Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

DUI patrols this weekend

Special DUI emphasis patrols are planned for all over Eastern Washington this weekend, so line up a designated driver if you plan to be drinking. The Washington State Patrol will have their mobile DUI processing trailer in downtown Spokane during Hoopfest this weekend. The special emphasis patrol is being funded by a grant from the Washington Safety Traffic Commission.

In addition to the WSP, other participating agencies include the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, Cheney Police Department, EWU Police Department, City of Airway Heights Police Department, Republic Police Department, Ferry County Sheriff's Office and Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office.

But don't relax after this weekend. The special patrols will continue through July 7.

Three robberies appear connected

Spokane Valley Police believe that three recent robberies of Spokane Valley businesses are related based on the similiar descriptions of the suspects. A convenience store at 722 N. Park Road was robbed at 10 p.m. on May 13 by two men, one described as a white male and the other as possiblty a hispanic male, according to a police press release. They wore hoodies with the hoods up, bandanas over their faces, baseball caps and gloves.

Piece of Mind at First and Pines was robbed at 10 p.m. on May 16. There were three men involved and two of them matched the description of the two men in the first robbery, police say. A convenience store at 411 N. Pines was robbed just after midnight today (Tuesday) by two men matching the same description. Weapons were displayed in all three robberies, according to police.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of $3,000 to anyone who gives information that leads to an arrest in the case. Tipsters can remain anonymous. Anyone with information is asked to call the tipeline at (800) 222-TIPS. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Police Department

Spokane Valley man arrested by gang team

Spokane Valley resident Todd A. Sawyer, 27, was arrested at his home in the 7100 block of East Mansfield on Wednesday by the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, according at a Spokane Valley Police Department press release. Police received information that Sawyer may be in possession of drugs and officers inspected his home, which is allowed under the terms of his probation, the release said. Officers reportedly spotted what they thought was a large amount of methamphetamine and got a search warrant. They seized about half a pound of the drug, the release said.

Sawyer has nine felony convictions for firearm and drug offenses. Sawyer was booked into jail for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

How old is too old?

Two teenage boys were cited for racing their cars up Sullivan Road Tuesday even though one driver said the 48-year-old witness was “too old” and shouldn't be believed, according to a Spokane Valley Police Department press release.

The witness called police at 12:40 p.m. to report seeing two cars speeding north on Sullivan and that one cut him off and nearly made him crash near the I-90 overpass. The two ran through a stop sign at Wellesley and entered the East Valley High School parking lot, the witness reported.

The school resource officer contacted the two boys. One of the drivers had an instructional permit and the other had an intermediate license that prohibits passengers under the age of 20. Both cars had passengers, police said.

One driver was cited for reckless driving and no valid operator's license. The other was cited for racing and violation of an intermediate license restriction.

Saturday’s highlights

Liam Kennedy, left, and Jaden Conwell, both 8 years old and students at Adams Elementary, read pen pal letters from schoolchildren in Ghana, Wednesday. The most recent letters included talk of Christmas activities. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley

I'd wish everyone a good Monday morning, but it's no longer morning. At least it's still Monday! Once again we have some Saturday Valley Voice highlights to mention. The Spokane Valley Police Department saw great success on emphasis patrols for vehicle prowling and garage burglaries at the end of 2012. The department is currently looking for a way to keep that success going within current staffing. The effort took four officers off patrol and reassigned them for a month.

Reporter Nicole Hensley came up with a couple of great stories. Fourth graders at Adams Elementary have been sending letters to pen pals in Ghana. The students also raise money to help pay for school improvements for their pen pals, such as tables in the cafeteria and used computers. Central Valley High School basketball score keeper Bill Pierce has been inducted into the school's Hall of Fame for his three decades of service to the school.

Nichole also has a report on how the city of Liberty Lake allocated its lodging tax money.

Suspicious person follows Greenacres student

The Spokane Valley Police Department is reporting that a suspicious person followed a Greenacres Middle School student home on Wednesday afternoon. The student's mother called police to report the incident on Thursday. She told police that her daughter was walking home from a bus stop in the area of Eighth and Hodges when a car started following her, according to a police press release.

