SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Regional Auto Theft Task Force has shut down an alleged auto theft ring that was using a tow truck to steal cars.
The 61-year-old suspect, Michael D. Miller, has failed to appear before a judge at the Spokane Superior Court, 41 different times.
Miller also has ten felony convictions and so his claims that he had no idea the cars parked around his garage were stolen fell on deaf ears.
The raid in Plaza, south of Spokane, got its start after police in Post Falls went looking for a car that had broken down along Interstate 90.
Cameras showed it had been illegally towed away and investigators traced it to this property along old US-Highway 95.
Auto theft detectives learned the man leasing the garage, Michael Miller, was accepting stolen cars.
And when they executed a search warrant there Tuesday, they found two stolen vehicles and methamphetamine.
State troopers said when you eliminate a place where crooks can trade stolen property or cash, it makes our cars safer.
“Certainly, when we take an individual like Mr. Miller off the street the way the demand is processed is inhibited and that's a good thing,” said Trooper Jeff Sevigney, Washington State Patrol.
And that is why the court set Miller's bond at $30,000 Wednesday.
The Auto Theft Task Force is still looking to charge a half dozen of Miller's alleged accomplices in this stolen property ring.