May 11, 2005 in City

Police seek tips in invasion robbery

From staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Spokane police are asking for help identifying four suspects who forced their way into a north Spokane home on Saturday and robbed the residents.

The suspects, a man and three women, used a handgun to force their way into the home on Five Mile Road, stealing jewelry, a wallet and the victim’s cell phone before leaving in an older faded blue or silver Ford Aerostar or similar van, said Dick Cottam, police spokesman.

The suspects were caught on video the night of the robbery using a stolen credit card at a Deer Park convenience store where they bought more than $200 worth of make-up, hair products, and alcohol, Cottam said.

They were caught on tape again Sunday in Spokane attempting to use the stolen card, Cottam said.

All the suspects were white. The man and one woman were 30 to 40 years old, while two women may have been in their 20s, Cottam said. At the time of the robbery, one of the women had “stringy” blond hair, and one had curly red hair.

In one of the surveillance photos, the man is wearing a Superman T-shirt. One of the women is wearing a Nike baseball cap and a Seattle Mariners jacket, Cottam said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 242-TIPS.

Suspect in pursuit pleads not guilty

A Spokane man accused of wreaking havoc across Coeur d’Alene in a chase two months ago pleaded not guilty in Kootenai County District Court on Tuesday to 22 counts of crimes ranging from eluding police to grand theft.

William E. Pfaff, 37, is being held in the Kootenai County jail on a $1 million bond. He was arrested March 12 after he crashed the fourth vehicle he allegedly stole that day.

The incident began when employees of D&B Farm and Home in Coeur d’Alene confronted a man identified as Pfaff who reportedly left the store with merchandise. Pfaff reportedly ran off with a pair of pants and then allegedly stole a truck from a Fred Meyer parking lot. A chase ensued through fences, across yards and down the Centennial Trail, zig-zagging through Coeur d’Alene to Post Falls and Huetter. At one point, Pfaff allegedly stole a pickup from the Kootenai County Landfill, and employees took up the chase until police resumed their pursuit.

Pfaff’s trial is set for June 6. Pfaff’s court-appointed attorney, Dennis Reuter, said plea negotiations are ongoing.

Freighter runs aground near mouth of Columbia

Ilwaco, Wash.

A freighter headed to sea with a load of soda ash missed a hard left turn Tuesday and ran aground on sand in the shallows near the mouth of the Columbia River, officials said.

The 708-foot freighter also was carrying more than 200 tons of fuel when it ran aground at the entrance to the Ilwaco channel, said Bob Coster, a Coast Guard spokesman.

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