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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Man arrested for unreported robbery

Another suspect in a home-invasion robbery has been arrested after his alleged accomplice told police about a crime that hadn't been reported.

Travis Heath Bertholf, 40, is accused of robbing an apartment in the 2500 block of East Hartson Avenue with David Fredrick Smith sometime in May.

Spokane County sheriff's Detectives Jack Rosenthal and Mike Ricketts were on a tour of home-invasion robbery sites with Smith after his arrest when Smith directed them to the Hartson location.

They identified the resident, Loyalee Elton, through utility records and contacted her. She told them two men wearing bandannas over their faces robbed her of a backpack containing 200 to 300 watches at gunpoint, according to court documents. Her brother also was held at gunpoint.

One of the men threatened to kill her, Elton said. Smith told police he and Bertholf entered the residence through an open back door. Smith had a 9 mm semi-automatic gun; Bertholf had a .380 semi-automatic, documents say.

Smith admitted to pointing a gun at Elton when she pleaded with him not to take the back, police say.

Bertholf was arrested Thursday about 1:30 p.m. He appeared in court today on charges of first-degree robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. He has 13 felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms, including a drug conviction from last October.

Smith also is in jail. He is charged with a series of home-invasion robberies with suspect Flint Fire Herrmann.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.