SVPD arrest car theft suspect after early morning pursuit

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley deputies arrested 22-year-old Justin M. Sande early Friday morning after a pursuit that ended near Spokane Community College. 

Just after 4 a.m., a victim reported that her vehicle was stolen from the area of Longfellow and Ellen in Spokane Valley. She had left her vehicle unlocked and running with the keys in the ignition when it was stolen. 

Deputies quickly located the vehicle headed eastbound on Trent near Pines. Sande fled from deputies they attempted to pull him over. 

Deputies continued to pursue Sande while a Washington State Patrol Trooper laid spike strips at Bessie and Trent. Sande avoided the spikes as he continued west on Trent reaching speeds of up to 80 mph. 

Sande turned into the Spokane Community College parking lot and cut across Greene Street . He turned headed south in the northbound lanes of travel on Greene at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting a patrol car with its emergency lights on. When he reached the intersection of Mission and Greene, Sande began to lose control of the SUV when he tried to make a turn at a high rate of speed. 

He accelerated heavily, spinning the tires, clearly intending to continue his attempted escape. Deputy Michael Keys moved his patrol car into a position to spin the SUV and end the pursuit. Sande overcorrected as he tried to maintain control and hit a power pole. Assisting deputies blocked Sande's forward escape route with Deputy Keys' vehicle blocking Sande's from the back. Sande then placed the SUV in reverse and backed into Key's patrol car driver's door, blocking his ability to exit his vehicle.

Assisting deputies took position and gave Sande commands with their weapons drawn. Keys exited his patrol car through the passenger's side, fearing that Sande may attempt to ram a deputy forcing them to fire their weapons. Sande contiuned his defiance and did not follow commands and began to exit the SUV. Deputies quickly grabbed him and took him to the ground. He resisted arrest but deputies gained control and placed him in handcuffs. 

Sande told deputies he was walking down the street, saw the car running and decided to steal it. When asked why, he responded, "Just for the hell of it."

A credit card belonging to the victim of another stolen vehicle reported Thursday morning in the same area was found in his backpack. Sande denied knowing anything about that stolen vehicle but said he was given the credit card by a friend.

Deputies also learned he had an active felony warrant for his arrest for theft of a firearm and vehicle prowling 2nd degree.

Sande was booked in the Spokane County Jail. While being booked, detention staff found a baggie containing meth on his person. Sande was booked for theft of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude a police vehicle, assault 2nd degree, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, and his felony warrant.