ASOTIN, WA - For the second time in a month, a 52-year-old Asotin woman has been arrested for allegedly taking a motor vehicle without permission. Both incidents reportedly happened within hours of each other - and in both Asotin (Washington) and Nez Perce (Idaho) counties.
According to reports, Darci Brown was arrested in Lewiston (Idaho) in the early morning hours of May 4th after allegedly taking a pickup from Neighborhood Market in the 500 block of Bryden Avenue while the owner was inside the store.
When the man exited the store, his pickup - which had been left running - had disappeared. That was at approximately 2:35 a.m.
An employee reportedly told a Lewiston Police officer that Brown had been waiting for a cab for more than an hour and had mentioned that her own car was parked at the nearby Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport and it had a dead battery.
The pickup was seen traveling northbound on the 17th Street Grade a short time later. A traffic stop ensued and Brown was arrested for Felony Grand Theft. She was booked into the Nez Perce County Adult Detention Center.
Meanwhile, Brown is now being held on a $15,000 bond for an Asotin County charge of Theft of a Motor Vehicle in connection with the alleged theft of a car a few hours prior to her Lewiston arrest.
According to a Probable Cause Affidavit, Brown allegedly took a car from the 1400 block of 4th Street in Asotin while the owner was an inmate at the Asotin County Jail.
A witness reportedly told Asotin City Police Chief Monte Renzelman that while visiting the car owner's trailer on the night of May 3rd, Brown allegedly went into the living room and took the keys off a table.
"[The witness] asked her what she was doing and she stated she wanted to listen to music and went to the car was listening to music. [He] told her she didn't need to be in the car and to leave the car. [He] stated the next thing he knew she drove off," the affidavit says. "He stated no one else should be in possession of the vehicle as he was the only one with permission from [the owner], and only one with the key, that was now with the vehicle."
A couple of days later, Renzelman found out that Brown had been arrested for the alleged pickup theft in Lewiston and requested an officer check the airport parking lot. He received a call from an LPD officer who stated he had found the vehicle at the airport.
He then contacted the pickup's owner and inquired whether he had found any extra property "such as keys" when his pickup was returned to him.
"I made contact with [the alleged victim] who told me he did find a bag with a [handful] of keys," Renzelman says in the affidavit.
The pickup's owner drove to the Asotin County Jail and handed the keys over to Renzelman. He then contacted the car's owner at the jail and he "identified one car key and the fob as belonging to his car, the other car key to be his mother's, at least one key to be his residence and another to be his mother's residence," the affidavit says.
Renzelman then drove to the airport parking lot and found the car - the battery on it was dead but the key matched the lock.