Cold snap can mean opportunity for car thieves

Ofc Teresa Fuller, 509.835.4568

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10 a.m.

In less than 24 hours, the Spokane Police Department has taken three stolen vehicle reports where the vehicle was left running unattended. The most recent incident happened this morning and the vehicle has not yet been located. SPD would like to remind citizens that leaving a vehicle running unattended creates an opportunity for thieves and is also illegal.

The first of the three recent thefts was reported yesterday morning just before 6:30 a.m. The vehicle was taken from the 2800 block-of north Post but has since been recovered. It was found in the county being driven by 26-year-old Brandon M. Stoddard. He was booked into Spokane County Jail for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Attempting to Elude Police. The second vehicle theft occurred Thursday afternoon, just before 3:00 p.m. This vehicle was also recovered. It was located by the victim this morning, unoccupied.

The third vehicle, a blue 2001 GMC Sonata, WA plate B68260W, was taken this morning just before 5:00 a.m. from the 1900 block of west Dean and has not been located.

From September 28thto December 1stof this year, 76% of stolen vehicles have been recovered, but SPD is asking for the public’s help in reducing the number of vehicle thefts by eliminating the opportunity for thieves to steal an unoccupied running vehicle.

State law says no person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway. The fine is $124, which can add up on top of possible towing charges and/or damage to the vehicle while it’s taken.

Contact Police

For in progress crimes and emergencies call 911

To report a non-emergent crime contact:

To provide crime activity or suspect information that doesn't require immediate action contact:

For general police email contact:

For nuisance reports, including code violations (i.e. illegal camping, substantial litter in yards or alleys, graffiti, land use violations), parking complaints, and road condition issues contact:

Media Relations Contact

Cpl. Nick Briggs