Rollover crash unveils Airway Heights car theft ring

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 21, 2010 at 4:57 PM

AIRWAY HEIGHTS -- A rollover crash helped crack a car burglary ring in Airway Heights this month.

The Washington State Patrol responded to the crash on July 6 off Highway 291, where troopers say Christopher Hooper rolled a stolen vehicle that was carrying stolen property.

Investigators believe it was part of a web of burglaries that targeted more than 20 cars in Airway Heights. Almost every car on one block was hit -- and not one of them had their doors unlocked. Instead, the trunks were popped and left open.

"We found our trunks popped the next morning, our neighbors had the same thing, trunks popped," says Sara Slater, who's car was burglarized.

The thieves took DVD players, iPods, paperwork, even an E.M.T. bag. Detectives say the suspects worked together to gather more loot.

"Whether it's to sell stolen property or trade it back and forth, or buy drugs, friends or not, they have those relationships," says Sgt. Dave Bolton with the WSP Auto Theft Unit.

The crash eventually helped put three suspects behind bars, including Hooper. Hooper served a year in jail in 2009 for Second Degree Murder.

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