PROSSER -- A Yakima couple remain behind bars on allegations they tried to ram the truck of an armed Prosser farmer after he caught them stealing scrap metal and diesel fuel.
Lucas J. Tweeten, 32, and Margaux A. Vautour, 22, are being held in the Benton County jail on suspicion of second-degree robbery. Vautour also has an investigative hold for second-degree theft, according to online jail records.
The farmer -- who isn't named in a news release -- called 911 at 10:04 a.m. Friday to report a theft in progress in an orchard at Snipes and Griffin roads near Prosser.
He told dispatchers that he had found a man and a woman stealing scrap metal and confronted the suspects, who then ran to their Dodge truck and tried to take off.
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The farmer said he was seated in his vehicle when he needed to quickly move to avoid being rammed as the suspects got away, according to Benton County sheriff's Lt. Chuck Jones. The farmer reportedly pursued the Dodge truck on a farm road, only to have the suspects make a U-turn and appear to be heading straight at his vehicle.
The Dodge then stopped and the driver, later identified as Tweeten, got out and allegedly walked toward the farmer in an aggressive manner.
The farmer feared for his safety so he pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the suspects until deputies arrived, Jones said in the news release.
Tweeten and Vautour were in the process of stealing diesel fuel when the farmer found them, but further investigation over the weekend determined they also were after scrap metal, car parts and about $1,300 worth of brass sprinkler heads from Wyckoff Farms, the news release said.
Detectives suspect the duo are responsible for other thefts in the Yakima Valley and continue to investigate their alleged involvement.