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Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help identify a man caught on tape trying to break into vehicles at a Coeur d'Alene car lot.
Surveillance video shows the man trying to enter locked vehicles at Midtown Motors, 1008 N. 4th St., July 14 about 4:50 a.m.
Anyone with information on the man's identity is asked to call 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.
The advice to citizens from Spokane police is simple: Take valuables out of cars or risk being a willing victim of vehicle prowlers waiting to smash, grab and go.
In response to a rash of prowling-related crimes across the Spokane area, police launched an awareness campaign this month called “Remove It or Lose It!” The campaign urges citizens to be proactive by taking possessions out of vehicles, parking cars in well-lit areas and locking doors.
“It’s such an easy crime to commit,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, Spokane police spokeswoman. “If people don’t leave their stuff out in plain sight, there is nothing there to steal.”
A 51-time felon who was told by a judge 10 years ago that "the system's had enough of you" is back in jail for property crimes police suspect are related to his severe heroin addiction.
Brian Lee Danner, 40, was stopped last week in the area of North Cedar Street and Northwest Boulevard while driving a green 1995 Jeep Cherokee belonging to another longtime felon, Johnie Leo Vick, Jr., 42.
Spokane police Officers Nick Geren and Brian Eckersley, along with Sgt. Joe Peterson, were looking for the Jeep after learning of vehicle prowlings in Spokane involving it and a 1984 Chevy Blazer also registered to Vick.
Vick was arrested the same day as Danner, June 26, when police located him working on the Blazer at Auto Zone, 2526 N. Division St. Danner had heroin on him when he was arrested, police say. Also arrested was Rabecca Hearn, 26, who police say received stolen purses from Danner.
Police believe Danner often smashes car windows to steal purses and other valuables. Danner told police he'd been prowling vehicles to support "a severe substance abuse problem," according to court documents. Vick also told police he's a heroin addict who prowls cars to support his habit.
Vick, who has a neck tattoo that says "Ladies Love Outlaws," could not be booked into jail because of medical reasons; police sent charging recommendations to prosecutors and expect him to be summonsed to court once charges are filed.
Danner remains in jail on $10,000 bail for charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.
Police searched Vick's vehicles on Monday and seized suspected stolen identifications and credit cards.
Danner's remarkable criminal history, which includes at least 41 adult felonies and 10 juvenile felonies, includes 25 convictions from 2002 for second-degree possession of stolen property. He was sentenced to two years in prison by Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark.
His co-defendant, Shelly M. Ose, received nine years in prison when Judge Greg Sypolt rejected a plea bargain. Their criminal records were similar. (Ose's sentence was reduced on appeal to about four years.)
At the time, Clark said she saw no reason to give Danner, who was returned to prison for the fourth time, an exceptional sentence. She did give him a warning, however: "I'm going to remember you, Mr. Danner. The system's had enough of you,'' she said.
Her warning apparently had little effect on Danner.
He went to prison again in 2006 for property crimes in Stevens County, then returned for his sixth stay in 2010 for - again - property crimes.
Clark isn't likely to see Danner this time around; she's assigned to juvenile court but does sometimes handle adult felonies.
Spokane police are combating a surge in vehicle prowling with a new public awareness campaign aimed at preventing it.
The "Remove it or Lose it" campaign, which officially begins July 9, aims to help citizens remember to keep valuables out of plain sight in their cars, park in well lit or high-traffic areas, keep their doors locked and to call 911 if they see someone prowling cars.
Police report a 38 percent increase in vehicle prowling in the past year.
A prowling suspect was arrested Tuesday morning near North Monroe Street and East Augusta Avenue.
Spokane police Officer Chris Johnson arrested Shabrawn M. Rautio, 20, after a witness reported seeing Rautio smash a car window and steal a red backpack.
Johnson spotted Rautio walking south on Monroe carrying a red backpack. He lied to Johnson about his name but eventually told him the truth. Police returned the backpack to its owner "who was extremely grateful for the return of her things," according to a news release by Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.
In another news release, Officer Brian Eckersley outlined the dire stakes of property crime and the steps that must be taken to prevent it.
"There is always somebody looking to take something from you. There are several out right now, looking in car windows and checking for unlocked doors," Eckersley wrote. "Where is your purse, phone, lap top, jewelry or hand gun? Are you sure?"
