Five people arrested on suspicion of drilling holes, stealing gas from cars at dealership

COLBERT, Wash. — Spokane County deputies arrested five people suspected of drilling gas tanks at a car dealership and causing thousands of dollars in damage.

On Tuesday at around 1 a.m., security at the Lithia Car Dealership near Colbert reported seeing two men dressed in all-black clothing, tugging on car door handles.

Deputies arrived at the scene and say they smelled gasoline. One man was spotted lying under a car while another was standing towards the rear, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say they saw a red drill and three gas cans, with one being filled up from the car’s gas tank. Both men were arrested.

Other deputies say they noticed a red Honda leaving the area, which stalled as deputies contacted the driver. Deputies say they broke the window of the car, trying to unlock the doors, but the driver hit the gas and drove forward.

The Sheriff’s Office says the car drove about 30-40 feet before stalling again, and all three suspects inside the car were arrested.

The SCSO says 10 cars had their gas tanks drilled to remove fuel, with damages estimated to be around $10,000.

Deputies charged 20-year-old Johnathan Schroeder with first-degree malicious mischief, third-degree theft from a motor vehicle, and making false statements.

Also, 26-year-old Vincent Stevens was charged with first-degree malicious mischief and third-degree assault, and 19-year-old Serena Wright was charged with first-degree malicious mischief.

The driver of the red Honda was charged with first-degree malicious mischief, attempting to elude a police vehicle, and second-degree theft from a motor vehicle.

A young man was also charged with first-degree malicious mischief and second-degree theft from a motor vehicle.

All five suspects were booked into the Spokane County Jail and Spokane County Detention Center.