Police catch car thief in the act

Suspect Trevor McClure bonded out of jail just last week

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police say they've put a face on one of those elusive thieves who break into cars while the owners are shopping or working downtown.

Neighborhood conditions officers arrested 21-year-old Trevor McClure after they spotted him riding his bike into a Sprague Avenue parking garage.

When McClure was taken into custody police found a spark plug in his pocket. The ceramic insulation around the plug silently shatters car windows and the garage where McClure was spotted is full of broken glass.

Car thief arrested

In January at least 52 cars were prowled in downtown Spokane just as police boosted the number of officers assigned to the area.

"We're putting some undercover cars out to see if we can catch those people in the act," Spokane Police Sergeant Dan Waters said.

That's exactly what happened Thursday when Officer Jeff Graves saw McClure ride his bike down inside the Hutton Building's parking garage and followed him inside to investigate.

"When I got out of the patrol car and yelled at him to show me his hands he had a deer in the headlight's look, froze, I yelled at him again and he took off running," Graves said.

McClure ditched his getaway bike in a stairwell and was caught after a short pursuit.

Friday in court it was revealed McClure is a drug addicted thief who had just bonded out of jail last week. His backpack contained burglary tools, lock cutters, pry tools pick tools and some methamphetamine, authorities said.

Police said they will continue their special emphasis on catching car prowlers. Extra officers downtown have already reduced crime 20-percent from this same time last year.