PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Spokane Targeted Crimes Detectives disrupt criminal ring and have filed more than 40 charges on 6 defendants ranging from forgery, auto-theft, possession of stolen property and trafficking stolen property.
The Spokane Police Department Targeted Crimes Unit (TCU) and Detective Corey Turman developed information that Randall Smeltzer (2/20/1979) was committing burglaries in the Spokane Area. Detectives started surveillance on Smeltzer and witnessed him, Alexander Jarman (06/30/1992), and a juvenile male purchasing or attempting to purchase numerous gift cards at different locations.
During this surveillance detectives also observed an occupied stolen vehicle that was later recovered from Smeltzers' house. Through follow-up Detective Turman learned that the credit card was stolen and had been used over 23 times in a twenty-four hour period. Randall Smeltzer was arrested on 4/18/2012. A search warrant was applied for and received on Smeltzer's car.
Two credited cards previously taken in vehicle prowlings, paperwork belonging to two different vehicle theft victims, and shaved keys were located in the vehicle. A search warrant was served at Smeltzer's house and evidence related to the ID theft crimes was recovered.
Surveillance and follow-up investigation also revealed that Donnelle C Velasquez (5/14/1970), Briahna Lane (4/10/1992), and Brionna S Mimier were also involved and connected to this criminal activity.
These crimes highlight the importance of citizens being pro-active in the protection of their property by keeping vehicles locked and property indoors or out of sight. Contents taken in vehicle prowling are often used in fraudulent transactions and can cause countless financial problems for the victims of these crimes.