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Spokane police arrest two people accused of dressing up as firefighters and robbing homes

Police arrested a man and a woman from Tacoma on Monday, accused of dressing as a firefighter and breaking into evacuation homes, the Spokane police said.

The department said Detective Lynch went to a reported burglary at the 20100 block of West Thorpe Road in Medical Lake.

Detective Lynch said a relative of the homeowner told him that a suspicious man and woman had arrived at the house in a blue Audie. The relative said they pulled into the driveway and tried to talk to him, knowing no one was allowed in the house.

The relative said the man was wearing a yellow, high-visibility, long-sleeved shirt similar to that of a firefighter. The 38-year-old man told him he had a flat tire and had stopped to fill it. The relative noticed that the sky seemed low and said he offered to fill the tank at his shop.

The family member then said that a little later a woman came from behind the house and got into the Audi. He also said they must have noticed him calling the police because they drove slowly to his store and then left the area.

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Then he discovered that the back door was unlocked and the cabinets in the kitchen had been searched, but nothing seemed to be missing.

Detective Lynch later contacted him and found that he missed two drills, worth about $300.

At around 4:10 p.m., Deputy Brooks said he saw a blue Audi with the same license plate near Silver Lake and Medical Lake-Four Lakes Road, and saw what appeared to be a bright yellow shirt or clothing inside.

He said he quickly overtook the car, ran a traffic check and spoke to the people inside.

The man told Deputy Brooks that they tried to get back to Tacoma but got lost and just stopped at a gas station, where they changed their tire, and returned to Tacoma.

The investigation continued, with the help of Detective Lynch, and the man and woman were arrested for alleged burglary and committed to the Spokane County Jail.

This incident comes as the evacuation orders for the Gray Fire are relaxed and all level 3 areas are now level 1 or 2. That means people can go back, but have to be ready to leave.

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Also, everyone who is reported missing has now been taken into account.

Firefighters said the blaze remains steady, burning about 10,000 people and now about a quarter under control.

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