A man arrested for prowling a car in Spokane Valley had a radio control car with him, and police are trying to find the owner.
Justin Wayne Croson, 27, told the maintenance manager at an apartment complex in the 2400 block of North Cherry Road that he was just sitting in his car when confronted Tuesday, but the manager knew he didn't own the vehicle.
Croson then told sheriff's deputies he was homeless, had fought with his girlfriend and was sitting in the car to get out the rain. He said he didn't know the owner of the car but denied looking through the glove box.
Deputies say the glove box and center console were open, and that the gas-powered radio control car was sitting on the a passenger seat. The vehicle owner said she'd left her car unlocked but that the glove box and console had been closed. She also said the radio control car wasn't hers.
Croson said "his ex-babysitter gave him the radio control car but could not remember his babysitter's name, address or what type of radio control car he was given," according to a news release by Deputy Craig Chamberlin, Spokane County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
Croson was booked into jail on a second-degree vehicle prowling charge. The radio control car is a red, silver and blue Red Cat Volcano S30 valued at $229. If you can prove you own it, call (509) 477-6612.
Detectives have identified a suspect in a series of thefts at fitness centers in Spokane and Kootenai counties.
James D. Tilley, 28, was arrested Tuesday on 16 felony charges related to gym locker break-ins and car prowlings at gyms across the region, including at Spokane Community College and Whitworth University. Other agencies, including police in Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene, are investigating similar incidents.
Detective Mark Stewart believes Tilley would steal items from lockers, including car keys that he'd use to prowl vehicles in the parking lot. Stolen items included jewelry and a gun that has been recovered.
Cour documents say the formal charges relate to break-ins at the Valley Fitness Center, 14210 E. Sprague Ave., on March 10, April 5, April 13 and May 8 and Global Fitness, 9233 E. Montgomery Ave., on April 19 and May 17, as well as thefts at the Whitworth University men's aquatic center on April 25.He's also accused of breaking into a car at Whitworth on May 11, then pawning a laptop he'd stolen.
Police identified Tilley as a suspect after an employee at Global Fitness obtained the license plate of the thief's car on May 17, and police traced it to the mother of Tilley's girlfriend.
A sheriff's deputy realized TiIley matched the description of the thief, and witnesses identified Tilley through a photo montage.
Stewart connected Tilley to the use or attempted use of stolen credit cards and also viewed surveillance video from the Zip Trip at West 10th Avenue and South Maple Street that showed Tilley arriving at the location with a backpack just before a citizen found backpack there with stolen wallets and other items taken in the gym thefts.
Police are recommending Tilley's girlfriend, Lindsay K. Nickerson, 27, who they believe drove Tilley to and from many of the break ins, also be charged. She has not yet been arrested.
A Spokane Valley homeowner spotted two suspected prowlers looking at his car early today, leading police to arrest a suspect.
The man opened the front door to his home in the 2800 block of South Davis Road after seeing two men - one with a flashlight - looking into his Subaru Legacy about 2:30 a.m.
The men ran west from the home. The homeowner said he saw them start looking into other vehicles because they through he'd stayed at his home. The man's wife called 911, and Spokane County sheriff's Deputy Dale Wells searched the area of 13500 East Redlin Road, where the man said he'd last seen the prowlers.
Wells found Jacob S. Mager, 24, hiding between two gardens inside a fenced yard. Others deputies arrived and Mager was arrested without incident.
The homeowner identified Mager as one of the men he'd seen at his Subaru. Mager told Wells "he was walking with his friend "Mike" and had no idea "Mike" was prowling vehicles, according to the sheriff's office.
A woman who owns the yard where Mager was hiding told Wells she wants to pursue trespassing charges against him, so Mager was booked into jail on a count of second-degree trespass. He already posted bond and is out of jail.
A convicted thief released from jail earlier this month was arrested Saturday after a citizen spotted him break into a car.
Nicholas F. Zielke, 19, told police he didn't know why someone was trying to pick a fight with him at the Conoco gas station at North Ash Street and West Indiana Avenue, but police say two men confronted Zielke after he was spotted prowling a car.
One of the men chased Ziekle as he dropped a box stolen from the car, according to police.
