Undercover cops catch burglar red-handed

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police believe they have the suspects involved in a rash of burglaries in the Lincoln Heights Shopping District after a man allegedly broke into a Radio Shack on Spokane's South Hill early Monday morning.

That man didn't get very far before getting caught by undercover cops.

According to a Radio Shack employee, someone recently tried using a crowbar to break into the front door. Someone also tried breaking into the Regal Veterinary Clinic next door and a few other nearby businesses.

Police started watching the stores for burglaries and, around 5 a.m. Monday, a man broke into the Radio Shack at 29th Avenue and Regal Street by smashing a front window with a crowbar.

Lincoln Heights burglaries vo

The employee said the man got a few items, but the undercover officers were watching him and he was arrested in the parking lot.

In the last week several other businesses, including Hastings and Game Stop, have also been hit, some more than once. So, using crime analysis the Spokane Police Department's Patrol Anti-Crime Team staked out the South Hill Radio Shack.

Their efforts paid off when the suspect broke in early Monday morning, taken into custody moments later with the crowbar still in his hand. His getaway driver was arrested a short time later and now police are trying to tie the two to multiple break-ins in the area..

Tom Hudson, owner of Legal Addiction coffee stand on 29th Avenue, had his window smashed in.

"We had a bunch of disarray. There were papers thrown around," he said.

"You like to think that you open your business and you're in a pretty decent place and you can lock your doors at night, but it's not just us obviously its a lot of stuff going on," Hudson added.

On the other side of the parking lot Hastings employees said they have been broken into twice. They didn't have time to stock the video games taken the first time before the crooks came back the second time.

The same thing happened across the street at Game Stop, a smash and grab for electronics with the thieves spending less than two minutes inside.

It was that pattern of electronic thefts that caused police to stake out Radio Shack and several other stores, catching the perpetrators red-handed Monday morning.

"You get frustrated at the fact that you have to go through it all but yes, you hope that this is the group or the guy that is responsible for all of it and you can sleep a little easier at night," Hudson said.

Most of the stores burglarized had video surveillance, something police will be using to tie these suspects to this crime spree.