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Someone stole more than $5,000 worth of tools and copper wire from an Avista Utilities storage site in Spokane Valley early Wednesday.
Employees at 2400 N. Dollar Road believe the thief or thieves cut a padlock from a gate and backed a vehicle into the lot, then removed more than $3,000 in items from five Avista work trucks using a wheelbarrow.
Bouten Construction, which also stored items at the site, lost several power tools valued at about $2,000, including two Skil circular saws, two roto hammers and two cordless battery charges.
Based on the amount of snow accumulated in footprints, police believe the break-in likely occurred sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
A convicted burglar accused of stealing a Spokane man's gold and silver coin collection began this week after the suspect backed out of a scheduled plea hearing at the last minute.
Gary D. McCabe, 45, is facing up to seven years in prison in connection with a burglary that occurred last August in the home of Dennis and Bette Miller.
Attorneys gave opening statements today before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins. Stolen were thousands of dollars worth of gold and silver coins, including some from the U.S. Mint dating back to 1960.
Some of the coins have been recovered and efforts continue to recover the rest. McCabe had been scheduled to plead guilty to the current charges on Monday. He was convicted in October for a different burglary that occurred in October 2009 on South Glenrose Road.
McCabe’s rap sheet also includes property crime convictions that date back to age 12.
Lesson number one for the successful burglar: Don't break into a business when two police officers are watching you.
Lesson number two: Don't do anything criminal when there is a nice blanket of fresh snow to perfectly preserve your footprints.
Lesson number three: Don't tell the police you can't get out of the car because your seat belt is broken. That won't work. And then you'll have to buy a new seat belt.
Reporter Meghann Cuniff has a little something on a man who did not know those three things before, but he knows them now.
Two suspected burglars were arrested early today after they were tracked from the scene by both the business owner and a Spokane police dog.
Travis P. Milhous, 26, (top) and Clifford N. Mayo, 31, (bottom) are accused of breaking into a RVs Northwest at 18919 E. Broadway Ave.
The business owner learned of a tripped alarm about 3 a.m. and saw two men climb a fence and run from the scene when he drove up, police said.
Police spotted two sets of "clearly defined" shoe prints in fresh snow and matched Milhous' shoe to them after Officer Paul Gorman's K-9, Maximus, (pictured) found him at East Laberry Drive and East Bloom Circle.
Mayo was located at 19500 E. Sprague Ave., and police matched his shoe to another print.
The owner of RVs Northwest also identified the men as the burglars, police said.
Both men have previous felony convictions and are due in Superior Court this afternoon on second-degree burglary charges. Mayo was treated at a hospital for dog bites before being booked into jail.
A burglary spree at Spokane convenience stores last winter recently earned a 30-year-old man about two years in prison.
Michael L. Yamaguchi was sentenced to 29 months in prison for burglary and car theft charges related to eight burglaries, a few in which cars stolen from local dealerships were driven to the targeted stores.
Samantha Wynne, who babysat Yamaguchi's son during the burglaries and shared in the proceeds, was credited for one day already served in jail after pleading guilty last week to three counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of theft of a motor vehicle.
Yamaguchi's accomplice, Stephen Victor, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the same charges as Yamaguchi, eight counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of theft of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to 180 days in jail with credit for 145 days served. He'll be on probation for 12 months and all were ordered to pay $9,045 restitution. Detectives already recovered electronics bought with the stolen cash.
The three were arrested in February, but charges weren't filed until after Yamaguchi was arrested in another burglary in May. They were originally charged with 30 felonies.
Spokane Valley police arrested a trio of commercial burglars early today after officers caught them stealing items from a construction shed.
A neighbor called police shortly after midnight and reported a suspicious pickup truck parked in the 4900 block of East Sixth.
Officers found three suspects on the nearby Alpine Construction property. Edward D. Counts, 21, was carrying a stolen tarp, police said.
Counts was arrested for second-degeree burglary, along with Jacob Allen McReynolds, 28, and Danielle U. Jeffries after officers found where they'd hidden a stolen nail gun and tent, accoridng to a news release.
Two people have been arrested this week for the burglary of the home of Ernest Creach last week. Three people were seen running from the home by Creach's wife on Dec. 15. Several electronic items and a gun were reported missing. The third person has been identified but not yet arrested. Numerous stolen items were recovered during the arrests, according to a Spokane Valley Police Department press release. Click here to read more details and click here to read my original blog post on the burglary.
Thursday update: The third man has been arrested; more here.
