August 22 – A Tacoma man and woman are charged with breaking and entering a home Monday in the gray fire evacuation zone near Medical Lake.
Diane Guerrero, 37, and Matthew Parsons, 38, were admitted to the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of residential burglary, according to a press release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the Spokane Police Department.
A Spokane police detective responded to the 20100 block of West Thorpe Road near Medical Lake around 8:15 a.m. Monday, the release said.
The detective contacted the caller, a relative of the homeowner, and learned that a suspicious man and woman had arrived at the residence in a blue Audi A4, police said.
The caller said he contacted them knowing no one was allowed to be there.
He said the man, later identified as Parsons, was wearing a long-sleeved yellow high-visibility shirt similar to a firefighter, the release said. Parsons explained that he had a flat tire and stopped to fill it up. The caller, noticing that a tire on the vehicle appeared to be running low, offered to fill the tire at his shop. Moments later, a woman identified as Guerrero emerged from behind the house and, according to the release, got into the Audi.
He said the couple must have noticed him calling the police because they drove slowly to the store and left the area without stopping.
Police said the back door of the home was unlocked and it appeared someone had gone through the cabinets in the kitchen, but nothing appeared to be missing. The homeowner told police he missed two DeWalt drills.
At around 4:10 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy observed a blue Audi near Silver Lake and Medical Lake-Four Lakes roads with the same license plate as the caller reported, the release said. The deputy also noticed what appeared to be a bright yellow shirt or clothing in it.
The deputy sheriff stopped the vehicle and contacted Parsons and Guerrero.
The detective also responded to the stop, noting a DeWalt drill in the back seat, according to court documents.
Guerrero explained that they tried to return to Tacoma but got lost, according to the release. They had just stopped at a gas station, where Parsons changed the tire, and were heading back to Tacoma.
Guerrero admitted he was in the area to “steal stuff” and that he stole a weed killer from someone’s yard, documents say. She said she stole an Amazon package from someone else’s front porch, court records show. On the package was another box, which contained a checkbook, the detective said in the documents.
Guerrero admitted he was at the house on Thorpe Road because of a flat tire but refused to go inside, documents say. She said she wasn’t sure if Parsons had entered the house or stolen anything from it.
Parsons told the detective they were visiting relatives in Spokane but got lost in Medical Lake. They went to the casino and then came back to Medical Lake to fix their tire. He denied at any point that he had broken the law.
Parsons’ shoes were covered in red fire retardant material that had fallen from planes fighting the blaze, indicating they were in areas they were not allowed to enter, documents say.
The two were arrested on suspicion of burglary. The detective said in documents further charges will follow after he locates the victims of the crimes Guerrero has admitted to.
According to the statement, the Spokane Police Department, the sheriff’s office and numerous other law enforcement agencies have responded to the Gray and Oregon Road fire areas since the fires broke out to prevent crime.
Guerrero and Parsons appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday and will be arraigned next Tuesday. Both remained in jail on Tuesday night.