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Car theft suspect won't talk about missing gold coins

 


Grand Coulee police had a very short conversation last week with the suspect in a case of missing gold coins.

Police Chief John Tufts said he went to Ephrata last Thursday to talk with Steven Kiona, 37, who is being held in Grant County Jail on other charges, about 200 one-ounce Krugerrands taken from Dorothy Harris last May.

When asked if he would talk with Tufts, Kiona said “no” and refused to talk further.

Tufts then went to the prosecutor’s office to talk about the case.

Kiona was arrested in Portland recently after allegedly stealing a car owned by Harris, with whom he was traveling on the Oregon coast. She said Tuesday that she had bailed him out of the jail in Ephrata, where he was held on an unrelated burglary charge, to take him along, only to later discover him gone and her car missing.

“I first made a call to the sheriff’s office to report the car stolen and the second call to a bail bondsman where I hired a bounty hunter to help find my car,” Harris explained Tuesday.

The car was taken at 9 in the evening and it was found at 5 the next morning.

“I had attached my GPS to my tablet, and when he started using it we knew where he was,” Harris said.

“I’ve recovered several of my missing coins, but not the Krugerrands.” she stated.

Kiona was returned to Grant County where he also faces a burglary charge from an earlier incident, and a charge of being in possession of stolen items, which Harris said were hers, taken when her Krugerrands were stolen. He is still in jail.

At the time the Krugerrands went missing, Kiona occupied a room in Harris’ basement and did some yard work for her. He was not named as a suspect at the time.

After picking up her car in Portland, Harris discovered a black bag in the trunk that contained some of the items taken from her house last May, but not the Krugerrands.

The going price on the Krugerrands on March 25, was $1,235 each, making Harris’ loss right at a quarter of a million dollars.

In the black bag were loose coins, a 1924 gold coin, an 18K ring, Kiona’s wallet, a “buy and sell” jewelry card from a Portland firm with items listed on the back as “sold,” including two gold coins and one Krugerrand, a Perth Mint Australian bar, and a 10-ounce silver bar.

Harris identified several of the items as hers, taken in the theft.

Kiona was the one who informed Harris that someone had entered the house and that she should come home from work. She did and then discovered the loss.

Harris has stated that she acquired the Krugerrands while in the military in South Africa.

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