One story behind the crime statistics

Published On: Oct 30 2012 06:53:39 PM PDT   Updated On: Oct 30 2012 06:53:57 PM PDT
Stolen Nissan Pulsar

According to the FBI, robberies and violent crime are slightly up in the city of Spokane, and property crimes stayed the same in 2011.

New statistics show from 2010 to 2011, violent crimes went from 1,270 up to 1,304. Robberies increased from 432 to 484. Property Crimes were almost identical at 15,042 to 15,039 in 2011.

Spokane also had almost 3,000 more property crimes than Tacoma, while Tacoma had 200 more violent crimes.

Behind every one of those statistics is a person and a story.

"I opened the door and I looked that way, and then I looked this way, and my car was just completely gone," 16-year-old Destiny Mitchell said.

Mitchell viewed the scene at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. It was just one hour after her mother looked at both of the family's cars in the driveway. There was the gold Ford Expedition, and the 1988 Nissan Pulsar. Her dad Dennis bought the car brand new, and he didn't drive it after she was four, to save it for her.

"The engine and transmission rebuilt a couple years ago because I knew she wanted that car, so I basically just had it set and it's been in storage for a long time," Dennis Mitchell said.

Destiny then unwrapped it as a 16th birthday present in July. This morning, for the first time since, it sped off without her.

"I liked that car and I don't want anything to happen or taken from it," Destiny said.

While vehicle thefts like the Mitchell family experienced are down in Spokane, they're up in the Spokane Valley where they live. Both cities still have fewer car thefts than Tacoma and Seattle. 

Overall, property crimes have remained the same in Spokane, which police say is evidence they're still investigating them.

"We are doing our due diligence and we are responding to the crime that's occurring in Spokane," Spokane Police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said.

With no luck yet on their case, the Mitchells are hoping someone sees the car and this mess will become a positive statistic opposed to a negative one.

"You never think that's going to happen to you, then it happens, and you're in utter shock," Dennis Mitchell said.