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Phone scam targets Spokane businesses

Spokane businesses are being targeted for cash in a scheme that involves someone posing as a jailer to collect bail bond money for a supposedly arrested employee.

At least three businesses today reported phone calls from a man claiming to be a sheriff's corrections deputy seeking bail money for an employee jailed for a drunken driving crash, said Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The son of the owner of Dewey's Burgers and Brews on North Division Street was at the bank trying to withdraw money when a bank employee grew suspicious of the scenario, Chamberlin said.

Earlier today, a man claiming to be James Sullivan with a sheriff's personnel number of 6331 tried to get $1,600 from another local business owner. The man told the owner he couldn't give the owner the employee's name because of privacy laws but said he could provide a general description and that if he guessed the name, he would confirm if he or she was in custody.

The owner offered a name and the man confirmed and said he was in jail for drunken driving and for the crash and needed $16,000 to get out, or a $1,600 payment through a bail bond company.

The owner withdrew $2,000 and the man stayed on the phone for more than an hour as the owner went to a WalMart to send the money in two $800 money orders. The man requested one be sent to Nichole and the other to Seth Thomas in Florida, then hung up when the owner said he would only send the money to an actual business.

Sheriff's officials confirmed no employee by the name of James Sullivan exists. Corrections deputies are not authorized to contact people to set up bond agreements.

Anyone who is targeted by the scam is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
  

Passed-out driver nets 6 felony charges

A report of a driver passed out in a running Honda with its trunk open and windows fogged up led to the arrest of a 28-year-old man on six felony charges early Saturday, police said today.

Randy Lee Jensen, Jr., could not tell if he was OK and if he knew where he was parked when deputies contacted him in the area of 6000 E. 9th Ave. about 4 a.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

A homeowner called police to report the vehicle parked in his driveway. He said he didn't know who it belonged to but believed the driver was passed out.

Turns out the Honda had been reported stolen April 22, and Jensen had a warrant for driving on a suspended license.

Deputies found a clear plastic bag with Oxycodone in Jensen's right front jeans pocket. They also found several vehicle registrations, credit cards, driver's licenses, gift cards and military IDs that did not belong to Jensen, the sheriff's office said.

The items were stolen in several vehicle prowlings. Jensen had a shaved key in the ignition, along with a key chain with other shaved keys.

He was booked into jail on six felony identity and theft related charges, as well as the misdemeanor driving warrant. He remains there on $15,750 bond after appearing in court Monday. That includes $5,000 bond for an unrelated car theft case from January.

Serial burglar leads to 7 more arrests

Investigators arrested seven people while searching three locations last week connected to suspected serial burglar Dean M. Blackford.

The properties at 1928 W. Glass Ave., 12607 N. Freya, and 7722 N. Altamontwere identified after detectives talked to Blackford about his burglary ring.

Large amounts of stolen property, from motorcycles to guns to Oxy-Acetylene tanks were located. Detectives seized more than 3 1/2 ounces of meth and some marijuana.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Arrested at the locations for meth possession were Steven R. Vandinter, 41; Lindsey M. Pearson, 22; Kevin M. Heaton, 35; Randy E. Hewson, 25; and Danica M. Wood, 27.

Michael Thorne, 36, was arrested on six felony warrants.

Jesse T.J. Gust, 26, was arrested on a warrant for arson. Gust was identified as a suspect in the arson fire of a truck that was part of a love triangle involving meth addicts.

A man first identified as suspect, Jesse J. Icard, was cleared of wrongdoing and his charges have been dismissed. Witnesses appear to have mistaken Icard for Gust, according to new court documents.

Burglary suspect’s info leads to 3 raids

An ex-con and suspected serial burglar told detectives he spends about $800 to $1,000 each week on methamphetamine.

 New court documents say Dean Michael Blackford, 50, waived his right to remain silent after his arrest Tuesday and admitted to committing 20 to 25 burglaries over the past year to fund he and his girlfriend's drug habit.

He identified three men as his main suppliers of methamphetamine and also told detectives of a home at 1928 E. Glass Ave. where he trades stolen power tools “straight across for dope,” documents say.

Detectives raided that home and two other locations after Blackford's interview. Blackford said he gave his girlfriend, Tawnya Werre, 43, stolen jewelry to sell at pawn shops.

