Timothy L. Quaschnick apparently was so desperate for cash that he allegedly decided to pull an inside job at the Classic Rock Casino at Lilac Lanes.
Spokane police say Quaschnick confessed Monday afternoon to stealing $15,000 from Lilac Lanes, 1112 E. Magnesium Road, where he worked. He was arrested and charged with first-degree theft.
Quaschnick, a 28-year-old Spokane Valley resident whose family was in the news in December when it benefited from an outpouring of community support, worked the security graveyard shift at the family-owned casino. He knew the ins and outs of the security camera system. But police say he made a mistake.
The power was cut to the security cameras and recording devices for three minutes during Monday’s theft. But one, the cashier camera, was missed.
When the money was counted by three employees Monday morning, the total was $15,000 short, owner Dan Kukuk said. The previous cash count had been done Sunday night.
Kukuk said the casino crew looked at the cashier-camera tape and saw a video recording of Quaschnick in the casino cage, stealing money.
The other cameras had been turned off at about 8 a.m., police said. There was a three-minute gap in the surveillance tape from those cameras.
“The casino cage has bars,” said officer Gordon Grant, who responded to the call at 11:30 a.m. “There’s a 6-inch gap between the top of the table and the … bars and he shimmied underneath and got in the cage, jimmied open the doors where the cash was held and obtained $15,000 and left out the door.”
Officers found Quaschnick at his mother’s house in Deer Park, where he was taken into custody. Quaschnick led the officers to $11,500, Grant said. The rest of the money already had been used to pay a childcare debt, Grant said.
Kukuk, owner of Lilac Lanes for 14 years, said Quaschnick had worked for him since August 2004.
Formerly from Spokane, he and his wife, Jennifer Quaschnick, moved back about 1½ years ago from Maine, where Quaschnick had been laid off from his job. The couple, who live in the Spokane Valley, started a day-care business in Mead. Quaschnick also worked at the casino.
About the same time, their 3-year-old son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. The week before Christmas, Spokane Valley Police Chief Cal Walker, who serves on the board of the Wishing Star Foundation, interviewed the Quaschnicks about granting a wish for their son. The sick boy’s request was for a place to play. The real estate community got together and helped fix up a home for the family, including a playroom for Gabriel, and paid one year’s rent and utilities.
Among other gifts from a variety of donors: a washer and dryer, free cable TV and telephone service, and $3,000 in cash.
Kukuk also has been giving. He said that about a month ago, Quaschnick asked for an advance. Kukuk said he gave Quaschnick the loan and was even thinking about holding a fund-raiser for his son.
“This was really disappointing to me,” Kukuk said. “I authorized an advance and a month later he steals.”
Quaschnick, if convicted, faces a potential sentence of one to five years in prison. When contacted at the Spokane County Jail on Monday night, Quaschnick declined to be interviewed.
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