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Sunday, April 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Police dog sniffs out Spokane Valley shoplifting suspect

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 10, 2018, 9:34 a.m.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office says deputies used a police dog to apprehend a woman who allegedly stole from a Shopko store in Spokane Valley, assaulted employees and then trespassed into a neighboring home to hide in a closet.

Deputies were called to the store at 13424 E. Sprague Ave. shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Employees said they had watched a woman, later identified as 22-year-old Ladarion M. Roberts, pick up a prepaid cell phone and several makeup items before entering a dressing room. When she exited, the employees told deputies, she no longer was visibly holding the items and they were not inside the dressing room.

Roberts tried to pay for other items but her credit card was declined and she exited the store, the Sheriff’s Office said. Employees confronted her outside and tried to escort her to the store’s loss-prevention office.

“Roberts refused and became assaultive, pushing, hitting, kicking and even biting one of the employees,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “She also threatened to ‘mace’ them and yelled she had a gun during the encounter before she fled the scene on foot.”

A deputy reviewed surveillance footage of the incident and recognized Roberts. A short time later, deputies found fresh footprints in the snow leading to the unlocked back door of a home on McCabe Road, just north of Sprague, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A resident of the home told deputies he did not know Roberts and had not given her permission to enter, so deputies went inside with a dog. They found her hiding under a pile of blankets and other items, near some new makeup that appeared to have been stolen from the Shopko, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office said the dog made contact with Roberts, and she eventually surrendered and was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, resisting arrest and possession of methamphetamine.

Correction: This story was changed on Jan. 10, 2018. A previous version misstated a fact from a Sheriff’s Office news release regarding the use of the police dog.

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