The manager at a Puyallup public storage business noticed motion lights Monday and went to inspect. He found a hole in the fence and locks cut on 18 units.
Police responded and discovered Chad Winder, 27, and Christina Wood, 31, hiding in the woods outside the facility. Several items later found to be stolen were stashed in the wooded area.
The pair directed officers to Shane Sweetman, who they said approached them Monday, told them he’d cut a hole in the storage business’ fence and asked them to help him haul away stolen items.
Sweetman, 33, was arrested at his home in Graham. A backpack containing gloves, a mask and two pairs of loppers were found in the trunk of his Ford Mustang convertible, according to court documents.
Winder and Wood on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to second-degree burglary. Winder was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bail; Wood was released on $5,000 bail.
Pierce County prosecutors charged Sweetman with second-degree burglary and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because he was found with a rifle.
A prior assault conviction prohibits him from possessing weapons.
Sweetman was ordered jailed on $750,000 bail.
Prosecutors said they may file more charges as the investigation continues.
About half the victims at the public storage unit have been identified and were able to identify possessions taken in the burglary.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653