That matches what prolific burglar Susan Burke told detectives about Blackford when she was arrested last week.

Blackford said he last contacted one of his meth dealers Tuesday and obtained new license plates for his Ford Ranger because “I didn't want to get caught,”according to detectives. Blackford said he told the man he planned to commit another burglary.

He said “everybody takes stuff there (at the meth house). It's common practice,” referring to “stuff” as stolen property. Detectives already were on Blackford's trail - they'd installed a GPS tracker on his car and had been following him for days.

They arrested him in a traffic stop Tuesday and searched his motel room, mother's home and a Spokane Valley storage unit. Read more here.

Detectives also drove Blackford throughout Spokane County as he pointed out homes he'd burglarized.

Blackford's information led detectives and the Spokane County SWAT team to raid the Glass Avenue home Thursday, as well as a shop at 12607 N. Freya in Mead where Blackford said he'd taken stolen property.

Detectives also searched a home at 7722 N. Altamont where Blackfod said he and Werre and traded jewelry for meth within he last couple of days. Werre is in jail on a probation hold and a civil bench warrant. She has not yet been arrested in this case.

Deputies credited with saving man’s life

Two deputies saved the life of an 84-year-old man who suffered a heart attack Thursday, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Deputy Ray Miller was patrolling near the area of Thorpe and Assembly roads in southwest Spokane County when he saw the man's car blocking 37th Street.

As Miller approached, Deputy Matt Gould, who was off duty, stopped at the truck and told Miller he thought the man needed medical attention.

The man was in the driver's seat and said he'd eaten oatmeal and coffee at a restaurant and didn't feel well, according to a news release. He couldn't stop vomiting but refused medical assistance. Miller noted the man was sweaty and pale and called medics.

Medics confirmed the man was having heart problems; they later contacted Miller and said the man had just completed open heart surgery and had been suffering a heart attack when deputies contacted him.

Prolific burglar helps bust serial burglar

Watch me discuss this story with KHQ's Dave Cotton.

A prolific burglary suspect arrested for a fuel theft in last week helped detectives identify a suspect in a series of rural Spokane County burglaries, including one that occurred as three children hid in the home

Susan Burke, who is awaiting trial in Kootenai County for a large burglary ring, told detectives that Dean Michael Blackford, 50, burglarized mostly rural Spokane County homes during the day, according to court documents.

Burke, 50, said Blackford targets higher-end homes for jewelry, tools and electronics, and that his girlfriend, Tawnya Werre, 43, sold jewelry at various stores in Spokane.

Detectives used a GPS device to track Blackfod's truck before arresting him on Tuesday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

April 10: Property crimes frustrate sheriff

New charge refutes ‘doing good’ claim

A car prowling suspect who begged a sheriff's deputy for leniency earlier this month has been charged with burglary.

Orlando Jaramillo, 21, (pictured) said he had been “doing good” when he was arrested for stealing a cellphone April 3, but new charges filed in Spokane County Superior Court allege otherwise.

Jaramillo and his brother, Angelo Jaramillo, 22, are accused of stealing an air compressor from a truck parked at North Division Street and East Rockwell Avenue in January, as well as burglarizing a home in the 4100 block of East Pacific Avenue.

Tetyana Landrus, 19, is accused of selling the stolen property at a pawnshop.

The Jaramillos pleaded not guilty to the charges this week in Spokane County Superior Court and remain in the Spokane County Jail.

$300k verdict in sheriff’s negligence case

A jury awarded an Airway Heights man $300,000 in federal court after he sued a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputy over a traffic stop that ended with the man being tackled to the pavement.

The jury found that Deputy Dale Moyer was negligent in calling in the wrong license plate number when he stopped a car in which John W. Jenkins was riding. The number Moyer called in came back as a stolen vehicle.

Jurors did not find that Moyer or Deputy Mark Speer used excessive force against Jenkins.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Man who shot burglar charged w/ assault

A homeowner in Medical Lake accused of shooting a fleeing 14-year-old burglary suspect in the back last December has been charged with assault.

In new court documents, Spokane County sheriff’s detectives outline a shooting they believe went beyond homeowner Justin Jeffrey Brown defending his property and crossed the line to criminal assault.

