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News / Northwest

Tacoma man, woman arrested after reportedly burglarizing home in Gray fire evacuation zone

By Garrett Cabeza, The Spokesman-Review
Published: August 23, 2023, 7:47am

SPOAKNE — A man and woman from Tacoma are accused of burglarizing a home Monday in the Gray fire evacuation zone near Medical Lake.

Diane Guerrero, 37, and Matthew Parsons, 38, were booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of residential burglary, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Police Department.

A Spokane police detective responded around 8:15 a.m. Monday to the 20100 block of West Thorpe Road near Medical Lake, the release said.

The detective contacted the caller, a family member of the homeowner, and learned a suspicious man and woman arrived at the residence in a blue Audi A4, police said.

The caller said he contacted them, knowing no one was supposed to be there.

He said the man, later identified as Parsons, wore a yellow high-visibility long-sleeve shirt similar to a firefighter, the release said. Parsons explained he had a flat tire and pulled over to fill it up. The caller, noticing a tire on the vehicle appeared low, offered to fill the tire at his shop. Moments later, a woman, identified as Guerrero, emerged from behind the home and got into the Audi, according to the release.

He said the couple must have noticed he was calling law enforcement, because they slowly drove toward the shop and left the area without stopping.

Police said the back door to the residence was unlocked, and it appeared someone had gone through the cabinets in the kitchen, but nothing seemed to be missing. The homeowner told police he was missing two DeWalt drills.

Around 4:10 p.m., a deputy observed a blue Audi near Silver Lake and Medical Lake-Four Lakes roads with the same license plate number the caller reported, the release said. The deputy also saw what appeared to be a bright yellow shirt or clothing inside.

The deputy stopped the vehicle and contacted Parsons and Guerrero.

The detective also responded to the stop and noticed a DeWalt drill in the back seat, according to court documents.

Guerrero explained they were trying to get back to Tacoma but got lost, the release said. They had just stopped at a gas station, where Parsons changed the tire, and were returning to Tacoma.

Guerrero admitted to being in the area “stealing stuff” and had stolen a weed-wacker from someone’s yard, documents say. She said she stole an Amazon package off another person’s porch, court records show. On the package was another box, which contained a check book, the detective said in documents.

Guerrero admitted to being at the Thorpe Road home because of a flat tire but denied going inside, documents say. She said she was unsure if Parsons went inside the house or stole anything from it.

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Parsons told the detective they were visiting family 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 breaking the law at any point.

Parsons’ shoes were covered in red fire retardant dropped from aircraft fighting the fire, indicating they were in areas they were not allowed to be in, documents say.

The two were arrested on suspicion of residential burglary. The detective said in documents that more charges are forthcoming after he locates the victims of the crimes to which Guerrero admitted.

The release said Spokane police, the sheriff’s office and numerous other law enforcement agencies responded to the Gray and Oregon Road fire areas since the fires broke out to prevent crime.

Guerrero and Parsons made their first court appearances Tuesday and are scheduled for arraignments next Tuesday. Both remained in jail Tuesday night.

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