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Sirens & Gavels

Fri., Nov. 11, 2011, 11 a.m.

2 theft investigations lead to 1 house

A Spokane County man caught with stolen vehicles at his South Hill-area home was visited by police again two days later after detectives heard of a stolen jewelry box matching a box spotted during their first search.

Randall T. Smeltzer, 32, is in jail on possession of a stolen motor vehicle, stolen property and methamphetamine charges.

Detectives recovered a stolen Mazda and a stolen Chevy Trailblazer at his home in the 3600 block of East Thurston on Tuesday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say the Mazda had been stolen in Medical Lake; Smeltzer had removed its side windows and installed them in his own Mazda. The Chevy was stolen Monday night from a Liberty Lake home and already had different licenses plates mounted on it. Items belonging to its owner were found in Smeltzer's bedroom.

Investigators reviewing burglary reports the next day noted a report listing a unique jewelry box taken in a burglary on South Fancher Road. They recognized the box as one they'd seen in Smeltzer's room, and Detective Dean Meyer obtained a second search warrant for the home on Thursday.

"The jewelry box was recovered, as was jewelry, checkbooks and identification belonging to other victims," Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release. "Investigators also found evidence linking Smeltzer to two other stolen vehicles."

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