A concerned citizen alerts the police to suspicious circumstances.
Ofc. John O'Brien, PIO
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 4:49 p.m.
The Spokane Police Department located the Budget rental van reported to have children in the cargo area that caused significant concern for their safety. The vehicle was stopped, the driver arrested and two juveniles safely located inside.
This morning around 08:30 a.m., a citizen called to report a Budget rental van appeared to have unclothed children in the back. The caller saw the vehicle with the roll up door partially open driving in the area of Market Street and Gordon Avenue. Spokane Police Department (SPD) officers responded to the area but were not able to locate the van.
The investigation moved forward with the help of SPD Dispatchers who contacted the Budget rental agency while patrol officers continued to search. It was discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen on June 4th, 2018.
An “all police” email was sent with the picture of the rental van captured by the citizen. Just before 11:30 a.m., an alert detective in the area of Francis Avenue and Market Street spotted the vehicle and followed it while patrol officers converged on the location.
The vehicle was stopped and the driver was identified as 44 year old Shonn M. Anderson.
Officers opened the back of the rental truck and found a juvenile male and juvenile female inside. Preliminary information indicates they were willingly in the cargo area of the vehicle, however, an extensive investigation must be completed before all details are known.
Officers had medics respond to the scene to check the juveniles due to riding in the back of the enclosed van for an unknown time. The male was released to a guardian and the female was transported to an area hospital for further evaluation. This incident has been referred to Child Protective Services.
The rental van was seized while a search warrant was sought.
Anderson was arrested for an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.
SPD would like to thank the concerned citizen who saw something suspicious and reported it. They had the mindset to safely take a picture that not only captured the image of a person inside the vehicle but also included the license plate. It is team work like this between the police department and the community which leads to reducing crime and keeping our community safe.