Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Mail Theft Suspects Arrested

Arrested: Dustin A. Stacks 21 year of age male, Richland resident

Arrested: Brittany E. Tilton 21 year of age female, Richland resident

Members of the Richland Police Department had received reports of FedEx and UPS mail packages being stolen from residences in Richland. The victims were expecting packages, but when the packages did not arrive on their delivery date, theft reports were made to the police.

At one of the victim’s residences an empty box, from another mail theft victim, was left with a receipt inside that led to the identification of one of the suspects, Dustin A. Stacks. Stacks admitted to stealing packages along with his girlfriend, Brittany Tilton. The suspects admitted to stealing approximately 12 packages, between Richland and West Richland, over the last two weeks.

On 12/10/11, at approx. 0225 hrs., members of the Richland Police Department Street Crimes Unit (SCU) assisted patrol officers execute a search warrant in the 1600 block of Van Giesen St. The warrant was in reference to the packages that had been stolen. Stolen property, suspected narcotics and several items of mail were found inside the residence.

Both suspects were booked into the Benton County jail on felony Theft charges (Second Degree Theft). The incident has been referred to the Benton County Prosecutor's office for review as well.

If you’ve been a victim of mail theft, or had a package stolen from your residence, call the Richland Police Department at (509) 628-0333.

For additional information, contact Cpt. Mike Cobb at 509-942-7362

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Suspect Arrested in Richland Forgery and ID Theft Case

Arrested: Wilkinson, Justin; 33 year of age male, Richland Resident
Charges: Forgery, ID Theft

Suspect: Vinson, Stephanie; 40 year of age female, Richland Resident

On 11-30-11 members of the Richland PD Street Crimes Unit (SCU) began investigating a fraud case. Two subjects, later identified as Wilkinson and Vinson, had used a counterfeit check to purchase a gift card at the Les Schwab tire store on Stevens Drive. The gift card was later used to purchase tires. Information was developed that led SCU officers to contact Wilkinson and Vinson at Wilkinson's Richland apartment.

As officers made contact, they found Wilkinson and Vinson engaged in producing counterfeit checks. They detained the two and applied for a search warrant. A search of the premise resulted in the recovery of counterfeit checks (drawn on personal accounts), computers and multiple copies of identities which had been stolen from other people.

After consulting the Benton County Prosecutor's Office, Wilkinson was booked into the Benton County jail. Vinson will have her involvement reviewed and a charge determination made at a future date.

For additional information, contact Capt. Mike Cobb at 509-942-7362.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 Arrested New White Bluffs School

Arrested: Yeater, Darren G.; 21 year of age male, Richland resident
Charge: Felon in possession of a firearm

Arrested: Butler, Sarah R.; 18 year of age female, Kennewick address
Charge: Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with the intent to deliver


On November 16 at approximately 12:30 PM personnel from the Richland Police Department and Benton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of the 4200 block of Cobblestone Ct in response to a call of a burglary in progress. The resident had come home from a trip and found two people in her house that were not authorized to be there. The victim advised that she had eventually been able to identify one of the subjects as her son, Darren Yeater but that Yeater did not have permission to enter her home in her absence. As a precaution (due to close proximity), White Bluffs elementary school was notified of the occurrence and elected to go into a lockdown status for approximately 15 minutes.

As officers entered the residence to secure it, the victim stated that she had found brass knuckles and bullets in the room Yeater was occupying. Police also observed a revolver, with the hammer cocked, sitting on a dresser. Next to the revolver was a pipe of the type that is normally used for smoking methamphetamine.

Yeater and Butler were both detained as the investigation into the incident continued. Butler initially claimed the pistol that had been found. She stated that she carried it because she deals drugs on the street and needed it for protection.

The victim confirmed that Yeater does not have a key to the house and is not to be there when she is not home. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence and it appears as if the two suspects may have entered via an unlocked garage bay door.

A search warrant was applied for and granted. The search warrant revealed that the revolver found on the dresser was a .22 caliber loaded with 6 rounds. Near where Yeater and Butler had been sitting officers found a bag containing a scale, 15 grams of marijuana, 11 grams of methamphetamine, and 12 pills of hydrocodone. In a second bag officers found small plastic baggies of the type commonly used to package drugs for sale on the street. A third bag was located that contained fifty .22 caliber pistol rounds.

A gray backpack was located and inside the backpack officers found 3 hypodermic needles, gift cards, cell phones and a camera. Finding these types of items in the quantity and location they were in lead the officers to believe that they may be stolen. Butler confirmed that she had exchanged the items in her possession for drugs.

