Gig Harbor police reports for the week of April 12

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Vacationing couple returns to burglarized home

April 3 - A Gig Harbor police officer responded to a residential burglary call at 9:37 a.m. on North Creek Loops Northwest.

The couple told police they had just arrived home after traveling overseas, when they discovered their second-floor master bedroom window had been shattered. The couple inspected their bedroom and found multiple items had been stolen. The husband told police he and his wife had traveled from March 24 to that day. The husband said his two adult children were not at the home during their vacation.

Police inspected the area and reported the burglar had entered into the victims’ backyard and climbed onto their hot tub. From the hot tub, the burglar climbed onto the roof and shattered the master bedroom window. Once inside the burglar took a number of jewelry items from a dresser drawer. The burglar went into the couple’s closet and stole a mid-size safe. Police noticed the cement below the window was broken, which led them to believe the burglar dropped the safe from the second story window onto the cement below.

The husband completed a list of stolen items including $5,000 in cash, social security cards for members of his family, birth certificates for his entire family, the couple’s will and three passports, all totaling over $14,000.

The officer found fingerprints on some of the shattered glass window and found latex glove marks on some of the furniture. The officer contacted the neighbors, but no one noticed anything out of the ordinary during the time the couple was on vacation. The husband contacted a neighbor who said they saw a man driving a burgundy sedan between March 27 - 28. The man drove around the neighborhood a few times while holding a phone and was taking photographs.

The officer sent the fingerprints and other evidence to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory. An investigation is ongoing.

It only takes five minutes...

April 4 - Gig Harbor police were dispatched at 11:09 p.m. to a vehicle prowl that occurred in the Safeway parking lot on Point Fosdick Drive Northwest.

The victim said her 2001 Toyota Camry had the front passenger window broken out while parked near the store entrance. The victim said her black backpack had been taken from the car. The victim said she had only been in the store for five minutes.

The damage was estimated at $300 and the backpack had an estimated value of $10. The police had no suspects or leads in the case.

Theft suspect says they "got to stop" shoplifting in Gig Harbor

April 6 - Gig Harbor police officers were sent to a shoplift in progress at 6:58 p.m. at the Kohl’s department store on Point Fosdick Drive Northwest. Dispatch told the officers a female suspect in her 20s was seen putting clothes in a bag. Dispatch also said the female suspect might be associated with a black pickup truck outside the store with two male suspects inside.

When an officer arrived at the store they drove around the parking lot to find the suspects’ vehicle. The officer spotted a black Ford Ranger with a man behind the wheel near the front of the store. The officer pulled in front of the store and told dispatch to advise the store employees to let the police know when the female suspect bypassed the points of sale and exits the store. Dispatch told police the store’s loss prevention manager was watching the suspect head to the makeup department. When dispatch told the officer the female suspect was leaving the store, the officer spotted the woman and the manager walking outside.

The officer approached the suspect and placed her under arrest. The manager told the officer the suspect had stolen several tops and a pair of pants. The female suspect admitted to taking the clothing. A second officer then arrived on scene.

The arresting officer spotted clothes with security tags attached inside the female suspect’s bag. The officer removed four shirts and one pair of pants. The female suspect said she didn’t steal anything else from the store and the male suspect was waiting to pick her up.

The second officer had contacted the male suspect in the truck. When the second officer approached the truck, the male suspect attempted to walk away from the scene. The officer asked the man what he was doing and he said he was there to pick up a friend. The officer asked the man for identification and the man began acting “erratic” and started to yell while walking away. The second officer told the male suspect he believed he was an accomplice to a crime and needed to see ID. The male suspect became angrier and told the officer he had no ID and that he was going to leave, then he started walking towards the truck. The officer told him he could not legally drive if he didn’t have his ID. This made the male suspect more upset. The male suspect became increasingly louder and aggressive with the second officer and started using obscene language in the parking lot, which the officer noted was filled with children and shoppers.

The first officer noticed the male suspect was yelling and being aggressive with the second officer. The first officer placed the female suspect in his patrol car and started to walk towards the other officer. The first officer asked the male suspect if he had any warrants and the male suspect said he did. The first officer then grabbed the male suspect’s right arm and detained him. The suspect started acting aggressively and tried to space the officer’s grip. The second officer grabbed the suspect’s other arm. The officers wrestled the suspect to the ground and were able to handcuff him.

The second officer placed the male suspect in his patrol car and found the male suspect was wanted for seven warrants. The officer searched the suspect and found a capped syringe and torch in the man’s front pocket. The officer advised the male suspect he was under arrest for two warrants from Gig Harbor’s municipal court and for obstructing officers. The man became irate and started yelling the he was only defending himself.