Spokane police Sgt. Steve Braun noticed the men about to fight and stopped them, then arrested Ziekle.
Officer Aaron Kirby found a bag of meth in Zielke's pocket, according to court documents. Zielke then spit on Kirby, which led to a third-degree assault charge, police say.
Zielke pleaded guilty April 11 to third-degree retail theft and was credited for 25 days already spent in jail. The charge stemmed from three theft arrests at Spokane three department stores.
A report of a driver passed out in a running Honda with its trunk open and windows fogged up led to the arrest of a 28-year-old man on six felony charges early Saturday, police said today.
Randy Lee Jensen, Jr., could not tell if he was OK and if he knew where he was parked when deputies contacted him in the area of 6000 E. 9th Ave. about 4 a.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
A homeowner called police to report the vehicle parked in his driveway. He said he didn't know who it belonged to but believed the driver was passed out.
Turns out the Honda had been reported stolen April 22, and Jensen had a warrant for driving on a suspended license.
Deputies found a clear plastic bag with Oxycodone in Jensen's right front jeans pocket. They also found several vehicle registrations, credit cards, driver's licenses, gift cards and military IDs that did not belong to Jensen, the sheriff's office said.
The items were stolen in several vehicle prowlings. Jensen had a shaved key in the ignition, along with a key chain with other shaved keys.
He was booked into jail on six felony identity and theft related charges, as well as the misdemeanor driving warrant. He remains there on $15,750 bond after appearing in court Monday. That includes $5,000 bond for an unrelated car theft case from January.
A car prowling suspect who begged a sheriff's deputy for leniency earlier this month has been charged with burglary.
Orlando Jaramillo, 21, (pictured) said he had been "doing good" when he was arrested for stealing a cellphone April 3, but new charges filed in Spokane County Superior Court allege otherwise.
Jaramillo and his brother, Angelo Jaramillo, 22, are accused of stealing an air compressor from a truck parked at North Division Street and East Rockwell Avenue in January, as well as burglarizing a home in the 4100 block of East Pacific Avenue.
Tetyana Landrus, 19, is accused of selling the stolen property at a pawnshop.
The Jaramillos pleaded not guilty to the charges this week in Spokane County Superior Court and remain in the Spokane County Jail.
Coeur d'Alene police are asking for help identifying men believed to be responsible for thefts at local gymnasiums.
At least two gyms have reported at least four thefts since March 20 in which thieves walk into the gyms and help themselves to keys and wallets in the men's locker rooms, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
They use the keys to prowl vehicles in the parking lot.
Surveillance video released today from 360 Fitness, 410 W. Neider Ave., on March 20 shows one of the suspected thieves.
Photos from video at Safeway in Liberty lake show two men believed to be connected to the use of a credit card stolen from Peak Fitness on April 16.
The men are driving a dark-colored compact car.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.
A 21-year-old vehicle prowling suspect chased down by a Spokane County sheriff's deputy Tuesday night begged for leniency and said he had recently been released from prison, officials say.
Orlando Jaramillo, who was a Crime Stoppers fugitive just two months ago, told Deputy Robert Satake he was on probation and had been "doing good" but needed a cellphone, didn't have money and decided to steal a phone from a car in a North Division Street parking lot, according to a news release.
Satake was patrolling the area of Division and Cascade Way about 10 p.m. when he heard yelling about a robbery and saw a man chasing another man through the parking lot of Tire O Rama.
Satake turned into the Costco parking lot, exited his patrol car and ordered Jaramillo to stop, but the suspect continued running before Satake caught up with him and detained him.
The male victim said he and his friend were getting fuel and a soda at a gas station when Jaramillo asked for a cigarette, according to the sheriff's office. They told him no, and when they exited the store they found their cellphones missing and saw Jaramillo running across the street.
Jaramillo was booked into jail on charges of vehicle prowling, third-degree theft and obstructing. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison in December 2010 for second-degree robbery and attempted residential burglary.
Crime Stoppers was offering a reward for tips that led to his capture back in January when he was wanted for violating his Department of Corrections probation. He was arrested on a new residential burglary charge Jan. 30 but prosecutors have not yet filed charges.
A man arrested during a vehicle prowling patrol in the Morgan Acres area of north Spokane County in January was arrested again early today by the same deputy during another patrol in the same area.
