Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 2:31 p.m.
Members of the Spokane Police Reserve program set out a bait bike in the Logan neighborhood on Monday evening. They arrested two people in a short amount of time. Both males had warrants for their arrest and both were in possession of drugs. The males were booked into Jail for the warrants and new charges.
On Monday May 13th, several members from the Spokane Police Reserve unit took it upon themselves to try and curb crime in the Logan neighborhood. Reserve Officers are not paid and did this solely to give back to the community. Wheel Sport volunteered one of their bikes for the Reserves to use in the sting operation.
The bike was set up at the Safeway at Mission and Hamilton. A short time after being set up Officers witnessed 30 year old Aaron Radnor approach the bike. He stood there with another male and they talked about the bike for a moment. The unknown male walked off and moments later Radnor grabbed the bike and attempted to flee. Radnor was detained quickly. He had two misdemeanor warrants for his arrest and was in possession of Methamphetamine.
After Radnor was booked into jail the Officers set the bike back up in the same spot. Within 10 minutes another unknown male was observed coming close to the bike and looking at it. He then left the parking lot. Moments later, 23 year old Dustin Baughman entered into the parking lot. He walked directly to the bike, grabbed it and attempted to ride away. Baughman saw Officers coming, jumped off the bike and attempted to run on foot. Baughman only made it a short distance before being taken into custody. During a search of Baughman he was also in possession of Methamphetamine. Baughman also said that the unknown male who left the parking lot offered him money to go steal the bike and bring it to him, the money was to pay for more drugs. Baughman had three warrants for his arrest including drug possession, theft and DUI.
Both males were booked for 2nd Theft and for possession of drugs, along with their warrants. This case highlights the correlation between drug abuse and property crimes. This bike sting has been done several times in the past and almost every single person is in possession of either drugs or paraphernalia. It is a common theme that they are taking the bike to sell or exchange for drugs.
With the weather warming up there is going to be more prowling’s and theft. While conducting this bike sting Officers watched numerous people walk or ride by the bike and show interest in it. They watched as other people rode through the parking lot and were looking at the parked cars. The Police department would like to remind everybody to not leave anything of value in your car and if you have a bike, lock it up. Many thieves walking around are contacted with tools ranging from lock pick kits to bolt cutters, so make sure your lock is durable enough to withstand a pair of bolt cutters. This is usually a crime of opportunity, so please try and take the opportunity away from them.
Officer John O'Brien