U.S. Marine surprised suspect broke into Spokane Valley home

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 8:34 AM

SPOKANE -- The man accused of trying to steal from the home of a U.S. Marine's family made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon.

Christopher Schwanke, 43, had visible bruises on his face.  Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies arrested him on a charge of residential burglary.  The incident happened the morning of December 28 at a Spokane Valley home on East Desmet Road.

The homeowners, their son and daughter-in-law, arrived to find their front door open and their pets outside.  Investigators said the homeowner's son, a U.S. Marine, went in the house to find Schwanke.  Deputies said Alex Pohle pinned down the suspect with his father until they arrived.  Phole said he was amazed the suspect would try to steal from his home.
 
"Blew my mind, it really did," said Phole.  "We left at 10:10, 10:30 in the morning, broad daylight.  I was pretty amazed, actually."

Schwanke has a criminal history spanning more than 27 years in Spokane County.  Schwanke is expected to be back in court on January 8.

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