Deputies Locate Occupied Vehicle Reported Stolen out of Wisconsin

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Spokane Valley Deputies responding to a suspicious vehicle call, found a male asleep in the driver’s seat.  A check of the Wisconsin license plate showed the truck had been reported stolen from Soldier’s Grove, Wisconsin.  The vehicle was blocked in to prevent escape, and the driver was contacted and detained.  Following a short investigation and review of the original Wisconsin stolen report, the male suspect was arrested for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and booked into jail. 

On May 23, 2023, at approximately 1:20 am, Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of a suspicious vehicle parked in the 18800 block of E. Broadway.  The caller stated the truck had been parked there for two hours, which was unusual.

Deputies arrived and observed a male, later identified as 38-year-old Luke A. Russell, asleep in the driver’s seat.  A check of the Wisconsin license plate showed the vehicle was reported stolen in Crawford County, Wisconsin.

Deputies blocked the vehicle to limit any chance of escape and placed stop sticks under the tire if Russell attempted to drive away. 

Russell was cooperative and safely taken into custody.  He was advised of his rights and agreed to answer questions.  He explained the truck wasn’t stolen, and he borrowed it from a longtime friend and intended to buy it once he got a job.  Russell admitted he had not been in contact with the victim in a couple of days and could not show any paperwork of a possible purchase or that he had permission to have the vehicle. 

Reading a copy of the report provided by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the victim stated Russell arrived at the victim’s home a couple of weeks ago and needed a place to stay.  The victim agreed but declined Russell’s requests to use the truck several times.  However, when the victim went out of town for a couple of days, he granted Russell limited use of the vehicle if needed.  When the victim returned home, he found his truck, Russell, and all of Russell’s belonging gone.  The victim said he never permitted Russell to take the vehicle overnight and waited to report the truck as stolen until the next day when it and Russell still hadn’t returned.

A Deputy noted Russell had traveled over 1520 miles from the victim’s home and was traveling to California by Russell’s own admission.  

Russell was advised he was under arrest and was booked into the Spokane County Jail for Possession of a stolen motor vehicle.        

Corporal Mark Gregory

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer

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