Gaming the GameStop system
Jan. 31 – Gig Harbor police officers responded to a theft at 3:56 p.m. to GameStop, 5500 Olympic Dr. NW. The caller told dispatch they believed an employee was stealing money. Officers made contact with the store’s loss-prevention manager and the suspected employee. GameStop is a store where customers can turn in video games for money, like a pawn shop, and the manager suspected the employee of entering nonexistent games into the computer system for trade, then pocketing the cash.
The employee admitted the manager was correct and he had been stealing money from the store for over seven weeks. The suspect said he was going “through hard times” and needed money for his children. Video surveillance showed the employee entering in nonexistent games, opening the register and then placing money in his pockets. The loss prevention manager said they suspected over $500 was stolen but there was a chance the suspect was responsible for another unaccounted $800. The employee was arrested for theft in the third degree.
Sampling the merchandise unlawfully
Jan. 31 – Gig Harbor police officers were dispatched to a report of shoplifting in progress at 6:15 p.m. on 43rd Avenue Court NW at Sample Sale. Police were informed two suspects were staging items outside the store near their car and were concealing more items from the store inside. When officers arrived, they contacted the store manager who showed officers a car luggage rack that was placed in an empty box by the suspects’ car. The manager told officers they believed the male suspect was carrying a knife on his hip. Officers entered the store and saw the two suspects within the “ski section” of the store. The officers contacted the suspects and placed them in handcuffs for the officers’ safety.
When officers questioned the two suspects about the items near their car, the female suspect said she had placed the luggage rack outside to see if it would fit in her car. The male suspect told police he was currently released on bail for drug charges and had known the female suspect had placed the luggage rack near her car. Police checked the suspects for other concealed items but only found a multitool, binoculars and flashlights.
Video surveillance showed the female suspect taking the luggage rack, placing it outside by her car without reading the box, checking her roof or trunk and without talking to store employees. Police issued the suspects trespassing admonishments and released them.
Breaking the law for petty change
Jan. 31 – A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched at 1 a.m. to Borgen Loop regarding a theft from a vehicle that night. When the officer arrived, they met the car owner who said sometime that night his 1998 Honda was broken into. The owner showed the officer damage to his rear windows, which were broken into with some type of tool. The owner told police, when he first saw his car, he noticed the trunk was popped open, the contents in his car had been rifled through and about $5 in loose change was stolen. The victim also noticed the driver seat was pulled forward, but no other evidence showed the suspect had attempted to steal the car. Although local surveillance cameras were nearby, they did not obtain any footage of the suspect.
Man in the woods found to be consistent trespasser
Jan. 31 – Gig Harbor police received a call from a resident around 9:30 a.m. about a man trespassing on her property. The woman said she lived at the end of Tarabochia Street and the suspect was seen in the wooded area by her house. She informed police the suspect was staring at her and was making her feel uncomfortable. Other women in the neighborhood also contacted police about the suspect staying in the wooded area and watching them too.
A day earlier, Gig Harbor police had made contact with the suspect, saying he was trespassing in the area and was required to leave. Police researched records and found the same suspect had trespassed in the area twice in 2017. Police also found arrest records regarding trespassing and an official trespassing letter to the suspect about the property from 2012. In the police report, the officer wrote the suspect has been known as a transient and has trespassed in multiple locations over the past 12 years. The officer wrote the suspect leaves behind trash, food, tarps and cigarettes where he camps.
Officers went to the victim’s property to search for the suspect. Officers located the suspect several blocks away at the intersection of Harborview Drive and Pioneer Way. The suspect admitted to walking through the wooded area earlier that morning. The man was placed under arrest for trespassing in the second degree.
A confusing message of vandalism
Feb. 3 – A Gig Harbor police officer responded to a vandalism call at 10:32 a.m. on Hill Avenue. The officer contacted the victim who was attempting to remove spray paint from her Ford truck. The truck had been tagged with black spray paint which said “no parking” on the driver side. There was also an image of a penis painted on the passenger-side rear fender. The woman said there were no security cameras in the apartment complex and that she was informed by her neighbors about the spray paint. The victim said she has no problems with her neighbors and doesn’t have any idea who would have vandalized her truck. The officer took photos of the truck for evidence and has suspended the case until more evidence or new leads are found.
Speeding drunk driver causes crash
Feb. 3 – Gig Harbor police officers responded to a car crash at 7:13 p.m. on Point Fosdick Drive NW. The crash involved two vehicles and a possible drunk driver. According to witness accounts and investigations, a male driver in a blue Jeep was traveling south on Point Fosdick Drive NW at a high rate of speed and a woman driving a gray Honda was also driving south on Point Fosdick Drive NW. The male driver failed to slow down and crashed into the rear of the Honda. The man lost control of his Jeep and drove off the road to the right and came to rest off the roadway. The Honda was hit so hard it was pushed forward into the intersection of Point Fosdick and Briarwood Lane.
Two witnesses interviewed by officers said they were walking south on Point Fosdick when they saw the Jeep driving at an excessive speed, seemingly over 80 mph, before striking the Honda and veering off the road.
When officers contacted the driver of the Jeep, they smelled a strong odor of alcohol. The male driver was unable to provide valid registration or proof of insurance for the Jeep. The officer placed the male driver in his patrol car and cited him for driving without insurance or registration. A second officer then asked the male driver about the crash. He told officers he had just dropped off his wife and child, then was headed to visit his parents at their home on Quail Run. He told officers he was driving south when another car pulled out in front of him. The officer noted the male driver had droopy, watery eyes, a flushed face and slurred speech. The officer then began field-sobriety tests on the suspect. At 7:54 p.m., the male driver took a Breathalyzer test which showed him having a blood alcohol content of .197 percent. The male driver was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol and was transported to the Gig Harbor Police Department.