Tri-City Herald driver helps police make arrest

Tri-City Herald driver helps police make arrest
RICHLAND POLICE NEWS RELEASE -- On January 20, 2014 at about 4:15 AM a Tri City Herald newspaper carrier was in the area of the 700 block of Strange Drive and observed a Dodge Caravan parked with the lights on and doors open. The van was parked in front of a house the carrier knew was vacant but she observed lights going on and off. The news carrier watched two males exit the address on Strange, enter the van and leave the area. She called 911 and followed the van at a safe distance.

The news carrier followed the van until Richland Police could make contact near the area of Steptoe and Columbia Park Trail. A stop was made on SR-240 and the two male occupants were taken into custody, Michael A. Gaines, 29, from Pasco, and Graciano Renero-Rodriquez, 26, also from Pasco.

A number of objects were in plain view in the van that appear to have been taken from a house under construction. Included was a wooden door, a BBQ grill, hand tools and cordless drill. The van was impounded so that a search warrant could be applied for at a later time. Both subjects denied being involved in the construction trades and had no explanation for items found inside the van.

Officers returned to the house on Strange and found evidence of a burglary there and in the 200 block of Tiger Lane where it appeared some of the items were stolen from.

The Benton County Prosecutor was contacted and authorized a 72 hour hold on both suspects. They were booked into the Benton County jail.

A search warrant will be served on the suspect vehicle.