A Spokane man has been charged with perjury for testimony given at a trial 18 months ago.
Antonine G. Marshall, 26, (pictured) is accused of lying during a trial in April 2009 in which Dwight L. “Hard” Russ was convicted and sent to prison for life under the state’s three-strikes law.
Marshall initially told police he arrived at the home with two men he couldn’t identify, and that he didn’t go inside the home, according to an affidavit by Spokane police Detective Lonnie Tofsrud.
But at trial, Marshall testified that he was allowed inside the home and possessed a firearm but never pointed it at anybody. He said Russ, a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, never touched the gun, but several other witnesses testified to the contrary, police say.
Russ was convicted of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault and is serving a life sentence at the Washington State Penitentiary. Marshall, who had no previous felony convictions, already had pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault in May 2008 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Now Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest him on the new perjury charge, which Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla filed on Nov. 9.
Marshall, 5-foot-8 and 220 pounds, is a transient. Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.
The case of the missing gold coins has become one of recovered treasure – at least partly.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Detective Richard Gere has located some, and has information that may lead to the recovery of many more, of the gold and silver coins boosted during an August burglary from Spokane coin collector Dennis Miller.
Charged in the theft is Gary D. McCabe, 45, who recently was sentenced to seven years in prison for a 2009 burglary. McCabe is currently facing the same time in prison at a Jan. 10 trial for the Miller burglary.
“Through the good police work of Deputy Brandon Armstrong and Detective Richard Gere, they were able to recover part of the stolen coin collection,” Deputy Prosecutor Bob Sargent said. “Information gathered by the detectives so far indicates that others were involved and there is an ongoing investigation.”
Spokane Valley police were searching Wednesday for at least three intruders who ransacked the home of Ernie Creach, son of slain Spokane Valley pastor Wayne Scott Creach.
Ernie Creach said his wife, Laura, arrived at their home Wednesday with their two young children and saw people inside the house near Eighth Avenue and Best Street.
“She thought I had called contractors to work in the house,” Ernie Creach said. “She went in the back door and they went out the other back door. There were at least three of them. Someone went out of a back window, so there may have been more than three.”
The Spokane County
Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the three culprits were all
white men in their 20s. The burglary locked down a nearby elementary school.
A burglary in the 14200 block of East Eighth was just reported. The caller said three men ran out the back door. All are decribed as white males. One was wearing brown flannel and the second is decribed as having curly hair and wearing a hoodie and jeans. There is no description for the third man. They were last seen heading east and then south. Police are coming into the area now.
11:54 a.m. update: The burglars got away with a cell phone, wii and other items. The search continues.
11:55 a.m. update: Adams Elementary, located only a couple blocks away, is going into lockdown. Dispatchers are also notifying nearby St. Mary’s Catholic School. An officer reports there are children outside on the playground.
11:58 a.m. update: An officer reports the burglars may be armed with a semi-automatic handgun.
12:22 p.m. update: Officers are being released from perimeter duty as the Sheriff’s Office helicopter is almost on scene to take a look from the air. The search is still continuing, however.
2:24 p.m. update: The search has apparently come up empty. The scanner is quiet. Spokane County Assessor’s Office records show the home is owned by Ernest Creach, son of the Rev. Wayne Creach. The school lockdowns were lifted some time ago. Click here to read a story by reporter Thomas Clouse.
A Spokane man remains in jail on $40,000 bond for an alleged theft spree at area sports cards shops.
Robert J. Frates, 27,went to Sports Cards Northwest, 13800 E. Sprague Ave., on Nov. 11 and offered to trade some cards for other merchandise. The owner recognized the cards as stolen and called police.
According to a news release, on Oct. 26, Collector’s Corner at 106 N. Evergreen Road was burgled, and lost nearly $10,000 worth of high-end sports cards. Two days later, Gameday Sports Cards, 9425 N. Division St., reported $400 worth of cards missing. Then on Nov. 3, Spokane Valley Sportscards, 9411 E. First, lost cards valued at nearly $5,000.
Frates was arrested Thursday and booked into Spokane County Jail on a charge of first-degree possession of stolen property, according to police. He’s to be arraigned on Dec. 21.
He has previous convictions for drugs, burglary, malicious mischief and stolen property charges
A 23-year-old Spokane man once considered one of the city’s top 10 repeat offenders was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison.
Allen S. Easley was in and out of jail several times last spring for property crimes and a freeway chase with police in which he reached speeds of 100 mph.
Now he’ll have a spot at a state prison after Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza approved a plea deal that sentenced him to 100 months in prison.
