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Federal agent’s ballistic vest, shotgun, rifle among items stolen in vehicle prowlings

Thu., March 20, 2014, 10:31 a.m.

Two arrested in two-week, multi-agency investigation

Thieves who broke into a law enforcement vehicle sometime within the past four days stole a ballistic vest with “Federal Agent” embroidered on it, a 12-gauge Winchester pump shotgun and a 300 Ultra Mag Remington bolt action rifle with scope.

They were among the items stolen in a recent rash of vehicle prowlings in Kootenai and Spokane counties, including the cities of Spokane Valley and Spokane, a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

Two men, Aaron Cunningham, 37, and Michael Belton, 29, were arrested near Northern Quest Casino Wednesday morning after detectives saw them break into a vehicle in the parking lot, the release said. They were booked into jail on suspicion of vehicle prowling, theft and malicious mischief. Additional charges are expected.

The Spokane County SWAT Team served two search warrants Wednesday at 4303 N. Post Street and 11123 E. 10th Avenue as a result of the two-week-long investigation. More than 60 items, including a variety of valuables, were recovered at both locations.

Detectives have linked Cunningham and Belton to at least 16 vehicle prowlings in Spokane Valley and Spokane County in the past six days, the release said. Detectives anticipate numerous victims as the investigation continues.

The law enforcement items stolen have not been recovered and detectives are requesting anyone with information call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Over the next couple of weeks, detectives will contact people who reported stolen items that have been recovered. The remaining items will be placed on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at a later date for identification. Detectives advise people not to keep any valuables in their cars.

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