A Kennewick man was arrested after being found with a cellphone swiped during a home-invasion robbery last month, thanks to an "app" that helped the victim track his stolen iPhone, authorities said.
Mark Anthony Williams Jr., 31, is being held in the Benton County jail for investigation of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.
Kennewick police detectives arrested Williams on Thursday after tracking him to a home in the 1800 block of West Park Street, Benton County District Court documents said.
Detectives had been investigating a home-invasion robbery that occurred Dec. 16 at an apartment on North Arthur Street.
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The victims said three men forced their way into the apartment and ordered the couple who live there and a visiting friend onto the floor at gunpoint, documents said.
The couple's young child was taken from the father's arms and the victims were bound with duct tape, documents said.
The suspects demanded to know where the father kept money and marijuana, police said. The couple cooperated with the suspects out of fear for the child, documents said.
The suspects left with cash, medical marijuana, two cellphones and a watch.
One phone was an iPhone 4S, and the owner was able to remotely put a block on the phone, making it useless to the suspects, documents said.
The other phone was a HTC HD T-mobile phone, but the owner of that phone was not able to lock it.
The victim with the iPhone reported that the "app" on his phone was able to report the phone's location when the phone was turned on. On Dec. 24-25, the victim was alerted to four different locations where the phone was, documents said.
Kennewick detectives found a witness at one of the reported locations who said they saw Williams with a HTC HD phone and a new iPhone, documents said.
The witness said Williams said he found the iPhone but couldn't get it unlocked. The witness also said Williams always had the two phones with him, documents said.
After Williams was arrested, the HTC was found but required a pass code to use. Detectives contacted the victim, who provided the code to unlock the phone, documents said.
The iPhone was not located.
Williams allegedly told detectives he knew both phones were stolen and he was trying to sell them. He said he could not unlock the iPhone, so he threw it away along Highway 240, documents said.
Benton residents asked to check for break-ins
Residents in the west end of Benton County, including Benton City and Prosser, are being asked to check whether their cars, sheds or storage units were broken into Thursday night or early Friday morning.
Benton County sheriff's officials say they have recovered stolen property from suspects arrested early Friday, said Deputy Joe Lusignan.
The suspects allegedly were involved in a series of thefts, burglaries and vehicle prowls in Benton City, Prosser and possibly the Sunnyside and Grandview areas, he said.
Detectives are now looking for victims who had numerous older coins or paper currency swiped between midnight Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, Lusignan said.
Anyone missing property or who had property tampered with in the west end of the county is asked to call the sheriff's office through the non-emergency dispatch number, 509-628-0333.
Man accused of DUI after driving through fence
A 23-year-old Pasco man is accused of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he drove through a fence and ended up down an embankment on Interstate 82.
The 11:50 p.m. Thursday crash happened in Grandview and sent a 21-year-old Grandview woman to the hospital, the Washington State Patrol said.
Jose A. Gomez was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette north on Puterbaugh Road when he missed a left curve and went through a Department of Transportation fence, troopers said.
Gomez's car went down an embankment and onto the eastbound lane of I-82.
The passenger in his car, Tegan R. Vangundy-Carlson, 21, of Grandview, was treated at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, troopers said.
Both Vangundy-Carlson and Gomez were wearing seat belts.
Gomez, who also was injured, was booked into the Yakima County jail on suspicion of vehicular assault and possession of controlled substance.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Kennewick man held for alleged sexual assault
A 26-year-old Kennewick man is being held in the Benton County jail without bail for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl before Christmas.
Kennewick police were called to Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco when the girl was taken there after she complained of pain when she urinated, court documents said.
The girl reported her private area hurt because a man known to the family touched her there, documents said.
Police identified the suspect as Gregorio Alaniz and arrested him Thursday.
Alaniz allegedly admitted to improperly touching the girl but said he threw up in the bathroom after it happened and was sorry.
Alaniz is being held for investigation of first-degree rape of a child.