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Spokane County Deputies apprehend car thieves after short chases

SPOKANE, Wash. - On Monday morning, at around 4:30 a.m., Spokane County Deputy Alex Bullion herd, via his car radio, a vehicle had just been stolen from the 12900 block of E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley.  

Thinking that the suspect might take Bigelow Gulch toward the north side of Spokane, Deputy Bullion headed to the area.  

While driving east on Bigelow Gulch near Orchard Prairie, he observed a 1998 Honda Civic, matching the description of the one reported stolen, traveling west.  The Civic was closely followed by a Nissan Maxima with no license plate, tinted windows and tinted tail lamps.  

When the road widened into two lanes, Deputy Bullion attempted to pass the Maxima and get in behind the Civic, but the Maxima was following too close and the driver would not back off to allow Deputy Bullion to get over.  

Both vehicles turned south on Florida and then west on Dalke. The Nissan began to slow in an apparent attempt to allow the Civic to speed away.  Deputy Bullion safely passed the Maxima and caught up to the Civic near Julia.  Deputy Bullion advised assisting patrol units the Maxima peeled off and turned north.

The driver of the Civic, later identified as 25-year-old Scott C. Davis, failed to stop completely at the stop sign at Freya.  He turned south on Freya and recklessly and rapidly accelerated, exceeding 60 mph.  Deputy Bullion activated his emergency lights and siren, but Davis continued at double the speed limit.  Approximately seven blocks later, Davis came to a sudden and abrupt stop. Deputy Bullion ordered Davis to show his hands and waited for backup units to arrive before taking him into custody without further incident.       

Deputy Stan Kravtsov, who was responding to the area to assist, observed a Maxima traveling west on Francis from Freya at a high rate of speed.  Believing it was the involved Maxima, he turned around to make contact.  As he did, the driver of the Maxima, later identified as 29-year-old Denis A. Martynenko, appeared to accelerate.  Deputy Kravtsov activated his emergency lights, but Martynenko continued for several blocks before finally pulling over near Smith and Francis.  After additional units arrived, Martynenko was safely taken into custody. 

Through the investigation, Deputies learned Davis and Martynenko were friends.  Both blamed each other for the theft of the Civic.  A keyring with several ‘shaved keys’, commonly used by criminals to steal vehicles, was found in Davis’ pocket.  A baggie containing a white crystalline substance was located on the passenger’s side floor of the Civic.  The substance was field tested and showed a presumptive positive result for Methamphetamine.  

Davis was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine, Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle, Making/Possessing Motor Vehicle Theft Tools, and Driving while Suspended 3rd Degree.  

Martynenko was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Driving while Suspended 3rd Degree, and a Trip Permit Violation.  

The Civic was released back to the registered owner.  The Maxima had not been reported as stolen, but since it had been used in the commission of a crime, and neither Davis nor Martynenko were the registered owners, it was impounded.


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