Read the rest of my story here.

‘Doomed’ man admits to cop gun theft

A Spokane man who stole a handgun from Spokane County sheriff's detective's squad car has been sentenced to about three years in prison.

A judge recommended James Warren Peterschick, 30, undergo drug treatment and be placed in a federal prison with a medical facility in hopes of addressing what his lawyer described as a lifetime of mental problems.

“Mr. Peterschick was doomed from the start,” his lawyer, Robert Fischer, wrote in a sentencing memorandum. Fischer referenced a doctor's report detailing Peterschick's troubled life.

“Reading this is reminiscent of a Charles Dickens novel that tragically doesn’t wind up with a happy ending,” Fischer wrote.

Peterschick was abused by several people as a child and began using methamphetamine when he was 13 or 14, according to the report.

“When James was nine years old his mother moved to Dallas, Texas, taking him with her to “start fresh,” Fischer wrote. “His mother managed to find a new boyfriend that she stayed drunk with for the next fifteen years.”

Peterschick is described as “a functional illiterate with below average intelligence” who suffers from auditory visual and kinesthetic hallucinations.

In addition to 33 months in prison, Peterschick was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation. He still has pending drug and stolen property cases in Spokane County Superior Court; he'll likely serve those sentences the same time as his federal sentence.

Peterschick smashed out a window on Detective Leroy Fairbanks' government-issued vehicle April 21, 2011, at 5830 N. Division St. and stole fishing poles and a backpack containing electronics, a Glock handgun, handcuffs, a flashlight, badge and IDs for the Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

A jail inmate looking for a break on drug charges told detectives of a dumpster at Garland Avenue and Post Street where most of the items had been dumped.

Peterschick also was arrested in February 2010 for a suspected burglary spree in Pullman.

Cops: Assailant requested bigger knife

A woman accused of stabbing her longtime boyfriend said she wanted a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, witnesses told police.

Cathleen A. Parke, 50, was arrested Saturday at an apartment on North Washington Street in Medical Lake after deputies found her boyfriend, Steven M. Mitchell, 56, being treated for two stab wounds in his upper body about 5:10 a.m.

Witnesses said the couple were arguing outside when they came inside the house and Mitchell was covered in blood. Mitchell said “I can't believe you stabbed me,” and Parke said she wanted to get a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, according to court documents.

Parke told another witness that she stabbed Mitchell after he hit her. Spokane County sheriff's deputies seized a 3-inch folding knife from the apartment, as well as a bloody blanket, pillow and clothing.

Stolen property seized. Is it yours?

All photos of the property are available on the Sheriff's Office website or Facebook page.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is trying to identify the owners of suspected stolen property seized Tuesday after a resident reported suspicious activity north of Spokane Valley.

Officials found the items, which include silverware, jewelry and medical cards, in a car that Curtis McKelvey, 28, was driving when sheriff's Deputy James Ebel stopped him for driving with expired tabs near Liberty and Argonne roads about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said today.

Ebel was looking for the vehicle after a neighbor in the area of 7900 East Gunning Drive in the Bigelow Gulch reported two suspicious men who'd walked into a backyard after backing a vehicle into a driveway.

McKelvey told Ebel he and his friend were in the area looking for work, Chamberlin said. He later said he was a heroin addict who needed money to buy more.

He allowed members of the sheriff's office burglary task force to search his car, where they located the suspected stolen property, along with bolt cutters, gloves and shaved car keys.

McKelvey was arrested on a felony warrant out of Adams County.

Photos of the property are available on the Sheriff's Office website or Facebook page. Victims who can identify their belongings should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 with the number o their theft report. You must provide proof of ownership to get your items back.

Felon leads police to guns, stolen car

Deputies in Spokane Valley found two suspected stolen firearms Tuesday while contacting a woman who was driving with a suspended license, officials said today.

Jill A. Benton, 27, told deputies she placed a backpack in the bed of a truck next to her vehicle in the area of 400 North University Road and that there were two guns inside, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Benton allowed deputies to search the backpack, and they recovered a KSI Pomona 9mm handgun and a 16-gauge Westpoint shotgun.