The car matched the girl's speed and the driver watched her until she entered her home, the press release said. The car was described as a silver four-door newer Honda-type car. The driver is described only as having dark hair. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man arrested for eluding Spokane Valley Police again

A man led authorities on a high speed chase through Spokane Valley early Wednesday morning and allegedly rammed a Spokane Valley deputy’s patrol vehicle car head-on, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Deputies spotted the vehicle, driven by Jordy DeBoer, 21, and reported as stolen last week, the news release said.

Deputy Juan Rodriguez followed him until additional police units were in the area. He attempted to pull him over, but DeBoer allegedly sped away reaching speeds up to 80 mph. Near the area of Pines Road and Broadway Avenue, Deputy Rodriguez intercepted the car with a PIT maneuver and then DeBoer crashed into another deputy’s patrol car where it was waiting to block any escape route.

Deputies arrested DeBoer without any further incident for charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of meth and eluding police. DeBoer is now in custody at Spokane County Jail with a $50,000 bond established by Judge James M. Triplet.

“Attempting to elude, in my mind, is a fairly serious offense for law enforcement and for people – on the sides of the street and road,” Triplett said in court Wednesday.

The news release did not report severe injuries for Deputy Seth Berrow after he was hit by DeBoer's allegedly stolen vehicle, but he only noted soreness following the incident.

This is the second pursuit DeBoer has been accused of in the past year for Spokane Valley. Spokane County Superior Courts sentenced him to three months in jail for speeding away from police and possession of stolen property during a June 2011 incident.

Deputies also arrested the passenger, identified as Gary G. Walker, 19, on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.

Reckless driver’s car found on fire

Police attempted to pull over a reckless driver near Park and Trent late Tuesday night, but lost it after the driver ignored a stop light at the Havana Street and Mission Avenue intersection, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release.

A car with a similar description was found reportedly on fire in a homeowner’s driveway near 200 N. Bessie, said the news release. Deputies confirmed it was the same car and fire crews responded to put out the fully engulfed car.

The fire was declared not arson, according to Spokane Valley Fire investigators, but it may have started somewhere in the engine compartment, they told police.

Police don’t know at this time who the driver was or if the vehicle was stolen. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Authorities seek info on vehicle theft suspect

Do you recognize this man?

Spokane Valley property crimes detectives are asking for the public's assistance in identifying a vehicle theft suspect. 

The theft occurred Nov. 20 near the 13100 block of East Indiana Avenue in Spokane Valley. 

Anyone that can assist detectives in identifying the suspect in the surveillance photos from Walmart on East Broadway in Spokane Valley is asked to contact Detective Darin Staley at 509-477-3363.

A night with the Spokane Valley police

My regular blog readers will probably remember that I recently took part in a Citizen's Academy put on by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. There's a weekly class for six weeks and you get to hear deputies talk about the different roles of the Sheriff's Office. Thursday night I got the final part of my experience - a ride along with a Spokane Valley deputy.

I want to start by thanking Deputy Byron Zlateff for letting me follow him around for several hours. When we hit the road around 6 p.m. there were several calls waiting and we went dashing from one end of town to the other for several hours. I was asked to stay by the car if there was any concern for my safety, but I got to follow him for most calls. Of course, there was the “rollin' stolen,” as they call it, when I was left by the side of the road while Deputy Zlateff persued a stolen car into an apartment complex parking lot. It all ended well and I didn't have to stand out in the rain for long.

Perhaps my favorite call of the night was the man who was in the wrong place in the wrong time. Zlateff and another deputy were sent to an apartment complex on the west end of town for a person refusing to leave someone's apartment. They discovered a man walking down the street near the complex and talked to him to figure out if he was involved in the call. He was fidgety and evasive - for good reason. He was wanted on a warrant for violating his probabion. As it turns out, he had no involvement in the original call. He just had bad timing. He spent the entire ride to the Spokane County Jail proclaiming that he hadn't really done anything wrong.

You always hear about how police officers have excellent powers of observation and I saw that first hand. Zlateff was picking up on things in the dark and the rain that I didn't even notice until he pointed them out to me and I had thought I was paying attention. All in all, it was a great experience.