Registration paperwork was found that belonged to a Volkswagen that had been reported stolen on November 14, 2011.

Contact was made with the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office. They authorized a 72 hour hold on Yeater and Butler for the above listed charges. After the investigation is complete they will review the case and determine if any additional charges would be appropriate.

Stating that he was under the influence of methamphetamine, Yeater asked for medical assistance. He was transported to Kadlec hospital for medical clearance. After being cleared both Yeater and Butler were booked into the Benton County jail.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arrest Made in Ryder Morrison Homicide

Arrested: Jacobsen, Kelli Ann; 26 year of age female, Kennewick address
Charge: 1st Degree Manslaughter

On June 22, 2011 the Richland Police Department began investigating circumstances surrounding the death of 12 month old Ryder Morrison. At the time of Ryder's death Kelli Jacobsen was employed as a nanny.

Jacobsen was present on June 22 and called 911 to request an ambulance. Initial reports provided by Jacobsen to 911 personnel indicated that Ryder had fallen and hit the back of his head. Richland Fire paramedics transported Ryder to Kadlec hospital. Attending medical personnel said that the explanation of falling was not consistent with the presenting injury.

Due to bleeding in the brain, a neurosurgeon was called in to perform surgery. Ryder died as a result of his injuries.

An autopsy was performed. In addition, three other experts in the field were consulted, and provided Ryder’s medical and autopsy records. The report received from those experts found “Given his reported normal level of function reported by mother and the sitter during mother’s lunch break, his injuries almost certainly occurred after mother returned to work from that break”. The doctors also found that on the day of his death, Ryder sustained multiple bruises, severe intracranial and eye bleeding and neck muscle injury. They found that diffuse subdural bleeding such as Ryder sustained normally results from severe whiplash events that can also cause neck muscle and spinal cord bleeding. They concluded that the injuries were not consistent with the reported fall history and that the cause of death was closed head injury.

The results of the investigation have been reviewed by Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller. Mr. Miller filed an Information in Superior Court today charging Jacobsen with Manslaughter in the First Degree. The Information alleges that Jacobsen recklessly caused the death of Ryder Morrison by inflicting abusive head trauma. The crime was aggravated because Jacobsen knew or should have known that the victim was particularly vulnerable and incapable of resistance due to extreme youth.
Jacobsen, along with her attorney, turned herself in at the Benton County Jail. She is being held on $100,000.00 bail.

A court hearing is scheduled today for 1:30 PM.

Contact Capt. Mike Cobb, 509-942-7362, for additional information.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Richland Police Investigating Death of 34 Year Old Woman

On October 25, 2011 at 10:00 p.m., Richland Police were dispatched to a vehicle accident in the parking lot of Gesa Credit Union on Goethals Drive. When officers arrived, they discovered a 1978 Ford Pickup driving backwards in circles. The truck was unoccupied. However, Richland resident Melissa T. Moone was found lying in the parking lot. She appeared to have been struck by the pickup. Moone was taken to Kadlec Medical Center where she was later pronounced deceased. Moone was 34 years old.

Accident Reconstructionists were call to the scene to investigate the incident. Moone had borrowed the truck from friends. It is believed that Moone was alone at the time of the accident. Investigators believe this to be an accident and there is no immediate indication of criminal activity, however Richland Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident. The Benton County Coroner's Office is also assisting in the investigation.

For Additional Inforamtion: Contact Sergeant Mike Harrison 509-942-7367.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vehicle vs. Pedestrian Injury Accident

INVOLVED: Templeton, George, L, 58 yoa, West Richland


On 10/20/11 at about 1933 hr RPD officers responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian injury accident at Thayer and Longfitt. The vehicle was traveling north on Thayer when it struck a juvenile female who was in the roadway. The female was subsequently transported to Kadlec ER, where she is undergoing surgery. The driver of the car has fully cooperated with the Richland Police Department in the investigation. Due to the nature of the injuries, an accident reconstructionist from the department was called in to complete the accident portion of the investigation.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Felony Assault Suspect Tased


Flores, Joanna, V., 34, Richland
Flores, Juaquin, J., 33, Richland

CHARGES: Assault 3rd Degree/Police Officer


On 10/15/11 at about 0224 hr Richland Police Officers responded to a report of a domestic assault in the 1300 block of Symons. Upon arrival an officer saw two males leaving the involved residence and told them to stop. Both males refused to obey the officer and were quickly joined by a female. A second officer arrived and told the three to stop, but they still refused and approached the officer. The officer became involved in a physical altercation with one of the males, Juaquin Flores, who was subsequently Tased. As that altercation began, Juaquin's wife, Joanna, came off the side walk at the officer. The second officer gave her commands to Joanna to stay back, but she refused and also became involved in a physical altercation with that officer, scratching him in the face. Both Juaquin and Joanna were placed into custody and booked into the Benton County Jail on charges of assault 3rd degree on a police officer.


