One adult male and four teenage boys have been charged by the Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney with crimes related to the Aug. 10 break-in and robbery of a downtown White Salmon business.
Charges in the case range from theft of firearms, felon in possession of a firearm, burglary, theft, criminal trespass and malicious mischief.
Among those charged was Eddie T. Lagroone, 20, of White Salmon. Charges also are pending against a second adult male, age 19, who is currently serving time in an Oregon jail, and a still-at-large fifth juvenile male.
At around 3:09 on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 10, seven male subjects allegedly were involved in smashing the front window of Miller Sports and the state liquor store at 150 E. Jewett, and entering the premises. Bingen-White Salmon Police Chief Tony Domish described it as "a smash and grab" operation. (A neighbor in the building heard glass breaking and called 9-1-1, Domish noted.)
"Four of them went in, and they were inside the store less than three minutes," Domish said. "One of our officers was here in the office at the time, heard the call and responded right away, so there was a very small delay between the call and his response. But they'd cleared out before he could get there."
The perpetrators allegedly took three handguns and 17 bottles of alcohol with them, but not ammunition.
Domish said investigators "got our first break" on Sunday, Aug. 14, when a citizen called to report seeing four males -- an adult and three boys -- playing with handguns near a NW Loop Road business.
Officers rolled to the scene and made contact with the individuals, who surrendered the three firearms and themselves without incident.
During their investigation, officers also learned that the four individuals had been in a local park earlier in the day where one of them got into an argument with another person.
Domish said that verbal altercation was significant because a loaded gun was present. "It could have turned into a tragic event but, with good police work, that was avoided."
Additionally, police developed through investigation information that two of the juveniles accused in the Aug. 10 crimes may also be responsible for last year's liquor store break-in and theft of alcohol. Domish said the two are facing burglary charges related to those crimes.