The first officer returned to the female suspect and told her she was under arrest for shoplifting and was trespassed from the store. The woman said “I got to stop doing this in Gig Harbor.” The female suspect also admitted she was wearing a stolen bra under her shirt. All the stolen clothing items, minus the bra, were released to the store manager. The first officer placed the female suspect in the second officer’s car with the male suspect and both were taken to Kitsap County jail.

Construction site hit with multiple thefts

April 6 - A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched to new construction homes being built on Soundview Drive for a theft incident reported on April 2.

The property's construction framer said he spoke with the general contractor who also reported a theft on April 3 at the same residence. The framer told police the same thieves they believe damaged and stole wire from the construction site also attempted to steal a tool box that belonged to the framer. The framer said he has been busy and wasn’t able to report the theft until that day, but he was missing several tools valued at approximately $1,500.

The framer had made a list of stolen items for the officer. The framer also told the officer the thieves seemed to have attempted to steal the entire “job box”, but were either scared off or could not carry the box very far since it was large and heavy. The officer reported the case in relation to the previous report made by the general contractor. There are no suspects at the time.

Suspect hides tags and pants in intimate places

April 7 - A Gig Harbor police officer was on uniformed patrol at 4:35 p.m. when they were dispatched to Kohl’s on Point Fosdick Drive Northwest for a shoplift in progress. The caller, the store’s loss prevention manager, said a woman in the store was “quick selecting” items regardless of size and color, which she noted is typical shoplifting behavior. The manager told dispatch the woman was in her 20s and was associated with a white Hyundai in the parking lot. The manager told dispatch the woman was in the dressing room where another employee heard sounds like the suspect was removing security tags.

When the officer arrived on scene, they spotted the suspected Hyundai in the parking lot and made contact with a man and woman in the car. The woman was in the driver’s seat and said she was waiting for her friend and her friend’s boyfriend who were in the store. The officer had no reason to detain the people in the car and decided to go into the store.

The officer contacted the manager who identified the female suspect on closed-circuit television to the officer. The manager said she saw the suspect conceal items. The manager said there was also a male suspect who was not seen stealing. Another officer arrived on scene and trespassed the male suspect. The two officers located and detained the female suspect who was still walking inside the store. The first officer placed the female suspect in handcuffs and escorted her with the other officer to the loss prevention office.

The woman identified herself to the officers and agreed to speak with them. The officer noticed she was wearing a gray sweatshirt, different than the plaid shirt she was wearing when she entered the store. The suspect was also wearing large, silver hoop earrings that she was not wearing when she entered the store, according to security camera footage. The woman admitted she removed the tags from the shirt and earrings but kept the tags in a bag with the intent to pay for the items. The officer’s found tags for the shirt and a pair of pants. The officers also found two cellphones, a make-up bag, an empty wallet, a small pair of cutting pliers and a piece of magnetic security device inside her purse. The manager said a pair of jeans in the suspect’s bag would have contained a security pin like the one found in the purse.

Police reported there was not enough money or cards in the woman’s wallet to purchase any of the items. A records report showed two misdemeanor warrants for the suspect for theft out of Tacoma. Police arrested the woman and escorted her to Tacoma.

On the way the suspect was seen removing a pair of light colored pants from behind her back. When the officers asked about the pants, the suspect said they were the pants she was wearing in the store and that she was only “unbunching her underwear.”

When police arrived in Tacoma they observed the pants and saw they still had tags attached. Because of this, the jail staff required the suspect to provide a urine sample. Jail staff found a Juicy Couture tag inside the toilet and alerted the arresting officer. The officer noted the tag was for skinny jeans but chose not to take the tag for evidence. The officer arrested the woman for theft and the two warrants from Tacoma. The officers also returned the jeans to Kohl’s department store.

Thieves return to the scene of the crime, without a membership card

April 7 - A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched to Costco on Harbor Hill Drive at 11:30 a.m. for a shoplift report that happened on April 6. The officer contacted the on-site manager who said on April 6 at 7:34 p.m. two men walked into Costco together and then split off. The manager escorted the officer to the managers’ office and showed video footage from security cameras located in and out of the store.

At 8:01 p.m., a bearded suspect left his cart in the electronics isle and circled the laptop area while “acting suspicious” and watching the door. The bearded suspect then walked out of the entrance. The manager noted the bearded suspect was walking differently than before. The bearded suspect’s jacket was also zipped closed.