Benton allowed deputies to search her storage unit in Spokane Valley, “where there were several items that she said were more than likely stolen,” according to a news release.

Benton also told deputies she'd picked up a “felon” associate who had been driving a Honda, the sheriff's office said. She took deputies to the Honda, which was listed as stolen. Benton was booked into jail on two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police are asking property crime victims to review photos of the seized property from this case and from other investigations on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

“Citizens are required to call Crime Check with their original theft report number and must show proof of ownership for the items they recognize,” according to a news release.

Benton is prohibited from possessing firearms because of felony convictions, which include riot, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance related to a medical marijuana robbery in January 2011.

Wedding ring set recovered in bike theft

The Spokane Sheriff's Office is looking for the owner of a wedding ring set that was found after two suspected bicycle thieves were arrested Monday.

Corrections deputies recovered the rings from the front pants pocket of Damen J. Banning, 34, while booking him into jail on suspicion of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Deputies arrested Banning and Colleen Sue Janson, 52, (pictured) after responding to North Division Bicycle, 10503 N. Division St., for a report of a stolen bicycle.

The two told Deputy Terry Liljenberg they were trying to sell the bicycle for a friend. Janson gave Liljenberg a false name, but Deputy Jeff Shover arrived and recognized her, then dispatchers confirmed she had a warrant for misdemeanor theft, according to the sheriff's office.

Employees realized the bicycle was stolen after their mechanic noticed it was purchased at Bicycle Butler, 6520 N. Ash St., in February and called the shop to obtain the purchaser's information, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Liljenberg contacted the owner, who said he didn't know his bicycle was missing. He left it in his garage on Saturday but accidentally left door open overnight, the sheriff's office said. The bike was returned.

Banning, whose previous convictions include theft and vehicle prowling, was booked on the trafficking charge; Janson was booked on the theft warrant as well as new charges of making false and misleading statements and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Anyone who has had a wedding ring stolen and has made a report is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 and provide the report number. You must provide proof of ownership to get the ring back.

Janson has a long criminal history and was a witness in a 2008 drug-fueled murder that police say was over $7.25.

Crime Stoppers targeted her in February 2010 to ensure she would be available to testify at trial.

She didn't end up needing to - the killer, Terry L. Conner, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 31 years in prison. His accomplice, Aaron Lyons, received 10 years.

Burglar strikes while woman showers

A 75-year-old woman found a burglar in her home after getting out of her shower this morning, sheriff's deputies say.

The woman heard loud banging on her front door in the 600 block of West Regina Drive about 10:30 a.m. and found the man standing insider her hallway after she got dressed and walked toward the front door, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The man ran out of the home then ran westbound on Regina toward Mill Road. Deputies say he forced his way into the home through the front door.

The man is described as white, 18 years old with an average build and wearing blue jeans and a blue coat.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Boy arrested for DUI after police chase

A 17-year-old boy in a stolen van was arrested for drunken driving after running into a fast food restaurant, then disabling his front tires by running over a curb.

The boy also faces charges of attempting to elude police, possession of a stolen vehicle, hit and run, possession of marijuana and driving while license suspended after deputies were dispatched to a van driving recklessly Saturday about 7:30 a.m. in the area of East Bigelow Gulch Road and North Argonne Road, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Witnesses called 911 to report the van, and sheriff's Deputy Matt Spink caught up with near Highway 2 and Day-Mt. Spokane Road.

Spink followed the van and was told by dispatchers that it had just run into the Zip Trip nearby, according to the sheriff's office. He tried to stop the van, but it sped away before the boy drove it over a curb near Lane Park and Chesapeake Road, which disabled the front tires.

Spink arrested the boy. The owner of the van said he'd parked it in front of his home about 11 p.m. the night before and did not know the boy or that his van had been stolen.
  

Valley police arrest 4 burglary suspects

Police on Friday arrested four men considered to be “well known burglars” responsible for crimes in Spokane Valley, officials said today.

A Spokane Valley night-shift patrol platoon led by Sgt. Don Manning focused on the area of 400 North University Road and the area of 13500 East Rich Road, which police say “have been notorious for criminal activity for some time.”

