Kennewick police arrest man linked to burglary

A 53-year-old Kennewick man wanted in connection with a break-in at a Kennewick business Sunday was arrested Monday by police.

Robert W. Lacroix was featured in a Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers "wanted" bulletin Monday morning, but by noon, a Kennewick officer had found and arrested him, authorities said.

Lacroix was being sought in connection with a burglary at Classic Collectibles and Estates, 209 N. Washington St.

The owners happened to show up at their business and saw a man trying to break into a shed within their fenced compound, police said.

Lacroix was identified as a possible suspect. He also is suspected in two other commercial burglaries over the weekend, police said.

Richland man arrested for burglary, assault

A Richland man was jailed Saturday after reportedly letting himself into his former girlfriend's apartment while she was sleeping and choking her.

Richland police responded at 8:45 a.m. to the apartments in the 1600 block of George Washington Way after the 35-year-old woman called police.

She said she was sleeping when Steven Renee Caston, 39, let himself in. She tried to get him to leave and a physical confrontation ensued, said Capt. Mike Cobb.

He claimed she assaulted him unprovoked, but Cobb said that doesn't appear to be supported by evidence. Officers did see marks on her neck from where he allegedly choked her, and called medics.

The couple have five children in common. When a daughter tried to get him to stop hurting her mother, he pushed her, causing her to fall backward, Cobb said.

Caston was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary, second-degree domestic violence assault, third-degree assault of a child and violating a no-contact order.

Police investigating shooting in Kennewick

Kennewick police are investigating a shooting overnight Sunday in the 2000 block of South Olympia Street.

Homeowners called officers after waking up and finding a bullet hole through the front windshield of their vehicle and several more bullets that had been shot through their garage door, police said.

The residents said they heard a car with loud music playing drive through their neighborhood around midnight and also heard several bangs.

At the time, they didn't know what the bangs were, but realized that it must have been gunshots, police said.

There is no known connection to the victim's home with gang associations or other circumstances that would indicate gang-type targeting, police said.

No one was hurt and there are no suspects.

Kitchen fire destroys Kennewick mobile home

A Kennewick home was destroyed late Sunday by a kitchen fire that started on the stove with cooking oil and appeared to be extinguished, but turned into a roof fire after smoldering in a concealed space in the attic.

Firefighters were called to the mobile home at 2206 N. Nevada Court around 8:30 p.m., when the stove fire started, said Kennewick Fire Marshal Mark Yaden.

The flames spread to the ceiling, but the resident was able to put out the fire before fire crews arrived.

Firefighters still responded and evaluated the wall and everything looked good, Yaden said. About an hour later, however, a fire broke out in the attic.

"The fire traveled up the metal vent for the stove and ... got into the attic in a concealed space," Yaden said, adding that it smoldered in the insulation.

Kennewick fire crews, with help from Richland firefighters, were on scene most of the night battling the blaze.

"It was real tough," he said. "It's a low attic area ... and a very tight space."

The residents were renting and the property owner is out of the state on vacation, he said. The damage is estimated at $100,000 for loss of contents plus the structure, which is expected to be a total loss, Yaden said.

There were no injuries to the residents or firefighters.

Police caution not to leave cars running

With temperatures in the morning dipping into the teens, drivers may be tempted to leave cars running, so it's nice and warm when they get inside.

But police are reminding motorists not to do that -- it can end up costing you a fine for leaving a vehicle unattended.

"More importantly, you are practically giving your vehicle away to a thief if you leave it running and unattended," said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin.

Lattin said a car can be left running in a driveway or parking lot as long as it locked. A car can be left running on a street, driveway or parking lot if it has a properly installed remote starter system, he said.

Through September, Kennewick police have investigated 114 reports of stolen cars, an increase of 27 percent over last year, he said.

"Please help us keep thieves out of your vehicle by ensuring that your car is not left unattended with the motor running this winter season," he said.

State Patrol warns people against drowsy driving

Washington State Patrol troopers are imploring drivers to "wake up" to the dangers of drowsy driving.

In 2010, there were 17 people killed and 74 seriously injured in the state because motorists were either drowsy or had fallen asleep while driving, troopers said.

Nationally, drowsy driving resulted in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 collisions each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"It always breaks my heart to hear that someone was killed or injured because a driver fell asleep at the wheel," said Chief John Batiste. "These are totally preventable deaths and collisions."

-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com