Alert Neighbor Reports Vehicle Prowl, Deputies Locate One Suspect and Recover Stolen Handgun
Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Deputies quickly responded to a report of a vehicle prowl and located one suspect. With the assistance of K9 Bane, a pistol stolen during the vehicle prowling was located a short distance from where the suspect was contacted and detained.
On December 1, 2019, at approximately 3:45 a.m., several Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a vehicle prowling at a residence located in the 1100 block of N. Herald in Spokane Valley.
An alert neighbor reported two males entered a neighbor’s vehicle and rummaged through the items inside. The suspects were described as white between 25-35 years old. One was wearing a dark shirt and dark pants; the other was wearing a gray shirt and dark pants. Both suspects left the vehicle and walked south on Herald.
Arriving in the area within minutes, Deputy Keys observed a male, later identified as 26-year-old Anthony D. Lattanzio, matching the description of one of the suspects walking south on Herald in the 600 block.
Deputy Keys contacted Lattanzio and explained the reason for the contact. Lattanzio denied knowing anything about a vehicle prowling, and he had just been at the store. He identified himself and said he was walking home but could not provide the name or the location of the store he was at, except it was somewhere on Pines. Deputy Keys, noting the nearest store on Pines was approximately 27 blocks away, asked why Lattanzio didn’t go to one of the stores closer to his house with the temperatures in the teens. Lattanzio eventually said he just enjoyed walking at night, even though it was cold.
Dispatch advised Lattanzio had prior history of unlawful possession of a firearm around the same time Deputy Carrillo advised a pistol had been stolen from the victim’s vehicle. Deputy Keys detained Lattanzio as the investigation continued.
The vehicle prowling victim explained she arrived home earlier in the evening. She began unloading her vehicle and became distracted before she completed the job. She said during the confusion; she left the now stolen pistol inside her car. She provided Deputy Carrillo with the make, description, and the serial number of the firearm.
Not finding the stolen firearm on Lattanzio, Deputy Hilton and his partner K9 Bane responded to conduct a search to help possibly locate the firearm and the second suspect, while additional Deputies established a perimeter. K9 Bane immediately began a track to the north from the location Lattanzio was detained. In less than a minute, K9 Bane alerted on a firearm. The pistol appeared to be freshly discarded (no frost despite the cold temperatures) and was laying in gravel area a short distance from Lattanzio. The handgun was positively identified as the victim’s stolen firearm.
Later, the witness identified Lattanzio as one of the suspects observed inside the victim’s vehicle.
Lattanzio declined to answer additional questions. He was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Theft of a Firearm from a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Vehicle Trespassing 2nd Degree. Lattanzio was later released that day on his own recognizance after the courts reviewed probable cause. He is scheduled for his first appearance hearing this afternoon.
The second suspect was not located.
As a reminder, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police urge you to take steps to protect your valuables, package deliveries, future gift purchases, and your identity. With the holiday season upon us, things get hectic, but predatory thieves are just waiting to turn your mistake into an opportunity to steal your valuables.
- Lock your cars and remove items of value or at a minimum, keep them out of sight, such as securing them in a locked trunk.
- Don’t leave your vehicle running unattended while it warms up. Cold hands are far better to deal with than what you will go through if your car is stolen, especially if personal information or valuables are left inside.
- If you have packages being delivered, schedule a time for them to be delivered when your home. Have them delivered to a family member or neighbor you trust that will be home, provide special delivery instructions where packages can be left out of sight or in a secured lockbox. Install a video doorbell or security system that will alert you when someone is on the porch, letting you know when a package has arrived and needs to be picked up. Also, you can check with your employer to see if personal packages can be delivered there, while you are working.
Look out for your neighbors just as this witness did and immediately report suspicious activity to Crime Check at 509-456-2233 or 911 if you observe a crime in progress.
For additional crime prevention tips and information, visit our Crime Prevention webpage at http://www.spokanecounty.org/1376/Crime-Prevention-Unit or
- Contact Spokane Valley Police Crime Prevention Deputy Chris Johnston at 509-477-2592
- Contact Spokane County Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Deputy David Morris at 509-477-6044