Two Spokane Valley police officers stopped for a roadside chat caught a burglary suspect after watching him pilfer a storage building early today, officials say.
Jeffery Allan Heatwole, 44, told police his seat belt was broken and refused to get out of his 1984 Datsun when they stopped him a few minutes after 1 a.m., so Officer Justin Elliot cut the belt strap and removed him from the car, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Elliott and Officer Ryan Walter were parked on Spear Road east of Park Road when they spotted the Datsun pull into a secluded part of the Triple R Auction.
The driver walked out of sight and returned about six minutes later carrying items and looking around suspiciously, police said. He made a second trip, then pulled out of the lot on North Park Road.
The officers stopped the Datsun and arrested Heatwole. Inside the Datsun were items stolen from Triple R, including a chainsaw, a dome tent, a pair of fluorescent light fixtures and a green bag containing racquetball equipment, a Sony VCR, air hose and a small shop light.
Police say Heatwole disassembled metal door brackets to enter the building. His footprints were found at the scene, officers say.