Jewelry stolen in burglary

Jewelry valued at more than $10,000 was reported missing from a home in the 10800 block of East 35th in Spokane Valley Wednesday. According to a police press release, the homeowner came home around 5 p.m. and noticed an open sliding glass door. A jewelry box was found open and several rings, necklaces, diamond studs and other items were missing.

A neighbor reported that he didn't see anything suspicious but said he wasn't home between 12:30 and 3 p.m., police said. Anyone who might have seen anything in the neighborhood is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Chase leads to arrest

Spokane Valley Police arrested a man late Monday night after he led officers on a car chase and nearly ran over the foot of one officer, according to police spokesman Craig Chamberlin. An officer spotted a car swerving out of its lane at Main and Herald at 11:30 p.m. The driver pulled over, but gave police false information before he sped off and narrowly avoided driving over the officer's foot, Chamberlin said.

He drove east on Valleyway and crashed at VanMarter and Nixon. The driver ran away and was tracked by a Spokane Police K-9. The dog tracked the driver to the 10800 block of East Valleyway. Officers found a shaved key in his possession, said Chamberlin, which is often used to steal cars.

Police arrested 28-year-old Brian McGaugh and charged him with felony eluding, making false statements, reckless endangerment, possessing vehicle theft tools, resisting arrest and second-degree driving with a suspended license. His female passenger was not arrested.

Metal thieves on the prowl

Metal thieves have been busy in the Spokane Valley area lately. Spokesman-Review reporter Nicole Hensley has detals on two recent thefts. On Monday a heavy truck salvage yard reported the theft of 27 semi wheels. Apparently each of the wheels weighs 60 pounds. It makes one wonder if they needed a semi to haul it all away. Click here for more details.

Thieves also stole metal roofing destined for the construction of the new Dick's Sporting Goods store at the Spokane Valley Mall. The metal was also stolen Monday. (For all Dick's Sporting Goods fans, the store is scheduled to open Nov. 9.) Click here for more details.

Prescription drug take back event

The Spokane Valley Police Precinct at 12710 E. Sprague will host a prescription drug take back event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I think just about everybody has bottles of old, expired medication in the back of the cabinet that you're not sure what to do with. They will accept all prescription drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins, ointments, inhalers and liquids. They will not accept syringes or any hazardous medical waste.

There will also be a shred truck on site, so feel free to bring up to three boxes of documents to be shredded for free. And if you find yourself up north, there will be a second site at the North Spokane Library, 44 E. Hawthorne Road.

The event is part of the fifth annual National DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative. The last such event in April collected over 400 pounds of medications, according to a police department press release.

Police searching for Spokane Valley burglary victims

The Spokane Valley Police Department is looking for victims of recent burglaries who may not have reported the crime. Police recently arrested three burglary suspects and have recovered a lot of stolen property. The burglars focused on Spokane Valley south of Sprague Avenue and drove a black 1997 BMW with blue rims, according to police. Anyone who was burglarized between June 21 and August 1 who hasn't reported it is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. Reporter Meghann Cuniff has more details here.

$10k diamond earrings stolen in Valley

Two sets of diamond earrings valued at $10,000 were stolen from a Spokane Valley home on Saturday, and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve the case.

One set contains 14-karat, white gold, with two solitaire diamonds suspended by a thin gold wire. The second set consists of three diamonds suspended by a small gold wire.

Homeowners in the 2800 block of South Skipworth Road left about noon and returned at 8 p.m. to find their master bedroom ransacked and the earrings gone.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.
  

Homeowner’s info links car theft, burglary

Sheriff's deputies linked a car theft Memorial Day weekend to a residential burglary in Spokane Valley because the victim homeowner wrote down the license plate of the thief's getaway car, officials said today.

A man who owns a home in the area of 4600 E. 2nd Ave. said he arrived home about 9 a.m. Friday and saw a man run from his fenced backyard and drive away in a Honda. The license plate the homeowner wrote down matched the plate of a 1988 Honda stolen from a driveway in the area of 4300 E. 2nd Ave. on May 27, according to the Spokane County Sherifff's Office.

Sheriff's deputy Ryan Smith was patrolling the area of Broadway Avenue near Progress Elementary School Saturday when he spotted the Honda in an undeveloped alleyway near the school. He watched the vehicle until Courtney Lee Baldwin, 38, got in the driver's seat, the sheriff's office said.

