Sheriff's office uses new model for investigation - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sheriff's office uses new model for investigation

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – SWAT teams and detectives swarmed 5 locations across Spokane County on Tuesday, arresting 6 people and recovering hundreds of pieces of stolen property. 

Authorities called it the end of a months long investigation using a technique called "Intelligence Led Policing." Authorities say the technique focuses on arresting entire crime rings rather than solving an individual crime.

"Statistics show these criminals aren't committing just one crime," said Lt. Steven Barbieri of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.  Detectives are now focusing on linking multiple burglaries together, then going after anyone who holds the stolen property and anyone who trades it or sells it. The result is more criminal charges against more people, according to Barbieri. "The number of victims that we're helping in this process is greater than it was last year and the workload is not necessarily any higher," said Lt. Barbieri.  "It's a smarter way of working."

Tuesday's investigation started with a complaint of gas theft and car prowling in November.  Rather than arrest a suspect for that single crime, detectives followed a trail that led to multiple suspects accused of burglarizing homes and selling the possessions for drugs.

The result was Tuesday's arrest of one person for burglary, a man in Spokane Valley accused of holding stolen property, and a drug dealer accused of selling drugs in exchange for the stolen goods.

Authorities say Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich learned about ILP while attending a training seminar at the FBI a few years ago.

The concept was developed after 9-11 as a way for law enforcement agencies to share information about complex terrorism rings.

The sheriff decided it could also be applied to law enforcement at the local level. Detectives are using the technique in at least four other investigations and say they plan to make arrests in at least one of the cases soon.   

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