SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Fifty-some officers, detectives and investigators from outside law enforcement and fire agencies raided five Spokane Valley apartments Tuesday morning in search of property stolen in more than 30 residential burglaries in the Pines Road/I-90 corridor during the month of August.
Detectives recovered a stolen shotgun, stolen computers, a stolen camera and a small amount of marijuana when they executed search warrants on four apartments in the 2800 block of N. Cherry and a single apartment in the 9300 block of E. Montgomery.
One suspect, 27-year-old Ryan Lund, was arrested at a North Cherry address. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a single drug charge.
Detectives are looking for a second suspect, 35-year-old Robert Castillo, who they expected to find at the E. Montgomery address. He was not there at the time of the raid and is now being sought on five drug related charges.
The investigation began back in August when sheriff's office analysts noticed a spike in burglaries and vehicle break-ins in the Pines/I-90 corridor. The burglaries were primarily being committed during the day when no one was at home.
Detectives believe a group of 13-year-old and 14-year-olds were knocking on the front doors of ground-floor apartments and when no one answered, went to the back and cut or removed screens from windows.
The thieves would enter only briefly, taking electronic games, cash, jewelry and computers or other electronic items. Some of the stolen property was pawned, but detectives working with the analysts and patrol officers who work the area developed information that some of the property might still be inside the apartments raided Tuesday morning.
Search warrants were obtained and due to the scope of the simultaneous warrant executions, the Washington State Patrol, sheriff's office and Spokane Valley Police detectives division assisted in the raids.
Several arson fires also occurred in the corridor during the same period and as a result, Spokane Valley Fire investigators also participated in the raids.
Afterward, detectives revealed only that the stolen shotgun, some laptop computers and a stolen cellular phone were recovered. At the East Montgomery address, detectives found user amounts of marijuana only.
Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven said Tuesday that he was pleased with the coordination of the raids and the recovery of stolen property.
He had two weeks ago briefed the Spokane Valley City Council on how his agency and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office are using a newly formed analysis unit to determine "hot spots" in criminal activity, and the Pines/I-90 corridor was one of the areas he used to explain the concept to council members.
Drug and property investigators said late Tuesday that their investigations into the burglaries and methamphetamine sales would continue.
- Spokane County Sheriff's Office