Yuriy V. Siriy, 22, had a large bulge sticking out from under his coat when Deputy Daryl Smith contacted him about 12:34 a.m. as he walked north on North Regal Street. It turned out to be a metal pry bar and a large screwdriver that he'd secured through the belt loops of his pants.
Siriy's pants were sagging from the weight of items in his pockets, which turned out to be two smaller screwdrivers, a key ring with several keys, a folding knife, a small flash light, another full key ring and a pair of black gloves. Smith said Siriy allowed him to remove the items from his pocket.
Siriy said he was walking to a friend's home to work on cars, but when Smith called a number for the friend, a man who answered "sounded like he just woke up and hung up the phone," according to a news release by Deputy Mark Gregory, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
Smith said the pry bar had been modified, and the screw driver had gouge marks on the top consistent with being used on ignitions or key locks. Several of the keys were modified and shaved. Siriy was booked into jail for possession of burglary tools, which is a gross misdemeanor.
Smith arrested Siriy Jan. 30 on misdemeanor charges after investigating suspicious activity at the Morgan Acres Community Church, 7319 N. Regal St.
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.
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.
A 22-year-old man's claim of public urination didn't stop a sheriff's deputy investigating suspicious activity at a north Spokane church late Monday, officials said today.
A Spokane police officer investigating a stolen vehicle early Sunday found what he called a "plethora" of property believed to have been stolen in burglaries and car prowlings.
Officer Sean Wheeler located the stolen Kia Rio at 118 E. Sanson about 1:45 a.m. and arrested suspect Amariah J. Carter, 22, for car theft.
Wheeler and backup officers found a checkbook, toolbox and GPS system that had been stolen from a car at 4707 E. Upriver Drive on Friday.
Officers also found sheers and restaurant-style knives that had been stolen from a vehicle on Saturday. They also found an identification card belonging to a residential burglary victim who also is missing $3,000 in silverware, a $2,500 diamond ring and antique China dishes described as "priceless." Officers recovered only the dishes. The burglary occurred in the 4000 block of East Frederick next door to Carter's home, according to court documents.
Carter told police she was not the only person who had driven the car and declined to comment further, documents say.
Carter was released from jail on her own recognizance Tuesday after appearing before Judge Annette Plese on charges of theft of a motor vehicle, residential burglary, first-degree theft, possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a payment instrument and two counts of second-degree possession of stolen property.
This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page.
An alleged car prowler who posted a video of himself with suspected stolen property on his Facebook page pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony charges.
Nathan John Calvert, 28, remains in jail on a no-bail state Department of Corrections probation hold after his arraigned before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, vehicle prowling and three counts of second-degree theft.
His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 21.
Calvert was arrested Dec. 9 after 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, police say.
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.
A Spokane man stopped a car prowler in action early Tuesday and held him until deputies arrived, police say.
Coty M. Gillespie, 20, is suspected of breaking into several vehicles in the area of 7400 N. Pittsburg St., where he was arrested after a resident spotted him prowling his neighbor's car about 3:30 a.m.
Craig Browne, 37, heard the sound of breaking glass from inside his home and found Gillespie in the driver’s seat of his neighbor's Nissan SUV. His wife called police.
Spokane County sheriff's deputies tracked shoe prints from the SUV to 11 other vehicles that had broken windows. They also found cans of beer in Gillespie's bag that matched beer found in one of the prowled vehicles. The bag also contained broken glass, according to court documents.
Gillespie was booked into jail on one count of second-degree malicious mischief and 12 counts of vehicle prowling.
A repeat offender who has been booked into the Spokane County Jail 125 times remains there on $40,000 bond after appearing in court today.
Kristopher Kenneth Roybal, 34, already faces felony methamphetamine and stolen car charges for cases filed in May and October. He was out of jail on bond when a police officer who knew his licenses was suspended spotted him driving near the Spokane Arena and knew his license was suspended.
Officers found a ring of shaved keys on him after he was arrested, as well as a large purse and vehicle radio that they suspected was stolen. Police say the items were stolen from cars parked outside the Spokane Arena for a Chiefs hockey game.
