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Stolen truck pursuit ends at Wal-Mart

Three people were arrested after a police chase, which included a near head-on crash, led officers to the Airway Heights Wal-Mart.

The incident began about 11:45 a.m. Thursday when a resident in the 500 block of North Martin in Medical Lake said his 2002 Ford Ranger had been stolen. A wallet with credit cards was stolen from a car in the 900 block of North Minnie, about a block away, about that same time, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Airway Heights police found the stolen Ranger in the Northern Quest Casino parking lot about 12:15 p.m. and saw a man try to drive it away.

Two deputies tried to block the Ranger, “but the driver accelerated directly at them,” according to a news release. The deputies braked, and the Ranger sped away southbound on Hayford Road.

Three people jumped from the truck, which crashed into a snow berm near Hayford and Highway 2. The driver, Phillip J. Young, 22, of Mead, was arrested at gunpoint after deputies saw him digging into his pocket as he ran. They recovered a black pellet gun from his pocket.

Arrested at the nearby Wal-Mart were Stephanie Louise Kupien, 30, of Newman Lake, and Charles W. Kerney, 42, of Spokane. Police found receipts for purchases made with the stolen credit cards and connected them to Young and Kupien, according to a news release.

No one was injured during the pursuit and arrests. 

“Young told deputies that he had avoided capture by police in numerous pursuits by driving a high speeds through densely populated neighborhoods,” according to a news release.  “The police call off the pursuit all the time,” he said.

Young was sentenced in October to 90 days in jail with credit given for 55 days served, after pleading guilty to three counts of second-degree possession of stolen property.

Now he’s in jail on new charges of second-degree theft, second-degree assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude police.  Kupien was booked for second-degree theft and Kerney was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant.

Shattered glass seized in prowling arrest

A recent vehicle prowl police patrol near Gonzaga University led to the arrest of a 32-year-old Spokane man and the seizure of shattered glass inside his backpack.

Spokane police Corporal Kevin Keller was in street clothes and an unmarked car near East Cataldo Avenue and North Columbus Street last Friday when he spotted a man later identified as Timothy L. Gunning, 32, looking in the passenger windows of parked cars, police announced Wednesday.

Officers Kyle Heuett and Shawn Pegram, also undercover, watched as Gunning stopped at a car parked in front of them then left quickly when he noticed them watching him, according to a news release.

Police stopped him on Hamilton Street near Gonzaga and said he appeared nervous “glancing back and forth as if he was deciding whether to fight or find an escape route,” according to a news release.

Police patted him down and found two stolen credit cards stolen in a prowling near Gonzaga two days earlier. They arrested him and found other credit cards as well as personal checks and social security card they suspect is stolen.

“Officers also located a quantity of shattered vehicle glass and a single Honda key in Gunning’s backpack,” police wrote. “Those items were seized as evidence. ”

Gunning, who has previous convictions for drugs and stolen property, is at Geiger Corrections Center on $2,500 bond.

Man in 100 mph chase gets 100 months

A 23-year-old Spokane man once considered one of the city’s top 10 repeat offenders was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison.

Allen S. Easley was in and out of jail several times last spring for property crimes and a freeway chase with police in which he reached speeds of 100 mph.

Now he’ll have a spot at a state prison after Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza approved a plea deal that sentenced him to 100 months in prison.

Easley pleaded guilty this morning to nine felonies, including four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, and single counts of forgery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and first-degree trafficking in stolen property, said Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz.

Easley, who police say has a swastika tattoo on the back of his head, was arrested after a freeway chase in May but posted bail, then was arrested again a couple weeks later while trying to sell stolen property at a Hillyard pawn shop.

Cops: Thief struck after finding corpse

Police say a Spokane man had an unusual reaction to his grandfather’s death: grand theft.

Anthony S. Jungen, 19, was ordered held Tuesday at the Spokane County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail on theft allegations that border on the macabre.

Police say Jungen found his grandfather dead early Monday after forcing his way into the man’s east central Spokane home. But instead of contacting authorities, Jungen left the corpse where it was and allegedly stole the man’s wallet and car before returning to the house a while later to load up some video games and a coin collection as well.

Read my full story here.

