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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: burglary

Police want ‘chronic offender’ to stay in jail

A Spokane police officer who monitors “chronic offenders” asked a judge this week to help keep a man considered one of the city’s most prolific burglars in jail by setting bail high.

Zachory J. Davis, 22, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of possession of a controlled substance after he was pulled over for driving erratically. Davis was already facing six charges of residential burglary in addition to charges of trafficking in stolen property, possession of stolen property and fourth-degree assault, all from last year.

Officer Kyle Yrigollen said he and his partner in the police department’s Chronic Offender Unit met with Davis eight times to offer him services to help him get out of his life of crime. He got a job, but then failed to show up for an appointment with Yrigollen, and Davis’ employer said he had stopped showing up for work.

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.

Fire extinguisher used in self-defense, burglary suspect says

A man trying to break into a West Central apartment during a domestic dispute Tuesday morning says he used a fire extinguisher to protect himself from getting shot.

Alexander VanZandt, 23, is one of three suspects in an early-morning burglary that has prompted a suspect search by Spokane Police. Investigators say VanZandt, Jory Vallee, 24, and one other man were attempting to break in to an apartment where Vallee's ex-girlfriend was hiding from him just before 8 a.m. in the 1400 block of West Maxwell. Vallee had been thrown out of the apartment about 6 hours before, according to court documents, saying he'd return to attack those inside the apartment.

While the three men were trying to enter the apartment, a gun was fired into the door jamb. Court documents do not identify the shooter. But VanZandt said he grabbed a fire extinguisher and “sprayed into the apartment so he wouldn't be shot.”

Four people, including the ex-girlfriend, were listed in the apartment at the time.

Officers responding to a phone call from within the apartment watched as VanZandt and Vallee ran from the backdoor of the apartment complex. The two were arrested about a block from the apartment after a foot chase.

A third suspect, described as a Native American male wearing a black T-shirt, gray shorts and a large black backpack in a news release from police, remains at large. Those with information on his whereabouts are asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

VanZandt and Vallee appeared in Spokane Superior Court on charges of first-degree burglary Wednesday afternoon. 

Woman banned from Walmart arrested at Walmart

Charnay Robinson may have taken one too many trips to the superstore.

Robinson, 27, was arrested Monday at the Walmart on East Sprague after police say she used a Visa credit card that had been reported stolen this weekend. Account records showed 13 charges totaling more than $750 on the card between Saturday and Monday, with seven of them occurring at the Walmart, mostly for prepaid debit cards that can be used anywhere. Cameras caught Robinson making those purchases Sunday.

According to court documents, Robinson was banned from Walmart stores nationwide in May. It was not clear in the records what caused that ban.

Police picked up Robinson after she returned to the Walmart on Monday. She was found at the customer service desk trying “to get help with a Walmart gift card that was not working,” according to court documents.

Robinson appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Tuesday, facing seven charges of burglary and one theft charge. Her bail was set at $2,050. Police note in court records more charges are likely to be filed.

Man threatens girlfriend, neighbors with sword

Stephan B. Kirk, 55, is accused of breaking in to a neighbor's apartment in a building near Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Sunday and lying in wait for his girlfriend with a 3-foot metal sword.

Witnesses say Kirk entered the apartment around 11 p.m. Sunday saying he was going to “chop someone's head off” and that he “meant business,” according to court documents. The girlfriend fled the apartment building after Kirk became verbally abusive, she told officers.

Kirk was arrested Monday morning. He told officers he'd been invited in to the neighboring apartment and that he didn't hurt anyone. Kirk was charged with first-degree burglary and harassment in Spokane Superior Court on Tuesday. His bond was set at $10,000.

Reward offered for tips on vacant home burglary

Burglars stole or damaged all the appliances in a home that’s vacant and for sale near the 4000 block of West Richland Road.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said the home’s property manager discovered the theft of the refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and washer and dryer. The stove and oven had been moved but not stolen, and there was severe water damage to the kitchen floor, according to a news release. The Sheriff’s Office said it’s common for burglars to steal appliances and sell them for scrap.
The burglary was reported on May 6.
Crime Stoppers, a civilian organization that’s not affiliated with law enforcement, is offering a cash reward for information leading to an arrest. Call 1-800-222-TIPS or visit www.crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org. Tipsters don’t have to give their names to collect the reward.
  

Young couple arrested for Spokane Valley burglaries

A Spokane Valley young couple with a license to wed are instead in Spokane County Jail on charges of residential burglary and trafficking of stolen property.

Vyacheslav Znovets, 21, and his girlfriend Marina Florianovich, 25, were arrested by Spokane Valley detectives after they allegedly sold a stolen wedding ring to a north Spokane jewelry store, according to court documents.