Smith detained Baldwin, and the Honda's owner arrived and confirmed he had no idea who Baldwin was. The burglary victim also arrived and said Baldwin was the man he'd seen run from his yard.

Baldwin, who did not speak to deputies, was booked into jail on charges of second-degree burglary, reckless driving (for the burglary getaway) and third-degree driving while suspected. He also faces additional charges of driving while suspended and obsession of a stolen motor vehicle.
  

Drug take back and shred event

Residents can bring their old prescription drugs and documents to the Spokane Valley Police Precinct Saturday for free disposal. The drug take back and shred event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 12710 E. Sprague. You can bring in all types of drugs (including over the counter medications), vitamins, ointments, inhalers, liquid medicines and pre-dosed syringes (without needles). You can also bring up to three boxes or 150 pounds of documents for shredding.

Items that won't be accepted are needles, lancets, syringes, thermometers, hydrogen peroxide, medical waste, empty containers or personal care products. This is a great chance to clean out your cupboards and medicine cabinets and dispose of everything safely.

Felon leads police to guns, stolen car

Deputies in Spokane Valley found two suspected stolen firearms Tuesday while contacting a woman who was driving with a suspended license, officials said today.

Jill A. Benton, 27, told deputies she placed a backpack in the bed of a truck next to her vehicle in the area of 400 North University Road and that there were two guns inside, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Benton allowed deputies to search the backpack, and they recovered a KSI Pomona 9mm handgun and a 16-gauge Westpoint shotgun.

Benton allowed deputies to search her storage unit in Spokane Valley, “where there were several items that she said were more than likely stolen,” according to a news release.

Benton also told deputies she'd picked up a “felon” associate who had been driving a Honda, the sheriff's office said. She took deputies to the Honda, which was listed as stolen. Benton was booked into jail on two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police are asking property crime victims to review photos of the seized property from this case and from other investigations on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

“Citizens are required to call Crime Check with their original theft report number and must show proof of ownership for the items they recognize,” according to a news release.

Benton is prohibited from possessing firearms because of felony convictions, which include riot, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance related to a medical marijuana robbery in January 2011.

Four prolific burglars arrested

The Spokane Valley Police Department announced the arrest of four “well known” burglars on Friday and the recovery of a lot of stolen property. Police were focusing on 400 North University Road and the area of 13500 East Rich Road, where residents have been hit hard by burglaries. But apparently many residents hadn't reported the thefts, so police are urging people to promptly report any thefts. Reporter Meghann Cuniff has more details here.

Valley police arrest 4 burglary suspects

Police on Friday arrested four men considered to be “well known burglars” responsible for crimes in Spokane Valley, officials said today.

A Spokane Valley night-shift patrol platoon led by Sgt. Don Manning focused on the area of 400 North University Road and the area of 13500 East Rich Road, which police say “have been notorious for criminal activity for some time.”

Arrested were Damian M. Plumley, 22, on warrants for three counts of second-degree theft and one count of first-degree trafficking in stolen property; Steven D.T. Devitt, 42, on a warrant for second-degree theft and vehicle prowling; Christopher Michael Stoddard, 20, on new charges of second-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property; and Mark William Bush, 37, on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant for failure to comply.

 Bush (pictured) is a repeat offender who was targeted by Crime Stoppers in February even though he already was in DOC custody.

Police recovered a large amount of stolen property during the arrests Friday, which property crimes detectives identified and returned to their owners.

“The return of these items took longer than normal because none of the high value items had been reported stolen,” sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release. “When detectives asked the property owners why they did not report the thefts, the property owners said they had not gotten around to it.”

“Citizens are asked to report any type of theft, suspicious vehicles or persons to either 911 or Crime Check,” Chamberlin continued. “This information is extremely valuable and played a vital role with the multiple arrests made this weekend in Spokane Valley. The Sheriff's Office has devoted extra resources to focus on burglaries in unincorporated Spokane County and the City of Spokane Valley.”

