An investigation of recent burglaries in Chewelah and other areas of Stevens County led authorities to an underwater search of Chewelah Creek between the railroad bridge and Main Avenue.
The Stevens County Sheriff’s Dive Team assisted with the search and eventually recovered jewelry items that were identified as some of those reported stolen.
Water depths in that area are reported to be up to seven feet, requiring the use of the specialized dive team.
Chewelah Police Chief Troy Anderson stated that several suspects have been identified in the burglaries and interviews of those suspects and other witnesses led investigators to believe that some of the stolen property would be found in that particular section of the creek.
Other stolen property has been recovered from locations in Chewelah, Loon Lake and Spokane, Anderson said.
The investigation is being jointly conducted by Chewelah Police Department and the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.
Anderson indicated that one of the burglary suspects is in custody in Spokane County jail on other charges. Other suspects have also been identified in the local burglaries and may be charged pending further investigation. Identities of those individuals will be released when formal charges are filed with the Stevens County Prosecutor’s office.
Chewelah P.D. has reminded residents to keep their property secure day and night by locking their homes, garages, and vehicles. Valuables should be inventoried with photographs and serial numbers when available. Those records should be stored in a safe place to be used by investigators in case of theft. Anderson urged residents to report suspicious people and activities to the police.
Anderson said he was appreciative of the assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, the Dive Team, Stevens County’s Fire District 4, Chewelah Fire Department, and Spokane County in the recovery of the property from Chewelah Creek.
By Jared Arnold, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: A diver from the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office helps search the Chewelah Creek for items that were stolen in recent burglaries. Tammy Bjerke photo