Gig Harbor police reports for the week of March 29

Mail thief strikes again, neighbors frustrated

March 19 – A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched at 8:20 p.m. to a theft call on Arrowhead Drive. The officer contacted the victim who said her mail had been stolen from her mailbox.

The victim told police she had stopped her mail from being delivered to her house because there had been a string of mail-related thefts. The victim told the officer she heard Gig Harbor police had arrested the “ringleader” of the mail theft so she started having her mail delivered at her house and signed up for a new program with the United States Postal Service which lets residents see what is being delivered to their home. She was supposed to receive 10 pieces of mail but when she came home, there was no mail in her box. The victim told police her neighbors also complained about having their mail stolen again.

The officer advised the victim to place cameras on her property that face the mailbox. There are no leads in the investigation.

Member of Responsible Taxation of Citizens has campaign signs stolen

March 20 — Gig Harbor police contacted Randy Boss, a founding member of Responsible Taxation of Citizens, of a recent theft of campaign signs. Boss had called in to report the signs missing on March 18 at 7:50 a.m. Boss told police he had received information about a male and female suspects stealing his campaign signs he placed on Hollycroft Street and Soundview Drive. Boss called a second time because there was an additional five or six signs stolen and he wanted to file an official police report. Boss said he placed the signs as opposition to the upcoming Peninsula School District bond ballot measure in April. Boss valued each sign at $5 each plus labor to install them. He estimated 25 signs were stolen.

While police were investigating, they came upon a post on the “Gig Harbor Town Talk” Facebook page where an unnamed resident posted a photo of a large group of the stolen signs in a pile out by the public boat launch on Randal Drive Northwest. The officer then went to the boat launch where they found 27 of the stolen signs. The officer contacted Boss who said he had also seen the photo on Facebook. The officer recovered the signs and dropped them off at the victim’s home. There were no known suspects when the officer made his report.

Vehicle prowler strikes twice in one night

March 21 — Gig Harbor police responded to a call at 6:59 p.m. at the Shell Station on Wollochet Drive Northwest for a vehicle prowl report.

When the officer arrived they contacted the victim who said she parked her car near the gas station entrance, and when she returned she could see her front-passenger window had been smashed in.

Shell Station employees were able to recover a video of the incident from security camera footage. The video shows a dark passenger car pull up to the right of the victim’s vehicle. A young man smashed out the window, took the victim’s purse and drove out of the parking lot toward the freeway. The victim told police the purse did not have anything of value inside it and the gas station employees were able to provide video of the incident as evidence.

At 7:06 p.m. that night, officers received a similar call about a vehicle prowl at the Applebees on Point Fosdick Drive.

When the officer arrived they contacted a second victim who said she parked her car on the east side of the restaurant. When she returned she saw her passenger-side window was smashed in, an almost identical report as the one made earlier at the Shell Station. The second victim told police a beach bag was taken from the vehicle. The bag contained a table worth approximately $100 and an old Samsung cellphone. No witnesses or suspects were located at the scene.

Group of teens skip school, go on a shoplifting spree

March 22 — A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched to Kohls on Point Fosdick Drive at 10:52 a.m. for a report of three juvenile shoplift suspects in custody with the store’s security. Two officers arrived on the scene at 11 a.m. where they contacted the loss prevention manager. The officers saw the manager, another story employee and the three juvenile suspects in the manager’s office.

The manager told police five minors, two who were unidentified by this point, enter the store at 10:20 a.m. and headed to the cosmetics section of the store. The manager watched the minors on security cameras and witnessed the first juvenile suspect select Lorac highlighter, remove it from its box and then place the highlighter in her jacket pocket. The manager also saw the second juvenile suspect select mascara, remove it from the box and then slide the item up her sleeve. The second suspect then left the cosmetic section and go to the juniors department where she selected a shirt and entered a fitting room.

The first juvenile suspect stayed in the cosmetics section and picked up two makeup palettes and then left the cosmetics section with the third juvenile suspect. The first and third suspects went to the athletic section where they met with an unidentified minor and the three went to the shoe department.

The first juvenile suspect handed the makeup palettes to the unidentified minor who then placed the makeup in the third juvenile suspect’s backpack. The unidentified minor then picked out a pair of Converse sneakers. The third juvenile suspect placed her backpack on the ground and the unidentified minor placed the shoes in the bag. The third juvenile suspect picked up her bag and the three walked to the mens section of the store where they entered a fitting room.

