Redmond police recently concluded a long investigation of a car prowler, who was sentenced on Dec. 18, 2015 in King County Superior Court.
According to a Redmond Police Department (RPD) press release and the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Denis Podgayets — who was connected to 10 cases in Redmond — received a 60-month prison sentence for felony car-prowling charges. He was also given 65 months in prison and 12 months Department of Corrections supervision on a drug charge, which he will have to serve once he gets out of prison.
In September 2015, Podgayets pled guilty to a variety of charges, including one count of felony car prowling and second-degree identity theft from Redmond cases, a non-felony car prowl in Kirkland and a distribution-of-heroin case filed by another agency.
In the summer of 2014, Redmond police began investigating Podgayets after he was identified as a suspect in a car prowl in the Grass Lawn area. The department was familiar with Podgayets, having interacted with him multiple times. He had a history of confessing to only misdemeanor crimes, which allowed him to avoid prison.
After a lengthy and thorough investigation, RPD was able to link Podgayets to 10 different car-prowl cases. Due to the fact that he had six prior misdemeanor car-prowl convictions, Redmond police contacted the King County Prosecutor’s Office and made a special request that they take this case and file it under the new Felony Car Prowl Statute. In July of 2013, the state of Washington enacted a new law allowing anyone with two second-degree vehicle-prowling convictions to be charged with a class-C felony upon a third or subsequent conviction.
Based on Podgayets’ history, Redmond police and the King County prosecutor worked collaboratively on this case, filing felony car-prowling charges. He was the first person in King County to be charged under this statute.
RPD Commander Shari Francois, who oversees all investigations for RPD, expressed her appreciation for the officers and King County prosecution team who worked this case to completion.
“There were so many actions by this one criminal that impacted numerous Redmond victims and other Eastside communities; it took perseverance and extreme attention to detail to link the multiple cases. Taking a prolific car prowler off the streets takes time and we appreciate King County prosecution’s commitment to this case,” she said.