A silver dollar led police to a trio of youths who they suspect burglarized dozens of West Central homes.
The three boys - a 14-year-old and two 15-year-olds - have all pleaded guilty to 10 counts of burglary and are being held in Spokane’s juvenile detention center. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Spokane police detective Chuck Reisenauer, who investigates burglaries in the West Central and Shadle Park neighborhoods, said there is no way of knowing how many burglaries the youths committed. But he believes they committed more than just those for which they were charged.
“My burglaries have gone down to a trickle since we got these kids,” said Reisenauer.
The three youths were arrested in mid-January. The burglaries took place from October through late December.
Reisenauer got a break on the case when patrol officers picked up one of the 15-year-olds. The youth had a silver dollar identical to one stolen during a burglary at a West Central home.
The break-in style - kicking in basement windows or prying open back doors - in that burglary was identical to at least a dozen others. Only cash and easily sold items were taken. Most popular were guns, bicycles and electronic equipment, Reisenauer said.
The youths are suspects in a burglary in West Central in which the homeowner lost a TV, VCR and her great-grandmother’s antique jewelry.
Police found the TV nearby, smashed. The jewelry has not been recovered. Value of the goods stolen was estimated at $5,000.
“I’m devastated,” the woman said. “I can replace the TV and VCR, but it’s the things that I can’t replace that bothers me the most.”
The trio would stash the stolen goods at one of the youths’ houses until they could sell them, police said.
Police interrogated the youth with the silver dollar between Christmas and New Year’s Day and eventually connected him with 28 burglaries in the neighborhood.
Police arrested the other two and started a “show and tell” - Reisenauer would name an address from a list of burglarized houses, and the youths would describe how they broke in.
The youths left fingerprints when they pulled off sweat socks that covered their hands, police said. “They tried to be sophisticated, but they pulled off (the socks) when they got hot,” said Reisenauer.
West Central woman robbed, beaten
A 28-year-old West Central woman was robbed and beaten by a large red-headed woman with a stick Sunday afternoon.
The victim told police that the red-headed woman, who she said was about 5-foot-6 and 190 pounds, confronted her in an alley in the 1500 block of West Boone and demanded her wallet.
When the victim refused, the red-headed woman beat her over the head with the stick, then grabbed the wallet, police said.
A witness said the red-headed woman yelled, “Gimme it, it’s mine,” as she hit the victim. The red-headed woman fled.
The victim did not require hospitalization.