K9 Gunnar Tracks Down Burglar, Stolen Loot Recovered
Spokane Valley Deputies, with the assistance of K9 Gunnar, located a burglary suspect along with a stolen chainsaw and power washer stolen from the Spokane Veterans Center. The suspect caused an estimated $1,800 or more worth of damage to the alarm system, fence and storage shed.
On April 14, 2019, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of a commercial burglary at the Spokane Veterans Center, located in Spokane Valley.
The caller stated he received a call at approximately 7:05 p.m. and he was informed the alarm had been activated. He and another employee responded to the location to find the back door unsecured and the alarm panel torn from the wall.
Deputy Key, Deputy Wakem and Deputy Hunt with his K9 partner Gunnar arrived and cleared the building. With no one found inside, Deputies turned to the surveillance video. A male suspect was observed walking around the outside of the building. The male, later identified as 33-year-old Brandon L. Stoker, was then seen walking inside the warehouse. Stoker grabbed a 5-gallon bucket and placed miscellaneous tools inside. He also swiped a Husqvarna Chainsaw in a bright orange case, various food items and two Mountain Dew bottles.
Stoker exits the building and stashes the items behind a metal storage shed. Stoker walks around the patio area drinking one of the Mountain Dews before he returns to the chainsaw and other items. Stoker places the items in an object with wheels and walks off, dragging it to the west through the field.
Deputies located a partially empty Mountain Dew bottle in the brush near the dumpsters and next to the 5-gallon bucket with tools.
Deputy Hunt deployed K9 Gunnar to conduct an article search in an attempt to find any of the stolen property. During the search, K9 Gunnar led the Deputies to the west where some clean Christmas ornaments were located. The employee of the Veterans Center confirmed that some ornaments were stolen during the burglary. K9 Gunnar continued to lead the way through the fields and dirt lots toward the railroad bridge approximately 1/3 of a mile away. As they approached the area of the bridge, Deputy Wang who had also arrived to assist, observed Stoker walking southwest on the trestle. Stoker complied with commands and was taken into custody without incident.
Stoker was advised or his rights and agreed to answer questions. He said he walked from SCC near Mission and Greene. He explained he was looking for his friends who had his cell phone and backpack, but he refused to identify them. He and his friends are homeless and camped in the area. He initially denied knowing anything about the Veterans Center.
When confronted with the surveillance video, he admitted he was there and knew some items had been stolen but claimed he never went inside the building. Stoker’s story changed several times as the investigation continued. Stoker later declined to answer questions because he was high.
Deputies eventually located a well-hidden sleeping area in a stand of trees. They also discovered the power washer on wheels Stoker was observed dragging, and the chainsaw stolen from the Vet Center.
Stoker was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Burglary 2nd Degree, Theft 2nd Degree, and Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree.
The stolen items were returned.