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Sirens & Gavels

Woman’s suspicions spark burglary bust

Two burglary suspects were arrested early today after a watchful resident grew suspicious of two men who parked a car in her neighborhood.

Brian Keith Belton, 35, and Tracy K. Whiting, 44, were detained near West Marc Drive and North Pinecrest Drive in north Spokane County after a woman called Crime Check about 1:30 a.m. and said the men suspiciously left a parked car.

Spokane County sheriff's Deputies David Westlake and Thad Shultz found a suitcase with unopened mail for a nearby residence, as well as a walkie-talkie near the men. They also found a smashed window at a home that had been ransacked.

They believe Belton committed the burglary while Whiting waited outside, according the Sheriff's Office. Both men were booked into jail for second-degree burglary.

Belton also was booked on a felony drug charge for a small amount of meth found in his shoe.

In a news release, Sgt. Dave Reagan called the case "a scenario that would warm the heart of any Neighborhood Watch captain."

Read Reagan's drama-filled news release by clicking the link below.

  In a scenario that would warm the heart of any Neighborhood Watch captain, an alert resident informed Crime Check of suspicious circumstances early Monday and prompted the ultimate arrest of two Spokane County burglars.

    The incident began about 1:30 a.m. when a resident reported a suspicious vehicle parked in the area of Marc Drive and Pinecrest in North Spokane County.  She told Crime Check that two men had skulked away from the car and into the dark.

    Deputies David Westlake and Thad Schultz responded and found the car empty.  While Schultz eyed it from afar, Westlake went lurking in the nearby forest shadows.  Not long after, he discerned the rattle of a chain link fence and turned to see a man walking away from a tree near the fence line.

    He alerted Schultz who detained the man and a second suspect not far from the suspicious vehicle.

    Westlake joined the trio and identified the man who had scaled the fence as 35-year-old Brian Keith Belton.  Schultz said that he’d seen Belton throw something toward a nearby yard and the deputies found a walkie-talkie radio there.

    Returning to the fence, Westlake found a suitcase leaning against the tree.  It contained unopened mail delivered to a nearby residence.  Checking the home, the deputy found a screen on a lower window cut and the pane smashed and removed.

    The two deputies made a protective sweep of the interior and found it devoid of both residents and additional miscreants.  They noted that many areas inside the abode had been ransacked.

    Additional interviews with Belton and his accomplice, 44-year-old Tracy K. Whiting, revealed that Belton had burgled the home white Whiting waited outside, alert for prying eyes.

    Westlake contacted a nearby resident who asserted familiarity with the residence and its owners, and stated that no one should be inside.

  The deputy drove both malefactors to the Spokane County Jail where an alert corrections deputy discovered a small quantity of methamphetamine inside Belton’s footwear.

    Belton was booked on a felony count of Possession of Controlled Substance, and both men were booked for Second-Degree Burglary.

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