Wrong way pursuit expands identity theft investigation




Posted on April 30, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 30 at 7:41 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Authorities said an arrest Monday along Highway 195 following a wrong way, high speed chase through is helping them crack open an even bigger investigation.

The pursuit ended with a 23-time convicted felon, Gregory Kroetch in handcuffs. Now, Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies said the 47-year-old suspect’s arrest could help solve an identity theft investigation. Deputy Craig Chamberlin said the investigation was underway before Kroetch’s most recent arrest.

Investigators said they are looking into a theft ring that is likely much bigger than just the one man. Kroetch was not working alone according to deputies. They added that Kroetch was cooperating and that more arrests could be coming.

Deputies said it is still unclear when actual charges will be filed against him. However, Kroetch will eventually be facing multiple felony counts according to investigators.

The pursuit on Monday began in Spokane Valley around 10:50 a.m.  A deputy was investigating a burglary when he saw Kroetch drive by him in a maroon Ford Probe.  Knowing Kroetch had a long history of criminal activity; the deputy ran the registration of the vehicle and found that the car was stolen.

Several deputies tried to stop Kroetch near Interstate 90 and Pines. Kroetch entered I-90 on the eastbound off-ramp.  He began driving westbound in the eastbound lanes according to deputies.

Authorities said Kroetch eventually exited at Broadway where he drove east. Kroetch re-entered I-90 on the eastbound off-ramp and traveled westbound in the eastbound lanes of travel until he exited at Sprague.  WSP troopers took over when Kroetch allegedly returned to I-90 at the Fancher on-ramp and traveled westbound.

Deputies said Kroetch exited I-90 at 195 and was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes. Washington State Patrol troopers used spike strips to stop Kroetch near 16th and 195.  Authorities apprehended him near 14th and South Loop Road when he tried to run from the vehicle.

Authorities told KREM 2 News that Kroetch is currently under armed guard at the hospital. The guard was called in to make sure Kroetch does not get away. He is being treated for a previous injury according to deputies.