Police say arrests end alleged ring
Eight in custody are linked to dozens of burglaries
Police on Wednesday arrested the last of eight people suspected in a monthslong residential burglary spree that traumatized victims stretching from Spokane to North Idaho.
Beginning in August, authorities across the region received dozens of reports of burglaries that followed a common theme. People would knock on the door and offer services, such as firewood sales or dog-walking. Some witnesses reported people saying they were looking for a friend, police reports show.
When no one answered, police say, the door would be kicked in and valuables stolen. Stolen items ranged from guns and knives to a model sailboat, Tiffany jewelry, flat-screen televisions and furniture. Reports came from victims in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Hayden, unincorporated Kootenai County, Sandpoint and Spokane.
At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the last of eight suspects – Susan N. Burke, also known as Susan Church, 50, of Spokane – was arrested in the 100 block of East Indiana Avenue. On Monday afternoon, Jesse A. Williamson, 27, of Post Falls, turned himself in to authorities, a news release from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said.
Around midnight on Friday, Joseph A. Lynch, 29, of Coeur d’Alene, was arrested at the Days Inn hotel on Third Avenue in Spokane through a joint effort between the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force and the Spokane Police Department.
The other suspects in custody are Kathleen E. Kelly, 29, and Emily A. Lynch, 28, both of Coeur d’Alene; Heather D. Yao, also known as Heather Perry, 31, Adam C. Ramirez III, 29, and Kasie D. Gordon, 25, all of Post Falls.
Several of the suspects are scheduled for preliminary hearings Jan. 6 in Kootenai County 1st District Court.
Witness statements, crime mapping and cooperation among multiple police agencies in Spokane and North Idaho led authorities to the suspects, a statement from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said.
Police reports show a Thanksgiving Day traffic stop of Ramirez and Williamson led to Ramirez’s arrest on suspicion of drug charges. Police said both men had “unusual amounts of loose jewelry” with them. In addition, Ramirez’s vehicle matched descriptions given by witnesses.
During the traffic stop, Williamson told police he had “knowledge of all the burglaries occurring in the area.” He then gave them details of burglaries and led them to homes that had been hit, police reports show.
He also gave detectives multiple pieces of jewelry, including a ring off his finger, saying they were stolen.
Several of the suspects’ residences were searched, where multiple pieces of jewelry, household items and furniture were recovered. Kelly told police she rented a moving van for Joseph Lynch, Ramirez and Burke so that stolen property could be trucked to Seattle and sold at an antique market, reports show.
Williamson told police about a secret compartment in Kelly’s bedroom closet which detectives found during a search of her home. In it, they found bags of jewelry and household items, police reports show.
At Kelly’s home, where she lived with her two children, detectives also found what they believed to be methamphetamine, along with uncapped syringes “within reach and access to (a) small child.”