The Spokane County Sheriff's Office reports a suspect driving a stolen vehicle tried to walk away from the vehicle and lie about driving it when he was approached by Spokane Valley Deputy Andrew Richmond. Faced with the truth, the man admitted to stealing the vehicle which was left unattended and running in North Spokane last week.
It happened around 11:30 p.m. on December 28, when the deputy spotted a white Toyota 4-Runner with no license plate at the intersection of Mullen and Sprague. While stopped at the light, he observed the driver and what he was wearing.
After the light changed, the driver, later identified as 33-year-old Colby A. Thompson, drove north on Mullen. As Deputy Richmond slowed to change lanes to pull behind the Toyota to stop it, Thompson made a sudden turn into the parking lot of the Hico Village parking lot.
Deputy Richmond couldn't safely turn in to the lot, so he circled back around the block in time to see Thompson exit the driver's seat and walk toward the south door of the business. A short time later, Thompson returned to the 4-Runner, but as he did, he appeared to notice the deputy's patrol car. He immediately turned away and walked back toward the south side of the store, looking over his shoulder at the deputy several times as he went.
Deputy Richmond hit his lights and made contact with Thompson at the intersection of Mullen and Main. After Deputy Richmond explained why he was stopping him, Thompson said he wasn't driving the SUV and he had been walking all night. Thompson was unable to explain why his sweatshirt was only slightly wet and not soaked since it had been raining and snowing throughout the night.
Backup arrived and checked the VIN on the 4-Runner and learned that it had been reported stolen.
Deputy Richmond placed Thompson under arrest for possession of a stolen vehicle and read him his rights. Initially Thompson said he didn't know anything about the vehicle but after Thompson explained he had seen him driving it back at the red light, Thompson said he wanted to tell the truth.
Thompson said he was walking around and noticed the vehicle running unattended at a dealership in North Spokane. He said no one was around and he believed an employee of a dealership was warming it up so he jumped in and drove away.
Thompson was booked into Spokane County Jail for theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.
The vehicle was released back to an employee of the dealership.