Geiger at the time of the escape and may have seen someone matching Calvert's description also is asked to call 911.

It's the second escape from Geiger in three weeks. Two women were arrested after escaping in January.

Jail inmate accused of aiding escape

A woman who escaped federal custody last month was assisted by another inmate at the Spokane County Jail, prosecutors allege.

Andrea Nicole Falsetta, alias Hartnett, 37, is accused of helping Sandra Irene Duffy arrange to be helped by Barbara F. Haight, 61, after Duffy (pictured) walked away from a doctor's appointment at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center Jan. 10.

Duffy, 47, had been in custody on a federal drug charge. Falsetta, who has been jailed since August, helped Duffy contact Haight and arrange the escape, prosecutors allege.

Duffy was arrested at a home in north Spokane Jan. 14.

A grand jury indicted her Tuesday on an escape charge, which carries a maximum five year sin prison. Falsetta and Haight were indicted for aiding and assaulting escape, which also carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Duffy was missing for two days in July 2008 after she leaped about 20 feet from a bridge into a river to avoid Wenatchee police. Police arrested her at her home about 23 miles from the bridge two days later on methamphetamine charges. She was sentenced to two years in federal prison and a year of probation.

Duffy was arrested again last summer as one of more than 20 people indicted in a federal investigation into widespread cocaine and meth distribution in Eastern Washington.

Another escape attempt at Benewah jail

State officials learned of an attempted Wednesday escape at the Benewah County Jail when officials at another jail called to say the inmate had been transferred there, and they wanted him gone. 

The Idaho Department of Correction is working to transport Timothy Wesley Allen, 30, to another facility, said spokesman Jeff Ray.

Allen was awaiting transfer to state custody on a parole violation when he tried to break through a wall at the jail, Ray said.

Jailers discovered the attempted break-in about 10 p.m., Ray said. Benewah County Sheriff's Office transferred Allen to the Shoshone County Jail in Wallace, Idaho.

Jailers called the state official in charge of the facility and asked that Allen be removed as soon as possible.

“He said 'how come?' and found out why,” Ray said.

The Benewah County Sheriff’s Office did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Allen has convictions for grand theft, robbery, DUI and accessory to a robbery in Montana in 2009, Ray said.

This is the second time in six months Benewah County has failed to notify the department of an escape or attempted escape by a state inmate.

Jesse John Wilkenson, also known as Jesse Brebner, 20, has escaped twice - last July and last September.

Couple accused of aiding Geiger escape

A Spokane couple has been arrested for helping two women escape Geiger Corrections Center Tuesday, the sheriff's office said today.

 Troy Arvid Scheiber, 43 and Judith A. Scheiber, 46, were booked into jail for second-degree rendering criminal assistance late Tuesday after deputies determined they planned to give Kathleen D. Stockton, 49, and Rachel A. Banks, 25, a ride out of the area.

Stockton (left) and Banks (right) were arrested after one of the women, whose hand and face were bloodied and who was wearing only one shoe, asked for a ride at the Airway Express on Geiger Boulevard, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She reportedly told employees that she had “jumped the fence” at the corrections center. The women escaped through a broken window.

The women were severely injured by razor wire from the facility's fence - sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory described some of their cuts as initially life threatening. Banks also broke her ankle, Gregory said.

The suspects were moved to the Spokane County Jail to await their appearances in Superior Court today for first-degree escape.

Stockton was serving time for felony drug possession. She was arrested in 2005 for stealing purses from churches and day cares. Banks was arrested earlier this month on charges of residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle. She also was arrested in April after crashing a stolen car into a house.

Geiger, located at 3507 South Spotted Road, is a branch o the jail that houses “low level inmates that don't pose a threat to the community,” Gregory said, but the incident illustrates the problems that arise when inmates are housed at a facility that isn't designed for such a purpose.

“Temporary security measures were put in place immediately following the incident,” Gregory said in a news release.”The facility administrators will be considering options for more permanent measures, knowing that the only real fix is to build a replacement facility.”
  

Chronic escapee sought after walk away

A woman who escaped police in 2008 by leaping from a bridge into the Wenatchee River escaped custody again this week while at a doctor appointment on Spokane's South Hill.

U.S. Marshals are offering a reward for tips that help arrest Sandra Irene Duffy, 47, who walked away from her appointment on Tuesday about 4:25 p.m.

