DOUGLAS - Three suspects, including a Ephrata man, were arrested Tuesday morning in a raid of two Douglas homes carried out by SWAT teams from Douglas and Grant counties.
The raid stems from several months of ongoing investigation of a rash of thefts and burglaries in rural Douglas County.
Lamar J. Loomis, 37, of Ephrata, was arrested on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has investigated more than a dozen complaints of burglaries and thefts of metal, tools and farm implements, according to Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal. Numerous resident complaints led to a search warrant of two residences located in the 100 and 200 blocks of South Douglas Road, about 45 miles northwest of Ephrata.
Investigators had reason to believe convicted felons were residing in the homes, a mobile home and a large ranch consisting of a house and numerous barns and other buildings, Gjesdal said. They also believed the suspects staying at the ranch were armed.
SWAT teams were used to dissuade any armed suspects from resisting officers and to deal with any threat that could arise, Gjesdal said. Douglas County SWAT were able to gain entry to the ranch through a reinforced metal door with multiple locks.
In addition to Loomis, two other suspects were arrested during the search and large amount of stolen items and drugs were found, according to Gjedal. One suspect attempted to flee on a four-wheeler, but was apprehended by Grant County SWAT.
Cable L. Daling, 26, of Waterville, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a loaded rifle in a vehicle.
Theresa I. Deich, 23, of Waterville, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Investigators also found a makeshift laser device mounted to a rifle stock on a tripod, which appeared to be pointed at one of the RiverCom dispatch relay towers, according to Gjedal.
The list of stolen items recovered included a 1999 Chevy Blazer stolen from Yakima, another vehicle rebuilt with stolen parts, a rifle, power tools, camera and miscellaneous shop equipment.
Investigators also seized a large amount of suspected methamphetamine and there was evidence of possible meth lab operations and an old marijuana grow.
The investigation is ongoing and more arrests and charges are expected, according to Gjesdal.
Gjesdal added he is grateful to his deputies, records staff, the emergency management specialist and all of the outside agencies who assisted.
"I also want to thank the citizens who kept us informed of what was going on in their community and who encouraged and supported law enforcement in our efforts," Gjesdal said.
Personnel from the Douglas, Chelan, Grant, Okanogan and Adams County sheriff's offices, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee police departments, the State Patrol, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Humane Society Animal Control assisted in the search.