Stolen Vehicle Recovered
Pistol Drops from Suspect’s Waistband
Last night, an alert Spokane Valley Deputy checked a vehicle's license plate and learned it was reported as stolen. During a high-risk traffic stop, a pistol fell from the passenger’s waistband area as he complied with Deputies’ commands. The suspect kept his hand visible and continued to comply. He was safely detained and later arrested for Possession of a Stolen motor vehicle and an active misdemeanor warrant for Making False Statements.
The driver was released at the scene without charges after it was determined, the suspect asked her to drive, and she did not know the vehicle was stolen.
The pistol, along with others found in the vehicle, were determined to be realistic-looking replicas and not actual firearms.
On April 28, 2021, at approximately 11:30 pm, Spokane Valley Deputy Keifer Smith’s attention was drawn by a Chevy Equinox traveling north on University Road toward Sprague. He checked the license plate on the vehicle on his Mobile Data Computer (MDC) and was alerted the car was reported stolen.
He confirmed the information with a Spokane Regional Emergency Communications Dispatcher via his radio and requested additional Deputies to assist as he followed the Equinox west on Sprague.
As the vehicle turned north on Farr, he activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop as backup units arrived. Not knowing if anyone in the stolen SUV was armed, Deputies conducted a high-risk traffic stop, safely and methodically calling out one occupant at a time as Deputies remained behind cover.
The adult female driver was compliant and followed instructions. She was detained in handcuffs, frisked for weapons, and safely placed in a patrol car. The passenger, later identified as 28-years-old Oscar J. Flores, was told to exit the vehicle with his hands visible. As he stepped out, an object Deputies recognized as a possible handgun fell to the ground. Flores was ordered not to reach for the gun and to continue following commands, which he did. He was placed in handcuffs, informed he was detained, frisked for weapons, and placed in a separate patrol car, while Deputies cleared the stolen vehicle to ensure no one was ignoring commands or hiding inside.
The pistol was recovered with the scene now safe and, upon closer inspection, determined to be a realistic replica toy revolver. Two additional toy replicas were found inside the vehicle, along with a holster, a fixed blade knife, and a hatchet, all easily accessible to anyone inside the car.
The driver was advised of her rights and agreed to answer questions. She explained she was visiting Flores, and he asked her to drive him around because she had a valid driver’s license and he didn’t. Flores gave her a key to the vehicle. She stated she had no idea the vehicle was stolen until they were stopped.
Flores was advised of his rights and agreed to answer questions. He stated a friend, identified by a first name only, gave him the key to the Equinox. The friend said Flores could use the vehicle in exchange for the use of Flores’s bedroom. He stated he didn’t know the Equinox was stolen but did know his friend had a history of stealing cars. When asked about the “shaved key” (a worn or filed down key commonly used to steal vehicles), Flores acknowledged it looked suspicious and added it was missing the chip.
A check of Flores’s name revealed a misdemeanor warrant for Making False Statements. He was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and his warrant.
The driver was not charged and released at the scene.
Attempts to contact the registered owner were unsuccessful, and the vehicle was towed for safekeeping.