Duffy was charged in July with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She was furloughed from jail to allow her to go the appointment with her attorney; an arrest warrant was issued today.

Duffy was last seen wearing a light blue and dark blue jacket, a yellow or white hooded sweatshirt, torn blue jeans and white shoes, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. She is 5-foot-8 and about 150 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call the U.S. Marshals at (509) 368-3600.

Duffy was missing for two days in July 2008 after she leaped about 20 feet from the bridge into the river to avoid Wenatchee police. Police arrested her at her home about 23 miles from the bridge two days later on methamphetamine charges. She was sentenced to two years in federal prison and a year of probation.

Duffy was one of more than 20 people indicted by a grand jury last summer in a federal investigation into widespread cocaine and meth distribution in Eastern Washington.

Escaped offender caught in ND cornfield

TOWER CITY, N.D. (AP) — A convicted sex offender who escaped from a private transport company's van while being moved across the country was nabbed in a North Dakota cornfield Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities say 29-year-old Joseph Megna was being transferred from Florida to Washington when he fled the van during a stop west of Fargo Tuesday. Farmers in combines worked with SWAT team members on Wednesday to flush him from the field.

Local, state and federal officials had searched for Megna by land and by air. They believe he spent the night in a barn where he had access to a water faucet. They say he fled into the field Wednesday morning after a deputy spotted him.

Megna tells reporters he escaped because he's a vegetarian and wasn't getting enough to eat.

Repeat offender accused of escape plot

A 15-time felon considered by law enforcement to be one of the area’s most active criminals is accused of planning an escape at Geiger Corrections Center, and jail staff are investigating why he was placed at the minimum-security facility.

 Jeffery Edward Krell, 44, was caught with marijuana at the Spokane County Jail last month, but he had recently been reclassified as a lower security inmate when Geiger staff discovered 15 screws missing from a broken window in his unit at Geiger in Airway Heights, which serves as an extension of the jail for minimum security inmates, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

“I don’t know why” Krell was reclassified, Reagan said, adding that staff at Geiger “are kind of scratching their heads, too.”

Read the rest of my story here.

2-time jail escapee back in custody

A burglar who escaped from the Benewah County Jail in July escaped again early Tuesday, authorities say, but was back in custody by Tuesday night.

Jesse John Wilkenson, 20, also known as Jesse Brebner, was in custody on charges related to the July 15 escape when he left the jail about 12:15 a.m. A Benewah County sheriff's deputy, acting on a tip, arrested Wilkenson after establishing a roadblock west of St. Maries, according to the St. Maries Gazette Record.

Wilkenson had been sentenced to a 365-day prison treatment program for a burglary conviction but hadn't been transferred to a state facility because he was awaiting the resolution of his escape charge, which carries up to five years in prison, said Teresa Jones, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Correction.

Benewah County authorities did not notify state prison officials of Wilkenson's escape in July for several days, but Jones said the department knew of Tuesday's escape early that day.

Past coverage:

July 21: Cross deputization helped nab jail escapee

July 19: Benewah County kept jail escape quiet

Man escapes work release amid probe

A 21-year-old man escaped a work release program recently after police interviewed him about a series of vehicle thefts in North Idaho.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of William V. Woods, who left the Brownstone Work Release Program while serving a sentence for third-degree assault, according to a news release.

He faces charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and two counts of first-degree possession of stolen property for the theft of two cargo trailers and a truck in North Idaho, in addition to a fresh count of escape from community custody.

Woods, 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds, is a transient with a previous felony conviction for second-degree theft. Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters do not have to give their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Cross-deputization helped nab escapee

A convicted burglar who escaped Friday from Benewah County Jail has been recaptured, thanks in part to Kootenai County’s cross-deputization agreement with the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police.

Tribal officers made the arrest working with Plummer city police and the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office, authorities said Wednesday.

Jesse John Wilkenson, 20, also known as Jesse Brebner, was recaptured at 2 a.m. Wednesday on Conklin Park Road, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Read the rest of Alison Boggs' story here.

Past coverage:

July 19: Benewah County kept jail escape quiet

Benewah County kept jail escape quiet

UPDATE: Wilkenson was arrested early Wednesday in Kootenai County. Read more here.

State authorities issued a warning that a convicted felon escaped Friday from Benewah County Jail after learning local officials failed to do so.