Gambling man owes mother $137,000

A Spokane man was ordered this week to repay his mother nearly $140,000 after bilking her out of the cash to fund his gambling addiction.

Mark B. English, 52, also was ordered to serve 90 days in jail, three times as long as a plea agreement recommended.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen sentenced English Monday after hearing emotional testimony from family members.

Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson said he’s pleased Eitzen imposed the maximum jail sentence.

“I suspect he deserved a lot more than that,” he said. “He had access to money and a really bad gambling habit, and he cleaned Mom out.”

English was in charge of his 71-year-old mother’s finances when his daughter noticed discrepancies in her accounts. His mother soon confronted him about the thefts.

“She wanted to not believe it for a really long time, but eventually her checks started bouncing and she was getting notices from her mortgage company,” Johnson said.

English is to pay his mother $137,000 in restitution.

“I really have no idea how he will ever pay that back.”

English pleaded guilty to first-degree theft. He’s to report to jail by Jan. 3.

Police: Thief targeted retirement homes

A 23-year-old Spokane man is suspected of a string of burglaries at South Hill retirement homes.

Police say they found more than 1,000 pieces of jewelry in a car owned by Pavel V. Altukhov, who investigators believe has been stealing from elderly retirement home residents since at least October.

More than 50 victims have reported thefts from their apartments at the Waterford and Rockwood retirement communities.

Police suspect Altukhob has targeted other retirement homes.

“It could get possibly even bigger than this,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. “He would just look for who was an easy target.”

Staff at Waterford and Rockwood helped identify Altukhov as a suspect.

A night maintenance worker at Rockwood chased Altukhov from the facility and gave his car’s license plate number to police. Employees at Waterford also escorted him out of their building and helped identify him to police, said Jeffrey Bair, Waterford’s executive director.

Each retirement community includes a large building of living units and separate cottage homes nearby. Burglaries occurred at each style of unit.

Police arrested Altukhov on burglary and stolen property charges Friday. Officers added additional burglary charges Tuesday and still are investigating other thefts, DeRuwe said.

Witnesses said Altukhov posed as a family member of a resident and didn’t appear out of place until residents began reporting stolen items like TVs and jewelry. He also approached residents in their rooms and offered services such as appraisals as he stole items, police said.

“This individual was apparently very good at fitting in,” said Jaak Juhkentaal, Rockwood’s vice president for operations. “We’re pleased that this isn’t routine here, but when it begins, we pay particular attention.”

Police identified Altukhov after the Rockwood employee provided his car license plate. They soon discovered he’d sold stolen items at least six local pawn shops, according to court documents.

Bair said he’s talked to residents about the importance of locking their homes when they’re away.

“While this one person is now in jail, there are plenty of other people out there who are wanting to take advantage of these types of opportunities,” Bair said.

Photo shows 7-Eleven beer robber

Police are trying to identify two beer thieves who assaulted a clerk outside a convenience sore last month.

The man and woman stole beer from 7-Eleven, 323 W. Indiana Ave., about 4:05 a.m. on Nov. 14, Spokane police said today.

The man assaulted a clerk outside the store before fleeing.

The woman is described as white, 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, about 35 years old with shoulder-length brown hair and blond highlights. She wore a baggy jacket and shorts. The man was described as white with a shaved head.

Surveillance video captured an image of the woman.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Snowy footprints lead to fleeing suspect

A teenager already targeted by Crime Stoppers was arrested Wednesday night after a Spokane County sheriff's deputy followed his footprints through snowy north Spokane County woods. 

Anthony Deshon Fuerte, 18, was reported to have broken an acquaintance's car window and threatened to kill him while wielding a wooden club when Deputy Robert Brooke stopped him in an SUV at Highway 2 and Eloika Lake Road.

Fuerte jumped out of the SUV and ran into the woods as Brooke yelled at him that he was under arrest “and knew that he would head for his grandmother's address in Riverside,” according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Brooke and Deputy Gavin Pratt followed Fuerte's footprints through deep snow and arrested him just south of Elk-to-Highway Road.

