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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: sports collectibles

Suspected serial burglar pleads innocent

A felon accused of stealing the gun used in a gang-related murder last year has been charged with five burglaries.

 Robert J. Frates, 27, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to four counts of felony second-degree burglary and one count of attempted second-degree burglary.

He's accused of breaking into Sunny Buns Tanning, 2821 E. 27th Av., on March 15, Smart Smoke, 12924 W. Sunset Highway, Metro Sign and Banner, 1403 N. Greene, and another building in Airway Heights on March 25.

He's also charged with attempted-second-degree burglary for a break-in March 26 at Super Sonic Blind Cleaners, 3612 E. Broadway Ave.

Police arrested Frates that day after an officer followed him using a GPS tracker affixed to Frates' Bronco.

Last June, Frates told police he'd to traded four stolen firearms to a man for $600. One of the guns was the Ruger mini 30, which was used to kill John S. Williams. Edward L. “TD” Thomas is scheduled to stand trial June 20 for Williams' murder.

Past coverage:

April 1: Police link burglary suspect to gun used in gang slaying

Dec. 14: Man arrested in sports card crime spree

Burglary suspect linked to murder gun

A suspected serial burglar tracked by police using a GPS device is believed to have stolen the gun that was later used in a gang-related murder.

Robert J. Frates’ arrest on Tuesday is his third since December, when police picked him up on suspicion of breaking into several sports card stores in Spokane Valley.

No charges have been filed in that case, but Frates, 27, has a trial scheduled in June for charges related to the sale of stolen property, including several firearms.

One of those firearms, a Ruger Mini rifle, was used in the shooting death of John S. Williams on Jan. 17, 2010, police said.

Read the rest of my story here.

Man arrested in sports card crime spree

A Spokane man remains in jail on $40,000 bond for an alleged theft spree at area sports cards shops.

Robert J. Frates, 27,went to Sports Cards Northwest, 13800 E. Sprague Ave., on Nov. 11 and offered to trade some cards for other merchandise. The owner recognized the cards as stolen and called police.

According to a news release, on Oct. 26, Collector’s Corner at 106 N. Evergreen Road was burgled, and lost nearly $10,000 worth of high-end sports cards. Two days later, Gameday Sports Cards, 9425 N. Division St., reported $400 worth of cards missing. Then on Nov. 3, Spokane Valley Sportscards, 9411 E. First, lost cards valued at nearly $5,000.

Frates was arrested Thursday and booked into Spokane County Jail on a charge of first-degree possession of stolen property, according to police. He’s to be arraigned on Dec. 21.

He has previous convictions for drugs, burglary, malicious mischief and stolen property charges

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