“Anytime someone is running from the law, we consider them to pose a measure of risk because they may be acting desperately and irrationally,” said Jeff Ray, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Correction. “You gotta hit the red button when these guys get loose.”

Jesse John Wilkenson, also known as Jesse Brebner, is 20 and has brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5-foot-8, 146 pounds and has a medium complexion, a news release from the Idaho Department of Correction said Tuesday.

Wilkenson was sentenced Friday to a year-long retained jurisdiction program following a burglary conviction and a probation violation. Judges can retain jurisdiction over offenders during evaluation and treatment. If they complete the program successfully, offenders can be released on probation and avoid longer prison sentences, the release said.

Wilkenson escaped a few hours after the sentencing, the news release said.

Ray said Benewah County officials alerted the Department of Correction about the escape in the notes column of a form faxed to the state Monday that details when a prisoner can be transported.

As a felon, Wilkenson falls under the state’s jurisdiction, Ray said.

“We didn’t know about it until Monday and then it was buried,” Ray said. “If it’s an offender under our jurisdiction, we want to know if he’s loose.”

Benewah County Sheriff Robert Kirts did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Anyone with information about Wilkenson’s whereabouts is asked to call local law enforcement.

Escape plot timed to guard’s lunch break

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Following the strangling of an officer at the state prison in Monroe this year, national correctional experts made a simple suggestion for improving safety at Washington's prisons: Eliminate meal breaks for corrections officers.

The idea to have the officers munch during their shifts was designed to keep staffing levels constant, rather than having some guards left short-staffed in a dangerous environment while others took breaks.

The state Department of Corrections made the change at its complex in Monroe within the past month, switching officers on day and swing shifts from 8.5- to 8-hour work days, and is rolling it out at the state's other major prisons.

But it hasn't yet done so at Clallam Bay Corrections Center, where a brazen escape attempt Wednesday was timed to an officer's lunch break. A guard was briefly held hostage during the incident, which ended with a prisoner being shot and killed.

“We have a tough economic climate in Washington and we're trying to increase staffing levels without additional expenditures,” Washington state deputy prison director Dan Pacholke said Thursday.

The attempted prison break Wednesday occurred at the Olympic Peninsula facility's garment shop, where about 70 inmates typically work making offender uniforms and coveralls. The prisoners were supervised by two unarmed corrections officers and a handful of civilian staff members, who are also trained in responding to prison emergencies.

While one of the two corrections officers was on a lunch break, two inmates — convicted murderer Kevin Newland (above) and Dominick Maldonado, (keft) who shot and injured seven people during a rampage at the Tacoma Mall in 2005 — put their plan into action. Maldonado grabbed the unarmed officer and held him hostage with a pair of scissors readily available in the garment shop, while Newland took keys from the guard, unlocked a forklift and rammed it through a rollup door, officials said.

Newland ignored verbal commands and a warning shot before an officer shot him, said DOC spokesman Chad Lewis, and Maldonado released his hostage after seeing his partner killed.

The prison was expected to remain on lockdown for several days. Clallam County sheriff's detectives arrived Thursday to investigate, and Maldonado could face charges of escape or custodial assault.

Pacholke and Lewis were quick to emphasize that it was standard procedure for there to be one officer on duty in the garment shop while the other took a lunch break. They also said the presence of the civilian staff, who train offenders in the garment industry, mitigated the officer's absence.

When the attack occurred, the civilian employee in the vicinity tried to intervene physically, saw that he had little chance of success and quickly acted to alert prison officials, Pacholke said.

“If you would have had two corrections officers, it would have been a stronger response, but the civilian correctional industry workers responded very well,” Pacholke said.

Jim Smith, director of corrections and law enforcement with Teamsters Local 117, the union representing the state's corrections officers and civilian Correctional Industries workers, said the civilian worker involved was repeatedly punched by Newland.

Even after he broke free, Newland chased him down and beat him again before he was able to summon help, said Smith, who visited the prison Thursday to meet with union members involved and ensure their mental and physical well-being.

It was too early to say whether staffing levels played a factor, Smith said.

“The criminal investigation is under way, and we want to make sure it's a solid investigation for prosecuting someone who assaulted our members, but we'll be looking at it thoroughly when the investigation is finished,” he said.

He also said it's unclear whether the switch to 8-hour schedules without breaks is a good idea. The prisons historically had such schedules before moving to 8.5-hour shifts with meal breaks several years ago.