Suspects try to flee in reverse, hit patrol car

A pair of suspected gas thieves tried to run away from police in reverse at about 2:30 a.m. this morning, according to a police press release. A person called police to report seeing two men siphoning fuel out of cars in the 400 block of North Shamrock. When officers arrived the two jumped in a white Ford truck and drove eastbound on Valleyway in reverse, the press release said.

The truck stopped after hitting a concrete barrier, then tried to push a marked patrol car out of the way when the officer tried to block him in, the press release said. The two ran away, but were quickly captured. The men were identified as Artem Kuznetsov, 20, and Samuel Aldrich, 29. The truck had been reported stolen. Aldrich was arrested for felony eluding and possession of stolen property. Kuznetsov was arrested for third degree theft. Two people in the back seat of the truck were not arrested.

Reward offered for hungry burglars

Homeowners in the 500 block of North Glenn Road returned home from work on Monday to discover that they were missing several valuables. Burglars forced open a rear sliding door and took three firearms and electronics from the house and a 2001 silver Isuzu Trooper that was parked in the garage, according to a police press release. Whoever broke in also helped themselves to some beef sticks from the pantry.

The thieves were thorough enough to steal four security cameras as well as the device being used to record the video footage, the press release said. At least they were apparently considerate enough to shut the garage door behind them after they stole the car.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information that helps solve the case. Anyone with information on the crime can call the tip line at (800) 222-TIPS or visit www.crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org. Tipsters do not have to give their name.  

$14k in video game items stolen in Valley

More than $14,000 in merchandise was stolen from a Spokane Valley video game store late Monday or early Tuesday.

The owner of Game On in the 11800 block of East 1st Avenue told police the store was burglarized overnight and eight X-box gaming systems were stolen, along with eight X-Box wireless controllers, eight X-Box wired controllers, 150 X-Box games, two external hard drives, a wireless computer router, a Toshiba laptop computer, 100 Blu-ray movies and $200 in cash, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to give their names.

Reward offered for burglary tips

Crimes Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering a reward for information that helps solve a burglary that occurred at the Game On store located in the 11800 block of East First Ave. in Spokane Valley sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. Thieves stole cash and electronics worth more than $14,000. The Spokane Valley Police Department has released an itemized list of the items stolen, including eight X-box gaming systems, 16 X-box controllers, 150 X-box video games, a Toshiba laptop, two X-box external hard drvies and 100 Blue Ray movies. It appears the thief or thieves have a fondness for playing video games and watching movies.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at (800) 222-TIPS or visit www.crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org.

Police save Spokane Valley man’s life

Three Spokane Valley police officer saved the life of a suicidal man Wednesday.

Officers Griffin Criswell, Wally Loucks and Richard Johnson found the man attempting to hang himself at his Spokane Valley home after the man called 911 and said he wanted to kill himself.

The officers got the victim down and began CPR. They located a pulse and the man was transported to a hospital, where his family said today that he's alert and conscious “with a positive demeanor,” according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

They extended their deepest gratitude and thanks to officers Criswell, Loucks and Johnson for their quick response and heroism during this traumatic event,” according to a news release.

The National Suicide Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). More information on suicide prevention is available through the Spokane Regional Health District.

Tips sought on another ‘Nook’ theft

Get Adobe Flash player
Get Adobe Flash player

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.

Tips sought on knife-wielding begger

Spokane Valley police are trying to identify an “aggressive panhandler” who threatened a store manager with a knife on Sunday.

Officer Clay Hilton responded to Harbor Freight near Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road, where the manager said a panhandler had opened a customer's vehicle door and asked for money about 8 p.m.

She brandished a knife and walked toward the manager when he confronted her, then made an incoherent statement and ran north, police said. She got into a white Ford F-150 truck and drove away.

She was described as white, 5-foo-5 with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Panhandling is illegal in Spokane Valley.

Nine arrested at Spokane Valley party

The Spokane Valley Police Department had to ask for help from other law enforcement agencies when they responded to a report of a loud party in the 16100 block of East Broadway at 1 a.m. Sunday. Numerous party goers were intoxicated and spread out in the street and several yards, according to a police press release. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office Air 1 helicopter responded to monitor the situation. In the end, police arrested nine people on charges ranging from rioting and resisting arrest to minor in possession of alcohol. Reporter Meghann Cuniff has more details here.