Toddler kidnapped in N. Spokane neighborhood known for crime

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 9:41 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The kidnapping of a 2-year-old boy in a North Spokane neighborhood is not the first high profile crime the area has seen.

Starting in January 2013, there were two murders and a kidnapping of a teenage girl.

Neighbors are worried about this trend of crime.

“The last couple of years this neighborhood has changed a lot new people in, old people leaving,” said Maggie who lives in the area.

Back in January 2013, a man is accused of accidentally shooting his friend and then dismembered the victim’s body. A month after that, someone was shot in the head just a block away.

Then Wednesday, a toddler was kidnapped from his home. Police said they believe Richard Welch, 55, took the child from the boy's home to his home at the All Season’s Motel in Airway Heights.  Welch eventually took the child with him to an Airway Heights convenience store, according to investigators. Police said Welch then left the child with a clerk. A convenience store clerk called 911 to report the suspicious activity around 4:36 a.m.

It is a surprising trend especially since neighbors said many children play outside.

“There’s all kinds of kids running around the neighborhood, playing in my yard, everybody’s friendly,” said neighbor Carol Morphy.

Neighbors have taken extra steps to keep themselves safe. Some have added security systems and they try to keep each other updated on what is happening on their street.

Neighbors also said they have seen police in the area before for drug raids. They say the more high profile crimes are what concern them the most.

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