Friday, October 14, 2011

4 Arrested for Area Vehicle Prowls

Arrested: Brown, Aaron A., 18 year of age male, Richland resident
Charges: Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Possession of Stolen Property, Vehicle Prowling

Arrested: Sakach, Devin M., 19 year of age male, West Richland resident
Charges: Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Possession of Stolen Property, Vehicle Prowling

Arrested: Johnson, Hunter H., 19 year of age male, Richland resident
Charges: Possession of Stolen Property, Vehicle Prowling

Arrested: 17 year of age male, West Richland resident
Charge: Possession of Stolen Property


Since July 1, 2011 there have been over 200 vehicle prowls in Richland. Many of the crimes involved the theft of electronics, cameras, sunglasses, firearms and computer equipment.

On October 12, 2011 a backpack was found in the yard of the 100 block of Rosemary St. Inside was a pistol, drugs, and a citation issued to Aaron Brown. The owner of the stolen firearm lives in the area of south Richland and had been the victim of a car prowl.

Information provided to the Richland Police crime prevention officer was passed on to members of the RPD Street Crimes Unit (SCU). SCU members contacted Brown and later Sakach and Johnson. Information gathered from the three criminal suspects led officers to a cache of stolen property hidden in the desert outside of West Richland. 6 other backpacks were recovered along with iPods, sunglasses, phone charging cords, cameras, flashlights, earphones, an e-reader and other personal property taken in car prowls throughout Richland and west Kennewick. The suspects have claimed responsibility for over 45 incidents of vehicle prowling.

In addition to the pistol originally recovered, SCU officers have also obtained a stolen .22 cal rifle and a stolen .12 gauge shotgun. Three search warrants have been served on vehicles associated with the suspects with stolen property being recovered from each. A West Richland juvenile has also been taken into custody and has been linked to the thefts.

$943.00 in cash was seized as proceeds of drug transactions. Scales, marijuana and some prescription medications have been seized and the sale of illicit drugs is still being investigated.

The investigation is continuing and it is believed that additional pieces of stolen property will be recovered.

After consulting with the Benton County Prosecutor's Office, the adults were booked into the Benton County jail on the listed charges.

Contact Capt. Mike Cobb, 942-7362, for additional information.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Police Investigate Assault At Preschool

Arrested: Miller, Lucas Anthony, 21 yoa, Kennewick resident

Charge: Booked into the Benton County Jail on a felony investigation for sexual assault against a child

The Richland Police Department is investigating a child abuse incident that occurred at Kids World Daycare, in Richland. A child who attends the daycare disclosed to their parents that inappropriate physical contact by staff member Lucas Miller had occurred at the daycare. The parents notified Kids World on August 31, 2011. Mr. Miller was no longer employed with Kids World as of September 1, 2011. Kids World staff notified Child Protective Services, who then notified the Richland Police Department.

The incident is being investigated by Richland Police Detectives. On October 5, 2011, Miller was arrested and booked into the Benton County Jail for sexual assault of a child.

The Richland Police Department met with parents whose children may have had contact with Mr. Miller in an effort to determine if there are additional victims. Resources were offered to those concerned and involved.

Agencies assisting in this investigation are Child Protective Services, the Sexual Assault Resource Center, Division of Licensing Resources (DSHS) and a child forensic interviewer (Kids Haven).

Mr. Miller was employed at Kids World April 2011 through August 2011. He had prior employment with Children’s Garden Montessori Preschool in Richland, November 2008 through August 2009 and was a lifeguard at the Tri-City Court Club in Kennewick, May 2009 through March 2011. Mr. Miller was also a summer counselor for Campfire USA, 2007 - 2009.

There is no information at this time to suggest that crimes were committed at Miller’s previous employers. However the investigation continues. The Benton County Prosecutor’s office is reviewing this case for filing of formal charges.