“This is a high-pressure, high-intensity job, and you need to be focused on the inmates,” he said. “To be on for eight hours straight, without any breaks, that's also a concern.”

The switch was recommended by the National Institute of Corrections, which was asked to review state prison operations following the death of Officer Jayme Biendl at the Monroe reformatory in January. Biendl was strangled by a convicted rapist in a chapel.

The institute also suggested that officers wear personal body alarms and carry pepper spray.

Typically, corrections officers assigned to areas where prisoners live and work are unarmed, due to concerns that inmates might be able to take the weapons. Other officers, such as those assigned to special response teams, do carry guns.

Spokane murderer dies in escape attempt

Murder victim Jamie Lynn Drake is pictured in 2006 with her prized 1993 Mustang. (File photo)

A Spokane man serving 45 years for the murder of a 19-year-old woman in 2006 was shot and killed today in what prison officials describe as an apparent escape attempt.

Kevin Wayne Newland, 25, (left) drove a forklift through the doors of an industrial area at Clallam Bay Corrections Center after a corrections officer was taken hostage about 10 a.m. by another inmate armed with a pair of scissors, according to the Washington Department of Corrections. Newland then drove into the prison’s perimeter fences before he was shot and killed by another corrections officer, officials say.

The officer taken hostage was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

The rampage appears to have been spearheaded by two men convicted of violent, high-profile crimes – Newland for the strangulation death of Spokane teenager Jamie Lynn Drake, and 25-year-old Dominick S. Maldonado (right) for a shooting spree at the Tacoma Mall in 2005 in which four people were taken hostage and seven people injured.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Oct. 20, 2007: Newland sentenced to 45 years for murder

Sept. 8, 2007: Newland found guilty of murder

Aug. 29, 2007: Possible jail escape foiled

Escapee knocks on off-duty guard’s door

SEATTLE (AP) — An escaped convict was caught following a day on the loose after he knocked on a cabin door — only to find out the man renting the lodge was an off-duty guard at the prison he just fled.

Authorities said 39-year-old James Edward Russell took off from the prison near Forks Tuesday morning. Early the next day, Russell — still wearing his prison uniform — went to the cabin asking to use the phone, said Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis on Thursday.

After a scuffle, Russell ran off again, Lewis said. The guard, whose name was being withheld by authorities, reported the incident and Russell was caught a few hours later.

He had been serving time for forgery and theft.

Escapee accused in drive-by shooting

A federal convict who escaped from a halfway house is a suspect in a drive-by shooting in north Spokane.

Kenneth Joseph “Joker” Maravilla, 23, is accused of shooting at a car with three people in the area of North Nevada Street and East Bridgeport Avenue in retaliation for one of the victims assaulting a friend.

Maravilla was driving a black 1998 Mitsubishi when he pulled alongside a vehicle with Rickie Hall inside and fired at least one shot on April 16, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police found the abandoned Mitsubishi crashed into a pole in a parking lot at 3704 N. Nevada.

The car had been reported stolen from 817 E. North Foothills by Desarae M. Dawson, but police believe Dawson allowed Maravilla to drive the Mitsubishi after her uncle, Chad Maxwell, was assaulted by Hall. Dawson falsely reported it stolen after learning of the shooting and crash, documents allege.

Police found two 9 mm bullets in the Mitsubishi.

Maravilla was arrested May 5 during a traffic stop at East Lacrosse Avenue and North Perry Street. Officers forced him from the vehicle and placed him in a neck restraint after he was uncooperative, police said.

Maravilla faces second-degree assault charges; Dawson, 23, faces a charge of accomplice to second-degree assault.

Maravilla was ordered to serve 40 months in federal prison in April 2009 for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was transferred to Spokane Residential Re-entry Center from federal prison March 3 and was to be released next August, but lhe eft the center that day and never returned.

He's now in the Spokane County Jail.

Wanted: Man accused of helping escapee

A Spokane man who police say allowed to jail escapee at his home is wanted by Crime Stoppers.

Arthur Garcia, 51, (right) is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle for a 1990 Jeep Cherokee discovered on his property on Nov. 29.

Jason W. Breedlove, 38, (below) told police of the stolen Jeep while an inmate at the Spokane County Jail, according to court documents.

Two days later, he was allowed to clean up snow with a work crew despite a recent recommendatipn that he placed in a more secure facility because of a felony warrant in Kootenai County.

