SPD track crime trends to stop busy crooks




Posted on April 18, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 18 at 7:32 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—Criminals appear to be changing their targets monthly in Spokane.  Recently crooks targeted fast food restaurants, but at the start of the year criminals hit pharmacies and coffee stands.

KREM 2 News discovered Friday that police were pouring over crime analysis to predict where crooks might strike in the future.

Robbers in Spokane seemed to be changing their targets by the month in 2014. Spokane police were dealing with eight robberies at seven different pharmacies at the beginning of the year. Then, a suspect repeatedly robbed local barista stands at gunpoint. The most recent crime in April was a string of fast food robberies.


READ: Robbery suspects stole $1,500 from local fast food restaurants

Spokane community members said detectives in pursuit of desperate armed robbers are a sight that was becoming too common.

“This is the second time I've been right where the police have been after a robbery suspect,” said witness John Svavarsson.

“We see these people who are drug addicted who are endangering other people. The people in the businesses, the people trying to buy a meal...it's just an unacceptable situation,” said Captain Brad Arleth with Spokane police.

It is a situation that was repeatedly popping up at Spokane restaurants and stores.

“It's difficult to predict who's next because that's up to the suspect...but we are aggressively using our crime analysis,” said Arleth.

Looking at data and crime trends helped detectives catch two suspects in five days.

The police department said they were taking a closer look than ever at the data. They said while it is hard to predict who is next, the where is a different story.

“You can deploy your resources there and that is big. You can predict maybe it's a burglary, maybe it's a robbery or a car theft...because in the past it's been all of those things,” said Arleth.

The couple suspected in the string of fast food robberies was accused of having their 8-month-old baby in the car when at least one of the armed robberies occurred. The mother told detectives they were stealing to get money for diapers. One other suspect was still outstanding.