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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Dean Blackford

Girlfriend of alleged serial burglar jailed

The girlfriend of a suspected serial burglar was arrested today for her alleged role in the spree.

Tawnya Ann Werre, 43, joins her boyfriend, Dean Michael Blackford, in the Spokane County Jail, where Blackford (pictured) has been since his arrest April 24.

Investigators believe Werre is involved in an April 4 burglary at a home in Valleyford in which three young girls hid in a bedroom as a man broke in the front door and ransacked the home. Police believe that man was Blackford.

The case prompted Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, flanked by victim homeowner and mother Melissa Bambock, to announce a new initiative with prosecutors and Spokane police to try to combat property crime, despite dwindling resources.

Blackford, 50, told detectives he burglarized at least 20 homes to fund his methamphetamine addiction.

Detectives believe Werre sold stolen goods at pawn shops. They also believe she helped Blackford burglarize at least some of the homes.

Werre has 10 felony convictions including forgery, theft and drug charges. She was booked into jail today on charges eight counts of residential burglary, five counts of first-degree theft, three counts of second-degree theft, and single counts of second-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

Blackford has pleaded not guilty to his charges and remains in jail awaiting trial.

Investigators arrested seven others while searching three locations connected to Blackford just after his arrest. Read more here.

Serial burglar leads to 7 more arrests

Investigators arrested seven people while searching three locations last week connected to suspected serial burglar Dean M. Blackford.

The properties at 1928 W. Glass Ave., 12607 N. Freya, and 7722 N. Altamontwere identified after detectives talked to Blackford about his burglary ring.

Large amounts of stolen property, from motorcycles to guns to Oxy-Acetylene tanks were located. Detectives seized more than 3 1/2 ounces of meth and some marijuana.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Arrested at the locations for meth possession were Steven R. Vandinter, 41; Lindsey M. Pearson, 22; Kevin M. Heaton, 35; Randy E. Hewson, 25; and Danica M. Wood, 27.

Michael Thorne, 36, was arrested on six felony warrants.

Jesse T.J. Gust, 26, was arrested on a warrant for arson. Gust was identified as a suspect in the arson fire of a truck that was part of a love triangle involving meth addicts.

A man first identified as suspect, Jesse J. Icard, was cleared of wrongdoing and his charges have been dismissed. Witnesses appear to have mistaken Icard for Gust, according to new court documents.

Burglary suspect’s info leads to 3 raids

An ex-con and suspected serial burglar told detectives he spends about $800 to $1,000 each week on methamphetamine.

 New court documents say Dean Michael Blackford, 50, waived his right to remain silent after his arrest Tuesday and admitted to committing 20 to 25 burglaries over the past year to fund he and his girlfriend's drug habit.

He identified three men as his main suppliers of methamphetamine and also told detectives of a home at 1928 E. Glass Ave. where he trades stolen power tools “straight across for dope,” documents say.

Detectives raided that home and two other locations after Blackford's interview. Blackford said he gave his girlfriend, Tawnya Werre, 43, stolen jewelry to sell at pawn shops.

That matches what prolific burglar Susan Burke told detectives about Blackford when she was arrested last week.

Blackford said he last contacted one of his meth dealers Tuesday and obtained new license plates for his Ford Ranger because “I didn't want to get caught,”according to detectives. Blackford said he told the man he planned to commit another burglary.

He said “everybody takes stuff there (at the meth house). It's common practice,” referring to “stuff” as stolen property. Detectives already were on Blackford's trail - they'd installed a GPS tracker on his car and had been following him for days.

They arrested him in a traffic stop Tuesday and searched his motel room, mother's home and a Spokane Valley storage unit. Read more here.

Detectives also drove Blackford throughout Spokane County as he pointed out homes he'd burglarized.

Blackford's information led detectives and the Spokane County SWAT team to raid the Glass Avenue home Thursday, as well as a shop at 12607 N. Freya in Mead where Blackford said he'd taken stolen property.

Detectives also searched a home at 7722 N. Altamont where Blackfod said he and Werre and traded jewelry for meth within he last couple of days. Werre is in jail on a probation hold and a civil bench warrant. She has not yet been arrested in this case.

Prolific burglar helps bust serial burglar

Watch me discuss this story with KHQ's Dave Cotton.

A prolific burglary suspect arrested for a fuel theft in last week helped detectives identify a suspect in a series of rural Spokane County burglaries, including one that occurred as three children hid in the home

Susan Burke, who is awaiting trial in Kootenai County for a large burglary ring, told detectives that Dean Michael Blackford, 50, burglarized mostly rural Spokane County homes during the day, according to court documents.

Burke, 50, said Blackford targets higher-end homes for jewelry, tools and electronics, and that his girlfriend, Tawnya Werre, 43, sold jewelry at various stores in Spokane.

Detectives used a GPS device to track Blackfod's truck before arresting him on Tuesday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

April 10: Property crimes frustrate sheriff

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