A search of Roybal's 1994 red Cadillac Seville, which is registered to his mother, revealed bolt cutters, shaved keys, suspected marijuana and methamphetamine and other stolen property, according to the warrant.
Roybal has 14 adult felony convictions and three as a juvenile, all involving drugs, forgery or stolen property. His first felony conviction occurred in 1995, but police say his criminal history spans 21 years. He's been a Crime Stoppers fugitive twice since 2008.
This is a screen shot of a video vehicle prowling suspect Nathan Calvert posted on his Facebook page. View the video here.
Spokane Valley police say a video posted by a car prowling suspect on his Facebook page that features suspected stolen loot will be used as evidence against him.
"It'd be kind of silly for us not to," said Sgt. John Nowels.
The video, posted two days before his arrest, shows Nathan John Calvert in a vehicle he describes as a Jeep. He focused on a large amount of property in the back and passenger seat and said he hasn’t “really figured out what I’m going to do yet.”
Police believe it's the same stolen Jeep that contained about 100 items of stolen property when Calvert, 28, was arrested Friday after an attorney caught him in his truck and held him until police arrived. Police also suspect Calvert used stolen equipment to film and post the video, which they learned of from The Spokesman-Review.
A woman who identified herself as the mother of Calvert's son commented on the video, criticizing Calvert and accusing him of giving their son a stolen bike.
Nowels said that comment prompted detectives to track the bike to the woman's mother, who said she suspected it was stolen.
"We do have a bike we know got stolen by him that he wouldn't tell us what he did with," Nowels said. "Turns out it's a totally different bike."
But detectives haven't found a police report that mentions the bike.
"We can't really go take it until we know it's stolen or not," Nowels said.
Valley police have posted photos of the unclaimed stolen goods on the department's Facebook page. Calvert told detectives he committed 30 to 40 vehicle prowlings and garage burglaries a night for two to three weeks.
He's in jail on new felony charges and a Washington Department of Corrections probation hold and is due in Superior Court this afternoon on charges of residential burglary, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, vehicle prowling and three counts of second-degree theft.
Jail employees have not responded to a request to interview Calvert.
This is just a portion of the stolen property recovered after the arrest of Nathan Calvert. More photos are available on the Valley police Facebook page.
Police say a man who prowled at least 30 cars a night throughout Spokane County picked the wrong truck in the Valley recently.
Spokane lawyer Brant Stevens caught up with suspect Nathan John Calvert, 28, after spotting him inside his unlocked truck early Friday in the 1500 block of North Coach Drive, then held him until officers arrived.
“He’d fight for a little bit and then he’d get tired and then he’d stop and he’d try to talk me into letting him up,” Stevens said. “It was kind of an awkward 20 minutes where I’m just laying on the guy waiting for the cops to show up.”
Spokane Valley police are conducting vehicle prowling patrols as the Christmas season gets underway.
An emphasis Tuesday by the property crimes unit led to the arrest of Jeremiah K. Mileham, 21, who was booked into jail on charges of third-degree theft, vehicle prowling and driving while license suspended.
"The Spokane Valley Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone: items left in vehicles make targets of opportunity for thieves," according to a news release by spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory. "As you shop, it’s better to keep your valuables with you and if you leave items in your vehicle, place them in the trunk where they can’t be seen."
A 21-year-old man shot to death by a Colville police officer late Saturday was raised by a computer analyst and an elementary school teacher in a small town near Bakersfield, Calif., before embracing what his father described as a “transient” lifestyle.
Few details about the shooting death of Sean Joseph Bergstrasser have been released, including what prompted the officer to open fire.
Bergstrasser’s father, Mark Bergstrasser, a computer systems analyst who lives with his wife, a fifth-grade teacher, in Wasco, Calif., said he never knew their son to own a firearm.
“Sean has never owned a firearm,” he said. “Where the handgun actually came from is a question I have. I don’t know.”
An alleged counterfeit check and identity theft ring has led to a leading organized crime charge against a 30-year-old Spokane man.
Kyle R. Aiken is one of 14 people facing charges in the case, which involved Aiken creating counterfeit checks using stolen bank account and personal identification information stolen during car prowlings by co-conspirators in Spokane County. The checks were cashed at stores throughout the county in August and early September, according to court documents.
