Stolen Handgun

Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO


Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:13 p.m.


SPD arrests a vehicle prowling suspect (with almost 20 previous felonies) for stealing a firearm from a vehicle, after SPD recovers surveillance footage of him breaking into the car.

On Jan. 27th, 2021 Crime Check received a call from the complainant that her car had been broken into around noon in a gym parking lot on the 2200 block of N. Ash St. and had taken her purse.  The purse contained credit cards, ID, and a handgun.

SPD Patrol Anti-Crime Team officers responded to the gym and were made aware that a store across the street had surveillance video of the vehicle break-in.

The video showed the suspect vehicle to be a black Dodge Ram pickup with a large red sticker in the lower left corner of the rear window.  A partial license plate was also visible.  In the video the black pickup can be seen parked near the victim’s vehicle.  The suspect exits the truck and walks toward the victim’s vehicle and appears to launch something at the victim’s vehicle window, breaking it.  The breaking motion resembled the motion used to fire a slingshot.  The suspect continued walking to the entrance of the nearby store before turning around and walking back by the victim vehicle and grabbing the purse through the broken window.  The suspect then got back in his truck and drove away.

On Jan. 28th, 2021 the SPD PACT team located the black pickup parked at a residence in Airway Heights.  PACT followed the truck from the residence to Spokane Falls Community College and initiated a traffic stop.

The suspect, Michael Lester (43) was detained around 11:00AM.  A search of the truck produced a slingshot.  Lester told officers that the stolen property was back at the house he had just driven from.  Upon a search of the house SPD located the purse, its contents, and the stolen handgun belonging to the victim of the aforementioned vehicle break-in.

Lester was transported and booked into Spokane County Jail for FIREARMS UNLAWFUL POSSESSION 1D, THEFT OF A FIREARM FROM MOTOR VEHICLE, THEFT 2D FROM MOTOR VEHICLE, and VEHICLE TRESPASS 2D.

Lester has an extensive felony record including:

THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE CLASS B FELONY 2018

IDENTITY THEFT-2 CLASS C FELONY 2017

THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE CLASS B FELONY 2017

POSSESSION OF A STOLEN VEHICLE CLASS B FELONY 2017

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2017

IDENTITY THEFT FELONY 2010

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 ATTEMPT CLASS C FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 ATTEMPT CLASS C FELONY 2005

MALICIOUS MISCHIEF-2 CLASS C FELONY 2005

CONT SUB-POSS NO PRESCRIPTION CLASS C FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2005

BURGLARY-2 CLASS B FELONY 2005

POSSESS STOLEN PROPERTY-1 CLASS B FELONY 2001

VUCSA-POSSESS FELONY 2000

POSSESS STOLEN PROPERTY-1 CLASS B FELONY 2000

VUCSA-POSSESS FELONY 2000

SPD would like to remind the public not to leave anything of value in their vehicle in plain view.  Remember to lock your valuables out of sight or take them with you when you leave your vehicle.

#2021-20014709



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Media Relations Contact

Officer John O'Brien
509.835.4568
jobrien@spokanepolice.org