March 12, 1998

Home Burglars Steal Items Valued In The Thousands

Amy Scribner Staff writer
 

(From South Side Voice, March 19, 1998:)

Clarification

A brief in last week’s public safety column reported the arrest of three people who were apparently attempting to break into the ABC Mini-Storage in Airway Heights. The trio were found carrying underwear and socks.

As reported last week, sheriff’s deputies say they don’t know where the clothing came from. But the area manager of the facility stresses that no storage units were broken into in the attempted burglary.

(From For the Record, March 13, 1998):

Incorrect jail: An attempted escape last week by an inmate awaiting trial occurred at Geiger Correctional Center. A story in Thursday’s South Side Voice named the wrong facility.

Residents of a home along the 5800 block of South Crestline reported several thousand dollars’ worth of possessions stolen last Friday.

The husband and wife said they left their home about 4 p.m. Friday and returned at 11 p.m. to find several belongings missing.

“This burglary would tally probably four or five thousand dollars, I’m guessing,” said Spokane County sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan.

The kitchen window had been left unlocked, and dirt on a nearby countertop showed that the window was the probable entry point, Reagan said.

Deputies were able to lift fingerprints from the window area, he said.

One of the residents said she had noticed a suspicious two-tone Blazer or Bronco parked down the block the night before. She told deputies the vehicle’s engine was running and the vehicle had a single occupant. She said she hadn’t written down the license plate number at the time but had thought what she had seen was odd.

Among the missing items were two television sets, six guns, a digital camcorder, a VCR, two cameras, a sewing machine, five gold necklaces, a pair of duck decoys, a sterling silver baby rattle and a decorative pewter plate with the inscription “Bless this home.”

“Most of the items taken would require two people to carry them out,” said Reagan.

Deputies are still investigating, he said.

Underwear bandits hit storage site

Three West Plains residents were arrested Sunday in connection with a break-in at ABC Mini-Storage in Airway Heights.

Deputies arrived at the facility about 3:45 a.m. Sunday after a nearby resident reported seeing three people walking along the business’s fence, Reagan said.

Deputies found underwear and socks that apparently had been taken from the property. Deputies weren’t sure where the suspects got the clothing, Reagan said.

Two men had climbed over the fence while a woman served as a lookout outside the fence, he said.

Sheriff’s deputy Cynthia North arrived to hear the woman yell a warning to the men. An Airway Heights police officer and another sheriff’s deputy also arrived.

Arrested on suspicion of felony second-degree burglary were James L. Floro, 28, and Monica Johnson, 23, both of 1632 Russell Road; and James A. Cornwell, 25, whose address was given as 7723 W. Highway 2.

Gym patron stops thief

A man thwarted an apparent attempted robbery last Thursday outside a South Side fitness club.

The 45-year-old man was playing basketball inside the Sta-Fit Athletic Club at 5501 S. Regal when an employee warned him someone was going through the trunk of his 1988 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The man went outside to find in a nearby alley a young male carrying a black gym bag the man recognized as his. The man asked the boy to open the bag, and when the boy refused, he opened it himself.

The man told deputies he saw several of his personal items inside.

The man did a “foot sweep” to wrestle the suspect to the ground, and both men fell. The suspect was able to spin free and punch the man in the face, Reagan said.

The suspect ran northeast.

Detectives are following up a report that one of the employees thought he recognized the suspect from school, Reagan said.

The suspect is being sought in connection with robbery instead of theft, he said, because of the force used to keep the property.

The suspect is described as a white, 5-foot-9, slender, between 16 and 18 years old with medium blond hair. He was wearing sunglasses, a white windbreaker, baggy jeans and a black baseball cap.

Inmate climbs over prison fence

An inmate of the Airway Heights Correctional Facility climbed over barbed-wire fencing in an unsuccessful attempt to escape last week, sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan said.

The man was at the prison awaiting trial when he attempted to escape about 7:20 p.m. Saturday. He climbed a 12-foot fence topped with a double strand of barbed wire and dropped to the other side.

A prison employee doing surveillance on the prison parking lot saw the man drop from the fence, Reagan said. The employee intercepted the man about 40 yards north of the fence.

Sheriff’s deputies transferred Gary E. Grzogorek, 23, whose address was given as 3500 S. Spotted Road, to jail and booked him on a felony second-degree escape charge.

, DataTimes

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