A would-be scrap metal thief ditched the material in favor of a witness' cellphone recently in Spokane Valley, police say.
Shane Wendon Israel, 33, was arrested Friday after a sheriff's deputy who investigated the robbery stopped his red Dodge truck.
Suspect Scott Hayden Elliott, 39, alias Wood, also was arrested for driving Israel away from the theft, which occurred Jan. 5 about 8:45a.m. at Ecolite, 2622 N. Woodruff Road.
Ecolite employee Pat Myers told police he saw Israel walking from the building with scrap metal, so he followed him and tried to take a picture of his truck but was assaulted and his cellphone was stolen, according to court documents. Israel grabbed Myers' cellphone and threatened him with the metal before dropping it and fleeing with the phone.
Another employee, Don Banks, snapped a photograph of the truck that included the license plate. Police say it's registered to Elliott.
Deputy R. Smith recovered Myers' cellphone from the Spokane Dog Training Club, where Israel said he'd thrown it, documents say.
Elliott and Israel faces charges of first-degree robbery and third-degree theft. Elliott also faces a charge of driving while license suspended.