The Grant County sheriff says an attempted theft of metal was interrupted Friday when a vigilant property owner saw a suspicious car parked near a trailer on his land.
Around 9 a.m. Jan. 10, deputies were called to 15390 Stratford Road Northeast for a report of a burglary and theft. The property owner, Doug Hendrickson, said he had spotted a suspicious red Dodge Neon with a temporary registration tag near a single wide trailer on the property. Hendrickson was watchful because he had been the victim of several recent burglaries and thefts.
Hendrickson confronted a man he found inside the trailer. When the suspect started to drive away, the property owner saw a piece of one of his farm implements in the car’s back seat. When he confronted the suspect on that fact, the suspect took the piece out of the car and placed it on the ground.
Once deputies arrived, it was discovered an air cleaner assembly was also missing from one of Hendrickson’s pickup trucks parked nearby.
Deputies then drove around the area in search of the red Neon with a temporary tag, which they found at the intersection of Roads M.2-Northeast and 10-Northeast. When the Neon’s driver spotted the deputy, he backed the car at a high rate of speed and then drove into the driveway of 9963 Road M.2-Northeast.
The driver of the Neon, Frank Lopez, 31 of Moses Lake, ran and was quickly caught by deputies. The Neon's passenger, Sonya Adame, 33 of Moses Lake, also ran. She was found a short time later and arrested.
Deputies served a search warrant on the Neon and found several pieces of Hendrickson’s stolen property inside the car, including metal panels, combine wrenches, other metals, and the air cleaner from the pickup truck. The value of the stolen goods was estimated at $1,200.
Surveillance cameras on Hendrickson’s property also showed Lopez and Adame in the Neon.
Lopez and Adame were lodged in the Grant County Jail on suspicion of second-degree theft, second-degree possession of stolen property, second-degree trespassing and second-degree vehicle prowling. Each also had outstanding warrants for arrest.
“Great job by Mr. Hendrickson and deputies catching these two suspects,” said Sheriff Tom Jones. “I want to remind the public to please call us if they see suspicious activity. Chances are the suspicious people or cars are up to no good, and the quicker we can get there, the better the chance of solving the crime.”