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Thief Drops Diamonds When Passerby Attacks


A passerby prevented a man from stealing three diamond ring sets from a University City jewlery store Wednesday, deputies said.

In spite of the passerby’s attempt to stop him, the thief still managed to get away with a diamond worth $3,450.

The thief entered Mandell’s Jewelers at U-City shortly after 5:30 p.m. Store employees said he jumped over the counter and grabbed three diamond ring sets from a display window. The ring sets are valued at $6,935.

He also took a single diamond, worth about $3,000.

As he was rushing from the store, another mall customer ran toward the thief and tried to grab him, said sheriff’s Lt. David Wiyrick.

In the struggle, the diamond sets dropped to the floor. The thief then put the single diamond in his mouth and ran away, Wiyrick said.

The man left the mall and drove away in a gray, two-door 1970s Chevrolet Nova with an Idaho license plate.

The thief is described as white, between 25 and 28 years old, about 5-foot-9 and 220 pounds, with short, possibly curly brown or blond hair. He was wearing a teal and black plaid shirt, dark vest and sunglasses. Witnesses said he had a dark fedora and a rolled up green bandana on his head, and a white bandage on his left forearm.

Man convicted on drug charges

A Valley man who sold drugs twice to the same undercover officer was convicted last Friday on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Gregory Lee Vondouris, 29, 8012 E. Cataldo, sold methamphetamine and cocaine to an undercover deputy in October 1994.

A Spokane County Superior Court jury reached the decision after a two-day trial.

Stolen equipment recovered

Undercover sheriff’s deputies last Friday helped recover construction equipment that was stolen earlier this month from a Valley business.

Tracy P. Holder, 36, 9815 E. Valleyway, and Thomas W. Everitt, 21, 6326 N. Crestline, face charges of first degree trafficking in stolen property.

On April 5, thieves cut a hole in a chain fence at Vagabond’s Power Equipment, 515 S. Dishman-Mica Road. They stole a 1993 skid loader valued at $20,000.

Deputies said Holder and Everitt had arranged to sell the equipment to undercover officers at 12th and Wilbur.

The two were arrested at about 10 p.m.

Fire causes smoke damage

A fireplace blaze that got out of control caused about $1,000 in smoke damage last Friday.

William Cotten, who lives on the 13100 block of East 24th, told firefighters that he was trying to burn pine cones in a fireplace, when the fire became intense.

Black smoke began to fill the inside of the house.

Boys start grass fire

Firefighters put out a grass fire in Otis Orchards on Monday.

Crews used about 30 gallons of water to extinguish the fire at Simpson and River at about 5:45 p.m. The fire covered an area about 30 feet by 100 feet.

Two boys - one age 7, one age 8 - started the fire while playing with matches, fire investigators said.

Illegal burn

No homeowner claimed responsibility for an illegal yard waste fire Sunday.

A 20-foot-by-40-foot pile of yard and garden waste was burning on a sloping river bank next to a vacant lot.

Firefighters used about 600 gallons of water to extinguish the fire.

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