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'Armed and dangerous' suspect arrested after Washington, Idaho crime spree

Jesse Spitzer was wanted in connection to multiple crime sprees in Washington and Idaho. He was arrested in Montana.

HAUGAN, Mont. — A suspect considered “armed and dangerous" by the Post Falls Police Department was arrested Friday in Montana after evading arrest for a week.

30-year-old Jessie Spitzer, from Sultan, Wash., was arrested Friday morning in Haugan, Montana, according to the Chelan County Sheriff's Office.

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office paints a wild picture of the efforts to track down and arrest Spitzer after a crime spree that stretched from western Washington to North Idaho. 

Wild arrest

Spitzer was spotted in Kellogg on Thursday night in a stolen vehicle around 9:30 pm. Kellogg Police Officers, Shoshone County Deputies and U.S. Marshals chased after him as he drove eastbound on I-90.

A deputy put down spike-strips near Osburn, Idaho (milepost 57), which damaged the vehicle’s tires, but the suspect kept driving for several more miles, taking exit 61 into Wallace.

The Sheriff’s Office said the suspect fired a weapon several times while exiting the interstate and again on Front Street in Wallace.

The suspect eventually got out of his damaged vehicle on Bank Street and carjacked a pickup truck at gunpoint.

Credit: Barbara Strother
The scene in Wallace after 30-year-old Jesse Spitzer, who was wanted for a crime spree throughout Idaho and Washington, exited the stolen car and carjacked a pickup truck at gunpoint.

The suspect continued down Bank Street and back onto I-90 eastbound toward the Idaho-Montana border. As the suspect returned to the interstate, the Sheriff’s Office said he once again fired at deputies who were pursuing him.

As the vehicle crossed into Montana, the Montana Highway Patrol joined the pursuit. Officers were able to use a spike strip near the weigh station.

The suspect then ran away, leading law enforcement on a chase through the parking lot of the 50,000 Silver Dollar Inn in Haugan, Mont.

The Sheriff’s Office said Spitzer was finally arrested this morning in that area.

Post Falls sighting

Spitzer had last been seen in Post Falls on early Wednesday morning. People in a Post Falls neighborhood were evacuated or told to shelter in place as police chased and looked for Spitzer.

At one point, police surrounded a backyard shed on Lynwood Ct. where they believed he was hiding. After a search of the shed and nearby area, Spitzer was not there, but police say evidence and two firearms were found.

Alleged crime spree

Spitzer was originally wanted in Snohomish County for first-degree burglary, first-degree assault, and possession of a stolen vehicle. A warrant was also issued out of Chelan County Superior Court for Spitzer's arrest on theft and burglary charges in connection to a series of crimes on Sunday.

On Friday, Jan. 21, SWAT responded to east Snohomish County to an incident allegedly involving Spitzer, but they couldn't find him.

On Saturday, Jan. 22, a K9 unit was sent to track Spitzer through the woods in Gold Bar, but he was able to escape, SCSO said.

On Sunday, Jan 23, Spitzer was suspected of being involved in an incident in Chelan County.

Early Tuesday morning, SCSO learned that Spitzer was suspected of being involved in a burglary in Post Falls, Idaho, but he was able to flee from officers.

In 2011, SCSO said Spitzer had been convicted for shooting at a deputy sheriff in Nevada.

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