Easley pleaded guilty this morning to nine felonies, including four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, and single counts of forgery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and first-degree trafficking in stolen property, said Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz.
Easley, who police say has a swastika tattoo on the back of his head, was arrested after a freeway chase in May but posted bail, then was arrested again a couple weeks later while trying to sell stolen property at a Hillyard pawn shop.
Police say a Spokane man had an unusual reaction to his grandfather’s death: grand theft.
Anthony S. Jungen, 19, was ordered held Tuesday at the Spokane County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail on theft allegations that border on the macabre.
Police say Jungen found his grandfather dead early Monday after forcing his way into the man’s east central Spokane home. But instead of contacting authorities, Jungen left the corpse where it was and allegedly stole the man’s wallet and car before returning to the house a while later to load up some video games and a coin collection as well.
A 23-year-old Spokane man is suspected of a string of burglaries at South Hill retirement homes.
Police say they found more than 1,000 pieces of jewelry in a car owned by Pavel V. Altukhov, who investigators believe has been stealing from elderly retirement home residents since at least October.
More than 50 victims have reported thefts from their apartments at the Waterford and Rockwood retirement communities.
Police suspect Altukhob has targeted other retirement homes.
“It could get possibly even bigger than this,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. “He would just look for who was an easy target.”
Staff at Waterford and Rockwood helped identify Altukhov as a suspect.
A night maintenance worker at Rockwood chased Altukhov from the facility and gave his car’s license plate number to police. Employees at Waterford also escorted him out of their building and helped identify him to police, said Jeffrey Bair, Waterford’s executive director.
Each retirement community includes a large building of living units and separate cottage homes nearby. Burglaries occurred at each style of unit.
Police arrested Altukhov on burglary and stolen property charges Friday. Officers added additional burglary charges Tuesday and still are investigating other thefts, DeRuwe said.
Witnesses said Altukhov posed as a family member of a resident and didn’t appear out of place until residents began reporting stolen items like TVs and jewelry. He also approached residents in their rooms and offered services such as appraisals as he stole items, police said.
“This individual was apparently very good at fitting in,” said Jaak Juhkentaal, Rockwood’s vice president for operations. “We’re pleased that this isn’t routine here, but when it begins, we pay particular attention.”
Police identified Altukhov after the Rockwood employee provided his car license plate. They soon discovered he’d sold stolen items at least six local pawn shops, according to court documents.
Bair said he’s talked to residents about the importance of locking their homes when they’re away.
“While this one person is now in jail, there are plenty of other people out there who are wanting to take advantage of these types of opportunities,” Bair said.
A North Idaho law enforcement task force has connected 13 crimes to two people in what authorities describe as a large stolen property investigation.
Justin Lee Christian, 39, of Kellogg, and Amanda Dawn Erickson, 24, of Coeur d’Alene, are in the Kootenai County Jail on more than 25 felony charges.
The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force served several search warrants earlier this month that recovered stolen TVs, video games consoles, power tools, clothes, check books, credit cards and other stolen property.
The two are charged with thefts at a Phones Plus store and at the Wal-Marts in Post Falls and Hayden.
Christian faces seven counts of burglary, six counts of fraudulent use of a financial transaction card and single counts of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of meth and possession of stolen property.
Erickson is charged with possession of stolen property, four counts of burglary and four counts of fraudulent use of financial transaction card.
A Whitman County Jail inmate who escaped with 18 days remaining on his sentence was arrested in Spokane on Sunday in after committing at least one burglary in Dayton, officials said today.
Ronald A. Rutledge, 29, was doing maintenance work outside the jail in Colfax when he fled on foot Saturday night. The convicted burglar had nearly completed his four-month sentence but now faces ” a much lengthier stay behind bars” for the escape, the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Rutledge called the Sheriff’s Office about 7:30 p.m. Sunday and arranged to turn himself in. He was arrested at a home in north Spokane just after 9:30 p.m., according to the news release.
Detectives tracked Rutledge to Dayton after learning he’d stolen a truck from a home near Colfax. They believe he stole a “substantial amount of cash” during a home burglary in Dayton, then stole another car and drove to Spokane.
Sheriff’s officials have recovered most of the stolen property, including both vehicles.
Rutledge is due in Whitman County Superior Court this afternoon.
Detectives are investigating the second burglary at a Mead medical marijuana dispensary in a week.
Spokane County sheriff’s deputies responded to a commercial burglary alarm at Evergreen Medical Inc., 12004 N. Market, about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday and found the south side door open with the Plexiglas window removed.