Breedlove walked away from the clean up crew on Dec. 1. 

Anonymous tips led police to Garcia's home at 918 E. 10th Ave., where they say Garcia had earlier agreed to call 911 if Breedlove showed up.

Breedlove was in the backyard when officers arrived on Dec. 9. He was sentenced to three months in jail last month for the escape and is in custody in Kootenai County on 21 charges, including four counts of grand theft, four cunts of burglary and five counts of pharmacy violation/drug delivery.

Garcia, who's criminal history includes a single drug possession conviction, was arrested for misdemeanor rendering criminal assistance.

Garcia was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle last month. A $10,000 warrant was issued Feb. 16 after he failed to show up for an arraignment.

Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online

Robbery suspect escapes drug rehab

A robbery suspect allowed to leave jail for drug rehabilitation is wanted by police for escape.

Aaron Lee Goldstein, 18, left Spokane Addiction Recovery Center, 812 S. Walnut Ave., on Friday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

He’d been in custody since December, charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Detectives believe he’s connected to armed robberies in November and December at the Holiday gas station on North Argonne Road, Sam’s Stop and Shop on East Sprague Avenue, Nevada Street Brew Espresso, McQuick Mart on South Regal, and the Zip Trips at Fourth Avenue and Sullivan Road and at Illinois Street and Perry Place.

Two other suspects, Sean T. Smith and Vanessa E. Orr, both 23, are in jail. Goldstein, a transient with family in Northern California, is described as 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

He has tattoos of two teardrops under his left eye, and “Bay Boy” tattooed on his neck.

Anyone with information on Goldstein’s location should call 911.

Crime Stoppers also is offering a reward for tips that lead to Goldstein's capture.

Crime Stoppers targets repeat offenders

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Crime Stoppers is offering rewards for tips that help arrest three repeat offenders wanted for probation violations.

Each suspect has a warrant out for escape from community custody. Move your curser of their photos for more information.

Anyone with tips on their locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Cops: Fugitive rams patrol car, escapes

A drug and stolen property suspect already sought by Crime Stoppers rammed a sheriff’s patrol car Tuesday while successfully eluding a deputy, authorities said.

Michael S. Wheeler, 36, sped away from Deputy Jeff Shover in a white Chevrolet pickup after Shover spotted him pulling out of a driveway in the 4900 block of East Deer Park-Milan Road and tried to pull him over, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Shover recognized Wheeler as being wanted on several arrest warrants. Wheeler sped away westbound on Eloika Lake Road from Milan-Elk Road, then rammed Shover’s patrol car at 5:07 p.m.

Shover was not injured, but his patrol car was “rendered inoperable,” according to the sheriff’s office. The car’s PIT bumper was torn off, the push bars were pushed back through the radiator, the oil pan was punctured and there was significant body damage, a news release said.

Wheeler was last seen northbound on Valley Road at high speed. His truck’s damaged tailgate hanging down and items were falling from the bed of the truck.

Wheeler faces a new assault charge for the alleged incident as well as previous charges of first-degree possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Crime Stoppers has been offering a reward for tips that lead to his capture since October.

Wheeler, 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, last gave 35616 N. Highway 395 in Deer Park as his address. Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Renter arrested after escapee caught

A jail inmate who escaped from work crew was arrested Thursday at a home in the South Perry Neighborhood, leading to the renter’s arrest on a criminal assistance charge. 

Jason W. Breedlove, 37, was allowed out of Geiger Corrections Center with a work crew despite a recent recommendation from booking officials that he be placed in a more secure facility, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. He walked away from snow clean up on Dec. 1.

Breedlove is charged with several property crimes in Kootenai County, including a car prowling at Capone’s Pub and Grill last summer, according to court records.

Read my full story here.

Crime Stoppers targets repeat offenders

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“Three hots and a cot await these fugitives during the cold snap,” writes Sgt. Dave Reagan of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Crime Stoppers if offering a reward for tips that help arrest any of the suspects. All are classified as repeat offenders in Spokane County and are charged with escape from community custody.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Jail escapee arrested in north Spokane

A Whitman County Jail inmate who escaped with 18 days remaining on his sentence was arrested in Spokane on Sunday in after committing at least one burglary in Dayton, officials said today.

