A man wanted for violating his Department of Corrections probation was arrested after escaping a garage burglary in Greenacres on a stolen lawnmower, police say.
Robert G. Morey, 22, is accused of stealing firearms and valuable coins from a home in the 5500 block of South Conklin Road before riding away on the Craftsman riding lawnmower.
The homeowners called police Thursday evening and said they'd returned from the lake for the holiday to find their home burglarized.
Earlier, about 9 a.m., Spokane County sheriff's deputies had responded to a report of a man armed with a rifle or shotgun riding a lawnmower in the area of Linke and White roads.
Deputies found the lawnmower about seven miles away in the 19200 block of East Belmont Road. Then about 1:30 p.m., deputies heard reports of a suspicious person walking in the area where the lawnmower was recovered.
Deputies located Morey sitting on an embankment and confirmed he had a DOC escape warrant.
Morey was arrested and told deputies his girlfriend had dropped him off on "some road" after an argument, so he saw an open garage door and took the lawnmower as well as the guns and coins, according to the sheriff's office. Morey showed deputies where he'd ditched the guns.
The burglary was reported later that night, and deputies realized the stolen items matched what Morey told them he'd stolen. He was interviewed again at the jail and admitted to stealing a shotgun, rifle and pistol though he said he dropped the pistol when he stolen the lawnmower because he could' carry everything.
"Morey told deputies he took the guns because he was prohibited from having firearms and wanted one," according to a news release by sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin.
Morey said he abandoned the lawnmower when it ran out of gas.
He was booked into jail on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm and second-degree theft.
Morey is on probation after pleading guilty to obtaining a controlled substance by forged prescription and second-degree burglary last year.