Fuerte, nicknamed “Frosty the Felon” in the news release, was wanted on theft and malicious mischief charges from Juvenile Court when Crime Stoppers issued a reward for his capture on Tuesday “after North Spokane County patrol deputies complained about his ongoing criminal activities in their areas of responsibility,” Reagan wrote.

Fuerte is due in Superior Court today on new charges of harassment - threats to kill, third-degree malicious mischief and resisting arrest.

Felon wanted after missing trial date

A longtime Spokane felon who didn’t show up for his trial on theft and stolen property charges is wanted by police.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest repeat offender Kevin Leon Schimpf, 52, who has a 26-year criminal history in Spokane County.

A warrant was issued after Schimpf didn’t show up for his trial  in September on charges of second-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Police say he stole car keys from a finance counselor at Holy Family Hospital, then stole fishing equipment and a GPS device from his car and pawned them.

That was in July 2008. The two-years-in-the-making trial still hasn’t happened.

Schimpf, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, last gave 3803 W. Greenwood Ave. in Spokane as his home address. His criminal history includes convictions for possession, delivery and manufacture of controlled substances; third-degree theft, DUI, driving while license suspended and probation violations.

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

Brothers nabbed in property crime case

Two brothers are in jail after Spokane Valley detectives found $30,000 in stolen motorcycles and other equipment in their storage unit last week.

Neal T. Johnson, 45, was arrested after Detective Brad Gilbert obtained a search warrant for his unit at Secure-It Storage, 18815 E. Cataldo Ave., and saw Johnson entering the unit last Monday. Johnson’s brother, 55-year-old Kim D. Johnson, was arrested shortly after arriving at the storage unit, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Inside the unit, detectives found a Honda 250 Enduro motorcycle stolen Nov. 10, a 2008 Vespa scooter stolen in July and two pickup engines and transmission that Washington State Patrol Detective Jeff Thoet said were stolen, according to a news release.

They also found a $10,000 diesel welder and generator stolen from a Morgan-Osgood Construction Co. storage site near the Barker Bridge last July.

The Johnsons are at the Geiger Confinement Center after appearing in Superior Court last week on stolen property and theft charges.  They’re to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Neal Johnson’s criminal history includes covnictions for drugs, theft, burglary and possession of stolen property. Kim Johnson was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

Gunman in botched carjacking sentenced

Unable to complete sentences between tears, 56-year-old Donald Young explained how being shot in a botched carjacking last year “messed up” his life.

The man responsible, Joseph P. Ellery, 31, (pictured) pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree assault in exchange for prosecutors dropping other charges, including first-degree robbery and drive-by shooting during the bloody carjacking that occurred Dec. 18. He was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison.

“I get shot from some drug-induced … Why me? He screwed up my life,” Young told Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen. “I wanted to see what the guy looked like. I’ve never seen him before in my life.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Dec. 21: Man in carjack shooting said victim owed money

Task force links Idaho duo to 13 crimes

A North Idaho law enforcement task force has connected 13 crimes to two people in what authorities describe as a large stolen property investigation. 

Justin Lee Christian, 39, of Kellogg, and Amanda Dawn Erickson, 24, of Coeur d’Alene, are in the Kootenai County Jail on more than 25 felony charges.

The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force served several search warrants earlier this month that recovered stolen TVs, video games consoles, power tools, clothes, check books, credit cards and other stolen property.

The two are charged with thefts at a Phones Plus store and at the Wal-Marts in Post Falls and Hayden. 

Christian faces seven counts of burglary, six counts of fraudulent use of a financial transaction card and single counts of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of meth and possession of stolen property.

Erickson is charged with possession of stolen property, four counts of burglary and four counts of fraudulent use of financial transaction card.

Mead pot shop burgled 2x in 1 week

Detectives are investigating the second burglary at a Mead medical marijuana dispensary in a week.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies responded to a commercial burglary alarm at Evergreen Medical Inc., 12004 N. Market, about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday and found the south side door open with the Plexiglas window removed.

Nothing was stolen, but about $1,000 worth of glass bongs, bubblers and pipes were stolen last Friday. A motorist notified police of an open and broken glass door about 8:30 a.m. Deputies found a tire iron on the floor and pry marks on several locked drawers.