During this time, the second juvenile suspect exited the fitting room she was in. The first juvenile suspect met up with the second unidentified minor on the salesfloor. They traveled to the cosmetic section then met with the other three in the dressing room they shared.

All five minors left the dressing room together. An employee checked the room but nothing was left behind. The two unidentified minors left the store together. The three juvenile suspects began to head towards the front of the store. All three suspects passed the point of purchase without attempting to pay for the goods they picked up. Once the three juvenile suspects exited the store, the loss-prevention manager and another employee approached them. The three juvenile suspects admitted to the theft and were escorted to the manager’s office.

Inside the manager’s office the three juvenile suspects started laughing about the situation and told the manager that she wouldn’t be able to contact any of the girls’ parents because they “wouldn’t have time” for the situation. That is when the manager contacted the police.

The officer spoke with the first juvenile suspect, who told officers the girls were released from school early. The officers found later the first juvenile suspect lied and all the girls had skipped school. The first juvenile suspect said she was hanging out with the second suspect who drove all the minors to Kohls. The first juvenile suspect also gave the names of the two unidentified minors.

The first juvenile suspect admitted to grabbing a black pair of sweatpants and placing them in her backpack, and she admitted another girl had put the shoes in her bag. The officer asked the suspects about the stolen makeup. The first suspect first lied about the makeup but on a third ask, they admitted to stealing the makeup as well.

The first juvenile suspect said she knew “this,” meaning the suspects being arrested, was going to happen if they tried to steal. She told the officer she had no money to purchase the items.

The officer spoke with the second juvenile suspect who told police her and her friends decided to take stuff instead of paying for it. She told the officer she had money to purchase items but needed the money for gas. She admitted to stealing two pairs of pants, a shirt and mascara. The second juvenile suspect was wearing the two pairs of pants and shirt while being interviewed by the officer. The second suspect said she drove all the girls to Kohls that morning in her red Jeep Cherokee. She said she did not know where the two unidentified girls went.

The officer then interviewed the third juvenile suspect. The third suspect said it was the other two’s idea to go to Kohls but then began mumbling and not answering interview questions. Soon she admitted to stealing the highlighter.

The officers released the suspects to their family members. Officers attempted to contact the parents multiple times. All three juveniles were arrested for third degree theft and subsequently released. The report was forwarded to Remann Hall.

Gig Harbor fire suspects dumpster blaze was arson

March 22 — A Gig Harbor police officer responded to a call about an arson at 5:15 p.m. on Point Fosdick Drive Northwest. When the officer arrived they met with Gig Harbor Fire, who responded to a dumpster fire behind an apartment complex.

The fire fighters had extinguished the fire on the scene and believed the fire was set intentionally.

Police had no witnesses and attempted to call the property management, which was located out of state. Police could not contact the property managers at the time. The case is pending further investigation.

Vehicle prowler gets expensive pair of sunglasses from victim’s car

March 22 — A Gig Harbor police officer responded to a theft from a vehicle at 6:45 p.m. in the Park and Ride parking lot on Kimball Drive. The officer contacted the owner of the car when he arrived on scene.

The victim said an unknown person had broken into his locked car. The officer saw the car’s front-driver’s side window was smashed in and was laying on the driver’s seat. The driver’s side lock was also damaged. Police also saw scratches and marks in the paint near the window and handle, which led officers to believe tools were used to break into the car.

The victim told the officer he parked the car at the Park and Ride early in the morning. The victim locked the car and set the after-market alarm. The victim said the center console organizer was taken and it contained one bottle of Tramadol prescription medication, one pair of Versace men’s sunglasses worth $300 and one safe deposit box key. Nothing else seemed to be missing from the car.

The officer checked the surrounding area but did not see any surveillance cameras. There is no suspect in the case.

Itchy socks leads police to discover meth, make arrest

March 23 — A Gig Harbor police officer was on patrol at 11:56 p.m. near Point Fosdick Drive when he was advised another officer was searching for a suspicious vehicle in the area. The vehicle was described as a blue, older pickup truck with a blue tarp on the back and a male driver.

The officer spotted the suspicious vehicle on a side street behind the Fred Meyer as he drove past. When the officer returned he saw the driver appeared to be leaned over and asleep in the car.

The officer contacted the driver and obtained his license. While the officer was talking with the driver, the driver kept moving towards the bottom of his left leg. The officer told him to stop reaching for his sock and to place his hands on the steering wheel. The officer then asked the driver to unlock the door so he could frisk the driver. The driver said “I don’t do knives” and then opened the door. When the door opened the officer could see a glass pipe and a small baggie in the driver side door panel. The officer checked the driver’s sock and found nothing.