Investigators believe Aiken, who lives in the 4000 block of North Cannon Street, directed at least six people to engage in forgery, theft and identify theft, which led prosecutors to charge him with lading organized crime.
The charge can carry a sentence of about 10 years.
Also facing charges are Donnelle C. Velasquez, 41, and her juvenile son; Alicia M. Rumburg, 22; Samuel J. Aldrich, 28; Alexander R. Jarman, 19; Sarah E. Perrenaud, 24; Stephanie R. Kutulas, 32; Charles W.B. Walrath, 26; Ronda M. Mason, 28; Tyler C. Berens, 19; Chelsea R. Barnes, 23; Kirk P. Robinson, 21; and Kristina M. Centorbi, 23.
Two search warrants were executed during the investigation, one by the Spokane Police Department’s Targeted Crimes Unit and Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT), and one conducted by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Task Force.
Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick took to YouTube yesterday to address concerns about the elimination of the property crimes unit. While police are no longer investigating property crimes, Kirkpatrick said patrol teams and repeat offender programs have helped decrease property crimes in Spokane.
Past coverage (look for future coverage after the Zehm trial):
If you’re a victim of a burglary, theft or car prowling in Spokane, don’t expect to get the crime solved.
The Spokane Police Department announced Wednesday the official elimination of the property crimes unit and said citizens should expect only 5 percent of reported property crime to be investigated.
“We don’t want people to have that false impression that just because you make a police report a detective is going to look at it,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, department spokeswoman.
Spokane Valley police recently arrested a man for a series of vehicle prowls targeting Ford trucks after using Department of Licensing records to identify the suspect's SUV.
Surveillance video showed two men breaking into several Ford trucks at different locations and leaving in a green Chevrolet Suburban with a temporary license plate in the rear window.
Detectives looked through the DOL database for recently purchased Suburbans and found a 1998 green one purchased by Peter N. Harras, 29. Harras (left) was listed in the pawn shop database as having pawned several items between Aug. 1 and Sept. 18, which was the same period as the prowlings. The items matched items stolen in the prowlings.
Harras was arrested Friday at his apartment, 940 S. Lincoln St., where detectives found other items stolen in the prowlings.
Harras, who has several felony convictions for theft and stolen property, remains in jail on $7,500 bond after appearing in Superior Court Monday.
Police still are looking for Johnnie Lee Bonner, 33, (right) whom they say acted as an accomplice. He is white, 6 feet tall, about 250 pounds and has a shaved head and a white pride tattoo on his arm.
Anyone with information on Bonner's location is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
A theft investigation led to a SWAT team raid at a Spokane Valley home Wednesday, where detectives seized several suspected stolen firearms.
Donald Jay Patterson, Jr., 42, was arrested as a search warrant was executed at a home in the 3300 block of East 35th Avenue, where police found five guns believed to have been stolen from a home in the 2800 block of North University Road.
Patterson was stopped in a white Ford Mustang as he drove away from the home after being notified of the search warrant, according to court documents.
Police believe Kevin Robert Boler, 43, brought the stolen guns to the home. He was arrested in the 12000 block of East Valleyway Avenue.
The case began as a burglary, vehicle prowling and identity theft investigation. Police obtained surveillance footage showing suspects t later identified as Jermaine J. "Solo" Hockaday, 31, Justin E. Mueller, 30, and Marcella R. Walther, 34.
Mueller and Walther told police last week that they were "tired of their life style" and said they were angry at a man named Kevin "who kept a hold over them with an ever rising drug debt they owed him," according to court documents.
Mueller is in jail on theft and vehicle prowling charges. Hockaday is in Geiger Corrections Center on identity theft and stolen property charges. Walther was released after no charges were filed.
Patterson is in jail on charges of possession of a stolen firearm and felon in possession of a firearm. Boler is jailed on five counts of possession of a stolen firearm.
Police are asking for help identifying a thief who stole an MP3 player from an unlocked 2002 Dodge Dakota inside a Spokane Valley garage this month.
The victim's security video system captured images of the thief, who appears to be a white man about 25 to 35 years old with crew-length brown hair, thin and wearing a reddish t-shirt, shorts and dark shoes.
The burglary occurred Aug. 9 about 6:30 p.m in the 11400 block of East Railroad Avenue.
Anyone with information on the thief is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.