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

Spokane Deputy Prosecutor John Grasso said Thursday that he considers marijuana dispensaries such as Evergreen to be violating state law. It’s unclear if drug detectives also are investigating the business.

Tips sought on Avista copper caper

Thieves stole more than $1,000 worth of copper cable from an Avista substation in north Spokane this week.

Police are looking for tips on whoever cut the padlock at 8307 N. Regal and stole the coils of copper, which were discovered missing about 6:30 .am. Wednesday.

A copper ground cable embedded in the ground had been pulled out and stolen as well, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

“Three different types of Shawflex-brand cable were stolen: a 12-conductor #9 gauge, a seven-conductor #9 gauge and a four-conductor #9 gauge,” according to a news release. “In all, about 25 30-feet-long lengths of cable were stolen.”

Thieves often steal copper to sell to recycling firms.

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

Deal possible in Barefoot Bandit case

SEATTLE (AP) — The attorney for the teenager accused of being the “Barefoot Bandit” is working with prosecutors to negotiate a plea deal the lawyer says could involve using movie- or book-deal profits to compensate the victims of an alleged two-year, cross-country crime spree.

Through his lawyer, defendant Colton Harris-Moore, 19, pleaded not guilty this morning to federal charges that include the theft of a small plane in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, last fall.

He also pleaded not guilty to four other federal charges for an alleged cross-coutnry crime spree that ended with his arrest in a stolen boat in the Bahamas

“He’s very reluctant to make a dime off this, he really is,” said his lawyer, John Henry Browne (pictured). 

However, Browne said that when he told his client that money from movie or book deals could be used to repay victims — and incidentally win him a more favorable plea deal, with less time behind bars — “that changed his mind a little bit.”

The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle declined to comment on whether it is negotiating a possible plea deal with Harris-Moore. 

The “Barefoot Bandit” moniker was coined after a thief committed some of the crimes without socks or shoes and gained a big following on the Internet.

Harris-Moore is accused of leading authorities on a cat-and-mouse game in pilfered cars, boats and small planes after allegedly escaping a halfway house south of Seattle in 2008. This year he made a daring cross-country dash that ended four months ago after he allegedly stole a plane in Indiana, crash-landed it in the Bahamas and was captured by Bahamian police at gunpoint in a stolen boat.

Harris-Moore, who was indicted by a grand jury last week, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler on Thursday wearing prison khakis over an orange shirt. He stated his name and year of birth, and frequently looked down during the brief hearing.

He told the judge he understood the charges against him — interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, a stolen firearm and a stolen vessel, as well as being a fugitive in possession of a firearm and piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate.

Browne entered the not guilty plea on Harris-Moore’s behalf. Afterward, the attorney told reporters that discussions are in the early stages on a possible deal that could resolve federal and state charges against Harris-Moore.

Not guilty pleas are typical at this stage, even if defendants later intend to change their pleas.

Four of the five counts against Harris-Moore carry maximum sentences of 10 years in prison, and Browne said that realistically his client could be looking at anywhere from four to 12 years if convicted. Trial was set for Jan. 18.

The federal charges stem from a spate of crimes in late 2009 and early this year, when Harris-Moore is accused of flying a stolen plane from Anacortes, in northwestern Washington, to the San Juan Islands; stealing a pistol in eastern British Columbia; stealing a plane from a Bonners Ferry hangar where authorities found bare footprints on the floor and wall, and flying it to Granite Falls, Wash., where it crashed after running out of fuel; and stealing a 32-foot boat in southwestern Washington and taking it to Oregon.(The plane in Bonners Ferry was owned by a cattle rancher)

From Oregon, authorities said, the bandit hopscotched his way across the U.S., frequently stealing cars from the parking lots of small airports, until he made it to Indiana, where he stole another plane and made for the Bahamas.

In all, Harris-Moore, a self-taught pilot, is suspected of more than 70 crimes across nine states.

A possible plea deal by Harris-Moore would require the consent of prosecutors in other jurisdictions.

Some, including Greg Banks, the prosecutor in Island County, where Harris-Moore grew up and where he was first arrested at age 12, have indicated they want Harris-Moore to answer for local crimes in their courts, rather than in one overarching plea in federal court in Seattle.