The couple has been responsible for several burglaries, detectives said, and they typically use Florianovich’s black BMW to travel during the day and steal jewelry from Spokane Valley homes. They knock to see if anyone is home and then break in through the rear window or door, documents said.

They were named in a series of Spokane Valley burglaries last year, reports said. 

Detectives believe the wedding ring was stolen from a home in the 4100 block of south Terra Verde Drive on the 26th. The homeowner left for the afternoon and returned to find his front door kicked in.

Earlier that day two witnesses said they saw a man acting suspiciously near a BMW with the same license plate as Florianovich’s near 21st Avenue and Timberlane Street. A home was burglarized along the 2100 block of S. Timberlane was also targeted, detectives believed.

When Znovets was arrested he showed detectives which homes he broke into and showed them the house along Terra Verde Drive and along Timberlane. Another home was also pointed out in the same neighborhood by Znovets, detectives said.

The couple was booked into Spokane County Jail on Wednesday and appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Thursday.

Despite the suspect’s relationship, Judge James Triplet ordered they have no contact with each other.

Florianovich’s charge was reduced to trafficking because court documents do not show probable cause of her being at the scene of the burglaries, Triplet said.

Znovets continues to have the residential burglary charge.

A marriage license with Spokane County only lasts for 63 days and they have about two weeks remaining on their license, according to court records.

Facebook: Spokane Valley Police detectives have posted pictures of recovered jewelry from the couple. If something is yours, go claim it. 

Deputies catch hungry Newport thief

Not only did a burglar steal away with a Newport homeowner’s truck early Thursday morning, he cooked a meal in the victim’s kitchen.

The homeowner woke up around 2:30 a.m. to investigate a noise downstairs when he saw the truck driving away with the burglar at the helm.

He realized the burglar broke in through the dog door, he told dispatchers.

Deputies found the stolen vehicle about 14 miles north of Newport on State Route 20 after noticing the driving operating the truck in an erratic manner, the news release said.

They pulled the driver over and identified him as James M. Ericksen, 30.

Deputies arrested Ericksen for vehicle theft, a DUI, driving with a suspended license and a failure to appear for an incident in another county.

Court documents: Standoff suspect called police “demons”.

SR photoPolice seized four machetes from an out-of-business Hillyard skateboard shop after the arrest of 39-year-old Glen M. Fisher during a seven-hour standoff with authorities Wednesday (SR photo pictured left).

One of the machetes appeared to have drops of blood on the blade, court documents show.

Authorities believed Fisher to be extremely dangerous and possibly unstable, according to court documents. Fisher also called responding officers “demons,.” police said.

The burglary victim, identified as Wayne Howry, has known Fisher for about eight years, he told officers.

Howry was sleeping when he heard someone breaking through his front door, he told authorities. He armed himself with a baseball bat and found Fisher in his apartment, swinging at him with a machete, cutting him on his hands and wrist, documents said.

When a members of the SWAT team entered the shop to which Fisher fled, they found him lying on the floor, face down, documents said, with a shooting bow “around his neck.”

Fisher is did not appear in court Thursday, nor Friday following a stay at a local hospital before he was booked into Spokane County Jail. He’s expected to appear in court Monday, court officials said.

Related coverage: Alleged machete attack leads to standoff, man's arrest

Suspected Lincoln Heights commercial burglar caught

A man connected to thefts in the Lincoln Heights area has been arrested by Spokane Police officers for driving a stolen vehicle, according to a news release.

Police found Thomas M. Clement, 39, on Wednesday near Ralph and Riverside, driving a vehicle reportedly connected to two car theft cases on the Spokane Community College Campus earlier this month and a burglary, detectives said.

Clement allegedly entered campus locker rooms and used bolt cutters to steal car keys from lockers, the news release said.

Investigators also believe Clement is connected to a series of commercial burglaries on the South Hill area that targeted Radio Shack, Hastings, GameStop, Ace Hardware and more, in addition to two suspects arrested in February for similar crimes.

Curtis D. McKelvey, 29, and Chelsea A. Linerud, 24, were arrested when officers found a man smashing a Radio Shack window with a crowbar, earlier reports said.

Clement is charged with two counts of burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and first-degree trafficking of stolen property.

No escape in sight for Strollin’ Nolan

The escapades of “Strollin’ Nolan” lives on through the Internet.

The online community Reddit discovered the repeat offender, properly known as Fred W. Nolan, Jr., after sharing tales of freedom through escape.

Nolan’s infamous escape from a Public Safety Building interrogation room earned him the nickname and 15 minutes of fame through local media.

