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Arrests provide evidence in locker room thefts

Sat., Oct. 24, 2009

Police say they found suspects, property in van

It didn’t take long for police to identify two suspects in two recent high school locker room thefts. A couple of surveillance photos did the trick.

“We got flooded with tips, not only from law enforcement officers … but just from everywhere that it was Jenalee Hall and Miranda Watson,” said Sgt. John Nowels, of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Establishing probable cause to arrest the women, who have a history of theft arrests, for the burglaries at East Valley and West Valley high school locker rooms Oct. 2 took a bit more time. But the women’s arrests in another case helped.

They were picked up in a Costco parking lot Oct. 16, accused of trying to steal movies and a customer’s purse at the store, 3601 E. Sprague Ave.

Arresting officers knew they were suspects in the locker room burglaries, in which the culprits escaped in a white van.

Watson, 25, and Hall, 22, were in a white van Oct. 16.

Inside, detectives found property they believe ties the two to the burglaries as well as other crimes, including vehicle prowlings.

“We’re probably going to end up with multiple felony charges for both of them,” Nowels said.

Also arrested at Costco was Watson’s fiancé, Chad Hoyt, 26.

Hall, who is related to notorious Spokane criminal Eddie Ray Hall, and Watson were described as roommates when they were arrested in May in a string of vehicle prowlings and thefts at Spokane Valley and South Hill fitness clubs.

Both women were out on bail when they were arrested in the Costco parking lot last week, according to court records.

Hall posted $5,000 bond Monday. Watson is being held in jail as a fugitive from Kootenai County, where she’s charged with forgery, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, burglary and attempted possession of a controlled substance, according to court papers.

She also faces prescription forgery charges in Spokane County after employees at the Safeway at 2590 E. 29th Ave. said she’d filled three OxyContin prescription in May that they later learned had been forged, according to a probable cause affidavit.

After her arrest Oct. 16, detectives say Watson admitted to a plan to steal movies from Costco and said she and her friends had been sitting in the store’s parking lot for an hour “ingesting narcotics,” according to a warrant used to search their van.

Hall’s young son was in the van when the three adults were arrested, according to the warrant.

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