The officer went to his vehicle to conduct a records check and when he returned he saw the driver kept reaching for his sock again. The officer checked the driver’s person again but still found nothing. The officer spotted the plastic baggie in the door panel again and saw it contained a crystal substance, which the officer believed to be methamphetamine. When the officer pulled out the bag and asked the driver what it was, the driver said it was crystal meth.

The officer removed the driver from his car and placed him in handcuffs. The officer placed the driver in his patrol car and a second officer arrived with a drug test to confirm if the substance was methamphetamine. The test resulted a positive for methamphetamine.

The officer told the driver he was under arrest for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and that his vehicle would be impounded for evidence. The driver begged the officer not to impound the vehicle because it was where he lived and he couldn’t afford to get it back. The officer said he could obtain a warrant for the vehicle instead and the driver gave the officer permission to inspect the whole vehicle.

The officer took the suspect out of his patrol car so he could watch the search. During the search the officer found another glass pipe and more methamphetamine.

The officer transported the suspect to Pierce County jail.

Trail of blood, broken decorations lead police to suspect’s hotel room

March 24 — Gig Harbor police were dispatched to the Inn at Gig Harbor on 56th Street at 3:37 a.m. for a report of a man bleeding and causing a disturbance inside the hotel. Dispatch advised the 911 caller had said the man appeared to be drunk and had damaged items on the third floor.

An officer arrived on scene and contacted the employee who called 911. The employee said the man, who was a guest, came inside the hotel 10 minutes prior and was bleeding all over the floor and yelling about his car being stolen. The man then went to the third floor where he began to break hotel items before entering his room.

A second officer arrived on the scene and they went to the suspect’s room. The officers saw a broken “Exit” sign on the floor, a table flipped over and a vase on the floor with display rocks inside which had been broken. The officers then went to the room and made contact with the suspect. The suspect was bleeding from his hand and his girlfriend was also in the hotel room. The suspect said he did not remember breaking any items in the hotel hallway, despite the trail of blood leading from the hall to his room. Officers reported the man was having some sort of cognitive development issue from either a medical disorder or from drugs the man admitted to taking. The suspect kept repeating that his car had been stolen and that people “were after him, possibly the cartels.”

Officers spoke with the hotel employee who asked for the suspect and his girlfriend to leave. The officers gave the two 15 minutes to grab their things and check out. The officer told the suspect charges for malicious mischief in the third degree would be forwarded to the Gig Harbor Municipal Court. The officer also advised the suspect he may be held liable for the damage done at the hotel.

The officer performed an area check for the suspect’s car, which they located across the street at a restaurant. The suspect was flagged down and escorted to his car, which he said he could not drive at night because of his condition. The officer told him to come back in the morning when he was capable of driving his car.

Wife likely regrets leaving $3,000 in the unlocked car after date night

March 24 — A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched to an apartment complex on Soundview Drive at 12:52 a.m. for a vehicle prowl that happened sometime the night before.

The officer contacted the victims, a husband and wife, who said their Mercedes SUV was broken into and items were stolen.

The husband said the couple arrived home in the SUV from dinner the night before at 7 p.m. and returned to their car that day at 11:30 a.m. The car had been left unlocked. The wife’s purse was stolen from the passenger floorboard and her wallet was taken from the center console along with a pair of Versace sunglasses.

The wife said she had $3,000 in cash in her purse and most of the bills were $100s. Her wallet also contained many credit cards. One of the credit cards had been used three times in Spanaway and Tacoma overnight.

The husband said they were working on canceling the credit cards. The officer told the couple to bring any additional transactions to the police if possible.

Suspect escapes by hiding behind cars

March 24 — A Gig Harbor officer was getting ready for patrol when they heard a shoplift report come over the radio at 7:49 p.m. at the local Safeway on Point Fosdick Drive NW. The officer was in the area and decided to start there for the night. Dispatch advised the suspect, a tall man in his 40s, was seen leaving the store with a bag of stolen groceries and he was headed to the Marshall’s nearby through the parking lots.

When the officer entered the area, a resident flagged down the officer that they witnessed a man dressed in black with a black beanie hiding behind cars. The officer circled the area but could not find the suspect.

The officer went to Safeway and contacted the manager, who said the suspect had left with a full cart of groceries. The manager watched the suspect go through the aisles and pass all points of purchase before running out the front doors.

The manager was able to grab surveillance footage of the suspect. The case is open, pending new leads.