If those prosecutors don’t want to cooperate, “I’ll bankrupt them,” Browne said, citing the expense of putting on a high-profile trial in small, rural counties.

The assertion drew a chuckle from Banks.

“I’ve had calls all morning about whether a jury trial over a bunch of burglaries is going to bankrupt our county, and the answer is no,” Banks said. “It was a funny thing for him to say.”

Banks, however, said he wouldn’t rule out agreeing to a global plea deal if it meant any profits could be used to repay victims, but he noted the complexity of working out such a deal. And, he said, Harris-Moore wouldn’t necessarily need to sell his story to pay restitution.

“He’s a fairly industrious young man,” Banks said. “By the time he gets out of custody he’ll probably be able to get a job and make some money. He’s talented.”

Browne said Harris-Moore has been in solitary confinement at the Federal Detention Center south of Seattle, where he’s been drawing airplane designs and reading about aircraft and nature. He’s received letters from his mother and aunt, but few visits, and he’s not interested in getting out of solitary, Browne said.

“He’d rather stay where he is, which is rather unusual,” the lawyer said.

Tips sought on credit card thieves

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest thieves who used stolen credit cards to buy $18,000 in computer equipment and other items.

The credit cards were stolen from a 64-year-old woman who was shopping at Rosauers, 9414 N. Division St., then used to buy merchandise that same day. More than $7,000 was spent at the Target store at 13724 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley.

The theft occurred July 29, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced today. Detectives have not been able to identify the man and woman pictured on surveillance cameras using the stolen cards.

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

Cops seek pot suspect w/ ‘shopping list’

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips on the location of a Spokane woman arrested for a marijuana grow during a burglary investigation. 

Detectives found marijuana plants at Allison E. Hubbard’s home at 106045 E. 6th last summer after a busted burglar, Jonothon A. Delay, said he had a “shopping list” of marijuana grow items to steal for her, according to court documents. Delay recently was sentenced to prison.

Hubbard, 29, has been wanted on a $10,000 warrant for manufacturing a controlled substance after she didn’t show up for an arraignment in September. She also has warrants for first-degree posession of stolen property and unlawful posession of a firearm, according to Crime Stoppers. Now Crime Stoppers is upping the ante.

Hubbard’s criminal history includes convictions for city assault, second-degree burglary and third-degree assault. Anyone with information on her location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Grand jury indicts Barefoot Bandit

A federal grand jury has indicted a notorious ex-teen fugitive for the theft of a small plane in Bonners Ferry last fall.

Colton Harris-Moore, 19, faces five charges in U.S. District Court in Seattle for an alleged crime spree that began after he escaped from a group home in April 2008, according to an indictment filed today.

“The grand jury action today is an important step in holding Colton Harris-Moore accountable for his criminal conduct,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny A. Durkan said in a prepared statement.

Harris-Moore is charged with interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft for allegedly stealing a Cessna 182 on Sept. 29, 2009, from the Boundary County Airport, then crash-landing it near Granite Falls, Wash., after it ran out of fuel. The $340,000 plane was owned by a Bonners Ferry cattle rancher.

The teen is charged with piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate for a flight he made in a stolen plane from Anacortest to Eastsound, Wash., on Feb. 10, and with interstate transportation of a stolen vessel for allegedly stealing a boat in Ilwaco, Wash., on May 31 and taking it to Oregon.

He also faces two gun charges for a Jennings .22 caliber pistol and for a .32 caliber pistol stolen in British Columbia and recovered near Granite Falls.

The gun and theft charges are punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Piloting an aircraft without an airman’s certificate is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Harris-Moore remains in federal custody in western Washington. He gained international attention as the Barefoot Bandit before his arrest in the Bahamas in July after a high-speed boat chase.

Past coverage:

July 23: Bandit’s lawyer: He was scared to death

Oct. 7, 2009: Teen bandit becoming national sensation

Raspberry theft leads to fugitive’s arrest

A second suspect in a burglary and stabbing late last month was arrested Friday after police said he tried to steal raspberry extract from a Spokane grocery store.

