Two Suspects given away by their Footprints in the Snow

Ofc. Teresa Fuller

Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 1:11 p.m.

Patrol Officers from the Spokane Police Division were able to track footprints in the fresh snow early this morning to make quick arrests in two different property crimes cases. Gregory A. Scott (35) was arrested for 2nd Degree Burglary on Spokane’s lower south hill. Phillip A. Smith (58) was arrested for Vehicle Prowling in the Audubon/Finch neighborhood.

This morning, Feb. 4, 2016, just before 1:30am, Cpl. Nate Spiering spotted Gregory Scott pushing a newer snow thrower down the sidewalk. It was not running. Cpl. Spiering detained Scott and followed his tracks back to a garage in the 1000 block of west 11th. The owner of the home verified Scott did not have permission to enter her garage, nor take her property. Scott was booked into Spokane County Jail for 2nd Degree Burglary as well as an unrelated misdemeanor warrant. He will be in court today at 1:30pm.

Just before 2:00am, Officers Aaron Ames and Ben Yinger were patrolling the Audubon/Finch neighborhood when they spotted footprints in the fresh snow that appeared to be going from car to car. Those footprints led to a car in the 3200 block of west Providence where Ofc. Ames found Phillip A. Smith still inside of a victim’s vehicle. Smith was taken into custody without incident. Once they back tracked, they found 4 apparently unlocked vehicles that had been prowled, but they estimated there were 30-40 vehicles Smith had attempted to enter by checking to see if the doors were locked. Smith was booked into jail for 4 counts of Vehicle Prowling. He appeared in Municipal Court this morning.

Over the past 2 weeks, there was an increased trend in vehicle prowlings in northwest Spokane. The Crime Analysis Unit working with the North Precinct and Neighborhood Conditions Officers for those areas developed information on possible suspects and helped direct patrol during peak hours to the areas of concern. Ofc.’s Ames and Yinger were on a prowl check when they picked up on the criminal activity. Just a reminder to our citizens to report suspicious people and activity in your neighborhoods so we can use that information to help direct our resources to where crime is happening.

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