On November 2, 2017, the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office received a residential burglary report from a complainant who was in the State of Alaska at the time of the reported incident. The complainant/victim notified the Sheriff’s Department that she had received information that her Pontiac Firebird had been stolen from her family’s shop, located in Ford, Washington. Investigators also learned that additional vehicles including some classic cars were inside of the shop and that the suspect’s scheme was to sell several other vehicles from the shop on the following day. Investigators learned that the suspects had contacted a tow company, and had the tow company tow a stolen Pontiac Firebird to 425 Broadway Avenue, in Reardan, Washington.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) was involved with the investigation and located a vehicle tarped in the front yard of the suspect’s residence and suspected the vehicle to be the stolen Pontiac. The LCSO continued supporting the investigation and provided valuable Intel to investigators. The Spokane Regional Auto Theft Task Force (SRATTF), consisting of detectives from the Washington State Patrol, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Police Department; were notified and assisted the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office with the auto theft investigation.
On November 3, 2017, detectives from the Spokane Regional Auto Theft Task Force and Stevens County Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance on the suspect’s Reardan residence as well as the victim’s property in Ford, Washington. During surveillance operations, two of the three suspects were observed arriving at the victim’s property, where the suspects entered the property’s shop. SRATTF detectives, a Stevens County Sheriff’s Office detective and deputies along with a Chewelah Police Department K-9 officer apprehended Andrew Samuelson and Christopher Terrell, who were arrested on the victim’s property. Also, SRATTF detectives located and arrested the third suspect in Airway Heights, Candi Terrell. During the on-scene investigation, two people arrived on scene to purchase more of the stolen vehicles. Also, detectives learned of a 1977 Corvette Stingray that was sold out of the shop on the previous day.
Following the arrests, investigators conducted a follow-up investigation at the suspect’s residence in Reardan, where additional stolen property belonging to the victim family was located/recovered.
The three suspects were booked into the Stevens County Jail for numerous felony charges. Some of the charges consisted of burglary, theft of motor vehicles, trafficking in stolen property, and forgery and two of the suspects were booked on outstanding warrants.
On November 6, 2017, the Auto Theft Task Force recovered the last stolen vehicle from the shop and stolen property in Spokane County, (a red 1977 Corvette Stingray).
The following agencies assisted in the investigation: Alaska Department of Public Safety (state troopers), Spokane Regional Auto Theft Task Force (WSP, SPD, SCSO), Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, and Chewelah Police Department.