Tony N. Hairston, 42, (right) was wanted on burglary, assault and attempted robbery charges when security at Safeway, 1616 Northwest Boulevard, wrestled him to the ground and detained him on theft charges Friday about 10:50 p.m. Police say he had cocaine in his pocket.

Hairston is accused of stabbing Kenneth B. Barton in the head at 2821 N. Cincinnati Ave. Oct. 27, where police say he and Jarreau S. “Sweaty” Squetimkin, 26, fought with Barton and Audrey O’Grady while demanding money. 

Squetimkin, who knew Barton from prison, was arrested the night of the incident and remains in jail. (A police report from Squetimkin’s arrest incorrectly stated he was walking with victim Audrey O’Grady at the time of his arrest. In fact, O’Grady was with police in a squad car when they spotted Squetimkin.)

Witnesses told police that Hairston pinned Barton to a chair and punched him about 20 times while holding the knife, according to court documents. Barton was treated and released from a hospital. 

Hairston and Squetimkin (left) are charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Both are in jail on $100,000 bail. Hairston was given an additional $25,000 bond today for drug, theft and resisting arrest charges for Friday’s incident.

According to Crime Stoppers, Hairston has a nine-year local criminal history with convictions for city theft, drug possession, riot, second-degree possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended license, domestic violence assault, refusal to cooperate and probation violation.

Man sentenced for theft caught in photo

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man captured in a vacationing family’s photograph as he stole their bag in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol received a five-day jail sentence and a nearly $500 fine.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Saturday that Glenn Lambright was given credit for time already served after pleading no contest to misdemeanor theft earlier in October.

Vacationer John Myers of Bloomfield, N.J., had set the self-timer on his camera and hustled into the frame with his wife and two children in August. Meanwhile, a man grabbed a bag containing Myers’ wallet and other items.

After discovering the bag missing, Myers checked his camera and found a photo with a man picking up the bag in the background. Myers showed the photo to police, who recognized the man and tracked him down.

Rash of stolen Hondas leads to arrests

Spokane police recovered 50 stolen vehicles in a recent crack down on repeat car thieves. 

Nearly 70 Hondas from the late 80s to early 90s had been stolen since Oct. 19 - nearly twice the average - when police targeted several known car thieves as part of the county’s repeat offender program. 

Arrested were James T. Harris, 35; Gabrieal M. Hansen, 33; Daniel J. Maddock, 22; Timothy J. Lubben, 22; Leslie J. Olson, 28; and Cephas W. Parham, 34.

(Maddock, Lubben and Parham are pictured top to bottom.)

Parham was arrested late Oct. 25 after police responded to a home in the Shadle area.

Parham, who was wanted on warrants for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, ran from police but was contacted by police K-9 Max, police said. Parham tried to choke the dog but officers handcuffed him and took him to a hospital to be treated for his dog bites.

Max’s handler, Officer Paul Gorman, said Parham’s injures s “were more severe because Parham fought with Max rather than giving up,” according to a news release.

Parham is suspected of smashing a pickup into a North Division Street cell phone store in December and trying to steal the ATM, then prying upon the door of a nearby gas station 10 minutes later and burglarizing a display case.

The recent rash of car thefts prompted Spokane police to remind owners of older model Toyotas and Hondas to invest in theft prevention devices such as the Club.

Jury convicts felon in Blockbuster caper

A career criminal already on probation was convicted this week of robbing a Spokane Valley video store in April. 

Shaun L. Rockstrom, 38, faces 10 years in prison for second-degree robbery when he’s sentenced Nov. 19, a court clerk confirmed.

Rockstrom was arrested on April 8 after employees at Blockbuster Video, 11510 E. Sprague Ave., identified him as the man who stole DVDs and punched an employee on April 2.

The punched employee lost his prescription glasses, which Rockstrom then ran over with his car as he fled, court documents say.

Police found some of the stolen DVDs in a truck parked at Rockstrom’s home, 12919 E. Forrest Road.

Prosecutors had sought a first-degree robbery against Rockstrom, who has more than 30 convictions, including felony convictions for leading organized crime, theft, burglary, possession of stolen property, escape and forgery.

Prosecutors will ask for a 10-year prison term; Rockstrom had already turned down a plea offer for seven years, a court clerk said.

