Sirens & Gavels

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011, 1:30 P.M.

Pawn shop video helps nab theft suspects

Surveillance video from a local pawn shop helped identify a young couple who police believe stolen purses from at least four women in grocery store parking lots.

Samantha D. Thomas, 21, and Andrew V. Auerbach, 24, were arrested Saturday but are out of jail on their own recognizance.

Police say Thomas implicated herself in four robberies in April and May during an interview with police at the Public Safety Building on Saturday. She and Auerbach, who applied for a marriage license last year, were seen on camera pawning a victim's camera after police developed information that they were suspects.

They are believed to have stolen purses April and May 7 at Safeway, 2509 E. 29th Ave., and again May 7 at Fred Meyer, 525 E. Francis Ave.

Thomas confessed to another purse snatching outside Winco on North Nevada Street during her interview with police. The victim came forward after media reports, and police plan to recommend an additional theft charge.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a purse theft outside Fred Meyer in Spokane Valley May 9.
 




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