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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Driver of reported stolen car arrested after chase

The Spokesman-Review

An Idaho man is now in trouble in two states after leading a Spokane Valley Police officer on a chase because his probation terms dictated that he not leave the state of Idaho.

An officer was on patrol near Sprague and Havana at 4 a.m. last Thursday when he saw a black Honda Prelude make a sudden move after the driver spotted his marked car, said police spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan in a press release.

The officer checked the license plate number and discovered that the car had been stolen from a Hayden, Idaho, apartment complex the previous day. He was following the Honda, waiting for other officers to arrive, when the driver sped away, Reagan said.

The driver went up to 100 mph and ran two stop lights. The officer stopped chasing the car, but officers from the Spokane Police Department caught him at Second and Washington.

The man, who police identified as 19-year-old James P. Haver, told the Valley officer that he tried to escape because he had just gotten out of prison and was not supposed to leave Idaho, Reagan said.

Haver was taken to the Spokane County Jail to be booked on felony charges of first-degree possession of stolen property and attempting to elude a police vehicle. While at the jail, Haver allegedly ate something that was in a small plastic baggie. He had his stomach pumped at a downtown hospital and police plan to test the baggie to see if they can determine what he swallowed, Reagan said.

Wrong-way driver arrested after pursuit

Tracks in fresh snow led police to a fleeing driver early Saturday after a man sped down the freeway going the wrong way.

Two police officers were on patrol near Sprague and Willow just before 4 a.m. when a white Ford ahead of them suddenly took off, said Spokane Valley Police Department spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan. The driver turned onto Main Street heading west, but drove in the eastbound lanes for about 60 feet.

The officers turned on the lights and siren after watching the driver run a stop sign at Argonne Road. The fleeing car turned south, then west on Appleway Boulevard. Appleway is one-way eastbound and two cars were forced to dodge the Ford. The driver then entered the freeway via the Sprague off-ramp, driving west against traffic heading east at up to 100 mph, Reagan said.

Officers initially followed the driver onto the freeway before calling off the pursuit. They drove down the side of the freeway until they reached the next on-ramp. “They crept along the shoulder,” Reagan said.

When they left the freeway, the officers spotted fresh tracks in the snow leading to the Ford, which had crashed into a sign at Fourth and Havana. The two could also see a man running away, Reagan said. The officers fired a Tazer at the man when he refused to comply with their instructions and appeared ready to fight, he said.

The man, whom police identified as Carl W. Wolfe, 29, denied he had been involved in the chase. “There was only one set of tracks from the car and they went right to him,” Reagan said.

Police discovered the Ford had been stolen, and booked Wolfe, of 727 E. Mansfield Ave., into the Spokane County Jail on felony charges of attempting to elude a police vehicle and first-degree possession of stolen property.

Burglars bust doors of two businesses

Two Spokane Valley businesses had their glass doors smashed in and various items taken last week.

A burglar broke into a gas station at 115 S. Pines Road sometime early Friday. An alarm sounded at the business shortly after 2 a.m., said Spokane Valley Police Department spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan in a press release. A police dog tracked a scent from the station to a nearby apartment complex at 12322 E. First Ave., but lost the trail in the parking lot.

The gas station owner said cigarette lighters and beer were taken.

A person broke into Bobby D’s at 7102 E. Sprague Ave. early Saturday. The owner said a former employee was likely to blame since the business’s safe was opened with the combination, Reagan said. Cash was missing from the safe.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call the Spokane Valley Police at 242-TIPS.

Woman scammed via computer message

A Spokane Valley woman is out almost $1,000 after falling for a scam making the rounds of the Internet.

The woman, whom police did not identify, said she was on the Washington Mutual Bank Web site when a pop-up message asked her to confirm her name and financial information, said police spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan in a press release.

The woman thought the message was legitimate and provided the information. Someone took the money from her bank account over a period of several days, Reagan said.

The scams, called “phishing,” are very common. The messages appear to be from legitimate companies such as eBay or PayPal and ask for personal financial information that will allow thieves to drain the victim’s bank account.

Police recommend that people contact the company indicated to see if such a request is legitimate. The victim in this case closed her bank account to avoid further losses.

Police arrest man pushing truck

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be a Good Samaritan.

A Spokane Valley Police officer came upon a man and a woman pushing a truck near Eighth and Herald last Thursday afternoon, said police spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan in a press release. The officer stopped to help and checked the names of the two pushing the Mazda pickup.

The man, identified as Warner W. Slater, 39, was wanted in California for vehicle theft and possessing and transporting narcotics, Reagan said. Slater, who said he lives at 10205 E. Eighth Ave., was arrested.

The officer impounded the truck. Its ignition had been disabled and stereo was missing, but the officer was not immediately able to find out if the truck was stolen, Reagan said.