Fleeing Suspect’s Attempt to Hide No Match for K9 Gunnar’s Nose
Several Spokane Valley Deputies, including Deputy Hunt and K9 Gunnar, responded to a theft where the suspect fled after she fought, bit, and threatened store employees. K9 Gunnar eventually located 22-year-old Ladarion M. Roberts, who is now charged with three felonies, hiding in the closest of a home she illegally entered.
On January 6, 2018, at approximately 7:50 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to ShopKo, located at 13414 E. Sprague, for a report of a theft.
Store Loss Prevention employees said a female, later identified as Roberts, entered the store and picked up several items, to include a prepaid cell phone and several makeup items, as she walked around. Roberts went into a dressing room with all the items but when she exited, she didn’t have the phone and makeup. The employee checked the dressing room for the items, which were not located. Roberts approached the checkout counter and attempted to pay for other items but the credit card she used was declined and she left the store.
The ShopKo Loss Prevention employees contacted Roberts outside, identified themselves, and attempted to escort Roberts back to the loss prevention office. Roberts refused and became assaultive, pushing, hitting, kicking, and even biting one of the employees. She also threatened to “mace” them and yelled she had a gun during the encounter before she fled the scene on foot.
After viewing store security video, Deputy Wang recognized Roberts and confirmed her identity by matching the video to a previous booking photo and provided Roberts’ description via radio to patrol units checking the area.
A short time later, Deputy Wilson observed a purse hanging on a fence which matched the description of the one Roberts was carrying when she fled.
Deputy Hunt and K9 Gunnar arrived at the location and began a track to find Roberts. Fresh footprints in the snow were observed as K9 Gunnar led the Deputies to an unsecured back door of a residence on McCabe, just North of Sprague. Multiple K9 warning announcements were given without response.
As Deputies worked to obtain a search warrant, a resident of the home was contacted. The resident said he did not know Roberts, he did not give her permission to enter his residence and gave Deputies permission to enter and search for Roberts.
With the continued K9 warnings still being ignored, in addition to the threats Roberts made of being armed and her willingness to be combative to avoid arrest, K9 Gunnar was deployed on a lead. He located a black coat and new makeup lying on the floor before leading Deputies to a closet. Several additional K9 announcements were given and went unanswered. The door to the closet was opened and K9 Gunnar entered. He made contact with Roberts who was hiding under a pile of blankets and other items. Roberts initially failed to comply with Deputies’ commands but she soon surrendered and taken into custody without further incident.
Roberts was provided medical attention before being transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Robbery 1st Degree, Burglary 1st Degree and Resisting Arrest. An additional charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine was added after a white crystalline substance was located inside Roberts’ purse, which tested and showed a presumptive positive result for methamphetamine.