Suspect held on Kennewick burglary charges

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMarch 20, 2014 

A man is being held on $30,000 bail on charges he broke into a Kennewick home in the middle of the night and stole a number of items while a resident slept in her easy chair.

Kevin Joseph Wilson, 30, was arrested more than two hours later after the victim's sons used an online GPS tracker to locate one of their stolen cellphones.

Wilson pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to residential burglary, possession of methamphetamine and second-degree theft. The burglary includes the aggravating circumstance that the victim was present during the crime.

Trial is scheduled May 12.

Kennewick Officer Paul Reynolds responded to a burglary report at 4:18 a.m. March 15. In that incident, the homeowner said his daughter had let the dog out and was on the back porch when she saw a person standing near the porch wearing tan pants.

The residents discovered that their garage door was open and found a small compressor, that had been inside the garage, was moved to the gate.

Shortly after taking that report, Reynolds got another burglary call for a nearby home in the 700 block of South Wilson Street.

Homeowner Janice Schweiger said she was sleeping in a chair in her living room when she heard a thud, woke up and looked over her shoulder to see a man standing in front of the couch with his back to her.

Schweiger called out her son's name, Dan, but the man didn't turn and quickly walked down the stairs, court documents said.

She said it took about 10 minutes to fully wake up and clear the "cobwebs," at which point she realized her pocketbook was missing and her laptop had been moved from the coffee table to the couch, documents said. The laptop cord was on the floor in front of the couch, and Schweiger told police she believed that cord being dropped is what woke her.

Her pocketbook reportedly held at least four credit cards and her checkbook for Gesa Credit Union.

She gave police a description of the suspect, including that he was wearing tan-colored clothing.

The burglar entered the home through an unlocked garage door that led into the basement, court documents said. Police also found he went into a vehicle in the garage because the dome light was on and he left behind a water bottle that the family didn't recognize.

Officers responded to Hansen Park at 6:15 a.m. after son Dan Schweiger said he tracked down one of the two phones taken from their house. Dan and brother Rick Schweiger found the man inside a restroom, then called police.

The suspect was no longer there when police arrived, but they did find a prescription pill bottle in the restroom's ceiling vent. The name on the bottle was Janice Schweiger.

Wilson ultimately was found in the 8200 block of West Fifth Avenue by one of the brothers, and police placed him under arrest.

Wilson had two phones taken from Schweiger's house, another prescription bottle belonging to Schweiger, $446 in cash, and a plastic baggie of white crystal shards and powder that he admitted was meth.

Wilson was being driven to the Benton County jail when an officer noticed him moving around in the back seat and heard some papers being crumpled. Police found four Gesa money envelopes pushed underneath the seat where Wilson had been sitting. A small capsule containing several pills also was found on the suspect.

Wilson claimed they belonged to him, but Schweiger identified the pill container and recognized her "distinct scribble mark" on one of the envelopes, documents said.

Wilson said he lives in Kennewick, but court documents also show an Irrigon, Ore., address.

He has been ordered to have no contact with Janice Schweiger while the case is pending.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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