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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Accused restaurant burglar seen in business last week

An employee of the Peking North restaurant told police that burglary suspect Cephas Parham, 39, had been in the business twice in the previous week but never purchased anything, according to court documents.

The owner of the restaurant said that zippered money bags, a flat screen television, two laptops and karaoke equipment were missing after the burglary reported shortly after 7 a.m. Monday.

A Spokane police officer fired at Parham and missed during a foot chase from the scene. Police say Parham had a realistic looking fake gun at the time.

The Spokane Police Department has not named the officer involved in the incident, but court documents state that Officer James Erickson chased Parham and got in a fight with him. The documents say Erickson believed Parham was armed with a firearm but do not specifically state that Erickson fired his weapon.

The documents state that Parham hit and elbowed Erickson in the head.

An employee at Muffler Mart, which is located just to the north of Peking North, told police he saw the north door of the restaurant open when he arrived at work around 7:15 a.m., which was unusual. A few minutes after police arrived he said he saw a man run out the door with an officer in pursuit. The two ran out of his view, according to court documents.

Zippered bank bags and a flat screen television could be seen inside a blue Ford Explorer parked near the restaurant that Parham had recently purchased, according to court documents.

The police department’s Chronic Offender unit had been attempting to work with Parham, who has 29 felony convictions, said Officer Kyle Yrigollen. However, Parham had not been cooperative and was difficult to find, Yrigollen said, and officers often had to cease their efforts to work with Parham as he was being investigated by the Regional Auto Theft Task Force.

Parham was ordered held on $250,000 bond during a court appearance Tuesday on charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault. He was ordered not to possess real or replica firearms.

At the time of the reported burglary on Monday, Parham was out of jail on $50,000 bond pending trial after being accused of stealing his ex-girlfriend’s car last year after he was released from prison. In that incident he led police on a high speed chase before crashing the stolen car and then fleeing on foot.

However, his ex-girlfriend’s mother filed an affidavit in the case stating Parham had only borrowed the car, which was registered in her name, and that she liked and trusted him. She also stated that Parham had been trying to turn his life around since his most recent release from prison.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in that case after Parham failed to appear at a hearing on July 10.

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