The trial before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza went to the jury late Tuesday, and a verdict was returned Wednesday afternoon. Jury selection began Monday.

Thieves trim tail hair from Mont. horses

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — At least two southwest Montana horse owners are reporting thieves trotted off with tail hair from their horses.

Such hair can be valuable to makers of handcrafted horse bridles or other items or used as tail extensions for show horses.

Sandy O’Rourke tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that someone entered a Three Forks corral on Oct. 17 and cut off the tail hair of two horses and part of the mane of a third horse. The hair was cut off below the bony section of the tail. The horses were not injured.

In Dillon, Bob and Connie Riley are offering a $500 reward for information leading to whoever snipped the tail off their horse about a month ago.

“They took everything from his tail bone down to the ground,” O’Rourke said of her white appaloosa, Luke. “So they took probably a good 4 or 5 feet.”

She said they also lopped the tail off her friend’s black-and-white spotted appaloosa and black hair from the mane of a third horse (one horse, Sam, is pictured above). The Riley’s Morgan horse is missing auburn tail hair.

In both cases, the owners say the horses are gentle, used to people and easy to approach.

Bob Riley said he has given Beaverhead County Sheriff Steve Donner the descriptions of two pickup trucks and license plates, but no one has been arrested.

“We put our corrals on top of our land to keep our animals away from the roads and possible abuse,” Riley wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Wednesday. “In the end that made it possible for the thieves not be noticed.”

Riley said an unbroken rescue mare foiled a second attempted theft on his property.

“Too bad she didn’t stomp them,” he wrote.

Convicted burglar convicted of burglary

A convicted burglar accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of rare coins in August was convicted today of a separate home burglary.

Gary D. McCabe, 45, faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced in connection to the conviction Thursday.

In that case, McCabe broke into a home in the 2000 block of South Glenrose St. in October 2009. A retired school resource officer saw McCabe force open the home’s front door. Deputies arrived and found McCabe leaving the covered entryway of the home. They found stolen jewelry, silver ingots and Egyptian currency in his pockets.

McCabe - who has five previous convictions for residential burglary - also faces a trial in December in a case where a local coin collector arrived at home to find his 60-year-old gold and silver coin collection missing.

When McCabe was arrested in that case, a deputy found a certificate of authenticity from one of the coins in his pocket. He faces an additional seven years if convicted in that case, according to court records.

Past coverage:

Oct. 12: Burglar stole more than gold

March 27, 2009: Arrests may crack burglaries

Women guilty in mail, identity theft scam

Two Spokane women who stole mail to perpetuate an identity theft scheme aimed at fueling a methamphetamine addiction pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court.

Jacquelyn A. Crawford, 40, and Charlene M. Haggard, 43, pilfered bank account numbers and used stolen driver's licenses to manufacture and pass more than 100 counterfeit checks that bilked Spokane area businesses of about $40,000.

The two ransacked rural mail boxes and prowled cars from February until April, when investigators searched Haggard's home at 5904 N. Regal St. and Crawford's room at the Apple Tree Inn, 9508 N. Division Street. Crawford said she was “kind of relieved” when she was taken into custody, investigators said.

“She just began injecting methamphetamine, so in a way she was thankful she was caught,” Spokane County Sheriff's Office Detective Dean Meyer said in May.

Crawford and Haggard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 17; they're incarcerated at the Spokane County Jail. Their plea agreements call for each to serve prison time, pay restitution to their victims and forfeit criminal proceeds, including property obtained with counterfeit checks.

The U.S Postal Service offers these tips to protect mail:

•Use the letter slots at your post office to mail letters, or give them to a letter carrier.

•Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight. •Don’t send cash in the mail.

•Ask your bank for checks that can’t be altered.

•Tell your post office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.

Report mail theft here.

Church pastor popped for pilfering pills

A Spokane church pastor accused of stealing prescription medication from a parishioner left jail this weekend and was ordered to remain free pending trial after he appeared before a Superior Court judge today. 

Greg Scott Glover, 35, was arrested Friday after a Spokane Valley police detective hide in the victim’s home as Glover stole Hydrocodone pills, police said.