The Richland Police Department has established a phone line for concerned citizens requesting contact or having information regarding this case. The line will be monitored by detectives and they will respond to messages within 1 – 2 working days. Messages may be left at 509-942-7371.

There is no additional information at this time.

For additional information: contact Captain Mike Cobb 942-7362

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Subject Arrested on 6 Counts of Burglary

Arrested: Neff, David M; 25 year of age male, Richland resident
Charges: 6 counts Burglary 2nd Degree

On September 1, 2011 at approximately 1:00 AM police were dispatched to 953 Stevens Drive on a call of a burglary that had just occurred. Officers arrived at Columbia Basin Imaging and found that it had been entered and that several items had been removed. There was physical evidence at the scene of the burglary that indicated the suspect may have been injured during the crime.

A K-9 unit was called in and attempted a track that was ultimately unsuccessful in locating a suspect. Several hours after the initial report officers saw Neff walking in the area. He had a bandaged arm and appeared to have been injured recently. After contact was made it was discovered that the soles of his shoes matched a very similar pattern found at the burglary scene. Additional physical evidence was discovered that linked Neff to the Columbia Basin Imaging incident.

A check from Columbia Basin Imaging was found in Neff’s pocket after he was arrested.

Investigators have linked Neff to 6 other commercial burglaries in Richland that have occurred in August. A search warrant served on a home he was staying at recovered computers, electronics, a camera and cell phone stolen from businesses.

Additional evidence is being analyzed to determine his involvement in a minimum of 4 other cases.

After consulting with the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office, Neff was booked into the Benton County jail on the above charges.

Additional information will be released as it is received.

Contact Capt. Mike Cobb at 942-7362 with questions.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shooting Investigation - Update 6-7-11

James R. Sams, 33 year old male was taken into custody on 6-5-11 at about 0115hrs after being stopped driving a stolen vehicle in the area of Jadwin and Aaron. An officer stopped the vehicle and Sams exited the driver’s side. Someone inside the car then drove away. The officer did not pursue. Later the stolen car was found in the area of Thayer and Cottonwood unoccupied.

Elizabeth A. McCoy, a 22 year old female, was contacted shortly after and taken into custody after being linked to the crime. The investigation revealed that James Schultz was the person driving from the scene.

As the investigation stands today, several points have come to light which can be shared:

-Investigators have discovered a second handgun that was found inside the suspect vehicle

-Investigators have discovered two spent shell casings inside the suspect vehicle. The shell casings do not match the caliber of ammo that any of the officers were carrying

-A witness has reported seeing James Schultz with a handgun in the vehicle just prior to officers firing their weapons

-A witness has reported hearing a gunshot originating from within the suspect vehicle just prior to officers firing their weapons

This information to date is based on an evolving investigation. Information obtained could always be updated at a later date.

Point of contact is Captain Jeff Taylor, 942-7363

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shooting Investigation Update

Deceased: Schultz, James Dean, 27 years old. Address Unknown

During the early morning hours of 6-5-11, Richland Police investigated several stolen vehicle reports. During those investigations, James Schultz was named as a possible suspect. On 6-5-11 at 0629hrs, officers were dispatched to the area of 1400 Alice St a report of a Suspicious Person. It was believed that the call could be associated with the earlier stolen vehicle. Officers responded to the area and found a gold colored sedan occupied by 5 people, including James Schultz. Five Richland Officers were present during the call. During the course of the contact with the suspects in the vehicle shots were fired. James Schultz died at the scene. The occupants of the vehicle were interviewed by investigators from the Special Investigations Unit. All but one was later released. Rolando Vargas, a 21 year old male was booked into the Benton County Jail for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm first degree.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) along with the WSP Crime Lab Response team processed the scene where the shooting took place. A handgun, not belonging to involved officers, was recovered at the location.

SIU is handling the investigation involving the shooting.

Richland PD Detectives are handling the investigations pertaining to the stolen vehicles.

The five involved officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice.

Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

Point of contact: Capt. Jeff Taylor, 509-942-7363

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shooting Investigation

On 6-5-11 at about 0629hrs, Richland Police Officers were dispatched to the 1400 Block of Alice St in Richland for a report of a Suspicious Person. Officers responded to the area and located the suspect in a vehicle in the area of Cottonwood and Thayer. After confronting the male, shots were fired. The male suspect was hit and died at the scene. The Tri-City Special Investigation Unit has been called out and is investigating the incident. More information will follow at a later time.
Capt Jeff Taylor 942-7363