A Benton City man pleaded innocent Wednesday to allegations that he sold a stolen computer back to its original owner because he needed money.
Craig Lyle Nunamaker, 25, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with one count of first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Trial is set for Jan. 17.
Prosecutors allege that Nunamaker first contacted Douglas Johnson on Sept. 28, claiming he had a computer that had been stolen from Johnson's business in a burglary two years ago.
The caller told Johnson he was in need of money and would give him the computer back for $100, court documents stated. After the call, Johnson used a feature on his phone to find out the phone number of the anonymous caller.
Then on Oct. 17, a man came into Johnson's business, saying he previously had called about the stolen computer.
The man again offered to sell Johnson his own computer, documents stated. He gave only the first name of Craig but handed over his cellphone number.
That number reportedly matched the one the victim retrieved after the September call.
The victim then called police, who matched the number in a police database to Nunamaker, court documents stated. Officers then got $100 in pre-recorded money and arranged a time for Johnson to make the exchange.
Officers watched via surveillance as Johnson gave Nunamaker $60 of the buy money for his computer, documents said. Nunamaker then was arrested and the money seized.
His prior convictions reportedly include second-degree theft and second-degree burglary.
Kennewick woman's burglary trial is Jan. 23
A Kennewick woman faces trial Jan. 23 on charges that she helped steal items from a Richland storage unit.
Ricci L. Vogel, 37, pleaded innocent to second-degree burglary in the Oct. 7 incident.
Her co-defendant, Travis Floyd Richardson, also is charged with second-degree burglary. The trial for the30-year-old Kennewick man is set for Dec. 12.
According to police and court documents, a Richland officer watched a car turn into the Aaron Drive storage units and learned the registered owner of the car had a suspended driver's license.
The officer found Richardson and Vogel moving tools and other items inside one unit and loading the items into their car, documents stated. The officer reportedly was looking for Vogel's son, who had several warrants out for his arrest.
Richardson claimed the car belonged to a relative, and the pair immediately stopped loading and quickly left, court documents stated.
The officer then ran a check on Richardson and found he had an outstanding felony warrant and was wanted for questioning in connection to some Kennewick storage unit burglaries, documents said.
Later that day, the storage unit's owner called police to say valuables worth $828 were missing. The officer who had responded to the storage complex earlier reported seeing those same items in the car being loaded by Richardson and Vogel.
Richardson was arrested the next week.