Arrested were Damian M. Plumley, 22, on warrants for three counts of second-degree theft and one count of first-degree trafficking in stolen property; Steven D.T. Devitt, 42, on a warrant for second-degree theft and vehicle prowling; Christopher Michael Stoddard, 20, on new charges of second-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property; and Mark William Bush, 37, on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant for failure to comply.

 Bush (pictured) is a repeat offender who was targeted by Crime Stoppers in February even though he already was in DOC custody.

Police recovered a large amount of stolen property during the arrests Friday, which property crimes detectives identified and returned to their owners.

“The return of these items took longer than normal because none of the high value items had been reported stolen,” sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release. “When detectives asked the property owners why they did not report the thefts, the property owners said they had not gotten around to it.”

“Citizens are asked to report any type of theft, suspicious vehicles or persons to either 911 or Crime Check,” Chamberlin continued. “This information is extremely valuable and played a vital role with the multiple arrests made this weekend in Spokane Valley. The Sheriff's Office has devoted extra resources to focus on burglaries in unincorporated Spokane County and the City of Spokane Valley.”

Tips sought on coffee shop vandal

 The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is asking for help identifying two men involved in the vandalism of a Spokane Valley coffee shop.

Surveillance video shows two men walk in front of the Whistle Shop coffee stand in the 16900 block of East Sprague Avenue on April 2.

One of the men threw a large rock through a window, which smashed not only the window but destroyed a granita machine inside the coffee stand.

View the video here.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Thieves strip home of copper piping

Thieves stripped a near-empty north Spokane home of copper piping on Tuesday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

A neighbor who watches the home in the area of 8700 N. Country Homes Blvd. said the home appeared normal when he left for work about 5 a.m., but when he returned about 4 p.m., the garage door would not open.

He saw several items piled on the floor. Sheriff's deputies say thieves forced their way into the home and tore copper piping from the laundry room and bathroom walls, as well as from a crawl space and from the basement ceiling. Dry wall was damaged extensively.

Another neighbor said he drove past the home about 7 a.m. and saw two men on opposite sides of the street wearing hoodies and carrying large garbage bags.

The man said he saw an older gray Ford van parked on Weipert Road that he'd never seen before. The first three digits of the license plate possibly were 730.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Related coverage:

Dec. 23: Suspected copper thieves had business licenses
  

Car prowling suspect begs for leniency

A 21-year-old vehicle prowling suspect chased down by a Spokane County sheriff's deputy Tuesday night begged for leniency and said he had recently been released from prison, officials say.

Orlando Jaramillo, who was a Crime Stoppers fugitive just two months ago, told Deputy Robert Satake he was on probation and had been “doing good” but needed a cellphone, didn't have money and decided to steal a phone from a car in a North Division Street parking lot, according to a news release.

Satake was patrolling the area of Division and Cascade Way about 10 p.m. when he heard yelling about a robbery and saw a man chasing another man through the parking lot of Tire O Rama.

Satake turned into the Costco parking lot, exited his patrol car and ordered Jaramillo to stop, but the suspect continued running before Satake caught up with him and detained him.

The male victim said he and his friend were getting fuel and a soda at a gas station when Jaramillo asked for a cigarette, according to the sheriff's office. They told him no, and when they exited the store they found their cellphones missing and saw Jaramillo running across the street.

Jaramillo was booked into jail on charges of vehicle prowling, third-degree theft and obstructing. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison in December 2010 for second-degree robbery and attempted residential burglary.

Crime Stoppers was offering a reward for tips that led to his capture back in January when he was wanted for violating his Department of Corrections probation. He was arrested on a new residential burglary charge Jan. 30 but prosecutors have not yet filed charges.

Owners of stolen sports cards sought

Sports cards were recovered during a recent investigation into a burglary ring, and detectives are looking for their owners.

Detectives believe the cards were stolen in the last six months during residential burglaries in Spokane County.

Suspects Dustin J. Myhren, 26, and Donald G. Myhren, 30, were arrested Saturday after a detective reviewing burglary reports noticed that the description of suspects in a series of burglaries matched the brothers, and that a suspect vehicle was registered at their address, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Burglary victims missing sports cards are asked to call the sheriff's Investigative Task Force at (509) 477-4778.

