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City asks for vigilance

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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Cheney residents asked to keep eyes out for crime

While malicious mischief is a frequent occurrence, several recent incidents of vandalism have Cheney officials asking residents to follow one simple directive City Administrator Mark Schuller relayed to the City Council May 24 — "If you see something, say something."

On April 27, the restrooms at Centennial Park were vandalized, causing $2,148 in damage. Police Chief John Hensley said they subsequently linked the crime to a group of 11 high school-age teens when video footage of the incident was discovered on a cellphone found in the Cheney High School parking lot and turned in to the Police Department.

In the footage, police determined two of the individuals did most of the damage, while the rest looked on. Police arrested Brian K. Suominen, 19, on May 18 on second-degree malicious mischief charges associated with the incident at Centennial. While in Cheney's temporary holding cell, Sgt. Rick Beghtol said Suominen did damage there too and was subsequently charged with third-degree malicious mischief.

The second suspect, Terrell R. Daniels, was brought in for questioning. Beghtol said the investigation was wrapped up May 19 and a request to file second-degree malicious mischief charges for Daniels was forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

Both Hensley and Beghtol said the other individuals involved are students who have dropped out or attend classes infrequently at both Cheney High School and the district's Three Springs alternative high school. Hensley said the group continues to hang around areas of the community, and has been trespassed from several locations including near-buildings at Eastern Washington University.

"We've made it very clear that they're not welcome in town," Hensley said.

The most recent incident involving the group took place May 23 when they were trespassed from the 2700 block of Al Odgon Way.

Another incident of vandalism took place May 6 on the 16000 block of Cheney-Spokane Road when the "Welcome to Cheney" sign was spray-painted. Hensley said police have no "real leads" on this incident and it's suspected it could be a high school senior class prank.

Police are also seeking the public's help in tracking down two leads involving incidents at ATMs in the city.

Sometime around 4 a.m. on the morning of

May 26, suspects broke into the City Fuel service station and stole the ATM machine inside. The suspects' vehicle is a white, Oldsmobile Bravada, license plate unknown.

Police are also seeking the identity of a suspect seen using a credit/debit card taken in a theft from a vehicle incident on April 21 at the ATM machine inside the entrance to the Bank of American downtown Cheney branch. The suspect was captured on the bank's surveillance camera at approximately 4:20 a.m. April 21.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.



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Original Publication Date: June 2, 2016



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