Spokane police say three men were arrested on suspicion of stealing cars in separate cases over the weekend.
Spokane County sheriff’s deputies arrested Deven Rohus, 20, for allegedly attempting to elude a police vehicle on Saturday. He was released on his own recognizance and arrested again Sunday on a charge of vehicle theft.
Rohus was driving a stolen Honda with a shaved key in the ignition, police said in a news release. He was previously arrested on April 26 on a separate charge of vehicle theft in Spokane.
Police said he appears to have recently moved to Spokane from Colorado, where he is wanted on a warrant for vehicle theft.
Spokane police arrested Jesse Judge, 22, on Friday. According to the news release, he fled from officers in a stolen Honda Civic traveling 75 mph through Browne’s Addition on West Riverside Avenue.
Judge, who has three prior felonies on his record, faces charges of vehicle theft, attempting to elude police and possession of a dangerous weapon – brass knuckles. He was released from jail on Saturday.
Nicholas Anderson, 27, was arrested on April 22 on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle. He was released from jail the next day and arrested again on Saturday, this time on charges of vehicle theft and first-degree theft. He was released from jail on Sunday.
Hundreds of Spokane County inmates have been released in recent months to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading in the downtown jail and the Geiger Corrections Center – which Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has blamed for an increase in property crime countywide.
In Monday’s news release, the Spokane Police Department said that Rohus, Judge and Anderson were released from jail quickly after their arrests. The department referred to the alleged car thefts as part of “a chronic property crime spree plaguing citizens of Spokane.”
The department’s latest CompStat report, published Monday, shows property crime rates from January through March are lower, however, compared to the same three months in 2019.
The only category that has seen a significant increase is commercial burglary – and part of that increase may be the result of heightened patrols around closed businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Property crime, as a whole, is down 3% for the year,” Officer John O’Brien, a department spokesman, said in a phone call.
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