Glover, pastor of ConnectPoint Church, 1316 N. Lincoln, is to be arraigned Nov. 8 on two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He’ll partake in Superior Court’s early case resolution program, which is designed for suspects without substantial criminal records who are facing low-level felonies.

Glover, who was accompanied by his wife, declined comment, as did a group of businessmen who also declined to say if they were affiliated with the Christian church.

Detective Mark Fox arrested Glover at a ConnectPoint member’s North Park Road home in Spokane Valley. The woman, who had foot surgery and uses a wheelchair, told a Crime Check dispatcher on Oct. 1 that she suspected Glover had been stealing 45 to 60 Hydrocodone pills a month for about six months. A friend set up a video camera in the woman’s home and recorded Glover stealing pills Sept. 30.

Fox said he found 14 Hydrocodone pills when he arrested Glover on Friday - the exact amount of pills missing from the woman’s supply.

Police say Glover has stolen drugs from the woman on at least four prior occasions and may have other victims. Anyone who feels they may be a victim is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

20 months for 10 burglaries, 50 for 4

A string of apartment burglaries that led police to a marijuana growing operation earned a Spokane man about 2 1/2 years in prison.

William F. Searight, 22, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree burglary and received 29.75 months in prison. Searight burglarized a string of Spokane Valley apartment complexes in March, as well as a hydroponic grow shop in February.

Searight’s alleged accomplice in at least two of the burglaries, Jonothon A. Delay, 19, told detectives he’d burgled the grow shop for marijuana grow equipment, which led police to dismantle a grow at 106045 E. 6th.

Allison E. Hubbard, 29, is wanted on a $10,000 warrant for manufacturing a controlled substance after she didn’t show up for an arraignment in September, according to court records.

Delay pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of second-degree burglary and was sentenced to 50 months in prison. He also has convictions for theft and second-degree robbery. Searight doesn’t appear to have previous convictions.

Spokane burglar stole more than gold

Dennis Miller had been collecting gold and silver coins since 1950, but this summer he began selling some to help finance a move to a retirement home.

Then Miller and his wife, Bette, returned home two months ago to find their basement ransacked and the coins missing. Although property crimes aren’t routinely investigated – and only a small percentage are ever solved – the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office located the suspected thief.

But so far, only three or four of the rare coins have been recovered. In this case, the Sheriff’s Office arrested Gary D. McCabe, 45, a prolific burglar who has three cases pending and property crime convictions that date back to 1976, when he was 12.

“This is downright personal,” said Miller, a 67-year-old retired highway engineer. “I was 7 years old when I started this collection.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage:

March 27, 2009: Arrests may crack burglaries.

Thieves target area motor home dealers

Someone with a penchant for flat-screen televisions and stereo equipment is targeting local motor home dealers.

Thousands of dollars worth of TVs and stereos have been stolen from vehicles and trailers at lots from Spokane Valley to Post Falls, police announced this week.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest a suspect.

According to a news release, victim businesses include RVs Northwest, 18919 E. Broadway, which was struck during the night of Sept. 29, and R&R RVs at 23203 E. Knox during the night of Sept. 28. Blue Crick RV at 13915 W. Highway 2 in Airway Heights has been hit, as well as Blue Dog RV at 4490 N. Riverbend in Post Falls, Idaho.

Blue Dog was hit twice (Sept. 29 and Oct. 1) and lost 12 flat screens in the second burglary.

Post Falls police believe the thieves damaged cabinetry and cut wires connecting the TV walls. Investigators believe channel locks were used to break door locks.

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

NY police hunt for stolen weiner stand

ORANGEBURG, N.Y. (AP) — Police in a suburb northwest of New York City are searching for a stolen hot dog stand.  

Owner Fred Martucci tells the Journal News that he’s devastated over the loss of “Fred’s Franks.” He used the 10-foot-long, 7-foot-wide stainless steel trailer to support his family in Orangeburg for more than a year.

Orangetown Police Detective Sgt. George Garrecht says the hot dog heist happened on the evening of Sept. 30. Three men pulled into a parking lot, cut the trailer’s locks and cables, hitched it to their pickup truck and drove north on Route 303.

Police have viewed surveillance footage. But they have a limited description of the suspects and vehicle, because it happened on a rainy night.