A suspicious camera sale brokered through Craigslist led the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office to a cache of police gear stolen from one of its undercover vehicles more than five months ago.
The case began taking shape after a Sandpoint woman called detectives in late September after growing leery of an expensive camera being sold for well under its value by a young man she said seemed to know little about its complicated features. That man was Nick A. Peters, investigators say, who used to live near a detective whose unmarked car was robbed in early May.
On Sept. 29, detectives traveled to Sandpoint, where the camera was to be delivered, and organized a sting with the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office that ended with the arrests of Peters, 26, and his girlfriend, Ashley M. Callori, 25, and the return of a Sheriff’s Office-issued Nikon D-200 camera and other police equipment.
Authorities sent the Sandpoint woman a letter thanking her for her cooperation.
“Had she not called, this case never would have happened,” Sgt. John Nowels said.
The case remains under investigation but authorities will recommend charges of possession of stolen property after finding stolen law enforcement gear in the couple’s Spokane Valley apartment, Nowles said. Along with a tactical vest and GPS equipment, detectives found CDs thought to have been stolen from Detective Bryan Miller’s car.
Peters and Callori were booked into the Bonner County Jail in Sandpoint, but they have been released.
Callori has not been charged; Peters faces drug possession and invalid driver’s license charges in Bonner County in connection with his September arrest.
A detective had posed as the Sandpoint woman’s husband and verified the camera was Miller’s by comparing serial numbers, according to a warrant used to search Peters and Callori’s apartment.
The two were arrested by a Bonner County Sheriff’s Office deputy after they handed over the camera, valued at more than $1,000, and drove away with $700 in marked bills, according to the warrant.
Neither suspect could be reached for comment.
“It always feels good to get stuff back,” Nowels said.