Vehicle, Credit Cards and Bicycles Stolen from Garage
On September 1st, 2015, at 9:10 a.m., Spokane County Sheriffâ€™s Office Deputy Terry Liljenberg responded to a residence located in the 12800 block of North Palomino in North Spokane County to contact the victim of a reported theft.
The victim explained on August 31st, she parked her 2015 Subaru inside her garage.Â She closed the door, removed the ignition key and placed it on a bench just inside the door of the residence.
As she prepared to leave the next morning (September 1st), she noticed the ignition key was not sitting on the bench and she found her vehicle was gone.Â She explained her purse, along with other personal items were inside the vehicle and 2 bicycles were secured on the vehicleâ€™s bicycle rack.
The victim was able to provide credit card and serial numbers of the stolen items.Â Deputy Liljenberg had the vehicle and these numbers entered into the computer system as stolen.
Observant Deputy Notices Stolen Vehicle at Gas Station
Early this morning just after midnight, Spokane Valley Sheriffâ€™s Deputy Andrew Richmond noticed a newer Subaru parked at a gas station located at 1201 North Barker Road in Spokane Valley.Â Knowing a new Subaru was recently reported as stolen, he pulled into a parking lot across the street and obtained specific information of the reported stolen vehicle as he continued to observe the vehicle at the gas station.
Deputy Richmond observed a male, later identified as 24-year-old Austin L. Russell, get into the driverâ€™s seat of the vehicle.Â He also observed a second male, later identified as 44-year-old Michael G. Baldwin, get into the passengerâ€™s side.Â Deputy Richmond caught up to the vehicle as it turned west onto Boone Avenue from Barker.Â He checked the license plate displayed on the vehicle and learned it did not match the vehicle he was following.Â Believing the license plates had been switched and the vehicle he was following was possibly stolen, Deputy Richmond activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop at Mission and Long Road.
Russell rolled through the stop sign at the intersection and turned west on Mission without stopping.Â Deputy Richmond activated his siren but, instead of stopping, Russell accelerated and began to flee.Â Now in pursuit, with little to no vehicle or pedestrian traffic, Deputy Richmond continued as Russell fled.
As Russell approached a dead end at River Walk Lane and Hodges Lane, he did not slow and hit a dirt barrier causing the vehicle to go airborne before violently landing in the field.Â Russell continued through the field toward a housing area near Knox and Cavalier Road.Â Deputy Richmond advised assisting deputies Russellâ€™s direction of travel and terminated the pursuit due to the extremely reckless and dangerous driving of Russell.
Deputies set up a perimeter in the area of the housing development and Deputy Richmond located the unoccupied vehicle at Holl and Knox where it had collided with a utility cable box.Â A check of the Vehicle Identification Number showed it was reported stolen on September 1st from North Spokane.
A K9 unit was requested and Spokane Police Officer Gorman and his K9 partner arrived to assist.Â Deputy Watts, who was a perimeter unit, located Russell hiding in some bushes near Indiana and Glenbrook and took him into custody.
With the assistance of SPD Officer Gorman and his K9 partner, Baldwin was located hiding in the field and was taken into custody.
During a search of the stolen vehicle, Deputy Richmond located 2 replica BB guns in the front by each seat and easily accessible by Russell or Baldwin.Â Â He also located a black pouch in the center console that contained a black tar-like substance he believed was Heroin and multiple small white pills.Â The tar substance was later field tested and showed a presumptive positive result for Heroin.Â The white pills were identified as Clonazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Russell and Baldwin were later transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail.
Russell was charged with Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Controlled Substance (Heroin), Possession of a Controlled Substance (Clonazepam), Hit and Run Property Damage, 4 counts of Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree, Possession of Anotherâ€™s Identification and Obstructing.
Baldwin was charged with Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property 3rd Degree and Obstructing.
Deputies recoveredÂ 4 credit cards, the victimâ€™s driverâ€™s license and both bicycles reported stolen by the victim.
This is a great example of multiple agencies working together alongside with the victim and several citizens in the area of the search to keep our community safe and hold two suspects accountable for their criminal actions.
Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Officer