Spokane Police & Sheriff’s Deputies Work Together to Secure/Protect Gray Fire Evacuation Area, Arrested 2 Burglary Suspects
Spokane Police Department (SPD) Detective Lynch, assisting with the Gray and Oregon Road Fires since they started, gathered information concerning a burglary inside the Gray Fire Evacuation Zone. That information was relayed to other Officers and Deputies working the zone. Later in the day, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brooks observed a possible suspect vehicle occupied by two suspects and conducted a traffic stop. The adult male and female were identified and, through the continued joint investigation, were arrested for Burglary. Both suspects stated they were from the Tacoma area.
On August 21, 2023, at approximately 8:15 am, Spokane Police Detective Lynch, working as part of their continued assistance with crime prevention in the Gray Fire evacuation zone, responded to a reported burglary in the 20100 block of W. Thorpe Road in Medical Lake.
Detective Lynch contacted the caller, a family member of the homeowner, and learned a suspicious male and female arrived at the residence in a blue Audie and provided a license plate. The citizen said the suspicious suspects pulled into the driveway, and he contacted them, knowing no one was supposed to be there.
He said the male, later identified as 38-year-old Matthew W. Parsons, wore a yellow high-visibility long-sleeve shirt similar to a firefighter. Parsons explained he had a flat tire and pulled over to fill it up. The caller, noticing a tire on the vehicle appeared low, and offered to fill the tire at his shop.
Moments later, a female, identified as 37-year-old Diane M. Guerrero, emerged from behind the home and got into the Audi. He said the couple must have noticed that he was calling law enforcement because they slowly drove toward the shop and left the area without stopping.
The back door to the residence was found to be unlocked, and it appeared the cabinets in the kitchen had been gone through, but nothing seemed to be missing.
Detective Lynch later contacted the homeowner, who stated no one had permission to enter the home, and he was missing two drills, valued at approximately $300.
At approximately 4:10 pm, Deputy Brooks observed a blue Audi with the same license plate near Silver Lake and Medical Lake-Four Lakes Road, and he observed what appeared to be a bright yellow shirt or clothing inside.
He quickly caught up to the vehicle, conducted a traffic stop, and contacted Parsons and Guerrero.
Guerrero explained they were trying to get back to Tacoma but got lost. They just stopped at a gas station, where Parsons changed the tire, and were returning to Tacoma.
The investigation continued, with the assistance of Detective Lynch, and Parsons and Guerrero were arrested for Burglary.
Parsons and Guerrero were transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Residential Burglary.
NOTE: Throughout the Oregon Road Fire and Gray Fire that began on Friday, the Spokane Police Department and the City of Spokane have provided a large number of Officers to assist Deputies, as specifically illustrated in this case.
Additional assistance was received by Airway Heights Police Officers, Washington State Patrol Troopers, Cheney Police Department Officers, Spokane Valley Police Officers, Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, Colville Tribal Police, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Border Patrol, and other local law enforcement and fire agencies. All of them sent resources immediately, and they continue to help us secure the fire zones, work to prevent crime, and keep our community safe during these devastating fires.