Our network

Crime

Another picnic table pyramid rises during the night

Another picnic table pyramid rises during the night

They came in the night with their picnic table stacking hijinks. Another pyramid structure consisting of 36 picnic tables has been constructed in Spokane - this time in Manito Park. Like a cherry on top, they even crowned the pyramid with traffic reflectors.

This is the third pyramid stack reported in Spokane in recent times. Park officials say two similar structures appeared in Riverfront Park on Saturday and Tuesday.

It takes a bucket truck from Urban Forestry to dismantle the pyramids. It’s estimated that the unstacking process costs the parks department about $500 to take the tables down one by one.

To protect picnic tables in Riverfront Park from future shenanigans, the tables were distributed throughout the park to make it harder for whoever is responsible.

Police: Overnight park activity leads to transient fight

Spokane Police officers are dealing with overnight transient trespassing at a Browne’s Addition park. Trendon L. Mobley, 28, was arrested on July 24 for assaulting a victim with beer bottles at Coeur d’Alene Park just before 11 p.m.

The victim was reportedly thrown over the side of the park’s gazebo as well.

Police say others were trespassing in the park for camping, fighting and according to their report: “generally trashing the area”.

Police: Man banned from STA Plaza after grabbing women

Spokane Police officers were dispatched to the STA Plaza in late July to handle an incident where a man was allegedly grabbing female victim’s buttocks. The situation was reported to Spokane Transit Authority security who detained the man on July 27.

Two victims filed charges and provided written statements to security on the assault. Video surveillance showed the man grabbing at least ten women.

The man was cited and released for two counts of city assault and now has a no-trespassing order at the STA Plaza.

The game of losing and recovering bicycles

The game of losing and recovering bicycles

Anyone seen a Trek Madone 5.2? It’s a mid-range racing bicycle meant to hit the pavement for the Tour de France with space-age technology. That’s the way Eric Abbott, 47, described his bicycle that was stolen from his South Hill home in late July. In between racing near Riverside State Park and packing up his family’s home for a move across the state, it was plucked away from the garage.

“I walked into the garage, turned around - something felt strange like the hair was standing up on the back of my neck,” Abbot described. He asked himself, “Where’s my bike?”

It’s a common woe to hear in Spokane following the theft of property. Abbott followed the proper routine of filing a police report, insurance claims, calling major bike shops and starting his online patrol of Craigslist and eBay. He hopes to have it returned, but that possibility looks slim.

City cleans up pyramid stack of 45 picnic tables

City cleans up pyramid stack of 45 picnic tables

Vandalism kept some city crews busy Tuesday morning as they cleaned up a pyramid of picnic tables in Riverfront Park. The table structure reached 32 feet in height and required a bucket truck from Urban Forestry and a forklift to unstack about 45 picnic tables one by one.

Lead foreman David Randolph with Spokane Parks discovered the structure when he showed up to work around 4 a.m. Randolph says they had to dismantle a similar structure on Saturday morning at the same location.

“I’m glad nobody was killed while they put it up and hopefully none of my crew will get killed while they take it down,” Randolph said.

The weekend shenanigans cost the city about $500 for the resources to take the structure down. Park crews had to repeat the same costs on Tuesday to go through the process again.

“We have to take down the top ten tables with a bucket truck which is very expensive and labor intensive and we will take the rest of them down with a fork lift,” Randolph explained.

A look inside Spokane Properties Facility

A look inside Spokane Properties Facility

Where does evidence go when it leaves the scene of a crime? It’s processed into a property facility in east Spokane where local law enforcement store over 150,000 items of evidence. One hallway is dedicated to boxes of evidence from homicides.

Police evidence supervisor Shannon Hallam says they have exactly 1,000 boxes of evidence for 610 cases, a mixture of active or unsolved cases. Even if a case is closed, they have to keep the boxes 100 years following the closure of a case or until the defendant (if there is one) passes away.

The smaller boxes kept on the higher shelves are dedicated to 30-40 year-old homicides. Hallam says they didn’t take as many evidence items because the technology did not exist to analyze them closely. The oldest box of evidence is tied to a 1959 homicide.

They keep the boxes of evidence just in case new technology comes around that allows them to analyze evidence in new ways. Cold cases will remain at the property facility indefinitely.

New website says Spokane "sucks" because of crime statistics

If you’re not a fan of the crime rate in Spokane, neither is the website Spokane Sucks. Signs have been pasted all around the city of Spokane, advertising www.spokanesucks.com.

A video published on Youtube explains with a female voice over that the city has lost focus on its priorities while local media says crime is decreasing. The video says that’s not the case. The video cites the website Neighborhood Scout for the city’s safety rating listing a 2 out of 100 based on the number of annual crimes in Spokane. Neighborhood Scout says a rating of 100 is the safest.

The Massachusetts-based company Location, Inc. runs Neighborhood Scout and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the safety rating for a city. The FBI’s number is determined by the amount of crimes reported by local law enforcement agencies.