The second suspect went through the registers at about 8:02 p.m. and went to the bathroom. About two minutes later, the second suspect left the bathroom and grabbed a cart with a box filled with merchandise and proceeded to exit out the front door. The second suspect exited without being stopped by staff to check for a receipt. The video shows the cart had clothing items. The manager provided the officer with a thumb-drive of the videos.

At 1:28 p.m. the same officer was dispatched to Costco again for a shoplift in progress involving the same suspects as the previous incident. The officer arrived along with a Pierce County Sheriff deputy. The two officers contacted the manager who said there was a total of three suspects now, two left the store and one was still inside near the candy aisles. The manager pointed out the suspect near the candy who had set some merchandise down near him. The Gig Harbor officer recognized the man as the second suspect from the video.

The officers detained the second suspect and escorted him to a patrol car. The suspect gave his name and said he was confused about why the officers were detaining him. The suspect said he was shopping with his girlfriend and was waiting for her. The second suspect refused to identify his girlfriend. The officer explained he was under arrest for a theft from the night before and the Gig Harbor officer showed the suspect the videos inside the patrol car.

It was noted the suspect was wearing gray slacks with a tag attached. The suspect was also wearing possibly stolen socks and a white shirt. The officer realized the suspect was wearing stolen items. The Gig Harbor officer transported the suspect to Kitsap County jail where he was booked for theft in the third degree. The manager provided additional video for the day’s events. There was no additional report from the Pierce County Sheriff deputy.

Amazon fraud claim leaves police empty-handed

April 8 - A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched at 5:27 p.m. to a retirement community on 50th Street Court for a fraud report.

When the officer arrived they contacted the victim’s daughter, who reported her mother’s Visa card was being fraudulently used. The woman was at her mother’s apartment. The woman is her mother’s power of attorney and helps her mother with her banking.

The woman noticed her mother’s Visa card had Amazon charges in the amount of $779.77 from Feb. 19 - April 1 but the only thing her mother uses the card for is to buy medical supplies. The daughter called Amazon to dispute the charges. The company transferred her to a fraud department who made a claim. Amazon did not give the woman any information about where the charges were made from.

The officer took the report and gave the victim’s daughter his information. The case is pending.

Couple admits they don't own bazookas, but did posses methamphetamine

April 9 - A Gig Harbor officer was patrolling Borgen Boulevard and Athena Avenue at 2:59 a.m. when the officer spotted a green 2003 Toyota SUV traveling east on Borgen Boulevard approaching Athena Avenue. The officer spotted a dirty, semitransparent plastic cover over the rear license plate. The officer spotted expired registration tabs on the plate. The officer conducted a traffic stop.

The car traveled for a distance before coming to a stop near the Athena Avenue intersection. The officer contacted the driver who immediately confessed his license was suspended and he had no form of identification. A woman in the front passenger seat identified herself without being asked by the officer and said she was the owner of the car.

The woman said she knew her registration was expired but was transporting the car from eastern Washington before registering the car. The woman said she had a driver’s license but was too exhausted to drive so she asked the man to help. The woman provided insurance and her identification to the officer without being asked. The officer asked if the two possessed any drugs or weapons in the car, and both became nervous and broke eye contact. There was a moment of silence before the man told police there “shouldn’t be” any drugs or weapons in the car.

The officer asked if there were any guns or weapons in the car. The man relaxed and said no, and the couple joked that they did not possess any "guns, bombs or bazookas." While the officer did a records search, he confirmed the man’s license was suspended in the third degree but the woman’s license was valid. The officer requested a narcotic dog to the scene to sniff the car.

Bremerton police's narcotic dogs unit responded to the scene to assist. The dog sniffed the vehicle and the dog alerted police to several areas of the car including the driver’s door, the front passenger’s door and the car’s trunk hatch.

The Gig Harbor officer asked the man and woman to exit the car. The two were given their rights and agreed to cooperate with the police. The man admitted he had approximately two grams of methamphetamine on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat. The officer recovered a small, plastic baggie containing a large portion of a hard crystal substance. The officer identified it as crystal meth.

The officer also spotted a small black purse sitting on the passenger seat, containing a small syringe with a liquid substance. The woman admitted the purse was hers and the syringe contained liquid meth. The purse and syringe were recovered by police. The officer observed the syringe contained 60 CCs of a liquid substance. The officer conducted a field test with showed positive for methamphetamine. The officer also found a four-milligram single does of Narcan, a drug used in the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

The couple was placed under arrest and placed in the back of the officer’s patrol car. Both suspects were transported to Pierce County jail. The SUV was towed to the Gig Harbor police department for further investigation.