Suspect’s Story No Match for Deputy’s Observations
A suspect driving a stolen vehicle tried to walk away from the vehicle and lie about driving it when he was contacted by Spokane Valley Deputy Andrew Richmond. Faced with the truth, the suspect admitted to stealing the vehicle which was left unattended and running in North Spokane.
On December 28, 2017 prior to 11:30 p.m., Deputy Richmond observed 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 was a male and the clothing he was wearing.
After the light turned green, 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 vehicle and conduct a traffic stop, Thompson made a sudden turn into the parking lot of the Hico Village parking lot.
Due to the sudden turn, Deputy Richmond didn’t have enough time to safely turn into the parking lot and conduct a traffic stop. He continued and circled back around the block in time to observe Thompson exit the driver’s seat and walk toward the south door of the business. A short time later, Thompson returned to the vehicle but as he did, he appeared to notice Deputy Richmond’s patrol vehicle. He immediately turned away and walked back toward the south side of the store. As he walked away, Thompson looked over his shoulder at Deputy Richmond several times.
Deputy Richmond activated his emergency lights and made contact with Thompson at the intersection of Mullen and Main. After Deputy Richmond explained the reason for the contact, Thompson stated he wasn’t driving any vehicle and he had been walking all evening. Thompson was unable to explain why his sweatshirt was only slightly wet and not soaked since it had been raining and snowing throughout the evening.
While Deputy Richmond spoke with Thompson, Deputy Wilson responded to the vehicle, checked the VIN and learned it had been reported stolen.
Deputy Richmond placed Thompson under arrest for Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and advised him of his rights. Initially, Thompson said he didn’t know anything about the vehicle but after Deputy Richmond explained he observed Thompson driving, Thompson said he wanted to tell the truth.
Thompson said he was walking around and noticed the vehicle running and unattended at a dealership in North Spokane. He said no one was around and he believed an employee of a dealership was warning it up so he jumped in and drove away.
Thompson was transported and booked into the 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.