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Sirens & Gavels

Burglary suspect picks wrong pawn shop

A burglary suspect was arrested Tuesday after a sheriff's detective recognized him at a Spokane pawn shop.

Detective Justin Elliot was at Goldbay at 1505 N. Ash St., when he saw Christopher J. Steinbaugh enter the store and receive $115 from the owner.

Elliot recognized Steinbaugh as a suspect in a burglary being investigated by Deputy Eric Epperson. The shop's owner told Elliot that Steinbaugh had sold jewelry at the store the previous day and had come back in to receive the rest of his payment.

Elliot followed Steinbaugh from the store and called Epperson, who confirmed Steinbaugh still was wanted for burglary. Elliot also learned Steinbaugh's license was suspended. Deputies responded and arrested Steinbaugh near a home at 1211 N. Oak St.

Elliot returned to Goldbay and seized the items Steinbaugh  had sold there as possible evidence of burglary and stolen property trafficking.

The Ford Explorer Steinbaugh was driving had a stolen license plate.

Deputies responded to the Oak Street home that was associated with Steinbaugh. There, they arrested Brian R. Vavra, 35, on suspicion of threats to kill and discovered a money clip on him that matched a clip Steinbaugh had sold at Goldbay.

That led deputies to obtain a search warrant for the residence. A 7-year-old girl was taken into protective custody by CPS.  Deputies also seized suspected stolen property.

Steinbaugh, who has previous felony convictions for identity theft, was booked into jail on a residential burglary charge. He could face more charges. He was arrested in March for meth possession after a police chase.


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