Ronald A. Rutledge, 29, was doing maintenance work outside the jail in Colfax when he fled on foot Saturday night. The convicted burglar had nearly completed his four-month sentence but now faces ” a much lengthier stay behind bars” for the escape, the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Rutledge called the Sheriff’s Office about 7:30 p.m. Sunday and arranged to turn himself in. He was arrested at a home in north Spokane just after 9:30 p.m., according to the news release.

Detectives tracked Rutledge to Dayton after learning he’d stolen a truck from a home near Colfax. They believe he stole a “substantial amount of cash” during a home burglary in Dayton, then stole another car and drove to Spokane.

Sheriff’s officials have recovered most of the stolen property, including both vehicles.

Rutledge is due in Whitman County Superior Court this afternoon.

Carjacking, robbery gets man 15 years

A Spokane man who used a gun in a carjacking and bank robbery after escaping from a work release center in May has been sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison.

Brian E. Gorder, 32, was ordered to spend 171 months in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to three counts of first-degree robbery and one count of escape before Judge Maryann Moreno.

Federal agents and a police dog arrested him a day after he robbed Washington Trust Bank, 3810 N. Maple, at gunpoint and escaped in a Buick Lucerene he’d carjacked from a woman in the K-Mart parking lot on North Division Street.

Gorder was serving time for a police chase shown on “Cops” when he left the Brownstone Work Release Center and went on the crime spree.

In 2004, Gorder told the newspaper he needed help overcoming his addiction to methamphetamine.

“I’m not a bad person,” he said at the time. “The issue is I have a drug problem. Once I get going on this stuff, I do things I normally wouldn’t do.”

He’s now in jail awaiting transport to prison.

Hoopfest suspect was on home detention

A teenager arrested in connection with a shooting at Hoopfest last month was prohibited from leaving his home unless he was at school or with his parents.

That allegation from prosecutors gave Adam Doe, 19, his third felony charge related to the June 26 shooting - a second-degree escape charge that was filed this week.

Doe appeared on the charge in Superior Court today via video from the jail, where he’s held on $200,000 bail for assault and gun charges, and $50,000 bail for riot and assault charges related to an October 2009 stabbing.

Judge Sam Cozza imposed an additional $7,500 bond today for the escape charge.

If Doe posts bond, he’ll be on home detention and will only be allowed to leave his home between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. if accompanied by his mother or father.

Doe is accused of assaulting a police officer who tried to detain him with a gun investigators believe Miguel C. Garcia, 19, fired at least three times during a gang fight at Hoopfest. The bullets struck three bystanders. Garcia remains in jail on $750,000 bond.

Past coverage:

June 30: High bonds set for shooting suspects

June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

June 28: Shooting suspect already charged in stabbing

Hoopfest escapee arrested in car theft

An inmate who escaped from a Hoopfest work crew is back in jail after police say he tried to steal a car.

Gary J. Todd, 29, was arrested Monday after a homeowner in the 3700 block of E. 13th Ave. found Todd trying to steal his 2004 Chevy Cavalier, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Todd fled on a black BMX bike but was arrested in the 300 block of South Lacey about 20 minutes later after someone reported a man “saying he had escaped from Geiger and was running form the police.”

Police had been looking for Todd since June 28, when he never returned from a bathroom break while working with an inmate crew at Hoopfest.

A guard found his discarded jumpsuit and goggles inside the portable toilet. Geiger officials believe the escape was planned because Todd apparently had a change of clothes waiting for him.

Todd was to be released Oct. 11 on a drunken driving charge but faces a new felony charge of attempt theft of a motor vehicle. He appeared in Superior Court on that charge Wednesday, where his bond was set at $7,500.

Same inmate escapes from Idaho jail via crawl space for second time in a month

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: FORT HALL, Idaho (AP) — The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes say a Wyoming man has escaped from the Fort Hall Jail for a second time in the past month, as a new jail sits empty. Tribal officials say Jerome Cerino of Lander, Wyo., and Joseph Deluna of Fort Hall, escaped from a holding cell through a crawl space early Tuesday. Tribal spokeswoman Laverne Beech says Cerino was one of six inmates who escaped from the Fort Hall jail on April 17. They escaped from a different cell, but used the same crawl space to access an emergency exit. That escape happened five days before inmates were to be moved into a new jail. However, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is requiring that all correction officers attend a six-week training course in New Mexico before the inmates are moved. Eight officers from Fort Hall are currently attending the training.