Two men arrested for trying to steal decoy bike at Spokane Safeway
SPOKANE, Wash. — Two reserve Spokane police officers– who are unpaid– decided to take it upon themselves to help fight crime in the Logan neighborhood.
According to the Spokane Police Department, the reserve officers used a decoy bike, which had been donated by Wheel Sport, to set up a sting operation. They placed the bike outside the Safeway at Mission and Hamilton.
They then watched as 30-year-old Aaron Radnor approached the bike with another man. The officers said the two men appeared to be talking about the bike for a moment before the other man walked away. Moments later, officers said Radnor grabbed the bike and tried to run off.
The officers quickly caught up with him and found he had two misdemeanor warrants for his arrest, and was also carrying methamphetamine. Radnor was taken to jail and the decoy bike was placed in front of the store again.
This time, Spokane police say it took just ten minutes for another man to walk up to the bike. That person, now identified as 23-year-old Dustin Baughman, briefly left the parking lot before returning and trying to grab the bike.
The officers caught up with Baughman and found he was also carrying meth and had three warrants for his arrest. Baughman told officers that the unknown man who had left the parking lot earlier had approached him and offered him money to steal the bike. In a release, police said, “the money was to pay for more drugs.”
Both men were booked into the Spokane County Jail for 2nd degree theft and possession of drugs along with their warrants.
Spokane police said, “This case highlights the correlation between drug abuse and property crimes. This bike sting has been done several times in the past and almost every single person is in possession of either drugs or paraphernalia. It is a common theme that they are taking the bike to sell or exchange for drugs.”
Officers want to remind the public, especially as the weather warms up, to be vigilant about preventing property crime by never leaving valuable items in your car and making sure to lock up your bikes.
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