The Spokesman-Review’s story from 1997 climbed to the top of traffic charts as readers learned of his Houdini-esque disappearing act.

According to reports, Nolan seized the moment and walked out of a Public Safety Building interrogation room using a coat to hide his handcuffed wrists.

He later returned the handcuffs to authorities in the mail, reports said.

Interestingly enough, Nolan is back behind bars on suspicion of a series of downtown burglaries last year that also targeted Greater Spokane, Inc.

Detectives deemed him a suspect in December for the downtown thefts, but were unable to find him when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Nearly four months later, Spokane Police’s PACT team tracked him down and arrested him on a bench warrant last week for first-degree trafficking of stolen property, Spokane Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said. His bond is set at $25,000.

Nolan has over 50 convictions to his name between the years 1990 and 2004 for several burglary and theft charges.

Related stories: Escaped suspect mails handcuffs to courthouse | Whatever happened to Strollin' Nolan? | Off-the-cuff escape takes blame for missteps

Bond set at $5,000 for West Central burglary suspect

Police caught suspected burglar Richard W. Denman shortly after he was shooed out of a West Central home by a rather surprised homeowner.

He appeared in court today for his residential burglary charge and Judge James Triplet issued a $5,000 bond although the state requested a bond of $10,000.

Triplet cited Denman's minimal criminal history for the lower bond, including a felony probation violation, theft and possession of marijuana. He had two failures to appear in 2012 as well, Triplet said.

Police believe Denman was living inside victim Gary Dressler's newly renovated home for about 24 hours prior to his discovery.

Dressler stopped by his home to use the bathroom when he realized the doors were barred with knives. When he broke into his own home, a knife fell to his feet and he chased out Denman and a female suspect as well.

Related stories: Man finds, chases burglars from home

Burglar linked to additional residential break-ins

A thief accused of breaking into a South Hill home earlier this month has been linked to additional homes targeted Dec. 7, according to court documents filed Friday, but formal charges for those extra crimes have not been filed yet.

Police arrested 26-year-old Kyle P. Murphy after vigilant neighbors spotted a suspicious looking man checking out homes. Officers found him leaving a home in the 2800 block of south Manito Blvd. with a backpack filled with what they believed was stolen goods.

In addition to the 2800 address, detectives have linked Murphy to two burglaries in the 2100 block that occurred that same day, according to court documents, including the Emmersons who were featured in previous coverage.

Some of the property reported by neighbors as stolen were recovered inside a backpack including a fish finder that was meant as a gift to Scott Emmerson from his wife. The thief reportedly tore through the presents after breaking into the home through the dog door.

The fish finder will not be returned to the victims in time for Christmas, said Celeste Emmerson. They’ll have to wait until the investigations concludes while the gift remains at police property.

Murphy remains in custody at Spokane County Jail with a $15,000 bond.

Minnesota fugitives arrested at Bead Lake cabin

A man wanted on theft charges in Minn. was caught over the weekend by Pend Oreille County authorities after he was found hiding in a cabin near Bead Lake with his girlfriend, according to a Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s news release.

Deputies learned last week Justin L. Feldt, 32, and Jessie A. Pechia, 26, were possibly on their way to Bead Lake, about ten miles north of Newport, Wash. Deputies found an abandoned vehicle that matched his vehicle’s description and began canvassing nearby summer homes.

They also learned a small row boat had been stolen nearby and they believed it was used to visit the other side of the lake only accessible by boat or an ATV, according to the news release.

Deputies borrowed an ATV from Idaho authorities and drove it to the lake cabin where they found Feldt and Pechia. They were arrested on Dec. 15 local burglary, firearm, theft, obstruction charges and the additional out-of-state warrants from Minnesota.

Feldt was originally sought by Minn. authorities for felony charges of check and mail theft and financial fraud. A warrant for his arrest was issued Nov. 21, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office website.

Couple arrested for Cusick home burglaries

Authorities arrested a couple last week for allegedly burglarizing eight homes near Usk, Wash., according to a Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Based on tips and evidence, deputies searched a home near the burglaries where a suspect, James L. Nenema, 25, lives.

Not only did deputies uncover a cache of stolen goods, but they found another suspect, Sarah J. Lucier, 25, hiding in the crawl space under the home.

Deputies recovered a variety of reportedly stolen items including tools, furniture, televisions, electronics, home decorations and some miscellaneous household items.

Nenema and Lucier were arrested for residential burglary and theft, but may face additional charges as deputies continue their investigation and process evidence.

Deputies arrest suspected Spokane Valley burglar

Police say the victim of a recent burglary eyed a suspicious man prowling around a neighbor’s home in Spokane Valley last week.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies searched the 11200 block of east Aloha Court on Friday afternoon for the alleged suspect but were unable to find him until another neighbor saw the suspect in his backyard, said a news release.