Nothing was stolen, but about $1,000 worth of glass bongs, bubblers and pipes were stolen last Friday. A motorist notified police of an open and broken glass door about 8:30 a.m. Deputies found a tire iron on the floor and pry marks on several locked drawers.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
Spokane Deputy Prosecutor John Grasso said Thursday that he considers marijuana dispensaries such as Evergreen to be violating state law. It’s unclear if drug detectives also are investigating the business.
Thieves stole more than $1,000 worth of copper cable from an Avista substation in north Spokane this week.
Police are looking for tips on whoever cut the padlock at 8307 N. Regal and stole the coils of copper, which were discovered missing about 6:30 .am. Wednesday.
A copper ground cable embedded in the ground had been pulled out and stolen as well, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
“Three different types of Shawflex-brand cable were stolen: a 12-conductor #9 gauge, a seven-conductor #9 gauge and a four-conductor #9 gauge,” according to a news release. “In all, about 25 30-feet-long lengths of cable were stolen.”
Thieves often steal copper to sell to recycling firms.
Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Police say it didn’t take them long to locate an Idaho man suspected in the robbery of a Cedars Inn — he was found next-door at The Alibi bar.
Lewiston police say 40-year-old Donald Mosley Jr. was arrested less than 15 minutes after he walked into the hotel and demanded cash from the desk clerk late Wednesday.
Police found Mosley at The Alibi, a bar located next to the hotel. Mosley was booked into the Nez Perce County Jail early Thursday and faces possible felony robbery charges.
The Lewiston Tribune reports this is the second time Mosley has been arrested in recent weeks.
In late October, police say he called in a fake fire report from a pay phone after he was declined a cup of coffee at a Lewiston fire station. It was unclear if Mosley had hired an attorney Thursday, when various state and county offices were closed in observance of Veterans Day.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips on the location of a Spokane woman arrested for a marijuana grow during a burglary investigation.
Detectives found marijuana plants at Allison E. Hubbard’s home at 106045 E. 6th last summer after a busted burglar, Jonothon A. Delay, said he had a “shopping list” of marijuana grow items to steal for her, according to court documents. Delay recently was sentenced to prison.
Hubbard, 29, has been wanted on a $10,000 warrant for manufacturing a controlled substance after she didn’t show up for an arraignment in September. She also has warrants for first-degree posession of stolen property and unlawful posession of a firearm, according to Crime Stoppers. Now Crime Stoppers is upping the ante.
Hubbard’s criminal history includes convictions for city assault, second-degree burglary and third-degree assault. Anyone with information on her location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.
A second suspect in a burglary and stabbing late last month was arrested Friday after police said he tried to steal raspberry extract from a Spokane grocery store.
Tony N. Hairston, 42, (right) was wanted on burglary, assault and attempted robbery charges when security at Safeway, 1616 Northwest Boulevard, wrestled him to the ground and detained him on theft charges Friday about 10:50 p.m. Police say he had cocaine in his pocket.
Hairston is accused of stabbing Kenneth B. Barton in the head at 2821 N. Cincinnati Ave. Oct. 27, where police say he and Jarreau S. “Sweaty” Squetimkin, 26, fought with Barton and Audrey O’Grady while demanding money.
Squetimkin, who knew Barton from prison, was arrested the night of the incident and remains in jail. (A police report from Squetimkin’s arrest incorrectly stated he was walking with victim Audrey O’Grady at the time of his arrest. In fact, O’Grady was with police in a squad car when they spotted Squetimkin.)
Witnesses told police that Hairston pinned Barton to a chair and punched him about 20 times while holding the knife, according to court documents. Barton was treated and released from a hospital.
Hairston and Squetimkin (left) are charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Both are in jail on $100,000 bail. Hairston was given an additional $25,000 bond today for drug, theft and resisting arrest charges for Friday’s incident.
According to Crime Stoppers, Hairston has a nine-year local criminal history with convictions for city theft, drug possession, riot, second-degree possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended license, domestic violence assault, refusal to cooperate and probation violation.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A Maryland jury has convicted a woman of burglary, assault and reckless endangerment for breaking into her neighbor’s house wearing nothing but a bridal skirt and veil on a snowy night in February.
Thirty-three-year old Melissa Wagaman testified Thursday that a combination of cold medicine and marijuana apparently made her hallucinate that she was getting married and her mother was locked in her neighbor’s basement.
Wagaman broke a dining room window with her head, causing shattered glass to cut an artery in her neighbor’s arm.
