Armed homeowner confronts armed burglary suspect in Spokane Valley garage

An armed homeowner caught an armed burglar in the act Monday morning, deputies said.

Spokane Valley Police Department deputies responded to a reported burglary at a home near N. Locust Rd and E. Valleyway Ave around 5:15 a.m. The victim said he walked out his door to go to work and noticed his garage door was open. He said he also saw an unfamiliar black mountain bike leaning against the outside of his garage.

The victim then went in his home to get a .22 caliber firearm. When he went back to his driveway, he saw a man in his garage. Deputies said the man, identified as 40-year-old John R. Cravens, had opened the victim’s truck door and was leaning inside.

The victim reportedly yelled at Cravens. Deputies said Cravens threw the victim’s truck keys at him and said, “I’m just cold and hungry man. I’m sorry.”

Deputies said the victim pointed a handgun at Cravens and told him to get out of the garage. Cravens then walked toward the victim and stood at the garage door.

The victim yelled at his roommate to call 911.

“I’m not going with them,” Cravens reportedly said.

Deputies said Cravens pulled a knife from his pocket and opened it. The victim still had his pistol pointed at Cravens, who allegedly started moving his knife back and forth in a stabbing motion.
The victim fired two rounds into air and Cravens dropped the knife, then ran away.

Meantime, deputies set up a perimeter while Deputy Clay Hilton and K9 Bane responded to the home. Deputies had probable cause to arrest Cravens for two felonies. They did not know if he was armed, so they deployed K9 Bane to assist.

Cravens was asked many times to surrender and was told deputies would deploy the K9. He never answered, deputies said. K9 Bane tracked north and led deputies toward the back of a home with a large clump of bushes.

K9 Bane then tracked toward two vehicles and continued searching in nearby bushes, where he found Cravens. He was safely detained and taken into custody.

Deputies said the victim identified the Cravens, who was given medical care on scene before he was taken to the hospital. He was later cleared.

Cravens told deputies he did not hear the K9 announcements and that he was just sleeping. He said he was homeless and had been sleeping under the vehicle where K9 Bane found him, all night.

Cravens has a lengthy history of arrests dating back over 18 years. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail for first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.