On May 18, 2023, a jury found 29-year-old Bricen J. Steeneck, a convicted felon and one of two suspects that attempted to steal an excavator and trailer, guilty of Theft 1st Degree and Assault 2nd Degree. The theft occurred on October 30, 2022, in the 1300 block of N. Bowdish in Spokane Valley.
Through their investigation, Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives identified one suspect, the driver as Steeneck, and the second suspect, and passenger who was shot twice by the victim, as 45-year-old Robert J. Day.
Steeneck is currently scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2023. He remains in custody due to this guilty verdict and an open case where he was charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree.
Day is also in custody for a charge of Theft 1st Degree stemming from this theft on October 30, 2022.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney A. Krotoff and held in Spokane County Superior Court, with the Honorable Spokane County Superior Court Judge Marla L. Polin presiding.
Original Release sent October 31, 2022:
Suspects Attempt to Steal Flatbed Trailer, and Mini Excavator Victim Fires a Pistol at Suspects who Drove at Him
Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives are investigating an incident where a victim chased down two suspects attempting to steal the victim’s flatbed trailer and mini excavator. The victim tried to block the suspect’s vehicle, but the driver backed up and then drove toward the victim, causing him to fear for his safety, and he fired his pistol at the suspect’s truck. The victim continued to try and follow the suspect’s truck and stolen equipment, later found abandoned near N. Morton Street and E. North Avenue. Spokane Police Officers assisted with the search for the suspects, but they were not located. This investigation remains open and active.
On October 30, 2022, at approximately 7:30 am., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the report of a stolen flatbed trailer and mini excavator in the 1300 block of N. Bowdish Road in Spokane Valley. The caller stated her husband was in his truck chasing the suspected thieves, who attached their (suspect’s) truck to the trailer with the excavator and drove away.
A couple of minutes later, additional callers reported hearing gunshots in the 1500 block of N. Bowdish.
At approximately 8:00 am, callers reported a truck pulling a trailer/excavator was being chased near E. Wabash Avenue and N. Martin Street. The suspect’s truck and stolen trailer/excavator were located near N. Morton Street and E. North Avenue. Spokane Police Officers assisted, and a perimeter was quickly established.
A K9 Unit and UASs were used during the search, but the suspects were not located. A significant amount of blood was found on the passenger’s side floorboard of the suspect’s truck, and it is believed at least one of the suspects was injured during the incident.
Major Crimes Detectives responded to continue the investigation.
The suspect’s truck and the victim’s trailer, excavator, and handgun were all seized as evidence.
The victim was cooperative and later released without charges.
When located, the suspects could face several charges, including felony assault and theft.
Suspect #1 was described as a white male in his 40s, wearing a bright neon jacket.
Suspect #2 was described as a white male in his 40s, heavy set, wearing a red jacket, and limping (possibly shot in the leg).
Anyone with information regarding this incident or who can help identify the suspects is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10145295.
Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer