Man accused of burglarizing evacuated Medical Lake homes denies stealing anything, girlfriend admits she did
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Man accused of burglarizing evacuated Medical Lake homes denies stealing anything, girlfriend admits she did

Jul 18, 2023

SPOKANE, Wash. - A man and woman from Tacoma are in the Spokane County Jail tonight for residential burglary for allegedly stealing from homes during the Gray Fire evacuations, yet one of the suspects denies stealing anything at all.

“It’s a bogus charge and Spokane sucks for it,” Suspect Matthew Parsons said. “I did not steal one thing."

On August 21, 38-year-old Matthew Parsons and his girlfriend, 37-year-old Diane Guerrero, were arrested by Spokane Police for burglarizing an evacuated Medical Lake home.

On Wednesday, Parsons sat down one-on-one with NonStop Local KHQ Reporter Ava Wainhouse to give his side of the story; he said he and Guerrero were on their way out of town headed home to Tacoma when they got a flat tire.

“We were trying to find someone to help us out with some air, and we got arrested,” he said.

Court documents say Parsons was standing outside an evacuated home, with the flat tire, when neighbors saw his girlfriend, Guerrero, exit the home holding something in her hands, which she proceeded to put in the couple’s Blue Audi.

Witnesses told police they were suspicious because they knew the owner was not home and no one was supposed to be on the property.

When the owner returned, he reported to police that the back door of the residence was unlocked, and cabinets in the kitchen were open and had seemed to have been rummaged through - which is not how the owner left the home.

Guerrero denied stealing anything from that specific house but did admit to police that she stole other items during their trip. This includes a weed wacker from someone’s yard and an amazon package.

"She obviously had other things up her sleeve,” Parsons said.

Parsons said he has no recollection of Guerrero stealing the garden tool but does recall the amazon package.

“She didn’t even know what they ordered,” Parsons said. “She figured nobody else was going to get it, the fire was going to burn it down, so just take it.”

Parsons said he was disappointed in his partner for taking the package but didn’t try and stop her because she would get “mad at him.”

“That was her call and I kind of just stepped back,” Parsons said.

Parsons told KHQ if the two get out of jail, he will not be ending the relationship, even though Guerrero did commit a crime.

“I’m not going to hate her over something so small, or I guess it’s not that small,” Parsons said.

On August 21, when the two were pulled over by Spokane Police, court documents say officers saw items in the back of the suspects’ vehicle that matched descriptions of stolen items. That includes a drill, which Parsons said was already his.

While he denies stealing anything last week, Parsons made it clear in our interview that he has stolen before; he has been arrested and incarcerated a number of times.

“I’ve been arrested for millions of things, I’m a ten-time felon,” he said. “This isn’t where I want to be with eight kids.”

Those kids, ranging from two to 18 years old. Parsons said by being in jail in Spokane, he is missing out on their lives back at home on the west side of the state.

When asked if he has changed, Parsons said he has. However, that does not change his criminal history. According to him, many of his felony convictions are for theft. But – he still stands strong in his statement that he did not come to Spokane, or Medical Lake, to steal anything during the Gray Fire.

“They booked me on stolen stupid crap that I didn’t steal, and I think it’s crazy they got me in here on charges that can possibly end me up in prison,” Parsons said.

Both Parsons and Guerrero remain in the Spokane County Jail for residential burglary. Their trials are set to begin in October.

Currently in Spokane

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