Brothers suspected in big burglary ring

Two brothers already facing trial for a burglary last year are suspected of a series of burglaries in Spokane and Stevens counties.

Dustin J. Myhren, 26, and Donald G. Myhren, 30, were arrested Saturday after a detective reviewing burglary reports noticed that the description of suspects in a series of Spokane County burglaries matched the brothers, and that a suspect vehicle was registered at their address, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives began following the brothers and noted as they drove slowly through residential neighborhoods and even knocked on a door to see if anyone was home.

The brothers are believed to have burglarized a home on 51st Street of about $15,000 in jewelry March 26.

Detectives tried to contact them during a traffic stop Saturday near North Perry Street and Half Moon Road. The men fled on foot but were quickly arrested. Katrina Soto, 24, also was arrested.

Detectives say Donald Myhren admitted to being part of a burglary ring with his brother involving seven or eight people.

He also knew of another burglary March 26 in which a homeowner was threatened with a gun, according to the sheriff's office.

In addition to the brothers' upcoming burglary trial, Dustin Myhren also is facing a felony drug charge for an arrest in February. He also was just sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to a drug felony in Superior Court.

Car in road reveals stolen truck, warrants

A police corporal located a vehicle stolen from Lincoln County early today in Spokane Valley.

Cpl. Dave Ellis arrested four people on warrants with the help of sheriff's deputies after he contacting a man and woman triyng to move an Olds Cutlass from he middle of Valleyway Road near University Road about 2:18 a.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

A man standing next to a truck in the driveway of a home believed to be connected to the Cutlass walked into the backyard, and deputies determined the truck was stolen. They contacted the home and found four people with warrants.

Arrested were David B. Buswell, 31, on a misdemeanor warrant for third-degree malicious mischief; Amanda M. Powers, 28; for felony escape from community custody; John P. Oak, 44, for misdemeanor failure to transfer title and Ronald E. Martell, 50, for a warrant for third-degree driving while license suspended.

Oak also was arrested in January for allegedly forging a $15 Spokane County Jail check for more than 200 times the amount.
  

2 arrested after chase w/ stolen truck

A sheriff deputy's attempted traffic stop led to a chase with a stolen truck Sunday night.

The driver and his passenger fled the truck near Haven Street after city police officers disabled its front and rear passenger tires at the intersection of North Market Street and East Euclid Avenue.

Suspect Gary A. Patterson, Jr., 34, was arrested near the truck and admitted he was a passenger, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's K-9 Brax found the suspected driver Kyle A. Costello, 26, hiding on top of a six-foot tall roof.

Deputy Shawn Audie had been pursuing the truck since trying to pull it over for a defective taillight near East Francis Avenue and Market about 10:15 p.m. Dispatchers told him the truck had been stolen in Spokane earlier that day.

Audie terminated the pursuit when the truck continued to travel recklessly with sparks flying from the front and rare passenger tire rims. He thought he saw a crash on Haven Street but arrived to see Patterson and Costello running from the stolen truck. There was no crash.

The men were booked into jail for possession of a stolen vehicle. Costello also faces a felony eluding charge.

Patterson was arrested about a month ago on suspicion of burglary after he requested - and was given - a bottle of wine when he unlawfully entered a home at at 828 E. Joseph Ave., allegedly.

Reward targets property crime couple

Crime Stoppers is targeting a couple accused of stealing more than $40,000 in guns, jewelry and electronics from the wife's mother.

Tiffany N. Russell, alias Thompson, and Kevin C. Russell, both 34, are accused of burglarizing her mother's storage unit at 11018 E. Sprague Ave. and her apartment at 6010 E. Sixth Ave. while her mother was out of town.

Her mother let her stay at her home periodically since she was released from prison about two years ago, according to court documents prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

She said only her daughter and her daughter's husband knew where the stolen firearms, including a sniper rifle, were located, and knew of the jewelry and electronics that turned up missing from the home. The woman learned her daughter sold some of the items at a Spokane Valley pawn shop.  She also found surveillance video at the storage center showing her daughter loading items into her car.

Kevin Russell is charged with second-degree burglary and nine counts of theft of a firearm. Tiffany Russell is charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, three counts of trafficking in stolen property in the first degree and nine counts of theft of a firearm. Prosecutors charged the couple March 23.