Deputy Walker ran to the home’s backyard and saw the suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Michael G. Mendez, jump a fence.

More deputies responded to the neighborhood and Mendez was located within minutes.

The news release said Mendez had been hiding in the home next door while deputies checked out the original location of the prowling call.

Witnesses told police Mendez hid property under the deck of a home as he ran to hide from police. Deputies recovered that property and believe it is stolen goods.

Mendez was booked into Spokane County Jail for felony residential burglary, three misdemeanor charges for criminal trespass and obstruction of an officer.

He’s to be arraigned next week with a $75,000 bail on his charges.

Burglar targets bereaved

Spokane Police detectives say a man may have targeted the home of a burglary victim because of an online obituary, entering when he believed she would be gone.

The burglar’s haul included multiple firearms, antiques, and the victim’s dead husband’s wedding ring. The crime occurred Sept. 22 on the 2800 block of West Lyons.

On Oct. 24, Detective Lonnie Tofsrud, with SPD’s Targeted Crimes Unit, arrested 27-year-old Michael Sisneros after Sisneros allegedly sold one of the stolen firearms, a .22-caliber gun, to Joseph Travis Sizemore.

Sizemore, 33, was arrested Oct. 4 after allegedly fleeing the scene of a crash that occurred near Monroe Street and Boone Avenue and leading police a short pursuit.

After police caught up to Sizemore, a convicted felon, they found a .22-caliber bullet, a .22-caliber revolver and methamphetamine. Follow-up investigation revealed the firearm was stolen from the West Lyons burglary.

Sisneros was booked into Spokane County Jail Wednesday on unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and trafficking in stolen property.

While they have nabbed the alleged thieves, police have yet to track down the wedding band and the other stolen items and are asking for the public’s help locating the items. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233. 

Items taken in burglaries tend to move quickly through the black market and are often difficult to track down, SPD crime analyst Tom Michaud said. Police encourage people to write down serial numbers and take pictures of valuables to help police locate them if they are stolen.

Call nets burglary arrests and stolen car

   A suspicious-person call ended up with a ride to the Spokane County Jail for a couple Sunday morning after the it was caught stealing items from an unoccupied home and placing them into a Subaru that was also stolen.

   Spokane Police officers Dave Kennedy and Bill Hager responded at 8:30 a.m. Sunday to a vacant home in the 1200 block of North Jefferson Street.

   Upon arriving, they found Cory M. Gonzales, 24, inside the home, police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in a news release. Gonzales had been sleeping in the car with his 20-year-old girlfriend, Megan D. Petit.

   “Both had been seen by witnesses going inside the home, removing belongings, and putting them in their car,” DeRuwe wrote.

   Officers then discovered “their car” had also previously been reported stolen by someone else. That registered owner gave officers permission to search the car where officers discovered several stolen items from the vacant home, DeRuwe said.

   The officers booked Gonzales and Petit into jail on the charges of residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle.

   “This is another example of the SPD’s dedication to investigating and solving property crimes,” she wrote.

Stealth burglar escapes with spoon collection

A Spokane County woman told sheriff’s deputies that she slept Sunday night while a burglar cleaned out her coin collections and spoons from all over the world.

The 73-year-old homeowner called sheriff’s deputies after she awoke and realized that someone had come through an unlocked window at her home in the 1100 block of East Lake Road, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release.

The burglar made away with the spoon collection and also several coin collections, including presidential gold coins, said Chamberlin, who did not have an estimate of the total loss.

Anyone with information could be eligible for a cash reward from Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest, which can be reached at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting www.crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org

Burglary suspects caught in the act

Spokane County deputies arrested a man and a woman who claimed to be staying at a furnished but unoccupied home on North Sands Road after they found the home ransacked.

The case started Monday night when the homeowner drove out to the home, in the 25200 block of North Sands Road, and found a Ford Explorer parked at the home. Deputies responded, but the vehicle left and could not locate the Explorer.

Neighbors called Tuesday night and said the same Explorer had returned. Deputies again responded and ordered two suspects out of the residence. Arrested were 23-year-old Chaun Herkimer and 35-year-old Karen Lilyblad, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release.

Herkimer said he was homeless and that he and Lilyblad just stayed one night. But deputies found a broken window where entry had been made and several items packed in duffle bags as is if they were being staged for removal.

The homeowner reported the entire house had been ransacked and estimated the damage at $5,000, Chamberlin said.

Both suspects were booked into jail on counts of second-degree burglary and first-degree malicious mischief. Herkimer also was booked on two unrelated warrants.

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