Sirens & Gavels

Jailed thief hides jewelry in Star Wars model, cellmate says

Thomas Clement decided not to hide diamond rings stolen from a Spokane jewelry store in a galaxy far, far away, according to a cellmate.

The convicted thief told a fellow inmate he secreted the spoils of a string of burglaries in the basement of his sister who lives on the South Hill. Among the hiding spots, according to court documents, was "a Star Wars model."

Investigators also planned to search the sister's home for items stolen during break-ins at a rare coin shop and two video game retailers early in 2013, according to court documents. Those thefts occurred around the same time as the others that landed Clement in jail, according to investigators, and Clement confessed to the crimes to a fellow inmate while the two shared cells in both Spokane County Jail and Airway Heights Correctional Center.

The informant told police of the county jail confessions in November, hoping to receive a shorter sentence for a firearms charge that put him behind bars. Investigators then moved the two men, who were both being held at Airway Heights on separate charges, to the same cell in an effort to get Clement to say more about his alleged crimes. The timing of the thefts and the stolen items, included two Wii game systems and several rare coins, matched initial police reports of the incident, prompting the search of the South Hill home.

Investigators have not yet said what, if any, items were recovered at the house, including Wookies or padawans.




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