The jury rejected defense arguments that Wagaman truly believed she needed to enter the house and didn’t know she was endangering her neighbor.
She faces up to 23 years in prison.
A convicted burglar accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of rare coins in August was convicted today of a separate home burglary.
Gary D. McCabe, 45, faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced in connection to the conviction Thursday.
In that case, McCabe broke into a home in the 2000 block of South Glenrose St. in October 2009. A retired school resource officer saw McCabe force open the home’s front door. Deputies arrived and found McCabe leaving the covered entryway of the home. They found stolen jewelry, silver ingots and Egyptian currency in his pockets.
McCabe - who has five previous convictions for residential burglary - also faces a trial in December in a case where a local coin collector arrived at home to find his 60-year-old gold and silver coin collection missing.
When McCabe was arrested in that case, a deputy found a certificate of authenticity from one of the coins in his pocket. He faces an additional seven years if convicted in that case, according to court records.
A string of apartment burglaries that led police to a marijuana growing operation earned a Spokane man about 2 1/2 years in prison.
William F. Searight, 22, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree burglary and received 29.75 months in prison. Searight burglarized a string of Spokane Valley apartment complexes in March, as well as a hydroponic grow shop in February.
Searight’s alleged accomplice in at least two of the burglaries, Jonothon A. Delay, 19, told detectives he’d burgled the grow shop for marijuana grow equipment, which led police to dismantle a grow at 106045 E. 6th.
Allison E. Hubbard, 29, is wanted on a $10,000 warrant for manufacturing a controlled substance after she didn’t show up for an arraignment in September, according to court records.
Delay pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of second-degree burglary and was sentenced to 50 months in prison. He also has convictions for theft and second-degree robbery. Searight doesn’t appear to have previous convictions.
A toothless burglar responsible for a string of armed robberies at Spokane coffee stands was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison.
Shawn M. Westlie, 45, was arrested in January after a police SWAT team standoff at 2109 W. Mansfield Court and confessed to a series of crimes that included a gunpoint robbery at the Sunset Market in Browne’s Addition last November (a video is above). The robber wore a military-style gas mask.
Westlie’s arrest came after he’d been identified as suspect in a home intrusion in which a toothless burglar was whacked with a stick by the homeowner.
Westlie pleaded guilty Tuesday to seven counts of first-degree robbery, four counts of second-degree assault, four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property and first-degree burglary.
Westlie, who has previous felony convictions, was sentenced to 171 months in prison by Judge Annette Plese.
Dennis Miller had been collecting gold and silver coins since 1950, but this summer he began selling some to help finance a move to a retirement home.
Then Miller and his wife, Bette, returned home two months ago to find their basement ransacked and the coins missing. Although property crimes aren’t routinely investigated – and only a small percentage are ever solved – the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office located the suspected thief.
But so far, only three or four of the rare coins have been recovered. In this case, the Sheriff’s Office arrested Gary D. McCabe, 45, a prolific burglar who has three cases pending and property crime convictions that date back to 1976, when he was 12.
“This is downright personal,” said Miller, a 67-year-old retired highway engineer. “I was 7 years old when I started this collection.”
Someone with a penchant for flat-screen televisions and stereo equipment is targeting local motor home dealers.
Thousands of dollars worth of TVs and stereos have been stolen from vehicles and trailers at lots from Spokane Valley to Post Falls, police announced this week.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest a suspect.
According to a news release, victim businesses include RVs Northwest, 18919 E. Broadway, which was struck during the night of Sept. 29, and R&R RVs at 23203 E. Knox during the night of Sept. 28. Blue Crick RV at 13915 W. Highway 2 in Airway Heights has been hit, as well as Blue Dog RV at 4490 N. Riverbend in Post Falls, Idaho.
Blue Dog was hit twice (Sept. 29 and Oct. 1) and lost 12 flat screens in the second burglary.
Post Falls police believe the thieves damaged cabinetry and cut wires connecting the TV walls. Investigators believe channel locks were used to break door locks.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.
These booking photos provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office shows actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi Quaid. Police arrested the Quaids Saturday on charges of felony residential burglary and entering a non-commercial building without consent, a misdemeanor. Police also charged Evi Quaid with resisting arrest. (AP Photo/Santa Barbara County Sheriff)
Question: Do you suppose Randy Quaid picked up some bad habits portraying North Idaho separatist Randy Weaver in the Ruby Ridge TV movie: “Every Knee Shall Bow”?