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Car Thief Faces Several Felonies

Posted 10/3/2012 11:50 AM by KWESTBERG

On Monday, October 1, 2012, at about 1:15 p.m., Crime Check took a stolen vehicle report from the area of 5800 North Fotheringham Street in Spokane. Shortly after the report of the vehicle theft, Crime Check took a shoplifter report from Safeway at 10100 N. Newport Highway that involved the same stolen vehicle.

Just prior to 3:00 p.m. that same afternoon, Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy R. Cunningham passed the stolen vehicle as it traveled southbound on Elk-Chattaroy Road. Deputy Cunningham turned around and was able to see three occupants inside the vehicle. After confirming the vehicle was stolen and involved in the Safeway theft, Deputy Cunningham attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver, later identified as 26-year-old Jesse Johnson, failed to stop and sped away from Deputy Cunningham. After a short pursuit, Johnson failed to stop at the posted stop sign on Conklin at Blanchard Road and t-boned a full-size Dodge truck in the intersection. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Deputy Cunningham approached the scene and saw a female passenger outside the front passenger side door and a male passenger in the rear passenger side seat. After requesting aid for the two passengers, Deputy Cunningham asked who the driver was. Both passengers said they did not know the driver and had just hitched a ride with him. Several additional units, along with a Sheriff's K-9 unit and Air 1, searched the area and were not able to locate Johnson.

On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, Spokane County Sheriff's Sgt. J. McNall received a call from Johnson's father. He told Sgt. McNall police were looking for his son and wanted him taken into custody before anything bad happened to him. Johnson's father said he was going to pick his son up near Hwy. 2 and Elk-Chattaroy-Road and wanted deputies to stop his vehicle and take his son into custody. Arrangements were made and at about 12:45 p.m. several deputies stopped Johnson and took him into custody without incident. Further investigation revealed both passengers were associates of Johnson.

• Johnson was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the felony charges of Felony Hit and Run, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Felony Eluding and Vehicular Assault.