Suspected identity thief arrested following high speed chase - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Suspected identity thief arrested following high speed chase

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Police captured a man wanted on more than two-dozen charges after a high-speed chase in Spokane Valley.

Spokane Valley Police say they booked 41-year-old Gregory P. Krotech into the Spokane County Jail on Sunday after the chase, and on Monday added 25 additional felonies.

Krotech's problems began on Sunday when he spotted a patrol car and got spooked.  He sped away on E. Sprague Avenue, even though the officer wasn't originally after him.  The officer noted his speed however, and chased him into the Home Depot parking lot on the 5600 block of E. Sprague Ave.

According to police, Krotech stopped in the parking lot and rolled down his window.  But then he took off again, nearly hitting several cars before heading eastbound on Sprague again.

The chase continued for several more minutes at speeds up to 60 miles an hour in the snowy, slushy road conditions.  The suspect ran several red lights and finally stopped at a dead-end portion of E. 17th Avenue.  That's when the officer giving chase said Krotech drove directly at him.  The officer veered out of the way, and Krotech crashed his Nissan Altima into a light pole and became stuck in a snow bank.

The officer pulled Krotech out the car and arrested him on the eluding charges.  It wasn't until Monday that Krotech was charged with 11 counts of forgery, 11 counts of Unlawful Possession of Payment Instrument, two counts of Second Degree Identity Theft and one count of Second Degree Theft.

The officer also discovered that Krotech had an outstanding warrant for Escape from Community Custody.

Krotech was originally suspected of cashing forged checks in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Newport and Colville, as well as in Sandpoint, Hayden, Ponderay and Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.  He was allegedly cashing the checks with a female accomplice, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department, around December 10.

On January 9, the Property Crimes Task Force released a security photo of the couple cashing a forged check at an Albertsons grocery store on Northwest Boulevard in Spokane.

The female suspect is speaking with investigators and has not yet been charged.
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