Two vehicles found after rash of Spokane Valley thefts



Posted on August 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 11:21 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- Officials said two of the Honda vehicles that were taken from Spokane Valley on Tuesday were recovered the next day. The vehicle taken from the Spokane Valley Mall parking lot and the one taken from 8100 East Appleway were both found. Officials said another attempted theft was also reported.

"I guess I was kind of expecting it because I knew that Hondas always got stolen," said Sammi Hilfiker, one of the theft victims. "I just didn't think it would happen to me."

Hilfiker works at the Spokane Valley Mall and noticed her Honda Accord was gone when she left work.

The Sheriff’s Office said five Honda Accords and one Acura Integra were stolen. An attempted theft of a Honda Civic was also reported.

"I got to work at 2:30, I came out at 9:15. My car was gone and I didn't know what to do!" Hilfiker said. She said mall security called Crime Check but she figured she would not get it back.

"I was just kind of panicked I guess," she said.

A Spokane County Sheriff's deputy made it to her house on Tuesday despite the fact that there were five other cars stolen around the area.

Officials think somebody stole three of them from the Spokane Valley Mall, one from Costco on Sprague, and two others from a couple neighborhoods in the Valley. They also said there was an attempted theft at the Sprague Home Depot.

"What drives a person to do that?" Hilfiker said. "I don't get it."

But Hilfiker got an unexpected call Wednesday morning: the Sheriff's Office found her car in another part of the mall. Hilfiker said the stereo was ripped out and it was clearly taken for a joy ride, but was otherwise in good condition.

"My gas tank is empty now," she said, "my alignment's a little bit off. I'm lucky that I can still drive it. I know people find shells of their car."

The vehicle that was nearly stolen was a Honda Civic.  Three of the thefts occurred in the Valley Mall parking lot.  One was stolen from the Costco parking lot on East Sprague and the attempted theft happened at the Home Depot parking lot, also on East Sprague.  The fifth theft occurred near the 8100 block of East Appleway and the sixth was taken from the area of 1900 South Saint Charles Road.

There have been more vehicle prowls to date than in the same time frame over the past four years, according to investigators. The Sheriff’s Office is asking people to take their valuables out of their vehicles, including brief cases, electronics, navigation systems or anything else of value.