How to avoid buying stolen property this holiday season - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How to avoid buying stolen property this holiday season

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

When 38-year-old Daren Suiter recklessly drove a Walmart semi-trailer through Spokane last week, he might as well of taken Santa's sleigh on a joy ride.

What Suiter intended to do with the stolen goods is still unclear, but here are some tips from Spokane Police on how you can shop smart this holiday season, and not help those on the naughty list.

“The adage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” said Chief Craig Meidl. “If you're seeing items that you know would cost five or 10 times more than what the asking price is, you can absolutely assume it was obtained through nefarious means.”

Chief Meidl also says look out for stolen items on web sites like Craigslist and eBay.

If you do decide to meet up with someone in a parking lot to exchange your hard earned money for that perfect gift at a good price, Chief Meidl says make sure there are security camera’s good lighting, and to trust your gut.

“Try to see where they're coming from,” he said. “If they're walking up and you don't know what got them to that location, there's probably a reason they don't want you to know.”

And just to be safe, Chief Meidl recommends asking the seller if the item you want to buy has a paper trail.

“Ask for receipts for an Xbox or cell phone,” he said. “Ask for the original packing material.”

Meidl says you can also use the Spokane C.O.P.S. Northeast Precinct as a location to meet sellers from web sites like Craigslist. If someone doesn’t want to meet you at a police station, there’s probably a good reason for it.

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