Suspect, who Bonded out Last Month, Arrested for Out of State Felony Warrant During a Traffic Stop for No Plates/Expired/Invalid Trip Permit
A Spokane County Deputy conducted a traffic stop for what appeared to be a vehicle without license plates and an expired/invalid trip permit. The driver, Christopher S. Benefield, was found to have an active Idaho felony warrant for his arrest for failure to appear on drug charges.
Benefield had previously been arrested on April 6, 2022, by Spokane Valley Deputies, charged with Unlawful Imprisonment, Theft of a Motor Vehicle (Attempted), and misdemeanor Harassment. He arranged to be bonded out by a bail/bond company on April 14, 2022, approximately 11 days prior to the issuance of the Idaho warrant.
On May 9, 2022, at approximately 9:55 pm., Spokane County Deputy Patrick Nelson observed a blue CRV with no visible license plates near Francis and Regal. Upon closer inspection, an expired temporary tag (5/4/22) was observed in the rear window.
Deputy Nelson conducted a traffic stop and contacted the driver, who didn’t have ID on him but verbally identified himself as 40-year-old Cristopher S. Benefield. Benefield said he recently purchased the vehicle and did not have insurance.
A check of Benefield’s name showed an Idaho felony warrant for Failure to Appear-Possession of a Controlled Substance (issued 4/25/22). After confirming the warrant was valid and extraditable, Benefield was arrested as a Fugitive from Justice.
Benefield was booked into the Spokane County Jail as a Fugitive, pending extradition. He was issued a citation for trip permit violation, driving while unlicensed w/o ID, and notice of infractions for no insurance and expired vehicle registration over two months.
Benefield had just been arrested by Spokane Valley Deputies on April 6, 2022, and at that time, booked him into the Spokane County Jail for Unlawful Imprisonment, Theft of a Motor Vehicle (Attempted), and misdemeanor Harassment. He was released on April 16, 2022, after arranging for a bail/bond company to post the $5,000 bond set by the courts.
Previous information released on April 8, 2022:
Multiple “Open” 911 Calls Lead to Suspect’s Arrest
Spokane Valley Deputies, responding to a trouble unknown call, quickly learned a victim was held against his will by two suspects. One suspect attempted to steal the victim’s car and fled the area on foot as Deputies arrived. He was located hiding behind shrubbery during a search. The second suspect was not located, but Deputies have identified him. The victim was not injured.
On April 6, 2022, at approximately 12:10 pm., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a trouble unknown call at an apartment located somewhere in the 15700 block of E. Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley.
Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC) Dispatchers advised Deputies that SREC 911 Call Receivers received several “open” 911 calls from the same number. During these calls, voices could be heard, but no one was directly talking into the phone. Deputies responded to investigate with very little information, such as an exact apartment number or what was taking place.
While SREC tried to gain as much information as possible, Deputies began to arrive in the area. Deputies were then advised the adult male victim was calling, saying someone was attempting to steal his vehicle. Deputy Andres Rodriguez arrived at the apartment complex shortly after and contacted the victim in the parking lot.
The victim said one suspect, later identified as 40-year-old Christopher S. Benefield, attempted to steal his vehicle before running east and jumping over a fence. Deputy Rodriguez obtained Benefield’s description and provided it to Deputies as they set up a perimeter for a search.
Deputies quickly learned the victim was held against his will and stopped from leaving an apartment in the complex by two suspects (Benefield and another male) because they believed the victim had stolen another person’s wallet. The victim denied taking the wallet, but the suspects told him he had to stay where he was until the owner of the wallet arrived. While they blocked any avenues of escape, the suspects brandished air-powered pistols while explaining the pistol’s capabilities.
As they waited, a friend of the victim arrived at the apartment and successfully coaxed the victim past the suspects and outside of the apartment. Once free, the victim fled and called 911 to report the specific information as Deputies arrived.
A K9 Unit was requested to assist in the search, and Deputies quickly located Benefield hiding in some scrubs in the apartment complex adjacent to the crime. He followed commands and was taken into custody without incident. An air pistol and a set of keys, later determined to be the victim’s car keys, were found in his possession.
Benefield was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Unlawful Imprisonment, Theft of a Motor Vehicle (Attempted), and misdemeanor Harassment. The courts later set his bond at $5,000 total.
The second suspect was not located, but Deputies have identified him. This remains an active investigation.