Woman arrested after off-duty officer recognizes stolen vehicle
SPOKANE, Wash. - An officer who took a stolen vehicle report Tuesday was able to assist in recovering that vehicle after it pulled in front of him later in the day.
The off-duty officer immediately recognized the black Nissan Pathfinder as stolen and followed the driver to the Shadle Wal-Mart parking lot. An off-duty sergeant on his way home met the officer to provide assistance while the two waited for on duty units to arrive.
Once officers arrived on scene, they took the driver, 36-year-old Christal Helsley into custody.
Since February 25, there has been an increase in stolen vehicle activity in the area of 12th and South Ivory St. Several vehicles have been stolen from and recovered in a six mile radius of that location, including the Nissan Pathfinder.
Over his last five day work week, which ended yesterday, the officer who recognized the stolen Pathfinder has recovered nine stolen vehicles.
His patrol car is equipped with two cameras and an automatic license-plate recognition system allowing him to scan vehicle license plates and compare it against a nationwide database of stolen vehicles, allowing him to recover stolen cars faster.
While this does give Spokane Police Department another tool to assist them with stolen vehicles, you can still take precautions when leaving their vehicles unattended to avoid having their vehicle become a target.
- Secure Your Vehicle - park in a locked garage or well lit area, lock your doors, don't leave the engine running unattended
- Sterilize Your Vehicle – avoid leaving anything of value in plain sight inside the vehicle.
- Anti-Theft Devices – clubs, alarm systems
- Report the Crime to the Police – Vehicle Prowling or Vehicle Theft
Information from: Spokane Police Department
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