CLARKSTON, WA - Lewiston and Clarkston law enforcement officers are investigating the alleged theft of up to $8,000 in copper tubing and more than 15 air conditioning radiators from a local HVAC business early Saturday morning.
According to a Probable Cause Affidavit, 23-year-old Kenneth Harper of Lewiston was booked into the Asotin County Jail on charges of 1st-Degree Burglary, 1st-Degree Theft, and 1st-Degree Trafficking Stolen Property. Bond was set at $50,000.
A second man, 18-year-old Zaryc Moran-Stotz of Clarkston, was arrested by Lewiston Police early Monday morning after he allegedly robbed a gas station in the 800 block of 16th Avenue in Lewiston while wearing a mask. The owner had noticed him and called LPD.
"When he was arrested he had two pistols on him," the affidavit says. In addition to Burglary, he was charged with Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) and resisting and obstructing.
A third man allegedly involved in the HVAC burglary has not been identified. They were reportedly driving the car, identified in surveillance video as a black 2009 Pontiac Vibe with a Clearwater County license plate.
The court document says Asotin County Deputies were informed that the alleged burglary at Lazer Heating and Air Conditioning in the 1300 block of 15th Street began at around 2:44 a.m. Saturday morning. The three men reportedly pulled up to the Clarkston business and proceeded to load rolls of copper tubing into the trunk. An hour later, the men returned in the car and again loaded copper tubing and other items into the car, the affidavit says.
On Monday, Harper reportedly salvaged the stolen property at Sutton Salvage in Lewiston.
Various CCTV video surveillance from the HVAC business was obtained and Harper was quickly identified. Sutton Salvage also provided law enforcement with video and Harper's driver's license.
The second man, Moran-Stotz, was later identified from the videos.
"MOST NOTABLY, [he] is holding a pistol in his right hand. I slowed the video down and captured a still shot," a deputy says in the affidavit. "I observed the pistol to [be] a late model semi-automatic handgun identical to that of a Smith and Wesson M&P 40 Caliber. I further observed the slide on the pistol to be a lighter color, specifically a tan OR Desert Sand. The provided description of the pistol held by [him] is identical to that of the pistol he was arrested with in Lewiston, Idaho earlier this morning."
Lewiston Police also identified a black ski mask, gray backpack, red mechanics gloves, and other items that reportedly matched what Moran-Stotz was wearing during both of the alleged incidents.
Sutton Salvage was notified by Lazer Heating and Air Conditioning that they had been burglarized and described the items. The salvage company contacted an Asotin County deputy and informed him that they had paid Harper $560 for the copper and tin that was dropped off and that they were putting a stop payment on the check, according to the affidavit.
Since the copper tubing had been cut up, it was no longer useful to Lazer Heating so Sutton Salvage was planning on sending a check to the company to cover the cost of the materials.
The affidavit adds that given the nature of the crimes, including the use of firearms, if the alleged perpetrators were to remain out of jail, they "pose a profound and unpredictable danger to the innocent citizens and property of the Lewis Clark Valley."