Kevin Russell, 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, last gave an address on East 32nd Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Tiffany Russell, 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, last listed her mother's apartment in Spokane Valley - one of the crime scenes - as her address.

Anyone with information on their current locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Woman arrested on 109 felonies released

A Spokane County health care employee accused of stealing money from a 79-year-old woman was released from jail today after appearing in court on 109 felony charges.

Deanna M. Purser, 50, was arrested Wednesday after a sheriff's investigation alleged she'd been making unauthorized purchases and taking unauthorized cash back while grocery shopping for the woman.

Detectives believe Purser, employed by ResCare, also used the woman's money to purchase personal groceries, cigarettes, Christmas presents for her children and a subscription to Sports Illustrated for her husband. She'd been caring for the woman part time after the woman suffered a stroke.

Spokane County sheriff's Detective Tamie Spitzer determined Purser took $31,762 in cash back at Albertsons from 2009 to 2011. She also determined $33,141 in groceries had been purchased, but the victim's average grocery bill should have been just $300 per month.

Prosecutors have not yet formally charged Purser.

She does not appear to have a criminal record, so even if she's convicted of 109 felonies, she'll face only about 22 to 29 months in prison. One or two theft convictions carries only a couple months in jail.

Health care worker arrested for theft

A Spokane County home health care employee is accused of stealing money from a 79-year-old woman she'd cared for since 2003.

Deanna M. Purser, 50, was arrested today after a lengthy investigation by Spokane County sheriff's Detective Tamie Spitzer alleged she'd been making unauthorized purchases and taking unauthorized cash back while grocery shopping for the woman.

The victim's daughter contacted the sheriff's office after she noticed an abnormally large amount of money spent at the Albertsons grocery store in Liberty Lake. She'd become suspicious when she noticed her mother's bank statements were lower than usual while preparing her taxes, according to the sheriff's office.

Spitzer determined Purser took $31,762 in cash back from 2009 to 2011. She also determined $33,141 in groceries had been purchased, but the victim's average grocery bill should have been just $300 per month.

Purser was booked into the Spokane County Jail today on seven counts of first-degree theft, 51 counts of unlawful possession of a payment instrument and 51 counts of second-degree theft.

Drunk man on chair arrested for burglary

A man arrested on suspicion of prowling a home early today was intoxicated and told deputies “he had no idea what was going on or where he was at,” authorities say.

A homeowner found Brandon L. Woodward, 22, as he was sitting on a chair on the deck of the home in the area of East Sprague Avenue and North Barker Road in Spokane Valley about 2:20 a.m. and detained him until deputies arrived, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The man's wife called 911. He told police he saw a second man run from the backyard before he got outside.

Deputies say Woodward was drunk and possibly on drugs. He was booked into jail on a second-degree burglary charge.

Woodward was ordered to complete drug treatment after being convicted of residential burglary and second-degree burglary last November. He didn't do so, and he was arrested on a warrant in February.

He appeared in court Friday and was ordered to report to his probation officer Monday morning and to stay with his father while awaiting a new spot at a drug treatment center.

Cops warn of South Hill magazine fraud

Authorities are warning of a a young man on the South Hill who's scamming residents out of money by selling fraudulent magazine subscriptions.

A resident reported to Crime Check Monday that a 17- to 18-year-old boy came to her home on Friday and said he was selling magazines to benefit the Ferris High School soccer team, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

She gave the man a $55 check “happy to support her local high school” and was told the company selling the subscriptions was Blue Diamond Subscriptions, which is based in Arizona, according to the sheriff's office.

She learned on Monday that Ferris High is not involved in the fundraiser. Sheriff's officials contacted the Better Business Bureau and learned of a complaint to the Phoenix office about the company. They have yet to be able to contact the company.

The business is not registered in Washington.

Anyone who contacts someone who claims to be from the company is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 and the BBB at (509) 455-4200.

Reward for tips on $15k jewelry heist

A man's home was burglarized of about $15,000 jewelry after he left for about five hours Monday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve the burglary, which occurred near the 7500 block of West 51st Street. A woman's ring worth about $5,000 and about $10,000 in other jewelry were stolen.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.