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29-time convicted felon arrested in wake of North Division Bike Shop theft

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Rob Kauder, Internet Content Manager, robk@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 30 2013 12:52:33 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 30 2013 07:56:53 PM CST
Christopher Cannata
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Police have arrested a 29-time convicted felon suspected of stealing 21 bikes from North Division Bike Shop in Christmas Eve.

Chris Cannata, who has an extensive criminal history for burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, and escape was arrested on two charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and booked into the Spokane County Jail on a $100,000 bond. 16 stolen bikes and two stolen vehicles were also recovered.

On Dec. 27, police spotted a vehicle suspected of being involved in the theft at North Division Bike Shop. The vehicle was pulled over and the two individuals inside the vehicle were interviewed by officers, who developed information that the person who gave them the vehicle and was behind the bike theft was Cannata.

While investigating the first stolen vehicle, officers spotted a second stolen vehicle taken earlier in the day, but the driver spotted police and sped away from them. Police caught up to the vehicle, finding it abandoned in the 900 block of W. Everett and after a search spotted Cannata nearby and took him into custody.

Inside the vehicle officers found property reported stolen in the 2600 block of W. Garland on Dec. 27. The investigation eventually led officers to a home in the 6100 block of N. Wall, where they located 16 bikes still in their boxes from the North Division Bike Shop.

While Cannata was arrested on the two possession of stolen vehicle charges, more charges are expected from the bike shop theft as well as the W. Garland burglary.

In addition to Cannata, police have developed probable cause in their investigation to arrest three people for possession of a stolen vehicle and a fourth individual for possession of stolen property for the bike shop burglary.

According to the Department of Corrections, Cannata was in prison from 1990 to 2003 on burglary charges, then again from 2005 to 2008 on property crimes convictions and from May 2010 to September 2012 for burglary, theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Cannata was involved in an escape from the minimum security prison in Connell, using a Department of Corrections van later found abandoned in North Spokane. In another incident he tried to get his brother Craig to smuggle marijuana to him while he was on a prison work release detail at the Salvation Army. Cannata, however, made his plans using a Airway Heights Corrections Center phone, which corrections officers monitor, so when his brother attempted to make the drop, both men were arrested.

In 2009 Cannata and Jonathon Marquiss were busted after Kelly's Custom Car Audio was broken into and all of the stereo equipment -- enough to fill a car, two storage units and two homes -- was stolen.

While serving time at the Spokane County Jail in 2010, Cannata triggered a lockdown when corrections officers found a 59-foot long makeshift rope inside his cell. At the time, Cannata said that he used the rope to work out with.

 Cannata had been arrested twice this year for possession of a stolen vehicle and reckless driving, though that case was dismissed.

He was awaiting trial for eluding police in February of this year but his mom put up a $10,000 bond Dec. 3 and he was released only to allegedly perpetrate the North Division Bike Shop burglary.

At his first appearance Monday afternoon, Judge Annette Plese set his bound at $300,000.

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